Itinerary Outline, 9 nights:
3 Nights, Tented Camp - Moremi Game Reserve.
Activity guide: Game drives, Okavango boat cruise
3 Nights, Tented Camp - Khwai Community Area
Activity guide: Game drives, night drives, guided walks
3 Nights, Tented Camp - Chobe National Park
Activity guide: Game drives (Central Chobe), Boat cruise on the Chobe River
Optional Safari Extensions: Popular requests include the Makgadikgadi Pans, Kasane and Livingstone. Please contact us for further info.
Danny is from Botswana, one of Africa’s prime safari destinations and home to some of the largest intact wild areas on Earth. His parents somehow raised him whilst managing safari camps in the early 90's, he spent many a happy day strapped to the Housekeepers back as she worked through the tents. Maun became home at age 5 and this hasn't changed since. After completing Hotel School in South Africa he dedicated 8 years to work and travel in any and all of the globes interesting corners. His horizons have been suitably broadened.
Though spending long periods away from the mother continent, he always gravitated back towards Africa, and knew that it is ultimately where his soul needed to be. Growing up in the wilderness, its inhabitants and the way in which they work become an intrinsic part of you. As he grew older, he gained greater understanding of the threats posed to the wilderness, and his life became increasingly centred around conservation and protection of these last wild areas.
He is a realist and we live in a real world; his belief is that untouched wilderness needs to have a value to someone in order for it to remain protected. The clearest, least intrusive value that Africa's wilderness holds, is its ability to attract people from around the world to immerse themselves in it.
He is here to do two things through his work; take the wilderness to the world in the form of my photography and any inspiration it brings, and of course, bring the world to the wilderness by leading people in life changing experiences. Through this, he contributes to the value of Africa's wilderness and its ultimate protection. By setting foot on this continent or even smiling to yourself at an incredible image on Instagram you too are bringing value and conservation.
Photography has long been a burning passion, his Old Man gave him his Konica Minolta film camera at the age of 11, and he proceeded to cost his father a fortune in film. Danny truly believes in the ability of a photographer to capture something instantaneous, something impossible to describe or even see with the naked eye. This is what he aims to portray in his photographs, the telling of a long and detailed story of evolution in just one burst of colour, focus and light. There are many such stories to be told in the African bush, however, without the perfect combination of technicality, anticipation and understanding, many of them will be lost. This is where Danny can help, his long relationship with camera and the wild will bring your African experience to life and enable you to tell your own stories. Danny thoroughly enjoys leading someone to their perfect image, almost as much as he enjoys finding his own.
On safari, Danny’s wealth of wildlife experience will ensure you are perfectly positioned in advance of the action. During the course of the workshop, you will cover all aspects of photography from the technical fundamentals to creative use of shutter speeds and light giving you the tools and the inspiration to capture unique images of the amazingly diverse array of wildlife you are sure to encounter.
At the end of a day spent exploring the wild beauty of Botswana, relax in Sahara-style tents. The 4m x 3m tents feature high roofs and include a 2m x 3m covered veranda in front. Oil or paraffin lamps are provided outside each tent. Inside, you’ll find solid basecamp beds, complete with mattresses, sheets, duvets and pillows. Tents are also equipped with a second oil or paraffin lamp, a rechargeable LED camp light and side tables.
At the rear of each tent, you’ll find a 2m x 3m en-suite bathroom with long drop toilet facilities and a bucket shower that can be ordered hot, cold or warm. Guests are free to shower at any time on most routes, although on Kalahari safaris, guides may limit showers due to the availability of water. Bathrooms are also equipped with an oil or paraffin lamp and a rechargeable LED camp light. Hand and bath towels are provided for guests, though it is encouraged that people to bring their own personal items and toiletries, as needed.
Families traveling with younger children on private trips can take advantage of family safari tent, which is designed to keep children safe and provide parents with peace of mind. The two-bedroom tent includes an adjoining bathroom and can be locked to ensure the safety of children.
To get the most out of your stay in Africa, it is recommended that each guest pack quality headlamps to supplement the lights provided around camp. Headlamps allow people more flexibility to complete tasks, like reading or safari journaling, while listening to the sounds of nocturnal creatures out in the nearby bush.
