ULTIMATE PREDATOR and TUSKER Photo Safari in Zambia
15 – 23 May 2018 (9 days)
US$ 9,900 per person sharing
Isak Pretorius + Heinrich van den Berg
Wildlife, birds and landscape
6 – 8 photographers
Zambia is fast becoming the latest popular safari destination of Africa. It has always been wild and beautiful, with stunning wildlife, but off the beaten track. We have designed a photo safari to harness these qualities, including some of both the most remote and the most popular wildlife destinations in Zambia, Liuwa Plains and The Lower Zambezi National Park. These are hotspots for photographing some of the best predators and elephants in Zambia. Join the highly acclaimed wildlife photography guides, Heinrich van den Berg and Isak Pretorius, to help you create your own portfolio of stunning wildlife photos, while wildlife photography in Zambia is still relatively new.
Having the chance to create a portfolio of images before an area becomes overrun by photographers is a huge drawcard in wildlife photography. This is why we have scouted wilderness areas in Southern Africa that are teeming with wildlife, but that have not yet become popular on the wildlife photography circuit. Liuwa Plains is very wild, remote and unexplored, a place where comfortable lodge accommodation and scheduled flights have only recently been established. It is home to the second largest wildebeest migration in Africa and is well-known for its stunning cheetah, wild dogs and hyaena that roam the open flat terrain. It also offers amazing bird photography, as birds flock there in their thousands. The Lower Zambezi valley is known for elephants, lion and leopard in an ancient riverine forest setting. Here we found a secluded little corner where you can experience the birds by boat in a small tributary to the Zambezi, or find the big tuskers and predators along the main river.
This is a special safari for those who want to find the next unexplored wildlife havens of Africa, or for those who want an exclusive experience of the original wild Africa.
* We fly in from Lusaka to Chongwe over incredibly unspoilt wilderness, and land at Royal landing strip.
* From Chongwe we have a few different options to photograph: Going on a game drive into Lower Zambezi National Park, boating down the Zambezi and taking a trip on a small boat up the Chongwe river. It is this variety that makes Chongwe unique.
* April/May is a great time to see wild dogs, as well as other predators. Hippo sightings are guarateed on the Chongwe and Zambezi rivers, and photographing elephants from the boats is a wonderful experience.
* After four nights, we fly out from Chongwe to Lusaka and then fly to Kalabo airstrip close to Liuwa Plains. The flight is spectacular, flying over unspoilt wilderness.
* From Kalabo airstrip, we take a helicopter flight to the beautiful King Lewanika Lodge. From the air, Liuwa plains is an incredible sight.
* During the four days at Liuwa Plains, we will be able to photograph loads of predators and birds. Hyaena roam the plains, as well as beautiful lion and cheetah. Unfortunately the famous lioness Lady Liuwa passed away in 2017, but she has left a legacy and it is incredible to see lion in this environment.
* Additional helicopter flips are available at an additional cost, from where we can photograph Lechwe running through the water etc.
* Request a PDF brochure under “Booking Information”
What People Say
Having been on a good number of safaris in Africa in the last few years, we’ve experienced a few different guides and places, and the South Luangwa with Isak is really up there amongst the best. Once away from the park entrance, there are not crowds of tourists, yet there is a diversity and plethora of wildlife. The local driver guides are probably the best you’ll find anywhere, and on top of their knowledge and skills, you have Isak working with them finding the best locations and positions for photographs. I challenge you to find anyone with a better technical knowledge and understanding of current cameras, and more significantly, the ability to put that expertise into practice. But he’s always very much at your service, and combines this advice and assistance with a great imagination to try something different and make the most of light and circumstance. It’s a fabulous combination.
Absolutely amazing, awesome, wonderful… I dont really have the words! As a beginner I found the workshop the perfect opportunity to develop my skills and I learnt so much that I cannot wait for the next opportunity to practice. Meeting like-minded people with a passion for the bush and photography was a pleasure and I can only commend Mashatu for their patience, knowledge and willingness to accommodate photographers request. Isak Pretorius is a very talented, passionate photographer who was willing to share his knowledge and experience, and it was a privilege to learn from him. I found the course very well organized and can highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in photography and the bush. Very happy memories that will last a lifetime.Thank you all.
