Loved by non-photographers too, our photo tour holidays offer the ultimate, small-group travel experience to the world's most wonderful and unique places - with special access away from the crowds. I love to travel, but I hate being stuck with loads of other people (especially when we've got nothing in common), being taken to the regular, over-crowded tourist attractions or wasting hours in an amazing country just relaxing by some pool. I want to get the most out of my holidays - I want to see as many different animals as I can, I want to travel through different landscapes and be shown hidden gems off the beaten path, I want to experience the culture, taste the food, meet new friends with similar interests, enjoy some luxury and importantly, I want to have the time to take some beautiful and unique photos of it all. This is what we strive for with our photography tours and workshops.
It's not enough for me to spot a distant lion, tick it off and move on - I wan't to have the option to try and get closer, on the correct side for best lighting and even wait for him to lift his head and stare directly down the barrel of my camera lens for a great photo - or to move on when I'm done - I want flexibility. I want the inside tips for the best photo location to be ready when the sun rises over the horizon and spills across the bay onto those boulders - and if I can't quite get my photo to work, it'd be awesome to have a friendly pro-photographer right there to offer advice (not one who'll stand in front of me to get the best shot themselves!). If there's a seal colony out on an island nearby, then I'd want to charter a boat tour out there just with my friends onboard so we can spend as long or as short as we want to get the photos without being crowded on a regular sight-seeing tour. If the seal colony was a bit of a tourist attraction on a local beach then I'd want to wait for the crowds to leave, and go down onto the beach after hours - just us as a small group, and a private ranger guide to photograph them at our leisure in beautiful evening lighting.
You don't even need to be a photographer to love this style of holiday - who wouldn't like a bit of luxury and a bit of extra patience from their tour leaders, or to be given the opportunity to fly over lakes covered in pink flamingos in Africa in a doors-off plane or over a beautiful coastline in a doors-off helicopter for some epic views? Stay on a private island, learn some new skills with your photography, make some new friends and have an unforgettable, unique holiday - all at the same time! Sound good? Well, there's a reason more than half of our guests come back again, and again on our photo tours!
Absolutely not! We have many non-photographers (and partners of photographers) enjoy our tours! As one guest said "It didn’t matter that I’m not a photographer - I used my iPhone. Just experiencing all these amazing locations at a relaxed pace, in comfort and without the crowds was wonderful!". The expert photography tuition is a bonus - the incredible access to experience the best places in a tiny group is the main thing! If you're traveling to take photos, or just as a holiday - in the end, it's all about seeing as many of the amazing animals as possible, experiencing the local food and culture, admiring the landscapes, breathing the fresh air and enjoying the whole unforgettable experience with a small group of friends. Whether or not you put a camera in front of your face doesn't really change this. We've had many non-photographers come on our tour, enjoying just spotting animals, identifying them, or watching their behaviour and by the end of the trip many of them do start picking up a camera (or borrowing one of ours) and start getting excited about photography too! Some have later gone on to become full-on photographers, to the delight of their partners! Either way, they have a ball and often come away with us again and again.
Most photography guests are beginner to keen-enthusiast level - so no need to stress that your photography may not be good enough - the whole point is to improve your photography, no matter what your level! Our tours are enjoyed by everyone from non-photographers, iPhone and happy-snap photographers right up to serious professionals. We start each tour with a quick photography crash-course, and our expert photography guides are there to help you throughout the whole tour. There is no better way to improve your photography than spending a solid week or two practicing, surrounded by amazingly inspiring subjects, with a small, friendly group of like-minded people. You will be amazed how much your photography will improve. We're there to offer as much or as little assistance as you'd like, at whatever level of complexity you're ready for.
The level of physical activity varies for each of our tours, however none involve strenuous hiking or anything like that. In Kenya, for example, the hardest thing you'll have to do is walk to and from your tour vehicle mostly, other destinations involve things like optional snorkelling, or may include short walks or humid conditions. We've had 83 year old guests, guests with bad knees and even heart-conditions do even what we consider our most strenuous tours, so rest assured the tour you're looking at is very likely achievable. If you're concerned, just ask us. The tour information booklet we provide for each tour gives a clearer indication of what's involved for each destination. We're very mindful of the abilities of our guests and can always provide less demanding alternatives for those wishing a break.
For each of our tours, we've carefully prepared (and keep updated) a detailed information booklet covering everything including our recommendations for what kind of camera & lenses we'd consider well suited for that trip, as well as also everything else like clothes, what type of power plug, what currency, what the climate is like, language tips and plenty of other information to help answer all your questions! We'll send you a copy of this information booklet when you book, or you can email us for one in advance. We also have a selection of lenses including telephoto lenses for hire, please email us in advance if you're interested.
We do have a selection of lenses (including macro, wide and telephoto lenses, for both Canon and Nikon) available for hire. Please just ask us about this if you're interested during your booking. There's no need for amazing camera gear though to enjoy our tours - some guests come as non-photographers or just with an iPhone camera and still absolutely love the experience of small-group, luxury and relaxed-pace travel to these very special places. It's up to you how serious you want your photography focus to be, and we do provide an information booklet for each tour including our recommendations for what kind of camera & lenses we'd consider best suited to maximise your photography for each trip. We'll send you a copy of this information booklet when you book, or you can email us for one in advance.
