• Botswana Photo Safari
  • Letaka Mobile photo Safari
  • Photographic Safari Botswana

Botswana 'Shutter Safaris' 2016 & 2017

This very popular photo centric safari is based on our Northern Highlights designed to suit keen photographers who would like to safari with like minded people, sharing the experience and knowledge. 

On this Botswana Photographic Safari

You will have ample space and great photographic opportunities. 
Unlike our Photographic Workshop, your guide is not a professional photographer but he is still extremely experienced in finding wildlife, predicting wildlife behavior and getting you into the perfect position for that award winning shot. 
This is a fully serviced mobile tented wildlife & birding safari to the highlights of northern Botswana seeking out the beautiful wildlife and varied colorful birds of this wonderful safari destination. 

During your Botswana Photographic Safari

You will be staying in private camping areas and guided by some of the most experienced mobile safari operators in Botswana, visiting Chobe national park, Khwai and the Moremi game reserve.

What to expect:
A friendly informal safari which will aim to get you in front of as much wildlife as possible. Spending all the time you need to make the most of your photography.
Often this will mean staying at a sighting longer than on a normal safari, particularly if  a ‘change of light or an imminent bout of subject activity will provide a better image. On this Botswana Photographic Safari there will be plenty of opportunities to practice landscape shots during the expedition, especially at sunset not to mention a myriad of potential bird photographs. The unique experience photographing wildlife in Botswana will be divided between a maximum of just six guests. 

Request a full day to day itinerary and Photographic kit list and details of the wildlife and birds you might expect to see. 
Click here to Email 

The brief Itinerary

Day 1: Maun to Xakanaxa.
Travel Day. 30 minute charter flight Accommodation: Letaka Tented Camp Activities: Game Drives.

Days 2 & 3: Moremi Game Reserve
On the eastern extremity of the Okavango Delta. Expect A extremely variable habitat the diversity of both wildlife and birdlife is excellent. Accommodation: Letaka Tented Camp Activities: Game Drives and Boating

Day 4: Xakanaxa to Khwai. Travel Day.
60km. 3-4 hours
Following and early morning breakfast you take a slow drive through Moremi Game Reserve to the Khwai Area. Accommodation: Letaka Tented Camp. Activities: Game drive and night drive.

Days 5 & 6: Khwai Exploration Days.
Exploring the Khwai floodplains on game drives both during the day and at night. Accommodation: Letaka Tented Camp. Activities: Game Drive, Walking Safaris (conditions permitting) and Night Drives

Day 7: Khwai to Savuti. Travel Day. 100km. 4-5 hours

We head further north en-route to Chobe. Exclusive wilderness campsite in the Savuti region, exploring the dessert-like landscape Accommodation: Letaka Tented Camp Activities: Morning and Afternoon Game Drives

Days 8 & 9: Savuti (Chobe N.P.) Exploration Days.
The Savuti Marsh has been the stage for many of the most dramatic wildlife documentaries in Africa. Particularly strong prides of lion and hyaena clans make for dramatic wildlife interaction and excellent photo opportunities. 
Accommodation: Letaka Tented Camp Activities: Game Drives and Bushman Painting Walks.

Day 10: Savuti to Chobe River. 170km (5 hrs)
Leave Savuti to travel along the Chobe River arriving at Chobe Safari Lodge where we will stop for lunch before taking a leisurely afternoon boat cruise to end our safari. We recommend either spending a night or two in Kasane or Livingstone. Alternatively we will transfer you to Livingstone to catch your homeward flight. Activities: Game Drives & Chobe Boat Trip

Rates for this Safari
Price including flights from/to UK:
Flights from $1600 pp

Price excluding international flights:
2016 April $5375 pp
2016 July & Aug $6145 pp
2017 Feb $3445 pp
2017 April $5375 pp
2017 Jul - Aug & Oct $6145 pp
2017 Dec $3445 pp
 
No single supplement
Safari Summary

Dates :

2017:
23 Feb - 04 March 
29 Apr - 08 May 
09 Jul  - 18 Jul
10 Aug - 19 Aug
17 Oct - 26 Oct
04 Dec - 13 Dec

Highlights: 

  • The Moremi Game Reserve 
  •  Exploring the fringes of the Okavango Delta by boat 
  • The freedom of the Khwai Concession Area 
  • Chobe National Park (Savuti & Chobe River Front) 
  • Boat cruise on the Chobe River 
  • Charter flight over the Okavango Delta 