DAY 1 | 15 MAY 2018
* Meet at Lusaka International Airport
* Domestic flight to Royal Airstrip
* Road transfer to Chongwe
* Afternoon game drive
* Accommodation at Chongwe
DAY 2 – 4 | 16 – 18 MAY 2018
* Morning game drive
* Afternoon game drive
* Accommodation at Chongwe
DAY 5 | 19 MAY 2018
* Domestic flight to Lusaka
* Domestic flight to Kalabo Airstrip
* Helicopter transfer to K Lewanika Lodge
* Accommodation at K Lewanika Lodge
DAY 6 – 8 | 20 – 22 MAY 2018
* Morning game drive
* Afternoon game drive
* Accommodation at K Lewanika Lodge
DAY 9 | 23 MAY 2018
* Helicopter transfer to Kalabo Airstrip
* Domestic flight to Lusaka
* International flights home
Lower Zambezi National Park
The Lower Zambezi National Park is nestled between an impressive mountain escarpment to the north and the mighty Zambezi River to the south. The escarpment acts as a barrier for the game, keeping it on the plains and in the rich woodland on the bank of the river. The Park is over 4,000 square kms in size and occupies 120 kms of river frontage.
The Lower Zambezi is a haven for wildlife and bird lovers. Elephant, hippo and antelope are abundant and the Park boasts a healthy lion and leopard population with sightings of hyena and wild dog common.
Perhaps the most exciting aspect of game viewing in the Lower Zambezi is the sheer variety of activities on offer. In addition to the traditional game drives and walking safaris, the Zambezi River allows for a variety of additional river based activities and experiences that few, if any, other destinations can offer.
There are relatively few camps in and around the Park. With the absence of mass tourism the park remains a pristine wilderness, free from overcrowding.
Game viewing in the Lower Zambezi is primarily done in the dry season between the months of April – November.
Liuwa Plain National Park
The vast and remote Liuwa Plain National Park is one of Africa’s last untouched wilderness areas situated on the upper Zambezi floodplains of western Zambia and is bounded by the Luambimba and Luanginga Rivers.
It has a long and rich history, having originally been proclaimed a protected area by the King of the Lozi people in the 1880s. The Monarch is called the Litunga, meaning ‘keeper or guardian of the earth’. It is the only National Park in Zambia where people live inside the Park as well as in the surrounding areas and the Lozi people of the area were originally placed in the park by the Litunga as his official gamekeepers.
Since 2003, the Park has been managed by conservation non-profit, African Parks, in partnership with the Zambian Department of National Parks and Wildlife and the Barotse Royal Establishment.
In addition to its famed lions, Liuwa is home to the second biggest wildebeest migration in Africa. Every year tens of thousands of blue wildebeest graze their way north (starting early July) and then when the rains build up in late October they head southwards again following the numerous pans and nutritious forage they offer.
The Park hosts a burgeoning cheetah population, the apex predator, hyena, in clans of up to 50 individuals, abundant zebra, red lechwe and tessebe herds and more than 300 bird species including rare and endangered wattled cranes.
The landscape holds a special magic, with dramatic thunderstorms gathering on the horizon to build up to an awe-inspiring spectacle (Oct/Nov) and the stark contrast of green and gold grasslands against the dark and ominous blue of a rising storm.
Photography and Tutoring
IDENTIFYING PERSONAL REQUIREMENTS
As we kick off the safari, Isak will spend one-on-one time with each participant to identify what level they are at and what areas they would most like to focus on. He will then explore the different components of photography with them applicable to this safari. There is no better learning opportunity than photographing so many world-class wildlife sightings day after day, in the ideal season, under professional guidance. The constant presence of a guide guarantees that your questions are answered immediately and this ensures a fast learning curve. Photographing day after day also ensures that all these lessons are fresh in the mind and are applied until programmed into your subconscious.
