Ultimate Elephant Photo Safari
- The safari starts at the Weston Hotel in Nairobi and ends at the Victoria Falls Hotel
- 3 nights in Amboseli National Park
- 1 night in Vic Falls
- 3 nights in Mana Pools National Park
- 3 nights in Hwange National Park
- No single supplement for single travelers
- Small group and private vehicles throughout the safari
- Fully inclusive of all local flights, accommodation, meals and drinks
- Various photography and Lightroom presentations and workbook
Dates: October 5, 2019 - October 17, 2019
Guide: Gerry van der Walt
Cost: USD 15,750 per single guest
Deposit: 25% deposit to secure
Max number of Photographers: 4
Elephants are one of the most sought after African safari subjects and this Wild Eye departure will give you the opportunity to see and photograph these amazing animals in three unique and very diverse reserves.
This entire safari itinerary has been designed around the goal of spending as much time in the field photographing elephants and developing a deeper understanding and appreciation of their behavior and interactions as well as they vital role they play within any ecosystem where they occur.
By visiting three iconic game reserve in two countries we will have the ability to create an incredibly diverse portfolio of images, not only of elephants but a wide array of wildlife photography subjects and landscapes ranging from wetland and marshes to floodplains and forests.
Throughout the safari Gerry will host presentations on wildlife photography and Lightroom with a specific focus on creating striking, emotive and memorable images of the largest land mammal in the world.
This multi-destination safari will take you to the Amboseli National Park, Mana Pools, Hwange National Park and Victoria Falls and will change the way you see, think about and photograph elephants.
Check in at the Weston Hotel in Nairobi. Before dinner Gerry will do a presentation in which he will discuss the various destinations you will be visiting as well as share some photographic advice and inspiration that will prepare you for the amazing photographic opportunities that awaits. Dinner and overnight at the Weston.
After breakfast we will transfer to the nearby Wilson airport for our charter flight to Amboseli. Upon arrival in Amboseli our Kenyan Wild Eye guide will meet us at the airstrip and transfer us to the Serena Lodge where we will be based for the first leg of our safari. After check in and lunch we will head out on our first afternoon game drive to explore and photograph the incredibly diverse ecosystem of Amboseli. Dinner and overnight at Serena Lodge.
After an early morning coffee we will head out for a full day of photography in Amboseli which is home to the largest population of free roaming elephants in the world. The landscapes of Amboseli – which ranges from marshes and wetlands to the dry Lake Amboseli and iconic Mount Kilimanjaro – make for incredible opportunities to not only photograph the largest land mammal in the world but also to get a much deeper understanding and appreciation for the behavior of these amazing animals. Dinner and overnight at Serena Lodge.
Today we will again spend the entire day out in the field looking for photographic opportunities. Before dinner Gerry will do a short presentation on elephant behavior and group dynamics based on some of the sightings from the last two days. Dinner and overnight at Serena Lodge.
After a morning game drive and breakfast we will check out of Serena lodge and make our way to the airstrip for a flight back to Nairobi. After transferring to and checking in at the Crown Plaza Hotel, Gerry will do a presentation on Lightroom specifically looking at cataloging and managing your digital files. Dinner and overnight at the Crown Plaza Hotel.
An early morning flight will take us from Nairobi to Vic Falls International Airport in Zimbabwe. After transferring to and checking in at the Vic Falls Hotel we will enjoy lunch and then make our way down to the Victoria Falls for some easy going landscape photography. In the afternoon Gerry will host a Lightroom presentation focusing on the basics adjustments in Lightroom and how to get the most out of your wildlife and landscape images. Dinner and overnight at the Vic Falls Hotel.
After breakfast will make our way back to Vic Falls Airport for our charter flight to the Mana Pools National Park. Our local guide will meet us at the airstrip and from where we will make our way to Zambezi Expeditions, our tented camp on the bank of the Zambezi River. After check in we will head out to explore the magical forests and floodplains of Mana Pools and, through a combination of on foot experiences and vehicle-based activities, look for the incredible photographic scenes and opportunities and landscapes that Mana Pools is well known for. When we return to camp there will be time to freshen up and spend some time around the campfire before enjoying dinner and falling asleep listening to the night sounds of Africa.
After an early morning wake up call and a cup of coffee and light breakfast around the fire we will head out for our morning activities which will again be a combination of on foot and vehicle based photography. Once it starts heating up we will head back to camp for an early lunch after which you will have some time to kick back and relax in your tent or sit on the banks of the Zambezi River. Elephants, baboons, and a large variety of antelope are regular visitors to camp and you can create some interesting images without leaving the dining tent. Once it cools down a bit, and after a afternoon snack, we will head out for another afternoon of photography in Mana Pools. Dinner and overnight at Zambezi Expeditions.
Today will again be spent searching for Mana magic and we will spend as much time as possible in the field and looking for the famous elephants of Mana Pools. Dinner and overnight at Zambezi Expeditions.
