Project Description

Leopard in The Okavango delta

Chobe and Okavango Delta Photo Safari

  • From $8,950

  • 8 Days

  • Botswana

  • March – Nov Every Year

ENQUIRE NOW

The Chobe and Okavango Delta Photo Safari sits neatly between our other Botswana hosted photo safaris – the Best of Chobe and the Chobe, Delta and Kalahari itineraries. This is a small group (maximum 8 guests) safari that starts on set days of the year and usually twice a month. This safari is hosted throughout by one of the Pangolin Photo Hosts.

Starting with a three-night stay at the award-winning Pangolin Chobe Hotel which sits on the plateau above The Chobe River you will then fly into the Okavango Delta for more land-based photography on the Shinde concession staying at our Pangolin Photo Camp of choice – Footsteps – for another four nights.

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Shinde Footsteps Tent
 

The Pangolin Chobe Hotel is a five-minute drive from Kasane Airport, where you will have been met by a member of the Pangolin Photo Safaris team. If you had chosen perhaps to visit Victoria falls before, however, your transfer will bring you across the border and right to our door.

The award-winning Pangolin Chobe Hotel is situated on a plateau overlooking the Caprivi floodplains and the Chobe River below and has 14 rooms in total spread over two floors. The hotel was designed by pangolin co-founder Gerhard ‘Guts” Swanepoel and is a tribute to the art of wildlife photography.

You arrive straight into a double-height wildlife photography gallery off which the rooms lead. At the end of the gallery, you will find the editing room as well as the entrance to the underground hide. Along with the waterhole, the front of the hotel features a large deck with incredible views as well as an eco-pool for cooling off in the midday sun.

All food and drink are included at the Pangolin Chobe Hotel and the Pangolin Bar on the first floor is open all day for tea, coffee and refreshing alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. In between the morning and afternoon photo safari activities in the Chobe National Park the kitchen will be providing you with plenty of freshly prepared meals – you will not go hungry!

After you have settled into your room it will be time to meet your fellow photographers whom you will be on this photo safari with as well as your Pangolin Photo Host. We limit the number of participants on this safari to a maximum of eight which is the same number of chairs on our photo boats and then two game viewers (four on each) when you are in the Okavango Delta. This is also the perfect number for the Pangolin Photo Host to be able to spend optimal time with each guest during and in between the game activities.

While in the Chobe we will focus mainly on the Chobe River with one or two game drives in the Chobe National Park. There will be only game drives in The Okavango so we rather focus on water-based photo opportunities in The Chobe. Here is where you will see plenty of elephants, buffalo, crocodiles, water birds, fish eagles, plenty of plains game and on occasion a big cat sneaking down to the river to slake its thirst! Big cats are more regularly seen in the Delta – our next destination – but we have had some incredible sightings of lions and leopards from the photo boats too which is very special.

In the Chobe will do one morning and one afternoon activity with a group image review session in between. For these, it’s advised to bring your own laptop (as well as the editing software of your choice pre-loaded). If you have yet to develop your post-production skills then we invite you to do Janine’s Free Adobe Lightroom Course for beginners before you travel as this will give you an excellent foundation to make the most of these sessions.

While you are in The Chobe National Park your photo host will be on hand to help you get the best shots possible at each sighting as well as teach you some new skills and techniques that you might never have tried before. We very rarely have a group of eight guests with all the same level of knowledge and so the photo host will tailor your instruction to your needs.

We are often asked whether a non-photographer spouse or travelling companion would enjoy these safaris and the simple answer is yes. It is first and foremost a wildlife experience and should he or she want to try wildlife photography we will be happy to lend them a camera for the duration of the safari – and show them how to use it of course!

On Day 4 we will check out of the hotel and head to Kasane Airport to meet our charter flight into The Okavango Delta. Our charter airline of choice is Mack Air and we have built in an additional 5kg of luggage allowance into your ticket so you need not fret too much about heavy camera gear tipping you over a 20kg limit. Your new limit is 25kg in soft-sided bags only, please.

The flight to The Delta takes around an hour and is a beautiful scenic flight landing at the airstrip in the Shinde Concession. This 30,000ha piece of paradise is managed by our partners at Ker and Downey Botswana and is home to Shinde Camp as well as our home for the next few nights – Shinde Footsteps.

Footsteps is a wonderful private camp in the north of the concession and has only five tents – for the eight guests and one photo host! It is built on the edge of a lagoon in a tree line and as well as the bedrooms it features a lounge, dining tent as well as a small editing tent for those afternoon image review sessions.

