Days
11

Incredible nature, landscape and culture awaits in brilliant Botswana

Join multiple award winning landscape & people photographer Ben Mcrae on this 11 day journey through Botswana. This trip is designed for beginners to professionals and all tastes are catered for. Ben will be on hand to offer full hands on tuition. At each location he will offer insightful workshops on how to capture what is before you; landscapes, animals, people, astrophotography and, editing sessions.
Game Drive in 4x4’s in Chobe national Park, Spot wildlife on a Chobe River Cruise, Track Meerkats in the Makgkadigkadi Pans, Enjoy sundowners by ancient Baobab trees, get up close and personal to resident elephants from an underground photography bunker, venture into Moremi National Park for a night of mobile camping and Game Drives, Spend a full day with the San Bushmen and learn about these fascinating hunter-gatherers.


Start
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Finish
Windhoek, Namibia
Countries
Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe
Style
Peregrine
Theme
Wildlife
Code
PFBP
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 4, Max 12

Why we love this trip

  • Travel in a small group of 12 with a guaranteed window seat.

  • Join multiple aware winning landscape & people photographer Ben Mcrae on this 11 day journey through Botswana.

  • This trip is designed for beginners to professionals and all tastes are catered for. Ben will be on hand to offer full hands on tuition.

  • The thundering Victoria Falls is one of the world's most spectacular natural wonders, a phenomenon of sight and sound.

  • A morning Game drive in the Chobe National Park get you up close and personal with gnus, zebras and other wondrous wildlife.

  • Get up close and personal to resident elephants from an underground photography bunker,

  • Spend time exploring the Makgadikgadi Pans, looking out for meerkats and meandering elephants, and enjoy a sundowner in the shadow of an old baobab tree.

  • Learn more about the Kalahari from the knowledgeable San people as they sing and dance with you by the campfire, then spend a full day with them learning more about one of Southern Africa's oldest inhabitants.

Is this trip right for you?

  • The days are likely to be long and busy, but there will be plenty of photographic opportunities, and photographic lessons to learn as well.

  • Purpose-built overland vehicles are used for the duration of the trip. It is important to note that while these vehicles are not air-conditioned, all windows do open to allow for fresh air. Be prepared for some dust, heat and wind.

  • This itinerary features some long travel days, which can be exacerbated by bumpy African roads. It is recommended that you pay close attention to the given approximations of driving hours.

  • Accommodation in Moremi Game Reserve will be will be in pre-erected tents with fully made, bedrolls on stretchers, bedside table with solar powered lantern. There will be a shared toilet tent and shower tent, and a towel will be supplied.

  • You don't have to be an athlete to take a Peregrine overland safari, but a general level of physical movement is required. For example, simply entering and exiting the vehicles several times a day will require a certain level of physical fitness and capability.

  • Botswana temperatures rise in the hot dry period of September and October before the rains hit and temperatures can get as high as 34-38°C. Not all accommodation will have air-conditioning ( especially the San Bushmen Lodge, and obviously while mobile camping in Moremi ). This is quite common across Africa, particularly in remote locations where lodges or camps operate on solar power or generators.

  • Botswana is a very seasonal destination. What you see and experience can differ quite dramatically depending on the time of year you visit. Please consider this before you choose your departure date. See the 'Climate and Seasonal' section for more details.

Itinerary

Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm on Day 1. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. Excellent optional activities include a boat cruise along the Zambezi, morning and afternoon game drives, or walks in the Zambezi National Park. You might also choose an awe-inspiring helicopter flight over the Falls and the Zambezi Gorges.

Tonight you will dine at the incredible Boma Restaurant, whose menu has been known to include warthog, buffalo, crocodile, impala and more. Throughout the meal you'll be entertained with local song and dance. Everyone is given an African drum and encouraged to join the party. (If you don’t wish to join in with the drumming you may wish to choose an earlier session for dinner.)

