A picture truly does speak a thousand words, scroll down to see a Lower Zambezi photo safari portfolio from this special Zambia photo safari (click on each image to enlarge).
Book your spot now by filling in the form at the end of this page. Space for only 3 photographers.
Watch this fun YouTube video from this Lower Zambezi photo safari (made with an iPhone).
Introduction from your host:
As a professional wildlife photographer, one born and based solely in Africa (read my story in my memoir ‘Wilderness Dreaming’), I am regularly asked where my top destinations on the continent are for an Africa photo safari. When I mention a Zambia photo safari, I sometimes get a raised eyebrow because when most people think of Africa’s top destinations, they think of the Masai Mara, Serengeti or gorillas in Rwanda. All I can say is that if you have not explored the hidden waterways and forests of the remote south-eastern corner of Zambia (a.k.a. the Lower Zambezi National Park), you have not seen the best park in Africa for wildlife photography, period. Keep reading to find out why this Lower Zambezi photo safari is one of the best photo safaris in Africa…
Zambia is one of my favourite safari countries simply because it offers a safari experience of yesteryear, so if you are wanting to experience timeless Africa then this is the country for you. The camps on a Zambia photo safari are generally more rustic, the rivers are wider, the parks are bigger and perhaps best of all, the wilderness simply teams with wild animals. A Zambia photo safari is the official ‘off the beaten track’ safari destination of both Southern and East Africa and my Zambia Forest Secrets photo safari is the epitome of why Zambia holds this title. Do you want to experience Africa how it once was, then then this Zambia photo safari is the one for you.
For the past decade I have been photographing and exploring the hidden forests and secret waterways of this very special corner of Zambia, one that is simply like nowhere else in Africa. The reason for the uniqueness of this remote pocket of Zambia is undoubtedly the awesome forest habitat. A picture really does speak a thousand words so scroll down now to see a portfolio of images photographed in these forests. While Africa is most famous for its grasslands and savannahs (think Masai Mara and Serengeti), there are precious few woods teaming with megafauna, akin to what you find on these famous grass savannahs. This Lower Zambezi photo safari is the exception, it if full of wildlife but offers a totally different setting to the other wildlife meccas of Africa.
If you, like me, enjoy an element of mood and mystery in your images, and if you enjoy photographs of wild animals in their environments then this Lower Zambezi photo safari is DEFINITELY the one for you. The forests in this park are clean below the canopy but dense above, offering diffused light streaming down just like in a cathedral. Colours on this Lower Zambezi photo safari range from green and blue hues through to oranges and reds. What makes a Lower Zambezi photo safari an absolute world-class photo destination is that the park is home to copious amounts of iconic animals, including elephants; buffalo; lion; leopard and even rarer animals like aardvark. A star attraction of this park are the African wild dogs where you can even witness a super-pack hunting Cape buffalo.
Many parks in Africa house the same species of wild animals but on this Lower Zambezi photo safari you get to photograph these creatures in what is simply the best setting for photography in Africa. What more could a photographer want than Africa’s most iconic animals in a beautiful forest, one where the light filters down through green foliage, illuminating plumes of dust kicked up by the wild forest creatures. What can be better than photographing these forest dwellers through secret windows created by the trunks and boughs of tall trees? This is a destination with true allure and as if this is not enough to please any fine art wildlife photographer, my Lower Zambezi photo safari itinerary includes exploring hidden channels by canoe and photographing on the mighty Zambezi River from a speedboat. Swimming elephants, spouting hippo, darting bee-eaters – the hit list goes on and on.
For this very special Lower Zambezi photo safari you get to experience the full range of photographic opportunities on offer in the park. To do this, we stay in two very different camps, both set deep inside the park and giving you exposure to both newer and older forest habitats plus a full Zambezi river experience. Keep scrolling for an itinerary and to see a gallery of images taken on this Zambia photo safari (click on each to enlarge).
Book your spot on the Zambia Forest Secrets photo safari now by completing the form at the bottom of this page. Trust me when I say that you will be glad you did.
This is a 9 night (10 day) Lower Zambezi photo safari with an exciting option of doing a 4 night Zambia Mood and Mists extension to Kafue National Park (details at the very end of this page).
Cost for this Lower Zambezi photo safari includes all internal flights from Lusaka; meet and greet services; 1 night’s accommodation in Lusaka at a boutique hotel; 8 nights accommodation inside Lower Zambezi National Park and spread across two camps giving you access to every and all the photographic opportunities inside the park; meals; laundry; house drinks; conservation fees; additional luggage allowance; private safari truck; photographic tuition and guiding services of professional African wildlife photographer Greg du Toit.
