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Penny Robartes

PENNY ROBARTES IS A PROFESSIONAL FINE ART WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHER WHOSE IMAGES ARE EASILY RECOGNIZED BY HER ICONOCLASTIC WORK THAT FOCUSES ON PORTRAYING HER SUBJECTS ESSENCE, WHEREBY CREATING A CONNECTION BETWEEN THE VIEWER TO WHAT IS BEING PORTRAYED.

Heralding from Cape Town, South Africa, Penny’s artistic vision and guidance is easily recognised by her peers, followers of her work. and most importantly, her guests who continue to learn under her deep observations and engaging manner. Her stunning creations breathe life into natural encounters with the deftness of an artist’s brushstroke as she seeks to capture the enthralling narratives of her subjects.

Whether it is a portrait of a Lion, Elephant interacting with one another, or Chinstrap Penguin watching her from a snowy slope in Antarctica, her images seek to express the inward significance of her subjects and not just the representation of the outward appearance.

Her portraits of elusive and endangered, to the every-day wildlife becomes all the more poignant through the artistic interpretation she brings to every one of her works, with seemingly abstract compositions morphing graphically into poignant statements. Each image is a work of art but also a moment of the wildlife subject’s unbridled rawness captured forever.

Continuing to promote awareness of the fragility of wildlife and their habitats, Penny regularly donates her fine art wildlife prints to initiatives aimed at supporting wildlife conservation and community development in Africa.

Penny has an undeniable hunger to seek, explore, and reveal the world’s famed as well as lesser known destinations and their wildlife and local cultures to, and with her guests. She photographs and leads multiple scheduled photo tours throughout the year in Africa, predominately to Southern and East Africa, India and Brazil.  Having spent a combined 70-days as Photographer in Residence at luxury safari camps in both Tanzania and Kenya early in her career instilled a deep knowledge and love for these destinations that she now returns annually with guests.

Her passionate, friendly and relaxed manner enables her to connect with and inspire each of her guests as she assists them in tapping into, capturing and exploring their own unique vision.

Destinations travelled to and still frequented are Antarctica, India, various East and Southern African destinations, as well as to remote destinations such as Kamchatka in Russia Far East. With her extensive travel and photo tour leading experiences, her knowledge on wildlife as well as photography, Penny is an undeniable force within the ORYX artillery.

Penny Robartes is a Senior Photo Tour Leader for ORYX private and scheduled departures.

Client Testimonials

  • Kenya – Best of the Mara MigrationFlavio Ciglia, Switzerland

    Our Kenya photo safari was such a wonderful trip. We saw so may animals in different situations and our group got along very well. The Nkorombo Camp is outstanding and the staff exceptionally friendly, helpful and so special. Everybody there made it absolutely special. Thank you! You made my birthday absolutely unique! We loved the food in the camp and also in the field. There is really nothing to complain. We only can say thank you. Penny Robartes is a great tour leader. She is very caring and empathic. You always feel welcome and you always get answers or all questions, no matter how basic they might seem. Her attitude and her positive character makes every trip special. She’s a great tutor and gets never tired. Radio Penny is always online 😉. Thank you Penny! It was my second trip with you and not my last.

  • Kenya – Best of the Mara MigrationShyam Thilagaratnam, Singapore

    This was my sixth trip with ORYX Photo Tours and my third with Penny Robartes as guide. As always, all the arrangements were perfect - from the information provided pre-trip by Nicolette (especially with the constantly changing Covid-related requirements) to the accommodation, food and the photography guidance from Penny. It’s a given that when on safari, one should be prepared to see nothing - however, a combination of the excellent skills of our guides and drivers (thank you George Xanti and Kim James!) from the Serian Nkorombo and, perhaps an alignment of the stars, made this an action-filled trip to the Mara. We had a chance to practise low light photography one beautiful morning, when there was a sighting of a pride of 17 lions as the sun came up; we were witness to a stand-off between a lion and a hippo (!), with the same lion chasing a hyena, followed a little while later by a chase and wildebeest kill…all before breakfast one day. The guidance provided by Penny was invaluable. Each time I travel with her, I learn something new. Her generosity and clarity with which she shares her vision, tips and techniques always floor me - thank you so much Penny, you're a gem! This trip was not just about photography - it was about going home to the warm welcome of the lovely Serian Nkorombo family, renewing friendships while forming new ones - and making memories to which photographs could never do justice, but which are indelibly etched in my mind. Huge thanks to all at ORYX for making this happen!

  • Kenya – Best of the Mara MigrationFlavio Ciglia, Switzerland

    This week in the Mara was outstanding. We went from one highlight to the other. Never saw neither Lions that close nor a kill before. Our tour leader Penny Robartes was so passionate and aware to make sure this week was exceptional. Her tutoring helped me to make better images and to get a complete new way of interpreting scenes in the field. Thank you Penny. I will come back!

