Visionary Wild, LLC • 2200 19th St. NW, Ste 806, Washington, DC 20009

E-mail:    •    Tel: 1-202-558-9596 (9am to 5pm, EST).

Justin Black – Managing Director: 1-202-302-9030 • Email:

Jennifer Woolley – Director of Operations • Email:

We look forward to hearing from you!


Limit 5 spaces | $13,812* Closed
Expedition August 22 - September 9, 2017 | View other workshops

African Vision with Lou Coetzer, Johan Greyling and Elana Erasmus

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"This was the experience of a lifetime. Visionary Wild provided a terrific photo safari. The educational value of this workshop was unparalleled, and I have participated in many workshops." –African Vision Safari Participant

Join expert African wildlife photographers Lou Coetzer, Johan Greyling, and Elana Erasmus for this superlative African safari experience for a small group of five, designed to exceed a passionate photographer's wildest dreams. We will visit Africa's very finest wildlife destinations at an ideal time of year: Masai Mara, Kenya during the Great Migration, and Chobe River, Botswana, with mammals and birds concentrated along the river by the dry season.

• Includes loan of big telephotos – 600mm f/4 and 500mm f/4 – so you don't have to travel with them. Full-frame Nikon DSLR bodies available for free loan too!

• Unique custom photo safari vehicles, the best photographer's set-up in the business, both on the land and on the water, complete with photographer's chairs featuring fully adjustable 360-degree revolving Wimberley camera mounts. This makes it a breeze to work with big lenses  and capture fleeting moments of dynamic wildlife behavior.

• Excellent accommodations, perfectly positioned at Chobe River Lodge and &Beyond's Kichwa Tembo luxury tented camp in the Mara Triangle.

At Chobe, animals congregate along the river in the dry season to drink and feed on the lush greenery on the banks and flood plain. In addition to Chobe’s population of over 50,000 Kalahari elephants, opportunities include hippos (with young at this time of year), Nile crocs, buffalo, waterbuck, kudu, impala, giraffes, fish eagles, lions, hyenas, baboons, and countless bird species. Lou Coetzer and Johan Greyling will lead inspiring photography instruction at Chobe. Both Lou and Johan have successfully lead our previous expeditions to the Chobe River. Lou continually receives positive feedback from our clients as the most experienced and knowledgeable photo leader they have learned from in Africa, and Johan is a talented teacher of wildlife photography and receives high praise for his editing and classroom critiques.

Masai Mara is famous for its migration of millions of wildebeest, zebras, and Thompson's gazelles, accompanied by an abundance of lion, cheetah, leopard, and other African species. Elana Erasmus will lead expert photography instruction at Masai Mara.

At both locations we have arranged use of new photo safari vehicles with innovative custom features that deliver an ideal photographic experience. The heavily customized and air-conditioned 4WD IVECO vehicle we will use at Masai Mara features wide pop-up window panels for a broad unobstructed field of view for each photographer, and the vehicle seals up tight to keep out dust, rain, and heat.  Both the IVECO and our custom-built photo boat at Chobe comfortably accommodate our whole group. Both on land and on the water, each photographer will have his or her own rotating photographer's chair with fully adjustable revolving Wimberley-equiped telephoto lens mount.

This package is designed to deliver a superb overall experience, and includes first-rate lodging, all meals, beverages (including fine wine and beer at dinners), expert guides, photographic instruction, loaner Nikon telephotos and cameras, park entry fees, ground transfers, and in-Africa flights during the itinerary.

Click "read more" below right for the itinerary and more information...

Our itinerary makes the most of the incredible photographic opportunities, and offers attentive hands-on photographic instruction and expert guiding throughout:


August 22nd

Arrive at O.R. Tambo International Airport. You will be met at the airport and transferred to the Opikopi Guest House in Constantia Park, Pretoria to rest and de-jetlag after flight. Enjoy an AV presentation on Masai Mara and Chobe River safaris. Dinner and Overnight at Opikopi Guest House.

August 23rd

Early morning breakfast at the Opikopi Guest House before departing for our 11:45am flight departing from O.R. Tambo International Airport and arriving at Kasane Airport in Botswana. Quick transfer from Kasane Airport to Chobe Safari Lodge. Afternoon photography session on the Chobe River on custom-built photography boats. Overnight at Chobe River Lodge.

August 24th - 30th

6:00am meet up at jetty for coffee and rusks, and depart for photography sessions on Chobe River until 10:00am. Return to Lodge for a well-deserved brunch. Thereafter, we'll meet daily in the classroom for downloading, editing, and constructive critique of images with an eye toward improving your wildlife photography technique and optimizing your camera setup so it works best for you. At 2:30pm we return to the Chobe River for an afternoon photography session until 6:00pm. Snacks and beverages provided provided on the river daily. Overnight at Chobe River Lodge.

After freshening up, meet for sundowners and dinner.

August 31st

6:00am meet up at Jetty for coffee and rusks, and depart for a photography session on Chobe River until 10:00am. Return to Lodge for a well deserved brunch. Last image review and critique of Chobe Safari images, followed by some free time to pack bags and/or relax. Transfer to Kasane Airport for our flight departing for Johannesburg. Arrive at Johannesburg at 3:55pm. Say farewell to the Chobe River Safari group as they return home and stay at the airport for layover. Dinner at or nearby to the airport before early morning Kenya Airways flight departing at 12:55am for Nairobi International Airport.

September 1st

Arrive at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO) in Nairobi at 6:00am. Road transfer to Wilson Airport for 10:00am charter flight to Kichwa-Tembo Tented Camp. You will have a few hours at leisure before the first photography session in our custom-built photography vehicles at 2:30pm and arrive back at lodge at 6:00pm. After freshening up, meet for sundowners and dinner. Overnight at Kichwa-Tembo Tented Camp.

September 2nd - 8th

6:00am meet up at reception area for coffee and rusks, and depart for photography session in the Masai Mara until 10:00am. Return to Lodge for a well deserved brunch. Thereafter, we'll gather in the board room for downloading, editing, and critique. At 2:30pm we return to the Masai Mara for a afternoon photography session until 6:00pm. After freshening up, meet for sundowners and dinner. Overnight at Kichwa-Tembo Tented Camp.

September 9th

6:00am meet up at reception area for coffee and rusks, and depart for photography session in the Masai Mara Park until 10:00am. Return to lodge for a well-deserved brunch. Last debriefing on Masai Mara Safari and relaxing. Meet at reception and transfer to Mara Kichwa Tembo Airstrip for 4:00pm flight to Wilson Airport. 40-minute road transfer to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO).  Say our farewells and catch flights back home, which we recommend booking to depart no earlier than 8:00pm or to depart the next day.

The single-occupancy rate for this deluxe all-inclusive package has been reduced by 15%, from $16,750 to $14,237. The double-occupancy rate has also been reduced by 15%, from $16,250 to $13,812 per person. 50% deposit required upon booking and balance due by July 22nd, 2017.

For more information, please contact Justin or Sara at or 202-558-9596.

Not included: international flights from your point of origin to Johannesburg, South Africa and returning from Nairobi, Kenya (currently between $1,700 to $2,300 for economy class from and to the US), and incidental personal expenses.


  • VISA: A passport with at least six months of validity remaining is required, in addition to a visa to enter Kenya which you can apply for online through an e-visa process.
  • TRAVEL INSURANCE: Required for this expedition; is excellent.
  • FLIGHTS: Internal flights from O.R. Tambo International Airport (JNB) to Kasane Airport (BBK), from BBK to JNB, and from JNB to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO).
  • VACCINATIONS: Chobe is a low-risk malaria area; malaria prophylaxis is recommended. Yellow fever vaccination is required to enter Kenya.
  • GRATUITIES: Baseline tips are included. Our guides and lodge staff work very hard to make our experience in Africa the best it can be, and Visionary Wild budgets for a healthy group tip in recognition of their services. Guests are encouraged to tip additionally if they would like to recognize exceptional service.

Lou Coetzer

Understanding animal behaviour enabled me to predict with reasonable accuracy "what’s going to happen next," which I discovered was a wonderful asset when photography became part of my life 40 or so odd years ago.

Lou Coetzer is an award-winning professional wildlife and sports photographer and safari leader from Johannesburg, South Africa. His photographic adventure began four decades ago as a student at the then Helpmekaar Boys High School in Johannesburg. These early years in the black and white darkroom and his involvement in sports and sport photography remain major influences in his wildlife photography today.

Before becoming a full-time sports photographer, Lou was involved with The Photographic Society of South Africa for many years. As a member of PSSA, Lou won numerous National and International awards in various fields such as Wildlife, Sports, Landscape and Portraiture. In the years following his entry into the sports photography field, Lou received numerous awards in the prestigious Allied Bank South African Sport Photographer of the Year competition

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These were the days of Apartheid when South Africa was still in relative economic isolation, and a sustainable career as a sports photographer was major challenge. "If Madiba and F.W. De Klerk had gotten together one year earlier I would probably today still be a sport photographer!" says Lou. He moved to other photographic interests in the early 90's, achieving international recognition for his portrait work along the way, but it was in his love of wildlife that he found his ultimate calling.

Lou’s years of experience as a sports photographer and portraitist are revealed in his constant search for exquisitely lit wildlife subjects in high-action against clean backgrounds. "I'll be honest: only when the action is not happening will I start looking for the graphic image."

In 2010, Lou was honored by Nature’s Best magazine for his outstanding photography, and he has been recognized repeatedly for his skill at capturing animal behavior. His photographs have been published and exhibited internationally, including in the USA at the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC. Lou was also the chief photographic moderator for The African Photographic Awards 2010.

"I’ve been going into the African bush to experience the animals in the wild from a very young age, and I learned early on to pay close attention and learn from wildlife behaviour. This understanding helped me to predict with reasonable accuracy "what’s going to happen next," which I discovered was a wonderful asset when photography became part of my life 40 or so odd years ago.

I have an insatiable appetite for detail, and out of that grew my love for nature’s intimate stories. As I write this, I’m at Etosha National Park in Namibia, and over the last few days I’ve had the privilege to photograph lions unsuccessfully hunting Giraffe, Kudu, Cape Turtle Dove and even little Red Billed Queleas! I can truthfully say, though, that the highlight of the week was the way the Helmeted Guinea Fowl out foxed the Tawny Eagles this morning just to have the favour returned by a Male African Shelduck this afternoon. Africa's magic is often revealed by the unexpected and not necessarily by the so-called “Big Five,” or can we rather say the “Big Seven” and include the Hippo and Nile Crocodile.

Whether on my own or with a safari group, I am adamant about choosing destinations and scenarios in nature that make for successful photography. It’s easy to get addicted to the clean blue water and sky backgrounds of the Chobe River in northern Botswana, but I also have a deeply ingrained respect and affection for Africa's animals that must struggle to survive in its desert and arid areas like Etosha.

My wife Veronica and I have been pursuing nature photography seriously for many years, and we started leading photo safaris in 2004 on a limited scale, but it was only after launching our first photographic boat on the Chobe River in 2009 that we became real “Safari Rats.” Since then, we’ve led over seventy specialized wildlife photographic safaris to African destinations, and several to Alaska as well!

–Lou Coetzer

Johan Greyling

Johan Greyling assists photographers to take their skills to the next level. His passion and technical ability, coupled with patience, assists photographers to excel beyond their expectations. He teaches the basic photographic skills to honing professional Lightroom ability.   Johan has an impressive 43 years of experience in the photographic industry. His photographic development skills encompass Photoshop, Aperture, Capture NX, Nik Software, Silver Effects Pro, Onone Software, DXO Pro and mainly Lightroom. He is a Lightroom Trainer and Facilitator.   Johan has been a member of PSSA (Photographic Society of South Africa) for the past seven years and holds the distinction of being an Associate Member. He has participated as a judge for the PSSA giving him exposure to various photography styles. As a member of PSSA Johan won numerous National and International awards in Colour and Black & White in various fields such as Wildlife, Sport and Landscape photography. In 2014 Johan won the highest award in PSSA – a gold medal as Wildlife Photographer of the Year. Johan was runner up in 2013 for this award.   Johan was chosen as one of the few Photographers to exhibit Wildlife photographs for the South Africa and China Exhibition. His prints were in the Bellville Art Exhibition in the Cape and The National Art Museum, Johannesburg.

Elana Erasmus

Growing up, Elana Erasmus was continually exposed to the splendor of African nature. Her father and mother worked for Namibia’s Nature Conservation and Tourism, based in Okaukeujo Rest Camp in the Etosha National Park for much of Elana’s childhood. Having lions sleep on the front porch or drink from the pond, giraffes reaching over the fence to make a meal of her father’s vegetable garden, Sunday drives in an old Ford pickup in search of lions, all had a profound impact on her. Even after her family moved back to South Africa, these formative memories were forever imprinted in her mind and heart. 

Always passionate about photography, obligations to her family and business made a career as a professional wildlife photographer an elusive dream. Then, in 2011, a life-changing moment sparked a flame within her to make the leap, and become the best photographer she could be. Aided by mentorship under highly acclaimed wildlife photographer Lou Coetzer, her knowledge, passion and expertise has grown quickly, and she is regarded as a highly gifted photographer and top photo safari leader.

You see nature differently through the lens of a camera. It is not just about the thrill of capturing a lion kill, but also the wonder you experience when seeing an African Jacana caring for it’s chicks.

I love the challenge and diversity of photography. You can never really say that you have perfected your skill or knowledge. There is always that ever-elusive winning photo, a special sighting you have not witnessed before, a first specie not recorded yet, a story to tell, or just an image that is better than the last. 

Photography fills my life with unforgettable moments. It makes me realize just how fortunate I am to live in Africa, how privileged I am to experience what this wonderful continent has to offer, and how gratifying it is to capture nature and wildlife.

The thing that makes your heart beat faster and your eyes glow when you do it or talk about it, no matter if it’s photography, hiking, yoga, gardening, painting, meditation, going for walks, helping others - do that. Do it as often as you can. Because that is what life is about. Creating as many passionate, happy moments as possible. Don’t let anyone stop you from doing the things you love - not even yourself. –Elana Erasmus


  • Unbeatable combination of wildlife density and diversity, locations, seasonal conditions, photo and safari equipment, excellent lodging, expert guiding and photographic instruction
  • Custom photo boat at Chobe with revolving Wimberley camera mounts on swivel chair bases offer photo opportunities not to be found in any other type of safari vehicle and only six photographers to a boat
  • New customized 4WD safari vehicles at Masai Mara, with custom Wimberley-equipped photographer's chairs and only three photographers to a vehicle
  • Locations on the Chobe River and Masai Mara during the peak of migration that provide some of the best wildlife viewing opportunities anywhere
  • Experienced leaders to put you in the right place at the right time to capture peak-action animal behavior in the best light
  • Professional-grade supertelephoto lenses and camera bodies to enable participants to capture the best photos possible – provided at no extra cost!
  • Small group of five participants with the attentive support of three professional photographer instructors, naturalist guides, and experienced safari drivers
  • We will be unrushed at each location, to let you get to know the place and make the most of the opportunities
  • First-rate lodging and dining included throughout
  • Five in-Africa flights and all ground transfers included

Accommodations & Travel

  • Chobe: Chobe River Lodge, excellent accommodations and welcoming staff just steps away from our boat on the Chobe River.
  • Masai Mara: Kichwa-Tembo Tented Camp, a first-rate luxury tented camp, overlooking the plains of Masai Mara and the Sabaringo River, located on a private concession leased from Masai owners.
  • Pretoria: While in the Johannesburg area after arrival, our guests will be lodged at a superb guest house – Opikopi Guest House – located in Erasmuskloof, an upscale suburb of the capital, Pretoria.
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A visa and yellow fever vaccination are required for entry to Kenya. Fly into Johannesburg, South Africa to be met for ground transfer to our guesthouse the first night. Five in-Africa flights are included. All ground transfers, transportation, and excursions using newly customized 4WD photo-safari vehicles at Masai Mara are included. A best-in-class customized photo boat will be our shooting platform at Chobe N.P. This is the dry season, so rain is unlikely. Expect a mix of sunny and partly cloudy conditions with occasional overcast. At Chobe, plan for afternoon highs between 65ºF - 80ºF, and early morning lows 32ºF – 55ºF. At Masai Mara, plan for highs 75ºF - 90ºF, and lows 55ºF - 70ºF


NOTE: Group size is limited to six participants per photo boat when on the Chobe River, each guided by one of the instructors. This expedition will operate simultaneously with our Chobe River Safari expedition, which only includes a photo safari at the Chobe River. Participants of both this expedition and the Chobe River Safari expedition will be able to meet each other and share the experience together at the Chobe River.



Feedback from the 2013 African Vision safari:

The Africa trip was one of the best I have been on. I learned so much. The facilities were top-notch, vehicles and boats were specially equipped for photographers, and to top it off the dining was excellent! Thank you for putting together an interesting, educational, and fun trip for all of us. I have recommended this trip so I hope you will continue to offer it.”

–Ruth K., 2013 African Vision Safari Participant

I highly recommend Visionary Wild for any serious photographer who wants to upgrade skills while having fun in an enriched environment with others who share that same passion. Justin's attention to detail and ongoing support both in the planning stages and during the expedition was wonderful and fairly unique.
–Kathy C., 2013 African Vision participant
Over the years I have been fortunate to pursue my passion for wildlife photography in North, Central and South America and sharing the experiance with others on my return.   However, this safari has without question taken my interest in wildlife photography to a whole new level.... And then there is the secret sauce; the custom vehicles and boat!!  Any serious photographer interested in shooting wildlife in Africa simply owes it to themselves.

My only, and I mean only, suggestion regarding improving the experience would be to install a cappuccino machine on the boat.  Coffee machine or not I look forward to visiting again next year.

My sincere thanks for a journey I will never forget!

–David C., 2013 African Vision participant