October 11 - October 17, 2014
South Luangwa National Park
Spend seven days inside one of Africa’s greatest wildlife sanctuaries with professional wildlife photographer and guide Patrick Bentley.
- Experience and photograph some of the most intense concentrations of wildlife in Africa around the Luangwa River and its oxbow lagoons.
- Be guided by a professional wildlife photographer and accredited safari guide in an area of the South Luangwa that he photographs daily, where he knows its inhabitants and their haunts and is involved in their conservation.
- Stay at a luxury lodge inside a remote area of the national park with wildlife and photographic opportunities just outside your chalet door.
- Spend quality photographic time with wildlife - leaving the lodge before sunrise to catch the best light in the morning and staying out after dark to take advantage of night drives.
- Meet and spend time with people of similar wildlife and photographic interests who are as keen as you are to make the most of every photographic opportunity.
South Luangwa National Park
The Luangwa Valley is an extended arm of the Great Rift Valley that passes just beyond Zambia’s eastern border. Both animal and human life in the valley depend on the Luangwa River and its tributaries, which are formed in the remote hills of north-eastern Zambia and flow for over one thousand kilometres through the valley.
At 9050 square kilometres, South Luangwa National Park is the second largest national park in Zambia. It is host to 60 different animal species and over 400 different bird species; it is renowned for its cats, and is home to possibly the world’s largest concentration of Nile crocodiles and hippos.
Experts have dubbed South Luangwa as one of the greatest wildlife sanctuaries in the world, and not without reason. The concentration of game around the Luangwa River and its oxbow lagoons is among the most intense in Africa.
Night drives, which are unavailable in much of Africa, are part of the safari experience in the South Luangwa. They give you the option of photographing nocturnal creatures such as leopards, lions, porcupines and civets.
All six nights of this photographic safari will be spent at Lion Camp, a luxury safari lodge located deep inside the South Luangwa National Park. Lion Camp has 9 canvas-and-thatch chalets each ensuite and with a private balcony. There is 24-hour electricity in each chalet for charging camera and laptop batteries. The chalets stand high above the savannah on stilts, and the entire lodge is linked by a system of lighted boardwalks.
With no fences surrounding the lodge wildlife is free to move, unhindered, under the walkways. Elephant, hippos and small antelope such as bushbuck and puku, are frequently seen in camp.
The main area of Lion Camp is a gathering place with a step-down infinity pool, boma fireplace, woven copper bar, and, as wildlife crosses the open plain in front of the lodge, an ever-changing view.
As one of the handful of safari camps allowed to operate inside the national park, Lion Camps’ location has made it a desired base for both wildlife documentary film crews and professional photographers over the years.
For more information about Lion Camp please click here.
The Photographic Safari
This South Luangwa Photographic Safari is unique in that it will be guided by someone who is not only a professional wildlife photographer but who is also an experienced and qualified safari guide.
Patrick began guiding in the South Luangwa in 1994 and has extensive experience of the area and its wildlife as well as in-depth knowledge of the African bush and animal behaviour. He regularly photographs the area around Lion Camp (see his blog here) and knows its inhabitants and their haunts well. Patrick will be the driver and guide of the safari, ensuring you are in the best position for every photographic opportunity.
The focus of this photographic safari will be on intensive photography in the field. We will leave the lodge before sunrise (around 5am) to catch the best light and return for brunch in the late morning. The heat of the afternoon can be spent relaxing in the shade of the lodge or the swimming pool or simply downloading photographs, charging batteries and cleaning equipment ready for the afternoon drive. There will be chances to review images and discuss techniques but there will be no formal "classroom sessions". We will leave the lodge again mid-afternoon and stay out until 8pm to photograph nocturnal activity. When you return to the lodge you will be welcomed with drinks at the bar, a 3-course meal, coffee around the fire and, inevitably, much photographic conversation!
This safari is small and intimate and is limited to just 4 guests ensuring that everyone has plenty of one-on-one time with Patrick. Travel will be in an open-top Land Rover with one person to each row of seats and one in the front seat with Patrick. This will give each guest plenty of space for equipment and moving around. "Prime seats" will be rotated on a regular basis. Photographers of any level are welcome.
The cost of this seven-day photographic safari is US $4850 per person sharing (Single travelers will need to pay an additional US $350 single supplement). This rate includes airport transfers to and from Mfuwe, 6 night’s accommodation at Lion Camp, all meals, game-viewing and photographic activities, all park fees as well as soft drinks, local beers and house wines.
A non-refundable deposit of US $1200 is required when booking a place on the safari and the remaining US $3650 is required 90 days before the safari. We recommend that you take out travel insurance to cover cancellation costs in case of any unforeseen circumstances.
If we cancel this safari for any reason you will receive a full refund.
What is Included
• 6 nights luxury accommodation at Lion Camp
• All photographic game drives with Patrick Bentley
• Transfers to and from Mfuwe Airport
• All ZAWA park fees (Any increase in park fees will be passed on to the guest)
• All meals while staying at Lion Camp
• Soft drinks, local beers and house wine at Lion Camp
• Laundry while at Lion Camp
What is Not Included
• Passport fees, visas and medical/travel insurance
• The cost of hospitalization/evacuation if necessary
• Additional (optional) tips for staff at Lion Camp
• Airfares and travel costs to and from Mfuwe, Zambia
• Personal expenses such as phone calls and other purchases.
Non-photographic partners are welcome. The cost for non-photographers is the same as for photographers.
How to Book
If you would like to book a place on one of Patrick Bentley’s South Luangwa Photographic Safaris or would like further information please use the website contact form here.
Further travel in Zambia
If you would like to stay a bit longer in Zambia, perhaps visiting the Victoria Falls or another of Zambia’s prolific game reserves we would be happy to put you in touch with our travel agent.