If Africa, specifically Zambia, Kenya or South Africa is somewhere you would like to take a wildlife photography tour then we have several new & enhanced offerings for upcoming years, some are general, some are quite specific. In contrast, some have a particular element that the holiday is based around.
But First ...
We know that these are unpredictable times & we can’t be sure exactly what’s coming in the future, but we know for sure that adaptability is critical.
With this in mind, we believe that it is only fair to have introduced our booking promise on our wildlife photography holidays.
For June 2022, we have a couple of places remaining to join the third week of our newLeopards of Sabi Sands photography trip. This is something rather special!
Everyone is accommodated in one of five luxury suites, all with en-suite bathrooms. Collectively these suites can accommodate ten people, but we will not be filling the lodge. We will have a maximum of 7 photographers, including any guides, in the safari vehicle so for that reason we will have a maximum of 7 people only in the suites, but it might well be less!
Each guest suite has a secluded plunge pool, expansive viewing deck & freestanding “khaya” – a lounge with a tea & coffee station & wood-burning stove for those cold winter’s mornings & evenings.
The reserve that we are making use of offers more than 7000ha of private land, bordering right onto the western border of the Kruger National Park. This part of the African bush is a hidden gem, offering some of the most beautiful game viewing in Africa. This is the home of the legendary Big Five which roam these unspoilt lands, Lion, leopard, elephant, rhino & buffalo can be spotted from the comfort & safety of our open game viewing vehicles, accompanied by some of the most experienced safari guides & trackers in the business.
For this holiday, NaturesLens are incredibly pleased to announce that we have a new guide joining the team, Clint Ralph is a South African wildlife photographer of some note, who knows the reserve & the larger surrounding area very well.
This is a 7-night holiday that is conducted on a full-board basis. The launch price is £3749 per person, & we only have places left on the set of dates spanning 25th June – 2nd July 2022 – this will be a fantastic holiday that is not one to miss!
Earlier in May 2022, we have got dates & have opened up the bookings for our Zimanga Wildlife Hides & Safaris Photography Holiday. This wildlife photography trip is, again, of 7-night on a full board, shared basis & costs £3749 per participant. A significant change for this tour for 2022 onwards is that the cost now includes all drinks in addition to being full board – & there is a free laundry service throughout your stay at Zimanga!
Of course, Zimanga is famous for overnight photography from the two hides which they have built overlooking waterholes. The overnight hides are equipped with sleeping quarters, a kitchen, seating areas & bathroom, in addition to the photography area.
During the week-long stay, you will undertake five traditional game viewing drives from open safari vehicles, with no more than two photographers per row to ensure maximum comfort & access to the best angles for photography. These are not limited to tracks so that off-roading will give you maximum wildlife photography opportunities.
You will also have at your disposal a range of water-level hides, which are perfectly positioned to capture images of the animals at eye-level.
All these hides have been created with the photographer in mind, providing the optimum structure & positioning throughout the park.
Later in 2022, September specifically, we have obtained dates for the camp which we use in the Maasai Mara. This camp has been designed for the needs of semi-professional & professional nature photographers & wildlife photography enthusiasts.
The camp & the specially adapted vehicles provide the opportunity to get first-rate images of the African Wildlife found within the Maasai Mara. Over this 10-day holiday, you should have photographic opportunities with lions, leopards & cheetahs & all the other iconic animals of Africa like elephants, buffalos, giraffes, hippos, crocodiles, hyenas, jackals, warthogs, baboons, zebras, wildebeest & other antelopes such as Thompson’s gazelles, impalas, grants & topis – among many other species. The black rhino is more tricky, but can sometimes be spotted in the Mara Triangle & if you are lucky, you may even see the serval cat. The Maasai Mara is also super-rich with birdlife including eagles, hawks, falcons, owls, vultures, kingfishers, cranes, hornbills, the Secretary bird, ostrich, to name but a few.
During the holiday, we will be taking full-day safaris, with early starts to ensure that you have the opportunity to photograph in the best morning & evening light – we will also be arranging off-road licences so that the vehicles can go to the animals, wherever they are!
September is the best month to witness a migration crossing so we will be talking to our guides every morning to get an update on where the wildebeest & zebras are. If there is a strong chance for a crossing, then we will head to the river. If there is not, we will continue with our normal safari activity. This way, you have the best of both worlds, safari game drives with the chance of a crossing if the opportunity arises.
This is a 10-night wildlife photography tour over the dates of 10th – 20th September 2022, it costs £5999 per person, this is the same price as we are conducting this trip for during September 2021 – no price increase!
