Sabi Sands South Africa with Karen Blackwood

I invite you to come on our 5-day Big 5 wildlife safari in Sabi Sands, South Africa, famous for incredible, relaxed leopards. We are in the home of the Big 5 and adjacent to Kruger National Park in South Africa without fences between. 13 leopards call our traverse area home, as well as 3 lion prides. Elephants, buffalo, rhino, wild dogs, zebra, giraffe, cheetah–they are all frequent visitors to the water hole and we’ll see them going about their daily lives in the bush on game drives. You’ll go home with once in a lifetime memories, and one in a million shots.

Our Luxury Lodge offers spacious private bungalows with indoor/outdoor showers, a spa, pool, wine cellar, full bar, delicious meals (you were warned–bring roomy pants!), and a caring staff.

Day 1: Arrive in time for lunch, then hop on the vehicle for that perfect afternoon and evening light. We’ll stop for a Sundowner Cocktail, then we’ll do some night shots, working with other vehicles for soft sidelight and backlit shots. When we return to the Lodge after our 3 hour drive, we’ll have a cocktail and discuss the day’s sightings before we dine at candlelit tables around the blazing fire.

Day 2-4: We’ll be up early to chase that gorgeous African Golden Light on our morning drive, complete with a coffee stop at a picturesque spot. We’ll return to the Lodge after our 3-hour drive to be met with a made-to-order breakfast overlooking the waterhole. After our bush walk, we can work on Lightroom editing and photography techniques together. After lunch, we’ll head out for the evening game drive, then have cocktails and dinner by the fire again.

Day 5: We’ll say goodbye after our morning game drive and breakfast, but you’ll be back. Sabi Sands and our African wildlife will pull your heart once you leave.

My partner and I are award-winning Africa Geographic, NatGeo Daily Dozen, Best of Africa, Nature’s Best published professionals. We emphasize fun, education, and fantastic photos of wildlife. We lead every safari ourselves. We love coaching photography and helping people improve or perfect their skills.

We will take only 6 people per safari vehicle on this Big 5 safari, and we rotate between vehicles. That guarantees that everyone gets an end seat in the safari vehicle for a great view, and access to our skills, knowledge, and insight.

Our prices are in Rand. This safari is R 40,000 (about $2600 but the exchange rate varies, please check!)/per person, double occupancy. We can accept solo occupancy as well. Please ask for prices at info@EagleEyeSafaris.com.

15% deposit due at time of booking, and you can book securely with a credit card. Balance is due 60 days prior to Safari. We also offer complete transportation assistance to get to the Lodge, including a no-worries package—just ask!

R 40,000 (price in Rand)

Kenya with Jeff Wendorff

Africa, what a place! I’ve been visited 17 times and last year I spent more days in Africa than I did in my apartment, and she never disappoints. If you are like me; you grew up watching Tarzan, loved the circus and the zoo, Marlin Perkins was a hero, Hatari was an incredible movie, and you dreamt of being in Africa. I can assure you that the real thing is even more amazing than you have imagined. I love this Kenya Safari! I’ve done this exact safari 4 times and can’t wait to share that with you! Once you experience a Kenya Safari, you will love it too! And of course, You Will Be Amazed!

I am so excited to be going back for a Kenya Safari in the “green” season. It is the most beautiful time of the year and the plains are a verdant green and not the browns of fall. We will visit the stunning Amboseli National Park, and if the “shy mountain” Kilimanjaro allows, we’ll see vast herds of elephants along with that iconic peak. From there we continue our safari and explore the fabulous Masai Mara National Park. We’ll be looking for the Big Five (elephant, rhino, leopard, lion, and buffalo) and everything in between. And that is just the highlights!

Kenya Safari Highlights
12 Nights and 13 Days
Two Private Safari Vehicles
Small Group – 6 Clients MAX
Masai Mara, and Amboseli Parks

$9010 for single occupancy or $8084 for double.

Tanzania with Tom Mace

This trip’s itinerary is very unique compared to commercial safaris. The location and time of year has been chosen and vetted by Tom in partnership with a US company and Safari specialists based in Arusha TZ. What we do different is use qualified drivers who have been trained by Tom to fulfill the high demands photographers expect. We will not be co-mingled with other tourists or placed on a clock that dictates when or where we need to be. From sun up to sun down we will be on the wildlife. The first 4 days of the trip we will be in the Ndutu area in a glamping tent community and the final 2 days in a lodge. Both scenarios are minutes away from the wildlife, offer amazing food, and all the comforts you’ve come to expect with Tripod Travelers. Our guides stay with us at all times and the level of service in these accommodations is outstanding.