Popular safari extension requests include:
The price includes:
The price does not include:
Do not feel obligated to buy a ton of expensive kit just to come on this trip. You will certainly benefit from a reasonable telephoto lens (preferably 300mm or more; a 100-400mm zoom gives you added flexibility) and a shorter wide-angle lens which can be used for landscapes. If you have additional equipment (e.g. a macro lens, a spare body, etc.) then please bring them along, but be aware that the maximum total luggage limit on the light aircraft is 20kg per person. The following is a list of useful but by no means essential items.
Camera Bag – A sturdy, soft backpack is ideal for these types of trips. Be prepared for plenty of dust, so make sure your bag can suitably protect your equipment. A rain cover can also be useful if you are coming at the beginning of the wet season.
Lenses and extenders/converters
Memory cards/film – You can never have too many memory cards or film. If you are shooting digitally and have a multimedia photo viewer or laptop, then this can act as a back-up for your images and a useful editing tool in the field.
Lens cleaning kit - (Gitzo blower, cloth and solution) – You will undoubtedly need this at some stage during the trip.
Spare battery and charger - There is an inverter in the safari vehicle but you will still need at least one spare battery for use while the other is charging. If you are bringing an extra body, then make sure you have enough batteries for both.
Beanbag - Letaka will supply beanbags on specially designed camera mounts to aid shooting from the vehicle.
Tripod - Your scope for using a tripod will be limited due to the restrictions upon when we are allowed to shoot outside the vehicle (there is not enough space to use a tripod inside the game-viewer) but if you are keen on landscapes or capturing the stars, then please bring one along.
Monopod – For heavy super-telephoto lenses, some people find it easier to shoot with a monopod rather than using the camera supports, especially if they are used to shooting with a monopod at home. This is certainly not an essential item, however.
Filters – UV filters can be useful for protecting your lenses. Polarisers can also help to saturate the sky. If you are serious about landscapes then a neutral density filter will help to darken skies
resulting in a more uniform exposure.
Flash – An external flash can often help “fill-in” shadows during the day as well as allowing you to shoot in more overcast conditions.
The overriding goals of the workshop (other than you having a good time!) are to teach you about both the technical and compositional aspects of photography which will enable you to perfect those “classic” wildlife portraits, capture interesting animal behaviour and open the door to more advanced techniques such as panning, creative exposures and the use of light. No matter how low (or high) your initial level of proficiency you will leave the trip with a full understanding of exposure, aperture, shutter speed and other technical elements. Even more importantly, by the end of the workshop you will have gained a familiarity with your camera settings, so you will start to adjust them automatically when a certain situation arises in order to create the effect that you desire. This speed of thought is the key to capturing good wildlife images.
We will aim to cover as many techniques as possible during the trip as and when a particular sighting allows it. Often this will mean staying at a sighting longer than on a normal safari, particularly if we feel a change of light or an imminent bout of subject activity will provide a better ultimate image. Although we will obviously ensure we make the most of any big game and predator sightings, we
will also focus on capturing birds in flight and the wonders of macro and landscape photography. At night, you will have the opportunity to learn how to photograph the stars. During the whole safari, a maximum of 6 guests ensures individual attention so that each guest can develop their photographic skills to their maximum potential.
All seats in the vehicle are window seats, but we will tend to switch seats regularly to allow everyone to take advantage of different perspectives and to gain the greatest benefit from your photographic tutor.
After lunch each day we are in camp, Danny will be available for one-on-one tuition or image review sessions. In the evenings, for those who want, we will review people’s photographs as a group, giving you the opportunity to learn from mistakes and to appreciate what make a striking photograph, be it one of yours or one of your fellow photographers. This constant learning process is a vital element to improving your photography. After the ten days, not only will you have a comprehensive grasp of your camera and how to manipulate the settings to capture the image you want, you will also have amassed an impressive portfolio of images with which to wow your friends and decorate your walls.
Activities: Game drives.
After your arrival at Maun International Airport you will be met by Mack Air for your charter flight at approximately 14h00 to the Xakanaxa airstrip in Moremi Game Reserve where you will be met by your guide.
If you are staying in Maun prior to the safari, please request an airport transfer, Mack Air will liaise with your accommodation the day before to confirm the flight departure time. Alternatively, if you are coming from one of the many safari lodges, you can organize to fly directly into Xakanaxa Airstrip with the lodges preferred charter company although we do request that these flights land only after 12h00 in order for our guide to be there to meet you. Our first three nights are spent in the Xakanaxa region where we explore the surrounding wilderness on morning and afternoon game drive excursions.
