On the first of May 2014, Mark and I took twelve very excited workshop participants on a 13 Day African Photography Adventure, taking in Namibia, Botswana and Victoria Falls. From the minute we all met, the mood was fantastic and everyone got on like the proverbial ‘house on fire’. I sensed that this was going to be a very special photographic tour and I wasn’t wrong…
After arriving in Windhoek (Namibia) on the first day, we then headed for the deserts of Namibia. What a way to start our tour! All I can say is that they truly are stunning… We were out on safari straight way and stared exploring the incredible desert countryside and wildlife with our cameras. Our shutters were going off at a rapid rate! One of the many highlights was heading out to the iconic ‘Dead Vlei’, just after sunrise. The dead trees, preserved due to the lack of humidity, are thought to be over 900 years old. Coupled with the fiery orange/red, sun-soaked sand and rich blue sky made for some fantastic landscape images. This landscape setting has always been high on the list for photographers worldwide and let me assure you, it didn’t disappoint!!
In Namibia, we stayed at both Kulala Desert Lodge and Wolwedans Dune Lodge . The accommodation was absolute five star, the food was delicious and plentiful and the African staff were so incredibly friendly and hospitable. One hundred percent smiles at all times and always willing to please.
We then took a small charter flight to the Okavango Delta in Botswana. Our first lodge was Kwara Camp, where we spent three glorious days and then another three days at Lebala Camp. Again, deluxe accommodation, great meals and wonderful staff. Not long after our arrival, we headed out on the first of many ‘game drives’. Well, what can I say? WOW!! The wildlife encounters were simply out-of-this world and more than any of us could have dreamed of! Our guides and trackers are so in-tune with the wildlife and highly-experienced, so whenever there was even a hint of wildlife tracks, a distant sighting or a radio call from another vehicle, we were off like a rocket!! One of the highlights included being charged by elephants while in our safari vehicles! Our incredibly experienced guides made sure they had their foot on the pedal and were out of there at lightning speed (we were always safe, as safety is their number one priority).
Other highlights included seeing a cheetah with three cubs close-up (very rare) after she attempted a kill, but aborted, being metres from a leopard plucking a Guinea Fowl she had just caught, before eating it in front of us, seeing a hippo interacting with its baby, herds of zebras, extremely close giraffe encounters, hyenas, numerous birds and much, much more. There was even an elephant herd of around 30+ individuals, heading back towards our camp, with a tiny baby being protected by the matriarchs, passing right in front of our vehicles. Talk about ticking off the ‘bucket list’ :-))
The brilliant staff, with wonderful names such as ‘G’ (“A,B,C,D…G”, as he would announce himself), ‘Shoes’, ‘Sherlock Holmes’, ‘Timber’ and ‘Partner’, to name but some, gave their all to ensure we had a wonderful experience in Africa. The ‘Okavango’ sure did deliver… We all kept saying “can this trip get any better?” and each day it did!
After six days and 12 incredible four wheel drive safaris in the Delta, we then took a flight to Victoria Falls, on the Zimbabwe side. These falls were at their peak and the amount of water flowing over them was staggering. A helicopter over the top of them sealed another great day….
On last night of our incredible African Photography Adventure, we all went to a restaurant named Boma that was done up like an African village. We were greeted by singing and dancing ‘Zulu warriors’ and were each given the traditional African ‘toga’ to wear. The food was plentiful and very tasty. We also all joined in on a drumming session, danced and basically had the time of our lives. The next morning, it was time to hit the local markets for some shopping and bartering, to get a few bargains.
Feedback from our participants was unanimous – this was the greatest trip anyone had ever been on, Mark and myself included. The joy we felt during the whole trip was wonderful and I have to say, if I could bottle and sell the ecstatic feeling we all felt for so much of the trip, I’d be a very wealthy man!
Identical ’13 Day African Photography Adventure Photography Tour’ has just been announced.
Namibia, Botswana and Victoria Falls
Would you like to join Mark and I for this incredible five star, trip of a lifetime to photograph amazing African landscapes and wildlife and a trip that you can tick of your ‘Bucket List’? This may be just the photography adventure you have been looking for!