2019 Chobe National Park Photo Club Workshop To Be Jointly Led by Magnum Excursions and Road Runner Photo Tours


Chobe National Park, Botswana


Date: May 16-23, 2019, depart on afternoon of May 23 (8 days, 7 nights)


Cost: $4,300, but $3,800 for groups of 4 or more!

Instructors: Buddy Eleazer and Don Schroder of Magnum Excursions and Denise Silva of Road Runner Photo Tours

Equipment/Vehicles: We hope to take over this special lodge. At our disposal are 3 photo boats, each designed for 8 photographers plus leader and guide, 1 Unimog Land Vehicle designed for up to 8 plus guide and leader and 1 Land Rover designed for 4 clients plus guide and leader.

This safari was designed with camera clubs in mind! We have negotiated group rates to make it possible for camera clubs or even groups of friends to have an affordable Africa wildlife experience AND to advance their photography skills.

Each day during our time at Chobe National Park, we will have morning and evening game drives with mid-day post-processing support and presentations to optimize your shots. Plus each evening we will have a short presentation that will help broaden your knowledge. Of course, you don’t have to participate in the mid-day or evening activities, but we will make these entertaining and educational so we think you’ll want to join the fun. We will even have nightly “show-and-tell” where you can share some shots and talk about what you like about them.

We have selected a lodge designed for photographers with plenty of desk space to upload and work on images, projection equipment to allow presentations and image sharing, and maybe most importantly, game-drive equipment designed for optimizing your photography.

As a special bonus, you’ll also be treated to a special day trip at Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. The Falls are just a few hours’ drive away. Victoria Falls is the only waterfall in the world with a length of more than a kilometer and a height of more than one hundred meters. It is also considered to be the largest fall in the world.


The Month of May on the Chobe River

We have been to this region of Africa many times. For this special workshop, we have selected May for several reasons:

  • First and foremost, we want to be on the Chobe River during the dry season because this drives all wildlife to the river’s edge to find life sustaining water. This  provides a higher density of wildlife which leads to great wildlife viewing and photography for you!
  • Despite being the dry season, the Chobe River is still at high flow. Chobe receives a lot of water from the Angola Highlands and these high water levels create submerged islands of hippo grass. The elephants love to swim out to these submerged islands to graze and we love to photograph swimming elephants!

    May flow at Victoria Falls is Awe Inspiring

  • Optimizing the Victoria Falls Day Trip. The Chobe feeds the Zambezi River which in turn feeds Victoria Falls. In May the high flow at the Falls will show the true power of the river. Be prepared to be awe-struck!
  • Keeping the price low! – We’ve tracked flight costs to southern Africa for many years, and from this experience we know that airfares rise from June until August. By picking May, we hope everyone can get good competitive airfares.

The Game-Drive Experience

  • What we expect to see – Chobe National Park is home to the largest population of elephants in the world. During the dry season, the waterfront supports over 50,000 elephants. There is more to Chobe than just these pachyderms, with more than 75 mammal species and 450 bird types, you will also encounter buffalos, impala, giraffe, zebras, impala, sable, waterbuck, puku, warthog and predators such as lions and leopards.
  • From the water, we will shoot from a specially designed photo boat. We have one eight-seater custom-built photo boat with fully rotating chairs and fitted with state-of-the-art camera mounts. Generally, we take this boat out at first light and again in the late afternoon for up to three hours each time. The Chobe river offers excellent photographic and game viewing opportunities from the famous Chobe elephants to smaller inhabitants like tiny Malachite Kingfishers that flit along the banks.

  • On land, Unimog is a beast of a machine. Designed by the German military, it will go through any type of terrain without problems come rain or shine. We chose the Unimog as our photo platform because you’ll be able to photograph from either side of the vehicle at any particular sighting. You’ll have your own designated seat with its own bean bag and an additional bean bag to use on the opposite side of the vehicle which you simply move across to. With this arrangement, you’ll avoid the frustration of a fellow photographer blocking your shot at that crucial moment as in traditional game viewers.

With 16 travelers, we will break into two groups of eight. Each morning and afternoon we will send out one group via boat and one group on land. Each safari is hosted by one of our two leaders who will be on hand to not only go through the basics but help you with some more advanced techniques to take your photography to the next level.

The Instruction

There is no better way to improve your wildlife photography than in the best classroom in the world – The African Bush. This package will appeal to photographers of all levels of experience and ability who want a more immersive safari experience at some of the best photo locations in Botswana. No matter how much you think you know there’s always something more to learn when it comes to wildlife photography. And our guides will be on hand throughout this safari to help you do just that!

The Lodge

The Pangolin Chobe Lodge is situated on the hill above the town of Kasane, the gateway to the Chobe National Park. We are a three-minute drive from the newly rebuilt Kasane International Airport.

