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Our Madagascar tour was everything and more than I imagined it would be. I appreciated all the help and information I received from both you and Dale prior to the trip. All my questions ranging from travel arrangements to appropriate photo gear to bring were answered efficiently. The itinerary was well thought out, and the accommodations were nice.
The local guides were excellent. They were knowledgeable about the wildlife for which we were looking. I was amazed at how good our guides were at spotting these animals. Before the tour, I had noticed that hiking trails in one of the regions we were going to visit were listed as potentially steep and slippery, and I asked about the physical requirements for hiking. I was told that the physicality would be moderate. In reality, I found the hiking we did to be on the easy side of moderate. Although I only used a sherpa for our last segment, their availability to carry gear eased the strenuousness for those who were more physically challenged. The attention to detail on this tour was excellent.
I cannot commend our ORYX tour leaders more for their guidance in making this trip successful. They did their best to accommodate the needs of each of the six diverse individuals. Dale was a wealth of information. I learned a lot about the ecology and wildlife we were seeing from him. While some tour leaders spend time getting their own good shots, the members of our group always came first on this tour. Dale was constantly finding windows and angles from which each person could get good shots of our subjects. He also encouraged us to leave our narrow comfort zones and try new techniques. I personally learned how to use a flash in combination with a wide-angle lens to obtain very interestingly, different views of some of the lemurs. I had never used a flash previously, and Dale took the time to teach me how to use one. He also taught me how to take motion photos. It was fun to try some new techniques that I would have never attempted without his encouragement. While he has great technical skills, Dale is personable and very fun. He made the tour so enjoyable that I can't wait to go on another photo adventure with him.
This was a great photo tour. The accommodations were excellent for the locality. Dale and Daniel were excellent tour leaders. I really appreciated Dale's personality and willingness to accommodate all members of the tour. He gave us excellent photo advice and was always looking to put each guest into a good spot to see and photograph the wildlife. I know that some guests had physical mobility issues which made even relatively easy hiking difficult. Dale did his best to accommodate these individuals. The drivers who transported us from place to place were excellent as the roads in Madagascar are amazingly poor. I would gladly do another trip with Dale.
It was while on my first private ORYX photo tour with Dale Morris in Londolozi, South Africa, that the idea of a Madagascar photo trip germinated. It took three years, but I finally got to experience another trip of a life-time with Dale in that magical place, photographing all my targeted species in the impossibly finite time window I had given ORYX.
Where to start? I cannot thank Nicolette and Vanessa at ORYX enough for their patience in putting together this amazing tour. For those who are unaware, Madagascar is no easy place to plan predictable travel! The fact that all the moving parts - interior flights, hotels, safe food, competent drivers, comfortable vehicles, local guides, boat trips, park access, etc. - came together for a perfect experience is a testament to their expertise and competence. Once I told Dale what I wanted to do, the ORYX team got it done.
A special shout-out to Nonotinamalala – “Nono” – Dale’s right-hand man in Madagascar, who used his wizardry with Air Madagascar and countless other contacts to ensure smooth sailing – or hiking – or flying – or driving. It was fascinating to watch them work so well together to get the job done.
Once I landed in Tana, Dale made sure I was comfortable and ready for the journey ahead. From our time in Kruger, I knew I would be in good hands. He is an amazingly talented photographer, but, just as important, is able to expertly share this knowledge of wildlife and photography with his guests while in the field, guaranteeing the best photos possible.
While I have been on over 30 photo expeditions all over the world, I always know I will learn new techniques from Dale, and he sure did not disappoint on this trip. Handling the challenges of Madagascar, attending to the desires and needs of his clients, and ultimately delivering the goods while maintaining a sense of humor and professionalism is no small feat!
My passion for wildlife photography tends to be species driven – the ultimate headache for tour leaders, as we all know that in nature, nothing is promised. I have to say that, with a little luck and a lot of Dale’s expertise, I was able to come away with stunning images of EVERY ONE of the critters on my Madagascar bucket list.
OK, Dale, where to next?
This Madagascar photo tour provided a fascinating array of photo opportunities from the various types of lemur to chameleons, frogs, geckos, flying foxes, insects and rural life in Madagascar. Dale Morris was ever on hand with tips and advice for improving photos.
Once again ORYX Photo Tours and Dale Morris have certainly excelled in organisation, photography skill development, finding the right places, at the right time to shoot and making sure everyone is being catered for.
Safety is at the forefront of Dale's mindset, for his clients ,while under his guidance and that was truly appreciated.
He is able to subtly and gently encourage those, where once may have feared to go, with development of their camera skills and wildlife .
You come away from your travels with a wonderful collection of photos that you are extremely pleased with.
Thanks ORYX and thank you to Dale!
My second photography tour with ORYX Photo Tours was as great as the first one. It was one of the most colorful holidays I’ve ever had! Madagascar was awesome! The hotels were lovely, the food really good, the beers were cold and cheap. The photo opportunities are innumerable, varied, colorful and it was great fun getting up close and personal with chameleons, tiny frogs and dragonflies. The lemurs and sifakas are just the best thing to watch and photograph, there are so many different ones, and yet they are all so very very cute.
