The Ultimate Wildlife Photo Safari

About This Photo Safari

This is a 7 night photo safari adventure in the Sabi Sands (a private game reserve connected to the world famous Kruger National Park of South Africa). Here you will come face to face with some of Africa’s most famous and ferocious residents, the Big 5! Our experienced rangers, trackers and photographic guides will get you closer than you have ever been to all of these wild animals, as well as many other creatures found in the reserve.

Safari Leaders
Dallas Dahms & Pepe Jones

Availability
6 suites, each accommodating 2 adults, limited to a maximum of 10 persons

Safari Dates
2 – 8 October 2018

Primary Photographic Subjects

In the past this safari used to be primarily centered around Africa’s Big 5 animals. If you don’t already know, they are the lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo. However, because there is such a variety of wildlife present on the reserve, we now refer to this safari as the Ultimate Wildlife Photo Safari, because we get to see everything from mongooses to chameleons, baboons to giraffes and a ton of bird life in-between. 

If you would like to see some of the different kinds of animals we’ve photographed on this safari, be sure to visit the photo albums in the main menu. 

Photographer Skill Level & Optional Free Instruction

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

For the less experienced photographer, something new that we are offering on this 2018 safari is personal photographic instruction with Dallas Dahms. If you are looking to ramp up your knowledge on how to get the best out of your camera for wildlife, Dallas will spend time with you on your settings, explain techniques he has learned over the past 8 years of leading photographic safaris with Photographers.travel and will offer you advice on how to process and manage your images in Adobe Lightroom CC Classic.

If there is sufficient interest we will provide a presentation and lecture at Tladi Lodge the day before the safari begins where we will go over the basics of camera settings, the game drive procedure and we’ll practice a bit by photographing the birds in the lodge grounds. This might be especially useful for those shooting with mirrorless cameras as this is what Dallas uses (Olympus).

While we are on safari Dallas will be available to sit next to you on one of the game drives for 1 on 1 assistance and immediate feedback on shots you have taken. We will book drives so that each person who requires assistance will have a turn. During the day in between drives Dallas will be available for post processing training in Lightroom. 

There is no additional cost for this training.  

Suggested Camera Gear

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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 sensor 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 tele-converter for the stuff that’s further away will have you well covered.

What about flash? The downside is that it is more gear to pack, but the upside is that with bird photos the flash provides a nice catchlight in the eyes and can also bring out some stunning colours in their feathers. You can also get some nice, gentle fill for the bigger animals if the light is harsh.  

Should you bring a tripod? On some of the previous safaris to Sabi Sabi we have gone out again after dinner to photograph the Milky Way and our guests have made some spectacular star photos, as well as doing a bit of light painting. If this appeals to you, then yes, a tripod is a must.

Sabi Sabi use open Land Cruisers for game drives and these have three rows of elevated seats behind the driver. This can present a challenge for stability with really large lenses, so we suggest bringing a monopod with you that you can use to support your lens, either using the seat next to you as the base, or the floor of the vehicle.

Getting There

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You will fly into Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport and once you have cleared customs a private chauffeur will be waiting for you in the arrivals hall (look for a board with your name on it). From there it’s a 30-40 minute drive to the Tladi Lodge in Sandton 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. 

If you do arrive a day early there are activities and places to go in Johannesburg that 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 if you would like to go shopping.

Once we’re all assembled at Tladi Lodge we will have an opening “braai” (BBQ) and then the next day we fly from Johannesburg to the Skukuza Aerodrome in the Kruger Park. This is approximately an hour long flight. From Skukuza it is about an hour’s drive from the airstrip to Little Bush Camp on the same vehicles we will be doing our safari drives with, so keep your cameras handy. We will check in to Little Bush Camp, eat lunch and then our first game drive will happen at approximately 4pm that afternoon.

About The Accommodation At Sabi Sabi

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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.

All suites at Little Bush Camp are equipped with:

  • Air-conditioning
  • Fans
  • Hairdryers
  • In-suite safes
  • Telephone
  • Mini bar
  • Inside and outside showers
  • Jacuzzi / hot tub

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.

Ultimate Big 5 Wildlife Safari 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 – road transfer to Sabi Sabi Little Bush Lodge – check into lodge – lunch – relax – evening game drive – dinner

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

Day 8 – morning game drive – breakfast – checkout of Little Bush Camp – transfer to Nelspruit airport – flight to Johannesburg or join official safari extensions

If you are flying in from a long haul flight across many time zones we highly recommend arriving a day early and spending an extra night at the Tladi Lodge. This will give you enough time to recover from jet lag and also possibly deal with any unforeseen eventualities with your luggage not arriving with you (unfortunately this does happen from time to time).

You might also want to do this at the end of the week long trip to Sabi Sabi if you can’t get an evening flight out on the last day of the safari. If you’d like to add extra nights at the beginning or end of the safari (or both) just mention it in your email to us and we will adjust your invoice.

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Location

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, adjacent to the Kruger Park.

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 a 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 and safest viewing positions for photography.

Price 

2018 Per person sharing: ZAR80,000
2018 Single supplement: ZAR25,000

If you are sharing a room but want your own row of seats on the game drives you pay this supplement, but if you are paying the single room supplement you get your own row included in that supplement.

Deposits

  • 15% of the total cost is required to book a spot (your spot is not guaranteed until this is received and confirmed)
  • 30% by 28 February 2018
  • 100% by 30 June 2018

 

Included in the price:

  • 1 Night accommodation at Tladi Lodge in Johannesburg (additional nights can be booked if needed)
  • Welcome BBQ dinner at Tladi Lodge and all meals at Sabi Sabi
  • Selected beverages at Sabi Sabi
  • 2 game drives per day (12 in total)
  • Optional Walking Safari
  • Airport to lodge transfers

 

Excluded from the price:

  • International flights to and from South Africa
  • Telephone calls
  • 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.

Photos from our 2015 Ultimate Big 5 Safari

The following video is episode 1 of our “Inside Safari” YouTube series. Be sure to subscribe!

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Click the button below to send us an email and book your spot. We will reply within 48 hours so if you have not seen a reply after that time you should definitely check your spam folders.

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