Your Safari Includes: 

Spacious and comfortable tented accommodation, 
including beds and bed linen, with a private 
bathroom en-suite. 
Services of a professional guide, 
Safari chef and camp 
assistants, complete with a supply vehicle. 
Game drives and local transfers in customised safari 
vehicles 
Exclusive camping in private campsites within the national parks and reserves
All entrance and camping fees within the national parks and reserves 
All meals and drinks (mineral water, soft drinks, beer, 
wine and G&T) whilst in Letaka Tented Camps 
All activities as specified in the itinerary 

Your Safari Excludes: 

Travel Insurance 
All flights unless otherwise indicated 
Items of personal nature 
Staff gratuities
Optional safari extensions 

Full Safari Details
Botswana 'Shutter Safaris' 2016 & 2017

This very popular photo centric safari is based on our Northern Highlights designed to suit keen photographers who would like to safari with like minded people, sharing the experience and knowledge. 

On this Botswana Photographic Safari

You will have ample space and great photographic opportunities. 
Unlike our Photographic Workshop, your guide is not a professional photographer but he is still extremely experienced in finding wildlife, predicting wildlife behavior and getting you into the perfect position for that award winning shot. 

This is a fully serviced mobile tented wildlife & birding safari to the highlights of northern Botswana seeking out the beautiful wildlife and varied colourful birds of this wonderful safari destination. 

Staying in private camping areas and guided by some of the most experienced mobile safari operators in Botswana. Visiting Chobe national park, Khwai and the Moremi game reserve.

What to expect:

A friendly informal safari which will aim to get you infront of as much wildlife as possible. Spending all the time you need to make the most of your photography. 
Often this will mean staying at a sighting longer than on a normal safari, particularly if  a ‘change of light or an imminent bout of subject activity will provide a better image.

There will be plenty of opportunities to practice landscape shots during the expedition, especially at sunset not to mention a myriad of potential bird photographs. 

The unique experience photographing wildlife in Botswana will be divided between a maximum of just six guests. 

Photographic Kit List

Do not feel you need to buy a ton of expensive kit just to come on this trip. You will certainly benefit from a reasonable telephoto lens (preferably 300mm or more; a 100-400mm zoom gives you added flexibility) and a shorter wide-angle lens which can be used for landscapes. If you have additional equipment (e.g. a macro lens, a spare body, etc.) then please bring them along, but be aware that the maximum total luggage limit on the light aircraft is 20kg per person. The following is a list of useful but by no means essential items.

Camera Bag – A sturdy, soft backpack is ideal for these types of trips. Pelicases are also good if they do not take you over the baggage weight limits. Whatever your choice, be prepared for plenty of dust, so make sure your bag can suitably protect your equipment.

Camera Body Lenses and extenders/converters Memory cards/film – You can never have too many memory cards or film. If you are shooting digitally and have a multimedia photo viewer, then this can act as a back-up for your memory cards and a useful editing tool in the field. Lens cleaning kit (Gitzo blower, cloth and solution) – You will undoubtedly need this at some stage during the trip. Spare battery and charger – There is an inverter in the safari vehicle, but to be safe we would advise bringing enough batter power to get you through the safari. Beanbag (optional – Letaka can supply if requested in advance) Tripod (especially if you are keen on landscapes) Monopod – If you have a heavy super-telephoto lens (500mm or more) then you will find shooting in the back of the vehicle much easier with a monopod as the arm rest tends to be quite low. Filters – Generally a polariser will be your most useful filter. UV filters are also useful for protecting your lenses. If you are serious about landscapes then a neutral density filter can help to darken skies resulting in a more uniform exposure. Flash – An external flash can often help “fill-in” shadows during the day as well as allowing you to shoot in more overcast conditions.

