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South Africa – Best of South Africa Photo Safari 2022

South Africa – Best of South Africa Photo Safari 2022

Price: SQ

Fully Booked

4 Sep 2022 – 20 Sep 2022

ORYX Photo Tours are proud to present a carefully crafted expedition to some of Southern Africa’s ultimate wildlife photographic destinations, the Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve, Tswalu Kalahari Reserve and the coastline of the Western Cape.

 

Your photo safari will commence in the Sabi Sands at the famous MalaMala Game Reserve. The unfenced borders between the Sabi Sands and the Kruger National Park on the one side allows animals to migrate unhindered to the perennial Sand River that flows between them. This well-preserved wilderness is a magnet to some of Africa’s most sought-after wildlife species, and is acclaimed as offering the best Leopard viewing on the continent.

 

After the first portion of your wildlife photo safari, you will travel to Tswalu. The Kalahari “Desert” is a vast area of semi-arid savanna and grassland that stretches over large portions of Namibia, Botswana and neighbouring South Africa. It is a land of endless vistas, gnarled Camelthorn trees and in some areas, fantastic game viewing.

 

Handsome black-maned Lions, Brown Hyaena, Southern Oryx and desert-adapted Black Rhinoceros are the stars of the show, although smaller mammalians such a Meerkat, Aardvark and even Pangolin are endearing and remain ever popular (Tswalu being one of the best places on earth to see the latter two!).

 

Your photo safari will continue along the coast of the Western Cape, where you will focus on the marine life that calls the cold waters of this system home – Bottle-nose Dolphins, Southern Right Whale and the Great White Shark will form the focus of our time in this region. You will once again have access to classy accommodations during your stay in the Cape.

 

Join us on this photo safari of a lifetime that promises breath-taking photographic opportunities in the wilds of South Africa, and that guarantees the ultimate predator experience in Africa.

 

 

Why this South Africa Photo Safari is for You

DESTINATION ALLURE

With a stunning array of attractions, very few destinations are able to compete with South Africa’s beautiful combination of wildlife, landscape & cultural highlights.

WILDLIFE & LANDSCAPES

From the world-famous Table Mountain, to the cobalt blue and emerald green coast line, to the wildlife saturated reserves, which are home to the Big 5, across the country, to the picturesque winelands – A plethora of wildlife and landscape photography awaits!

MONTH OF TRAVEL

South Africa is blessed with a temperate climate, with sensational summers and mild winters. With almost near perfect weather, some areas receiving over an average of 300 days of sunshine per year! Choosing the best time to visit South Africa depends entirely on what you want to see and do but all in all, South Africa is a “travel any time of the year” destination.

GUIDED EXPERIENCE

Local knowledge of the region is key to crafting the ultimate 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 - ORYX Photo Tours

ORYX LEADER
Dale Morris

17 Days
2 Guests + 1 ORYX Leader
Classic
Landscape
Wildlife
  • Destination
  • Departure
    Johannesburg
  • Photographic Highlights
    Lion, Leopard, African Wild Dog, Cheetah, Spotted Hyaena, Elephant, White Rhino, Cape Buffalo, African Penguins, Great White Sharks, Cape Fur Seals, Southern Wright Whales, Bottle-nose Dolphins, local avifauna, majestic landscapes of the Cape Peninsula
  • Guide
1

Day 1: Fly from Johannesburg to Skukuza, road transfer to MalaMala

Today you will start your photo tour by road transferring to the Sabi Sand Game Reserve.
2

Days 2 to 4: MalaMala Game Reserve

Mala Mala Game Reserve is home to some of the most sought-after wildlife species and offers spectacular game viewing and a true wilderness experience. These two reserves are renowned for their leopard viewing – it is easily the best in Africa.
3

Day 5: Depart Kruger for Johannesburg

After breakfast and your morning game drive, you will fly back to OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, where you will overnight.  
4

Day 6: Depart Johannesburg for Tswalu

Today you will begin your photo safari in the Kalahari, with a scheduled flight from to Tswalu Private Game Reserve. Tswalu Kalahari is South Africa’s largest private game reserve, covering an area of over 100,000 hectares, offers unrivalled privacy in a vast, pristine wilderness. Although it may seem to be a sandy wasteland, it is in fact home to a fascinating variety of game animals, many of which we will get to know over the coming days.
5

