I’m excited for you to join me for a truly off- the-grid adventure through one of the most wild and beautiful parts of Africa. This isn’t your typical lodge-based safari with set game drive schedules and electric fences. No, we are embarking on a true exploration in search of remote and stunning landscapes, exciting wildlife encounters, and camping under the vast African skies and ancient baobab trees.
I’ve designed this trip to maximize our time in the wilderness, minimizing the amount of travel time between destinations to give us more wildlife viewing opportunities. By taking private charter flights from the city into the heart of the African bush, and between our camp locations, we save valuable time and energy.
Our journey will be fully supported by Capricorn Safaris, a highly respected, third generation owner-operated mobile safari company based in Botswana. Their expert crew have camp logistics down to a science, transporting and setting up camp while we are out on game drives. Upon our arrival into camp, we will share our stories from the field over delicious and hearty meals prepared by our professional chef.
Why a Photo Safari in Botswana?
Botswana has a long history of environmental stewardship, and the game viewing in their parks are proof. The concentration and diversity of wildlife will afford us tremendous photographic opportunities. The number of visitors to preserves in Botswana is low relative to neighboring countries, and even more sparse in the areas we will be exploring on this trip. Our professional guides are experienced in positioning vehicles to provide prime viewing angles, while ensuring our presence does not alter animal behavior.
Because we are a private group, we have the freedom to dictate our own schedule and be in the field early or stay out as late as we please. We may choose to photograph landscapes at sunrise or animal silhouettes at sunset. It is up to us!
Photographic instruction will be personalized and focused on making compelling images. We will talk about creative choices and how we can utilize the technical capabilities of the camera to yield the desired results, including post-processing instruction.
Beyond photography, everyone will benefit from taking the time to observe a scene and be present in each moment. This could allow us to savor an afternoon with a pride of lions, observing their social interactions as they unfold, and put us in prime position should a hunt begin. Photographer or not, these are the special moments that come with taking our time. Our flexible schedule affords us this luxury.
What’s Special about THIS Trip?
THE APPROACH – Taking our time at each wildlife sighting, we will be observing animals in their natural setting without altering their behavior. Both photographers and non-photographers alike will benefit from the knowledge of our local wildlife guides and their enthusiasm to help us interpret and understand animal behaviors. The value of this approach cannot be overstated, as the experience is infinitely more personal and enjoyable than a typical commercial tour.
A TRUE SAFARI – There is nothing quite like camping under a blanket of stars, sharing stories by the campfire, and listening to the wilderness as you drift off to sleep each night. Our exclusive campsites and luxury safari tents allow you to connect with nature on a deeper level, creating lasting memories and forever changing your perspective.
ETHICAL – Capricorn Safaris practices a leave-no-trace operation. Our campsites create minimal impact to the natural ecosystem; when we leave it is as if we were never there. Further, our guides revere the natural world we are there to observe and are committed to prioritizing the welfare of the wildlife.
INTIMATE – Our small group size, and 3:1 guest to guide ratio, make for an intimate and personal experience. By reducing the number of guests per vehicle, we have more room and more comfort on game drives. This is especially important while photographing an animal sighting, as each guest will have plenty of freedom to alter their position within the vehicle. With our 6:1 guest to photographic guide ratio, personalized instruction will help each guest create images they are proud of, regardless of their prior experience.
Destinations & Itinerary
SOUTHERN CHOBE – SAVUTI
The Savuti Channel dried up in 1980 and came back to life in 2010. Considering the fact that this place has been without water for 30 years, the wildlife viewing is nothing short of spectacular. The Savuti Marsh has been the subject of a number of award winning documentaries on African wildlife. This vast land has, over the years, been home to great prides of lions and clans of hyena. The elephant bulls found around the water holes are some of the biggest in Africa.
