Chobe and Okavango Delta Photo Safari
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.
Book this photo safari before the end of September 2023 and get a free 30 Minute Doors off scenic helicopter flight included! (New bookings only – T&Cs apply)
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.
- $1,500 Single Supplement
- $2,500 Single Supplement
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.