A very big compliment to Dale Morris. He is the first person in 6 years who could convince me to switch to back button focus. He showed us a lot about spot metering and over- and under exposing, which was very necessary in the forest with all the dappled light.
Many thanks to you all, I believe you will see more of us!
Late in 2019, I joined a wildlife photo tour in Madagascar, superbly organized by ORYX Photo Tours and terrifically led by Dale Morris. I had intended to post this review earlier, but the once-in-century challenges of 2020 got in the way.
ORYX Photo Tours was well-organized, flexible and responsive throughout my interactions with them, starting with my first inquiries about the trip through the trip itself and on to my immediately following trip to the remote Omo Valley photo tour in Ethiopia. (I gather that this combination of photo tours presents the toughest "bifecta" in their catalog in terms of travel challenges, but their arrangements were excellent; I survived and thrived!)
Dale is a terrific photo tour leader. He is an excellent photographer and teacher of photography (separate talents that don't always come packaged together in one person). He is highly knowledgeable about the locations and their available wildlife subjects where he leads tours (in this case the highly idiosyncratic world of Madagascar wildlife and often very challenging photographic conditions). Just as important, Dale is fully committed to meeting the needs and aspirations of his photo tour clients, including making sure the tour is fun and enlightening for everyone. Here's one example of his commitment. There was another cycle of our tour scheduled right after ours with another ORYX tour leader. When that tour leader had passport difficulties and could travel to Madagascar, Dale agreed to stay on (and away from his family) for another three weeks to take care of that later group.
I would, without hesitation, take another photo tour with Dale Morris and ORYX. Hopefully, we'll emerge from this pandemic and that will be possible again soon!
As a working journalist, I travel for a living and Madagascar is one of the most logistically challenging places to travel to. It is a world unto itself, in every sense of the word. When given a recent book project on Madagascar and in need of some photographic work there was only one person I knew who could help me. Marius Coetzee has been a guide for over 11 years, and there is no one I could feel safer with in a country as challenging as Madagascar.
Marius is patient; he is kind, and above all inspiring! If you are going to Madagascar, he is the guy. If you are going any place else, he is probably the guy too!
We had a GREAT time with Dale. Everything was as expected as we have learned to expect the unexpected. We would go with Dale and ORYX Photo Tours without any hesitation. We have NOTHING to complain about. Olive learned a lot of things from Dale. How not when you get such a crazy guide.
We have recently returned from our Madagascar photo tour with ORYX, led by Marius Coetzee. We had long wanted to see and photograph the dancing Lemurs. Marius was an excellent leader of our small group of photographers and made sure everything went like clockwork. Having the transport and accommodation arrangements handled so professionally made the trip worry free. Marius’s knowledge of the best photographic locations meant we were able to get some terrific Lemur and Indri shots. Marius was more than willing to provide photographic guidance and made the photo tour to this unique place a special experience.
This photo tour completely exceeded my expectations and was exactly what I was looking for for Madagascar (wildlife all day, every day). You were all extremely responsive, professional, and courteous.
Accommodations were all nice and the food was always good. Internal flight delays were handled so smoothly by you that they didn’t have an impact on the trip overall.
All of the local guides were great, especially Nono.
Dale was definitely the best photographer-guide I’ve ever travelled with. His photos were gorgeous and he was incredibly generous, patient, and enthusiastic about sharing his knowledge. He kept us entertained all day with new photographic opportunities, and involved us in experiments with new techniques, usually with amazing results. As a guide he had excellent natural leadership ability, and as a person he was warm, friendly, interesting, genuinely nice, and fun to be with.
Everything we did was so much fun, and I will always have wonderful memories of this trip. Would definitely travel with ORYX Photo Tours again.
Thanks so much!
Thanks, the Madagascar photo tour was excellent. Got some great photos, and also learned a lot from Dale on techniques very useful in Madagascar, macro and night photography. Discussing with other guests, I think we all expected to be put in good photography locations to see what we could do, but the effort Dale put in teaching us all new techniques was beyond expectations.
Without ORYX Photo Tours and the local help it would have been impossible to travel in the country. The help was exceptional in dealing with the changes and I never worried we wouldn’t get to where we wanted to go. Dale works very hard to ensure everyone has the best possible angles for shooting and helped me with flash settings and tips at the start. Shooting in Madagascar is different than other destinations I have been to and the assistance in getting started was appreciated. I appreciated the fact that Dale, while taking shots got us in position first before “firing”. That doesn’t always happen with guides, especially when there is a special moment. Thanks again for an introduction to the wildlife of a very unique and challenging country. I’m sure most first time travelers to Madagascar don’t have such a rewarding photo experience!
The trip was one of the best photo tours I have had in recent years. Although the landscape was challenging as well as the ability to get clear shots of the animals in the rainforest, your representatives in the field made the trip. The organization you hired in Madagascar were first rate. The ability to meet the challenges of Air Madagascar as well as the other bumps on the road were outstanding. Do not lose this group. Dale Morris is a real pro. Not only did he organize the photoshoots to optimize our ability to get the right shots, but his expertise in the field as it related to the more technical aspects of photography (flash, exposure comp, lens selection etc.) made the trip. Do not lose him. I would have no trouble recommending ORYX Photo Tours to my camera friends in Toronto, and I look forward to dealing with your organization in the future.
