Whenever Guts and I have an afternoon off – which More →
In Roger’s own words:
“There is something quite different about doing wildlife photography from the water. One gets very close to the animals and birds, and it’s a far gentler, more peaceful experience than the traditional 4X4 game drives. We will spend 4 nights in the Kasane area of the Chobe River Botswana taking advantage of the dry conditions when the water in the area is pretty much restricted to the river. This makes river based photography very productive. I have previously photographed elephant herds here from the water with a 24mm lens!
We limit the size of the group to just 8 photographers so that we can spend quality time together and really work of getting beautiful images. By all means bring your partner along at a reduced rate to enjoy the safari with you.
The program is very relaxed and flexible and while the idea is to bring back some amazing photographs of the wildlife we will also schedule some time to do a little relaxing if you choose. Early mornings and late afternoons will be spent on the water shooting pix of the animals and surrounds. During the time after breakfast we will have a little free time and then in the afternoons before we head out we will analyse the images we are getting, figuring out where we are going right and wrong.”
You leave O.R.Tambo international at 11.50am on Air Botswana or SA Airlink to Kasane international airport – flying time approx 2hours and 20 mins. You will be collected by Roger de la Harpe and a Pangolin representative upon arrival and transferred to Mowana Lodge in time to check in, unpack and get settled.
Depending on arrival times, we’ll have lunch or tea and head out on the river at around 15.30 returning to Mowana at 18.30 in time for drinks and then dinner in the restaurant. We will be on the lookout for all sorts of water birds and animals heading down to water to drink. The end of the game drive culminates in drifting through the rapids near Mowana among beautiful tree covered island harbouring nests of open billed and yellow billed storks. Photographing these birds coming home to roost against the sunset is spectacular!!!!
We head out early in the Unimog for a morning drive which will give us a chance to get a shot or two of lions, a leopard if we are lucky or other predator as they rarely venture down to the river. The Unimog is a fantastic and unique photography experience. We return to Mowana for a hearty breakfast and a few hours to relax by the pool. At about 12:30 we head into the air-conditioned boardroom with our laptops to do some image analysis to figure out where we are going right and wrong with the photography.
At 15:30 we head to our elephant hide at Senyati in the Lasoma valley. With luck we will have plenty of eles coming down to drink and we can get some low angle shots of these magnificent beasts in the late afternoon light. After sunset we drive down the valley and head to Elephant Valley Lodge for dinner. The Lodge has a stunning boma in front of a waterhole and its not unusual to have dinner with of a herd of elephant. There is also a hide where we can have some time after dinner if we feel like it. We get back to Mowana at around 21.30.
It’s onto the boat again at 6 to photograph animals illuminated on Sedudu island by sun rising over the Kasane Plateau. This time of day is magnificent and there are very few other boats on the river. We often find a few old buffalos grazing on the soft vegetation along the rivers edge at this time and always there are the birds, crocodiles and hippos. We return to the Lodge for breakfast and free time and image analysis.
That afternoon we head out in Pangolin’s amazing Unimog where we hope to get some images of the afternoon “commute” by the animals to the river front. This can be a particularly rewarding time to be in the park as the predators start to rouse themselves for the night shift!
Early morning is spent on the river looking for wildlife and shooting pictures as we go and then it’s back to the lodge for breakfast, free time and image analysis. We have drinks on the river after the afternoon shoot, taking in the quietness of the evening as we float along.
In the afternoon there is an option to return to The Elephant Bunker or go out on the Photo Boat again
One last early morning boat ride before returning to savanna for breakfast and check out. We need to leave Savanna Lodge by about 11:30 to make our flights out, arriving at O. R. Thambo in Johannesburg at about 17.00 allowing enough time to get a connecting flight onwards to CT or Durban.
What to Bring:
Digital SLR Camera with removable lenses (a fixed lens camera will work but will limit what you can do to a degree).
Zoom lenses – the selection is broad but at least 2 zoom lenses are recommended, one wide angle and one medium to long telephoto, which should preferably have some form of image stabilization. At least 300mm or preferably 400mm (Nikon do a really useful 80 to 400mm lens and Canon a 100 to 400mm. The Nikkor 200 – 400 is also very useful.) would be recommended.
A tripod for the night shots.
A laptop computer (and a mouse) with either Lightroom, Photoshop or Photoshop Elements loaded on to it. Instruction will be in Lightroom and Photoshop CS5. It is recommended that you have some form of backup medium – DVD’s or a portable hard drive. We will have trial copies of lightroom Photoshop on the safari and also free versions of various other programs available to load onto your computer.
This 4 night safari is from 25 to 29 September 2013 . Book Now!
Kasane and Chobe fall into a malaria area. Consult your doctor about the necessary precautions.
Prices subject to potential increases due to currency fluctuations and increases in park fees in Botswana.
Roger de la Harpe has been taking widlife photographs for many decades now and his enthusiasm and passion for his art is even stronger than ever.