AMAZING SOUTH AFRICA PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP

Chobe River / Victoria Falls / Elephant Plains 

JULY 29TH - AUGUST 9TH, 2017

 

 

 

Information and Guidelines

 

Join me in South Africa for this ultimate photo safari combining three countries, two top wildlife and birding destinations and one of the seven wonders of the world. On this safari you will experience and photograph the predators of land and sky. Leopards, Lions and Hyaenas at South Africa's Elephant Plains Game lodge and the Abundant Fish eagles of Botswana's Chobe River. Not to mention all of the other amazing birdlife and wildlife from Kingfishers and Herons to Elephants and Buffalo plus many many more. In between photographing all the amazing wildlife and birdlife you will get to appreciate the majestic Victoria Falls, the world’s largest waterfall.

 

        

 

Spend 12 days experiencing three of Southern Africa’s greatest wildlife and photographic destinations. South Africa's Elephant Plains Game Lodge known for its unrivaled leopard and big cat sightings, Botswana’s famed Chobe River home to the Africa’s largest populations of elephants and a plethora of birdlife and Zimbabwe’s Victoria Falls aptly named by the locals as Mosi - oa –Tunya meaning “The Smoke That Thunders”

 

 

Elephant Plains:

  • Most consistent quality Leopard sightings in the world.
  • Private photographic vehicles
  • Night Photography.
  • Luxury accommodation with aircon etc.

 

Pangolin Voyager Houseboat

  • Specialized Photo Boats with custom support systems
  • Fish Eagles galore..!
  • Largest population of Elephants in Africa
  • No time limits on the river
  • A great experience staying in the Chobe National park on the luxurious houseboat

 

These two amazing destinations combine the best-unrivalled photographic opportunities of some of Africa's top predators, not only predators of land but of sky alike. The Elephant Plains area will provide not only an amazing Big 5 experience but some of the finest big cat and especially leopard viewing and photographic opportunities in the world. While the Chobe River will entertain you with the 450 species of birdlife, with special focus on the African Fish Eagles that reside along the river’s edge as well as the abundant wildlife with different antelope species, predators, buffalo, elephants, hippos and reptiles, that frequent the banks. This promises to be an experience to fulfil any wildlife photographer's dreams.

 

The Victoria Falls

  • One of the Seven Wonders of the World
  • 1700 meters wide and 108 meters high
  • Roughly 625 Million Litres of water flow over the edge
  • This huge volume of water produces a spray that rises up to 1650 feet into the air

 

                        

The Lodges / Boat

 

The Pangolin Voyager House Boat (Botswana)

 

The Pangolin Voyager is a luxuriously appointed river voyager comprising 5 spacious en-suite cabins, (shower, basin, and toilet). Accommodation is located on the bottom deck.

 

Middle deck consists of a private lounge with a small reference library, communal dining area, open galley (kitchen), Captains Bridge and viewing deck.

 

Top deck or the viewing deck has seating area to leisurely sip sundowners, catch up on some supreme birding, or stretch out in the sun on one of the sun loungers. In the evenings this top viewing deck becomes prime position to familiarize ones self with the African stars.

 

 

Elephant Plains Game Lodge (South Africa)


Situated in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, adjacent to the Kruger National Park, Elephant Plains Game Lodge offers excellent Big 5 game viewing, luxurious accommodation and scrumptuous cuisine. Elephant Plains Game Lodge is world renowned for excellent Big 5 game viewing and guests can enjoy two game drives and a bush walk per day. Facilities include two swimming pools, a spa, gym, conference centre and small library. The lodge is owner run and can accommodate a maximum of 24 guests. This guarantees personal service and attention to detail. Their unpretentious style ensures that guests regrettably leave the warm and friendly atmosphere of our little piece of Africa...

 

 

 

 

Lokuthula Lodge (Zimbabwe)


The Lodge is a stunning example of lavish Victoria Falls accommodation, offering stylish comfort, flexibility and privacy to guests. They are split-level, fully equipped and serviced daily. All lodges have fans, mosquito nets and a range of customized toiletries including insect repellent and sunscreen lotion.

