Thanks for your interest.  This trip is no longer available in 2016; however, we are looking at a similar schedule for 2017.  Exact dates and pricing to follow soon.  Contact us for more information.


The Best of Africa includes An initial one night stay in Johannesberg with ‘meet and greet’ dinner followed by  5 days/4 nights in Chobe National Park on board our exclusive, fully staffed house boat, the Pangolin Voyager (Previously known as the Zambezi Voyager) as well as 5 days/4 nights in Timbavati Private Reserve staying at Kambaku Safari Lodge.  In transferring between lodges, we will also have a one night stay in Johannesburg.

  • Cost of the Trip: $5,995.00 per person based on double occupancy
  • Dates of Trip: June 24 through July 4, 2016


We picked Chobe National Park because:

  • Every time we screen our images for a photo book, invariably the highest percentage of ‘keepers’ were photos taken at Chobe.
  • The Chobe River is one of the only rivers in Africa that affords photography from boats, allowing for a) wide open vistas with uncluttered backgrounds, b) extremely low angle shots with high impact and c) shots with action/gesture created by animals drinking and playing at water’s edge.
  • During the winter months from May until September it is difficult to find a stretch of river where you cannot see wildlife.  Literally, there will be some subject in sight at all times!
  • We can access our accommodations flying major airlines.  This helps us avoid the overly restrictive weight limits required by small bush planes.

We picked Timbavati Private Reserve because:

  • Everyone loves to see big cats and Timbavati is known for leopards and lions.
  • Off-road tracking: At Timbavati, our game vehicles are allowed to go wherever we need to get great views of leopard, lion, elephant, rhino, Cape buffalo and wild dog.
  • Our lodges are inside the reserve.  You will hear the music of the night as lions, hippos and hyena call during the night.  In the mornings we could have our first sightings within meters of our lodge!  How cool is that!
  • We can access our accommodations flying major airlines.  This helps us avoid the overly restrictive weight limits required by small bush planes.

As in the past, all Magnum Excursions trips to Africa include:

  • All flights and transfers within Africa (trip plans begin in Johannesburg and conclude in Johannesburg).
  • All lodging, park fees and meals.
  • Game drive vehicles will have a maximum of 2 people per row (These vehicles are designed for 3 per row; however we have made special arrangements to allow extra space for viewing and carrying gear on board.
  • Expert photo instruction by our founder and renown wildlife photographer, Buddy Eleazer
  • And as always Non-photographers are welcome.  In fact 30% of our travelers have been non-photographers who love being close to nature and/or spouses of photographers.

The following is a little more on the unique accommodations for each stop:

Chobe National Park

We chose this large, well equipped house boat because we wanted to be embedded within the park environment.  We know the boat owners and totally trust their quality standards.  We will not be ‘roughing it’ while staying on this exclusive house boat. The Pangolin Voyager is spread over three levels affording plenty of space for up to 10 guests.  We will be limiting our group to 8 guests plus our group leader, Buddy Eleazer


On the lower level the houseboat has five well-appointed en-suite cabins with double or twin beds available depending on the required configuration. The beds are fitted with the finest linen and mattresses. The cabins have built-in cupboards, a cooling fan and the windows are fitted with mosquito net to allow the gentle breeze from the river and the nighttime sounds of the Chobe National Park to permeate the rooms.

The middle level is occupied by the lounge and dining area along with a deck at the rear which accommodates the Braai (barbeque). The comfortable lounge area is stocked with reference books and binoculars which are yours to use as we drift between our private mooring points. Meals are served on the large dining table and the menu varies depending on what ingredients can be locally sourced throughout the seasons. There is a comprehensive selection of alcoholic and soft drinks for you to enjoy throughout the day from the bar.

The upper level hosts a viewing deck equipped with table, chairs and sun loungers perfect for working on your tan in between activities and for witnessing the majestic African sunsets the grace us every evening.

During the day game drives will be conducted two custom built photo boats with fully rotating chairs and fitted with state of the art camera mounts. These boats are available all day and are moored alongside should any photographic opportunity present itself as we cruise along the river. There are also other tender boats for general game viewing, Tiger fishing or for transporting you to a local fishing village perhaps to meet the locals and learn a bit about their lives along this iconic river.

The Pangolin Voyager is actually moored on the Chobe River within the National Park.  This allows us to begin game drives at sunrise and immediately be photographing in an area of the park less frequented by other visitors.  Traditional safari game drives on land or water are not allowed to enter the park this early and boats typically have to stop at the ranger station to document the boat manifest.  Further, many tour boats only go into this first portions of the park.  We will be beginning beyond where they typically stop their tours!

On the afternoon of our fifth day on the Chobe River, we will take a flight back to Johannesburg, where we will spend one night.  The next morning, we will board our one hour flight to the entrance of Timbavati Private Reserve and our transfer to Kambaku Safari Lodge.