An all day Safari is very demanding, we will have specific objectives during each day with breaks and lunch along the way. We will work with you while on Safari to ensure you capture the pictures you expect while offering photography instruction and support. At night after dinner or during down times, we will also work with you on your post processing techniques so you leave Africa with pro grade pictures.

This Safari has one of the largest diversity of animals in very accessible locations. In February 2019, we photographed Lions, Cheetah, Hyenas, Elephants, Hippos, Giraffe, Zebra, Wildebeest each day. We had to search, but our guide was able to locate a Leopard and two separate Caracals (both rare and tough to locate). With over 9,000 pictures captured, we can attest that you will not leave this trip disappointed.
** If you have a group of 4 or more, we will offer group discounts (perfect for camera clubs), we can also extend dates or choose another week (last week of January or 2nd week of February, 2020)
** NANPA members will receive $200 off this trip price, please email us at info@tripodtravelers, for the details, include your NANPA Member #

Sabi Sands South Africa with Karen Blackwood

Come on our 4-day wildlife safari in Sabi Sands, South Africa, famous for its incredible leopard sightings, from 2-5 December 2019 (our 2019 and 2020 schedule is on our website, too). We are home to the Big 5 and adjacent to Kruger National Park in South Africa, with no fences between. There are up to 13 leopards whose territory overlaps our traverse area, and we see them frequently, including cubs. They are very relaxed around the vehicles, which makes for incredible shots. Three lion prides call our property home, and elephants, rhino, buffalo, zebra, giraffe and more move through regularly. You’ll go home with once-in-a-lifetime memories and one-in-a-million images.

Our incredible Luxury Lodge boasts roomy private bungalows with indoor/outdoor showers, a wine cellar, full bar, swimming pool, spa, laundry service, and some of the best meals you will ever eat (warning–bring roomy pants!). The staff is top-notch, the location near the waterhole is perfect…it’s everything you dreamed a safari should be.

Day 1: Arrive in time for lunch, then our afternoon game drive with a Sundowner Cocktail stop. We’ll do some nighttime spotlight photography as well, often working with another vehicle for soft side light and backlit shots. Cocktails and a candlelit dinner around the fire follow the evening game drive.

Day 2-3: We’ll be up early to greet the sunrise and chase that Golden Hour light. We’ll stop for coffee, and after the game drive, head back to the Lodge for a decadent, made-to-order breakfast. We’ll go on a bush walk, then have time for Lightroom and photography instruction. After lunch, we head back out for the evening game drive and return in time for cocktails and dinner by the fire.

Day 4: After our morning game drive and breakfast, we’ll say goodbye until next time–and trust me, there will be a next time!

We are award-winning Africa Geographic and NatGeo Your Shot published professionals. We emphasize fun, education, and fantastic photos of wildlife, and we are happy to coach you in the best use of your camera. We can also teach you our process in Lightroom and Photoshop CC if you would like to improve your skills or learn new techniques. My partner Ernest and I will be leading this safari.

15% deposit due at time of booking, and you can book securely with a credit card. Bookings close 1 June 2018, or when the last spot is taken. Balance due 60 days before the tour starts. Book at https://eagleeyesafaris.com/product/4-day-big-5-luxury-safari-2-dec-5-dec-2019/ Email info@EagleEyeSafaris.com with questions; we are quick to respond.

Prices are in Rand. This safari is R 28,500/person/double occupancy (about $2000), and R 37,500 ($2590) for single occupancy. Please check the exchange rate for accurate USD amount.

Included on safari: meals, accommodations, coffee/tea, game drives, bush walks, photography coaching, Lightroom/Photoshop instruction. Not included: transportation to the Lodge (ground package is available), airfare, gratuities, personal purchases

We also offer complete transportation assistance to get to the Lodge, including a no-worries package—just ask!

28,500 (in Rand)/pp-double occupancy

Uganda Mountain Gorillas and Chimpanzees with Karen Blackwood

Let’s go see Endangered Mountain Gorillas in Uganda on an 8-day small group safari with Africa Geographic Photographers Ernest Porter and Karen Blackwood! We are accepting only 8 guests, taking 4 per vehicle. We are award-winning photographers published in Africa Geographic, National Geographic Daily Dozen, Nature’s Best Photography, and more. We love ensuring that you will get quality photos, and we’ll coach you as much or as little as you like on this trip.