The evening is also an ideal opportunity to get to know your photographic guide, Ben McRae. During the night’s festivities, Ben will have a chance to speak to you personally. However, this is not just a meet and greet. Ben will be looking to learn what you would like to take away from this experience, and any specific skills you would like to develop over the course of the trip. As Ben will also be offering personalised lessons during the trip, this time together will allow him to understand your photographic journey and how he can help you in the coming days.
Accommodation
  • Victoria Falls Safari Lodge or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
  • Victoria Falls - The Boma Dinner & Experience
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Special Information
An airport arrival transfer is included. This transfer is only valid if arriving on day 1 or if you have booked pre-trip accommodation through Peregrine. Please provide your flight details at the time of booking, or at a minimum 15 days prior to travel (note - we may not be able confirm request made within 15 days of travel). Once you have provided your details a transfer representative will be booked to meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel.

You may notice businesses offering an optional 'Walk with the Lions' experience. We ask all travellers to avoid this activity as it is contrary to our Responsible Travel policy. Please see the Responsible Travel section of the ETI for more information.


This morning you will visit the magnificent Victoria Falls, named by Dr David Livingstone in honour of his English queen. One of the world's true natural wonders, Victoria Falls form the largest sheet of falling water in the world, when in full flow. The group will enter the park as soon as the gates open to make the most of the early morning sun, which rises behind the falls and illuminates the vast plumes of spray that bellow from Bakoka Gorge. Your photographic guide will lead you to the best vantage points to capture the sunrise. During the morning you will be able to cover the falls from many different perspectives, ensuring you come away with a range of images of this spectacular waterfall. Your Peregrine leader will also be available for those who wish to learn more about the falls and its detailed history.

After your tour, follow the Zambezi River to Botswana and make your way to Chobe National Park (100km approximately 2–3 hours, not including border formalities). You will arrive at your lodge at around midday.

In the afternoon, embark on a cruise along the picturesque Chobe River, one of the photographic highlights of this trip and an ideal location for spotting bird life such as saddle-billed storks, malachite kingfishers, fish eagles and beautiful bee-eaters as well as hippos, crocodiles and large families of elephants. You will be joined by other travellers on the boat cruise, which has a toilet and small bar to purchase drinks. The benefit of using a larger boat is that it allows freedom to move and cover a number of angles of the animals we see. Swimming elephants are a special sight on the Chobe River and being able to move on board the boat will ensure you can make the most of this cruise. Sunsets on the river are also a magical experience and there will be a great opportunity to capture some shillouette images while enjoying a G&T in true African style.

Ben McRae will be on hand to offer tips and advice from his many years in the area. Due to our smaller group size and the room we have on board there will be a chance to get more personalised photographic tuition during the afternoons session if you wish.

You will spend the night in a chalet located just outside Chobe National Park.
Accommodation
  • Chobe Safari Lodge or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Victoria Falls - Entrance
  • Chobe - Sunset Cruise
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information


This morning you will enjoy a game drive in Chobe National Park. The early departure will hopefully allow the group to photograph some of the park’s predators in the warm morning light. The park is famous for its lions, leopards and wild dogs and it’s possible to spot these predators at the river’s edge. The strip of reserve that runs parallel to the river offers some of the best game viewing in Africa and predatory kills are frequently seen here. As this is a game drive, nothing can be promised but Chobe is likely to leave you with full SD cards and happy memories. After a few hours, return to the lodge for breakfast. It is essential to wear extra layers of clothing in the morning as the game drive will make use of an open vehicle. 

We then make our way to Senyati Safari Camp situated in the Lesoma Valley. The camp is self catering and your crew will prepare meals during your stay here. Although Senyati Safari Camp is very private, the waterhole knows no privacy. A variety of animals come and go throughout the day. The waterhole is frequented by a good variety of species such as hyena, banded mongoose, warthogs, roan antelope, monkey baboons, buffalo, sable, elephants and the occasional leopard.

In the afternoon the group will spend time in an underground photography bunker which, after a short climb down a ladder and a walk through the bunkers, will bring you to viewing seats looking out through small slits onto a waterhole. The viewpoint is a mere three metres from the water’s edge. This Hide provides photographers with an amazing perspective on the action. Silence is a must in the bunker. While it is possible to see herds of elephants here, nothing can be guaranteed. Ben will also be offering his advice while observing from an elevated deck overlooking the waterhole.

Stay overnight at Senyati Safari Camp.
Included Activities
  • Chobe - 4x4 Morning Game Drive
  • Senyati - Underground Bunker Afternoon Photography session
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
Extra layers of clothing are essential here for the early morning Game drive in an open vehicle.
Accommodation at Senyati Safari Camp is in self catering chalets which are basic but comfortable. All chalets have private ensuites and air-conditioning.
Rise early and perhaps spend some more time in the underground photography bunker. This extra time might allow you to capture an amazing photo or two of thirsty predators or antelope stopping for a morning drink.

