About the safaris
Most photographers dream of indulging their passion in Africa at some point in their photographic journey.
To spend quality time with iconic wildlife and landscape subjects in the company of like-minded people is a rare privilege. The opportunities provided by this photography safari are even rarer.
We've chosen the exceptionally beautiful and abundant Mana Pools as the location. This has been a protected non-hunting area since 1952. The game reserve was established in 1963 and the 287,000 hectare National Park declared in 1975. The park, along with the adjacent Sapi and Chewore safari areas was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1984. The inscription opens with "In this Park on the banks of the Zambezi, great cliffs overhang the river, sandbanks and wide floodplains in a valley little modified by man. The area is home to a remarkable concentration of wild animals including elephants, hippopotamus, leopards, cheetahs and buffaloes. An important concentration of Nile crocodiles is also found in the area." We have little to add except that we've seen plenty of other species there, including various antelope and their largest predator, lions.
For the authentic African experience, we stay at Camp Mana where all the tents look out across the Zambezi towards the towering escarpment running along the opposite riverbank. From your tent, you can watch the sun rise over the river. Then, at the other end of the day, you can sit in the lounge to enjoy sundowners. More likely though, you'll join us on a drive to some special spot we've found for you to photograph these special moments.
Who you are
This workshop is clearly designed for photographers. We accommodate all levels of experience, provided that you know how to operate your camera, as previously mentioned.
Your camera can be anything with any type of lens. We don't say things like "you must have a 500mm lens". Of course, if you want to fill your frame with an elephant eye, you probably will need that. But to get a photo of Boswell (a well-known elephant) standing on his hind legs reaching up into the trees with his trunk, 500mm is way too long. A great photo of him doing that can be made with a phone camera.
We've had guests who use their own eyes like photographers use cameras. They too would rather linger, to learn something about the subject's behaviour. This workshop is perfect for them also.
If you're an experienced photographer who just wants to be taken to photogenic places chosen by a photographer, for photographers, then we'd love to have you on board, too.
If your partner wants to join the safari and prefers the cadence of a "normal" safari, then talk us when booking and we'll put them in a different vehicle.
Although remote and wild, this part of Africa has many life-changing experiences to offer. One that we have offered in the past is a two-night walking safari in Chitake Springs. This is in a very wild part of the park where guests are on foot, observing for example, lions stalking buffalo in the dry river bed near the springs. This option can only be taken after the stay in Camp Mana.
There are many other options that are readily accessed from Mana Pools, including the equally famous Hwange National Park. Talk to us about what interests you.
Is it safe?
In a word, yes. Neville has been taking people on safari in Africa since 2007. More significantly, Steve has been a professional safari guide for more than 30 years and is a legend in this part of the world. He is called upon to teach and assess other guides. There is nothing cavalier about these guys. They understand the bush and the wildlife and have some very strict rules and procedures to protect you. Despite this being a photography workshop, no photo is worth getting hurt. We've never had an injury or medical evacuation for any reason. We plan meticulously and work hard to maintain that record.