Day 1 (24 Aug 2019): Arrival day in Entebbe, Uganda. You will be picked up from the airport on arrival and then driven to our Kampala Hotel for a rest after the long flights. Overnight at Cassia Lodge, meals at your own expense. Please ask about an early arrival to try to photograph Shoebill Storks. If we get 3 or more interested photographers, we can add on a short trip prior to the Trek.

Day 2 (25 Aug 2019): Transfer to Kibale Forest NP–We will have breakfast and then travel to Kibale Forest NP in western Uganda. We will have an en route stop for lunch and photography. We should arrive in the afternoon for our 3-night stay at Crater Safari Lodge

Day 3 (26 Aug 2019): Today is a relaxed day to enjoy a Bigodi Wetlands Nature Walk, paddle around the lake in canoes, or just kick back at Crater Lodge. After breakfast, we will go on Bigodi Wetlands Nature Walk where we will view and photograph up to 8 species of primates, especially Colobus monkeys, as well as a number of bird species. We will return for a lunch break and can later go for a canoe ride along the lake. Meals and overnight at Crater Safari Lodge.

Day 4 (27 Aug 2019): Chimp tracking and optional Bigodi Wetlands Walk or canoes—After breakfast, we will drive to the park headquarters for a briefing about the chimpanzee trek after which we will enter the forest, where we will enjoy the sights and sounds of nature as we search for wild chimpanzees. We will encounter man’s closest relatives in their natural habitat. Chimps are comfortable around people, and will often sit quietly while you photograph them. After tracking, we will return to the Lodge for a lunch break. In the afternoon or evening you can opt for another Wetlands walk or a canoe ride. Meals and overnight at Crater Lodge. Afternoon and evening optional activities not included.

Day 5 (28 Aug 2019): Transfer to Queen Elizabeth NP & Kazinga Channel Boat cruise– After breakfast, we will drive to Queen Elizabeth NP via the crater lakes of Ndali & Kaseda. The drive is also a game drive, and we may see elephants, kob, topi, and more. We will have a lunch break and relax. At 4:00 pm, we will go for a Kazinga Channel boat cruise where we will view wildlife including Nile crocodiles, the largest concentration of hippos in Africa, buffalo, birds, elephants, and other species. We will cruise by a fishing village, where we may see people preparing the nets for the night’s fishing. We will be back at the Lodge in time for a delicious dinner. Meals and overnight at Enganzi Lodge

Day 6 (29 Aug 2019): Ishasha Sector Game & Transfer to Bwindi–We will have an early breakfast and transfer to Bwindi with an en-route photography intensive Game Drive in the Ishasha sector, where we may see elephants, Topi, birds, and if we are lucky, we will see the tree climbing lions hanging in fig trees. We will then head to Savanna Hotel for a lunch break, then continue to Bwindi’s Ruhija sector for our stay at Bakiga Lodge

Day 7 (30 Aug 2019): Gorilla tracking & Batwa tour- After breakfast, we will head to the park headquarters to be briefed about the do’s and don’t’s of Gorilla Trekking by our Rangers. We will take a packed lunch for the trek. We will head into the forested mountains, where we will meet the rare, endangered Mountain Gorillas. We will spend an hour taking photos, watching their antics and behavior, and enjoying the presence of of these magnificent apes, so closely related to us. Later in the afternoon, we will visit the Batwa community, where we will discover more about the local people’s culture. If we have time, we may also visit a local orphanage or school, or enjoy another cultural experience. Meals and overnight at Bakiga Lodge.

Day 8 (31 Aug 2019): Transfer to Kigali, Rwanda–After breakfast, we will drive down the mountain and across the Rwandan border to Kigali, Rwanda’s capital city. If we arrive early enough, we will tour the Kigali Genocide museum, and local markets which abound in photographic opportunities. Afterwards, we will head to the airport for goodbyes, or to your Hotel, depending on your schedule

Price is $3500/person double occupancy. We can accommodate single occupancy travelers, please email us at info@EagleEyeSafaris.com to inquire. Deposit is $1000 to ensure permits. Balance is due 60 days prior to the Gorilla Trek.