DAYS 1-3 – Mobile Safari in Savuti:
Upon our early-afternoon arrival at the Maun Airport, we will meet our private guides who will be with us for the entire duration of the safari. They will assist us onto our private charter for a flight to theSavuti Channel where we explore the Savuti River area, a landscape of mopane woodland and open grassland that’s filled with game. This is one of the best places to find lion, leopard, and other predators and their prey—large herds of giraffe, kudu, vervet monkey, and baboon. Our mobile camp—for our group alone—is set along the banks of the Savuti Channel, but near a permanent waterhole that features excellent game viewing.
OKAVANGO DELTA ISLAND EXCURSION
After an exciting three nights in Savuti, we now head deep into the heart of the Okavango Delta, to an island located in the middle of the Moremi Game Reserve.
DAY 4-5 – Ghudikwe Island:
We will travel by charter flight from Savuti Channel directly to Ghudikwe Island, and our private fly camp. Upon arrival in camp our guides will take us by motorboat on an excursion through the seemingly endless labyrinth of the Okavango Delta. Crocodiles sunbathe on the shore, elephants and hippos swim in the waters, and many different bird species can be seen on these trips. Then it is time for sundowners by the fire and later, dinner will be served before bed.
The following day you wake up to a delicious breakfast, and then we have the unique opportunity to take a guided nature walk on the island, learning more about the plants and smaller animals that make up the Okavango’s unique and diverse ecosystem. In the afternoon, we depart Ghudikwe Island by a boat for the 2 hour transfer to the Xakanaxa boat station in Moremi Game Reserve. This trip by motorboat through the Okavango is an unforgettable experience. This evening we arrive at our home for the next 4 nights, our mobile safari camp in Moremi Game Reserve.
MOREMI GAME RESERVE
Located in the northeast corner of the Okavango Delta, Moremi is an ornithologist’s paradise, with almost every species of central-southern African bird, including bee-eaters, darters, colorful kingfishers, and a variety of waterfowl. We may also spot wildlife like tsessebe and Burchell’s zebra, along with ostrich and predators such as lion, wild dog, and spotted hyena. The mopane tree is one of the most widespread in southern Africa, its butterfly-shaped leaves and seeds offering a crucial source of protein for wildlife. Elephants are particularly partial to mopane leaves. This is the first national park in southern Africa to have been created and administered by an African tribe living on their own land, the Batawana.
DAYS 6-8 – Mobile Safari in Moremi:
Our campsite will be situated within the Moremi Game Reserve, on the tip of a mopane “tongue” jutting into the delta: a beautiful setting of secret pools, tall forest, and open grassland.
This mix of ecological niches ensures a good variety of birds and game, and we explore by 4WD vehicle and boat. Our campsite is ours alone – though we are sometimes joined by hippos that come out at night to feed on the grass near our tents! Overnights are in our private luxury mobile safari camp, as the enchanting sound of bell frogs serenades us to sleep, offering an authentic experience of the African bush
VICTORIA FALLS, ZIMBABWE
“The smoke that thunders” is an apt description of this magnificent waterfall. It is also a wonderful place to unwind and relax at the end of a safari. We will be staying in the elegant Victoria Falls Hotel, with a view of what Dr. Livingstone described as “Scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight.” It is only a short drive across the border from Northern Chobe to Victoria Falls.
DAYS 9-11 – Victoria Falls:
We will take our last private charter flight from Moremi Game Reserve into Kasane on the banks of the Chobe River, where we will then take the short road transfer across the boarder into Zimbabwe and to the awe inspiring Victoria Falls.
Besides walking through the rainforest along the edge of the falls on the afternoon of Day 9, optional activities here for Day 10 include one of the finest one-day white water rafting trips in the world. Victoria Falls open-air market is also a fun place to indulge in some curio shopping.
On the morning of Day 11, after a relaxing breakfast, we will be transferred by private van the short 30-min drive to the Victoria Falls Airport where you will depart on your international flight home.
Victoria Falls has a large number of different activities to offer. Fishing, helicopter tours, bungee jumping, and the gorge swing are just a few ideas that you can add-on to the itinerary (at an additional cost). Or you can just relax by the pool and enjoy time on the historic hotel grounds while reflecting on the incredible trip’s adventures.