SUBJECTS TO BE COVERED
We will look at the basic technicalities like shutter speed, aperture and focus and how these should be creatively manipulated in certain situations. E.g. to get the right amount of blur in golden grass. Composition is always the most important subject and it is best taught in the sighting, where the learning can be applied instantly. Isak will always be available to point out how you can improve your composition and give you the technical breakdown behind their chosen advice. As we are presented with different weather and light conditions they will teach you to study the skies and how to make a pre-emptive decision on where to shoot when the light peaks. One of the great aspects of most of our safari is that it offers extended night drives, meaning that we will spend plenty of time photographing at night using a spotlight. The effect achieved with a spotlight is stunning, although it can feel technically daunting, but Isak will show you how easy it actually is when you know which settings to use.
PRESENTATIONS AND EDITING
During the middle of the non-travelling days we will sit down for an informal workshop, designed to teach you the aspects that will improve your own photography, no matter what level of photographer you are. The digital darkroom has become a crucial part of photography and Isak will present various techniques using images taken by the participants of the workshop. Isak has extensive experience with Photoshop, Lightroom, Bridge and Nik Color Efex, but he will also do his best to help with your program of choice.
ONE-ON-ONE ATTENTION AND CREATIVE FREEDOM
The fact that there will only be a small group of photographers means that over the course of the safari each client will get plenty of assistance, guidance and tutoring from Isak. This also means that there will be far fewer lenses pointed at the same subjects than on normal safaris. This gives you a better chance to explore your creativity and to photograph the subjects from all angles.
On every safari we always discuss everything from the most fundamental principles, through to the philosophical and abstract. Whatever it is you would like to learn, we’re happy to help out. Our goal is to send you home with great images, new knowledge, fond memories and feeling inspired.
Why Travel with Us
Our guides are sought-after photographic guides, well known and highly acclaimed in the industry. Their awards and published work in the world’s leading landscape and wildlife publications is a testament to their knowledge, skill and creativity. We believe we are the best in the industry and are continuously looking to improve our skill and workshops.
This destination was hand-picked for a photo safari because of its open terrain, variety of wildlife, birds, and unique landscapes, and its “authentic” safari feel. We know Africa, and we’ve been photographing African wildlife since 2008, so we know it well. With our good relationship with the lodge and staff we are able to be at the right places and find the right sightings in the best light for your photography.
This photo safari was designed to fine tune the typical photo safari itinerary to create the best product in the market that excels in quality on every level – from the moment you are picked up from the airport, the quality of the accommodation, the photographic sightings, activities like hide photography, and a photo workshop schedule that will help to improve your own photography. The goal is to take you to the best spots and get you to take your own great photographs while enjoying the best comfort and hospitality that Africa has to offer.
We specializes in wildlife, bird and landscape photography exclusively and this is the biggest differentiator from other safaris. This means we selected the best time of the year and photographic locations to get you the best wildlife, bird and landscape photographs.
Our guides are at least 6th generation African. Who better to show you the African continent than people who live there? They have explored their home and neighbouring African countires as travellers even before digital photography and workshops became popular, and with a camera have spent more than 10 years chasing the best light in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania and Kenya. Therefore they know the people, the culture and we have developed relationships with the local people that gains them access to special places.
With a client repeat booking rate of over 60% it means we must be doing something right!
* Because the group is small, we can give personal attention to anyone according to their level. There is enough time to help everyone regardless of their level.
* You would need decent camera and long lens to make the most out of the trip. We would recommend renting a long lens if you don’t own one, especially for the bird photography at Liuwa Plains.
* What we generally do is teach the practical photography on the vehicle, and then after the game drives, have you choose your favourite images, and then we will crit them every night. We will then look at the image and suggest any changes that you could do to the image in Lightroom, and showing you how we would typically work with the image in Lightroom or Photoshop or which ever program you use. We found that this kind of training works exceptionally well, as you will then develop as we go along. We also have presentations on certain elements of photography that we could run through if you want. But we certainly will train you and give you enough tips.
* Rates include all meals, standard bar drinks, accommodation, transfers to/from local airport, local inter-camp road transfers, game-viewing activities, laundry and service charge. Rates exclude entry visas, top shelf spirits, reserve wines and champagne.
