Sabi Sand & Chobe River Photo Tour

Join us on this unique safari where we combine two of the most productive wildlife photography areas in Southern Africa into one exciting package. This tour takes you from the game rich flood plains of the Chobe River in Northern Botswana to the pristine bushveld of the Sabi Sand Game Reserve in South Africa. Enjoy life on the Pangolin Voyager Houseboat as it meanders down the Chobe River before we set off to the Greater Kruger National Park to photograph elusive leopard at Elephant Plains Game Lodge inside the Sabi Sands Game Reserve. Our professional Tusk Photo host photographers have worked extensively in these areas and will share their amazing knowledge with you on how to get the best wildlife photography results. Their images speak volumes for what can be expected on this tour..!

Summary

Sabi Sand & Chobe River Photo Tour

- Elephant Plains Game Lodge (South Africa) and The Pangolin Voyager Houseboat (Botswana) are arguably two of the best photographic destinations in Southern Africa. This is why we have chosen to combine the two for this 10 day Sabi Sand & Chobe River Photo Tour

 

Tour Highlights:

Elephant Plains Game Lodge inside the Sabi Sand Game Reserve

  • Most consistent quality Leopard sightings in the world.
  • Private photographic vehicles with professional camera support system and gimbal heads
  • Night Photography.
  • Luxury en-suit accommodation with air-con in each room
  • Luxury lodge with Spa, Gym and various other facilities.
  • Daily lectures and workshop

Pangolin Voyager Houseboat

  • Specialized Photo Boats with custom support systems and gimbal heads
  • Largest population of Elephants in Africa
  • A great experience staying in the Chobe National park on board the luxurious houseboat
  • Luxury en-suit accommodation with air-con in each room
  • Daily lectures and workshops

Tour Itinerary

  • Meet at OR Tambo International Airport for flight to Kasane, Botswana. On arrival in Kasane road transfer to Kasane / Namibia immigration and then a short boat trip to the Pangolin Voyager.

  • Daily excursions on specialised photo boats along the Chobe River

  • After the morning activity and breakfast, a boat transfer back to Kasane immigration and then onto the Airport for our flight back to OR Tambo International, South Africa. You will spend this night in a hotel at the airport

  • Flight from OR Tambo Airport to Elephant Plains and transferred to the lodge. First afternoon drive

  • Twice daily game drives with workshop and tuition between breakfast and lunch

  • After morning game drive and breakfast is our flight back to OR Tambo International - End of tour

  • Meet at OR Tambo International for your flight to Elephant Plains and transferred to the lodge. First afternoon drive

  • Twice daily game drives at with workshop and tuition between breakfast and lunch

  • After the morning game drive and breakfast we fly back to OR Tambo International and spend the night at hotel in Johannesburg

  • We fly from OR Tambo International Airport to Kasane, Botswana. On arrival in Kasane road transfer to Kasane / Namibia immigration and then a short boat trip to the Pangolin Voyager.

  • Twice daily game drives at Elephant Plains Game Lodge

  • After the morning activity and breakfast, a boat transfer back to Kasane immigration and then onto the Airport for our flight back to OR Tambo International, South Africa. Safari Ends

Sabi Sand & Chobe River Photo Tour

– Elephant Plains Game Lodge (South Africa) and The Pangolin Voyager Houseboat (Botswana) are arguably two of the best photographic destinations in Southern Africa. This is why we have chosen to combine the two for this 10 day Sabi Sand & Chobe River Photo Tour

 

The Chobe region

This area is world-renowned as a photographic hot spot for both Wildlife and Bird lovers alike. You will be offered unequaled opportunity to photograph huge herds of Elephant, Buffalo, Lechwe, Sable and many more. Predators include regular sightings of lion and leopard with Wilddog also making an appearance from time to time. The abundant bird life is amazing with regular sightings of African Skimmers, Rock Pratincoles, KIngsfishers , Bee-Eaters and many more.

