3 premier Destinations
April 3-12, 2018
This exclusive Botswana Safari is designed for the serious wildlife photographer who wants the best opportunities for award winning images!
Botswana is one of the most sought-after premier wildlife photographic destinations in the world. This safari has been meticulously planned to cover three of the best wildlife locations, giving you the most diverse environments and the best variety of wildlife photographic opportunities in Botswana, including the Okavango Delta, Savuti, and the Chobe River. We have selected each location for its uniqueness; you will have the opportunity for night photography, driving off-roads without restrictions, photographing out of but near the vehicle for incredible perspectives, and at eyelevel with the wildlife on the banks of the Chobe.
On this exclusive safari, there is a maximum of only 6 photographers, split into two vehicles, each with an expert African wildlife photographer that specializes in African wildlife photography; each has spent thousands of hours in the field. You will benefit enormously by having a professional wildlife photographer on-board for every game drive. While on land, we will use private, custom open vehicles; you will have your own row to spread out all your gear to have it ready at a moment’s notice and an unobstructed view from both sides of the vehicle. You will NOT have to shoot over or around another photographer, who would be sitting next to you on most other safaris offered. On the Chobe River, we will use custom photo boats with innovate customer features, such as seats with a custom designed mount for your big lens that rotates a full 360 degrees.
The Okavango Delta is one of the most spectacular natural wildlife phenomena on the planet, supporting an ecosystem that sustains one of the highest concentrations of large game animals in Africa. Remarkably, it is a matchless wetland paradise in the arid Kalahari Desert. Our luxury accommodations are waterfront with some of the best opportunities to see a pack of wild dogs, lions, leopards, hyenas, elephants, buffalos, and more. We can drive off-road, enabling us to follow predators and improve our vehicle positioning for photography. Since we are just outside the Moremi National Park with no gate restrictions, we can extend our game drives well into the evening when the big cats are on the move. This is where having only two vehicles, each with an expert to light up big predators, can really pay off.
Savute achieved international fame from documentaries, such as Eternal Enemies by Dereck and Beverly Joubert, with unbelievable lion and hyena interactions, and the numerous documentaries filmed in the area by the BBC. This semi-arid area harbors one of the densest dry-season concentrations of elephants in Africa. Due to drought conditions in the past few years, the canal is dry, but water is pumped into a few select areas, drawing all the animals across this dusty environment. Imagine all the drama that is certain to unfold as all the animals cross the expansive savannahs to gather at the same water hole. The dust and light will make spectacular photographs, images that get to one’s soul.
The Chobe River is one of the most incredible wildlife experiences offered on the continent, where animals congregate along the river to drink and to feed on the lush greenery. The custom photo boats we will use have a shallow draught, enabling us to access shallow water to make near-silent, drifting approaches to our subjects, getting eye-level perspectives that are much more difficult to achieve on land. Don’t be surprised when you are face to face with battling hippos and elephants swimming! Elephants will not only come to drink from the river, but will also swim across it; if we are lucky, they will stop in the middle to play, which is an unbelievable sight. This is also a birder’s paradise with a wide variety of species, including African fish eagles, colorful Malachite Kingfisher, the largest heron in the world – the goliath, skinners, kingfishers, and colorful bee-eaters. With our custom photo boats, these birds are more approachable on the Chobe River than anywhere else in Africa.
Wim van den Heever
Born in South Africa and coming from a family who loved nature and photography, Wim practically grew up roaming the wilds of the bush. With over 25 years of experience and winning numerous awards, including placing in the prestigious BCC wildlife photography of the year and Natures best photography contest several times, Wim has established himself as one of the top wildlife photographers in South Africa. His eagerness to teach and friendly nature ensures workshop participants a wonderful experience. He uses Nikon equipment.
Focusing her work in Africa for the past 14 years, Piper Mackay has traversed the continent to some of the most remote regions few others have been. She became a resident of Kenya in 2015. Her work is widely published from covers to featured articles and interviews in top wildlife and travel magazines worldwide, winning many awards. She is known for her passion in striving to help her participants capture dramatic images. She uses Canon equipment and shoots with an infrared camera.
- 3 locations to maximize every photographic opportunity in one of the world’s premier wildlife destinations, the delta, Savuti, Chobe River
- Small group of only 6 participants, giving you more flexibility, freedom, and better group dynamics.
- Luxurious accommodations
- We will have private open game-viewing vehicles with only 1 person per row of seating
- One professional photographer leader per vehicle
- Specially designed photographic boats have individual swivel seats, with mounts for our cameras attached to each chair. The photo boats enable us to make quiet approaches from interesting angles
- An increased luggage allowance to 35KG on the in-country flights
- This safari focuses on getting quality images. We will push hard to spend most of our time in the field. This trip is about giving you incredible opportunities to create an amazing, diverse portfolio of exceptional images from just one safari.
April 3, 2018 (1 night)
Arrive at O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg. We realize most of our participants will be coming far distances and will require a night in Johannesburg, which is why we have taken care to select luxury accommodation conveniently at the airport and have included them in your safari. After your long flight/s, you can simply stroll over to your luxury hotel. The intercontinental hotel features a spa, indoor pool, gym, Wi-Fi, and the Quills African restaurant. You can quickly relax and rest up for your safari.
Accommodations: Intercontinental Hotel, Johannesburg
April 4-6, 2018 (3 nights)
After an early breakfast and briefing, we will depart the hotel and fly from Johannesburg to Maun and on to the renowned Okavango Delta, which rarely needs an introduction, because it is one of the most sought-after wildlife destinations in the world. It is a unique environment of floodplains and woodlands, filled with diverse and exotic wildlife. Not only will we be able to game drive along these floodplains, where the animals will migrate, but we have no gate restrictions, can drive well into the evening in search of the big cats, can drive off-road, and have full access to the Moremi Wildlife Reserve, renowned for its large concentrations of mammals.