We will be staying in remote, private campsites exclusive to our group alone. Guests will stay in fully serviced, luxury walk-in canvas tents, furnished with beds, duvets, pillows, and a small bedside table. Every guest tent has an en-suite shower and a toilet tent. There will be a community dining tent, which will double as our photo downloading and post-processing area.
Our highly experienced camp crew will setup, teardown, and move our campsite while we are out on game drives. We will have delicious three-course meals prepared by our professional chef, and wine, local spirits, and soft drinks are included. We will even have complimentary laundry service in camp!
Cost & What’s Included?
- Private guides to accompany clients for the duration of the itinerary.
- THREE private charter flights: Maun to Moremi, Island to Savuti, Savuti to Kasane.
- Accommodation, scheduled activities, and laundry service.
- All meals, refreshments, drinking water, snacks, wine and local spirits.
- Emergency medical evacuation insurance (all guests must have personal travel and medical insurance).
- National park fees and all government levies and taxes.
- Airport transfers.
- Additional medical evacuation insurance through Okavango Air Rescue from anywhere in Northern Botswana to Maun in daylight hours.
- International flights and airport taxes.
- Additional meals, drinks, activities and transfers not specified on the itinerary.
- Premium imported drinks.
- Passport, visa, and airport fees.
- Gratuities and items of a personal nature.
- Any government taxes, levies, fuel or industry increases beyond our control.
- Any errors or omissions.
- All guests must have personal travel and medical insurance.
- Comprehensive Travel Insurance (strongly recommended).
Booking & Logistics
BOOKING – Skyler Bishop Photography will book this private safari with the operator, Capricorn Safaris, exclusive to our group only. Guest payments will be made to Skyler Bishop Photography.
A 25% non-refundable deposit secures the trip. Balance is due 60 days prior to departure.
Cancellation Fee Schedule:
- Greater than 60 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
- Less than 60 days prior to departure: 100% of trip cost
COVID-19 Rescheduling Contingency
While we are confident travel in September 2021 will be possible, the COVID-19 pandemic may still be impacting travel. We will endeavor to be as flexible as possible if travel restrictions force the trip to be postponed. In the event the trip must be rescheduled to a future date, your payment will be applied to the rescheduled trip date. While park permit fees, charter flight costs, and Victoria Falls Hotel rates are subject to change, no other additional fees will be applied if we must reschedule the trip due to the pandemic.
- Your money is applied to a future trip date in the event COVID-19 travel restrictions require the trip to be postponed.
- Park permit, charter flight, and Victoria Falls lodging fees are subject to change.
Travel Insurance is strongly recommended, as many policies have provisions regarding unexpected trip cancellations.
WEATHER – Average daily temperatures in early September reach highs of 92°, with lows of 56° Fahrenheit. Warm/hot by mid-day, with cool and refreshing evenings. Mosquitos at this time of year are very low.
SAFETY – Capricorn Safaris has 39 years of experience guiding in Botswana and always makes guest safety and security their first priority. We will at all times be in the hands of immensely experienced guides who will be happy to answer any safety questions you have throughout the duration of our trip.
The U.S. State Department rates Botswana as Level 1 (lowest risk for foreign travelers).
HEALTH – Reverse-osmosis filtered drinking water is provided for the duration of our trip. Our experienced camp crew is trained in food-safety and hygienic practices, and a basin of fresh water is put at your tent before meals so you can wash your hands before eating.
Please check with your doctor or a travel clinic for what (if any) vaccinations you might need in preparation for this trip. Proof of Yellow Fever inoculation is NOT required for entry into Botswana (unless you are arriving from an “endemic yellow fever zone” country).
GETTING THERE – It is the responsibility of each guest to book their transportation to and from Maun, Botswana. Once we arrive in Maun, we will be in the capable hands of Capricorn Safaris for the duration of this itinerary. All charter flights between Maun and Victoria Falls are included as specified in the itinerary.
Please discuss your travel options with Skyler as it relates to visiting Cape Town, South Africa before the safari.
Capricorn Safaris Promotional Video
A video provided by our operator: Capricorn Safaris, showing an example of what you can expect!