About This Safari

This is an 8 day photo safari adventure in a single location that will bring you face to face with some of Africa’s most famous and ferocious residents, the Big 5! Our experienced rangers and trackers will get you closer than you have ever been to all of these wild animals, as well as many other species found in the region.

Safari Leaders: Dallas & Pepe
Spaces available: max 10 persons
Dates: 5 – 12 October 2014 (1 night in Johannesburg, 6 nights in Sabi Sabi)

Location

Mention the name Sabi Sabi to anybody who has had the privilege of staying there and the reaction is most likely going to be one of awe. This private game reserve is situated adjacent to the Kruger National Park, within one of the oldest and largest proclaimed private reserves in Africa, namely the Sabi Sands Wildtuin. It lies 500 km east of Johannesburg, 800 km north east of Durban and 200 km west of Maputo in Mozambique, on the same latitude as Sao Paulo and Brisbane and the same longitude as Cairo, Istanbul and St. Petersburg. There are no fences between the Kruger Park and Sabi Sands, nor are there any fences around the lodges themselves, so the game is literally allowed to roam freely from place to place.

Sabi Sabi is widely acknowledged as being the premier destination for wildlife safaris in South Africa and has been ranked in the top 10 of Travel & Leisure’s World’s Best 100 Hotels for the past five years. It has also received numerous accolades from various publications and marketing associations dealing with world travel.

Unlike photo safaris conducted in National Parks throughout parts of Africa where you’re jostling for road and viewing space with hundreds of other travellers and photographers, our Ultimate Big 5 Safari guarantees you an un-crowded vehicle that is allowed to travel off road to get you as close as possible and into the best viewing positions for photography.

Primary Photographic Subjects

This trip is all about Africa’s Big 5 animals. If you don’t know what they are yet, here’s the list:

  • Lion
  • Leopard
  • Buffalo
  • Elephant
  • Rhino

They are known as the “Big 5″ because in the old colonial times these were the most dangerous animals to hunt. But they’re not all you’ll see at Sabi Sabi. There’s a good chance you’ll also get to see cheetahs, plus of course many other species, including zebras, giraffe, wildbeest and a large number of antelope. On night drives in the past we have encountered caracal as well as many other nocturnal creatures. And let’s not forget about the birds. Amongst the birds you’ll see at Sabi Sabi; lilac breasted rollers, eagle owls, green pigeons, eagles, bee-eaters and many more. On our first adventure to this region in 2010 we sighted over 120 different bird species.

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Photographer Skill Level

From novice to expert, all levels of photographers are welcome to join this safari.

Even though these safaris are not primarily education oriented what we’ve found on all our previous trips is that the group shares knowledge freely and organically. We’ve had some very talented people join us before and they have all been keen to help the less experienced photographers get their best shots. Your tour leaders Dallas & Pepe will also help you out by answering any questions you may have about photography, such as the best settings to use for any particular subject matter found on safari, or how to post process your images using Lightroom.

Dallas shoots with Nikon & Olympus and Pepe shoots with Canon, so we have the main brands well covered should you need any help with a camera you might not be all that familiar with yet. Dallas has been using DSLR’s (Canon and Nikon) since 2001 so while he might not know everything there is to know, he will definitely be able to help you figure it out, regardless of the type of camera you are using.

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Suggested Gear

You’re going to get really close to the animals on this safari. More than once or twice on previous trips we’ve had leopards walking right next to our vehicles, so close that you could literally touch their backs with an outstretched arm. This of course would be the last time you’d ever see your arm if you did that, but we hope you get the proximity picture.

Ideally you should bring two cameras on this trip, one for closer stuff and one for stuff that’s not so close. A full frame DSLR with a 70-200mm f/2.8 zoom for the closer stuff is good and a second body with (say) a 200-400mm f/4 zoom or a fast prime with a teleconverter for the stuff that’s further away will have you well covered.

Flashes? Not unless you’re planning on using them at the dinner table. Rather save the weight and bring a wide angle lens because we like to do a bit of star photography at night when we’re at Sabi Sabi. This will of course mean you should bring a small travel tripod.

Sabi Sabi use open Land Rovers for game drives and these have three rows of elevated seats behind the driver. There are swing arms built onto the sides of each vehicle that allow you to clamp your gimbal head to them (if you have one), or alternatively you should use a monopod. Bean bags will be of no use to you in this kind of safari vehicle.

Tladi Lodge Sandton

Getting There

You will fly into Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport and be collected by chauffeur at the airport. From there it’s a 30-40 minute drive to the Tladi Lodge where you will rendezvous with fellow Safarians and your hosts Dallas & Pepe.

We suggest arriving a day earlier so that you give yourself enough of a gap should there be any delayed flights or problems with luggage arriving on time. We’ve had Safarians or their luggage delayed every time we have run this safari, so please trust us on this one. If you do arrive a day early there are activities and places to go in Johannesburg that Ian & Sylvia from Tladi Lodge can arrange for you, such as a trip to the Apartheid Museum or a tour of Soweto. Alternatively the massive Sandton City shopping mall is 5 minutes away by cab.