The concession is a great environment for big cats such as lions and leopards and if we are lucky a pack of wild dogs will spend time in the area too. There is lots of plains game like wildebeest, red lechwe and giraffes as well as several hundred bird species that call The Okavango Delta home – either seasonally or permanently.

As Shinde is a private concession we are allowed to off-road at special sightings for better positioning as well as conducting night drives. We have hosted the Shinde footsteps guides at the Pangolin Chobe Hotel where they attend our Photo Boot Camp once a year to brush up on their photo and positioning skills. The photo hosts and Shinde guides work in tandem to get you the best shots available.

At Footsteps we have access to two game viewers with a maximum of four guests each and the Pangolin Photo Host will alternate between vehicles on each activity. More often than not the two vehicles will be the only two at a particular sighting. The vehicles are in radio contact with the other guides on the concession to call in sightings.

Footsteps was fully rebuilt at the start of 2023 and is a very comfortable traditional safari camp. No frivolous luxuries will be found here. Just a good, honest, tastefully decorated camp in an exceptionally beautiful part of the world! This is why we love it here!

During your stay, there is the option to take a helicopter flight (doors off, of course) over the Okavango Delta for some aerial photography. If this is of interest, please mention it to your photo safari planner in the enquiry form and we can add that for you.

As the safari draws to a close on day 8 you will most likely fly out to Maun for a connecting flight home. (For more information about the different airports in Botswana you can read about them here). This need not be the end of your African Photo Safari adventure however as connecting to other destinations in Botswana is easily arranged.

Perhaps you might like to visit The Kalahari or places such as Madikwe in South Africa – where you have an excellent chance of seeing rhinos which we rarely see in Botswana. For something a little less rustic, you might consider adding a few days in Cape Town at the end for some spectacular scenery and equally impressive gastronomic experiences!

Please use the form below to tell us if you are interested in this photo safari and then one of our expert safari planners can send you some date options and also discuss any additions you might like to add to this safari.

2024

$8,950per person
  • $2,500 Single Supplement

2025

$9,850per person
  • $2,745 Single Supplement
  • Airport meet and greet

  • Photographic tuition and advice throughout by a Pangolin Photo Host

  • Use of a Canon DSLR camera and telephoto lens (if required) incl memory cards

  • 3 nights The Pangolin Chobe Hotel (Full board)

  • Twice daily activities in the Chobe National Park on a Pangolin photo boat or game viewer

  • Charter flights in and out of The Okavango Delta

  • 4 nights at Shinde Footsteps (full board)

  • Twice daily game drives (maximum four per vehicle)

  • All park, landing and concession contributions

  • All meals and drinks

  • Gratuities, laundry and items of a personal nature

  • Visa fees for Botswana (if required)

It is always a good idea to get ahead of the game with your research before your safari begins as this will hold you in very good stead for when you are at your first wildlife photography opportunities. It is for this reason that we have built our Photo Hub where you will find lots of information on what gear you should be considering as well as specific articles on how to photograph certain species like Big cats and elephants. You can find a link to The Photo Hub in the navigation bar above.