* Activities include: Game drives (day and night), and boat cruises. Fishing and canoeing are available at Chongwe Camp.
* If you are flying in from South Africa and certain other countries, there is no need to stay over in Lusaka before or after the trip, as the flight schedule is so that you can arrive and depart on the day.
Chongwe River Camp
Dotted along the banks of the Chongwe River are Chongwe River Camp’s 5 star suites, 4 star tented rooms and outdoor, communal dining area. Overlooking the beautiful rivers, with the mountains of the escarpment providing a dramatic backdrop, you don’t need to leave camp for your wildlife viewing activities.
The nine tents are light and airy with either a king sized or two single beds, they are equipped with enough luxuries to ensure your stay in the bush is exceptional.
Cotton linens, local textiles and hand-crafted furniture blend seamlessly with organic fittings and fixtures, all designed to make the most of what Mother Nature has provided, including the incredible views.
All the tents are under thatch for maximum coolness in the heat of the day and feature ceiling fans and charging points. Each has a large, shaded outdoor bathroom with hot and cold running water, shower, toilet, vanity unit and dressing area with a wardrobe and full-length mirror.
The tents also have their own private verandahs overlooking the river, making them an ideal place for relaxation and contemplation of Africa’s wonderful wilderness.
King Lewanika Lodge
Largely untouched by crowds and paved roads, Liuwa Plain National Park boasts one of the oldest conservation histories in Africa; it was proclaimed a protected area by the lodge’s namesake, King Lewanika of the Lozi tribe in the early 1880s.
Built and operated by Norman Carr Safaris, King Lewanika Lodge was conceptualized in collaboration with our extended safari family, Silvio Rech and Lesley Carstens, and African Parks, the conservation non-profit that manages Liuwa Plain in partnership with the Zambian Department of National Parks and Wildlife and the Barotse Royal Establishment.
The camp retains its safari authenticity with canvas drops, indoor and outdoor showers, decks overlooking the vast Liuwa Plain and the use of thatch and grass in the main area. All furniture was curated as a nod to old world safari days, using leather, cotton, and canvas. The Villas offer total immersion in the vast landscape, allowing travelers to experience nature’s masterpieces in a simple, sustainable, and meaningful way.
With top-notch, experienced guides and intimate safari excursions, we bring unrivaled access and absolute exclusivity to the unspoiled region. Guests can tap into the magic of Liuwa Plain National Park, which is home to the second biggest wildebeest migration in Africa, a growing cheetah population and famed lion prides.
Liuwa Plain is an area rich with stories – one of our favourites is the legend of Mambeti and Lady Liuwa. Mambeti of the Lozi tribe, lived, died and was buried nearby to camp, legend has it she was reincarnated into Lady Liuwa, the lioness and matriarch of Liuwa’s lion pride. Local people believe that this explains why the lioness is receptive to people and spends so much time in the same woodlands area frequented by the elderly lady in her twilight years.
US$ 10,900 per person sharing
Special price US$ 9,900 per person sharing if you book before December 2017
* Additional supplement will apply to single travelers
* 30% deposit confirms your place
THE ABOVE COSTS INCLUDE:
* Pickup and transport for the entire tour
* All local flights
* Entrance to concessions and accommodation in camps
* All meals, based on three meals a day
* The services of our guides
COSTS DO NOT INCLUDE:
* International flight to Lusaka
* Gratuities to staff and guides
* Extra activities not included
* Personal expenses
* Travel insurance
* Travel visas
* Terms and conditions are clearly described in the PDF brochure under “Booking Information”
* Camera bodies
* Body and lens caps
* Plastic zip lock bags
* Filters (UV, Polariser and graduated)
* Battery chargers
* Camera bag
* Digital card wallet
* Cable ties
* Batteries for flash gun
* Big Blower brush
* Sensor cleaning fluid
* Laptop/External hard drive
* Power for external hard drive
* Power adaptors
* Camera manuals
* Tripod head and quick release plate
* Lens cleaning cloth/s
* Camera vest
* Digital memory cards
* You don’t need to own the latest cameras and the longest lenses! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to enquire about rental options.
