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Botswana – Jewels of the Okavango Photo Tour 2021

Botswana – Jewels of the Okavango Photo Tour 2021

US$5,165 per person sharing

Spaces Available

Please note that costs for 2021 tours are subject to change (as not all our partner properties and local airlines have released their rates) – should we need to revise costs, we will endeavour to keep fees as close to original cost.

7 Mar 2021 – 12 Mar 2021

ORYX Photo Tours is proud to present a tour designed to sample the essence of the Okavango – the myriad jewels that inhabit the aquatic wonderland of the famous Jao Concession; an area that really personifies Botswana’s celebrated wetland paradise. Birds, both large and small form the backbone of this itinerary, from bejewelled Malachite Kingfisher, towering Wattled Crane and ever-present African Fish Eagle, to the secretive Pel’s Fishing Owl – the latter a “classic” riverine species of the Okavango. However, the macro opportunities are also of importance to us – from a dainty Angolan Reed Frog on a sedge, delightful day-flowering water lily to a patterned moth attracted to a light camp at night. The concession is home to a fair amount of big game, and we should encounter Red Lechwe splashing through the shallows, Hippo grunting as they wallow in deeper pools, Nile Crocodile and Spotted-necked Otter sliding gracefully through the cool waters, and possibly even Elephant and the shy Sitatunga! Despite its status as an “adventure” camp, Pelo is stylish in an understated way and boxes above its weight. This Okavango photo tour will leave you feeling rejuvenated, and with memories detailed in a fantastic portfolio of images showcasing the jewels of the Okavango.

Why this Photo Tour is for You

Destination Allure

Beautiful, idyllic Okavango wetland landscapes with a rich assemblage of birds, many of which are colourful and easy to photograph.

Month of Travel

Our Photo Tour takes place in March, as most of the migrant bird species are still present in the area as it is the tail end of the Austral summer, vegetation is green post summer rains, and as it is still warm, insect activity is high.

Number of Species

The Okavango is home of a range of special wetland and woodland birds, including Wattled Crane, Pel’s Fishing Owl, Saddle-billed Stork, African Jacana, Blue-cheeked, Little and European bee-eaters, Malachite, Pied and Woodland kingfishers, Slaty Egret and Black Heron. Also good chances for other wildlife including Angolan Reed Frog and Red Lechwe.

Value for Money

This tour represents great value for money as our camp is small, of a good quality and in a very remote area of the delta. Furthermore, our group of 8 participants will have 2 ORYX photo guides and private use camp, meaning all aspects of the camp functioning will be geared towards us and our group.

Guided Experience

Local knowledge of the region and its wildlife is key to crafting the ultimate photography tour experience. Combined with the photographic expertise of your ORYX Photo Tour Leader, and you are in for an adventure that will further fuel your excitement for photography and the destination.

Dale Morris

Kirsten Frost


Kirsten Frost

6 Days
8 Guests + 2 ORYX Leaders
  • Destination
  • Departure
    Maun, Botswana
  • per person sharing
  • Photographic Highlights
    Various resident birds including Wattled Crane, Saddle-billed Stork, Slaty Egret and Pel’s Fishing Owl, colourful migrants in the dappled green and blue wetland paradise that is the Okavango, including Woodland Kingfisher and Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, macro opportunities of frogs, insects and waterlilies using creative lighting, Red Lechwe, Hippo and Nile Crocodile

Day 1: Arrival in Maun, flight to Okavango Delta

Today marks the start of our photo tour as we leave the quaint Maun International Airport on a flight bound for the Okavango Delta. We head specifically to the large Jao Concession, located in the north-west of this vast delta. After arrival at the Jao Airstrip, our photo safari continues as we drive in order to reach the river, at which point we will boat to Pelo Camp (approximately between 45 minutes to 1 hour to camp after landing). It will quickly become apparent on this Okavango safari that this area is the miracle of the Kalahari – a place of verdant splendour and plentiful water in a huge, flat and sandy semi-desert area. We will round out the day enjoying sundowners on the sunset deck, and after dinner will be able to listen to the sounds of the Okavango night from our Meru-style safari tents.   **Note that based on a group size of 8 people, we will have private use of Pelo Camp  

Days 2 to 5: Okavango Delta

The island is named Pelo after its heart shape – the name “Pelo” means heart in Setswana and is located deep within the 60,000 hectare (150,000 acre) Jao Concession. The area we will be our focus on our photo tour within Jao, which is dominated by water, and thus our activities will be water-based with the ability to walk in certain areas. This Okavango photo tour is timed to take advantage of the rich resident birdlife that is augmented by the presence of migrants from the Afrotropics and Eurasia; furthermore, we have a lot of opportunities for macro photography, as it is late summer and thus insects and herps are quite active. At night, we will attempt to photograph various insects including moths and bugs, and small vertebrates such as frogs and toads while using flashes, nicely rounding our portfolio of Okavango images During the day, our Okavango safari should offer stunning water lilies and multicoloured Angolan Reed Frogs, and as your guides are both accomplished macro photographers, they will assist you in achieving the best possible images of your subjects. Where ever possible, they will teach and apply creative lighting techniques – this will work well on Pelo Island itself, or while on foot in areas where we are able to walk elsewhere in the concession.

Day 6: Morning activity, flight Okavango to Maun and depart

After a final morning photography, we will enjoy breakfast before making our way back to the airstrip and then winging our way back to Maun, where this Okavango photo tour sadly comes to an end.   **Please do let us know if you would like to combine this tour with a private wildlife focused extension to complement the bird / macro nature of this departure – a number of superb options are available in northern Botswana, and we would be happy to arrange such a safari for you**  
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