 

 

 

Dates and Daily Itinerary

 

Workshop Dates: JULY 29th - August 9th, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brief itinerary

  • Day 1  - Meet at OR Tambo International Airport for flight to Kasane, Botswana. On arrival in Kasane road transfer to Kasane / Namibia immigration and then a short boat trip to the Pangolin Voyager.
  • Days 2 – 4 Daily excursions on specialised photographic boats along the Chobe River.
  • Day 5 - After the morning activity and breakfast, a boat transfer back to Kasane immigration. From here you will catch a road transfer to Zimbabwes Kazangula Borderpost and then onto Victoria Falls and Lokuthula Lodge
  • Day 6  - On this day you will have the day to explore all the Victoria Falls area has to offer.
  • Day 7 –  After a morning breakfast you will be transferred to Victoria Falls International Airport for your flight back to South Africa and OR Tambo International. You will spend this night at the Hotel at the Airport.
  • Day 8 - This day you will catch a flight from OR Tambo directly to Elephant Plains where you will be met by your Guide and transferred to the lodge. First afternoon drive.
  • Days 9 – 11 Twice daily game drives at Elephant Plains Game Lodge.
  • Day 12 -  After your morning game drive and breakfast, you will catch your flight back to OR Tambo International. Safari Ends.

 

                                            

Cost and Payments

 

Cost

Price is $7950.00 Canadian per person, based on double occupancy.   *Single supplement is an additional 50% of workshop price.

 

Participants

Between 6-8 Max.

 

Deposit

A deposit of $2000.00 Canadian is required at time of registration.  An additional $3000.00 is required 180 days prior to the workshop and the remainder is due 90 days prior to the adventure.

*Deposits are non-refundable unless I can fill your spot.

 

Reserverations

Reserve your spot on this exciting workshop by sending me an email at:  marc_latremouille@magma.ca 

 

 

Workshop Includes:

  • On the house boat in Botswana all accommodation, meals, activities as well as drinks are included.
  • Elephant Plains accommodation, meals and activities are all included.
  • No drinks from the bar are included at Elephant Plains.  
  • At Lokathula Lodge / Victoria Falls all accommodation, breakfast and dinners are included.
  • No activities are included at Vic Falls. There are just way to many choices. You can white water raft, bungee jump, gorge swing, helicopter flights etc, and also photograph the world’s biggest waterfall.
  • All flights from Johannesburg to Kasane, Botswana and back are included.
  • All flights from Johannesburg to Elephant Plains and back are included
  • All transfers included between lodge, hotels, restaurants etc, are included.

 

 

 

 

Insurance

 

Travel Insurance: Although highly unlikely, it is possible that you may miss a scheduled flight due to adverse weather conditions or other unforeseen reasons. Should you be concerned about missing flights or any connecting flights etc, it is recommended that additional travel insurance is purchased for these purposes.

 

Medical Insurance: Medical insurance is also recommended for any unforeseen medical and/or evacuation reasons. 

 

 

Passport and Customs

 

  • Passports are required by all foreign visitors and must be valid for 6 months after the intended length of stay.  Please ensure that there are two blank pages per country to be visited.
  • It is advisable to declare any cameras, lenses, laptops and other valuable items when leaving South Africa. We normally recommend keeping a detailed list of all items including serial numbers and descriptions. This makes the customs process much quicker, as all that is generally required is for the customs official to stamp the document.

 

Flights and Transfers

 

  • Check-in is one hour prior for domestic departures and two hours prior for international departures.
  • The flight to/from JHB to Kasane is +/- 1hr 45 min
  • The flight to/from Vic Falls to JHB is +/- 2hr 30 min
  • The flight to/from JHB to Elephant Plains or is +/- 45min.
  • Road transfer from Kasane to Vic Falls is +/- 1hr 30 min (Border Dependent)

 

Luggage Allowance

 

As you will be travelling in a small aircraft with limited luggage capacity, luggage is required to be packed in a soft bag if possible weighing a maximum of 20kg. This weight allowance includes all hand luggage items.

 

If you discover upon arrival that your luggage is missing, or has arrived incomplete, you should report this immediately to the information desk in the baggage hall before clearing through immigration. The airline staff will be able to tell you what the procedures are for reclaiming your luggage and advise you on any forms that may need to be filled in and stamped.

 

General Information

 

  • 220v battery power (charged by the generator) is used for lighting and power in guest rooms onboard the houseboat 24hrs a day. 
  • 220v plugs are available in each room for the charging of batteries only.  Hence bring spare battery, charging unit and adaptors.
  • Plug points are available in each room so that sleep apnea machines may be used.
  • Full 220v power is supplied at Elephant Plains and Lukuthula Lodge 24 hours a day and there are back up generators.
  • Elephant Plains does have Wi-Fi hot spots in the camp.
  • The national language in Botswana is Setswana, at Vic falls it’s Shona and at Elephant Plains is Shangaan, although English is widely spoken. 
  • Most dietary requirements can be catered for. Please advise me accordingly at time of booking.

