Amphibian Safari

DATES 21 August – 1 September 2019 (11 days)xFULL
TOUR LEADERS Marsel van Oosten & Daniella Sibbing

GENRE wildlife
TOUR FEE 9,800 USD from Kasane, Botswana
tour ends in Maun, Botswana
SINGLE SUPPL. 900 USD for single room (*)
DEPOSIT 1,500 USD per person
GROUP SIZE max. 8 guests
LEVEL all experience levels

(*) As there are only 5 rooms on the houseboat, everyone will be sharing a room on the boat (4 nights). We do have 2 single rooms available at the safari lodge (6 nights).

TOUR DESCRIPTION
Botswana is the ultimate safari country when it comes high quality safari tourism: small camps in private concessions, luxurious accommodation, superb wining and dining, so what more do you want? Oh right, ABUNDANT WILDLIFE! We’ve come up with another unique tour in Botswana, offering photographic opportunities from boats and from land. You will spend the first section of the safari (4 nights) on board a houseboat, floating down the Chobe River – we will go to wherever the wildlife takes us. Followed by a stay in our private tented camp in the Khwai Private Reserve in the Okavango Delta (6 nights). Both the houseboat and the camp will be privately used by our group, so we have maximum flexibility in our program.

Everything on this tour has been designed by and for photographers. We shoot from specially designed photographic boats and vehicles. And even the lodge we stay at is designed with photographers in mind. All is done to get you the best photographic opportunities!

TOUR SCHEDULE

  • Houseboat from Kasane on 10 September 2018 (4 nights)
  • Khwai Camp: 14 September 2018 (6 nights)

THE HOUSEBOAT
We will spend the first 4 nights on the Chobe River, on board a charming houseboat. The Chobe River is probably one of the best waterways for wildlife photography on the African continent. Fed by waters from the Angolan highlands the size of the river very much depends on the season, and it’s at its fullest during the middle of the year. Close to Kasane, the river merges with the iconic Zambezi River which then travels a further 70kms to plunge over the mighty Victoria Falls. The Chobe has one very rare characteristic in that at certain times of flood the water from the Zambezi will prove to be so powerful that it will cause the Chobe to reverse its flow for a month or two. The Chobe River is famous for its elephant populations and it’s not unusual to see several large herds congregating and even swimming across throughout the day.

The boat is spread over three levels affording plenty of space for our group. On the lower level, the houseboat has five well appointed en-suite cabins with double or twin beds (depending on the required configuration). The cabins have built-in cupboards, a cooling fan and the windows are fitted with mosquito net to allow the gentle breeze from the river and the nighttime sounds of the Chobe River to pass through the rooms.

Special photography boat
The most exciting part of this trip is how we photograph the animals we see along the river! The game viewing on the houseboat is done from a small photo boat with eight custom built photo chairs. The chairs are equipped with camera mounts and are able to rotate 360 degrees.

The boat is designed in such a way that there are no obstructions by poles or people. We will all sit behind one another. All chairs are equipped with a gimbal head that is adjustable in height, so both tall and vertically challenged people can photograph without getting a hernia. You will be supplied with a base plate to attach to your lens collar, which will allow you to mount your camera onto the photo boat gimbals. The plates have a quick release system, so you can quickly take the camera off the gimbal, should you want to shoot from a lower angle or handheld.

Activities
We leave the houseboat at dawn to spend time on the river looking for game. This lasts around three hours and coffee/tea will be served during this time.
We return to the houseboat for brunch where we then set off to cruise along the river to the next mooring point. After brunch there is time to relax on the sundeck and enjoy the view or work on the images you took that morning.
In the mid afternoon high tea will be served on the middle deck consisting of sweet and savoury dishes before we head out again on the river for game viewing.
The game activities end at sunset when you will return to the boat and get ready for dinner which is again served on the middle deck.