  • Kenya – Mara MigrationShobha Gopinath, Singapore

    This is my 7th trip with ORYX Photo Tours and that fact itself should stand as an outstanding testimonial! When booking with ORYX, you don’t have to worry about any of the arrangements or logistics, you can just be rest assured that it will all be well taken care of. This latest ‘Best of Mara’ Tour was no exception. We were extremely lucky in our sightings and witnessed some incredible encounters. One can never be certain with Nature, but we had a special experience every single day! Our guides and drivers were simply outstanding at getting us to where the action was. Penny Robartes, with whom I have travelled many times and someone I consider a friend, is most generous with her skills and knowledge and is the most attentive photography lead you can ask for. She is truly a wonderful travel companion and teacher. Our accommodation for this trip was Alex Walker’s Serian Nkorombo Camp, a camp I had stayed at 5 years ago. Going back after all these years felt like a home coming, such was the warm welcome of the beautiful staff of the camp. We had the most wonderful and comfortable stay there. Thank you ORYX for yet another unforgettable experience!

  • Kenya – Mara MigrationFlavio Ciglia, Switzerland

    Our Kenya photo safari was such a wonderful trip. We saw so may animals in different situations and our group got along very well. The Nkorombo Camp is outstanding and the staff exceptionally friendly, helpful and so special. Everybody there made it absolutely special. Thank you! You made my birthday absolutely unique! We loved the food in the camp and also in the field. There is really nothing to complain. We only can say thank you. Penny Robartes is a great tour leader. She is very caring and empathic. You always feel welcome and you always get answers or all questions, no matter how basic they might seem. Her attitude and her positive character makes every trip special. She’s a great tutor and gets never tired. Radio Penny is always online 😉. Thank you Penny! It was my second trip with you and not my last.

  • South AfricaAndreas Muller, Germany

    This was my fourth trip with ORYX Photo Tours: There was no better way to enjoy wildlife and to improve the own photographic skills. A small international group - all dedicated wildlife photographers - with a professional wildlife photographer. I learned a lot and saw amazing wildlife:

    Leopards were our main target in the Sabi Sands, and we saw them every day! Hunting, stalking, resting, and mating. My pictures are now more interesting and breathtaking than ever before! The ORYX guides - in my case, Penny Robartes (Sabi Sands) and Mike Dexter (Madikwe), have been very inspiring and supportive. I am already planning my next wildlife photographic tour with ORYX!

  • Private South AfricaClarissa Young, Australia

    This private ORYX South Africa photo safari exceeded my expectations with amazing big cat sightings at MalaMala and Ngala. We chose to do this trip with Penny Robarts at the end of our private Kenya trip just before COVID 19 erupted across the world in February 2020. ORYX rescheduled our trip twice and we made it in May 2022. It was worth the wait, and fantastic to travel and be guided by Penny who patiently coached my stumbles with my new camera to take images I could not have imagined possible. We had fantastic lodges, as well as drivers and guides. The local guides' knowledge is brilliant and they work so hard to get us to see amazing fauna and flora of the area. At the ORYX behind the scenes, Nicolette kept us well informed of changes in travel plans and rescheduling until Australia reopened its borders. Thank you all at ORYX, especially Penny, and your partners for another fabulous safari and amazing more pinch me moments.

  • Private South AfricaDebra Thoms, Australia

    Excellent tour with Penny Robartes to South Africa. Penny provides excellent guidance to help improve photography and the local guides and accommodation were all excellent. I highly recommend Oryx Photo Tours!

  • Private KenyaKeith Tucker, UK

    A truly fabulous and enjoyable trip. It will long live on in our minds and hearts. We would definitely recommend ORYX Photo Tours to others and look forward to booking our next tour ourselves!

    The pre departure organisation and admin was excellent. We really appreciated Nicolette's prompt, informative communication, especially the way she dealt with our questions and concerns around the COVID situation. Her flexibility and pragmatism was excellent.

    Penny was a great teacher and a great tour guide leader. Clearly she is an excellent photographer in her own right but it takes much more than this to be a good tour leader. Her interpersonal skills are first class and we really enjoyed her company both on the vehicles and over drinks/meal times. We were a party of mixed experience and skills but by the end of the trip we all felt that we had learned a great deal and that our photography had significantly improved. Penny explained things very clearly and calmly, taking time to ensure that each one of us had the necessary help and instruction. We wanted to pack a lot into our safari and we certainly managed that with long and exciting drives, followed by informative and constructive post-mortems and reviews of the pictures we had taken. Penny was always there with a smile on her face, very attentive, committed and full of energy making sure that as a guest we had a great experience all round. We would certainly recommend her as a tour leader and would love to do another private photo tour with her.