After a cup of coffee and breakfast we will make our way, via a slow game drive, to the airstrip where we will board our charter plane. A 1.5 hour flight will take us from Mana Pools to the Hwange National Park for the last leg of our elephant safari. The density of elephants in Hwange during this time of year is quite unbelievable and even on route from the airstrip to the lodge you can expect some amazing sightings. After checking in at Somalisa Camp we will head out on afternoon game drive. With a number of waterholes close to the lodge, including a massive one right in front of camp, we generally don’t have to go very far to find some amazing photographic opportunities. Dinner and overnight at Somalisa.
Breakfast and a cup of coffee around the fire will start the day before heading out on game drive. After returning from drive and enjoying breakfast we will have lots of time to sit on the deck of the lodge where elephants come and drink within 3 meters from us. This makes for incredible wide angle photo opportunities as well as some very special moments where you can just enjoy being up close and personal with these incredible mammals. After high tea we will head out on our afternoon game drive which will also include some night time / spotlight photography. After dinner we have the option to spend some time on the deck to try and photograph the African night sky with an elephant drinking at the waterhole. Yes, it’s challenging but makes for amazing visuals and lifetime memories.
Today will be similar to yesterday but in the afternoon Gerry will host a final presentation during which he will focus on how you can go about creating a portfolio of your images form the trip and how to get the most mileage online and on social media. After our final afternoon game drive we can again spend some time one the deck to try and photograph the African night sky.
After breakfast and a short morning game drive we will head back to camp where you will have the opportunity to pack and freshen up before heading to the airstrip. A short 35 min charter flight will take us back to Vic Falls Airport where an amazing safari will come to an end and we all connect to our flights back home.
Accommodation on this Safari
Serena Amboseli, Amboseli National Park
Set against the magnificent backdrop of Africa’s highest mountain, the glittering Mount Kilimanjaro, the luxury Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge enjoys a uniquely privileged position at the heart of this world-famous national park. Secluded within a grove of acacia trees, the safari lodge looks out over the golden savannah plains, with uninterrupted views of the mountain itself. Close by are a series of emerald green swamps, which are fed by the melting snows of Kilimanjaro. These, the only sources of water in this otherwise starkly beautiful but arid park, attract huge numbers of wallowing elephants, hippos, buffalos and plains game. Meanwhile, from the prehistoric site of Observation Hill, the sunset over Kilimanjaro is magnificent.
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Victoria Falls Hotel, Victoria Falls
Steeped in history and one of the oldest hotels in Africa, The Victoria Falls Hotel serves is a reminder of the distinguished and elegant era to which it was born and has earned its status as the epitome of grand luxury travel. With dramatic views of the gorges of Zimbabwe’s spectacular Victoria Falls, The Victoria Falls Hotel, built by the British in 1904, was originally conceived as accommodation for workers on the Cape-to-Cairo railway and today it is a famous luxury brand . Now a member of The Leading Hotels of the World. Serene Lily ponds, arched loggias and broad verandas – offering magnificent vistas – seem custom-built for a spot of high tea or a relaxed gin and tonic, while a private path leads to the falls, an idyllic 10-minute walk away.
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Zambezi Expeditions Safari Camp, Mana Pools National Park
The legendary Mana Pools is known for its wildlife rich flood plains and magnificent views of the Zambezi River. The river boasts of some of Africa’s most amazing tiger fishing and adventure canoeing safaris, creating the perfect combination of beauty and fun and making this World Heritage site a must-visit national park.Zambezi Expeditions, situated at the Namyepi/Nkupi camping site, offers one of the best ways to experience Mana Pools on the banks of the mighty Zambezi River. The 12-bedded luxury mobile camp is set up prior to your arrival near the Zambezi River. The legendary Mana Pools is known for its wildlife rich flood plains and magnificent views of the Zambezi River. With 6 twin-bedded tents and en-suite bathroom facilities that include flush toilets and an alfresco hot bucket shower, the camp gives “Glamping” a new definition by virtue of its detailed furnishings that include 12 volt lighting and charging facilities for cameras. A well serviced mess tent with a dining and seating area forms part of the camp.
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Somalisa Camp, Hwange National Park
Somalisa Camp is set in the heart of Hwange National Park Zimbabwe, and is known as the land of the giants for its big elephant herds. Nestled in a stunning location tucked away on an acacia island along the edge of an ancient seasonal flood plain, Somalisa provides guests with breathtaking views of the savannah plains across the famous Kennedy Vlei line. Recently re-built, Somalisa Camp has upgraded its level of accommodation to that of complete comfort and luxury whilst still maintaining its focus on the guiding and hosting of guests to ensure the ultimate guest experience. Consisting of seven elegantly furnished Sail Tents with gauze sliding doors, a glass wood-burner fireplace for the cold winter nights, and an floor fan for the hot summer days, each tent has en suite bathroom facilities including flush toilets, an indoor and outdoor shower, as well as a copper slipper-style bathtub. The main decking area includes split level decking with a separate lounge and dining area, as well as a small splash pool for guests overlooking the “Elephant Pool” and a natural waterhole where herds of game congregate to drink and where guests can relax whilst soaking in the African bush.
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