* ID Documents
* Flight ticket/s
Accommodation and travel
* Foreign exchange
* Credit card/s
Personal items and clothing
* Sunscreen (one low factor and one higher factor SPF)
* Cotton shirts
* Warm top/s
* Wind breaker/rain jacket
* “Inners” thin light gloves to wear on cool early mornings
What should I know about vehicle etiquette?
On all our tours we may ask participants to rotate seats in the vehicles, taking it in turn to sit in the more popular seats in the front and the less popular ones in the rear. This requirement applies to everyone. If there is some reason why you can’t take your turn in the back of a vehicle (e.g. a bad back or travel sickness) please inform our office at the time of booking to see if we can accommodate you. We regret that anyone failing to inform us of such limitations before the tour will be expected to rotate seats in the same way as everyone else.
There is also other vehicle etiquette that we would like to ask you to adhere to. We give these guidelines to ensure a positive experience for all when on safari:
* Please keep noise levels low at an animal sighting. This allows people to enjoy the setting and listen to sounds that the animals may be making. Often these alert us to some behaviour and allows us to anticipate any action that may occur.
* If you are seated in the front of the vehicle, please have consideration for the people behind you. A pre-arranged chat at the start of the safari is an excellent way to work out how you will be photographing and working around each other. It provides a positive working environment and allows everyone to photograph happily in the vehicle.
* When photographing, keep movement to a minimum. If you are going to shift places, then alert the others and do so as swiftly and directly as possible.
* Please do not do anything to effect the behaviour of the animals.
* Your driver/ranger has to adhere to certain rules and etiquette at sightings that you may not be aware of. This may mean you cannot stop exactly where you would like. Please bear this in mind at sightings, especially when there are other vehicles from other camps around.
What technical equipment or requirements do I need for the workshops?
For workshops a Digital SLR camera is recommended, with at least a 200mm lens to capture wildlife im- ages. A laptop for downloading is also helpful, although we can download image if necessary. On a Photo tour, two DSLR camera bodies and lenses are advised. The type of lenses you take depend entirely on the destination. We will advise according to each tour should you need advise.
Are there any extras I need to bring on a trip?
Most of our tours are all inclusive and we offer advice as to what to bring along. This is due to the differ- ent seasons and conditions of each safari. C4 Photo Safaris will always advise if you will be traveling in a Malaria area. If the tour is not all-inclusive, it will be clearly stated.
Why do you choose such specific destinations for the Tours and Work- shops?
Each destination is hand picked by us for the beauty and photographic potential it holds. C4 Photo Safaris only travel to destinations that offer the best of what we are looking to photograph. If we know an area holds excellent wildlife, we will take tours there. There are many factors to consider- Seasonal variation can have a large impact on wildlife movements, animal and bird migrations, localalised animal movements etc. We of course take all this into consideration, ensuring that our tours are going to the best locations at the best times.
Is there any cell phone reception in the areas?
In most game reserves and wild areas there is no cell/mobile phone reception.
How safe am I in the game reserves in Africa?
C4 Photo Safaris only operate with lodges and reserves that use the best rangers. They ensure your safety whilst on safari and use very strict procedures when dealing with dangerous animals. Each lodge has a safety briefing on arrival which, if adhered to, makes your stay very safe.
What insurance/coverage do I need?
Your normal travel insurance covers you for safaris in Africa. C4 Photo Safaris are comprehensively in- sured for medical emergencies on safaris.
For Malaria, which tablets should I take, if any?
C4 Photo Safaris are not allowed to prescribe medical advice to clients. We will advise if the area visited is in a malaria area. You will need to consult with your local GP for medical advise on Malaria and prevention.
What about allergies?
Most safari camps are able to handle food allergies but not with the degree of skill that five star hotels do. The best way to handle an intolerance, is to simply avoid eating that particu- lar food as the menus in camp are quite diverse. If you have a more uncommon allergy, like being allergic to eggs, and you know of a solution (like a powder substitute), then bring it along on sa- fari. If you have a deadly allergy, then be sure to travel with your own medication and request in camp that that ingredient be removed from the kitchen and the store. As a side note, it is helpful to remember that many safari camps have to fly produce in or truck it in, over hundreds of miles. Furthermore, the camps, although impressive looking, actually have minimal infrastructure behind the scenes. If you assist the camp in managing your allergy, it will be a great help.