The Itinerary

Day 1: Maun to Xakanaxa. 
Travel Day. 30 minute charter flight After your arrival at Maun International Airport you will be met by a representative Mack Air for your charter flight to the Xakanaxa airstrip in Moremi Game Reserve where you will be met by your guide. Our first three nights are spent in the Xakanaxa region where we explore the surrounding wilderness on morning and afternoon game drive excursions. Wildlife: From the air only the larger animals are easily seen. These include large breeding herds of African elephant that live in the mopane scrub. On the open plains large herds of buffalo and lechwe can be seen and in the waterways, pods of hippopotamus are a common sight. Once you land in Xakanaxa and board your land cruiser, the smaller game animals can be found. Birding: A good day for raptors with African Hawk-Eagle, Gabar Goshawk, Shikra, Little Sparrowhawk, Dark Chanting Goshawk, Tawny Eagle, Lesser Spotted Eagle* and Steppe Eagle* all inhabiting the mopane and adjacent woodlands. Other birds common along this route includes most of Botswana’s hornbills including Red-billed, Southern Yellow-billed, African Grey, Bradfield’s and the Southern Ground Hornbills. A large number of brood-parasites may also be seen. Diederick Cuckoo*, Levaillant’s Cuckoo*, Jacobin Cuckoo*, Great- spotted Cuckoo*, African Cuckoo*, Common Cuckoo*, Shaft-tailed Whydah, Pin-tailed Whydah, Eastern Paradise Whydah, Greater Honeyguide, and Lesser Honeyguide. Accommodation: Letaka Tented Camp Activities: Game Drives.

 Days 2 & 3: Moremi Game Reserve 
Habitat: Moremi lies on the eastern extremity of the Okavango Delta. Habitats here range from wide-open floodplains, marshes, lagoons, papyrus fringed channels, vast stands of Miscanthus and Phragmites, woodland and savannah. As a result of the extremely variable habitat the diversity of both wildlife and birdlife is excellent.

Wildlife: Moremi is amongst the best game reserves in Africa for viewing the endangered African wild dog. Xakanaxa is home to a resident herd of several hundred buffalo whose range covers the territories of at least 4 prides of lion which may often be seen flanking the ever moving herd. Breeding herds of elephant move between their browsing areas in the mopane forests and the fresh water of the Okavango. Red lechwe are one of the more unusual antelope species and commonly found here, while the rare sitatunga antelope may be spotted from our motor boat along the waterways of the Xakanaxa Lagoon.

Birding: The swampy areas of Xakanaxa are home to African Rail, Coppery-tailed Coucal, Black Coucal*, Red- chested Flufftail, African Crake*, Black Crake, Chirping Cisticola, Luapula Cisticola, Purple Swamphen, Allen’s Gallinule to name but a few. The open waters attract African Skimmer, Saddle-billed Stork, Yellow-billed Stork, Intermediate Egret, Goliath Heron, African Fish Eagle as well as the globally threatened Slaty Egret and Wattled Crane.

Accommodation: Letaka Tented Camp Activities: Game Drives and Boating

Day 4: Xakanaxa to Khwai. Travel Day. 
60km. 3-4 hours 
Following and early morning breakfast you take a slow drive through Moremi Game Reserve north- east towards the Khwai Community Area.

Habitat: The Manuchira Channel is known as the Khwai River at its eastern most extremity. The day’s journey follows this water course, with the track weaving from the riverside and floodplains into the mopane veld and the woodlands that make Khwai one of the most scenic areas of the Okavango. We pass the magnificent Dombo Hippo Pools in the morning stopping to enjoy the scenery and the antics of the resident hippo.

Wildlife: The western mopane veld is home to mostly breeding herds of elephant whilst the eastern reaches of Khwai is home to some impressive old bulls. The mature bulls revel in the cool waters of the Khwai and are far more approachable while drinking and bathing than the breeding herds. The river has an unusually high density of hippo as well as some huge crocodile. Leopard, cheetah, serval and lion are common predators along this route and both Xakanaxa as well as Khwai are included in the home ranges of 2 different packs of wild dog. General game includes southern giraffe, Burchell’s zebra, tessebe and red lechwe with roan and sable antelope being less common residents.

Birding:In the mopane woodlands African Hawk-Eagle, Tawny Eagle, Gabar Goshawk, Little Sparrowhawk, African Harrier Hawk and Shikra are common raptors. Mixed bird parties move through the canopy and include Red-headed Weaver,

Stierling’s Wren-Warbler, Scarlet-chested Sunbird, Neddicky, Yellow-breasted Apalis, Chin-spot Batis, Diederik Cuckoo* to name but a few. The verges of the swamp form breeding grounds for the Rosy-Longclaw, Black Coucal*, Long-legged Bustard and the African Crake* Accommodation: Letaka Tented Camp

Activities: Game drive and night drive.

Days 5 & 6: Khwai Exploration Days.