Days 7 to 10: Tswalu Kalahari Reserve

Tswalu harbours some magnificent game, including “Kalahari” Lions with their celebrated black manes, Cheetah, Black Rhino, Southern Giraffe, Plains Zebra, Cape Buffalo, Southern Oryx, Red Hartebeest, Eland and Springbok. What sets Tswalu aside from any other lodge in South Africa are the extraordinary sightings of some of sub regions most seldom encountered and rare wildlife. Tswalu represents the best place in the country (and maybe the whole of Africa!) for the Pangolin and Aardvark, which are “holy grails” of mammal sightings. Other seldom seen animals that may be encountered include Aardwolf, Cape and Bat-eared Fox, Cape Porcupine, Honey Badger and Brown Hyaena. Another highlight at Tswalu is the endearing Meerkat population, which can be viewed at close range, entertaining visitors with their enchanting antics.
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Day 11: Depart Tswalu for Grootbos

This is your final morning in the desert, and you will have ample time to enjoy a morning game drive followed by breakfast and a leisurely departure. The flight departs Tswalu in the afternoon to Cape Town, where you will be transferred to Grootbos. This reserve offers you the chance to immerse yourself in the unique fynbos kingdom and ancient forest of Grootbos, featuring 800 plant species, 118 bird species, 29 mammals and 21 amphibians – some of which are under threat of extinction.
7

Day 12: Exploring the Coast

Beyond the Hottentots-Holland Mountains, to the East of Cape Town, lies the Overberg, an area of fruit and grain farms, verdant wine-growing valleys and a coastal Riviera known for its charming towns and whale viewing. Swathes of colourful Cape Fynbos plants, rocky shores and richly green vineyards are all part of the Overberg's essence. During the calving season, Hermanus is arguably the best destination to view Southern Right Whales. From June to December these migratory animals make their presence known in Walker Bay, with pods of up to 50 creatures frolicking close to land. Hermanus' resident Whale Crier sounds his kelp horn alerting the town to the proximity of these magnificent sea beasts. The Gansbaai area is also famous for its Great White Sharks sightings and we will incorporate a cage diving expedition. Afternoons will be spent at Grootbos exploring the areas Fynbos, caves and the reserve. With 118 different bird species, Grootbos is uniquely positioned to offer both avid bird photographers a rich and varied birding experience. Cool Afromontane forests, the rocky coastline and serene estuaries provide a magnificent backdrop to our birding outings. Our experienced guides will share fascinating facts while helping you spot endemic birds feeding and breeding in these different ecosystems. With some of the most pristine beaches in the world, they also offer photographic walks along the water’s edge, historical cave tours led by their guides, including possible sundowners with whales in front of you, whilst snacking on a picnic meal.
8

Day 14: Depart Grootbos for Tintswalo

Your day of tracking the Marine Big 5 (Southern Right Whale, Shark, Dolphin, Seal and Penguin) starts with a full immersion into breath-taking coastal landscape as you travel along the R44, keeping an eye on the sea. Exploring the Stony Point Nature Reserve in Betty’s Bay, home to a breeding colony African penguins - taking time to enjoy their character-filled antics. You may also hike through the lush Harold Porter Botanical Gardens, an estate which lies sandwiched between ocean and mountain and includes marsh, heath, forest, gorge and dunes as well as stretches of fynbos. You make your way to Tintswalo, with is glorious mountain vistas available during today's portion of your photo safari.
9

Days 15 & 16: Cape Town and Surrounds

Two days have been set aside to explore the Cape Peninsula, which include a variety of natural & historical gems that borderline the coastal region. These include Kalk Bay, the resident Penguins at Boulders Beach, Cape Point, Chapman’s Peak Drive, Simon’s Town and a boat ride to Seal Island in False Bay, which is famous for the breaching behaviour of the local Great White Sharks as they hunt seals.
10

Day 17: Cape Town and depart

Today your South African photo safari sadly comes to an end as you depart Tintswalo and make your way to Cape Town International Airport where this safari concludes.
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!

Bespoke Photo Tours with ORYXParker Philips, USA

Marius Coetzee and his team at ORYX Photo Tours never ceases to amaze. They have guided myself and my family to Botswana, South Africa, Tanzania, Rwanda and Kenya. Marius and his team strike the perfect balance between unprecedented luxury and epic adventure. At no time will you feel your dream trip is anything less than extraordinary. They open your eyes to worlds seen by few and experiences enjoyed by even less. There has not been a single person I have recommended to ORYX Photo Tours to who has not returned and emphatically stated that their trip was the greatest vacation they have ever been on. When you've traveled with ORYX, you cannot help but sing their praises and hope others will be lucky enough to experience the same.

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 Botswana & South AfricaNell Dickerson, USA

How to Win:

Amateurs seek luck. Professional plan. Artists envision. I had a clear vision and set a goal to photograph big cats at night. To accomplish that goal, I hired the best guide and mentor, one with extensive experience capturing night cats and a stellar wildlife record including Wildlife Photographer of the Year, the fantastic Greg du Toit. His outfitter, ORYX Photo Tours, are the best. Photographers only. Prepare to work and only work. Marius Coetzee takes care of everything else. Everything.