  • Private BotswanaMike Morse, USA

    This was my second private trip with ORYX Photo Tours, combined with my 6th ORYX photo safari group tour.  I have two additional ORYX group tours on the horizon.  The private trips allow significantly more individual instruction, both in photography and the digital darkroom.  In addition, the daily itinerary is totally up to you.  Penny Robartes was an exceptional tour leader who constantly gave me invaluable advice on camera settings, animal behavior, composition, and Lightroom processing.  While I was very happy with my images and instruction from the group part of the tour,  the private tour was a step or two up in quality. I plan to do more private photo tours in the future.  I can't say enough about my experiences with Penny, Dale, and Marius. I can't imagine traveling with anyone else.

    I had the pleasure of meeting Nicolette for lunch prior to my tour.  She has been so helpful over the years answering my many questions and making sure everything was arranged.

  • Botswana – Savute & KhwaiRegina Fugate, USA

    Our Botswana photo safari to Savute and Khwai went smoothly and without any problems. Our tour leader did a great job helping us with our photographic needs and offered assistance as well. Penny Robartes is very professional, cheerful and a pleasure to have as a tour leader. The camps were very nice, the staff in the camps were delightful and our drivers/guides were very accommodating. Overall, my experience with ORYX Photo Tours was positive.

  • Botswana – Savute & KhwaiIan Felton, USA

    This was our third photo safari with ORYX Photo Tours and we have a fourth one booked. The itineraries have been spot-on and the guide quality superb. The groups are small so there's plenty of opportunity for one-on-one feedback and help. The office staff are thoughtful and detail-oriented. This was also our first time traveling with Penny and she was a great tour leader!

  • Botswana – MashatuJulia Browne, USA

    Amazing tour with ORYX Photo Tours. Extremely talented and knowledgeable guide, Penny Robartes made this, Mashatu Photo tour, a extremely memorable experience. I spent a week at Mashatu Main Lodge in the Northern Tuli Game Reserve. The small group size, 2 guest to 1 guide, allowed the able to communicate constantly with my guide, Penny, not only gave technical advice but the reasons why certain settings were used along with advice on composition, night photography, etc. Penny was knowledgeable, easy to understand and a joy to be around. You can see how much she loves her job. She took the time between game drives to review my photos and give advice on composition and cropping. On the evening of the 4th day, I injured myself at the lodge and the staff there, as well as Penny and the team at ORYX, took care to make sure that I had the best medical care possible. I was able to get sutured and back on a game drive the following day. Thank you to ORYX Photo Tours for this amazing experience. I will be back!

  • Botswana – MashatuFlavio Ciglia, Switzerland

    I spent a week at Mashatu for a Hides and Predators photo tour. The tour was planned for three guests and although one guest cancelled, ORYX ran the tour with only two guests. The small group size offered the opportunity to communicate intensively with the photo tour leader Penny Robartes and so I learned an enormous amount. Penny has immense knowledge and she manages to convey this with her empathetic and good manner. In the run-up to the tour, ORYX took care of all the issues and always made sure that everything went smoothly. The communication was always very transparent and fast. Thanks to the whole ORYX Photo Tours team for letting me enjoy this unique experience!

  • South Africa – MalaMalaDerek Ridgard, South Africa

    I returned to MalaMala with ORYX Photo Tours, and more specifically with Penny Robartes, for a follow up photographic course and it was excellent in every way: great resort, superb food, a wonderful guide, fabulous sightings and insightful, helpful instruction from Penny. Building on what I learnt on the first course I did in October, I was more confident technically and was therefore able to develop compositionally. A valuable experience in every way. HIGHLY recommended.

  • South Africa – MalaMalaJenni Slabbert, South Africa

    Although my husband and I are keen underwater photographers, we have for some time watched and been inspired by Penny Robartes’s amazing wildlife photography and were thus excited to join her on a recent ORYX Photo Tour to Mala Mala game reserve.

    We were blown away by amazing sightings and great photo opportunities, which were so ably guided by this creative and experienced tour leader. Penny showed an intuitive understanding of each guest’s needs and was happy to share her passion through clear, professional input related to both technical and creative aspects of land based photography...while simultaneously ensuring her three guests enjoyed relaxed "time out" from a weird 2020! Thanks to Penny and our great ranger, Daniel Bailey, we were encouraged to explore flora and fauna, big and small, and felt we not only gained from a photographic perspective but in our knowledge of the wild. Clearly, the Mala Mala team and ORYX work in comfortable synergy, as they all went out of their way to make it a fabulous experience.

    Finally, although I am generally inclined to organise all my own travel, I was pleasantly surprised by the ease and accommodating manner in which everything was handled by the ORYX team and would like to extend thanks not only to Penny for ensuring a wonderful photo tour but also to Nicolette and Rainer for their “behind the scenes” organisation. Highly recommended!