What about medicine, diseases and vaccinations?
Please check in with your local travel clinic or doctor for advice. From my experience, a yellow fever and hepatitis vaccination is a must, while the plethora of others are optional. Our safaris are conducted in low risk malarial areas but for your own peace of mind, we recommend that you take a prophylactic. In areas where you get tsetse flies in East Afri- ca, humans are not the primary disease carries, and contracting Tryps is very rare. There is nothing you can do about these flies except to dress appropriately (keep reading) and to apply mosie-guard. None of our current safari destinations carry significant amounts of tsetsi flies. The camps do have medicine kits and there is always an evacuation plan.
We do however find it practical to always travel through Africa with the following items:
* Immodium (keep this handy when traveling)
* Buscopan (for tummy cramps)
* Pain killers (that contain par- acetamol and a muscle relaxant)
* Antihistamine cream and tablets for any allergic reactions
* Melatonin to help speedy recovery from jetlag
* Any medicine or ointments that you would normally take at home
* Mosquito repellant
* A product called Mosie-guard for areas where Tsetsi Flies occur (manufactured in the UK and Deet does not work)
* Tweezers for any thorns or splinters
* Re-hydrants sachets (very important)
* Disinfectant or antibiotic cream (just for nicks, cuts or grazes)
* Plasters (to cover nicks, cuts or grazes)
Can I drink water and eat fresh produce on safari?
We advise that you only drink bottled water, which is always available in camps. Avoid ice as this is often made from local water which although is generally safe to drink, your foreign tummies might disagree! It is safe to eat fresh produce.
What about food on safari?
Both East and much of Southern Africa was a British colony and as such, you can expect that type of cuisine. The breakfasts usually consist of cereals and a hot English breakfast. Lunch- es are usually light with a variety of salads and always a meat option. Dinners are traditional English affairs usually with a soup starter and freshly baked camp bread. The main course will usually be a roast of sorts, with vegetables. Dessert is usually a simple affair consisting of fruit or a baked pudding. You will not go hungry! (A side note to mention is that between meals there are often not snacks readily available and breakfast is often only later in the morning. You might want to bring a few snacks or energy bars if you have a problem keeping your sugar levels up.)
Any luggage restrictions?
The reality is that on any scheduled charters in Africa, there will be luggage restrictions. Short of charter- ing your own flight (which we can do), our advice is to bring only the essential camera equipment. Having too much equipment can actually hinder your photography. Also, you can get washing done in camp and with a fairly moderate to hot climate, you can afford to pack light. In short, bring fewer clothes so that you can bring more camera gear! Depending on the safari you book, we will be able to advise you on exact weight restrictions.
What amount of spending money should I bring along?
Our tours cover all travel, food and accommodation costs (unless otherwise stated). This means that spending money can be kept to souvenirs, curios and books. This normally amounts to Euro 10.00 per person per day.
Commercial representation and wildlife photography consulting
C4 Photo Safaris has the full capacity to plan and run commercial photo shoots for professional clients. We are able to supply you with the best guides in the wildlife photography industry as well as organize and run all your ground handling logistics for the shoot. Our knowledge of African travel logistics combined with our specialized knowledge of wildlife and the best places to photograph them, places us in the perfect position to plan and run your commer- cial shoot. Please contact Shem with your request. Additionally we can supply photographers for the shoot where they would work under the production name. On all tours with c4 images and safaris, our guides have the right to take photographs. Their goal is to get you into the right position and tutor you into getting the best photograph. Once they have done so, they have full rights to take their own photographs. The rights of the guides and all of their images remains with the individual guide who took the photographs. No other person has any rights over the photographs taken by a guide representing C4 Photo Safaris.
Click on the icons to get a glimpse of the photos you could be taking, the accommodation that you can expect, and what life on this Photo Safari is like.