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Kalahari Rare Mammals Photo Tour

In addition to photographing large mammals such as Lion, Leopard, Rhino and Cape Buffalo and lots of birds and antelope etc, this trip also focuses on photographing the rarer and nocturnal type mammals.  We will likely see and photograph Aardvark, Aardwolf, Black-footed Cat, African Wild Cat and other difficult species.  We have a chance to photograph Ground Pangolin (difficult), Caracal (fairly often seen in the Kalahari), Honey Badger and many others.  We will be staying at a lodge for 5 nights which specializes in night safaris for Aardvark and others, but we will also be out at dawn and dusk each day there hoping to get those animals before dark.  There is also a nice small bird blind there and nice antelope species such as Roan as well as tame Meerkats that live near the house.  We will spend 5 nights in Kalaghadi National Park, this is a great park for large mammals such as black-maned Lions, Leopards, Oryx, groups of Meerkats are often encountered and it’s a fantastic location for raptor photography, with raptors preying on other bird species at waterholes, the action is amazing.   In addition to the tour leaders we will also be working with an excellent South African guide, Wayne Stanley.

Participants: Maximum of 6 photographers plus nonphotographer spouses/companions.

Cost and Logistics

$8,450 per photographer with a $700 single supplement.  Nonphotographer spouse/companion $7,500.  Deposit is $3,000.  Cost includes all meals, lodging, drinking water, guiding, domestic flights, transportation.  It does not include international flights, drinks other than water, tips and items of a personal nature such as phone calls and laundry.  Balance is due 90 days before the trip. 2025 costs: $8,850 per photographer, $900 single supplement, $7,950 per nonphotographer.

Itinerary

October 14th – Arrival to Johannesburg International Airport, transfer to a nice hotel nearby.

October 15th – Morning flight to Kimberley, South Africa, transfer to Marrick Safari Lodge, afternoon/evening game drive for birds, mammals, and nocturnal mammals.  Most evenings our game drives will start about two hours before sunset and continue about two hours after sunset. 

October 16th-19th – Early morning and late afternoon/night game drives each day, photography from the binds or rest during the days.  Small birds such as Violet-eared Waxbill, Green-winged Pytilla and others frequent the birds blind.  Blue Cranes are often at Marrick and if the pan is full of water Greater and Lesser Flamingos.  This is one of the best locations in the world to see and photograph Aardvark, Aardwolf and Black-footed Cat.  Roan Antelope, Giraffe, Buffalo etc are common on the ranch.
 

October 20th – one more morning at Marrick then we transfer to beautiful Augrabies Falls National Park where we will arrive in the late afternoon.  Chalets inside the park. 

October 21st – We will have a full day in the park.  The landscapes are spectacular here.  This area is good for antelope such as Oryx and Klipspringer.  Caracals are seen regularly in the park.  We will have another night drive here to look for nocturnal mammals.  Chalets

October 22nd – Morning photography at Augrabies followed by check out and transfer to Kalaghadi Transfrontier Park.  We will have an afternoon game drive here.

October 23rd-26th – We will have four full days of photography here.  We are staying in comfortable National Park chalets inside the park, there is a restaurant at the camp we are at.  Each morning we will be out early looking for mammals such as Leopards, Caracals, African Wild Cat, Elephants and more.  Around 9 each day we will generally switch to bird photography, this is when flocks of birds start coming in to the waterholes.  They are followed by large numbers of raptors.  Lanner Falcons coming in low, Gabar Goshawks ambushing flocks, Tawny Eagles participating as well.  In the afternoon we will go out on game drives also, it’s a good park for large terrestrial birds such as Kori Bustard and Secretarybird.  We will be looking for the Kalahari black-maned Lions as well.  In the evenings if the park is offering night drives we will do those a couple of nights as well.  Due to coivd they had been suspended the last couple of years. 

October 27th – Morning photography in the park, then check out and drive to Upington, South Africa, check in for our afternoon flight to Johannesburg.  Transfer to a nice hotel near the airport or you can fly home that evening.

October 28th – Transfer to the airport for your return flight home. 

Zimanga Extension 2024

Zimanga Private Game Reserve is one of the premier photographic lodges in the world.  It has fantastic ground level blinds at both large and small water holes and on a lake.  Many award winning images have been taken here.  It is also five star with respect to food and accommodations. 

Cost: $4,450 with a $700 single supplement, $4,150 for nonphotographer spouse/companion.  Deposit $1,300. 2025 costs: $4,650 per photographer, $900 single supplement, $4,350 nonphotographer.

October 28th – We will take a morning flight from Johannesburg to Durban.  Then we will transfer by van to Zimanga Private Game Reserve for our first afternoon blind photography session.

October 29th to October 31st – We will have three full days of blind photography and game drives at Zimanga.  We will rotate between the blinds.  The scavenger hide produces great images of Vultures, Storks and Jackals.  The blinds at small water holes produce beautiful images of Cordon Blue Finches, Canaries, Spurfowl and other small birds.  The lagoon hide puts you eye level with waterbirds such as Black Crake, Egrets and sometimes African Fish Eagles.  The overnight hides are on bigger waterholes where mammals such as Buffalo and sometimes predators like Leopards come in.  They produce beautiful reflection shots and are outfitted with bunk beds.  Game drives produce Lions, Cheetahs and more.  They also have a tower hide for woodland kingfishers and difficult birds like Black-headed Orioles. 

November 1st – One more morning photography session at Zimanga then we will transfer to Rain Game Farm Lodge near Durban for another afternoon of bird and mammal photography.  Rain Game Farm

November 2nd – Morning photography followed by flight back to Johannesburg.  A nice hotel near the airport.

November 3rd – Flight home

Ken Archer

Ken Archer

Ken Archer has been a professional wildlife photographer for the last 25 years. His work is widely published and he is a former first place category winner in Nature’s Best Photo Contest and an overall winner of the Wyoming Wildlife Photo Contest. He has spent a great deal of time photographing wildlife in the American West. Ken uses Canon.

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