The Khwai River forms a boundary between the reserve and the community area. We spend the following two nights camping at an exclusive campsite in the community area, exploring the Khwai floodplains on game drives both during the day and at night. Exploring after dark with spotlights offers you an opportunity to experience some of the nocturnal animals that are rarely encountered during the day.

We will also have the opportunity to explore the surrounding wilderness on foot and enjoy an up close and personal encounter with Botswana’s flora and fauna. It is important to note that night drives and guided walks are not permitted within the national parks and reserves. These activities are conducted outside the boundaries of the Moremi Game Reserve in the Khwai community area. Habitat: We spend our time between the dry-land habitats of the lead-wood and camel-thorn woodlands and savannahs and the riverside and marshy back-waters of the Khwai. Time permitting we may visit the lagoons and waterways of Xakanaxa where the largest heronry in southern Africa exists.

Wildlife: The Khwai region boasts excellent populations of both bull elephant as well as breeding herds. Lion, leopard, serval and African wildcat are common predators of the region with wild dog and cheetah being less common. Buffalo use this area seasonally with large herds moving in during the summer rains. The swampy areas in the west are home to red lechwe. Other ungulates include tsesebe, blue wildebeest, giraffe, kudu, sable antelope, roan antelope and impala.

Birding: Truly one of Botswana birding Mecca’s. The western reaches are prime habitat for the uncommon Rosy-throated Longclaw. The entire length of the river is hunting domain for the Bat-Hawk. Other interesting raptors here are Cuckoo Hawk (rare), Long-crested Eagle and Black Sparrowhawk. More commonly Tawny Eagle, Steppe Eagle*, Lesser-spotted Eagle*, Martial Eagle, Bateleur and African Hawk-Eagle. The waterways host Africa Rail, African Crake*, Greater Painted Snipe, Allen’s Gallinule*, Lesser Jacana and Lesser Moorhen*. Accommodation: Letaka Tented Camp

Activities: Game Drive, Walking Safaris (conditions permitting) and Night Drives

Day 7: Khwai to Savuti. Travel Day. 100km. 4-5 hours

We head further north en-route to Chobe National Park, were we spend the following three nights camping in an exclusive wilderness campsite in the Savuti region, exploring the dessert-like landscape of game drives

Habitat: A fascinating days drive looking at some of the evidence of the Paleo-Lake Makgadikgadi that dried up some ten thousand years ago. The most challenging part of the trip is crossing the Magwikwe Sand-ridge that formed the shoreline for this massive inland sea. The winding track through this deep sand makes for interesting travel in the early summer! The old lake bed is now the Mababe Depression. The dense clay floor of the depression result in high protein feed for wildlife and the area teams with game after the rains. During the rain season the depression is impassable due to the “cotton soil” and alternative routes must be used. Wildlife: A day when anything could happen. The range of habitat that is covered encompasses most of the habitat types of northern Botswana. We pass through excellent lion country and some of the best cheetah country that our safari will cover. Elephant occur throughout the drive but are more common at the start and end of the drive where permanent surface water can be found.

Birding: The Mababe Depression is a birder’s paradise. The nutritious grasses that grow on the rich soils provide excellent seed for an impressive array of estrillids and viduids. Among these are the magnificently coloured Violet-eared Waxbill, Black-cheeked Waxbill, Village Indigobird, Shaft-tailed Whydah and Paradise Whydah. These in turn provide a good food source for small raptors such as the Little Sparrowhawk, Shikra, Gabar Goshawk, Red-necked Falcon and Lanner Falcon. It is not only the small birds that feed on the grass seeds, but rodents too. There are annual outbreaks of huge numbers of rats and mice. As a result huge numbers of Secretary Bird, Tawny Eagle, Black-shouldered Kite, Steppe Eagle*, Lesser-spotted Eagle*, Wahlberg’s Eagle* and Steppe Buzzard* can be found.

Accommodation: Letaka Tented Camp Activities: Morning and Afternoon Game Drives

Days 8 & 9: Savuti (Chobe N.P.) Exploration Days.