The Pangolin Voyager:

  • The Pangolin Voyager is a luxury river voyager with 3 decks based on the Chobe River.
  • Bottom Deck has 5 en-suit rooms with shower, basin, toilet and air conditioning.
  • Middle deck consists of a private lounge with a small reference library, communal dining area, open galley (kitchen), Captains Bridge and viewing deck.
  • Top deck or the viewing deck has seating area to leisurely sip sundowners, catch up on some supreme birding, or stretch out in the sun on one of the sun loungers. In the evenings this top viewing deck becomes prime position to familiarize ones self with the African stars.
  • The new Photographic boats we will be using are by far the most rewarding in terms of easy of use and maneuverability. The swivel chairs rotate a full 360 degrees and paired with a custom gimbal head makes light work of your heavy cameras and lenses.

The Sabi Sand Reserve

This unspoiled wilderness area which is part of the Greater Kruger National Park is made up of a number of privately owned properties. These properties are open to the Kruger National Park with animals roaming freely in this 2.3mil hectare paradise. The Sabi Sand has earned a reputation in the international tourist market as the premier destination in South Africa to view wildlife. Luxury levels are of an exceptionally high standard with guests enjoying the finest quality on every level. Elephant Plains in one of these magnificent lodges situated in a prime location in the reserve. It remains one of the best locations to photograph big cats especially leopard.

Elephant Plains Game Lodge:

Elephant Plains is our Tusk Photo lodge of choice in the Sabi Sand. We have been conducting specialist photographic safaris to this lodge since 2005 and now offer up to 20 scheduled departures per year. We have built up a good working relationship with the lodge which means we can offer our guests one of the best wildlife photography packages on the market. What makes this lodge even more spectacular is the unrivaled opportunity to photograph wild leopard. Elephant Plains Game Lodge has to be the premier leopard lodge in the world…!

 

Tour Itinerary:

DAY 1: Arrival and Transfer to Pangolin Voyager:

Your tour begins when you arrive at Kasane in Northern Botswana and transfer to Chobe Emigrations. We then take you to the Namibian emigration offices with the tender boats and check into Namibia at either Impalila Island or Kasika Island. It’s then a short trip to the house boat where we check-in and settle in. After a briefing and afternoon tea we get ready for our first days activities using our specialist photo boats with swivel chairs and gimbal head. This setup makes light work of even the heaviest camera and lens you may have.

DAYS 2 to 4Daily Excursions and Activities on board the Pangolin Voyager:

Wake up call is just before dawn and is followed by a light continental breakfast consisting of fruit, cereals, with tea/coffee/juices which are served in the dining area. We then depart in our photographic tender boat(s) working the river and river banks. Our times are very flexible and should we opt to stay on a sighting we can do so for as long as we need to. In short we have almost no restrictions and can navigate the Chobe River in any direction. Mid to late morning we arrive back on the Houseboat and enjoy a late morning brunch. After brunch it is your free time but the Tusk Photo host photographer will be available to do a talk or training on a variety of photographic topics such as Photoshop / Lightroom / Camera training and more. High tea with cakes and pastries is served in the mid afternoon just before we depart on our afternoon photo session. Sundowners and snacks will be served during this excursion. Just after sunset depending on sightings, you return to the Pangolin Voyager in time for pre-dinner drinks and a three course dinner.

 DAY 5: Final Excursion and Flight to Johannesburg:

We have another full morning on the Chobe River arriving back on the Houseboat to enjoy a breakfast. We then check out and depart from the Houseboat through Namibian and Botswana emigrations and transfer to the Kasane Airport in time for our flight to Johannesburg South Africa. On arrival at OR Tambo Airport your Tusk Photo Guide will escort you to your Hotel where you will spend the night. Flights generally arrive at OR Tambo around 5pm making any afternoon activity very difficult. It is a good time to catch up on some rest and or down loading of images etc.

DAY 6: Arrival and First Game Experience at Elephant Plains Game Lodge:

We depart OR Tambo Airport (Johannesburg International) and fly to the Sabi Sand Game Reserve. Generally we land at Arathusa Airstrip which is about 20min game drive from the lodge. Depending on the airline they can opt to land at a different airstrip which means the transfers can be up to 1hour. After arrival at the Lodge, refreshments and a short briefing you depart on your first photographic session at the lodge. All afternoon drives will carry on in to the early evening arriving back at lodge for pre-dinner drinks and dinner in the Boma.