The Tour includes:
-In-Country Transportation
-Airport Pick-up and Drop-off
-Gorilla Tracking Permit
-Chimpanzee Tracking Permit
– One Bigodi Nature walk
– Canoe rides
– Park Entrance Fees
– Kazinga Channel Cruise
– Batwa Community Visit
– Accommodation on Safari from 25 Aug-30 Aug. Hotel in Kigali after safari is at your own expense
-Bottled Water on Safari
– Meals as per the itinerary
– Relevant government taxes
– Full-Time English-speaking drivers and guides
-Photography Instruction
Excluded:
– Meals in Kampala
– Meals and accommodation in Kigali
-Drinks other than bottled water
– Airfare
– Visas
-Yellow Fever Vaccinations (required)
-$25 Gorilla Trek Porter Fee (mandatory)
– Gratuities
-Personal Expenses
-Trip and Medical insurance (recommended)
– Activities not mentioned in the itinerary
-Anything not mentioned as included

Gratuities Guidelines (This is only a guideline. You may use USD, and we will stop at ATMs for Ugandan shillings):
-Drivers ($5-10/day, placed in a group envelope at the end of safari)
-Hotel Staff ($3-5/day; place tips in the Staff Box at reception)
-Chimpanzee Ranger ($10-15, depending on the quality of your experience)
-Bigodi Walk Guide ($5-10)
-Canoe Guide ($5)
-Boat Captain ($5-10)
-Gorilla Ranger/Tracker ($10-20, depending on quality of your experience) There will be a lead Ranger, and several assistant Rangers. You may opt to tip them as well, $5-10. They also appreciate snacks such as granola bars.
-Porter during Gorilla Trek (hiring at $25 is mandatory, gratuity $10-15 depending on level of assistance). He will also appreciate a snack.

We will stop at a safe ATM prior to departure so that you can get Ugandan Shillings. You will not need a lot, but if you plan to buy crafts at the market or from the communities, or snacks during gas/bathroom breaks, you will want to use shillings. You can not exchange Ugandan Shillings in the US. We have found that taking the equivalent of $50-100 USD from the ATM is suffiecient, and any extra can be left as tips before we leave Bakiga Lodge.

Botswana with Suzi Eszterhas

• Botswana is known for being the VERY best place in Africa for willdife photography and we’ll use only exclusive, private concessions that are free of crowds, allow off-road travel, and offer luxurious accommodations.
• Our concessions include “predator meccas” that offer unparalleled photo opportunities of lions, leopards, cheetahs, and wild dogs, as well as elephants, other classic game. We’ll also have close, intimate encounters with the most habituated meerkats in Africa, as well as the Kalahari bushmen they share their home with.
• While many photo tours avoid the best concessions to save on cost, we stay in the best camps to maximize our wildlife sightings. Many tours also avoid the best seasons, also to save on cost, whereas this tour is planned for the very best time of year for sightings.
• For all game drives on the tour, each participant will have an entire row to themselves for easy shooting from both sides of the vehicle and space to accommodate your gear – this is very rare for Botswana safaris.
• ALL flights are private charter flights for our group only, enabling us to bring more gear.
• Many Botswana photo tours are only 7 nights in duration, whereas our tour is 12 nights. This gives us enough time to experience the photo opportunities that each spectacular location has to offer.
• Although we have chosen locations based on wildlife viewing, these concessions also have some of the best accommodations in all of Africa. Our camps are small, elegant and luxurious.
• Travel as a small group and receive one-to-one instruction from professional wildlife photographer Suzi Eszterhas. Suzi has published over 100 magazine covers and feature stories and has vast experience photographing African wildlife (including 3 years living in a bushcamp).

South Africa Safari with Tom Mace

Join us on an amazing Safari designed specifically for photographers in South Africa. We will be in a setting where your opportunity to photograph lions, leopards, elephants, rhino, and buffalo (Big 5) are amazingly accessible to our photographers. Giraffe, hippos, crocodiles, cheetah, and many other hoofed and clawed animals will be on show during this excursion. Our visit in May is during the Autumn season where we experience mild dry weather. There will be ample opportunities to capture the rich diversity of nature from our open top Safari vehicles to the back porch of your Rondavel. Our lodging is a unique private reserve with over 9,000 hectares or roughly 22,000 acres of vast African nature, about an hour drive west of Kruger National Park. The surreal camp is not fenced, which allows wildlife to roam and offers client’s unique possibilities to photograph from their deck. Whether you are an experienced or hobbyist photographer, this trip will afford you incredible opportunities to capture wildlife photographs of a lifetime. During this trip, Tom will be instructing you on both the technical and creative aspects of wildlife photography while at the resort and on Safari. He will spend time supporting you and your attempts to capture amazing pictures, regardless of subject and setting.