Fear not - more than half of our tour guests travel solo. To help you make friends before you even leave and to be reassured and aided by the advice of your fellow-travellers (and those who have gone before you), we've created an interactive Facebook group for our CBP Voyager Club members (that's anyone who's been on, or is going on any of our tours, which also gives them 10% OFF any future tours!). You can find out who's coming from your area, perhaps even meet up beforehand or fly together. This is a great resource and we encourage you to make the most of it if you're on Facebook! Anyone can read the CBP Voyager Club Facebook page, but you can only interact once you've paid your deposit.
We recommend that you book your flights and travel insurance with our dedicated, friendly travel agent Brenda as she can try and put you on the same flights and accommodations as your fellow travellers pre/post tour. Before you depart you'll be told exact details for who will be meeting you at the airport, holding what sign, and also give you contact phone numbers to call in the unlikely event that you are delayed or plans need to change.
And do not worry that most accommodation is twin-share - we're good at pairing you up with a roomie who you'll get along with - it has been the start of long-term friendships for many! We can't guarantee that we'll always be able to have you sharing with someone of the same sex - it depends on the gender split, but we do our best. You can request to purchase a single supplement (a room to yourself) if you really need to (subject to availability) though keep in mind that you're usually only in your rooms to sleep as we fill your waking hours with plenty to do, and the couple of occasions we have had guests request rooms to themselves, they end up regretting it when they see the amazing friendships that form between the other roomies.
Of course we can - even in places like Kenya we've successfully catered for vegan, gluten-free, lactose-intolerant and vegetarian guests, and all have had a wonderful tour.
Rest assured that we do not travel through any of the major danger hot-spots like those highly warned against in travel advisory boards etc. For example, in Kenya, we do not even pass through downtown Nairobi and we operate completely away from the coast / Mombasa region and the Somali border. The fact that we like to take you to the more tranquil, less-touristy places on our tours conveniently means we only ever spend minimal time in busy, built up areas or large tourist attractions where thieves or terrorists might target - most of the places we stay at are quite rural and private, and you'll quickly feel right at home & safe.
Our cancelation policies are in line with other leading tourism operators, and you can read all about them here in our Booking Terms and Conditions. We are proud to employ industry best-practices such as holding your payments in a trust-fund and have been awarded the T-QUAL tick (Australian Government's national symbol of tourism quality).
The Voyager Club is our photo tour loyalty program! As our photo tours apparently can be very addictive (we've had guests come to more than half a dozen of our tours!), we created the Chris Bray Photography Voyager Club, giving repeat guests 5% OFF future tours with automatic Silver Membership, and then 10% OFF as Gold Members after their fifth tour with us.
Either click the 'Book Now' button above and fill in your details, or simply contact us and let us know which tour you're keen to join us on, and we'll send you a deposit invoice to secure your spot, along with the tour information booklet and our Booking Terms and Conditions.
This afternoon we'll take a one-hour flight from Windhoek airport to Sossusvlei Namibia, arriving before lunch from where we'll transfer to the luxury Little Kulala lodge. Sossusvlei is home to those iconic red sand dunes of the Namib desert. The clear blue skies contrast beautifully with the giant red dunes making this one of the natural wonders of Africa and a photographer's dream. We'll spend two nights at the little Kulala retreat where each of the 11 climate-controlled thatched “kulalas” even has their own plunge pool! Heaven!
Over the next two days we'll visit the world-famous Sossusvlei, Deadvlei and the Sesriem Canyon. The Sossusvlei is an enormous clay pan, flanked by the famous sand dunes that flush red in the early morning. Close to the Sossusvlei pan is Dead Vlei, another famous pan where water once flowed but now all that remains are the skeletons of trees reaching dramatically up from the cracked earth. The spectacular, 3km long Sesrlem Canyon is the result of millions of years of water flow carving its way through the earth like a mini Grand Canyon. Views from the top are breathtaking while short walks through the canyon reveal distinct geographical layers. On our landscape travels we'll also come across wildlife potentially including springbok, gemsbok, oryx, ostrich, spotted and brown hyena, bat-eared fox and aardwolf. For keen birders, this sandy expanse is also the only place on Earth where you can find the rare duen lark.
One of our two mornings here we'll also take you up for an incredible birds-eye view over this unique and ancient Namib Desert landscape in a hot air balloon! An unforgettable and beautiful experience, a 1hr sunrise balloon flight over Sossusvlei is the ultimate treat, complete with a Champagne breakfast waiting for us when we land!
Mid-morning we'll fly to Kaokoveld, a dry, mountainous and relatively undeveloped region of Namibia to experience the harsh beauty of the Skeleton Coast and the coppery sands of the northern Namib Desert. We'll be staying in the beautifully intimate and peaceful Serra Cafema Camp. Set amongst shady trees on the banks of the Kunene River, Serra Cafema is one of the most remote camps in southern Africa, its Portuguese name originating from the mountains that dominate the northern skyline.
