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The Chobe national park is one of the most game rich national parks in Africa and in our opinion you have more photographic opportunities per game drive than anywhere else. The Chobe is also very accessible from Johannesburg as Air Botswana and SA Airlink have regular flights which take around two hours each way.
Also the location of The Chobe between The Delta and Victoria Falls makes the weekender package an ideal addition to any extended itinerary for clients heading in either direction.
Upon arrival at Kasane airport you will be met by a Pangolin representative and transported in our air conditioned minibus the short distance to Mowana Lodge on the banks of the Chobe river. Mowana is a beautiful lodge centred around a magnificent Baobab tree. The lodge has recently undergone a complete refurbishment and combines the luxuries of a 4* lodge with the tranquillity of a riverside game lodge. Our boat is moored on our private jetty at Mowana which makes the early morning boat safaris very accessible.
After you have been checked in to your room and grabbed your hat and sunscreen its time for our first photo safaris. Generally we will head out in the boat for the sunset cruise along the Chobe river. With the sun at our backs we scour the banks for game coming out of the bush to drink from the river. Its not unusual for us to drift past large herds of elephant quenching their thirst, jostling for position with other mammals such as buffalo, zebra and giraffe.
On board you will be shown how the Nikon D7000 camera fitted with a 150-500mm Sigma zoom lens functions and as you get more comfortable with the camera we will show you some techniques and tips to getting the best image at that moment. With the Chobe being such a game rich environment and the D7000 being such a great camera you will be taking superb images in no time.
The boat trip last for approximately 3 hours and refreshments (soft drinks, local beers and wine) will be served along the way.
We return to Mowana at sunset just in time to get freshened up and head to the riverside dining room for a sumptuous feast prepared by the Mowana chefs. After dinner there is a roaring fire to sit around and talk about the afternoons sightings or straight to bed to rest for the morning drive….in search of predators.
Lions, leopards, hyenas and other predators rarely venture down to the river especially during daytime hours so we decided it was essential for us to be able to offer a land based photo safaris to our clients. We also decided that the vehicle we should use need to be as photo friendly as possible too which is why we decided on the Unimog. This vehicle is truly amazing. It was originally designed for the German military and in its many decades of service the design has changed little. On board there is room for eight clients to sit comfortably with beanbags positioned strategically to rest the cameras on when at a sighting. There is plenty of room on-board for equipment and with its open sides and high vantage point it is the perfect platform for land based photo safari activities.
The drive lasts approximately 3 hours and we leave early to maximise the chances of a predator encounter during optimum lighting conditions. As with the boat each seat is equipped with a Nikon D7000 this time with 120-400mm Sigma lenses which we found to be the perfect combination of zoom and manoeuvrability for the Unimog. On board you will receive further help with the cameras and advice on picture composition.
Again refreshments will be served (tee, coffee and soft drinks) during the course of the drive and all images captured will be transferred to a personalised DVD and delivered to you shortly after the drive.
We return to Mowana in time for a delicious breakfast and then the rest of the day is yours to do with as you please. Mowana has recently built a world class spa on the property and there is even a golf course and tennis court should you feel the urge to remain active. Most of our clients chose to find a quiet spot near the pool to relax with a good book before we reconvene for another game drive in the Unimog again at round 3pm in search of the predators as they get ready for their night of hunting. Refreshments will be served in the form of soft drinks, local beers and wines before returning to the lodge at sunset.
Our final photo safari on day three is an early one again this time on the boat at around 6am. The boat being moored at Mowana means it’s a short trip from your room to the jetty and then out on to the Chobe river for a 3 hr. cruise along the banks with the sun rising over the Kasane Plateau and the hippos returning to the river from a night of foraging inland. This is a spectacular time of day to be on the river and particularly good for photos of crocodiles, hippos and the abundance of fish eagle that nest and hunt along the river.
We return to Mowana in time for another sumptuous breakfast and there is still more time for some rest and relaxation before we transfer you back to the airport after lunch for the 14.40 flight to O.R.Tambo in Johannesburg.
With four full photo safaris and the capacity to take over 400 pictures during each one we can assure you that not only will you feel refreshed and exhilarated by your time with us in the Chobe but you will have some truly beautiful images to remember your time by.
We look forward to welcoming you on a Pangolin Photo Weekender soon.