  • Kenya – Life of PredatorsRenate Stutz, Switzerland

    Such a great Kenya photo safari with ORYX Photo Tours, and perfectly organised by Nicolette! Due to Covid the preparations for this tour were quire complicated but as soon as I had arrived at the hotel in Nairobi, I felt that this trip was the best thing I could do in this strenuous time. Our camp in the Masai Mara war a real safari camp, comfy, cosy and I loved it! The food was excellent, our guides and drivers as well, and Penny is the perfect photo tour leader: great knowledge, a very good teacher and a very charming person. You will definitely see me again!

  • Kenya – Life of PredatorsApril Bushman, USA

    Our Kenya photo tour was magnificent! My dad and I had a marvellous time. Penny was fantastic--patient, professional, kind, helpful, passionate, and an all around wonderful person! The location, camp hosts (THANK YOU Roshin!!) and staff were amazing - so friendly, & willing to help do whatever they could to make our stay over the top great! (While my dad didn't care for the hot water bottles in bed at night, I thought it was a fabulous extra!)

    Our guides and drivers were brilliant with their knowledge of the area the animals and people in the Masai Mara. They were funny, fun, kind, helpful, and made our game drives and (lovely) meals in the Bush all the more special because of their personalities, attentiveness, and sharing of their vast knowledge! They were also impressive with knowing where and how to get in the best position for the best angle/lighting/view to take pictures of the amazing animals they were so good and spotting and getting us to. They were just as an important part of our experience as the animals and the location.

    We appreciated the communication of ORYX as we prepared and planned and had a lot of questions pre-tour. And for their help as the Covid travel restrictions and requirements changed (more than once).

    Thank you for a fantastic tour, ORYX Photo Tours! If we have the opportunity to go on another photography tour in the future, ORYX is at the top of our list!!

  • Kenya – Life of PredatorsSteve Leftkovits, USA

    Our Life of Predators photo safari in the Masai Mara trip was well-organized, superbly led and very fun. The result was unique image-making and a week well spent. Thank you ORYX Photo Tours!

  • Kenya – Life of PredatorsChristian Vasters, Germany

    Having travelled to Africa multiple times before and having fallen in love with its wildlife and nature, this was my first photo safari with ORYX Photo Tours. The overall experience was clearly beyond my expectations.

    From my first email contact with Nicolette, I have felt very welcomed by everyone. Every detail of the tour was well planned and perfectly organized. Given all the rapidly changing Covid regulations, the ORYX team made sure everyone of us was able to meet all requirements and even arranged a Covid testing in the bush while we were on game drive.

    Returning to the Mara with its abundance of wildlife felt marvellous. Our base for the following six days was Alex Walker’s Serian The Original, a serene and beautiful "classic" bush camp in the best sense of the word with a prime location right by the Mara river, superb food and exceptional staff, who made me feel at home from the first moment. I loved my spacious and comfortable tent by the river and enjoyed falling asleep to the sound of the hippos around every night.

    Penny, our photo tour leader and photographer, is a real gem. She is an excellent photographer, a brilliant teacher and an inspiring travel companion, always generous in sharing her knowledge, skills and vision. Penny made every effort to ensure everyone was feeling comfortable all the time and assisted whenever necessary. You could feel every moment, that her aim is providing her guests the best possible experience. I owe her a lot of inspiration for my personal photographic development.

    I’m already looking forward to my next photo tour!

  • South Africa – MalaMalaSusan Greef, South Africa

    We had a great time at MalaMala! So much amazing sightings in both locations and it seems that leopards were favouring us!

    Penny is a remarkable tour leader and photographic teacher; I gave her the pet name “Teacher” not sure if she liked it :), because she has a beautiful gift to teach others and share her knowledge on camera settings, creative wildlife photography and photographing in the wild from a vehicle. She went out of her way to make all of us feel at home and at ease and taken care of, in true ORYX Photo Tours style, but also that is the kind of caring person she is.

    We were very fortunate to have Daniel as our driver/ranger, his knowledge of the reserve and the animals contributed to our amazing safari.

    Thank you ORYX for making Mala Mala Game Reserve part of your photo safari destination and affordable to South Africans in these challenging times.

  • Private TanzaniaLinda Clews, Bahamas

    Penny Robartes was an a brilliant guide for me, always putting my shooting needs first, making sure that my settings were right, giving advice on how to shoot at a sighting and calming me down when a sighting became intense…no easy feat as there were plenty of those! Thank you for your support and advice, not only on safari, but afterwards as well, and giving me a new outlook on Lightroom!

    The Serian camps were wonderful, I loved every minute that we spent there, accommodation, food, staff were great, I look forward to returning one day.

    Thank you again for a wonderful photo safari, I will always treasure those memories. It was an incredibly special place and the whole experience was wonderful. Its hard to explain to people how beautiful it was with all the yellow and purple flowers and then it became the scene of utter carnage as well!

