It’s only three weeks now until I head off for a wildlife photographic tour to Africa. I’ll be traveling in a small group of photographers with Australian photographer David Burren. We expect to come home with many photographs of “The Big Five” (lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard, and rhino) but with the diversity of wildlife we’ll see, I hope that they’re not the only highlights!
I will start with a short visit to Zimbabwe to see the famous Victoria Falls and then spend a few days in Chobe National Park in Botswana to see the massive herds of elephants that gather there. After these few days alone, I’ll fly to Nairobi to meet up with the main tour group and begin our travels through a number of game parks and coincide our trip with the great Serengeti migration.
The members of this tour will assemble in Nairobi on the 15th of August, and then depart on the following morning. We will be travelling in a group of Landcruisers which we will use on our game drives in various parks, enabling us to get close to the wildlife and capture some great images.
From Nairobi we will drive north over the Equator, past Mount Kenya to Samburu NP, where we will stay for 3 nights at Samburu Game Lodge. Wildlife found in this area includes: lion, cheetah, leopard, elephants, buffalos, hippopotamus, gerenuk, dik-dik, impala, waterbuck, oryx, Grevy’s Zebra, Reticulated Giraffe, crocodile, ostrich and lots of other birds. We expect to travel the area on several game drives per day in our vehicles. We will also visit villages of the Samburu people for some “people” photography.
From Samburu we travel south-west to Lake Nakuru, where we will spend 2 nights at Lake Nakuru Lodge. This is on one of the Rift Valley soda lakes, and is home to millions of flamingos. These are the highlight of the location, but we also expect to see waterbuck, Rothschild’s Giraffe, rhinoceros, lions, leopard, and more.
From Nakuru we continue down to the Masai Mara, where we will spend a total of 6 nights: 3 nights at Fig Tree Camp, followed by 3 nights at Mara Serena Lodge. Each lodge is in a different part of the Mara, with different geography and different animals. Our visit is timed to coincide with the maximum likelihood of encountering the legendary Serengeti Migration, as millions of wildebeest, zebra, and gazelle cross into the Mara from Tanzania, including at river crossings close to our accommodation. We hope to encounter the predators (such as lions and cheetah) that follow the herds, along with many birds, antelope, hyena, crocodile, hippopotamus, giraffe, elephant, buffalo, leopard, and rhino. And along with the wildlife, we will also encounter many of the Maasai people. I also plan to take a hot-air balloon ride over the plains on one morning.
We then return to Nairobi where we will drop our Landcruisers and leave Nairobi on the 28th of August to continue on to the Tanzanian island of Zanzibar.
Located off the east coast of Africa, Zanzibar has a complex history, with spice production and trading, slave markets, Portugese forts, sultans’ palaces, dhow harbours, and beautiful white beaches on the Indian Ocean. This will be a dramatic change from the parts of Africa compared to the sites and experience of the previous two weeks. I will spend two nights at Tembo House in Stone Town on the west of the island, and then another two at Blue Bay Beach on the east coast.
After four nights on the island I return to Dar es Salaam on the 1st of September to connect with flights back to Johannesburg and then back home on September 3.