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South Africa, Botswana & Lower Zambezi Safari - Aug 2019

16-27 August 2019 (Optional Extension: 27Aug-01Sep)

Safari Leaders: Jack and Rikki Swenson


Return to Photo Safaris and Photographic Workshops

In August 2019 Jack and Rikki Swenson will lead a private group of photographers to southern Africa's top destinations for wildlife and photography: South Africa and Botswana plus an extension to Zambia's Lower Zambezi River. Each location has been personally selected for its outstanding wildlife, diverse settings, and excellent opportunities for experiencing big game. Imagine the breathtaking moments you'll experience next to some of the most beautiful and powerful animals on the planet – lions, leopards, elephants, African buffalo – the early morning light glinting in their eyes.

This safari has been designed for anyone who enjoys lingering with wildlife (including non-photographers), and especially for photographers of any skill level, including beginners. This is a customized program with days paced for your individual interests and enjoyment.

• This itinerary utilizes private air charters to maximize your time in wildlife parks and reserves (all internal flights are included).

Extra Luggage Allowance so you can bring important photography equipment and other gear. We have expanded the luggage weight allowance to 70 pounds per person (typical southern Africa air safaris are limited to 44 lbs).

• Game drives with limited number of guests per safari vehicle, so you are guaranteed an outer seat and extra space to accommodate your photo gear. You don't have to be a photographer to appreciate this extra detail.

• Daily opportunities in the field or at camp for one-on-one tutelage from Jack & Rikki at your level of proficiency. They customize the content to match your interests and experience.

• In addition to spectacular game drives and river boat outings, you will have use of special photographic hides and the option for breathtaking “doors-off” helicopter photography above the Okavango Delta.

Elephants - Copyright © Rikki Swenson

• Private reserves offer off-road driving for closer sightings and positioning for the best light, staying out for sunsets, and evening drives to find nocturnal species — all maximizing the quality of your time with Africa's remarkable wildlife.

• We have specifically chosen luxury camps where you may just relax and enjoy the many amenities and stunning locations.

Male lion - Copyright © Rikki Swenson


Please Note: A pre-safari night is not included to allow for different arrival plans. Eyes on Africa can recommend and book lodging for you.

16-19 August 2019; (3 Nights)
MALAMALA SABLE CAMP - Sabi Sand Game Reserve, South Africa
            Jump to MalaMala Sable Camp

MalaMala Sable Camp, South Africa On the morning of August 16, you will be met and transferred to our private charter aircraft for the flight to MalaMala Private Game Reserve bordering Kruger National Park, South Africa.

MalaMala is home to all the “Big Five” - elephant, African buffalo, lion, rhino and leopard—and they are seen most every day. The reserve is renowned for its leopards and is one of the best places in Africa to see and photograph these beautiful cats. You will have three days with game drives, watching these beautiful cats along with a great variety of other wildlife - hippo, kudu, nyala, giraffe, zebra, African wild dog, and hyena. Here, you are sure to have incredible sightings throughout your stay.

The oldest private reserve in South Africa, MalaMala shares a 12 mile border with Kruger National Park. Located in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, MalaMala encompasses a diverse range of habitats in its 33,000 acres. Game drives venture daily across the river into the vast tract of wilderness land that stretches undisturbed for miles. MalaMala was one of the first reserves to ban hunting, switching to a model of photographic safaris 50 years ago. As a result, generations of animals have lived their lives undisturbed in the presence of vehicles, enabling the rangers to provide you with fantastic, close-up game viewing and photographic opportunities.

MalaMala Sable Camp looks out to the perennial Sand River, whose waters attract elephants and other game. Pathways wind through the camp leading to cottages tucked into the greenery. Massive trees and rolling green lawns are filled with birdsong. The camp is unfenced, an oasis in the midst of the bush-veld and in this dry season you will likely enjoy wildlife sightings from your private veranda or as you walk through camp.

19-22 August 2019; (3 Nights)
MASHATU MAIN CAMP - Northern Tuli Game Reserve, Botswana
            Jump to Mashatu Main Camp

Mashatu Main Camp suite, BotswanaAfter an early morning game drive, we board our private charter aircraft and fly to Mashatu Game Reserve located in the remote eastern corner of Botswana. This enormous tract of semi-arid land comprises a wilderness of savanna, riverine forests, open plains and sandstone outcrops.

Mashatu is home to seven of Africa’s giants: the African elephant, baobab tree, eland, ostrich, kori bustard, lion, and giraffe. It’s not the quantity of wildlife seen here, but the quality of the sightings that make it such an excellent location.