We will stay at the five-Star Khwai River Lodge, designed to blend into the surrounding environment that overlooks the vast Khwai River floodplains. It comprises 15 luxury tents housed on raised wooden platforms, offering great views, and shaded by a traditional African thatch roof. The large private decks are furnished with easy chairs and a hammock, ideal for viewing wildlife. Its exceptional location makes it a regular host to elephants, buffalos, lions, leopards, cheetahs, and wild dogs.
Accommodations: Khwai River Lodge – BLD
April 7-8, 2018 (2 nights)
After an early morning game drive and breakfast, we will depart the lodge and fly to the renowned Savuti Reserve, a surreal landscape in the dusty plains with skeletal trees that make for some striking photographic opportunities. This area is renowned for its elephants and comingling of species at the water holes, such as lion, antelope, hyena, zebra, wart hogs, etc. Cheetahs can often be seen on the plains around the marshes, and the many rocky outcrops mean leopards are common. This is also a great area for the lilac breasted roller, and we have often witnessed their rolling. If we are lucky, we should also see the wild dogs.
You will stay at the five-star Savute Elephant camp, with 12 luxurious rooms raised on wooden platforms, each with an outdoor lounge shaded by a traditional thatch roof.
Accommodations: Savute Elephant camp
April 9-11, 2018 (3 nights)
After our early morning game drive and breakfast, we will fly to Kasane, where we will be met by our ground team and transported to our lodge located on the Chobe river and the meeting of four African countries: Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Zambia.
We will spend the next four days cruising along the Chobe River in search of every incredible photographic opportunity from a unique perspective. During the mornings and afternoons, we will go out on our private, custom-built photo boats with fully rotating chairs, fitted with state-of-the-art camera mounts. You will have highly specialized boat guides, along with your professional photography guides, with an encyclopedic knowledge of the river and its inhabitants, who will seek any specific photographic subjects requested.
Accommodations: Chobe Safari Lodge
April 12, 2018
We will have one last, final morning shoot on the Chobe River before our flight back to Johannesburg in time for our international flights home. International flights should be booked after 20:00.
Why this safari is for you –
This exclusive photographic safari caters to only 6 photographers, which offers you more personalized photographic instruction and the flexibility of a private safari. You will have a top professional African wildlife photographer with you on every game drive that will line up the vehicles for the best shot, considering light and composition. Meticulously designed, this is one of the only itineraries in Botswana offering three amazing locations, which will give you an incredible diverse portfolio of images from only one safari. In the open vehicles, you will have an entire row to yourself, so you do not have the obstruction and frustration of trying to shoot over the person sitting next to you; a luxury in Botswana
on the Chobe River, you will be in state of the art photo boats with seats that have a custom designed mount for your big lens that rotates a full 360 degrees; again, you can shoot without any obstructions.
During our safari, we will see a variety of exotic wildlife; however, some special subjects may require watching their behavior and waiting for those special moments. This is when patience pays off, rewarding you with extraordinary photographs. You will be with like-minded people, interested in quality, award-winning photographs. We will spend a great deal of time and effort in the field and quality time with the wildlife—unless it is quiet and the light is too harsh—and we will return to our camp/lodge for the midday break. We will be back at our camp/lodge for a nice dinner and drinks around the fire every night.
Since this itinerary is built to spend most of our time in the field, this is not a formal workshop with any planned lectures, slide shows, or formal instruction, but Wim and Piper are there to assist you throughout the entire Safari. They are generous with their time and instruction and available for questions on all photographic topics, including business questions on marketing, branding, and creating a niche. When there is an afternoon break, they will be happy to review your images, portfolios, or give an impromptu slide show or talk. This is largely why the group sizes are kept small, so they can spend more one on one time, assisting you when needed.
The price of this premier wildlife photographic safari is $11,795.00. This price is based on double occupancy
Single accommodations are limited and come at a premium, please inquire about the fee.
***This cost of this safari is based on a minimum of 6 participants. If there are less than 6 participants a small supplement fee of $795.00 will apply.
A USD $3,000.00 Non-refundable deposit is due at the time of registration to secure your spot. We highly recommend purchasing travel insurance to cover your deposit.
- Four In-country flights with extra weight allowance (Total of 65lbs)
- Transportation from Arrival until departure
- 9 nights first class accommodations
- Guaranteed row in private 4X4 Land cruisers
- All National Parks fees, Game Reserves entrance fees, and taxes
- Premium exclusive photo boats
- All meals except on arrival and departure days
- Water, soda, coffee, tea, domestic beer and wine at the camps
- Two professional African wildlife photographer guides
Price does Not Include:
- Travel Insurance
- Personal purchases (such as curious, spirit liquors, telephone calls, internet, laundry…)
- Gratuities for the guides, staff at accommodations, and airport transfers
- Optional extra activities not listed on the itinerary
- International flights to and from the African Continent
- Airport tax $15
- USD $3,000.00 non-refundable deposit to confirm your place on this safari
- 2nd payment of USD $4,000.00 is due September 1, 2017
- Final payment/Balance is due January 1, 2018
We highly recommend trip and cancellation insurance
If you are excited to join the Botswana Exclusive Safari now is the time to grab the last spot! We must receive both your esign registration form and your deposit/s to confirm your spot.
1. Click this link to access the e-registration form. At the end of the form you will be asked to confirm your email address, which will complete the registration. A copy of your registration will be emailed to you and to Piper Mackay Photo Safaris.
2. Use the button below to make your deposit. You do not need to have a Paypal account to use this payment service