Heading south, you will continue your journey (410 kilometres, approximately 6 hours) to the Makgadikgadi Pans for an afternoon excursion. Witness the immensity of this sprawling salt flat, one of the largest in the world. Later you will head to Gweta Lodge, located near the edge of the pans.

In the afternoon, leave the lodge in an open game vehicle to and travel out to the Nxaisini pan. Here you’ll sit out in the wild enjoying sundowners and snacks while observing the amazing scenery and beautiful baobab trees.
There may be an opportunity to take part in an astrophotography or startrail session ( time dependent ). Depending on the moon phase you will be given a step-by-step walkthrough on how to create amazing night images and stunning star trails. Ben will be on hand to ensure you understand each step in the process before introducing light painting techniques into these images.

Back at the lodge, relax in the lounge area while you take in your surroundings and reflect on the day's adventure.
Accommodation
  • Gweta Lodge or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Makgadikagadi Pans - Sunset Baobab Tree Drive & Photography session
  • Senyati - Underground Bunker Morning Photography session
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Today we will spend a full day out exploring the Makgadikgadi Pans.
With the aid of trackers you’ll spend some time in the company of the local meerkat colony, and look out for elephants that meander their way down to the watering hole to quench their thirst.

Today’s photography will focus on capturing some of the smaller creatures we encounter. Ben will offer some unique ideas to help create images that have depth and character. You may also be introduced to less common techniques that will help add another dimension to your photography portfolio.
Accommodation
  • Gweta Lodge or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Makgadikagadi Pans - Full Day Pan & Meerkat Excursion
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
After breakfast this morning, it's time to head to Maun, the gateway of the Okavango Delta (approximately 4 hours). For those interested, there is the opportunity to fly over the delta in a small plane for a bird's-eye view. This is a great way to appreciate the vast scale of this waterscape. Your leader can give you more information on this optional activity and how to reserve a place.Those who choose to take the additional flight will have a short workshop with Ben to cover techniques on capturing images from the sky.

If you elect not to join the additional flight, the afternoon yours to spend as you please.

This evening there will be a chance to sit down and undergo a post-processing workshop. In this class you will be shown some subtle techniques for making your images pop. Ben's attitude to post-processing is to try and capture images as best you can in camera while in the field, but with a few digital enhancements and selective editing you will be shown how to fine-tune your images for extra impact. This session will also show you how to process the photographs you took in Gweta. Please note that this workshop may take place on Day 8.


Accommodation
  • Thamalakane River Lodge or similar (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Scenic flight - USD385
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Journey out into the Moremi Game Reserve for a unique mobile camping experience. You will be joined by expert local guides and staff who have grown up in the bush or in rural Botswana, and so will have the best tips for spotting wildlife. Your camp will be set up within the Moremi Game Reserve before you arrive. Enjoy an afternoon game drive in the park before settling in at camp for the night. Nothing quite compares to sleeping 'Under Canvas' and drifting off to sleep to the sounds of the African night.

In addition to travelling deeper into the Okavango Delta, today’s session will help further refine your wildlife photography skills. Ben will be on hand to offer further advice on composition, exposure in testing conditions, and to help develop some new techniques you may have not used before.

Accommodation
  • Mobile Camping (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Accommodation will be in pre-erected, walk-in 3m x 3m tents with fully made, comfortable bedrolls on stretchers, bedside table with solar powered lantern. There will be a shared toilet tent and shower tent, and a towel will be supplied.
Enjoy a morning game drive before heading back to Maun, You may like to organise an optional flight over the delta if you missed out on Day 6. The scenic flight offers a bird's-eye view – a great way to appreciate the immensity of this watery world. Your leader can give you more information on this activity and how to book.
Accommodation
  • Thamalakane River Lodge or similar (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Scenic flight - USD385
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Travel on to Ghanzi, the 'Capital of the Kalahari' (400 kilometres, approximately 7 hours). Your accommodation tonight is at a community project in Ghanzi and is a little more basic than what you will encounter throughout your journey. However, the concept and experience of Dqae Qare San Lodge is well worth it. It is run and owned by the local San Bushmen and supports the San D'Kar community through employment. There is an impressive concentration of bird life here, and you may wish to go for a walk before dinner to stretch your legs after today's long stint in the vehicle. A three-course meal, prepared by the local women, will be served in the communal lounge and dining area. There is also an 'honesty' bar with wine, beer and soft drinks available to buy. 