 

Clothing

 

As a general guide, comfortable, casual wash and wear clothes are recommended. Please note that muted colours are recommended for game-viewing. Game-drives are conducted in the early morning and late afternoon, which can be very cold, especially in winter.

 

The most practical items to pack for safari are:

  • Khaki, green, beige and neutral colours
  • Shirts with long sleeves (even in summer, as protection from the sun and mosquitoes)
  • T shirts
  • Shorts or a light skirt
  • Jeans or safari trousers for evenings and cooler days
  • A jacket, fleece or sweater is recommended for early morning and evening game drives
  • Comfortable walking shoes and/or sandals
  • Sun block, sunglasses, hat, insect repellent, moisturizer and lip-salve are all essentials
  • Some safari clothing is available in the curio shop

 

Climate

 

 

Botswana / South Africa

 

Hot and pleasant during the summer months with temperatures peaking in October.

Rainfall peaks from Nov to Mar

Winters are generally mild with cool mornings and evenings

 

 

Avg. Temperature

Avg. Max Temperature

Avg. Min Temperature

Avg. Rain Days

Jan

26

32

21

4

Feb

26

32

20

3

Mar

26

32

19

3

Apr

24

31

16

1

May

21

28

12

0

Jun

18

26

8

0

Jul

18

25

8

0

Aug

21

29

11

0

Sep

25

33

16

0

Oct

28

36

20

1

Nov

28

35

21

3

Dec

27

33

21

3

 

 

 

Money

 

  • The currencies accepted in Botswana and Zimbabwe are Botswana Pula (BWP), US Dollars (USD) and South African Rands (ZAR). ZAR and USD will need to be exchanged in some instances at local rates.
  • South Africa only Rands (ZAR) are accepted.
  • Banks and foreign exchange bureaux are available at all international airports and in all main towns.
  • Credit card payments can be processed at the camps.
  • US dollars are widely accepted; however, notes dated before 2003 are no longer accepted. Also, high denomination notes may not be accepted.
  • The Botswana Pula does fluctuate against the ZAR: Rates are generally 1.1 to 1.25 to the BWP.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HEALTH REQUIREMENTS

 

  • The Chobe and Vic Falls areas are Medium risk Malaria areas, Whilst Elephant Plains is a low risk area.
  • Please consult your physician before you travel for advice on precautions against malaria.

 

Photography

 

It is not advisable to take photographs of border posts or military/ police posts. Doing so can lead to an unpleasant situation and even arrest.

Always ask permission before taking a photograph of the local residents; it is a sign of respect. In some cases a small payment is expected. However, some cultures believe that the camera steals their soul and request that you respect and understand their beliefs.

 

It is advisable to bring the following camera equipment:

  • 2x Camera bodies (a backup will mean peace of mind)
  • Spare memory cards and batteries
  • Long telephoto lens 500/600
  • Medium telephoto lens 70-200 or equivalent
  • Wide angle lens(es) for landscapes
  • Wimberley tripod head or equivalent
  • Flash and battery pack is advisable especially with night photography
  • Notebook or additional storage devices.

 

 

 

Gratuity Guideline

 

Ranger / Guide: US$ 25 per room per day

Lodge Staff: US$ 5 per person per day

These are a basic minimum guide line and you are welcome to increase the gratuities should you want to do so.

 

 

 

 

                              Mobile Phones

Cellular

 

 

Note: There is limited Cellular and Data connectivity in the Chobe area. There is Vodacom, MTN and Cell-C connectivity at Elephant Plains

 

 

 

Indemnity

Wingstretch.com accepts no liability or responsibility for any damage, injury or loss of any kind whatsoever, including but not limited to death, disability, property theft or damage, cancellation of your safari or any other such incident as may arise on your safari. 

 

 

This document is thorough, although it is not exhaustive. The information that it includes is given in good faith and I have tried to cover all possible queries that may arise before the tour starts and what to expect while travelling. If you have any other questions please don’t hesitate to contact me at marc_latremouille@magma.ca

 

Photos Copyright Wim van den Heever and Brendon Cremer