Wildlife: From the air only the larger animals are easily seen. These include large breeding herds of African elephant that live in the mopane scrub. On the open plains large herds of buffalo and lechwe can be seen and in the waterways, pods of hippopotamus are a common sight. Once you land in Xakanaxa and board your land cruiser, the smaller game animals can be found.
Activities: Game drives.
Habitat: Moremi lies on the eastern extremity of the Okavango Delta. Habitats here range from wide-open floodplains, marshes, lagoons, papyrus fringed channels, vast stands of Miscanthus and Phragmites, woodland and savannah. As a result of the extremely variable habitat the diversity of both wildlife and birdlife is excellent.
Wildlife: Moremi is amongst the best game reserves in Africa for viewing the endangered African wild dog. Xakanaxa is home to a resident herd of several hundred buffalo whose range covers the territories of at least 4 prides of lion which may often be seen flanking the ever moving herd. Breeding herds of elephant move between their browsing areas in the mopane forests and the fresh water of the Okavango. Red lechwe are one of the more unusual antelope species and commonly found here.
Full day of extended game drive and journey time with picnic lunch between camps.
Activities: Game drive and night drive.
Following and early morning breakfast you take a slow drive through Moremi Game Reserve north-east towards the Khwai Community Area.
Habitat: The Manuchira Channel is known as the Khwai River at its eastern most extremity. The day’s journey follows this water course, with the track weaving from the riverside and floodplains into the mopane veld and the woodlands that make Khwai one of the most scenic areas of the Okavango. We pass the magnificent Dombo Hippo Pools in the morning stopping to enjoy the scenery and the antics of the resident hippo.
Wildlife: The western mopane veld is home to mostly breeding herds of elephant whilst the eastern reaches of Khwai is home to some impressive old bulls. The mature bulls revel in the cool waters of the Khwai and are far more approachable while drinking and bathing than the breeding herds. The river has an unusually high density of hippo as well as some huge crocodile. Leopard, cheetah, serval and lion are common predators along this route and both Xakanaxa as well as Khwai are included in the home ranges of 2 different packs of wild dog. General game includes southern giraffe, Burchell’s zebra, tessebe and red lechwe with roan and sable antelope being less common residents.
Activities: Game drives, walking safaris (conditions permitting), night drives and mokoro excursion.
The Khwai River forms a boundary between the reserve and the community area. We spend the following two nights camping at an exclusive campsite in the community area, exploring the Khwai floodplains on game drives both during the day and at night. Exploring after dark with spotlights offers you an opportunity to experience some of the nocturnal animals that are rarely encountered during the day.
We will also have the opportunity to explore the surrounding wilderness on foot (please note that this activity is seasonal based on rains and grass height, your guide will determine the safety of walking in Khwai) and mokoro and enjoy an up close and personal encounter with Botswana’s flora and fauna. It is important to note that night drives and guided walks are not permitted within the national parks and reserves. These activities are conducted outside the boundaries of the Moremi Game Reserve in the Khwai community area.
Habitat: We spend our time between the dry-land habitats of the lead-wood and camel-thorn woodlands and savannahs and the riverside and marshy back-waters of the Khwai. Time permitting we may visit the lagoons and waterways of Xakanaxa where the largest heronry in southern Africa exists.
Wildlife: The Khwai region boasts excellent populations of both bull elephant as well as breeding herds. Lion, leopard, serval and African wildcat are common predators of the region with wild dog and cheetah being less common. Buffalo use this area seasonally with large herds moving in during the summer rains. The swampy areas in the west are home to red lechwe. Other ungulates include tsesebe, blue wildebeest, giraffe, kudu, sable antelope, roan antelope and impala.
Full day of extended game drive and journey time with picnic lunch between camps.
Activities: Morning and afternoon game drives.
We head further north en-route to Central Chobe region, exploring the dessert-like landscape of game drives.
Habitat: A fascinating days drive looking at some of the evidence of the Paleo-Lake Makgadikgadi that dried up some ten thousand years ago. The most challenging part of the trip is crossing the Magwikwe Sand-ridge that formed the shoreline for this massive inland sea. The winding track through this deep sand makes for interesting travel in the early summer! The old lake bed is now the Mababe Depression. The dense clay floor of the depression result in high protein feed for wildlife and the area teams with game after the rains. During the rainy season the depression is impassable due to the “cotton soil” and alternative routes must be used.