Our Reviews

Woodson64
Woodson64
2024-04-07
Beyond awesome!! I just returned home from a fabulous 6 nights at the Pangolin Chobe Hotel in Kasane, Botswana. Everything was as expected. The room was comfortable with reliable internet and air conditioning. Lots of work space to edit photos, multiple international plugs (no need to bring a converter) and a comfortable bed. The food was outstanding at every meal and the staff was excellent. Many of the trips were on the river and the photo opportunities were endless. The boats are equipped with gimbals which helped with managing long lenses. Our guide was always looking to put us in the best positions to get great images. All of the guides there are outstanding and if you are into wildlife photography, booking a trip with Pangolin is a no brainer. I am eagerly looking to return next year and will bring along some of my photographer friends.
Chris B
Chris B
2024-02-17
Out of this world. Much much more than one could ever have expected This was the most amazing 5 days photography of my life. I was pretty reasonable before the trip but Janine's tuition / moving wokrshop ! turned something brilliant into something amazing. In addition my wife had previously rarely picked up a camera but having borrowed one of theirs came away with a thouroghly respectable 'portfolio' of wildlife shots, some of which I failed to capture. Am hoping to return one day. Oh and in addition the accommodation and full board etc was just perfect for the style of trip we were seeking. Only downside was that British Airways had my hold luggage for the whole of our 12 day visit to Africa however that did not spoil how good Pangolin are. Oh and we met a great couple from Ohio and are still in touch with them
beegal
beegal
2024-02-15
An incredible experience top to bottom I can't say enough about Pangolin. We stayed for two weeks, complete with gourmet meals (including vegan options for my husband) in portions that were too large, open bar, pool, free laundry services, comfortable beds, amazing staff, and safaris that were exciting yet exhausting. They arranged a day trip to Victoria Falls for us. And we were only rained out of one boat safari in the entire two weeks (in rainy season!) We learned from the photo hosts and guides. You get your money's worth and more here.
Jamie C
Jamie C
2023-11-29
Pangolin Photo safaris - a fantastic place to stay and to enjoy the Chobe We had a fantastic time at the wonderful Pangolin, everything was terrific. The staff were wonderful, both in the hotel and the Bush and all clearly well trained and very welcoming and helpful led by Dan. Charl was just what was needed on tour and with the photographing, we feel we all learned a lot as well as having fun. The food was delicious and the Chef great fun as well with his theatrical intros! I enjoyed the pool’s pond like qualities, which felt just right for the bush! Highly recommend this for photographic enthusiasts as well as everyone who enjoys the excitement of the Chobe wild life.
lumenstein94002
lumenstein94002
2023-11-25
No place is perfect, until you go here When I had an issue with a safari in the Okavango Delta, the company I had booked through pivoted and made arrangements for me to stay here for two nights. I have but one complaint, it was ONLY two nights. There cannot be anything said about this place that is not incredible. First, the staff is friendly from the pick up, to the in house staff to the team that works to make sure that your time here is as if you are family that you have known a lifetime. Because I was not originally planning on being here, I went in blind. Well, I can tell you that if you are thinking for a second of going here you have already thought too long. Just book it! I have already spent time looking at my next trip and it will be 100% with Pangolin. The boats are amazing, the team made you look better, spent time teaching me editing tips, and just cannot say enough about this company, the people and oh, the food!! The food each night was amazing.
MPA
MPA
2023-11-14
Fantastic all the way around 10/10 Wow these folks do it right! We just returned from leading our clients through Pangolin for our photography tour on the Chobe. I can't say enough about them. Everything from the staff and our guide (Richard) to Dan at the front desk and Guts with operations as well as the entire team are fantastic. We are for sure going to be working with them again in the future and look forward to it!
Sheree R
Sheree R
2023-11-01
How wrong was I, Totally! As it turned out. This was a holiday that my husband wanted to do. I was very sceptical about doing it. After all how much were you going to see from a boat anyway. I was afraid of using my camera, so thought this may help. It was awesome, we had 3 days on the Houseboat and 3 days in their Lodge. Whilst in the boat we got to see 2 Lions bring down an Impala, only meters away from our boat. Jarco & Ray, our guides, were awesome. The people we met were lovely and we got some great photos. This is a holiday that we have and will continue to recommend. It was totally worth it.
Cuthahotha
Cuthahotha
2023-10-24
Photography instruction to go from zero to hero in a few short days! With plenty of tips for the more experienced of us I'll make this short, there are no superlatives good enough to describe our time with Pangolin. We booked the Best of Chobe safari as my wife's first foray from North America. I had been watching all of the phenomenal YouTube content put out by Pangolin and knew they were the company to go with. They met and exceeded every expectation I had, and I had a lot. Our guides, Ray and Charlies, were excellent, knowing the game well and how best to position our boat or game drive vehicle for the best photos. Walter served as our photo host. Not only is he an excellent photographer, but he's an outstanding teacher. I do a lot of wildlife photography, and my wife is/was a complete novice at digital photography. By the end of the trip she was turning out outstanding images, and I learned more than a few tips. Well worth it for both of us. Typically, you'll do two game drives per day, either by custom-designed photography boats or game vehicles. We had four meals daily, and the evening meals were some of the best I have ever had. Also, while on the game drives, there are snacks, water, coffee, or sodas. You won't go hungry! While we both had gear (Nikon for my wife. I carry Canon R3 and Canon R5 ) they do have a loan department from which they will provide (free of charge) Canon 80Ds and 150-600mm lenses. The photo hosts are well-versed in the major camera manufacturers and models. Again, I can't begin to praise Pangolin, Toby, and Guts for the incredible customer service and photo safari.

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