Have you ever been on safari? Do you think you have seen it all? Think again! Mana Pools is the destination where you will experience the ultimate safari. You will never have been closer to the animals, never been more one with Nature. From elephants hanging round your tent, to wild dogs catching their prey right in front of your eyes… and all this on foot! This is every photographer’s dream. Being able to approach the animals and take up a low viewpoint. Position yourself wherever you want to take the best pictures… And we haven’t even mentioned the magical light. During the dry season, Mana Pools is one of the richest natural areas of Zimbabwe. Elephants, lions, leopards, wild dogs, hyenas and cheetahs, hippos and an incredible variety of birds, too many to list. Not to mention the colourful water fowl!
- maximum 6 participants
- this trip is completely dedicated to photography
- professional photography guide
- unique setting of a comfortable camp in the middle of wild nature
- 9 days in Mana Pools! The only wild park in Africa where you can walk around freely in a responsible way to see elephants and lions.
- Second location with hide along a lake
Mana Pools: a magical place
Everyone talks about the Mana Magic. But what does it mean? First of all, there is the Acacia Albida forest, harbouring a mystical atmosphere. The dust and the light create a blue hue in between the trees, which feels quite unearthly. Add to that the warm sun rays which bathe the forest in a golden light, then you’ll know what they are talking about when they mention Mana Magic. The large mahogany and fig trees are very impressive too. The park has been declared by the UN as a World Heritage site.
Unprecedented photographic opportunities
The fact that you can get out of the car makes Mana Pools special for photographers! You step closer towards the animals, you can take lower positions by lying on your stomach or you can follow tracks leading to hunting wild dogs. Say goodbye to the bird’s eye view perspective that you get when taking photographs from the jeep.
POSSIBLE EXTENSION: Victoria Falls
The Victoria Waterfalls are the widest waterfalls in Africa. They create a wall of water of 1,708 m wide and 100 m high, with a maximum fall of 128 m. Per minute, 500 million litres of water fall over the rocks. The local name is Mosi-oa-Tunya: thundering smoke. If you want you can add a few days to the trip to visit the falls.
Experienced travel guide
This photo trip is guided by nature and wildlife photographer Carole Deschuymere. Carole knows Mana Pools like the back of her hand and will take you to the best spots at the right time and in the best light. Our small group will be guided by her and a top guide. The local guides in Zimbabwe are among the best in Africa!
Carole will assist you in technical matters as well as artistic ones. You’ll return home with some fabulous images. During the midday lunch break, time is taken to discuss the pictures and edit them.
Book this trip
31 Jul 2019
We stay in large "canvas tents” in a private camp, located along the Zambezi. Each tent has an ensuite bush toilet. The showers are separate. We will have very tasty meals served at a long table in the bush. Do not be scared when an elephant comes along to take a look ...
We stay at the camp for 7 nights, giving us plenty of opportunities to take photographs. Every day is a new adventure! Maybe we’ll find the two elephants who balance on their hind legs to get to the higher branches, and if we are lucky, the light will be just right! Or maybe we’ll spot the African wild dogs in the early morning while they are hunting. Every morning we will get up very early to go exploring. We return to the camp for lunch and we discuss our pictures. We go back out at 3 pm.
We relocate on day 8 to Kavinga camp, situated deeper in the bush. It is a fabulous tented camp with views over a waterhole. There is a hide, where you can photograph elephants or other animals while they are drinking.
If you opt for the extension to Victoria Falls, you’ll stay at the Ilala lodge, where you can reminisce on the safari and visit the waterfalls.
The international flight is not included in the price, but we can recommend which flight to book that best meets up with the trip, and if you like, we can book it for you. Transport from and to Mana Pools will be done in a van. In the Mana Pools park we use a safari jeep, which is spacious but which we will leave at regular intervals to go and take photographs on foot. If you opt for the extension to Victoria Falls the domestic flight from Mana Pools to Victoria Falls is included.
Climate, clothing and equipment
This time of year can be very hot. Appropriate clothing is recommended. Sturdy walking shoes are a must, because we will walk a lot in the park. A light pair of trousers is essential because we often sit on the floor or lie down, which is not always so comfortable. Light shirts or tops, and a light sweater for the evenings, or at least a t-shirt with long sleeves!
Be sure to bring your DSLR camera, wide angle and telephoto zoom lens, tripod or monopod with you. A beanbag is always useful when taking pictures at ground level. More information will follow one month before departure.
Before the start of the trip, we will meet up to get to know each other and to ask questions. We will also discuss a number of practical issues.
We arrive in Harare on 12 October, and we will stay in the cosy York Lodge. The next morning, we will have breakfast at 6 am and leave early for Mana Pools. The drive through Zimbabwe will be quite the adventure. We will stop for lunch en route. We will arrive at the camp just in time for our first afternoon drive in the bush!
We will be sleeping in a comfortable tent camp of Mwinilunga safaris, along the Zambezi river for the next 7 nights. You’ll feel right at home there. We will get up early every morning and after some coffee and a biscuit we will head out to try and find something to photograph in the beautiful morning light. And this is when the fun begins! We get out of the car, and head into the landscape on foot to capture the best images. This way we can choose our own point of view, according to the light. Our guide will safely take us to get closer to the animals. We will return to the camp for brunch at about 10 – 11 am. Afterwards there will be time to discuss our photographs and to rest. At about 3.30 pm we will head out again in search of new adventures. After sundown we will drink a sundowner around the campfire while the cook prepares our evening meal.
On 20 October we drive to the new camp which is located more inland. Kavinga safari camp is very exclusive, with five luxury tents located around a waterhole. There is a photography hide where we can take pictures of the animals during the day as well as after sunset.
On 22 October, after a last game drive, we leave the park for Harare and the flight home.
OPTION VICTORIA FALLS
Those who want to visit the Victoria falls can link it to this trip. You will then fly with a small charter plane from Mana Pools to Victoria Falls, where you can stay in Ilala lodge. A really nice lodge right near the waterfalls. For more information, email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org