Kambaku Safari Lodge


For this safari, we chose Kambaku Safari Lodge because of the terrain near this lodge as well as the unique game located historically in this area.  Kambaku is in the southern portion of Timbavati.  Historically this territory has been patrolled by several large lion prides and also the legendary Giraffe lion pride.  The lionesses of the Giraffe pride carry the recessive white lion gene and currently the pride has the only two wild white lions in the world!  Additionally some of the flat open areas in this area have been excellent for supporting white rhino and cheetah.  This is not a zoo, so we cannot guarantee any specific sighting, but being at the right place certainly helps our odds.

white lions

Our standards stay high as we move on to Timbavati Private Reserve.  Kambaku Safari Lodge is well situated in the heart of the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, which makes up the western boarder of the Kruger National Park. Without fences inhibiting the free movement of game between the reserves, Timbavati becomes part of a vast unspoiled natural wilderness area that lies within the Greater Kruger National Park.

The chalets, main lodge buildings and the deck area, all overlook a private waterhole where constant wildlife activity can be observed and enjoyed either from the privacy of your chalet or from the main lodge area.  Wifi is available at the entrance lodge area.

Each chalet is appointed with double or twin beds depending on the required configuration and each chalet has en-suite baths with both a shower and soaking tub.  The rooms are special and the meals are just as special, with a varied menu and each dinner served in creative outdoor locations under the stars.


Cost of the Trip: $5,995.00 per person based on double occupancy.  There is a supplemental charge for singles not willing to share a room.  If you are a single and willing to share a room, contact me and I will make best efforts to pair you up with an appropriate roommate.

Group Size – Maximum group size is 8 (4 per photo boat at Chobe NP and 4 per vehicle in Timbavati Private Reserve)  NOTE: This workshop is filling fast.  ONLY 4 SPOTS REMAINING!

Deposit Due Date:  A nonrefundable deposit of 30%  will be required to secure your spot(s), and a second payment of $1,000 will be due by February 27, 2016. The remainder will be due by April 1, 2016.

Cancellation Policy: If you need to cancel, Magnum Excursions will refund your monies only after we are able to market and re-fill your spots, less the nonrefundable fee of $400. We will make every possible attempt to refill your spots. We must receive written notification of your cancellation, at which time the following fees apply:

  • 151 days or more before departure: 100% of payments less the nonrefundable deposit
  • 150 to 91 days before departure: 50% of trip fee
  • 90 or fewer days before departure: 100% of trip fee will be forfeited

To minimize your risk related to this cancellation policy, we recommend that you purchase cancellation insurance as this policy is strongly adhered to. Depending on coverage selected, purchased  travel insurance can covering baggage, accident/life and trip.  Magnum Excursions, LLC reserves the right to cancel the planned group safari due to insufficient registration. In the event of such cancellation, those with reservations shall be notified as soon as possible and a full refund of trip payment will be given.


Itinerary for of Trip:

  • June 24 – Johannesburg overnight
  • June 25 – Flight to Chobe National Park and transfer to our private houseboat followed by afternoon game drive
  • June 26, 27, 28  Morning and Afternoon game drives planned, additional viewing from house boat and tender boats are available for use
  • June 29 – Morning game drive, followed by a transfer and flight to Johannesburg
  • June 30 – Flight to Timbavati (Hoedspruit Airport) and transfer to Lodge followed by afternoon game drive
  • July 1, 2, 3 – Morning and Afternoon game drives
  • July 4 – Morning game drive followed by a transfer and flight to Johannesburg (JNB) for your connecting flight home
  • July 5 – Arrive home

What is included:

  • All meals at the lodges
  • Two game drives per day plus night drives after ‘sundowners’ (remote evening snack and drink) at both Timbavati resorts
  • Maximum two people per row (versus standard 3 per row on safari vehicles)
  • All park gate and conservation fees
  • Round-trip airfare to Timbavati
  • All ground transfers to lodges and between lodges
  • 4 nights (5 days) in Chobe National Park, Botwana
  • 4 nights (4 1/2 days) at Kambaku in Timbavati Private Reserve, Greater Kruger National Park
  • 1 night (arrival day) in Johannesburg
  • 1 night (transfer day) in Johannesburg
  • Night Sky Photo Workshop (moon phase/cloud cover permitting)
  • All soft drinks and alcoholic beverages on the Pangolin Voyager portion of the trip
  • Daily image review and workshop talks on improving photography

What is not included:

  • Visa or passport fees (no visa required for U.S. citizens)
  • Laundry (available at all lodges for slight fee)
  • Tips for guides
  • Alcoholic beverages except as noted above
  • Flights from the U.S. to Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Any optional extra travel nights in South Africa

Trip Advisor Reviews of Destinations:

Also consider our Madikwe Extension to this trip!


Last modified: August 17, 2015


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