Testimonials on our African Safari Excursions:
You’re in for an experience like you never imagined. Last July was our first African experience. Our first morning in Madikwe, before the sun was up, we were walking from our “tree-house” to the lodge for our first safari excursion. We heard a tremendous lion’s roar at about the time we were to meet. I thought – Nice touch to call us with a recorded lion’s roar, but isn’t that a bit “Disney”? When we got to the lodge, we were immediately asked if we heard the lion roaring nearby. Yes, it was real. That’s the first time I ever heard a lion roar – really roar. Now less than 10 months later, it almost seems like a story-book adventure. Were we really there? Don’t forget to pinch yourself to make sure you’re not just having a fantastic dream. It’s a truly amazing experience. We’re starting to plan for our next trip. Previously, we never thought that Africa would even make it to our “bucket list” – and now it’s high on our list to go again, next year.
— Don Darby, Stuart, FL – July 2016 Safari to Chobe NP & Jaci’s Treehouse, Madikwe
2016 Trip to Chobe and Madikwe
My husband and I traveled to South Africa and Botswana with Buddy in the summer of 2016. It was a most extra-ordinary trip. In fact, we would both say the trip of a life-time. We had been searching for a tour group with which to visit Africa for a very long time and from the moment we met Buddy, it was clear that we had found our tour leader. He is quite versatile, being warm and knowledgeable about a myriad of pertinent subjects. From the start of the process, he included us in making specific plans, being especially attentive to areas or aspects of travelling that we wanted or didn’t want. The upshot, we had a trip that was pretty much custom designed for us both in timing and in having the experiences that were important to us.
Buddy is a wonderful photographer and gracious and helpful in teaching us budding photographers. At one of the locations, he even arranged to have us provided with really good quality cameras.
Buddy has been to all the places (many times) that he takes his clients and knows the people and the systems (hotels, car transfers, guides) intimately. In fact, the local guides are not only his business partners but also his friends. In each place we went, we were treated like extended family. Oh and as a side benefit, Buddy is a real foodie and the meals were all excellent. We ate really well. His pricing is also extremely fair and quite a bit less than the “big box” tour companies. We both look forward to taking another trip with Buddy (soon we hope!)
— Janet (and Marty) Rudolph, Long Island, NY, July 2016
Buddy led us on a true African Photo Safari – an absolute adventure that exceeded all of our expectations. “The number of animals we observed and photographed was incredible.” All connections were right on time and accomodations were outstanding. With Buddy’s guidance, we were able to come home with thousands of great images. This photo safari was a good value and we would love to go again.
— Butch & Linda VanSetters, Phillipsburg, NJ, July, 2014
I went on this Photo Safari in S. Africa and Botswana May 2014 with Buddy “FANTASTIC trip”
The Safari was well organized and reasonable priced plus the knowledge of Buddy and guide staff was exceptional. I took better pictures than I could image, from the tips provided on game drives by Buddy. I look forward to another trip. A+++ . The accommodations which were first class in an African bush setting. The food was simply amazing.
–Rob Haitmanek, Lehigh Valley, July, 2014
A Photo Trip, a Chance to Learn
I traveled to Timbavati, South Africa for a photo safari with Buddy Eleazer and Magnum Excursions in May of 2012. We stayed at the Leadwood Camp lodge. This trip exceeded my expectations in every way. The accommodations and food were just right for our trip. More importantly, there were photographers of every level on the safari and all of the most experienced were very free with help to those of us just getting started. The range of game we saw was awesome! We saw four of the ‘big five’ in ONE two hour session.
I also really appreciated the chance to meet the South African members of our party. I have fond memories of sharing stories around the boma every evening and getting to know them in an atmosphere that couldn’t be found in a conventional hotel. I am already planning my return trip next year!
—- Bill Crawford, Emmaus, PA 1 Aug ‘12
Most of my friends thought I was crazy when I told them I was planning a trip to South Africa to focus on wildlife photography. Even I thought I was crazy! I have never done any wildlife photography in the 42 years that i have been making photographs. But, after discussing and seeing the wonders of African wildlife of Buddy Eleazer, I was hooked. He and Paul Salvado put together a memorable experience that was life changing. Not only was the lodge pleasant and immaculate and right in the middle of the game reserve, but the food was superb and expertly prepared by Paul’s wife, Patsy.
This trip was truly a photographic paradise. We had wonderful, experienced guides, daily expert photographic critique and instruction, and magnificent animals on which to focus our attention. Buddy was extremely helpful prior to the excursion and tolerated my incessant questions! He recommended clothing, lenses, all types of camera equipment, and most definitely a second camera body, lol. He was always able to see the positive side of just about anything!
I shall be planning to take another trip for sure!!
— Lee Levin-Friend, Allentown, PA – May ’13
A Rookie Feels at Home
Okay, I admit it. I’ve not taken a destination photo workshop prior to this and I’ve definitely never been to Africa. I heard Buddy speak at our local camera club and decided to take a chance on the Magnum Excursions Timbavati destination. I couldn’t be more pleased with the results. Buddy and Paul are always willing to help in getting ready for the trip and in making sure this trip was all I had hoped for.
I didn’t realize the difference in going into a private reserve compared to driving in a park like Kruger. For a photographer, that difference is critical. In the private reserves, guides are allowed to go off the road and through the bush to track or follow any of the big 5 (rhino, leopard, lion, cape buffalo or elephant). Our group leaders, working with the guides, were able to use this advantage to get us in the right light, right angle and in settings with minimal obstructions to get the shots we really wanted.
Also important on the trip was advice of lens choices and camera settings. We were coached on important techniques like pan shots, shooting silhouettes at sunset, tips for better panoramas. We were also given helpful advice on lens choices, iso settings and recommendations on dof and minimum shutter speeds for various encounters.
—Justin Davis, Statesville, NC, July ’12