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with African wildlife photographer GREG DU TOIT
A private African safari affords you not only the luxury to travel to the best photographic locations on the continent but to also venture off the beaten track - to photograph Africa's hidden treasures. As both a professional wildlife photographer and an 8th generation African (read my bio here), I have photographed and explored Africa extensively. On a private photo safari I share my secrets with you as I show you Africa's most spectacular landscapes and wildlife. I also share with you both the philosophy, techniques and camera settings behind my imagery.
The aim of each Africa private safari is quite simply to offer you the best photo safari in Africa and as such, each itinerary is bespoke, tailored to your needs and to the time of year that you wish to travel. Below is a list of eight recommended private photo safaris to give you a general idea of what is on offer (just to get the ball rolling). These safaris can be tweaked and lengthened or changed according to the season and your photographic/lodging preferences. To inquire about designing your own exclusive private photo safari and to receive a detailed itinerary and costing, email me here.
1. Botswana Okavango Delta Photo Safari:
Botswana is home to one of the largest inland water deltas in the world and an Okavango Delta Photo Safari is hard to beat. The Okavango is a true wilderness which means that we fly in, we fly out and we hardly see anybody else while we are there. We can photograph from the air, from speed boats, dugout canoes, helicopters and Land Rovers. A combination of 3 camps usually works best as it gives you a chance to enjoy wonderful wildlife encounters and to also explore the hidden channels and waterways.
Best Time to Travel: For predator photography the delta is best visited in July - Sep when the channels are full but the islands are dry. You can visit the delta in the green season from October-March and it is truly a wild green wonderland this time of year. The cost is also greatly reduced in this green season and this is also the best time for birds.
Is this safari for me? Undoubtedly yes. You have to see the Okavango Delta, it is pristine and beautiful, offering a perfect blend between photographing wildlife and enjoying the wilderness. The camps are luxurious yet unpretentious.
Why would I not enjoy it? If you are a photographer that wants to go out and fill your memory cards on every safari drive that you do, then you would do better to book one of my fixed departure itineraries here or look at safari number 2 or 7 on these pages. The delta blends good photography with isolated wilderness but you are not guaranteed of seeing an animal around every turn. The delta is for connoisseurs.
Recommended Duration: 13 nights excluding international travel.
See a leopard flying out a tree here and see a lioness jumping over water with a perfect reflection on my recent Okavango Delta Photo Safari
2. Africa Big Cat Predator Safari:
This incredible safari combines the best of Botswana and South Africa and offers you the ultimate predator safari. Not only is this the best Africa big cat safari that you can do, but it is finished off by photographing Great White Sharks. This safari starts in the legendary Okavango Delta where we go in search of lions hunting buffalo. We stay at the exact camp where the National Geographic filmed their 'The Last Lions' documentary. From there we fly to South Africa's famous Mala Mala Game Reserve where not only will you see Africa's big five (including the endangered rhinoceros), but this is the best place in all of Africa to photograph leopards. We will conduct night safari drives and you will be taught how to photograph action in low-light. Our last stop is Cape Town, where we will photograph Great White Shark breaches and for the brave, you can even cage dive. Cape Town is also one of the most beautiful cities in the world and your private Africa safari will end in style, sipping wine and taking in gorgeous views.
Best Time to Travel: The only months for this ultimate predator safari are June, July and August. These months coincide with both the terrestrial predator viewing and the great white shark's natural breaches.
Is this safari for me? Undoubtedly yes. This is simply one of the best predator safaris you can do in Africa. The accommodation is wonderfully comfortable and the photography is exclusive with outstanding photographic opportunities being the order of the day. This safari can be extended to inlcude more camps in the delta, each offering incredible predator and even wild dog opportunities as well as uberluxurious accommodations.
Why would I not enjoy it? If you do not enjoy seeing predation, then definitely give this one a miss.
Recommended Duration: 12 nights minimum excluding international travel.
Watch a leopard kill we saw at Mala Mala here and see air jaws here. See a trailor to 'The Last Lions' here.
3. From Meerkats to Big Cats:
Everyone loves meerkats right and everyone loves Africa's other big cats right? This one of a kind safari will take you into the middle of Botswana to photograph meerkats. These incredible little creatures are habituated and might even use your lens as a lookout post. After spending time with the meerkats, we then head off in search of Africa's other big cats. We penetrate the central kalahari desert (home to the bushman) in search of cheetah, before flying up to the Okavango Delta. Here we track down lions and leopards on the legendary Chief's Island. This off the beaten track safari is by private air and promises to be sublime.
Best Time to Travel: This safari is best from Dec to March.
Is this safari for me? If you love meerkats, big cats and remote wilderness - then yes!
Why would I not enjoy it? This safari is off the beaten track and as such we fly quite long distances between legs in small planes. If you don't like small planes then give this private photo safari a skip. This is also more of a connoisseurs safari for people wanting something different. It will be hot but this truly is an 'off the beaten track' safari.
Recommended Duration: At least 10 nights excluding international travel.
See the meerkat camp here.
4. Best of Namibia Photo Safari:
Namibia is an African country unlike any other and a private flying safari in Namibia is not only truly unique, but it offers a delectable smorgasbord of photographic opportunities. If you are a photographer that enjoys a bit of everything then look no further as this safari offers you not only the best landscape photo opportunities in Africa but in the Namib desert we will photograph incredible macro subjects including chameleons, snakes and beetles. In a private concession in the west of Etosha National park, we will photograph plains game and big cat predators. Flying up the skeleton coast, we will search for desert rhino and elephant while the far-flung northern reaches will offer us wonderful cultural photographic opportunities as we photograph the Himba people. What other safari in the world can offer you such a diverse combination of different genres of photography?
Best Time to Travel: This safari can be conducted all year round but depending on your preferred genre, we can make recommendations. For landscape photographers, March offers the best skies but for wildlife June - Sep is best.
Is this safari for me? Undoubtedly yes. Namibia is vast and free. There are not many people and the incredibly ancient vistas will enrich your life greatly. It is a country like no other.
Why would I not enjoy it? This safari is off the beaten track and as such we fly between legs in small planes. If you don't like small planes then give this private photo safari a skip. Also if you are not interested in landscape photography, macro or culture then rather book one of my Africa big cat safaris (number 2 or 7).
Recommended Duration: 14 nights excluding international travel.
See one of the remotest safari camps in Africa here.
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