  • Kenya – Life of PredatorsClarissa Young, Australia

    Where to start? First of all, thank you and the team at ORYX for putting together seamless hassle free guided tours where everything so well planned.

    Then there is Penny, she provided the best calm, relaxed and generous help and guidance on this trip. Nothing was ever any bother and Penny and she is a true professional who is willing to share for a very amateur photographer like me to get the best images I can.

    The side trip to Amboseli was brilliant with so many elephants massed together along with with some big cats and birds.  The close proximity to Kilimanjaro provided daily spectacular backdrops and views. Our driver/guide Ali was so knowledgeable, calm and drove safely through very challenging conditions after the unusual big rains before we came.

    Visiting the Sheldrick refuge was a great way to embed a long-term link with a successful rehabilitation project in Kenya and to follow the progress and life of an individual great icon of Africa.

    Then up to the Mara this was just brilliant, the cats, other mammals, birds nestled amongst the green with sometimes dark threatening skies was outstanding. I have said this every trip but everyday there was at least one pinch me moment as we were privileged to see such natural beauty and encounters with animals. Dennis and Mark are brilliant team and they were really knowledgeable driver, guide and placing the vehicle in the best place safety and with consideration of the animals.

    All three lodges were welcoming and comfortable to the point of hot water bottles in the bed, the first night I leapt out of the bed when I encountered the warmth mid bed as I thought a beastie had taken up residence! In all places the meals were outstanding.

    I love East Africa and think there is one more photo tour in me with Penny as each country/region reveals new treasures and pinch me moments.

  • Kenya – Life of PredatorsDebra Thoms, Australia

    Fabulous Kenya photo safari, well organised, with great accommodations and locales. We saw numerous mammals & birds with the help of our skilled local guides, who were also very well informed & helpful. Our photo tour leader and photographer Penny Robartes was excellent – I learned a lot from Penny about photography and took some of the best photos I have ever taken. All in all, this was an excellent trip and will certainly look to undertake further trips with ORYX Photo Tours!

  • Botswana – Savute & KhwaiMark & Katie Andrews, USA

    My wife and I had an incredible photo safari experience with ORYX Photo Tours. From booking process to the preparations made by the ORYX team, we were well taken care of. This Botswana photo safari itself was full of unique sightings and great photographic opportunities. Penny Robartes (our ORYX guide) provided expertise in the sightings along with key information to improve capturing the best possible photos. The photo tour itself is brilliantly set up with distinct environments with Savute up first and finishing with Khwai. The Savute location is dryer with game concentrated around watering holes and marsh to the north. The Savute was dominated with lion sightings including the Marsh pride with cubs. The tracker was able to use tracks in the sand to find the lion cubs with an eventual greeting of the cubs and the adults capping off that incredible sighting. Khwai is a lush and green river front with an entirely different back drop and more unique animal sightings. Khwai did not disappoint with wild dogs, hippos, crocs, owls, and lots of great leopard sightings. Even though we had very good leopard sightings in the Savute, the leopard sightings in Khwai were unique. We were able to see a leopard chase down a Lechwe in the marsh splashing its way to knocking down the the Lechwe. Again, the tracker was able to find a leopard from the tracks in the sand. That leopard ended up with a kill and our opportunity to see it climb the tree with its kill right in front of us with the right angle and sun behind us. Penny provided instruction and what to expect from the animal behavior to capture the best possible emotion in the images.

    Thanks again ORYX Photo Tours for an incredible photo safari.

  • Botswana – Savute & KhwaiClarissa Young, Australia

    Penny, I really had a fantastic photo safari in Botswana thanks to you and ORYX Photo Tours for sure! I am still on a bit of a high. Even though this was my third time to Southern Africa and second to Botswana, and each trip has been special, this time having a focus was brilliant and your guidance was invaluable to achieving some excellent photos.

  • Botswana – Savute & KhwaiFiona Stoker, Australia

    I had an absolutely marvellous trip away with Penny, she taught and guided gently with our new cameras so much. This Botswana photo safari was just right, great lodges, driver guides and the beasties and birds were on show or gently coached into view.

    Thank you to ORYX Photo Tours for a terrific tour and to Penny especially for her skills with the camera, and helping me get started with new eyes for the shot.

  • Kenya – Life of PredatorsKeith McLeod, Canada

    I have had a fantastic photo safari! The time with Penny and the group based out of Nkorombo in the park was excellent. Penny’s blend of skills of leadership, organizing, people, and photography coaching all came together to make the trip a rewarding learning experience for all.

    Now a few thousand photos to distill down, and I am optimistic that there are a few diamonds to be found in there.

    And also starting to look at future trips, with ORYX Photo Tours, Penny, and various Serian camps all being part of the recommended mix.