At the Pangolin Chobe Lodge, there are a total of 14 bedrooms and we have reserved 9 of them. The bedrooms are configured as either double beds or two singles and all en-suite with the toilet and shower. Each of the rooms has a private balcony with spectacular views across the Chobe floodplains. The rooms are all air-conditioned with plenty of plug points and places to store camera gear and luggage.

The heart of the Pangolin Chobe lodge is the dining room, editing area, bar and pool terrace. The aim of the Pangolin Chobe Lodge is to have an inclusive, elegant and relaxed atmosphere where you immediately feel like you are a part of a club. The walls are adorned with amazing wildlife images to inspire you, and there are plenty of places to relax and spend time with your fellow travelers. On the upper floor is the bar with a table dedicated to editing and workshops. On certain evenings, we like to have a braai (a South African barbecue).

What Makes This A Workshop?

As we have noted, we will have an instructor/leader on every game drive to discuss camera settings, composition and special techniques like rim lighting or pan shots. In between the morning and afternoon game activities there will be time to spend with the leaders doing post-production so we advise you to bring a laptop with you to edit and review your images in the group sessions.

My spouse/friend doesn’t shoot. What about non-photographers?

We openly admit that we’ve designed this Africa trip for photography. However, for the non-photographer, this trip will also be extremely entertaining and enjoyable. The wildlife is there for everyone and we will give you a front-row seat. In addition, our guides are expert at identifying the various species and also at answering any questions you might have related to the wildlife. We’ve taken many non-photographers to this destination and all have enjoyed the trip. By the way, if a non-photographer wants to try their hand at shooting, we will provide a camera and lens for you to give it a try!

What is Included:

  • Seven nights lodging in Botswana at Pangolin Chobe Lodge
  • All meals
  • Day trip to Victoria Falls
  • Ground transfer to/from Victoria Falls
  • Ground transfer to/from Kasane  airport
  • Relevant Park Fees (Chobe and Victoria Falls)
  • 12 game drives within Chobe NP

What is NOT included:

  • International airfare between your home and Kasane, Botswana (BBK)
    • NOTE: This Workshop BEGINSand ENDS in Kasane, Botswana
  • Single entry visa into Zimbabwe (currently $35 for U.S. citizens)
  • Alcoholic drinks such as beer, wines and liquors (available at extra cost payable directly)
  • Personal purchases (including curios, spirits, telephone calls, etc.)
  • Discretionary gratuities
  • Laundry and items of a personal nature

The Cost

The cost of this all-inclusive safari is $4,300 per person. The same rate applies for each participant regardless of whether they are doing photography and participating in the workshop, or not. This fee includes all in-country ground and air transportation as well as hotel accommodation (double occupancy) and all meals. If you are a single and occupy a single room, there is a supplemental cost of $1,000. If you are a single and willing to share a room, we will make best efforts to connect you with another same sex single, thereby avoiding the single supplement fee.

We designed this trip with camera clubs and groups in mind and we would like to pass along group rate savings to you. If you sign-up with a group of 4 or more, we have a special group rate for you of $3,800 per person (double occupancy)! Unfortnately we still must enforce the single supplement fee noted above ($1,000); however, if you are willing to share a room, we will make best efforts to connect you with another same sex single, thereby avoiding the single supplement fee.

Due to the limited number of spaces available, if a solo guest is willing to share a room and we can match with another guest of the same gender, we will do so. If a solo guest is unwilling to share, then a single supplement will be charged $1,000 (please contact us if you would like to have your own accommodation as we have to adjust the number of reserved rooms).

Deposit and Payment Plan – To reserve your space, a non-refundable deposit of $500 is required. the remaining cost will be split into two equal payments due in November 2018 and February 2019.

Necessary Fine Print: Botswana and Zimbabwe are stable countries, but the world is changing and Africa is changing with it. We will attempt to adhere to this itinerary as much as possible. However, certain conditions (political, climatic, environmental, cultural, or wildlife migrations) may necessitate changes in the itinerary. We reserve the right to alter any itinerary at any time, if necessary. We will attempt to notify participants of changes as far in advance as possible. Costs incurred by such changes will be the responsibility of the participant.

Terms and Conditions For This Event – Please follow this link for a copy of our Terms and Conditions for 2019 Zimanga and Chobe Safaris – web version

What Do I Do Next?

This group size is good, but space is limited. If this exciting trip fits you, your camera club or you and a group of friends; if you’re excited by the thought of seeing nature while taking your photography to the next level, then now is the time to register. Remember, there will be limited space available for this workshop. When they’re spoken for, that’s it. If you have any questions or wish to register, send us an e-mail with any inquiries to

Last modified: September 10, 2018