A highlight at Mashatu are their exceptional sunken photographic hides, which we have reserved for our group's exclusive use. The hides put you at eye level with wildlife, offering a fantastic viewpoint for the great range of animals that come to drink daily. At this very dry time of year, animals are also drawn to the small pools of water remaining in the river courses, where huge Mashatu trees provide shade for eland, kudu, impala, wildebeest, baboon and zebra, as well as numerous predators including lion, jackal and hyena.

Cheetah and leopard are seen frequently in the reserve. After sunset, while returning to camp, you’ll look for bat-eared fox, African wildcat, civet, genet and springhare.

Situated above a waterhole, Mashatu Main Camp is an oasis of luxurious bush-veld comfort. Evening meals are enjoyed in the enclosed boma around a blazing fire, below the brilliant night sky.

22-24 August 2019; (3 Nights)
CHOBE SAVANNA LODGE - Chobe River, Namibia
            Jump to Chobe Savanna Lodge

Chobe Savanna Lodge, NamibiaThis morning, we board our private aircraft for a flight to Kasane in northeastern Botswana. Our destination is the verdant Chobe River, and the abundant wildlife attracted to its shores. We will cross the river by boat to the Zambezi Region of Namibia (formerly known as the Caprivi Strip) before arriving at our riverside lodge.

Morning and afternoon outings here will be exclusively from small boats, giving us a fresh, water-level perspective on the diverse wildlife drawn to the river during this dry season. The Chobe floodplain is renowned for its large concentrations of elephant, buffalo and zebra and a variety of predators. Kudu, waterbuck, impala, and the more rare and beautiful roan and sable antelope also come to the river to drink. The Chobe River is home to a large variety of water birds such as blacksmith lapwings, sacred ibis, saddlebill storks, kingfishers, and fish eagles. Perhaps the most coveted birds to see and photograph here are the giant kingfishers and malachite kingfishers found perching along the shoreline.

The highlights of your visit will be dramatic views of hippos, crocodile, and great herds of elephants as they drink, bathe, and swim across the river to graze on the lush green islets. You will find sunset on the Chobe River is a gorgeous and tranquil place to enjoy your evening “sundowner.”

Chobe Savanna Lodge is built on a remote looping bend of the river that feels like an island. It is perfectly situated to take the best advantage of the water-based activities in an area less frequented by other travelers.

24-27 Augurs 2019; (3 Nights)
CHITABE CAMP - Okavango Delta, Botswana
            Jump to Chitabe Camp

Sanctuary Kusini Camp, Serengeti, TanzaniaThis morning we return across the Chobe river to the Kasane, Botswana side and meet our private charter flight to the Okavango Delta.

The Okavango is a pristine floodplain and river system in the Kalahari Desert, forming Africa’s largest oasis. This incredibly rich big game area offers some of the best wildlife viewing anywhere in Africa.

A favorite of top safari guides and photographers alike, Chitabe Camp is located on one of the most beautiful islands in the Delta. Here you will be surrounded by a great diversity of habitats, with open savannas wrapping around islands of woodlands, permanent waterways, marshlands and seasonal floodplains. This variety of habitats ensures diverse and exciting game viewing, and Chitabe’s guide’s intimate knowledge of the reserve and natural history expertise make every game drive a pleasure.

Here, you may also choose to take an optional helicopter flight over the Delta, “doors off!” to maximize your photographic experience.

Chitabe is known as a fantastic place for watching lions and leopards, and you will also find African buffalo, elephant, zebra, baboons, cheetah and giraffe, as well as spectacular bird life: especially captors. African wild dogs are regularly sighted, and typically den here, and in August, there is a good chance to see puppies. The dogs have been studied in this area since 1989 and Chitabe Camp has been actively involved in their conservation.

Chitabe is a luxurious tented safari camp built along a raised boardwalk so wildlife can move freely through the camp. Each tent’s veranda looks out over the open savanna and wildlife is frequently in view. Chitabe’s friendly and outstanding staff enriches everyone’s experience at this camp.

27 August 2019

After a morning game drive, we will have brunch at camp before boarding our mid-day charter flight to Maun, Botswana to connect with international flights home.

Please Note: We do not include the flight from Maun to Johannesburg, South Africa in the program cost to allow for variations in departure plans, but Eyes On Africa will be happy to book this flight for you. If you would like to add on a personal extension to Victoria Falls, or beyond, that may also be booked through Eyes On Africa.

International flights may be scheduled to depart that evening to home destinations. See optional travel extensions below.

