I am very proud to add yet another UNESCO World Heritage Site to my safari offering! As a professional wildlife photographer, based full-time in Africa, the question I am asked the most often is “Where is the best place in Africa is to go on safari?” This is a tough question because Africa has so many fine photographic safari destinations, but if you really press me for an answer then I will say that Botswana’s Okavango Delta is Africa’s top wilderness safari destination. Keep reading to find out why…
The Okavango is not only one of Africa’s last great wildernesses; it is also totally unique, a place where the water, desert and sky meet. It feels like the furthest place from civilization and yet the safari camps are luxurious and intimate. More importantly, the area consists of private wildlife concessions and each is the size of the game reserves and parks that you find in other African countries, yet there are only one or two camps per concession. This means that you will search for photographic wildlife subjects in splendid isolation, driving for hours without seeing any other vehicles.
Not only is Botswana’s Okavango breathtakingly beautiful with big skies, lots of water, lush bush and beautiful birds; it is also the ultimate location in Africa to combine painted wolf and big cat photography.
For the ‘Ultimate Okavango Delta Safari’ we have secured bookings at two different camps but in adjacent concessions. Both camps are located close to the heart of the Okavango Delta, the Moremi Game Reserve, but by spreading ourselves across two neighbouring concessions, we drastically increase our chances of seeing the big cats and especially the painted wolves and cheetah, whose home ranges are larger.
There is a very special 3 night ‘Botswana Salt Pan’ extension to this safari: The Magadikgadi Salt Pans are just a short flight away and this extension offers everything from Meerkats and Bushman walks, through to aerial photography over what are believed to be the largest salt pans in the world. What could be better than photographing the watery delta and desert pans all in one African photographic safari?
The ‘Ultimate Okavango Delta Safari’ has ONLY one departure per year and only space for 3 photographers, so sign up now by completing the form at the bottom of this page.
This is a 6 night (7 day) Ultimate Okavango Delta safari with the exciting option of doing a 3 night Botswana Salt Pan extension.
Cost includes all internal flights from Maun Airport (Botswana); meet and greet services; 6 nights’ accommodation in two camps located in the Okavango’s most productive wildlife area; meals; laundry; house drinks; conservation/community fees; additional luggage allowance; private safari drives with exclusive vehicle use; photographic tuition and guiding services of professional African wildlife photographer Greg du Toit.
Not included in the cost are visas you might need (depending on your nationality); purchases of a personal nature (like curios); staff gratuities (at your discretion); personal travel and medical insurance; your international flights and any adhoc activities not included on the itinerary.
40% deposit confirms your booking. Only spaces available for 3 photographers on this exclusive safari and only one departure per year. The above cost only applies if the workshop is fully booked with 3 participants.
Your personal photographic tutor and safari host, Greg du Toit, will meet you at Maun Airport in Botswana. For those of you needing to overnight in Johannesburg the night before (depending on where in the world you are coming from), this can be arranged for you with the necessary meet and greet transfers. The ‘Ultimate Okavango Delta Safari’ however officially starts in Maun where we will check in at the Wilderness Air desk and get our luggage weighed (don’t worry we booked an extra luggage allowance) and scanned, before taking to the skies and leaving all remnants of civilization behind.
Flying north into one of the largest inland deltas in the world, you will land at a small dirt airstrip about a 40 minute drive from our first camp, Chitabe, which will be your home for the next 3 nights. To be more specific, your home will be a large canvas tent built on a raised wooden deck under a giant tree and overlooking the vast floodplains of the Okavango Delta. Although you are in a tent, you will enjoy fine safari luxury with running water, electricity and flushing loos.
The camp lies in the south east of the Okavango Delta, adjacent to the famed Moremi Game Reserve. You are not in the public reserve however, but in a private concession, where you can photograph African wildlife with more exclusivity and freedom. After settling in to your tent, we will meet in the lounge area for tea. During this time, we will check your camera settings and prepare for the afternoon safari drive, where photography will commence with immediate effect.
