Join us in July 2013 for an amazing photographic adventure through Botswana, from the Kalahari through the Okavango Delta and finishing at Victoria Falls.
The primary focus of the expedition will of course be wildlife photography, but there will be many landscape opportunities also. David Burren will be guiding you through capturing great images of the wildlife and scenery in front of us, and helping you manage and process the thousands of images you will be making.
You don't need to think of yourself as a seasoned expert to be able to join us. Previous participants have included photographers with "point-and-shoot" cameras, people who've just bought their first DSLR, through to people wanting the subject opportunities and a bit of guidance, and some fairly self-sufficient professionals. Whatever your photographic skill level, you're sure to learn as well as bring back great photographs!
There are only 8 places on this expedition (and most of these were quickly filled by participants from previous LuminOdysseys before the public announcement). We're starting and ending in Johannesburg, so participants from all over the world are welcome (some English language skills are assumed though). Non-photographer partners are of course welcome to join our group as well.
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Itinerary: June 29 to July 14, 2013
We arrive at Johannesburg airport and stay overnight at our comfortable airport hotel. We're not planning to go into Johannesburg itself.
We fly to Maun (in Botswana) and transfer to our light plane charter to the northern edge of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. We meet up with our guides and camp crew who will be with us for most of our trip. When on game drives we will be split with 4 photographers per vehicle, with lots of room to swing our lenses around without getting in each other's way, and open sides to the vehicles while we're on game drives. We spend two nights at Haina Kalahari Lodge, with game drives into the Game Reserve. We also get to meet a local Bushmen clan.
We travel to Nxai Pan National Park, where we spend two nights camping. The tents are civilised two-person arrangements with beds. Toilets and showers are also set up (not "ensuite" arrangements of course). Another vehicle will carry our camp, set up and dismantled on the days we move to new campsites, while we're out photographing.
We travel to Xakanxa in the Okavango Delta (passing through Maun). We camp here for two nights, and explore the delta by boat and on land.
We spend another two nights camping and exploring the Khwai River area.
We take a break from camping, and spend two nights at Savute Safari Lodge in Chobe National Park.
We head into the National Park for another two nights of camping. As well as our game drive routine we have an outing on the Chobe River.
We head to the Zambia border, and leave our Botswana guides behind as we transfer to Livingstone where we will spend two nights staying at the Zambezi Sun Hotel on the edge of Victoria Falls. We will have many opportunities to explore the falls, including crossing over to the Zimbabwe side.
After breakfast we transfer to Livingstone Airport and return to Johannesburg for our connecting flights home.
A few notes:
AC inverters in our vehicles will let us recharge batteries during the day, with generator power available in the evenings. GPS logs (in GPX format) for each vehicle will be provided to everyone at the end of the trip for use in geo-tagging your photos (although of course you're welcome to use your own gear for that).
We expect most photographers will be taking lenses of 300mm or over (usually with wide-angle options as well). You won't need the latest and greatest camera gear, although somehow we do often end up using trips like this as excuses to invest in new gear! We have arranged for the weight allowance on the internal flights to be comparable to the usual international 23 kg plus carry-on.
Prior to the trip we will of course be helping you select and configure appropriate equipment for the trip, and when we meet up in Johannesburg we will have our last-minute equipment and computer setup opportunity. Many of us will be processing and storing our images using Lightroom on laptop computers, and if you're an Aperture user we can help you with that too. Expect to take many thousands of photos. We'll go over this during the preparation phase.
David's based in Melbourne (Australia) so for those nearby there will be face-to-face briefings beforehand, and online information for those participants coming from further afield.
Most of the "transit days" in the itinerary do also include game drives: they're not all-day driving days. Sometimes there's so much wildlife that the transit becomes a game drive itself.
AUD $12000 plus ticket taxes (currently around $215) for internal flights.
This covers food, accommodation, and travel from Johannesburg Airport back to Johannesburg Airport. It doesn't include extras like flying over Victoria Falls if you decide to try that.
You just need to get yourself to Johannesburg.
Bookings and payments
Should be made through African Travel Specialists, who also helped set up our 2011 Kenyan Odyssey.
37 Seymour Ave, Armadale, Vic, 3143, Australia
Phone: +61 3 9576 1980
1300 761 980 (local call within Australia)
Our primary contact there is Savio Pereira, but just ask about the LuminOdyssey Botswana 2013 trip.
By the way, when we talk about staying in tents, this might give you an idea of what to expect: