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

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

Justin Black – Managing Director: 1-202-302-9030 • Email: justin@visionarywild.com

Sara Robb – Operations Assistant: sara@visionarywild.com

We look forward to hearing from you!

 

Limit 6 spaces | $5,737* Closed
Expedition August 22 - 31, 2017 | View other workshops

Chobe River Safari with Lou Coetzer and Johan Greyling

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"Photographing from the river in a boat set up for photographers was a novel and great way to experience wildlife up close and take good pictures." -J. Allen, 2016 Chobe River Safari participant

"Chobe River is a wonderful wildlife experience, and the Visionary Wild trip gave us an insight into professional wildlife photography and how to approach it which was second to none. I would strongly recommend this trip to anyone wanting to improve their wildlife camera technique and photography in general." -A. Firkin, 2016 Chobe River Safari participant

Set in one of Africa's finest wildlife destinations at an ideal time of year for the dry season, this safari focuses on the incredible biodiversity accessible via the Chobe River's various channels, islands, and wetlands, where 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 crocodiles, leopards, buffalo, waterbuck, kudu, impala, giraffes, fish eagles, lions, hyenas, baboons, and countless bird species. In fact, this safari is a bird photographer's dream, featuring the tiny and colorful Malachite Kingfisher, the largest heron in the world – the Goliath, several species of Bee-Eater, African Jacanas, and an endless array of water birds.  The concentrated displays of mammalian wildlife behavior, from battling hippos to leopards drinking at water's edge and herds of elephants looming overhead on the riverbank, ensure you will capture peak moments of exceptional behavior. The quality of light in morning and evening is wonderful on the Chobe, as the wide, open floodplain enables low-angle light at sunrise and sunset to skim over the water and bathe the animals in golden illumination.

Join photographers Lou Coetzer and Johan Greyling for this safari experience full of a variety of wildlife. 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.

Group size is limited to six participants per photo boat, each guided by one of the instructors. This expedition will co-operate with the African Vision expedition, which includes photo safaris at the Chobe River and Masai Mara, Kenya. Participants of both this expedition and the African Vision expedition will be able to meet each other and share the experience together at the Chobe River.

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. Additionally:

• 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!

• The best photo safari vehicle 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 photograph dynamic wildlife behavior.

We have arranged use of these custom-build photo boats with innovative custom features that deliver an ideal photographic experience. Each photographer will have his or her own rotating photographer's chair with fully adjustable revolving Wimberley-equiped telephoto lens mount.  Included at no additional cost is loan of Nikon super-telephoto lenses (600mm f/4 and 500mm f/4) and pro camera bodies, so there is no need to carry big glass to Africa.

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 the Chobe River. 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 our farewells and catch flights back home.

 

The single-occupancy rate for this deluxe all-inclusive package has been reduced by 15%, from $7,250 to $6,162. The double-occupancy rate has also been reduced by 15%, from $6,750 per person to $5,737. 50% deposit required upon booking, and balance due by July 22nd, 2017.
For more information, please contact Justin or Sara at info@visionarywild.com or 202-558-9596.

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

PLEASE NOTE:

  • VISA: Although no visa is needed, a passport with at least six months of validity remaining is required.
  • TRAVEL INSURANCE: Travel insurance is required; Travelguard.com is excellent.
  • FLIGHTS: Internal flights from O.R. Tambo International Airport (JNB) to Kasane Airport (BBK), and from BBK to JNB.
  • VACCINATIONS: Chobe is a low-risk malaria area; malaria prophylaxis is recommended.
  • 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.

Highlights

  • Ten-day itinerary including 16 photography excursions at one of our favorite safari locations in Africa: the Chobe River.
  • Unbeatable combination of wildlife density and diversity, locations, seasonal conditions, photo and safari equipment, excellent lodging, expert guiding and photographic instruction
  • Custom photo boat on the Chobe River with revolving Wimberley camera mounts on swivel chair bases offer photo opportunities not to be found in any other type of safari boat
  • Locations on the Chobe River 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 six participants per boat
  • 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
  • Two 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.
  • 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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Fly into Johannesburg, South Africa to be met for ground transfer to our guesthouse the first night. Two in-Africa flights are included. All ground transfers and transportation are included. A best-in-class customized photo boat will be our shooting platform at Chobe National Park. The temperatures are starting to rise at Chobe National Park as the rainy season approaches. The skies should still be clear, but nights will be cool. Plan for afternoon highs to peak at low 80s to low 90s, and nights to cool down to the low 50s.