Although this trip was my first wildlife photography experience, I accomplished what I set out to do and much more. Greg took me to private, mystical locations and arranged for the most knowledgeable ranger/tracker in each region. Because they were also photographers, they knew where to position their vehicles for the optimum shot. And not just any ordinary tourist-crammed transport, but a custom vehicle modified for photography. Mount camera, lock, load, shoot until you drop. Long days. Night time magic hour. Excellent photography.

The result? I won the wildlife series category for the 10th edition of the Julia Margaret Cameron Award for Women Photographers, a division of the international Gala Awards. My series is “Night Growl.”

A series is a story told with a minimum of five shots, each one able to stand on its on, but part of a cohesive synchronic whole. The secret to success is in the editing. How to shoot a winning series? Envision, plan, hire ORYX Photo Tours, show up, and work.

Private South AfricaTimothy Schacker, USA

I had a truly outstanding photo safari experience with Mike. We spent a lot of time talking about technique, equipment and critiquing photos. He obviously has a wealth of experience in wildlife photography and does a great job sharing that with his clients. I would highly recommend him!

Private South AfricaIgnacio Yufera, Spain

King’s Camp (Timbavati) rank among the best wildlife watching and photography places I have experienced, not only in Africa but in the world. The abundance of Leopard and the quality of the sightings is just amazing. Drivers and trackers do a fantastic job, and the avoidance of “game jams” thanks to the policy of only two vehicles allowed at a sighting is a great advantage. Leopard is clearly the main attraction at Timbavati, but there were great sightings of Buffalo, Elephant and White Rhino. Accommodation and the entire infrastructure around King’s Camp is just wonderful. The rooms are a delight, food excellent, very nice birds around the gardens, great bar and library, and some of the very best service I’ve experienced anywhere. We were pampered in every way imaginable. As a wildlife enthusiast and photographer who has been around, I certainly recommend King’s Camp and Timbavati as a superb, rewarding and very productive photo safari destination. I hope I find the time to go back some time soon.

Private South AfricaMargaret Yufera-Leitch, Canada

I’m not sure if I can adequately express my enthusiasm for our South Africa photo tour. Sharing time with some of the most exotic animals on the planet will continue to be one of my most treasured memories. What I loved most, was the proximity and intensity of the experience with leopards. Although I am not a wildlife photographer, I am an adrenaline junkie, and hearing the hiss of an adult leopard is one of the most exciting times I can remember. In my most spectacular day dreams, I could not have thought up lodges like Kings Camp or Leopard Hills. ORYX Photo Tours put together a trip that was virtually bespoken to both my husband and my tastes. We were able to share an adventure together, and this was possibly the best trip we have taken together. This was achieved by a seamless set of logistical operations, not a hint of a problem with travel, accommodation, food, or even photography opportunities. Mother Nature may be unpredictable, but ORYX Photo Tours seems to have managed a way to make her a little happier.

Private South AfricaIgnacio Yufera, Spain

Organization by ORYX Photo Tours was faultless. It really felt like we were getting the best of everything, even when compared to other visitors, and Marius’ excellent relationship with apparently every ranger and tracker in the reserve was a big bonus, making communication with other vehicles especially productive. His extensive bush experience and photographic sense added a lot of value to the trip.

Private South AfricaEdward Lang, Australia

ORYX Photo Tours did us proud, from Kirsty’s exceptional logistics management, the support & help, and mostly Greg’s complete professionalism. Looking forward to June for our Tanzania photo safari!

Private South AfricaTorstein Berghem, Norway

Thank you for arranging such a wonderful South Africa photo safari for us. The lodges were great. The logistics were superb from the moment we got out of our intercontinental aircraft! Driver/guides were very good, and we enjoyed Greg’s pleasant company and photographic advice. Thank you also for the gifts Greg brought to us. They were very much appreciated. We look forward to traveling with ORYX Photo Tours again some time in future.

South Africa – LondoloziDelmar Hoogendoorn, South Africa

I actually do not have the words to describe how incredible this South Africa photo safari was. I can only thank you for bringing back this little piece of heaven called the Sabi Sands back into my life again. Your ORYX Photo Tours!

Private South AfricaHarry & Irene Penner, Canada

We arrived home two days ago after a most incredible and wonderful South Africa photo tour. The highlight of our trip was the Kings Camp safari but everything was fabulous!! We really appreciate Dale for so many reasons. He was excellent in teaching us, being personable, sharing his knowledge, expertise and passion for wildlife photography. We learnt so much. It has been busy trying to catch up after our vacation but this weekend we hope to start applying some of the ‘editing’ that Dale taught us. We would highly recommend this experience and DALE!! An absolutely wonderful experience!! We really hope that we can do something similar in the future and would definitely be calling ORYX Photo Tours (and Dale).”