After your first afternoon safari, you will return to camp where after a campfire and scrumptious dinner, you will turn in for the night. The camp is located in one of the busiest concessions, from a wildlife point of view, and as such you will be lulled to sleep by the wild sounds of Africa.
Waking early, when the nightjars and owls are still calling, you will meet around the fire for a cup of coffee or tea. It will still be dark and just as the faintest blue and orange hues appear in the East; you will head out on a full morning safari drive.
The concession surrounding Chitabe is simply sublime and offers a mosaic of habitats ranging from palm-fringed floodplains through to beautiful woodlands. Surrounded by water, you will explore and photograph the Okavango Delta’s very best wildlife concession. In April, not only are the temperatures pleasant and moderate but the flood waters are at their lowest, allowing you to penetrate the heart of the Okavango Delta and to photograph the wild creatures that call Chitabe home.
The good news is that almost every type of African animal calls Chitabe home. All the big cats like lion, cheetah and leopard are seen in the concession. Spotted hyenas and even honey badger and bat-eared fox sightings are a possibility. This concession is traditionally the best concession for wild dogs in the entire Okavango Delta. It is also rich in general game, including Cape Buffalo; giraffe; lechwe; tsessebe; warthog; zebra; elephant and much more.
The other good news is that you are on a small group African photo safari. This means that not only do you have a professional wildlife photographer directing the guide in front, so as to be best positioned for light and animal behaviour, but you have an entire row in the safari truck to yourself. There is therefore lots of space to have your gear next to you and you can shoot out the left and the right.
After lunch you will have time to download your memory cards before heading out again after tea, to photograph the great afternoon light. The Ultimate Okavango Delta Safari is specifically designed for photographers so everything will revolve around getting you the very best photographs possible. Finding subjects in great light and in action will be our focus while taking in the sights, sounds and smells of one of Africa’s last great wildernesses, will just happen spontaneously. For today and the upcoming days, you will immerse yourself in the Okavango and with a professional photographer on-board to give recommendations and to answer any of your questions, the sky is the limit.
Returning to camp in the dark, you will enjoy a fire and delectable dinner before turning in. The good news is that you wake up the next day only to do it all over again, except with different sightings and photo opportunities. No 2 days in Africa are ever the same!
After a last morning safari drive in Chitabe, there is no need to pack your cameras away. This is where this itinerary differs from all others in that we do not fly to a completely different part of the delta, wasting time and having to start from scratch. What we do however do, is we take a safari drive to the neighbouring concession, where we continue our Okavango Delta exploration. So, keep your cameras out and ready as we transfer to our 2nd camp, Qorokwe.
This private concession in even bigger than our last and situated in a high-density game area. Your tent is also bigger, complete with an outdoor shower! The camp overlooks a lagoon and is impressively 100% solar powered. Arriving before or after lunch, depending on what we see on the way, you will settle in to your new home and meeting at tea again, we will set out to explore our new concession. By now, we have ironed out your photographic creases and the photography goes up a gear!
Qorokwe means ‘the place where the buffalo broke through the bush into the water’. As photographers it is our job, over the next few days, to find whatever it was that was chasing that buffalo, causing it to break through the African bush!
The afternoon safari drive will end back at the campfire. After dinner, you turn in with the excitement of being able to explore further afield the following day.
With the same routine as in our previous camp, we will set out each morning before sunrise, in search of our photographic subjects. This concession is very diverse where giraffe-filled acacia savannahs give way to more traditional zebra-filled floodplains. Riverine forests and groves of palms await, all filled with an abundance of birdlife.
Qorokwe is a concession where you never know what is around the next corner. A birth of a baby elephant has even been witnessed in this concession! A big lion pride calls the concession home as do all the other predators. Giraffe; kudu; waterbuck; reedbuck; buffalo and hippo all call Qorokwe home too. Don’t forget about the smaller predators, like dwarf mongooses and side-striped jackals!