Habitat: Unlike the vast majority of the country, Savuti is not a totally flat landscape. Large outcrops of volcanic rock reach up out of the Kalahari sands, towering over the endless savannah. These hills provide habitat for a completely different array of small wildlife, birds and plants. The Savuti Marsh has been the stage for many of the most dramatic wildlife documentaries in Africa. The wide open country, good ungulate populations and particularly strong prides of lion and hyaena clans make for dramatic wildlife interaction and excellent viewing opportunities. The now dry Savuti Channel runs through this landscape linking the dry sand-veld, the waterholes, the hills and the grassland that was the Savuti Marsh. Wildlife: Undoubtedly it is the interaction between lion and elephant that is the most interesting aspect of Savuti. The area is inhabited by a huge pride of lions with numbers fluctuating from 20-30 members. These remarkable lion have learned over the years how to hunt these massive pachyderms that are supposedly above predation. Launching their attack under darkness and using their numbers, they manage to kill adolescent and even young adult elephant.

The marsh is prime cheetah country and in the wet season it is not unusual to have the wild dog hunting here in Savuti. Birding:The surface water that is pumped by the Government here provides a major attraction for birdlife. In the dry season thousands of dove and sandgrouse come down to drink in the mornings and are under constant surveillance by Yellow-billed Kite*, Tawny Eagle and African Hawk-Eagle. Red-crested Korhaan are common in the Kalahari Apple-leaf (Lonchocarpus nelsii) veld. The marsh is the summer home for good numbers of Caspian Plover* and Montague’s Harrier* as well as Chestnut-backed Sparrowlark, Grey-backed Sparrowlark, Northern Black Korhaan, Rufous-naped Lark, African Pipit and Desert Cisticola. Dickenson’s Kestrel, Amur Falcon* and Red-necked Falcon are found along the perimeter of the marsh.

Accommodation: Letaka Tented Camp Activities: Game Drives and Bushman Painting Walks.

Day 10: Savuti to Chobe River. 170km (5 hrs)

On our final day on safari we will leave Savuti to travel along the Chobe River arriving at Chobe Safari Lodge where we will stop for lunch before taking a leisurely afternoon boat cruise to end our safari. We recommend either spending a night or two in Kasane or Livingstone. Alternatively we will transfer you to Livingstone to catch your homeward flight.

Habitat: The habitat on today’s drive takes us through the stunted mopane scrub of the Goha clay basin, across the sand-ridge and through the wonderful Zambezi teak woodlands of the Chobe Forest Reserve and along the Chobe River itself. The Chobe floodplain is tens of kilometers wide and in years of exceptional rains the water stretches as far as the eye can see. Wildlife: While there are community areas that we pass through that are settled by local tribes, for the vast majority of the day’s drive we pass through wild country where wildlife moves un-inhibited by fences or man. Roan and sable antelope thrive in the teak woodlands where the low density of predators and lack of competition for food by other ungulates makes this prime habitat for these large ungulates. Leopard occur in these woodlands in low numbers but they are highly secretive and seldom seen. The Goha region has natural waterholes that hold water well into the dry season and herds of buffalo, Burchell’s zebra, greater kudu and elephant come down to drink.

Activities: Game Drives & Chobe Boat Trip

Rates for this Safari
Price including flights from/to UK:
Flights from $1600 pp

Price excluding international flights:
2016 April $5375 pp
2016 July & Aug $6145 pp
2017 Feb $3445 pp
2017 April $5375 pp
2017 Jul - Aug & Oct $6145 pp
2017 Dec $3445 pp
 
No single supplement
Book this safari
Safari Summary

Dates :

2017:
23 Feb - 04 March 
29 Apr - 08 May 
09 Jul  - 18 Jul
10 Aug - 19 Aug
17 Oct - 26 Oct
04 Dec - 13 Dec

Highlights: 

  • The Moremi Game Reserve 
  •  Exploring the fringes of the Okavango Delta by boat 
  • The freedom of the Khwai Concession Area 
  • Chobe National Park (Savuti & Chobe River Front) 
  • Boat cruise on the Chobe River 
  • Charter flight over the Okavango Delta 

Your Safari Includes: 

Spacious and comfortable tented accommodation, 
including beds and bed linen, with a private 
bathroom en-suite. 
Services of a professional guide, 
Safari chef and camp 
assistants, complete with a supply vehicle. 
Game drives and local transfers in customised safari 
vehicles 
Exclusive camping in private campsites within the national parks and reserves
All entrance and camping fees within the national parks and reserves 
All meals and drinks (mineral water, soft drinks, beer, 
wine and G&T) whilst in Letaka Tented Camps 
All activities as specified in the itinerary 

Your Safari Excludes: 

Travel Insurance 
All flights unless otherwise indicated 
Items of personal nature 
Staff gratuities
Optional safari extensions