12 Day Sri Lanka Photo Adventure

  • Asian Elephants

SRI LANKA – ISLAND ESCAPE

NEW

29 Aug - 9 Sep 2021

12 Days / 11 Nights

Sri Lanka is an island paradise that's embraced by golden beaches and turquoise-blue waters. This biodiversity hotspot has cool mountains, ancient lakes and forests teeming with endemic birds, reptiles, and mammals such as leopard, elephant and sloth bear.

This ancient land has a vibrant culture, magnificent archaeological sites and monuments, old-world cities to explore and friendly people offering warm hospitality.

Price:

USD$5,500 per person (twin share).
USD$550 Single supplement is available
Minimum 6 guests, maximum 11

Sloth Bear

It's an incredibly exciting destination for a photo voyage. We begin the adventure in the fishing town of Negombo, before moving into the heart of Wilpattu National Park for our wildlife safari. We will track elephant, leopard and sloth bear before we make our way to the country's "Cultural Triangle" to see ancient cities, temples and an epic national park where elephants congregate in great numbers. The city of Kandy is next – there's a more frenetic pace here that we can capture on slow shutter speed! Then we'll venture up into the misty highlands to see tea pickers in action, take one of the most scenic train rides in the world and wonder at stunning waterfalls. Our voyage finale is the southern coast visiting the second largest blowhole in the world, endless stretches of beaches before making our way to the UNESCO World Heritage-Listed Galle Fort.

Sri Lanka

Contact Michael Snedic directly
on +61 408 941 965

Includes:

  • Service of highly trained English speaking licensed naturalist guide with speciality in photography, nature and wildlife
  • Accompanied by Michael Snedic, professional Australian wildlife photographer and tutor
  • All road transfers in an air-conditioned coaster with ample space and comfort for the group
  • Accommodation as listed
  • All meals (note some lunches are 'on the go' so more like a picnic box)
  • Bottled water, refreshments, and snacks throughout the tour
  • Park entry fees and permits

Exclusions:

  • International airfares
  • Visas
  • Drinks (other than those provided in the vehicle)
  • Tipping
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Any pre or post tour requirements
  • Comprehensive Travel Insurance (compulsory)

Guests in Sri Lanka

Itinerary:

Note: The daily programs can be subject of changes.

Visit Encompass Africa's VIRTUAL itinerary

Day 1 : Negombo

Upon landing at the Bandaranaike International Airport, you will be given a warm Sri Lankan welcome with the words “Ayubowan” by our Naturalist Guide and escorted to our vehicle.

Thereafter we will transfer to our nearby hotel in Negombo where we will check in and spend the remainder of the day at leisure after along flight.

Our hotel, ideally located by the beach, will give us a beautiful view of the setting sun and we can witness some beautiful tropical sceneries with the traditional catamarans heading out to sea.

Dinner and overnight stay in Negombo as a group at Goldi Sands Hotel in standard rooms with dinner and breakfast/brunch included.

Sri Lanka 3

Days 2 - 4 : Nochchiyagama

Early morning we will head to the Negombo Fish Market, which will be a great insight into daily life for Sri Lankans in this coastal area.

Negombo is a fishing town where most of the locals hail from fishing families by centuries of descent. Currently, over 2,000 boats including traditional outrigger canoes called ‘oru’ in Sinhalese, catamarans and larger mechanised motor boats operate from Negombo harbour. The harbour is best visited early in the morning, when it is a hive of activity. Fishermen can be seen taking fish from their nets, vendors within the market bargain and trade and a variety of different fish species including herrings, sardines, snappers, breamers, croakers, groupers, parrot fish, sprats, catfish, mullets and shellfish such as prawn and crab are stored in all parts of the harbour. A short drive away from the main fish market, is the fruit and vegetable market where local produce from all parts of the country and some imported food items are sold here which include a variety of local spices. Adjacent to the market, you can see fish being dried in the sun on the beach.

Return back to the hotel for a quick brunch, and checkout.

Thereafter we take a 4-hour journey through the countryside to reach Wilpattu National Park.

Here we will switch to a safari jeep and go through a jungle track to reach Wilpattu Safari Camp, our home for the next 3 nights.

We will be welcomed at the camp and check into our tents after a brief camp safety briefing and welcome from the host.

Lunch will be served at camp.

By around 15h00 we regroup and hop onto our safari jeep and embark on our first game drive to Wilpattu National Park.

Popularly dubbed as ‘the land of the lakes’, Wilpattu National Park is famous for watching wildlife within its picturesque villus and dry evergreen forests. It is Sri Lanka’s oldest and largest national park which re-opened in 2010 after being closed for nearly three decades due to the civil war. Wilpattu is one of the top spots in Sri Lanka for watching Leopard and Sloth Bear. Other larger animals seen regularly here include Elephant, Jackal, Mugger Crocodile, Sambar, Spotted Deer and Buffalo are among the larger animals regularly encountered.

The park closes at 18h00 so we will get back to camp around dusk or just after.

Dinner is served and afterwards, we can head out on a night drive through the park buffer zone and village tracks with a spotlight in search of rarities such as the Jungle Cat, Fishing Cat, Rusty Spotted Cat and the Eurasian Otter, all best seen during this time of year and come out after dark. If you are truly lucky you might come across a prowling leopard.