  • Kenya – Life of PredatorsEugenia Marcus, USA

    The Kenya photo tour was beyond expectations. The staff was excellent and careful and they accommodated everyone's food issues. The drivers and guides were very savvy about photography. They positioned the jeep at each stop to take advantage of the light and the movement of the animal we were photographing. They were willing to stop for birds even though birds were not the focus of the trip. I am really looking forward to another ORYX photo safari. Penny was so excellent. I would travel with her again in a heartbeat.

  • India – Tigers & VaranasiAstrid Van Zyl, South Africa

    Dear Penny, thank you so much for leading the most exceptional India photo tour…. it more than met my expectations of a happy and productive trip.

    Thank you also to Marius for organising this personalised trip with a group of ladies who have met each other along the way in various other travel scenarios. It was so good to reconnect! Strong friendships of like minded people from different parts of the world were built which lent to a most entertaining and happy journey. Besides the group getting along famously, a huge thank you also to Bablu for looking after us so well and always watching our backs, collecting forgotten items and generally smoothing the way ….. his photography skills are totally amazing too!

    Also not forgetting the team of guides and drivers….exceptional! Fun, fun, fun …..and some photography too! The team always had our best interests at heart and made every minute happy! What an amazing team!

    Ranthambore and the photography opportunities was an adventure on its own….it is very hard to describe the tiger encounters, not to mention sloth bears!!! Each and every one took my breath away! The scenic and historical part of Ranthambore lent to the total magic for me! My trust and faith in our driver and team getting us to the right place at the right time was both exhilarating and I appreciated their dedication and care.

    Varanasi was an experience second to none. The feel of India there for me was palpable. The way we were active on foot, in rickshaws by day and night in the hub of the Ganges River area gave us the true feel of noise, hustle and bustle, hoot and more noise! As well as serenity and calm! Again the chaos of the city worked!

    Penny, thank you for your patience, kindness and co-ordinating the Bandit Queens ….. a group of strong minded, middle aged women all with a dry sense of humour ;), not an easy task! It truly was one of the best photographic journeys I have been on and the mix was totally right! By the sounds of the laughter echoing through the valleys ….. its got to have been a great trip!

    Thank you! May we all share many more happy journeys together.

  • India – Tigers & VaranasiShobha Gopinath, Singapore

    Is there such a thing as a perfect trip? My recent trip to Ranthambore National Park and Varanasi, India with ORYX Photo Tours was nothing short of fantastic and exciting! Tiger sightings in Ranthambore were spectacular and Varanasi was sublime. It was simply an unparalleled experience made all the more enjoyable as all ground arrangements from transport, hotels and local guiding were impeccable. Everything went off smoothly and without a hitch.

    In no small part the trip was memorable because of our photography lead, Penny Robartes. This is the third trip I have gone on with Penny. She is just the most wonderful person to travel with. She is personable, cheerful and caring, always making sure everything went off smoothly. She is very generous with her knowledge and expertise, always patient and helpful advising us on composition, settings and editing. Her insights and instructions on photography were invaluable and my photography has definitely improved on account of her.

    This was an exceptional trip and our experience was unparalleled. Thank you ORYX and Penny in particular for yet another terrific experience.

  • India – Tigers & VaranasiShyam Thilagaratnam, Singapore

    I've just returned from another ORYX photo tour adventure - this time to Ranthambore and Varanasi. This is my second time travelling with the lovely Penny Robartes - the first being to the Mara a few years ago. Penny continues to surprise and raise the bar.

    From the organisation and logistics, to the photographic opportunities and tuition from Penny, and the group that was thoughtfully put together for this trip - everything was just perfect. The itinerary was a wonderful combination of wildlife and culture. I'd never seen a tiger in the wild before and this has been on my bucket list for ages - and thanks to the ace trackers and guides I got to see a tiger on almost every drive - 14 sightings of 11 different tigers and cubs - what an adrenaline rush that was. And thanks to Penny, I think I got some pretty decent images 🙂

    Penny is truly remarkable and a real gem, and much more than a 'photographer guide'. Her genuine interest in people and cultures is obvious and her natural good-natured curiousity made her a superstar, not just with our group but with all we met along the way. Her mad photography skills combined with her generosity in sharing her knowledge resulted in my gaining so many new photographic capabilities - I have no doubt the rest of the group felt the same.

    When on game drives or walking the streets of Varanasi, Penny was always there to guide us on settings or to point out opportunities that we might otherwise have missed. In between these sessions, she was also available to each of us for some very useful editing 'tutorials'...which were always combined with so much belly-aching laughter, and conversations about life, the universe and everything in between.

    I can't recommend Penny Robartes highly enough - both my trips with her were far more than 'photography expeditions' - they would be more accurately described as 'good for the soul journeys.' I've already signed up for my next photo safari with her. So, mega thanks Penny - you are truly appreciated!