South Africa – LondoloziRussell & Deborah Keener-Brown, USA

Thanks so much for all you did to make our photo safari experience epic! We really appreciated all the extra efforts to each detail. Especially, our bags and transport service….what a way to get through the airports with you guys – we were whisked away from the gate and escorted through customs. And, we love our ORYX bags – especially Russell.

It was such a privilege to spend a week with Greg. On all levels he is a joy to spend time in the bush with. It’s really apparent through his passion, knowledge and talent why he is The Wildlife Photographer of the Year.

We had some amazing sightings. From following mating leopards for 5 hours on my birthday to packs of wild dogs, cheetahs, and 19 different leopards. Oh, and two snakes! And of course, spending some time with Claire was very special to us.

Private South AfricaTrevor & Lesley Collins, Australia

A fantastic South Africa photo safari experience from pre-travel through the safari to post travel – all the little details necessary for our comfort and enjoyment were taken care of with the minimum of fuss. We had a great time helped by the professionalism and friendliness of the ORYX Photo Tours team. All our needs were anticipated and attended to but most importantly every day was fun and an adventure.

Private South AfricaJeremy Peters, United Kingdom

ORYX Photo Tours took excellent care of me, and Marius was proactive in sharing his knowledge gleaned from years of photographing wildlife. I definitely returned home a better wildlife photographer and with some lovely images for the portfolio. Testament to Marius and the ORYX team is that I have already signed up for another photography tour next year – bring on more magic moments!

Private South AfricaCody Linde, USA

ORYX Photo Tours is a world class company. The members bend over backwards to get you the results you desire, and make sure your experience goes off without a hitch. Their customer service is so extraordinary it’s hard to put into words; the closest I can come is they treat you like family. The photographic results and experiences you take away from the field will leave you breathless. If you are on the fence as to whether or not you should book through ORYX Photo Tours – hop off – I promise, you will not regret it.

South Africa – LondoloziCody Linde, USA

Greg Du Toit is incredible! He took the time to make sure everyone understood the technical aspects involved in getting the shot, even if it meant he had to sacrifice not getting the shot for himself. His focus is getting the client the results they desire. Not only is he knowledgeable about photography, but he teaches you about the animals and environment. As 2013 wildlife photographer of the year he is an excellent source for providing you with a critique should you ask for an analysis of your work. Also, he is one of the most humble human beings on this planet.

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.

Private South Africa & ZambiaTim Greensfelder, USA

Though only a few weeks, it seems like ages since we were travelling the beautiful and fascinating lands of southern Africa. I can assure you that our entire trip, from arrival in Joburg to our last day in Zambia was an incredible and memorable experience for all four members of our family. You and your team did a fabulous job in coming up with the perfect itinerary for us and also in executing on all of the planning and logistical details. As we’ve reflected on our time abroad, we particularly enjoyed our time at Leopard Hills (which I know is a special place for you as well). We can’t say enough about how extraordinary it was to drive the Sabi Sands with the company of such an engaging and expert ranger/tracker pair – and to know that upon return we would be as comfortably and hospitably looked after by the entire team at the lodge.

We’ve also returned home with an incredible portfolio of digital images from safari, Cape Town, winelands, etc. – thanks for your guidance on that front. Now we face the challenging task of making them into a lasting record of our African adventure – a fun project for the rest of the summer. . . .

We hope all is well with you and also sincerely hope that we’ll be able to work with you on other adventures in the future!

Private South Africa, Kenya & RwandaLou & Susan Matusiak, USA

We share such deep gratitude to you, Marius and everyone at ORYX Photo Tours for arranging such a memorable, remarkable photo safari recently to South Africa, Kenya and Rwanda…absolutely first class! You all made our trip so painless with all the personal touches!

Also, big thanks for the shirts and caps! We’ll wear them with pride! Justin, John and Soddy were just delightful guides who made us feel like “royalty”, and were so informative!

Perhaps someday we’ll be able to arrange another trip through ORYX. Meanwhile, be well, and know you are all doing phenomenal work! With extreme gratitude!

Private South AfricaDave & Judy Romea, USA

Just a brief message to express our gratitude for all you (Kirsty) did in setting up this unforgettable photo tour. Dale was awesome, and went out of his way to ensure Judy and I were comfortable and constantly amazed at the natural wonders we encountered. Judy was sharing her I Phone pix on Facebook in real time, which have been shared and re-shared by hundreds of her friends. We were so close to the animals, that she had to keep telling everyone they were her phone pix, and not Canon Full Frame telephoto images! You were correct in suggesting this tour as a first time African adventure. Londolozi Founders Camp was spectacular, and the personnel there were outstanding. I can’t wait to start post-processing my photos, and will be happy to share them with you. All the best!

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