Afterwards, we return to camp for a night of good night sleep.

Hornbill

YOUR NEXT TWO DAYS... will be spent on full day game drives in Wilpattu National Park.

Your morning breakfast will be provided packed and taken into the park.

Lunch will be served at the designated picnic site and served freshly delivered from the camp.

The full-day safaris enable you to get the most out of your Wilpattu experience, and spending time at water holes, and patiently reading the tracks and waiting, listening to alarm calls are all part of the game to get the perfect leopard sighting. Your naturalist guide, as well as jeep driver with their years of experience and instinct, will work tirelessly throughout to get the best sightings possible for you.

Return back to camp at dusk for dinner and rest.

Day 5 : Habarana

After our morning safari and breakfast, it's time to check out.

We will head towards Habarana.

Along the way, we visit a local village and tour in tuk tuks. We are then taken to a nearby lake where we load into boats and head to a little village. Here, we meet a local family and enjoy a walk around their property before joining the women in the kitchen to learn how to cook coconut roti.

The best part is we get to eat what we make and a full lunch is savoured from our banana leaf plates.

Afterward, we bid the family goodbye and head onwards to Habarana. It's only an hour drive so we will arrive before sunset.

We will check in to Cinnamon Village for three nights with all meals and activities included.

After dark, either before or after dinner (depending on your preference) we head out to an isolated park about 30 minutes’ drive from the hotel for a unique night walk which will bring us closer to the “Elves of the Forest” the secretive Slender Loris*. One of the most iconic wildlife experiences on the island, these almost “alien” like creatures are in fact primates and strictly nocturnal. They feed on small insects, reptiles and even birds and are seen at night in this location regularly. These are one of the most enigmatic creatures in the Sri Lankan wilderness and along with this, you might also get a glimpse of other rarities such as the Mouse Deer of Chevrotain, the Fishing Cat and much more, which your naturalist guide will keep an eye out for.

Sunset fisherman

*The red slender loris is a small, nocturnal strepsirrhine primate native to the rainforests of Sri Lanka. If you are into wildlife, this will fascinate you - the Loris is #6 of the 10 focal species and #22 of the 100 EDGE mammal species worldwide considered the most evolutionarily distinct and globally endangered.

Day 6 : Habarana

t's an early morning start as we head to Pidurangala, and climb the rock to witness a stunning backdrop which is excellent for photography (decent level of fitness required).

Pidurangala is a massive rock formation located next to the iconic Sigiriya rock fortress. The area has been occupied for over two thousand five hundred years by Buddhist monks who took residence in the caves around the site. The rock came into prominence when King Kassapa (477- 495AD), built Sigiriya, and moved the monks living around the Sigiriya Rock to a newly refurbished and enlarged temple and monastery complete at Pidurangala. The climb to the rock is a pleasant one, where you are surrounded by lush forest, and can hear the beautiful songs of birds. The summit has a stunning view of the surrounding landscape and a great view of Sigiriya at eye level.

We head back to our hotel for lunch and some time out.

Afterward we head towards the ancient city of Polonnaruwa, which is one of the most significant archeological sites in ancient Sri Lanka.

Polonnaruwa took its place in history after King Vijayabahu I defeated the invading Cholas and moved the capital from Anuradhapura to Polonnaruwa. It is renowned for its well-preserved 12th-century ruins and impressive stone culture. Exploring Polonnaruwa, which is today a UNESCO World Heritage site, one can see Brahmanic monuments built by the Cholas and the monumental ruins of the fabulous garden-city created by Parakramabahu I in the 12th century.

Sri Lanka 2

Enjoy the sunset over the majestic Parakrama Samudra the massive lake built by King Parakramabahu the Great.

Thereafter we return back to our hotel for dinner and overnight stay.

Day 7 : Habarana

It's another early morning so we can climb Sigiriya before it gets too hot. This allows us to explore and photograph the ancient Rock Fortress.

Rising dramatically from the central plains, the enigmatic rocky outcrop of Sigiriya is perhaps Sri Lanka's single most dramatic sight. Near-vertical walls soar to a flat-topped summit that contains the ruins of an ancient civilisation. Top of this rock contains ruins of an ancient palace complex, built during the reign of King Kasyapa (477AD – 495 AD) and surrounding rock is the Royal Garden. Ruins of various chambers, stairways and pools can be seen at the top of this rock. There is a stone stairway leading from the base to the top of the mountain. About half way to the top, there is a giant pair of lions paws which is in fact are the remains of a huge head of a lion whose open mouth served as the entrance to the royal palace. Surrounding the palace complex are the ruins of a garden complex consisting of two moats and various pools, some with water fountains still functioning after 1500 years.

Thereafter we return back to the hotel for a late breakfast.

Spend the next few hours at leisure.

After an early lunch , head towards Minneriya or Kaudulla National Parks by 14h00 for a safari to witness the Great Elephant Gathering. (We will visit the park where the large elephant herds are known to be at this time.)