Not included in the cost of this Lower Zambezi photo safari are visas you might need; purchases of a personal nature; staff gratuities for camp staff; personal travel and medical insurance (Global Rescue Medical Evacuation Insurance is included); your international flights to Lusaka, Zambia’s capital.
30% deposit confirms your booking on the Lower Zambezi photo safari. Please note: the above cost applies only when 3 photographers are booked. If there are more or less photographers joining the safari, the cost will be adjusted accordingly.
Upon landing in Lusaka, you will be met and transferred to a lovely out of town boutique hotel. There will be WIFI to let your loved ones know that you have arrived safely. Greg will meet you at the hotel and brief you on your upcoming Lower Zambezi photo safari adventure. A scrumptious dinner and early to bed to dream about the incredible photos you will soon be taking on your Zambia photo safari. Sweet dreams!
After an early breakfast a 40 minute road transfer will take you from your hotel to Lusaka domestic departures. A short 30 minute flight (don’t worry, an extra luggage allowance has been booked and is included in the cost of your Lower Zambezi photo safari) will take you into the famous Zambezi Valley, with a turn over the mighty Zambezi River itself, before landing on a dirt strip deep within the heart of the park. Here you will be met by your guide. A very scenic 1 hour boat ride on the Zambezi River, and upstream, will take you to the first camp on your Zambia Forest Secrets safari. Right from the start, your Zambia photo safari will be wild and free as you begin to take in ‘real Africa’. Arriving in camp to a refreshing drink and face towel, you will be briefed by the camp manager. Elephants pretty much have right of way in this camp, so the briefing is important – this is not touristy Africa!
The first camp on your Lower Zambezi photo safari has been carefully chosen to give you access to both old forest as well as offering you photographic opportunities on the actual Zambezi River. On your first afternoon you will take to the river in a speedboat in search of swimming elephants, spouting hippos, kingfishers and colourful bee-eater colonies. Photographing silhouettes from on the river, as the sun sets behind the Zambezi escarpment, you will fall hopelessly in love with this special and wild corner of Africa.
Returning to camp for a four-course dinner, you will turn in for the night. Your luxury abode is a mix of canvas, wood and cement, built on the banks of the Zambezi River. With expansive views and no fences, you will be both extremely comfortable and in the wild, lulled to sleep by snorting hippo, feeding elephants and roaring lions on your Zambia photo safari.
After an early morning breakfast around the campfire with fresh muffins and porridge, à la Zambian style (or maybe just a cup of coffee if you prefer as it will still be dark), you head off on a safari drive.
This part of the park offers an incredible mosaic of habitats and it feels ancient because it is ancient. Giant baobab trees, oxbow lakes, secret forests reminiscent of the Jungle Book, woodlands and floodplains all combine making this a photo safari for true Africa aficionados. With an entire bench in the safari truck to yourself, you don’t need to leave any lenses behind for this Zambia photo safari, which is a good thing because your plethora of photographic subjects range from shy forest dwellers like civets and porcupines through to antelope, hippos, eagles, leopards, lions and lots and lots of elephants, very often bashing palm trees – releasing a torrent of falling fruit.
With your own professional wildlife photographer in front and a true Africa specialist, Greg will direct the guide and show you the best nooks and crannies in the park. You will be on pole position for both the action and light and you will also receive expert tuition pertaining to the composition and camera settings for each scene and subject on your Lower Zambezi photo safari.
A stop to stretch legs along the way before more forest and river meandering in search of photographic subjects will see you returning to camp for brunch (only once the light is thoroughly burnt off of course).
There will then be time to download your cards and take a rest looking over the languid Zambezi River from your personal verandah, before meeting for afternoon tea. By this time it will be hot and the animals of the Lower Zambezi will have been drawn to the river’s edge. Taking to the river again, the speedboat you are in is fast enough to capitalize on any photo opportunities that present themselves. Swimming elephants, crocodiles stalking stampeding buffalo, yawning hippo, flying bee-eaters – the list of photographic possibilities on the river just goes on and on. With the wind in your hair, the sun on your back, a cocktail in hand as you will watch the sun set over the waters of the mighty Zambezi River – you will be glad to be alive.
Returning to camp once it is dark, another delightful dinner and hot shower await. Time to quickly download cards and email loved ones before drifting off to la-la land. The good news is that you awake only to do it all over again.
