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DESTINATION


Botswana Photographic Safaris

With over 320 days of sunshine, the world’s largest elephant population and a sprawling, unspoilt wilderness that goes on forever, there is no better place than Botswana for your photographic adventure. We pride ourselves on our ability to get our photographic groups into the best situations for capturing those award-winning photographs. Our photographic guides are photographers themselves and they love nothing more than sharing their passion for photographing wildlife in Botswana’s pristine wilderness areas.


LOCATION

Botswana


WHO IS THIS FOR

Keen photographers who want to get that perfect shot


COST

From USD $2,880 depending on number of days and season


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WHY WE LOVE THIS

The perfect safari for keen amateur photographers who want to do a safari with like-minded photographers and to hone their wildlife photography skills.

Detailed Overview


Our partners in Botswana, Letaka Safaris is a citizen-owned safari company that has been operating in Botswana since October 2000. The founding directors, known locally as the Letaka brothers, have almost 40 years of combined guiding experience and have been guiding mobile safaris in Botswana since the mid-90’s. Originally all Letaka safaris were owner-guided, but the company has now grown to employ a number of Botswana’s most highly experienced mobile safari guides.

With digital SLR (DSLR) cameras becoming ever-more affordable the world of photography has changed forever and now the man (or woman) in the street is able to purchase high-end photographic equipment without taking out a second mortgage. Having purchased these wonderful digital toys you now need somewhere to hone your skills.

We run several different photographic safaris for those who really want to learn more about their camera and how to get ‘the shot‘.  We are also able to create bespoke photographic safaris for groups of people.

  • Letaka Safaris Photographic Workshop Safaris – 10 days with James Gifford
  • Shutter Safari – 10 days following the Northern Highlights safari route

The unique aspect of having a professional photographer with many years of experience photographing Botswana, along with a guide who understands the importance of lighting and being in the right position is what sets this trip apart from many others. Whether you are a keen beginner with their first DSLR or an experienced photographer looking to take your images to the next stage, you need not worry about the workshop being pitched at the wrong level.  All seats in the vehicle are window seats, but we will tend to switch seats regularly to allow everyone to take advantage of different perspectives.

The overriding goals of the workshop (other than you having a good time!) are to teach you about both technical and compositional aspects of photography which will enable you to perfect those “classic” wildlife portraits and also open the door to more creative techniques such as panning, use of light, capturing birds in flight and animal behaviour. No matter how low (or high) your initial level of proficiency you will leave the trip with a full understanding of exposure, aperture, shutter speed and other technical elements. Even more importantly, by the end of the workshop you will have gained a certain familiarity with your camera settings, so you will start to adjust them automatically when a certain situation arises in order to create the effect that you desire. This speed of thought is the key to capturing good wildlife images.

We will aim to cover as many techniques as possible during the trip as and when a particular sighting allows it.  Often this will mean staying at a sighting longer than on a normal safari, particularly if we feel a ‘change of light or an imminent bout of subject activity will provide a better ultimate image. Although everyone is keen for the stereotypical big game images, we will also focus on the endless possibilities of macro photography whose colours and occasionally abstract nature can lead to spectacular photographs. In addition, there will be plenty of opportunities to practice landscape shots during the expedition, especially at sunset not to mention a myriad of potential bird photographs. This will not only diversify your subject matter but also help you to acquire different skills which are applicable in all genres of photography.

After lunch each day we are in camp, we will spend some time going over and assessing the images from the previous day giving you the opportunity to learn from mistakes and to appreciate the factors that make a striking photograph, be it one of yours or one of your fellow photographers. This constant learning process is a vital element to improving your photography and to be able to compress the process into ten days helps to engrain the details in your mind, leading to more instinctive photographic decisions.

The unique aspect of having two professional photographers with many years of experience photographing Botswana, divided between a maximum of six guests is what sets this trip apart from many others. With only three guests per photographer, the ensuing individual attention means that whether you are a keen beginner with their first DSLR or an experienced photographer looking to take your images to the next stage, you need not worry about the workshop being pitched at the wrong level.  All seats in the vehicle are window seats, but we will tend to switch seats regularly to allow everyone to take advantage of different perspectives and to gain the greatest benefit from each of your photographic tutor.

The Story


Our partner organisation in Botswana is Letaka Safaris.  Letaka Safaris is a citizen-owned safari company that has been operating in Botswana since October 2000. The founding directors, known locally as the Letaka Brothers, have over 34 years of combined guiding experience and have been guiding full-time in Botswana since the mid-90’s. Originally all our safaris were owner-guided but the company has now grown to employ 7 of Botswana’s most highly experienced mobile safari guides.

The focus of the company has always been on the quality of our guides, hence their close association with Okavango Guiding School, a training facility which we created to elevate the standard of guiding in Botswana. Many of Botswana’s top safari guides pass through Okavango Guiding School’s doors at one time or another and we are proud to continue this initiative to create a guiding fraternity that will stand head and shoulders above other African destinations.

Accommodation


Exclusive camping in private campsites within the national parks and reserves in spacious and comfortable tented accommodation, including beds, bed linen and towels, with a private bathroom en-suite.

The tents are 3x4m wilderness tents with high roof with a 3x3m en-suite bathroom and a 2x3m covered area in front of the tent. The tents are fitted with solid base camp beds made up with mattresses, sheets, duvets and pillows. The tents have en-suite long drop toilet facilities and a bucket shower at the rear of the tent. Showers can be ordered as hot, cold or warm and the water is heated in a bucket on the fire. Showers may be taken at any time but on Kalahari safaris the guide withholds the right to limit water use and showering depending upon the availability of water. Both hand towels and bath towels are supplied for the guests’ convenience but please note that guests should bring their own personal items and toiletries.

Each tent has an oil/paraffin lamp on the veranda and in the bathroom and within the tent itself, a LED rechargeable camp light is supplied along with a side table in the sleeping area and in the bathroom.

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