Best of Botswana Mobile Photography & Film Making Safari  

Currently available as a tailor made photographic safari

Photography Tutor: Trai Anfield - wildlife photographer, film maker, travel writer and presenter of BBC's The Living World

Botswana Highlights

  • Four of the country's premier wildlife destinations:

    • Kwai River

    • Savute

    • Chobe Riverfront

    • Pangolin Lodge, Kasane

  • Abundant wildlife

  • Varied Landscapes

  • Mobile Camping - be part of the bush!

  • Mokoro, vehicle and walking safaris

  • Specialist photography cruise on Chobe River

  • Day and night photography sessions

  • Post production sessions

  • Macro sessions

  • Max 3 photographers per vehicle

What We Love About Botswana  

There is nowhere quite like Botswana for safari.  Here we really do escape the rest of the world, losing ourselves in the fringes of the Okavango Delta and exploring wildlife and landscape rich national parks, while making the most of both day and night photographic opportunities.  

 

We combine classic game drives with exploring the backwaters by traditional small canoe, or mokoro.  We slow the pace right down, taking time to notice the small things too, before capturing all the golden hour action and the stars at night.

And there's no better way of immersing yourself in the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the bush than on a mobile camping safari -our private sites have no amenities other than those we bring, so we truly only leave our footprints – the very best way to travel!

Our Botswana Locations

We have carefully selected four locations to give us a varied and enriching photographic experience.
 

Kwai River

This river is the eastern most extremity of the Okavango Delta.  Concentrations of wildlife occur here because of availability of water. It is common to see large numbers of Elephant bulls as well as good opportunities for Africa’s large predators – Lions, Hyena, Leopard and African Wild Dog.  In this area we are able to conduct night drives to view nocturnal animals like Spring Hare, Hyena and Small Spotted Genet. We frequently see Hippopotamus out feeding at night.  

Savute

Savute lies in the heart of the 11600 km2 Chobe National Park.  A system of small hills and a dry river bed, Savute provides stunning backdrops for photographers.  In some years, the Savute Channel with its source in Linyanti, has been known to flow. The water finishes in an open area called the Savute Marsh. Savute is well known for predators, especially Lions. There are two frequently seen prides known as the Marsh pride and hill pride respectively. Leopard and African Wild Dogs are frequently seen here and from time to time Cheetah.  Bird life is abundant and the area is good for the likes of Ostrich and Kori Bustards as well as excellent Raptor sightings.  The area is also noted for big bull Elephants around water holes.

Chobe Riverfront

The Chobe River forms the International border with Namibia and drains into the great Zambezi River.  Here we find the greatest concentration of African Elephants on Earth, making this the ultimate destination to spend time with elephants.  But the river itself supports an abundance of other wildlife, including large herds of African Buffalo, Plain’s Zebra, Giraffe, Impala and Kudu, which in turn attract predators.  The sheer numbers of birdlife is extraordinary here, as are the large numbers of Nile crocodile and huge pods of Hippopotamus.

Pangolin Lodge, Kasane

To finish our Botswana safari we embark on a specialist photographic evening boat cruise, bringing us up close, at water level, with all the wildlife of the Chobe River system.  We will make time on our last morning to take advantage of some of the other photographic facilities at Pangolin.

Our Accommodation

 

One of the most exciting and authentic ways to experience safari is by mobile camp.  We become part of the bush, with no barriers or infrastructure other than our tents, so the sounds, and smells of nature are every bit as electrifying as the sights!

Tents

At Kwai, Savute and Chobe Riverfront our accommodation is a choice between spacious 3 meter by 3 meter dome tents, or luxury walk-in tents with shade awnings.  All tents have made up camp beds.  Two basins are located outside each tent, and we use hot bucket showers (best experience, especially under the stars!) and long drop loos for ablutions. We eat sumptuous, freshly prepared meals around a simple dining table under the night sky or afternoon shade.  

Mobile camping images © Earth Ark

Food

Our camp chefs are extraordinary, conjuring freshly baked bread and cakes from bush ovens, meat grilled to perfection and excellent vegetarian options.  In fact we can cater for virtually any dietary requirements.   

  • We start the day with a healthy breakfast of cereal, yoghurt and toast with plenty of tea and coffee available  

  • Mid morning we stop for a short tea and snacks break in the shade of a tree

  • Lunch is either served in camp or may be taken out in the field under a tree in the form of a picnic lunch

  • Dinners are a three-course affair with soup to start and a hearty main course followed by dessert.

  • Water, tea and coffee are available all day both in camp and during your game drive

  • We can also provide soft and alcoholic drinks at client request - just let us know your 'sundowner' preferences ahead of your trip

Water

  • We provide filtered drinking water on your journey with us.  It is important to drink enough water while you travel and during the summer months.

