Unique opportunity to experience Chobe National Park from land and water! Enjoy 3 nights on Pangolin’s Exclusive Houseboat!!
Date: May 16 – May 23 (7 days, 6 nights)
Group Size: 7 – Sold Out!
Cost: $5,095 double occupancy, $2400 single supplement
To get on a waitlist, Contact Us here.
Road Runner Photography Tours is joining with Magnum Excursions to offer you this safari!
Instructors: Geff Bourke
Each day during our time at Chobe National Park, we will have morning and evening game drives with mid-day post-processing support and presentations to optimize your shots. Plus each evening we will have a short presentation that will help broaden your knowledge. Of course, you don’t have to participate in the mid-day or evening activities, but we will make these entertaining and educational so we think you’ll want to join the fun. We will even have nightly “show-and-tell” where you can share some shots and talk about what you like about them.
We have selected a lodge designed for photographers with plenty of desk space to upload and work on images, projection equipment to allow presentations and image sharing, and maybe most importantly, game-drive equipment designed for optimizing your photography.
As a special bonus, you’ll also be treated to a special day trip at Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. The Falls are just a few hours’ drive away. Victoria Falls is the only waterfall in the world with a length of more than a kilometer and a height of more than one hundred meters. It is also considered to be the largest fall in the world.
May on the Chobe River
We have been to this region of Africa many times. For this special workshop, we have selected May for several reasons:
- First and foremost, we want to be on the Chobe River during the dry season because this drives all wildlife to the river’s edge to find life sustaining water. This provides a higher density of wildlife which leads to great wildlife viewing and photography for you!
- Despite being the dry season, the Chobe River is still at high flow. Chobe receives a lot of water from the Angola Highlands and these high water levels create submerged islands of hippo grass. The elephants love to swim out to these submerged islands to graze and we love to photograph swimming elephants!
- Optimizing the Victoria Falls Day Trip. The Chobe feeds the Zambezi River which in turn feeds Victoria Falls. In June the high flow at the Falls will show the true power of the river. Be prepared to be awe-struck!
Houseboat Experience – 3 nights!
For photographers who want to have an exclusive experience in one of Africa’s most productive wildlife photography regions. The Chobe river is the natural border between Namibia and Botswana and the Pangolin Voyager is actually based on the Namibian side of the river with the Chobe National Park as the opposite bank. The Chobe is unique in that it flows in both directions at different times of the year depending on the flood in the mighty Zambezi with which is converges a few kilometres further downstream. By mooring on Namibian side of the river, the Pangolin Voyager is not subject to the entry and exist requirements of Chobe National Park, so guests will get to experience sunrises and sunsets to their full extent, as well as experiencing the night time animal activity! Totally one of a kind experience.
Additionally, on May 16th there will be a total lunar eclipse in Botswana (learn more). You will be able to experience this from the houseboat and on May 17 and 18, you will have nearly a full moon by which to capture night shots in the park.
The Lodge – 3 nights!
We will be staying at the Pangolin Chobe Lodge is situated on the hill above the town of Kasane, the gateway to the Chobe National Park. We are a three-minute drive from the newly rebuilt Kasane International Airport.
The bedrooms are configured as either double beds or two singles and all en-suite with the toilet and shower. Each of the rooms has a private balcony with spectacular views across the Chobe floodplains. The rooms are all air-conditioned with plenty of plug points and places to store camera gear and luggage.
The heart of the Pangolin Chobe lodge is the dining room, editing area, bar and pool terrace. The aim of the Pangolin Chobe Lodge is to have an inclusive, elegant and relaxed atmosphere where you immediately feel like you are a part of a club. The walls are adorned with amazing wildlife images to inspire you, and there are plenty of places to relax and spend time with your fellow travelers. On the upper floor is the bar with a table dedicated to editing and workshops. On certain evenings, we like to have a braai (a South African barbecue).