From here we're well-placed to spend a full day exploring the Marienfluss Valley that offers spectacular views of this vast desert landscape, and we'll keep an eye out for the Namaqua Chameleon too. We'll visit the stunning Hartmann Valley to photograph Oryx, springbok, ostrich and maybe even a leopard. We'll take a boat ride on the Kunene River in search of crocodiles and water birds – a surreal oasis in the midst of the desert. Perhaps the highlight of this stay will be visiting the Himba settlement of Namibia – one of the last true nomadic people on the planet who continue their traditional way of life.
This morning we'll fly to the famous Etosha National Park Namibia - an ancient lakebed where a natural spring draws a huge variety of wildlife including elephant, black and white rhino, lion, leopard, cheetah, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, hartebeest, springbok, Oryx, kudu, dik-dik's and more to it's life-sustaining waterholes. More than 340 bird species have been recorded here too, including ostriches, raptors, lilac-breasted rollers and flamingos. Paradise!
We'll spending two incredible nights at the Ongava Lodge, situated on an exclusive, private game reserve adjoining Etosha that offers luxury accommodation in 14 rock-and-thatch en-suite chalets. There are impressive views over the camp's waterhole from the main lounge, dining areas and pool. As well as morning and afternoon game drives in Etosha National Park and the Ongava Private Reserve, there is a camp hide where you can wait patiently to photograph Rhino, Zebra and Giraffe and more as they make their way down to the popular waterhole right beside camp!
Today we fly across the boarder from Namibia to Botswana and into the Linyanti game reserve. This area is known for it's abundance of wildlife roaming freely between the woodland, ancient floodplains and forests that make up this lush, unfenced reserve. The big game in this area includes impala, blue wildebeest, giraffe and buffalo as well as the world's highest density of elephants! Several packs of wild dog frequent the area and lion, leopard and cheetah are routinely sighted too!
Here we'll enjoy two nights at the Savuti Camp, set deep in the wilderness on the productive Savute Channel. From here we'll be doing morning and afternoon game drives to photograph the amazing variety of wildlife, the highlights usually being elephants and the kaleidoscope of local birdlife. Excitingly, we'll also be offering night game drives here in search of nocturnal animals including the lesser bush baby, spring hare, aardwolf, serval cat, large spotted genet and - if you are extremely lucky - the elusive pangolin!
Today we fly to one of Africa's most amazing locations – the Okavango Delta in Botswana - a wilderness and wildlife spectacle you have to see to believe. Unique as one of the world's few inland deltas, the peaceful waters here sustain a lush environment supporting innumerable wildlife and bird species. Here we'll be enjoying the solitude of the Xigera Camp, where 9 luxury tents are nestled into the verdant vegetation beside the water. Over the next two days we'll have the opportunity to photograph the abundant wildlife from both game drives and boat cruises. During the game drives we're likely to find lion, leopard, hyena, buffalo and elephant. Cruising through the wetlands in a dugout canoe we'll often see hippo, crocodile, Pels fishing-owl, and water birds large and small such as the African skimmer, slaty egret, wattled crane and more.
We shift positions within the delta today. We'll fly into the private Chitabe concession Botswana (alongside the Moremi Game Reserve) on one of the most beautiful islands in the Okavango Delta, surrounded by ancient ebony, leadwood and sausage trees. A superb mix of habitats here includes waterways, marshlands, dry acacia and mopane woodlands, riverine areas, open grasslands and seasonal floodplains. Such a diverse eco-system supports a rich variety of wildlife including elephant, buffalo, lion, leopard and cheetah. Chitable is particularly famous for it's enormous herds of buffalo that move through the concession and more excitingly for sightings of the highly endangered African wild dogs. Fingers crossed!
Our accommodation for these two days is Chitable Lediba featuring luxurious safari tens, a lovely dining area, lounge and pool that all have glorious views over the surrounding floodplains and the small lagoon where a various animals all come to drink during the day. Our time will be spent doing morning, evening and night-time game drivers, as well as the possibility of short walks on foot within the reserve
That's it folks - after our last morning game drive in Botswana and a leisurely breakfast here, we'll head back to the airport for our 25min flight to Maun where you'll be able to catch your connecting flights back home to the real world which couldn't have seemed further away during the last fifteen unforgettable days!
IMPORTANT - Ensure you have read our Tour Booking Conditions prior to booking. A copy will be sent with your deposit invoice, and must be signed and returned to us (an emailed scan/photo of your signed copy will suffice), before we accept and confirm your booking. The document covers everything from your rights, inclusions and payment schedule, to our cancellation policy and extent of liability.
All our safaris are subject to minimum numbers. Please ensure you have read our Tour Booking Conditions for our cancellation policy (above).
The price of the safari does not include flights from your hometown to Namibia or home from Botswana.