Two Months on Safari: South Africa, Kenya and Botswana

Andrew Beck Andrew 12 Comments

You’d be forgiven for thinking that I had disappeared given my almost complete lack of presence on social media over the last couple of weeks. Its been an incredibly busy start to the safari season for me and i am only now starting to get back on top of emails and admin back at the office.

I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have met some amazing people and shared some incredible adventures with them over the last two months. To give you an idea of whats been happening since the 1 st of June i thought I’d share one image from each of the destinations I’ve been sharing with guests from around the world.

The 2015 Wild Eye Seminar at Sabi Sabi, South Africa

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The Sabi Sand is synonymous with leopard sightings but for me I think the highlight of the seminar was being able to spend time with a coalition of male lions. The fact that we had additional photographic orientated vehicles in the sighting meant that we were able to work with various lighting directions. Side lighting on this particular male resulted in one of my personal favourite images from the 2015 Seminar.

Madikwe Wildlife Photography Workshop

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From the Sabi Sands I returned home briefly before heading back to Madikwe for our first of three wildlife photography workshops. In amongst some great elephant and rhino sightings we were treated to a pretty rare sighting of an Aardwolf at an active den site. You can check out some of Jono’s images from the den here so I thought i would share this image taken at the sunken hide right in-front of the lodge where we are based for these workshops.

Private Guiding: Timbavati

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The guests that joined me for the Madikwe Workshop opted to extend their stay in South Africa and i hosted them for an additional couple of nights in the Timbavati where we had some great sightings of lion and leopard. The highlight for all of us though was being able to spend a night in the sleepout hide which overlooks one of the most reliable water sources in the area. Falling asleep beneath a canopy of stars with the soundtrack of the African bush is pretty hard to beat!

Essential Amboseli & Tsavo Photographic Safari: Amboseli

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It is no secret that Amboseli National Park is one of my favourite destinations. There is just something about the light in this place that blows me away every single time. Here I helped the guests get to grips with a variety of techniques and helped them to understand how to use the various types of light in the area to create unique images. This image stuck out for me as something different and even though the top left corner is completely blown i love it. Once again, animals in their environment seem to have this grip on me!

One of the guests on the trip has kindly offered to put together a guest blog together on this safari so keep an eye out on the blog in the coming weeks.

Essential Amboseli & Tsavo Photographic Safari: Tsavo West

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We decided to extend our Essential Amboseli safari to include Tsavo West and boy am i glad we have started to explore this region. Each and every one of the guests were blown away by the diversity, light and landscapes of this rugged park. This was a moment where one of the guests, an avid landscape photographer who was very keen on capturing wildlife inspired landscapes, literally shed a tear when inspecting the back of his camera.A lone Klipspringer literally stood proud and posed for the cameras for almost 30 minutes as we worked different angles and focal lengths. We couldn’t have asked for a better way to start our time in Tsavo West.

Our luck continued as we saw and captured new and unusual animals such as lesser kudu and buff crested korhaan in this wild, remote and rugged landscape.

Next year we will be spending an additional two nights in Tsavo West making our Essential Amboseli and incredible 9 night adventure through two of Kenya’s iconic wildlife regions.

Private Guided Safari to Botswana: Moremi

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Being able to craft and bespoke itinerary is always   a great opportunity and I was privileged enough to put together a two week long photographic safari for two Italian clients which would see us journey through Botswana from Maun all the way to Kasane. The best part of this for me was the fact that these guests embraced the spirit of adventure and wanted to experience Botswana in as intimate manner as possible.  That left no other option but for a mobile camping safari. Two guests and myself were accompanied by our local guide, a camp-hand and a chef for the first 12 nights of the safari before we ended in a bit of luxury on the Chobe River.

Spending two weeks in isolation and staying in a tent like this was an incredible experience. Luxury lodges are great but my first choice will almost always be to spend the night in canvas, beneath a canopy of stars.

Private Guided Safari to Botswana: Khwai

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We spent a total of 5 nights in the Khwai region of the Moremi National Park and were rewarded for our patience and persistence. The highlight of our time here was undoubtedly spending a good 30 minutes with this 2/3 month old leopard cub which had been stashed away in the hollow of a fallen tree. It has always been my dream to see a cub like this and to have shared this experience with two incredible people without any other vehicles around was an absolute privilege.

Private Guided Safari to Botswana: Savute

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3 Nights in Savute gave us some great photographic opportunities of lions mating in golden morning light, wild dogs that had stolen an impala killed by a leopard, elephant and a variety of bird species. Camping out in the middle of no-where also meant that we could spend some time playing around with astro-photography and long exposures. Killing time around the fire with a glass of red wine whilst waiting for the timer to go off gave us time to reflect on what we had seen over the past couple of days whilst the night sky painted a scene across our camera sensors.

Private Guided Safari to Botswana: Chobe

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Our time in Botswana came to an end wit 3 nights on board a houseboat on the Chobe River. Large herds of elephant made their way down to the river each day and on our second afternoon we were treated to a number of elephants swimming across the river to forage in the floodplains of the caprivi strip. Aside from elephants we were able to photograph a variety of bird species and were fortunate to watch a Red Lechwe swim across one of the deeper channels of the Chobe River.

Over time I will be sharing more images and stories from what has been an incredible two months but I thought I better touch base and let you all know that I haven’t fallen off of the face of the earth!

If you’re looking at these images thinking “I remember that moment” it was an absolute pleasure and privilege to have shared these experiences with you.

If you’re looking at these images thinking ” I was I could see that for myself” then drop me an email and lets make it happen!

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About the Author

Andrew Beck

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Very few people can tell you what their passion in life is. Even fewer will be able to tell you that what they do for a living is in fact their passion. My love for the bush and conservation took me on journey which would not only allow me to explore the continent which fascinates me so much, but to share my passion for photography and conservation with others. Be sure to check out my my website and instagram account.

 

 

Comments 12

  1. Laura

    That wide angle klipspringer shot is fantastic Andrew! And very jealous about the 2 months of safari 🙂 that is awesome- looks like you experienced some real magic.

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      Andrew Beck

      Thank Laura

      So many incredible images and moments to work through. Each and every group were treated to moments of magic which makes my job that little bit easier!

      I’ll be working on a B&W conversion of that Klippie as well!

      Loved your panning shot of the Kittiwakes by the way!

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  2. Martha Myers

    Welcome back, Andrew, and thank you posting such dramatic images. I was transfixed by them all, but could not believe your immense good fortune in catching so much more than a quick glimpse of a klipspringer and a hidden leopard cub. Those images were off the Richter scale. Until next month…

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  3. Carol Bell

    Thanks for sharing Andrew…..so nice reading and looking at your photos…. cant wait to see more. As you can imagine I am “green with envy” that I could not be with you. … and agree would much rather sleep in a tent rather than a “fancy room”…..

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