NOTE:  Air travel and customized extensions to this safari, including other camps in Kenya and/or Tanzania, gorilla trekking in Rwanda, or other destinations may be arranged through Eyes on Africa as desired.  Ask us for further information.



27-28 August 2019; (1 night)
RASISSON BLU HOTEL - Lusaka, Zambia            Jump to Radisson Blu Hotel

Radisson Blu guest room - Lusaka, ZambiaFollowing our morning activities at Chitabe Camp, we will board our charter flight to Maun, Botswana. There we will transfer to our charter flight to Lusaka, the capital city of Zambia.

We will arrive to the Radisson Blu Hotel in the mid- to late-afternoon. This stop will offer you a brief opportunity to rest and relax a bit, reorganize gear, take a swim, check email, or perhaps enjoy a massage or spa treatment at the Radisson's Uzuri Spa. This evening, you may choose to dine with our group at the Radisson's Chuma Grill Restaurant in the hotel.

The next morning will offer a slightly more leisurely start than the typical safari day. After indulging in the hotel's extensive breakfast buffet, we will depart for our private charter flight to the Lower Zambezi National Park and Chiawa Camp.

28 August - 01 September 2019; (3 Nights)
CHIAWA CAMP - Lower Zambezi National Park, Zambia
            Jump to Chiawa Camp

Chiawa Camp, Lower Zambezi, ZambiaAfter a short flight from Lusaka, we arrive on the banks of the Zambezi River, where we journey by boat to the award-winning Chiawa Camp located in the Lower Zambezi National Park.

The park borders 120 kilometers of the Zambezi River, and is a magical environment for wildlife and photography. The area is a stunning mosaic of islands, lagoons and floodplains attracting a huge variety of wildlife. Leopard and lion sightings here are fantastic. Chiawa is well known for their expert guides’ abilities to track and find these top predators. With herds of elephant and African buffalo, prolific hippo, over 300 bird species, gigantic baobab trees and magnificent stands of acacia, the Lower Zambezi National Park and Chiawa Camp are one of Africa’s most superb and exclusive safari destinations.

In addition to daily game drives, you will have opportunities for outings by boat and guided canoe on the Zambezi River (they paddle, you photograph), offering fresh perspectives for photographing wildlife, including elephant, waterbuck, crocodile, African buffalo, hippo, spectacular bee-eaters and kingfishers. There is a very special, peaceful quality found on the river as you drift past wildlife on the river’s edge.

We will have four nights at Chiawa Camp allowing ample time to explore, to enjoy the various game viewing options and activities, and to further expand your photographic experiences.

The area has a very healthy leopard population and game drive sightings here can offer some of the very best views in Africa of these elegant and reclusive carnivores. Chiawa offers bush walks with a naturalist guide and Zambia park ranger (conditions allowing). There are hides near camp for viewing and photographing game.

If you want to try your hand, the fishing is great. Tiger fish is a specialty and will be in season.

The lodge and guest tents rest peacefully along the riverbank in a grove of acacia and mahogany trees. Guest tents are luxurious, with all the amenities you might want on safari including a claw-foot tub as well as outdoor and indoor showers. The camp compliments its idyllic setting while remaining part of the natural environment. Elephants and other game are frequently found in the shady environment of camp, the elephants walking the paths without disturbing the stones that line it. Hippo, African buffalo, baboons, vervet monkeys and other animals move freely through the area. The sights from your own deck may be a special delight. The luxurious tents are under shade, with a raised deck, private veranda and en-suite facilities.

01 September 2019

After an optional early morning game drive and brunch, you will meet our private charter flight to Lusaka, Zambia and connect with your afternoon and evening international flights home. Day rooms are included for any travelers who will be on evening flights.

Please Note: Prior to booking international flights homeward, please contact Eyes On Africa to check camp departure time for same day connections on September 1. If you would like a private extension to Victoria Falls or elsewhere, Eyes On Africa will be happy to assist.

Nyalas - Copyright © Jack Swenson

Main Safari (12 nights / 13 days): The cost of the Main Safari is $20,485 per person. This fee includes all in-country ground and air transportation as well as hotel accommodation (double occupancy) and all meals (except as noted above and in exclusions below). A limited number of single rooms are available; the single supplement cost is $3,250. The cost for the optional Helicopter Flight (doors off) is $380 (30-min) / $640 (60-min) per person.

Post-Safari Extension (4 nights / 5 days): The cost of the Extension is $9,285 per person. This fee includes all in-country ground and air transportation as well as hotel accommodation (double occupancy) and all meals (except as noted above and in exclusions below). A limited number of single rooms are available; the single supplement cost is $295.