Once we’re all assembled at Tladi Lodge we will have an opening “braai” (BBQ) and then the next day we fly out to Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (KMIA) from Johannesburg. From KMIA we will be collected by Sabi Sabi’s transfer operator. 2 hours later we will be at Little Bush Camp, ready for lunch and check-in. Our first game drive will happen at approximately 4pm that afternoon.

About The Accommodation

There are four lodges in Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve and we have secured exclusive use of Little Bush Camp, which is the smallest and most secluded of the four. It is made up of 6 thatched luxury suites, each of which has its own private viewing deck overlooking the Msuthlu riverbed, along with a jacuzzi.

There is a filtered swimming pool just on the other side of the river, easily accessible via a footbridge, an outdoor boma where we will be dining each evening, plus there is a centrally positioned lounge and bar where we will be able to relax inbetween game drives, as well as conduct informal photography chats and daily image reviews on a projector.

All suites at Little Bush Camp are equipped with:

  • Air-conditioning
  • Fans
  • Hairdryers
  • In-suite safes
  • Telephone
  • Mini bar
  • Inside and outside shower

Power sources are (220v) and international adapters are available. Dietary requirements can be accommodated, subject to prior notification. Tap water is perfectly safe to drink and bottled water is also provided in each suite. Click here to read more about the camp and its facilities and see additional photos on the Sabi Sabi website.

Basic Itinerary

Day 1 – arrive in Johannesburg and meet up with fellow travellers at the Tladi Lodge in Sandton. In the evening we have a welcome braai (BBQ).

Day 2 – fly from Johannesburg to Nelspruit, near the Kruger Park and transfer to Sabi Sabi Little Bush Lodge (± 2 hour scenic road trip) – book into lodge – lunch – relax – evening game drive – dinner

Days 3 to 7 – morning game drives – breakfast – walking safari – lunch – relax or socialise in bar / pool – evening game drives – dinner – optional photo reviews & critique sessions

Day 8 – morning game drive – breakfast – checkout of Little Bush Camp – transfer to Nelspruit airport – flight to Johannesburg or join safari extension (see bottom of the page for more info).

Typical Daily Program At Sabi Sabi

(Timings subject to seasonal changes)
05h00: Early wake up and morning tea/coffee
05h30: Morning safari
08h30: Breakfast
Optional Walking Safari (after breakfast)
13h00: Lunch
16h30: Afternoon tea
17h00: Afternoon/evening safari
20h00: Return from safari
20h30: Dinner

Pricing


Per person sharing: ZAR45,000 | US$ |  £ |  €

Single supplement: ZAR14,000 | US$ |  £ |  € (single supplement assures you exclusive use of an entire row of seats in the game vehicle)

Currency data courtesy coinmill.com. Prices in USD/GBP/EUR are provided as a guide only. You will need to deposit the ZAR amount shown by SWIFT transfer when payment is due.

Included in the price:

  • Luxury Accommodation in Johannesburg & Sabi Sabi, Little Bush Camp
  • All meals at Sabi Sabi and welcome BBQ at Tladi in JHB
  • Selected alcoholic beverages & SA house wines at Sabi Sabi
  • 2 game drives per day (flexible times)
  • Optional walking safaris (after breakfast)
  • Return airfare from Johannesburg to Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport*
  • All transfers between airports and lodges

* If you are joining the official extension to this trip with Pepe you will be dropped off at OR Tambo at the end of your extension.

Excluded from the price:

  • International flight to and from Johannesburg
  • Telephone calls
  • Internet connectivity
  • Laundry
  • Imported and premium brand alcoholic beverages
  • Spa treatments
  • Staff Gratuities*

* Whilst they are not mandatory, gratuities for the game rangers, trackers and lodge staff are appreciated. Guidelines on the amounts to tip at the end of your stay are available in the room booklets at the lodge.

Book Your Place

Send an email to bookings@photographers.travel and advise us that you would like to join up on this safari. Also let us know whether you will be travelling alone, or with a partner. When we receive your email we will send you an official booking form that will need to be completed, together with details on how to pay the deposit, as well as our standard terms and conditions that you will need to print, sign, scan and send back to us.

VERY IMPORTANT! If you have emailed us and not heard back within 24-36 hours please check your spam folders for our reply. We are very prompt with our replies and we’d hate for you to miss out on this trip because of some silly technical error. If there is still no email reply you can also contact us on our Facebook page or via private message to Dallas on either Fotozones.com or Nikongear.com.

We look forward to adding you to our growing family of Safarians!

Extend Your Stay

At Photographers.travel we realise that coming half way around the world for only a week-long stay might be a bit of a big ask, so we have added an optional extension to this safari that will give you a much broader experience of Southern Africa, including its culture and some of it’s amazing scenery. If the extension we recommend doing with us doesn’t appeal to you, we would be very happy to put something else together for you that you can embark on privately after the Sabi Sabi week. We have done this for many of our Safarians, so be sure to let us know what you’d like to do when you email us.

Click the link below to find out a bit more about our recommended Ultimate Big 5 Safari extension.

3 Kingdoms Cultural Tour