  • AntarcticaLorne Martin, Canada

    Hi Nicolette, Thanks to you and the entire ORYX Photo Tours team. This was truly the experience of a lifetime. My only wish was that my wife was there to share it with me. Having said that Penny did everything possible to make this photo tour the absolute best it could be. She was so attentive – to both shooting and post production, that I know my photography skills took a big jump forward. I have been on many photography tours over the last 6 or 7 years and Penny’s instruction and attention were well beyond what I have experienced previously.

  • AntarcticaSimon Belsham, United Kingdom

    ORYX Photo Tours have been fantastic! From my initial enquiries, through supporting me with payments, to the information you provided beforehand. But most importantly Penny was an absolute super star and it was an incredible trip. Exhilarating, intense, thought provoking and really fun. Penny was patient, really easy to get along with (for 3 weeks on a boat is not easy to achieve!), supportive and taught us both so much. Having Penny with us the whole time opened my eyes to a different way of seeing things. She has an incredible creative eye, and the way we looked at animal behaviour, and thought about the context that surrounded Antarctica, moved my photography beyond basic documentary to something that had more purpose. Instead of solely trying to capture beautiful images we were trying to tell stories in a place where there are so many important stories to tell. This has not only made my photography better and more interesting (I hope!) but it also given it more meaning. And having more meaning for me has given me a whole new excitement and sense of purpose for my photography in general.

  • Kenya – Mara MigrationGregory Cowle, Australia

    The Kenya photo safari was excellent from beginning to end. We had some excellent wildlife observations, particularly of predators, but also zebras, giraffes, elephants in the beautiful Mara landscape.

    The camp, staff and local guides were very good, and it was great to travel with Penny given her well-deserved reputation in the Mara. The efforts Penny made with all the participants to see and capture the wildlife in a manner reflecting her style, and provide technical help from shooting to processing were beyond expectations.

  • Kenya – Mara MigrationShyam Thilagaratnam, Singapore

    The Kenya Mara Migration photo safari was absolutely magical – the magic of the Mara was definitely more than enhanced by the lovely Penny. She truly is a gem. Right from the time we met her at the Ole Sereni, we knew this was going to be a great trip. Penny is an amazing teacher – from advising on settings and composition, to Lightroom and editing – she was on the ball all day, and even in the evenings, when we got tutorials on editing (I was telling her she should have a YouTube channel, she would have quite a following!). All this she did with kindness and patience, and unbridled enthusiasm. Even a couple of other guests at the Nkorombo camp commented on how hardworking she is, and that we were a lucky group to have her guiding us. But more than the photography and her mad skills, Penny is one good person, and as Shobha said, ‘make sure you hang on to her’ 🙂

  • Kenya – Mara MigrationShobha Gopinath, Singapore

    The Best of the Mara Migration photo safari was my first real wildlife photography tour and it didn’t disappoint. There was plenty of drama and loads of excitement.

    We learnt patience while sitting in our jeeps willing the fickle-minded wildebeest and zebras to make the plunge but the dangers of giant crocs lurking in the waters spooking the animals was a spectacle in itself … then there was the amazing sight of a pride of lions having a family feast and cheetahs devouring their kill, the unexpected sighting of a lone and majestic leopard – each day had its own magic.

    Patience wasn’t the only thing we learnt. We had the good fortune of being led by the super-charged and incredibly personable Penny Robartes. From the crack of dawn to post-dinner post-mortems of the day, she was always on the go. She was generous with her artistic and technical knowledge. Mastering settings and composition and Lightroom ‘tricks’ was a lot of fun with Penny and there was always a large and healthy dose of humour. That makes all the difference.

    We as a team enjoyed Penny’s company and her self-effacing manner makes her difficult not to like. I would go on another expedition with her in a heartbeat. I cannot recommend this trip and Penny highly enough.

    The organisation and arrangements for this photo safari trip too were nothing short of superb.

    Thank you ORYX Photo Tours for yet another unforgettable experience!

  • Kenya – Mara MigrationJon Knutsen, Norway

    This was my first experience with ORYX Photo Tours and I came on this trip with high expectations, especially on the migration and river crossing part. What struck me most was the massive wildlife in the area and how close we came to it at various sightings. It is almost unreal to get to see close ups of Lion kills, Cheetah kills and a Leopard in only 3 days. The local Masai scouters in great cooperation with our ORYX photo tour guide, Penny Robartes, did a fantastic job and kept the energy up throughout 12-14 hours day trips. Excellent photo coaching by Penny on site was also a great contribution for higher quality images… Well done!! I have now added several thousands of new great images that I will enjoy reviewing in the months ahead.

  • Private KenyaCindy Fahy, USA

    The photo safari was wonderful! Not only was Penny helpful with our photography and Lightroom skills, she was a great companion: Fun, friendly, insightful and educational. She made our trip all the more memorable. I am anxious to put all her Lightroom tips to use and feel much more confident in my camera skills. Looking forward to seeing Antarctica through Penny’s eyes in the upcoming weeks!