Breaking for lunch, before heading out on the afternoon safari, we will search for any predators that we missed when at our previous camp. This concession, like our previous one, is excellent for painted wolves.
These days will be spent exploring and photographing one of the Okavango’s newest and most exciting concessions. As if by osmosis, the Okavango Delta will penetrate your heart and soul and seemingly miraculously, your memory cards will fill. Experience real, wild and wonderful Africa as you photograph one of the most exclusive concessions and in Africa’s most exclusive safari destination, the Okavango Delta.
After a last morning safari drive, you will say goodbye to the Okavango Delta from the air as you catch your flight back south towards Maun. This is sadly the end of the official safari itinerary and you will commence your onward travel home from Maun.
The great news though, is that if you want your safari to continue, you can sign up for the Botswana Salt Pan extension. You can read more about this extension at the end of this page!
– The Chitabe concession has consistently, for the past decade, provided the very best wildlife sightings of any concession in the delta. The newer Qorokwe concession borders it to the south, offering the same sublime wildlife opportunities.
– This safari is unique and different to any other in that you will photograph two adjacent concessions, both close to the heart of the Okavango. This means that your chances of finding predators increases as you cover a wider area, one that includes entire predator territories plus painted wolf and cheetah home ranges.
– By driving from the first camp to the second, no time is wasted having to pack your cameras away and flying to a new camp, just to start all over again. This itinerary offers continuity while still exposing you to two different top-class concessions.
– This small group safari caters for only 3 photographers total, which means that you will receive expert personal tuition that larger scheduled safaris cannot offer.
– With our own private safari truck, you will spend quality time at each sighting. Off-road driving is allowed and having an entire row to yourself, you will have maximum freedom to capture exceptional wildlife images.
– No one wants to see loads of vehicles and masses of tourists on safari. This Okavango safari plays out on two private concessions with a limited number of vehicles allowed at each sighting.
– This safari offers a feast of unique photo opportunities and as such we cannot expect you to leave any of your equipment at home. We have booked an extra luggage seat for your flight in and out of the delta.
– You will receive help, guidance and advice on camera settings where it matters most – in the field.
– Your photographic host is the author of a book titled ‘Getting it right in camera’ and if that title is exactly what you want to do, then this is the safari for you.
– The Okavango Delta is the best place in Africa to see both big cats and painted wolves.
– Besides the photo opportunities, this safari allows you to experience one of Africa’s most beautiful, unique and pristine wilderness wildlife areas.
– Professional African wildlife photographer, Greg du Toit, has spent the last decade exploring the Okavango and he will be your personal host and guide on this safari.
– Photographers of all levels are welcome, and you will receive expert tuition based on your level of experience.
– April is a best kept secret in the Okavango. The weather is perfect, not too hot and not too cold, and unlike the rest of the green season (especially November), the chances of rain are minimal. The flood waters are also low at this time, allowing you to penetrate and photograph the delta fringes.
– The Okavango delta a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is also one of the largest inland delta systems in the world. So, what are you waiting for? Sign up now by filling out the form at the end of this page.
This exciting extension dovetails beautifully with your Okavango safari and once back in Maun, you will take a short flight to central Botswana, where you will stay in a camp on the edge of the famous salt pans. For the next 3 nights and with African wildlife photographer, Greg du Toit, as your expert guide, you will photograph one of Africa’s most unique wildlife settings.
To do this you will fly by helicopter over the salt pans where Zebras journey to the last remaining pans of water, making for dramatic wildlife imagery. You will also take a flight over one of the few flamingo breeding sites in Africa. Other activities on this extension include photographing meerkats as well as joining in on a Bushman cultural walk, where photography is allowed.
It makes all the sense in the world to add this unique extension on to your Okavango safari, so just do it.
*Please note that this extension is only offered upon request. Please mention when booking on the form below, if you are interested in doing this extension.