I am back home after an inspiring photography tour with ORYX once again. As before the practical arrangements were flawless, and the guiding superb. First time I travelled with Dale, but it came as no surprise that he is first class. Thanks to ORYX Photo Tours and to Dale for a great experience!
It was an excellent photography tour. We are thrilled with the images we are now in the midst of sorting. We got all of our targets and have some wonderful photos. It’s a tough place but ORYX Photo Tours and especially Dale and local guide Nono handled everything with aplomb.
I have been on many tours around the world and yours was the best!
Kirsten, whom I understand has just joined ORYX Photo Tours, is so very creative and has such undeniable natural talent – he has a wonderful eye for photographing wildlife and people from different and unusual angles. I was constantly amazed at the photographs which he took! Although I was relatively new to photography, he was wonderfully patient with me regarding the technical details with the use of the camera and his explanations were simple and easy to understand. He is so humble even though he is so knowledgeable, and has a quiet, sweet and unobtrusive manner, mingling so well with the local Malagasi people and children. By putting them at ease, he was able to take very candid photographs which would often relate a story. He is also a very observant and caring individual – we shared many light hearted moments throughout the tour. It was so easy for me to open up to him with the many questions I had on photography and despite all this, he was always polite and patient. Time and time again throughout the tour, whenever I had trouble with my camera in optimising the settings, he would instinctively come up to me to help me, without even waiting for me to ask for assistance. I am so grateful for his kindness and generosity in sharing his expertise with me, including taking time off during the down time period after lunch in the sweltering heat of mid-day to go through the basics of processing images. At such a tender age, Kirsten has so much potential as a photographic guide – I am really excited to see what the future holds for him. At the end of the photo tour when I reached Johannesburg airport, I took quite a while to come out of customs as they threatened to detain me at the clinic, having just come from Madagascar which was experiencing an outbreak of plague. When I eventually emerged from the customs counters, I realised that both Dale and Kirsten had kindly collected my luggage and were patiently waiting for me at the luggage belt. I was ever so thankful for their kindness. I have not seen this level of professionalism before with any other tour group and they have my highest respect. They have been so very inspirational.
I just wanted to thank ORYX for organising the Madagascar photo tour for 2017 which was led by Dale Morris and Kirsten Frost. Both were exceptional and exemplary guides who really demonstrated a passion for teaching photography and for being totally committed to ensuring the best possible experience for all the tour participants. It was my first tour with ORYX Photo Tours and certainly my best tour ever. I was so very impressed with the high level of professionalism and integrity which both of them demonstrated.
Dale patiently taught me how to use my macro lens and flash and this introduction opened up a whole new and exciting world for me! I never knew that macro-photography was so interesting and it is only just the beginning! He was constantly trying to find the best angles for all the tour participants to photograph the lemurs. He taught me how to use my wide angle lens to take the lemurs from a low angle with a sunburst effect! He taught me how to get down and dirty on the ground to obtain wonderfully low angles for photographing the narrow ring tailed mongoose and the nightjar. He taught me how to pan fast moving subjects. He taught me to take note of the background when taking photos. He even set up a mini studio in the forest for photographing the colourful frogs and magnificent chameleons. Everyday brought a new learning experience!! I was so grateful for some of the images which I obtained – something I never dreamt I would ever achieve. Dale even introduced me to fine art photography and night photography of the majestic baobab trees, and suddenly, the artistic potential of photography became so exciting! Dale has my highest respect as a guide. He was able to control the pace of the tour, ensuring that all participants were well taken care of. He has the innate ability to anticipate problems and, in fact, overcame all the problems with the internal flights in Madagascar, remaining calm, unflustered and in complete control throughout. He even anticipated that the final internal departure flight might be a problem (it was eventually cancelled) and, in so doing, he averted a disaster by alerting ORYX which then chartered a flight for our group. This speaks volumes for the entire ORYX Photo Tours team led by Marius, who must be a visionary leader to have hand-picked such a good team.
In summary, it really has been a singular honor and a privilege for me to have travelled with both Dale and Kirsten. I hope to do so many more times in the near future. Thank you once again for making one of my childhood dreams to visit Madagascar come true. I praise God from whom all blessings flow.
The trip was really excellent and ORYX has some really great guides with Dale and Kirsten. They kept an eye on all the logistics and worked nonstop to get up early and get us on location. If there’s a good photo shot to be had, they both always made sure we had plenty of opportunity to get the pictures we want and many helpful suggestions for making better shots, weather it’s an alternative angle or tweaks to the camera. Some tour guides tend to get caught up in the moment and shot a lot of pictures themselves but they never shot photos themselves unless to test the lighting or if we were all done and I appreciate this because it’s hard to resist in such a location. The local guide was also excellent and I peppered him with questions about the people, the language and the culture and learned a lot. Would I do another trip with them and Oryx? Definitely!