  • We recommend bringing 14 days worth of rehydration salts or electrolytes to keep your vital minerals topped up & prevent dehydration. 

Lodge

We end of our journey with a  2 night stay at the luxury Pangolin Lodge, where there are all mod cons to help you acclimatise to the real world once more! 

Vehicles

One of the most important features of any photographic safari is our vehicle and number of photographers onboard.

 

  • We allocate a maximum of 3 photographers per vehicle, one per row of seating.  This ensures optimum conditions for photography as everyone can shoot unimpeded out of both sides of the vehicle.

  • The vehicles all carry bean bags to support camera equipment, and each has a charging facility to recharge cameras,
    iPads, iPods and laptops.

  • Each vehicle also has a tea box for morning break and a cooler box or fridge for cold drinks. 

Safari vehicle images © Earth Ark

Mokoro

The usual allocation is two photographers per mokoro (below left).  No camera stabilisation is provided in the canoes.   Please note that, for your safety, this activity is reliant on sufficient water depth.


 

Pangolin Photography Boat

The Pangolin boat (below right) is fully equipped with specialist seating and camera stabilisation

© pangolin

Recommended Equipment

Please Note: All luggage should be in soft bags for packing.

Trai Recommends The Following Photographic Gear:

  • Camera body (and a spare of some description is recommended just in case. . . accidents can happen!)

  • A variety of lenses* that suit both wildlife photography (telephoto) and landscape photography    (wider angle).   The wider end of the spectrum (anything from 10mm – 50mm) will give great shots that include some habitat context as well as your subject, and may also come in handy for night time astro photography if conditions allow.   For closer detail 300mm – 400mm is ideal.   You may also have the chance to use a macro lens, for instance on flora and insects.

    * Please note: if you would like to hire a lens for the trip we can recommend some reliable providers

  • Plenty of spare batteries and your charger

  • Plenty of spare cleared memory cards

  • Laptop and an external drive to download, backup, process and store your photographs. . . you will almost certainly fill your memory cards more than once!  If you wish to receive advice on editing your own photographs on the trip please bring a laptop loaded with the software you use – Trai is happy to demonstrate both Photoshop and Lightroom on her laptop but you will process your own.

  • A water & dust proof covering for your camera and lens – doesn’t have to be expensive: we use cheap transparent plastic ones from the internet – they do the job fine and have the bonus of being really light.  

  • A photographic bean bag is extremely useful for support and stabilisation when shooting from the safari vehicles.  A good range is available online.  A monopod may be a good alternative, depending on personal preference.

  • A tripod is necessary if you wish to participate in landscape and astro photography sessions.

  • A head torch and spare batteries is also advisable for night sessions (with a red light option if possible) and around the camp generally.

  • If you are bringing a new camera we recommend uploading the user manual to your smartphone.

Personal Items:

  •  Sandals & Sturdy Shoes

  • Wide Brimmed Hat

  • Long/short sleeve shirts

  • Long trousers/shorts

  • Light Fleece

  • Sunglasses

  • Sun Screen factor 30+

  • After Sun

  • Insect Repellent

  • Biodegradable Body Soap

  • Biodegradable Shampoo

  • Head Torch and Spare Batteries

  • Spare pair of glasses (if applicable)

  • All Usual Medications/Sanitary Products (if applicable) - please carry extra in case of loss or spoiling

  • Cash for gratuities, tips etc for drivers, guides, camp staff etc 

Departures and Costs

This itinerary is currently available as a tailor made photographic safari

Your Quote Will Include:

  • Private camps

  • Your choice of en-suite accommodation (standard twin basis) 

  • All meals - Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner plus snacks on safari

  • Filtered and mineral water, local soft drinks and alcoholic beverages

  • 2 vehicles to allow max 3 photographers per vehicle

  • Light aircraft transfer from Maun into Khwai 

  • All road transfers

  • All game drives and walks

  • Mokoro excursion

  • Applicable park & camping fees

  • Air rescue cover per member

     

Your Quote Will Exclude:

• Flights to and from Botswana, (international flights)

• Visas
• Tips & Gratuities to driver/guides/camp & lodge staff etc.
• Any items of a personal nature.

• Personal Travel & Medical Insurance

Suggested add-ons

Victoria Falls

The World Heritage Site of Victoria Falls needs no introduction,: it is quite simply one of the most spectacular natural sights in the world.  Witnessing the beauty of the Falls first hand is enough reason to visit, but the combination of photography opportunities,, adrenaline-filled and more leisurely activities and gracious hospitality make for an irresistible add-on to our Zimbabwe safari.  

Our partner agent is based right here in Victoria Falls and will be happy to handle your onward travel plans, ensuring you have the most wonderful experience whatever you choose to do during your stay.