Carmines & Chobe River Photo Tour

Join Tusk Photo on this spectacular tour to capture one of the best-kept secrets on the African continent: the Southern Carmine Bee-Eater breeding season. Thousands of these birds arrive along the banks of the Zambezi River to breed. We co-inside our tour to capture this colourful natural spectacle. On the second part of the tour we move to the magnificent game rich Chobe River for the abundant wildlife and bird life photography. Here we use dedicated photo boats that put you in the front row seat to witness wildlife as you have never seen before. Your professional Tusk Photo host photographer will be with you every step of the way sharing knowledge and secretes and making sure you get the best possible photographic results!

Carmines & Chobe River Photo Tour

Why not combine two of the most amazing destinations and natural spectacles into one amazing tour..?

Each year thousands of Carmine Bee-Eaters arrive on the banks of the mighty Zambezi River to breed. Swarming in from equatorial Africa these beautiful birds are preoccupied with chores like nest building, breeding rights (and more) and they tolerate photographers to withing close quarters. At Tusk Photo we are mindful of the birds well-being and maintain and respect this at all times when approaching and photographing the colonies. With your Tusk Photo host photographer we will put you in the front row seat to photograph this unbelievable natural kaleidoscope of colour and action.

We then move to the Chobe River region which is world-renowned as a photographic hot spot for both Wildlife and Bird lovers alike. Here you will experience the abundant wildlife with different antelope species, predators, reptiles, and an extraordinarily rich bird-life that frequent the banks and flood plains. You can expect to photograph swimming Elephants daily with possible Lion, Leopard and Wild Dog sightings as well to spice up the adventure.

This is truly a safari like no other. Bring plenty of storage space for this one..!

Tour Itinerary

  • Meet at Kasane Airport Botswana. From here a 2 hour road transfer into Namibia and on to Kalizo Lodge

  • Twice daily excursions to the Breeding colonies of Carmine Bee Eaters along the Banks of the Zambezi River

  • Twice daily excursions to the Breeding colonies of Carmine Bee Eaters along the Banks of the Zambezi River

  • After morning activity, depart Kalizo Lodge by road back to Kasane, Botswana and check into our lodge

  • Twice daily excursions on specialised photo boats along the the chobe river system

  • Twice daily excursions on specialised photo boats along the the chobe river system

  • Once we have returned from our last morning boat cruise and had breakfast, we will take a short road transfer to Kasane International Airport for our international flights home - Safari Ends

Carmines & Chobe River Photo Tour

The Safari:

The Zambezi and Chobe Rivers are world-renowned as photographic hot spots for both Wildlife and Bird lovers alike. We took the best of these two rivers and combines them in a single safari that offers the most discerning wildlife photographer a front row seat to some of the best action in Southern Africa.

The Carmine Bee-Eaters Breeding Colonies:

From late August every year, the banks of the mighty Zambezi River on Namibia’s Caprivi strip are transformed into a whirl of activity, with vivid, vibrant rosy, crimson, scarlet, bright pink and blue colours flashing through the sky, creating some of the most beautiful sights imaginable in nature. The cause of this kaleidoscope of breathtaking colour is the arrival of the beautiful Carmine Bee-Eaters from Equatorial Africa. They make this long trek south through Africa to their favoured breeding grounds along the banks of the mighty Zambezi River. This breeding spectacle is truly astonishing when more than 10 000 birds breed in a single colony. The best time to view this amazing spectacle is during the morning and evening hours. As their name suggests, their diet is made up of bees and other flying insects which they catch on the wing. As the insects are most active at dawn and dusk, the birds can be seen at their most frenzied during these hours. Your photographic opportunities will be unbelievable. Imagine seeing males dueling mid-air, pairs nest building on the ground, hunting and feeding on swarms of insects. And keep your camera ready as various raptors such as Yellow-Billed Kites dive in to feed on the Carmines. Words cannot describe this natural spectacle…!