After a last safari drive at your first camp on this Lower Zambezi photo safari, it’s time to pack your clothes – no need to pack your camera gear as you take a 90 min scenic boat ride far down the river to your next camp.
This is no ordinary camp, it is a fully mobile camp set in the wildest part of the Lower Zambezi National Park. Everything in your new home is canvas and mosquito netting, this is as real and as wonderful as Africa gets. If however, this sounds too adventurous for you then there is a permanent, but still wonderfully wild and rustic camp, in the same area of the park which we can use. After settling into your new home and placing your computer and spare batteries on charge, you will head out on an afternoon safari drive as the 2nd leg of your Zambia photo safari kicks off.
This leg of your Lower Zambezi photo safari will see you exploring and photographing some of the best forest habitat, not just in Africa, but in the world. The stage is always set here and with tall trees, green canopies and arching boughs – it’s lights, camera, action. Scroll down to see the kind of photographic opportunities that await on this Zambia photo safari.
The ample forest on this Lower Zambezi photo safari is home to a multitude of African creatures and it is literally crawling with elephants, all wandering through seeking albida pods. Want an elephant on its back legs, then this is the place. This is also one of the best locations in all of Africa to photograph leopards but with the forest setting being so sublime, it becomes THE BEST place in Africa to photograph these enigmatic cats. This applies to all the other animals too. Being able to place your subject in such a beautiful environment on this Zambia photo safari is what makes this one of Africa’s most sought-after photographic destinations. This part of the park is currently the best place in Africa to photograph wild dogs hunting and they hunt a range of subjects (including Cape buffalo).
Greg knows this forest intimately, where the best windows in the forest are for photography and where the light breaks through at the various times of day. He knows the area where the leopards live and where to try and intercept the wild dogs hunting. Most importantly he knows how to work this forest photographically, how to frame and compose. He also knows the different types of light and when to shoot frontlit or backlit. He knows how to capture both the golden hues and blue hues of the forest. He can see when an elephant is going to reach and dare we say, he even knows where your best chances of spotting an aardvark are. With Greg as your host, you not only have a professional wildlife photographer on board, but you have an African safari guide with a decade’s worth of photographic experience leading specialised Lower Zambezi photo safaris.
Your days during this leg of your Lower Zambezi photo safari will be split in two, with a morning and an afternoon safari drive every day. The afternoon safari drive will spill over into a night drive as you search for nocturnal forest denizens. There will also be the option of canoeing down secret channels in the park and this is an especially tranquil and peaceful activity to try on your Zambia photo safari.
By this time, not only are your memory cards full on your camera but your mind is full of memories of a wild untamed Africa. You will have enjoyed a Zambia photo safari experience like all Africa safaris once used to be, away from civilisation and deep inside the wilderness. You will have tasted real Africa and when you leave, all you will be thinking about is your return. A short 30 minute flight back to Lusaka will conclude your Zambia Forest Secrets itinerary.
The good news is that if you not ready to leave Africa, you don’t have to. There is a very special 4 night extension to this Lower Zambezi photo safari and it offers the same exceptional quality photo opportunities but in a completely different setting. The Zambia Mood and Mists extension takes place on the Busanga Plains in Kafue National Park (more details at the very end of this page).
See the Zambia Forest Secrets portfolio below and click on any image to enlarge.
– This Zambia photo safari gives you the FULL Lower Zambezi photo safari experience: By using two camps on opposite sides of the park you will photograph ALL the secret forests of the Lower Zambezi. You will also explore all the hidden waterways and gallery forests.
– The Zambezi River itself is a photographic jewel, offering a smorgasbord of subjects. But to photograph effectively on the river, you need the speed that only a motorboat can provide. On this Lower Zambezi photo safari you will enjoy photographing on the mighty Zambezi. With a speedboat, you will quickly access incredible sightings like swimming elephants, stampeding buffalo and bee-eater colonies.
– This Lower Zambezi photo safari offers wonderful continuity: you start in a luxury camp and enjoy photographing mature forest and working the mighty Zambezi River. You then move to a remoter part of the park where a rustic camp is situated deep within the forest. From this base you will access incredible forest scenes teaming with wildlife, including lions; leopards; wild dogs; all general game and lots and lots of elephants. If you going to do one Zambia photo safari, then this is the one to do!