What is Included?
-In-Country round trip airfare Johannesburg to Hoedspruit
-Overnight Stay at Hotel D’Oreale Grande, in Johannesburg, welcome reception and breakfast.
-Transfer to Private Game Reserve
-7 Nights, 8 Days
-8 total game drives, plus a photo shoot at Blyde River Canon.
-Breakfast and Dinner Included, Lunch is on your own at restaurant on site.
-Lodging in a South African Rondavel (bungalow), including 2 natural spring pools, bar and restaurant.
-Dedicated Photography Instruction, including post processing and critique.
-No Single Supplement Charges!
-Non-Photography Spouses/Travelers welcome, $250 discount.
-All Game Drives designed and managed by Tripod Travelers, meaning only our photographers in the vehicle, only 6 photographers per safari!

Not Included:
-Flight to Johannesburg, South Africa
-Alcohol
-Tips for Safari Drivers or Staff
-Travel Insurance or Medical Assistance Insurance

Kenya Photography Tour with Daniel J. Cox

1 FEMALE ROOMMATE NEEDED – LAST SPACE!

Our 14th KENYA PHOTOGRAPHY EXPEDITION is among the best locations to photograph wildlife in the world. If you’ve never visited this magical country, be prepared for incredible wildlife and cultural experiences. From the monkeys trying to get into your tent to the lion prides of the Mara, YOU WILL ENJOY! The photography opportunities are endless and your stories will be shared for many years to come.

We’ll fly between lodges, and this year we’ve also added two extra nights on safari (2 nights in Nairobi and 12 nights at the lodges) along with a private encounter at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust elephant orphanage. Only 3-4 guests max per safari vehicle! Kenya will not get better than it is now—join us!

How I Got the Shot: Amazing Predation

Male Lion Attack on Giraffe. © Michael Cohen

Showcase 2017 Judge’s Choice, Mammals. Male Lion Attack on Giraffe. © Michael Cohen

Story and photos by Michael J Cohen

Can only two male lions take down an adult male giraffe?

Male lions average over 400 lbs.  Giraffes, over six times that much, with well over a ton of power behind their kicks.  Just their height alone is intimidating.  However, in April 2016, I saw two male lions take down an adult male giraffe in Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.  So, the answer is yes, with a caveat I’ll mention a bit later.

Continue reading

A tale of two brothers

Text and photography by Teri Franzen

Life in the African bush is hard for prey animals and apex predators (those at the top of the food chain) alike.  Ungulates (hooved animals) such as zebras, gazelles and wildebeest are constantly wary and keeping watch to ensure they don’t fall victim as food for one of the countless predators that share their territory.  Predators fight among themselves over that same territory.  Lions will fight to take control of existing prides.  They will also fight to drive off other predators, like cheetahs, sharing the same space.  Very often these battles have grim results for the victims.

During my recent trip to Ndutu in northern Tanzania (eastern Africa) we saw many cheetah families living in the Makao plains.  Among them were two bachelor brothers that we had hoped to encounter during our journeys.  With a top speed approaching 70 miles per hour, cheetahs are the fastest land animals in the world.  They can maintain this speed for approximately 500 yards.  As a singular animal a cheetah is capable of chasing down and capturing smaller prey, a favorite being a Thomson’s gazelle.  Adult male cheetahs often form coalitions with siblings.  When teamed up they are capable of bringing down much larger prey, like wildebeest.  We wanted to see this two-male coalition in action.

On January 31, during our morning game drive we happened upon a lone cheetah that had climbed onto a fallen tree.  It started calling and before we identified the gender we suspected a female calling for her young.  As we looked more closely we realized it was a male and that it was injured.  His mouth was wounded and his elbows rubbed raw.   This was one of the brothers, only his sibling was nowhere in sight.  Our best guess was that the two cheetahs had been victims of a lion attack during the night.  Either the second male had been killed or severely injured, or he escaped and ran in another direction.

Injured cheetah searching for his brother.

A closer look at his mouth injury.

The wounded cheetah wandered from tree to tree, sniffing for signs of his brother and then sending a stream of his own urine toward the tree.  Like all cats, cheetahs have a keen sense of smell and can identify an individual by its unique scent.  During this time he called continuously with a forlorn cry, presumably with the hope of vocally contacting his sibling.  Occasionally he would leap onto a fallen tree to search and call from a higher vantage point.  Allowing enough distance to avoid interference we followed the lone male for over an hour.  During that time his pace was constant, his conviction never faltered. Continue reading