The unique aspect about this tour is the vehicles that we will have at our disposal, the safari vehicles are based on 4WD Toyota Land-cruiser Long Edition, each has then been modified to give the best working conditions for photographers. They allow you to stay low & get strong & powerful low-angle shots of the wildlife, shooting both ways from the vehicle. They have no back doors, & the floor is extended to 180 cm in width & covered with a soft rubber mat making it comfortable to lie on. Also, the wide-open sides with shallow window frames, no bars & no glass are very convenient for panning & action photography. The vehicles have a pop-up roof, so shooting from the roof, for instance, birds, a leopard in a tree or a cheetah hunting is very convenient. The pop-up roof also provides shade from the sun. Last but by no means least, the cars also have 4-6 power outlets for charging cameras, phones, laptops etc. on the go.
For September 2023, we have just one cottage, that can house a travelling couple or a solo traveller, remaining for our new tour to the South Luangwa National Park in Zambia. Over 60 different species of mammal call this National Park their home, drawn by the diverse range of habitats from sandy seasonal river courses to the mineral-rich alluvial floodplains that stretch out to distant blue hills. Predators such as lion, leopard & wild dog stalk the smaller game, while primates such as yellow baboons & vervet monkeys swing through the trees. Down on the River, vast densities of elephant, hippo & crocodile enjoy the cool waters.
It is precisely this environment that we are inviting you to join Pui Hang in for a fantastic nature photography trip that will blow your mind & fill your photographic portfolio.
From the moment you enter the park, elephants, baboons & vervet monkeys seem to be everywhere. Antelopes, zebra & other plains game congregate on the open floodplains & grasslands along the River & its numerous tributaries that course through the park. Large herds of buffalo roam the park, the impala is ubiquitous, the puku, rarely seen outside Zambia, is almost as universal & there are plenty of waterbucks & bushbucks too. The endemic Thornicroft’s giraffe is indigenous to the park, as are Crawshay’s zebra & Cookson’s Wildebeest.
The South Luangwa has become one of the best places in Africa to see wild dogs, with numerous resident packs requiring large traversing areas to hunt. Night drives are renowned for sighting lion on the hunt & leopard (the density of leopards is among the highest in the world). Even rarely seen nocturnal animals like the honey badger, porcupine & civet, are often seen by spotlight.
Birdwatching is superb in the Luangwa Valley; with over 400 species of birds such as Carmine Bee-eaters, Malachite Kingfishers, Lilac-breasted Rollers, Bateleur Eagles, Saddle-billed Storks, Crowned Cranes, Pel’s Fishing Owls & Fish Eagle.
In this remote setting, free from other vehicles, sightings of leopard, elephant, hippo, lion & wild dog are not just rare experiences, but commonplace. Our small group will stay in secluded, intimate camps that are listed in National Geographic’s Unique Lodges of the World, set in glorious surroundings & can accommodate a maximum of just eight guests. Together with the warmest of hospitality, sumptuous meals & first-class guides, these carefully selected bush-camps are the perfect gateway for photographers wishing to explore the spectacular wildlife of the South Luangwa.
Accommodation is on a shared room, full-board basis, but a single supplement is available at a cost. At the bush-camps, drinks are included & there is even a free laundry service. During our 2 week tour, we will stay at Mfuwe Lodge, plus three exclusive Bush-camps.
This is a trip that will fill your portfolio to bursting & if you produce photo-books at the end of tours as we do, this will be a multiple photo-book experience, we guarantee it!
This tour is scheduled for 9th – 22nd September 2023. The cost is £9999 for 14 days & nights of fantastic photography with 24 game-drives, a stay at both the beginning & end of the trip in the tremendous Mwufe Lodge & 9 nights staying in 3 different Bush-camps throughout this African journey.
In September 2019, I led our second trip of the year to make use of the main reserve & Zimanga wildlife hides in South Africa. Our photography tour is a combination of hide photography & traditional game drives, with the main attraction being the overnight hides & the opportunities that may present itself.
The Big Five can be photographed here but on this particular occasion, the leopard eluded us. More on that story later!
Our first game drive set the tone for the remainder of the trip – we walked with a pair of cheetah brothers. This is a truly breathtaking experience – there are no words to describe what a privilege it was to be in the company of these stunning, graceful predators.
Last month I had the pleasure of guiding a great group of guests on our South African Wildlife of Zimanga photography holiday. This tour is the perfect blend of traditional safari game drives coupled with some extraordinary hide sessions. There was something for everyone – majestic mammals, beautiful raptors & little birds.
Zimanga, the South African wildlife reserve is a 3-hour drive from Durban airport. Upon arrival at the reserve entrance, we transferred to the lodge by a land cruiser. We were greeted by giraffe, buffalo, impala, warthog, kudu & nyala as we drove the short distance to our accommodation – what a great start to the trip!