Wildlife: A day when anything could happen. The range of habitat that is covered encompasses most of the habitat types of northern Botswana. We pass through excellent lion country and some of the best cheetah country that our safari will cover. Elephant occur throughout the drive but are more common at the start and end of the drive where permanent surface water can be found.
Activities: Game drives and Bushman painting walks.
Habitat: Unlike the vast majority of the country, Central Chobe is not a totally flat landscape. Large outcrops of volcanic rock reach up out of the Kalahari sands, towering over the endless savannah. These hills provide habitat for a completely different array of small wildlife, birds and plants. The Savuti Marsh has been the stage for many of the most dramatic wildlife documentaries in Africa. The wide open country, good ungulate populations and particularly strong prides of lion and hyaena clans make for dramatic wildlife interaction and excellent viewing opportunities. The now dry Savuti Channel runs through this landscape linking the dry sand-veld, the waterholes, the hills and the grassland that was the Savuti Marsh.
Wildlife: Undoubtedly it is the interaction between lion and elephant that
is the most interesting aspect of Savuti. The area is inhabited by a huge
pride of lions with numbers fluctuating from 20-30 members. These remarkable lions have learned over the years how to hunt these massive pachyderms that are supposedly above predation. Launching their attack under darkness and using their numbers, they manage to kill adolescent and even young adult elephant.
The marsh is prime cheetah country and in the wet season it is not unusual to have the wild dog hunting here in Central Chobe.
Activities: Game Drives & Chobe Boat Trip
On our final day on safari we will leave Central Chobe early to travel along the Chobe River arriving in Kasane where we will stop for a picnic lunch before taking an afternoon boat cruise to end the safari. As today is a long day we recommend either spending a night or two in Kasane at Chobe Safari Lodge or two nights in Livingstone at Taita Falcon Lodge or Victoria Falls at Ilala.
Habitat: The habitat on today’s drive takes us through the stunted mopane scrub of the Goha clay basin, across the sand-ridge and through the wonderful Zambezi teak woodlands of the Chobe Forest Reserve and along the Chobe River itself. The Chobe floodplain is tens of kilometers wide and in years of exceptional rains the water stretches as far as the eye can see.
Wildlife: While there are community areas that we pass through that are settled by local tribes, for the vast majority of the day’s drive we pass through wild country where wildlife moves un-inhibited by fences or man. Roan and sable antelope thrive in the teak woodlands where the low density of predators and lack of competition for food by other ungulates makes this prime habitat for these large ungulates. Leopard occur in these woodlands in low numbers but they are highly secretive and seldom seen. The Goha region has natural waterholes that hold water well into the dry season and herds of buffalo, Burchell’s zebra, greater kudu and elephant come down to drink.
We make every effort to adhere to schedules and itineraries but please know that these are subject to change due to weather — including flood conditions that can have significant impacts on driving times, depending on the time of year — road conditions, animal movements and availability. You will be notified of any changes.
Please also note that the guided walking activity is seasonal based on rains and grass height, your guide will determine the safety of walking in Khwai.
The Okavango Delta: The world’s largest inland delta and UNESCO World Heritage Site, The Okavango Delta offers you wildlife sightings and experiences you won’t see anywhere else.
Mobile Safari with Top-Notch Photographic Guide: You'll share the experience with like-minded photographers and have a superb wildlife photographer as your personal photography tutor.
Watch Elephants at Chobe National Park: Massive herds gather on the Chobe riverfront, which has the highest concentration of elephants in all of Africa.
Enjoy the Khwai Community Area: As a community area, Khwai allow people to experience night game drives, guided walks and mokoro excursions.
Immerse Yourself in a Mobile Safari: Connect more deeply with the pulse of the African bush during a classic mobile safari.
Experience the Okavango Delta from above: On your first day, you'll get the see the Okavango Delta from above when flying from Maun to Xakanaxa.
Explore on a Mokoro: See the sights and investigate the waterways of the gorgeous Okavango Delta on a traditional canoe.
We work with private campsites, small camps and exclusives lodges to give you the best and most authentic experience of Africa. With this in mind, the earlier we start planning your trip, the better. The ideal time to start organizing your safari is six to eight months before your planned departure date – especially if you want to travel during peak seasons, including around school holidays.