– This safari is hosted by a true African specialist: Greg has spent the last decade exploring and photographing the Lower Zambezi. He knows these forests intimately, where the best windows in the forest are for photography and where the light breaks through at the various times of day. He knows the area where the leopards live and where to try and intercept the wild dogs hunting. Most importantly he knows how to work this forest photographically, how to position, frame and compose. He also knows the different types of light and when to shoot frontlit or backlit. He knows how to capture both the golden hues and blue hues of the forest. He can see when an elephant is going to reach and dare we say, he even knows where your best chances of spotting an aardvark are. With Greg as your host, you not only have a professional wildlife photographer on board of international caliber, but you have an African safari guide with a decade’s worth of photographic experience leading specialised Lower Zambezi photo safaris (see the portfolio above).
– This Zambia photo safari maximises your time in the wilderness photographing. The Lower Zambezi is just a short 30 minute flight from Lusaka and you will not pack your camera away once, until you fly out of the park at the very end of the safari. The transfer between camps is done by speedboat so you will not waste time in airports, traveling, packing and unpacking on your Zambia photo safari.
– With only 3 photographers in the safari truck you have ample space to unpack your gear on the seat next to you and you can shoot out both the left and the right on your Zambia photo safari.
– Very few of the animals on this Lower Zambezi photo safari have collars. There is nothing worse than photographing a reaching elephant only to discover that it has a collar.
– This Zambia photo safari offers a true wilderness experience and there is no public camping allowed inside the park. On this Lower Zambezi photo safari you will not have campers and other tourists gatecrashing your sightings.
– Off-road driving is allowed and you will have maximum freedom to get out the safari truck and work the light and angles on this Lower Zambezi photo safari.
– You will receive expert personal tuition that larger group safaris cannot offer. This is a true small group safari with space for only 3 photographers on this Zambia photo safari.
– With our own private safari truck on this Zambia photo safari, you will spend quality time at each sighting, as long as you like.
– This Zambia photo safari offers a feast of unique photo opportunities and as such we cannot expect you to leave any of your equipment at home on this Lower Zambezi photo safari. We have booked an extra luggage seat for both your flights on this safari.
– On this Lower Zambezi photo safari you will receive help, guidance and advice on camera settings when and where it matters most – in the field, so that you can go home with that award winning shot.
– Your photographic host on this Lower Zambezi photo safari is the author of a book titled ‘Getting it right in camera’ and if that title decribes exactly what you want to do, then this is the Zambia photo safari for you. With a complete photo workshop on his laptop, you can request lessons from Greg on any and every aspect of wildlife photography.
– The Lower Zambezi is one of the best places in Africa to photograph leopards and African wild dogs, making this Zambia photo safari one of the best to do on the continent.
– Besides the excellent photo opportunities, this Zambia photo safari allows you to experience Africa’s most beautiful and pristine forested wildlife area.
– Photographers of all levels are welcome on this Zambia photo safari and you will receive expert tuition based on your level of experience throughout this Lower Zambezi photo safari.
– By adding the Zambia Mood and Mists 4 night extension to your Lower Zambezi photo safari, you will add a completely different dimension to your Zambia portfolio. You will enjoy the same calibre wilderness experience but in a completely different setting. Golden light and mists, need we say more. Since you are in Zambia anyway, just do it, you won’t be sorry, details below.
Kafue National park is one of Africa’s biggest and remotest but the true gem of the park lies in the north – the Busanga Plains. This is a place that you just have to see to believe: It is a wetland of astounding beauty and a place where early morning mists settle like a white quilt. The Lafupa River creates a floodplain that is best described as ‘heaven on earth’ or as ‘your very own private Okavango Delta’. Using a boat with a special engine for wetlands (think everglades), you will uncover her photographic moods and mists. In fact, this is the best place in Africa for mood and mists!
Even if you are not a bird photographer, you will find it impossible to not shoot the hundreds of birds taking off all around you (especially with bird eye-AF!). Lions hunt leaping lechwe here and often an early morning mist settles over the plains making it one of the most beautiful and ethereal photographic destinations in all of Africa. “Did you say lions and lechwe in the mist of a golden dawn?” Like we say, you have to see this place to believe it. This 4 night extension dovetails perfectly with your Lower Zambezi photo safari. The camp we use is luxurious and at this time of year there are no mosquitos, but it is cold so pack those beanies and jackets.
Please mention when booking on the form below, if you are interested in adding this extension to your Lower Zambezi photo safari.
*With the Mood and Mists extension, your Zambia photo safari is now a 13 night itinerary. Extend it and make it a 19 night odyssey by adding 6 nights in the South Luangwa National Park (Greg knows exactly where to go to give you the best photographic opportunities). If you add all these extensions together what you have is a ‘Bespoke Best of Zambia’ safari.