Please note: We will attempt to adhere to this itinerary as much as possible. However, certain conditions (political, climatic, environmental, cultural, or wildlife migrations) may necessitate changes in the itinerary. We reserves the right to alter any itinerary at any time, if necessary. We will attempt to notify participants of changes as far in advance as possible. Costs incurred by such changes will be the responsibility of the participant.

• The expertise and leadership of Jack and Rikki Swenson, your dedicated photo trip leaders.
• Knowledgeable naturalist-driver/guides in each safari camp/lodge.
• Accommodation, safari activities, and transfers as indicated in the itinerary.
• All meals, local drinks (except premium brands) and laundry at all safari camps.
• Dinner and local drinks at Radisson Blu (except premium alcohol).
• Inter-Africa air transport including Johannesburg/MalaMala, MalaMala/Mashatu, Mashatu/Kasane, Kasane/Chitabe, Chitabe/Maun (Main Safari itinerary).
• Air transfers from Maun/Lusaka, and into and out of Chiawa Camp (Optional Extension Safari itinerary).
• All necessary airport transportation, with meet and greet service on arrival in country.
• All applicable park/concession fees.
• Current Government taxes and VAT.
• Flying Doctors insurance, an emergency airborne medical unit.
• Porterage.

• Air transportation to and from Johannesburg, South Africa (where the main safari originates) and out of Maun, Botswana (where the main safari ends).
• International airfare out of Lusaka, Zambia (where the Extension Safari ends);
• Visas.
• All gratuities (trip leaders, guides, camp staff, etc).
• Expenses such as mini bar and room service charges; souvenirs and telephone/fax charges.
• Excess baggage fees.
• Laundry at Radisson Blu Hotel (Extension Safari).
• Trip insurance.
• Optional Helicopter excursion in the Okavango Delta.

• Air travel and customized extensions to this safari, including any additional nights on safari or in other destinations may be arranged. Ask for further information.
• Discretionary gratuities for driver guides are recommended at USD $15 to $20 per person per day.
• Discretionary gratuities for camp and hotel staff are recommended at USD $10 to $15 per person per day.
* Discretionary gratuities for trip leaders are recpmmended at USD $20 to $25 per person per day.
• Discretionary gratuities for guides and staff are recommended to be paid in cash.
• Our group size is a maximum of 14 participants.
• Although some safari lodges offer complimentary internet access, connections are unreliable and extremely slow. In-country cell service is available but not always reliable.
• Temperatures in the morning and evening can be cool, so bring a fleece, windbreaker or anorak with you.
• Please bring protection from the sun.
• Special dietary requirements can usually be accommodated if sent through beforehand.

Physical Requirements: You must be in good health and prepared for travel in places without medical facilities, be mobile, and able to climb into and out of private aircraft and safari vehicles. You should be capable of walking moderate distances at an easy pace and over uneven terrain, and be able to withstand hard riding, four-wheel-drive vehicles on dirt roads or rough, bumpy ground. While Southern Africa has a somewhat mild climate, weather can get hot and cold with average temperatures ranging between 60 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. In general, you will most enjoy the opportunities this expedition has to offer if you are willing to dispense with a few Western amenities and travel with flexibility and a spirit of adventure.

Special Luggage Allowance: Our private aircraft specifications and safety measures require that each passenger carry soft-sided luggage and carry-on with total weight not to exceed 70lbs. To facilitate traveling light and efficiently, laundry services are included at key stops.

Private Air Schedule and Aircraft: Each private flight schedule may include unscheduled stops due to the lack of infrastructure in parts of Africa, as well as other factors such as weather or fuel availability beyond the crew’s control. The flight schedule may change at any time should security or other issues arise, and we urge travelers to remain flexible in the face of such possibilities. The type, model and registration of the aircraft used on each trip may also change.

Please read our Safari Code of Ethics and Conduct.

Our group size is a maximum of 14 participants and we expect that this trip will fill up. If this exciting safari sounds good and you're excited by the thought of joining on this trip, then now is the time to register. Remember, there will be limited space available for this trip and when the spots are spoken for, that's it. If you have any questions before registering, send an e-mail with any inquiries to nicky@eyesonafrica.net or simply call us (800-457-9575) and ask to speak to Nicky.


African Wild Dogs - Copyright © Rikki Swenson

Starry night - Copyright © Rikki Swenson

Carmine Bee-eaters - Copyright © Rikki Swenson

White Rhinos - Copyright © Rikki Swenson

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Tel: 800.457.9575 / 773.549.0169    Fax: 773.327.2977    Email: Eyes on Africa

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