  • Private KenyaPam Chesonis, USA

    We had a wonderful week with Penny in the Mara! So much wildlife and wonderful lodgings. Penny spent so much time helping me advance my skills from last year and Cindy really got so much out of it as she came in similar to my experience last year. Penny is so wonderful to work with and her approach to photography is refreshing. Thank you to all the ORYX Photo Tours team for once again making such a memorable Kenya photo safari for Cindy and I!

  • Private South AfricaCody Linde, USA

    Penny Robartes is a young, fun, and excellent guide. She is very organized and dedicated to getting the client the results they want. She lead us all around the beautiful city of Cape Town and we hit magnificent spots for sunrise and sunset. Not that I would have minded at all, but she never once carried a camera while she was with us. Instead her entire focus was interacting with the group. If you had questions, she had answers, if you just wanted to chat, she would chat. Hands down she is one of the best guides at ORYX Photo Tours.

  • Private South AfricaPam Chesonis, USA

    I had a great experience with your teaching methods on how to better use my camera and really appreciated your beginning tutorial sessions in Lightroom. I think all you shared with me will help me advance in my photographic goals. I think the one thing you did that helped us best was to look on our computers at the images we took after our first outing. This allows us to see first hand where we needed to make corrections.

Upcoming Tours with Penny

black leopard kenya Fully Booked
 
19 Jul 2023 - 26 Jul 2023
8 Days
3 Guests + 1 ORYX Leader
uganda photo safari 3 Spaces Available
 
18 Nov 2023 - 28 Nov 2023
12 Days
6 Guests + 1 ORYX Leader
big cats photo safari kenya Spaces Available
 
6 Feb 2024 - 12 Feb 2024
7 Days
6 Guests + 1 ORYX Leader
mara migrarion photo safari1 1 Spaces Available
 
1 Aug 2024 - 8 Aug 2024
8 Days
6 Guests + 1 ORYX Leader
uganda photo tour Spaces Available
 
12 Nov 2024 - 22 Nov 2024
12 Days
6 Guests + 1 ORYX Leader
kenya photo safari Spaces Available
 
28 Nov 2024 - 4 Dec 2024
9 Days
6 Guests + 1 ORYX Leader
photo safari zambia7 Spaces Available
 
28 Aug 2024 - 6 Sep 2024
10 Days
4 Guests + 1 ORYX Leaders
Tanzania Wildebeest Migration Safari Fully Booked
 
18 Feb 2023 - 1 Mar 2023
12 Days
6 Guests + 1 ORYX Leader
madikwe game reserve Spaces Available
 
27 June 2023 - 2 July 2023
6 Days
4 Guests + 1 ORYX Leader
Sabi Sands photo safari 2 Spaces Available
 
3 July 2023 - 8 July 2023
6 Days
4 Guests + 1 ORYX Leader
Ngorongoro crater photo tour Kenya Spaces Available
 
15 Feb 2024 - 26 Feb 2024
12 Days
6 Guests + 1 ORYX Leader
south africa photo tour Spaces Available
 
27 June 2024 - 2 July 2024
6 Days
4 Guests + 1 ORYX Leader
sabi sands photo safari Spaces Available
 
3 July 2024 - 8 July 2024
6 Days
4 Guests + 1 ORYX Leader
Women only northern India photo tour Fully Booked
 
12 April 2023 - 25 April 2023
14 Days
6 Guests + 1 ORYX Leader
india photo safari Spaces Available
 
12 April 2024 - 24 April 2024
14 Days
6 Guests + 1 ORYX Leader
mashatu photo tour7 3 Spaces Available
 
4 Oct 2023 - 9 Oct 2023
6 Days
3 Guests + 1 ORYX Leader
Botswana Photo Tour Spaces Available
 
10 Oct 2023 - 18 Oct 2023
9 Days
6 Guests + 1 ORYX Leader
Space Available
 
25 July 2024 - 30 July 2024
6 Days
3 Guests + 1 ORYX Leader
botswana safari1 Spaces Available
 
10 Oct 2024 - 18 Oct 2024
9 Days
6 Guests + 1 ORYX Leader
botswana photo tour Fully Booked
 
9 Oct 2022 - 17 Oct 2022
9 Days
6 Guests + 1 ORYX Leader
antarctica photo tour Fully Booked
 
08 Nov 2022 - 27 Nov 2022
20 Days
20 Guests + 2 ORYX Leaders
Pantanal Photo Tour 2 Spaces Available
 
15 Sep 2023 - 27 Sep 2023
13 Days
6 Guests + 1 ORYX Leader
pantanal photo safari77 Spaces Available
 
15 Sep 2024 - 27 Sep 2024
13 Days
6 Guests + 1 ORYX Leader

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