The Game-Drive Experience
- What we expect to see – Chobe National Park is home to the largest population of elephants in the world. During the dry season, the waterfront supports over 50,000 elephants. There is more to Chobe than just these pachyderms, with more than 75 mammal species and 450 bird types, you will also encounter buffalos, impala, giraffe, zebras, impala, sable, waterbuck, puku, warthog and predators such as lions and leopards.
- From the water, we will shoot from a specially designed photo boat. We have one eight-seater custom-built photo boat with fully rotating chairs and fitted with state-of-the-art camera mounts. Generally, we take this boat out at first light and again in the late afternoon for up to three hours each time. The Chobe river offers excellent photographic and game viewing opportunities from the famous Chobe elephants to smaller inhabitants like tiny Malachite Kingfishers that flit along the banks.
- On land, Unimog is a beast of a machine. Designed by the German military, it will go through any type of terrain without problems come rain or shine. We chose the Unimog as our photo platform because you’ll be able to photograph from either side of the vehicle at any particular sighting. You’ll have your own designated seat with its own bean bag and an additional bean bag to use on the opposite side of the vehicle which you simply move across to. With this arrangement, you’ll avoid the frustration of a fellow photographer blocking your shot at that crucial moment as in traditional game viewers.
Each morning and afternoon we will head either on the boat or on land, alternating to get a good number of each type. Each safari is hosted by one of our two leaders who will be on hand to not only go through the basics but help you with some more advanced techniques to take your photography to the next level.
There is no better way to improve your wildlife photography than in the best classroom in the world – The African Bush. This package will appeal to photographers of all levels of experience and ability who want a more immersive safari experience at some of the best photo locations in Botswana. No matter how much you think you know there’s always something more to learn when it comes to wildlife photography. And our guides will be on hand throughout this safari to help you do just that!
What Makes This A Workshop?
As we have noted, we will have an instructor/leader on every game drive to discuss camera settings, composition and special techniques like rim lighting or pan shots. In between the morning and afternoon game activities there will be time to spend with the leaders doing post-production so we advise you to bring a laptop with you to edit and review your images in the group sessions.
My spouse/friend doesn’t shoot. What about non-photographers?
We openly admit that we’ve designed this Africa trip for photography. However, for the non-photographer, this trip will also be extremely entertaining and enjoyable. The wildlife is there for everyone and we will give you a front-row seat. In addition, our guides are expert at identifying the various species and also at answering any questions you might have related to the wildlife. We’ve taken many non-photographers to this destination and all have enjoyed the trip. By the way, if a non-photographer wants to try their hand at shooting, we will provide a camera and lens for you to give it a try!
What is Included:
- Four nights lodging in Botswana at Pangolin Chobe Lodge
- All meals
- Relevant Park Fees (Chobe)
- 8 game drives within Chobe NP
What is NOT included:
- International airfare between your home and Kasane, Botswana (BBK)
- Single entry visa into Zimbabwe (currently $35 for U.S. citizens)
- Alcoholic drinks such as beer, wines and liquors (available at extra cost payable directly)
- Personal purchases (including curios, spirits, telephone calls, etc.)
- Discretionary gratuities
- Laundry and items of a personal nature
Necessary Fine Print: Botswana and Zimbabwe are stable countries, but the world is changing and Africa is changing with it. We will attempt to adhere to this itinerary as much as possible. However, certain conditions (political, climatic, environmental, cultural, or wildlife migrations) may necessitate changes in the itinerary. We reserve the right to alter any itinerary at any time, if necessary. We will attempt to notify participants of changes as far in advance as possible. Costs incurred by such changes will be the responsibility of the participant.
What Do I Do Next?
Just click the register button above and make a deposit and your spot is secure!
All participants are strongly advised to purchase travel protection insurance. Travelinsurance.com offers many different options from various vendors and allows for product comparison.
Participant Information, Waiver, and Release – click here.
Healthy Packing List – click here.
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