Later this evening you will be treated to an enlightening cultural experience. As you sit around the campfire, the Bushmen will conduct a ‘healing ceremony’. The Bushmen dance in a sand circle around the flames, slowly working themselves into a trance by their chanting and dancing, while others are seated outside the circle, clapping and singing. Occasionally the dancers will leave the circle to place their healing hands on their fellow Bushmen. It’s a privilege to sit and witness this traditional ceremony.

There will be a number of opportunities to take photographs during the ceremony. Using the low light you will be able to create some interesting images with movement and flash. A tripod is recommended to ensure images are sharp and to reduce motion blur.
Accommodation
  • Dqae Qare San Lodge or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Central Kalahari - San Bushmen Cultural Dance
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Make the most of the opportunity to spend a full day with the San people. Learn more about these fascinating people believed to be Southern Africa's oldest inhabitants. The community delight in sharing their culture and extraordinary knowledge of the Kalahari with travellers through bush walks, traditional dancing, fire making, craft making, trapping and story telling.

Today you will explore a number of different photography styles, with Ben taking the group through a portrait workshop. He will be able to observe and provide feedback to you throughout the shoot. Ben will also offer advice on how to create environmental portraits, which is one of his favourite styles of photography. There will be an additional workshop for those who’d like to learn how to use off-camera flash.
Accommodation
  • Dqae Qare San Lodge or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Central Kalahari - Full Day Dqae Qare San Cultural Experience
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Cross the border into Namibia today and head to Windhoek (560 kilometres, approximately 9 hours, including border formalities). This trip will end on arrival.


Notes: It's best not to book any flights out of Windhoek tonight. The airport is a one-hour drive from town, and although you should comfortably make it to the hotel in Windhoek by 5pm, it can be difficult to get to the airport in time for outbound flights.

No accommodation is included for tonight, but can be requested at your own expense.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
This is the longest travel day on this itinerary so be prepared for a day of inactivity on the truck.

Meals

10 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 10 dinners

Transport

4WD vehicle, Custom-built overland vehicle, On foot, Open 4WD vehicles, Boat, Private vehicle

Accommodation

Fully Serviced Mobile Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night), Lodge (9 nights)

Included Activities

  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
  • Victoria Falls - The Boma Dinner & Experience
  • Victoria Falls - Entrance
  • Chobe - Sunset Cruise
  • Chobe - 4x4 Morning Game Drive
  • Senyati - Underground Bunker Afternoon Photography session
  • Makgadikagadi Pans - Sunset Baobab Tree Drive & Photography session
  • Senyati - Underground Bunker Morning Photography session
  • Makgadikagadi Pans - Full Day Pan & Meerkat Excursion
  • Central Kalahari - San Bushmen Cultural Dance
  • Central Kalahari - Full Day Dqae Qare San Cultural Experience

Dates & availability

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Important notes

MINIMUM NUMBERS:
This trip requires a minimum of 4 passengers to depart. Please do not book any non-refundable flights or services before the departure is guaranteed to depart.

ARRIVAL TRANSFER:
An arrival airport transfer is included on Day 1of this trip. Please ensure your flight details are provided to your Travel Agent at least 15 days prior to your departure.

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT:
An optional single supplement is available on this trip. Please Note: the single supplement does not apply to the nights spent in Moremi Game Reserve, or Dqae Qare San Lodge in Ghanzi.

DQAE QARE SAN LODGE:
The lodge supports the local San D'Kar community and is owned and run by the San Bushmen people. This is a unique, cultural Kalahari experience and the standard of accommodation may be below what you would expect on a Peregrine trip - but the experience is well worth it.

MOREMI GAME RESERVE SERVICED CAMPING:
Accommodation in Moremi Game Reserve will be will be in pre-erected tents with fully made, bedrolls on stretchers, bedside table with solar powered lantern. There will be a shared toilet tent and shower tent, and a towel will be supplied.

Essential Trip Information

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