A transfer on the water will bring us back to Kasane and a private air charter will take us to the beautiful Okavango Delta: the largest inland delta in the world. These natural wonders provide a tranquil haven for an abundance of African wildlife to thrive.

THE KHWAI SAFARI CAMP
The Khwai Camp is on the 200,000 ha Khwai private reserve, which is one of the most pristine and well-managed wildlife areas in the whole of Botswana. To the north are dry arid areas commonly associated with the Savute ecosystem. To the south lies the Khwai river accompanied by its lush vegetation, deep water holes and ponds. To the East lives the quiet community reserve, which although is excellent for game viewing and photography, is becoming increasingly busy due to the increase in the numbers of lodges and vehicles over the last couple of years. The advantage of being on the quiet private reserve is that we have access to all of these areas offering a truly varied wildlife geography experience in several different ecosystems.

The safari lodge is being built at the moment and will only open in July 2018, so all lodge images you see here are artists impressions.

The Khwai Camp has a total of seven Meru-style tents. This means that here we have enough tents available for our group to offer two single travelers their own room. All the tents are well spaced, and approximately 24 m² in size. Each tent has its own toilet and shower and plenty of space for camera bags and suitcases. In front, each tent has a small private deck with beautiful views over the grasslands in front of the camp… the perfect place to relax in between drives. The tents have a good electricity supply and hot running water, powered by a solar geezer.

The heart of the camp is going to be the dining, lounge and editing area which sits in the middle of the camp with raised boardwalks extending either side to the tents. A great area to spend time in, either relaxing, reading, editing, or chatting around the campfire.

This photo centric camp offers a dedicated area set aside for the purposes of editing. This comprises of a large table around which we can all sit, as well as plenty of plug points for charging laptops and batteries, and a large screen that we can use for image reviews and presentations.

Activities
We can offer you an amazing range of activities during your stay, with both water- and land-based activities. For photography our camp offers a large flat bottomed photo boat.The camp also has a mokoro station from where you can depart on the most iconic Delta experience – punting through the channels of the Okavango in a traditional dug out canoe.

For game drives we will have three photo adapted game drive vehicles in the camp. Special photography vehicles for game drives in the Kwai reserve are being designed at the moment, where each seat is equipped with a movable, height-adjusted, swivelling, padded mount on which to rest those long lenses. As we will be with just 10 people in camp (including ourselves), this means a maximum of 3 guests per vehicle on all game drives. This leaves plenty of room for photo gear and gives maximum manoeuvrability.
Finally, for those of you who like to get off the vehicle and walk around, we offer walking safaris from the camp. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the tracks and trails left by the animals we’ve been photographing.

A private charter will take us to Maun which has excellent daily connections throughout the region. If you are interested, you can extend your stay with a few more days in Botswana or South Africa, which we can set up for you.

INCLUDED IN THE TOUR FEE

  • accommodation (10 nights)
  • all meals & drinks (full board)
  • 4 nights on a houseboat on the Chobe River (full board)
  • 6 nights in a safari camp in the Khwai Private Reserve (full board)
  • activities on the photo boat and photo vehicles
  • a mokoro boat cruise
  • 2 private charters (Kasane > Khwai and Khwai > Maun)
  • laundry at the Khwai Camp
  • park fees
  • highly experienced guides
  • in the field instructions
  • image reviews
  • lots of fun!

NOT INCLUDED IN THE TOUR FEE

  • international flight to Kasane
  • international flight from Maun
  • travel and cancellation insurance
  • gratuities
  • items of personal nature

Please read our Terms & Conditions for all Squiver photo tours.

If you would like to take out cancellation insurance, it needs to be arranged upon booking. You can get cancellation insurance through a third party, or we can arrange it for you. For more information go to: www.squiver.com/insurance.html.

All images on this page have been provided by the lodges we’ll be visiting on this tour. They are meant to illustrate the photographic possibilities and give you an impression of the accommodation.

Book Now