DAYS 7 to 9: Daily Excursions and Activities at Elephant Plains Game Lodge:

Wake-ups call is about 45min before sunrise with the vehicles leaving just as the first light starts showing – the best time for animal activity, and to increase the chances of an encounter with nocturnal and crepuscular species. Our rangers and trackers will be on the lookout for animals and their tracks making sure we do not miss anything. We arrive back at the lodge mid morning and enjoy a superb breakfast before we start our training sessions and workshops in the lodge’s conference center. This training and workshop is optional and should you wish to visit the well equipped Gym or Spa you are welcome to do so. Lunch is served at the lodge by 14:00 everyday before we head out on our late afternoon / evening drive. Your Professional Tusk Photo host photographer will be in position to make sure you get those sought after images of leopard and lion at night should the opportunity arise. After the drive its back to the lodge for pre-dinner drinks and dinner in the Boma.

DAY 10: Final Game Drive and Farewells

The final day finds you heading back to civilization after your morning game drive and breakfast. We check out at the lodge and make our way to the airfield for our flight back to Johannesburg. We generally fly out of Arthusa Airstrip and arrive back in Johannesburg OR Tambo International Airport – depending on the airline a different airstrip may be used. Flight times can change but normally arriving around 15:00 in Johannesburg.

End of tour.

For tours where we start at Elephant Plains Game Lodge and end on the Chobe River the itinerary above is the same but in reverse order.

 

So what are the Safari highlights:

  • Elephant Plains: Unrivaled Leopard photography
  • Elephant Plains: Unrivaled night photography and tuition using different light sources
  • Elephant Plains: Private Photographic vehicles with camera supports and gimbal heads
  • Elephant Plains: Luxury lodge with gym, spa, bush walks and more
  • Pangolin Voyager Houseboat: The House Boat stays in the Chobe National Park not having to leave by sunset
  • Pangolin Voyager Houseboat: Unequaled opportunity for birds especially waders and other water birds
  • Pangolin Voyager Houseboat: Unequaled opportunity to photograph swimming Elephant
  • Pangolin Voyager Houseboat: Specialist photographic boats with swivel chairs and gimbal camera mounts
  • Air conditioned en-suit rooms
  • Professional Tusk Photo host photographers with intense knowledge of the area and photography
  • Photographic workshops and tuition

 

Included:

  • Services of Tusk Photo hosts
  • All meals, teas & coffees
  • Local beers and wines
  • 9 nights’ accommodation
  • All activities
  • Photographic workshop and tuition
  • Flights from South Africa to Botswana and back to South Africa
  • Flights from OR Tambo (Johannesburg) to Elephant Plains and back again.
  • All transfers

 

Not included:

  • Visas
  • Telephone calls
  • Gratuities
  • Purchases of a personal nature
  • International flights to and from South Africa for the tour

 

What Animals can I expect to Photograph?

  • Leopard & Lion especially at Elephant Plains
  • Elephant
  • White Rhino (Elephant Plains)
  • Buffalo
  • Spotted Hyena
  • Giraffe
  • Zebra
  • Impala
  • Possible sightings of: Cheetah, Wild Dog, Serval, Honey Badger, Genet, Porcupine, Pangolin, Aard Vark

 

What Birds can I expect to Photograph?

  • African Fish Eagle
  • African Skimmer
  • Rock Pratincole
  • Various Kingfishers
  • Various Bee-Eaters
  • Various raptors, Falcons, Kestrels, Owls, Vultures and more
  • Large variety of waders like Herons, Egrets, Jacanas and more

Dates & Prices

Departure Date Return Date Tour Cost SADC Rate Availability
9 August 201718 August 2017ZAR 59950N/AFULLView More
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28 August 20176 September 2017ZAR 59950N/AreservedView More
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6 September 201715 September 2017ZAR 59950N/AFULLView More
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25 September 20174 October 2017ZAR 59950N/AFULLView More
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4 October 201713 October 2017ZAR 59950N/AFULLView More
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