 

The Chobe River Wildlife Spectacle:

From the Zambezi River we move to the game rich Chobe River in Botswana. Arguably one of the best wildlife destinations in Southern Africa where we spend the next 3 days. For this leg of the tour we use world class dedicated photo boats with swivel chairs and support arms with gimbal heads to offer the most discerning photographer the best possible seat to photograph both animals and birds. The Chobe area is home to the highest concentration of elephants in the world, and seeing these grand animals from our Photo boats as they come down to the water to drink, bathe and play, is a sight that you will never forget. Other regular sighting and photo opportunities include those of Hippo, Crocodile, Buffalo, Lechwe, Sable, Puku 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 good sightings of African Fish Eagles, African Skimmers, Rock Pratincoles, Kingsfishers , Bee-Eaters, Herons, Storks and many more. Each Safari will be hosted by one of our Tusk Photo professional host photographers. Our pro’s will pass on their secretes and techniques they have built up of the years of photographing in these areas.

 

Itinerary:

Day 1: Arrive In Kasane Botswana and we travel by road to Kalizo Lodge travelling through the Ngoma border post between Botswana and Namibia. We stay at Kalizo Lodge for the next 3 nights. Depending on the border it should not take more than 2hrs from Kasane to Kalizo Lodge. Depending on the time we arrive we might still be able to fit in an afternoon shoot at one of the Carmine Bee-Eater colonies.

Day 2 to 4: We do an early morning wake-up and depart for the Carmine Bee-Eater colony(s). Arrive back at the lodge for a late breakfast / brunch at the lodge. We head out again in the afternoon for another photographic session returning after the sun has set. We have dinner at the lodge.

Day 4:  After an early morning wake-up we do our last visit to the Carmine Colony(s) before we have breakfast / brunch. We then pack-up and travel by road to Kasane Botswana and transfer to the Pangolin Voyager Houseboat where we will stay for the next 3 nights. After an early morning wake-up we do our last visit to the Carmine Colony(s) before we have breakfast / brunch. We then pack-up and travel by road to Kasane Botswana and transfer to the Pangolin Voyager Houseboat where we will stay for the next 3 nights.

Day 4 to 6: Early morning departures by photographic boat along the Chobe River. We return for a late breakfast / brunch. We head out again for an afternoon session on the river and return just after sunset. We have dinner at the on the Houseboat.

Day 6: Early morning wake-up for our last morning on the Chobe River. After we return we have a late breakfast / brunch and end the tour. We drop folks off at the airport in time for their respective flights.

 

Kalizo Lodge:

We will be staying in the Luxury tents and / or Chalets. Each en-suite unit has mosquito nets, plug points, linen, fridge, kettle and fans. Kalizo Lodge has a restaurant, swimming pool and leisure area with deck chairs, thatched lapa’s and a small playground which are available to all guests.

 

Chobe Accomodation:

While on this leg of the tour we use one of 3 different options for our accommodation. Depending on availability we either use the Pangolin Voyager Houseboat, Chobe Safari Lodge or Mowana Lodge. All these luxury lodges offer top levels in luxury with air conditioned, en-suit rooms and more. It remains a top level experience no matter which option we opt for.

 

The Photo Boat:

The Photo Boat is a flat-bottomed aluminum vessel designed specifically for photographers offers the most stable platform for photography. The shallow draft allows us to position the boat close to the edge of the river and also to access areas that are traditionally too shallow for other vessels to navigate.
The positioning on the boat has been optimized for 8 photographers to enjoy unhampered photography without interference or hindrance from others. Each seat swivels a full 360 deg and the Camera Gimbal head located at each seat makes maneuvering your heavy camera equipment a quick, one-handed operation. All seats are positioned down the center of the boat, leaving ample space for camera bags and other accessories.

 

Included:

  • Services of Tusk Photo hosts
  • All Breakfast or Brunch
  • Dinners
  • 6 nights’ accommodation
  • All activities.
  • Use of dedicated Photographic boat in Chobe
  • Transfers: Kasane to Kalizo & back to Chobe / Kasane

 

Not included:

  • Visas
  • Telephone calls
  • Gratuities
  • Purchases of a personal nature.
  • Travel costs to Kasane either driving or International flights.
  • Drinks from the bar both alcoholic and non-alcoholic
  • Laundry

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