Kinhfisher with fish

The Gathering of Elephants, which is ranked among the world’s top wildlife viewing spectacles runs from June – October each year. Each afternoon, around 150 - 200 individual elephants come out of the forest in to the open to graze on the fresh green pasture by the water’s edge at Minneriya and Kaudulla national parks. You have excellent opportunities here to observe the social dynamics of the Asian Elephant as the large bulls in musth compete among each other and seek the females within the herd, while young calves with carefree abandon get up to their mischievous antics often to the displeasure of its alert mothers within the herd. Water birds such as Painted Stork, Asian Openbill, Woolly-necked Stork along with raptors such as White-bellied Sea Eagles and Grey-headed Fishing Eagles are abundant around these large man-made lakes.

Return back to camp at dusk for dinner and a decent night sleep.

Day 8 : Kandy

After an early breakfast, we will checkout and head towards the city of Kandy. Along the way we stop to visit the Ancient Cave Temple of Dambulla.

Dambulla Cave Temple, which is famous for its rock paintings and is among the best-preserved monastic temple cave complexes in Sri Lanka. Dambulla’s origins as a place of worship dates back to the reign of King Valagamba in the 1st century BC, who took refuge in these caves when driven out of Anuradhapura by Chola invaders. Once he regained the throne, the king had the interior of the caves transformed into magnificent rock temples. More paintings and statues were added over time by later kings.

Afterward head towards Kandy, and visit the Sacred Temple of the Tooth Relic.

This sacred temple was built in the 16th century AD and is located adjacent to the Royal Palace complex of the former Kingdom of Kandy and overlooks the expanses of the Kandy lake. Referred locally as the Sri Dalada Maligawa, the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is the most revered site in the country. This temple complex houses the sacred tooth relic of the Lord Buddha, and with strong political sway to who holds possession of the tooth, as it was believed that the possessor of this sacred relic had the right to rule the country.

Lunch will be served at a select restaurant in Kandy. We then head to our accommodation, the beautiful Simpsons Forest Hotel.

If time permits we can explore the hotel's very own spice garden.

Sri Lanka has been famous for centuries for its trade in spices and spice gardens. A visit to one of these herb and spice gardens provides a visitor with a firsthand experience on how these amazing treasures are grown and prepared. Some of the herbs and spices grown here can include Sandalwood, Margosa, Cocoa, Citronella, Almond, Jasmine and Coconut and spices such as cloves, pepper, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, and saffron are grown in these gardens.

Return back to camp at dusk for dinner and a decent night sleep.

Train to Kandy

If time permits we can explore the hotel's very own spice garden.

Sri Lanka has been famous for centuries for its trade in spices and spice gardens. A visit to one of these herb and spice gardens provides a visitor with a firsthand experience on how these amazing treasures are grown and prepared. Some of the herbs and spices grown here can include Sandalwood, Margosa, Cocoa, Citronella, Almond, Jasmine and Coconut and spices such as cloves, pepper, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, and saffron are grown in these gardens.

Return back to camp at dusk for dinner and a decent night sleep.

Day 9 : Ella

We have an early breakfast, check out and head with a packed lunch to the Royal Botanical Gardens for a guided tour.

The Royal Botanical Gardens is the largest of Sri Lanka’s botanical gardens with over 4,000 different species of plants and is regarded among the finest in Asia. The origins of the Botanical Gardens date to 1371 when King Wikramabahu III took to the throne and kept his court at Peradeniya near the Mahaweli, where the gardens were reserved exclusively for Kandyan Royalty. Some of the highlights when visiting these unique gardens would be the Orchid collection, walking through a stunning avenue of Royal Palm Trees as well as a giant Javan Fig Tree on the great lawn. Another key feature of the gardens is the large collection of medicinal plants and spices.

Afterwards we head to Peradeniya Railway Station where you will hop on a train which will take us on a very scenic ride through the highlands*

One of the best ways to enjoy the breathtaking scenery of the central highlands is to travel by train from Kandy through to Ella. The train stations in Peradeniya and most of the towns in the highlands were built during the time of the British, where minimal changes have been made to the buildings giving it a distinct old world charm. The train journey takes you through the back of small towns where you can see the local people go about their day to day work and through the mountain ranges providing beautiful views of the tea fields, patches of cloud forests, numerous streams and waterfalls.

Asian Leopard

Upon reaching Ella, late afternoon, we meet our guide and transfer to our hotel, Ella Mountain Heavens for two nights with all meals included.

*Please note train ride cannot be guaranteed due to popularity. It may be possible but on a different day. The final itinerary will detail arrangements closer to the time of travel.

Day 10 : Ella

Early morning we head towards Haputale, and load into tuk tuks that take us up to the scenic Liptons Seat View Point.

Lipton’s seat is one of the best observation points of the surrounding landscapes and is located on the top of the Poonagala hill which is close to the Dambetenna tea factory. This place gets this name after the famous tea planter Sir Thomas Lipton who was said to have used this spot to observe the surrounding region of his tea plantations. From the Lipton’s view itself one gets an astounding view of areas such as the Handapanagala lake, Chandrika tank, Udawalawe Reservoir and the Wedi Hiti Mountains, as well as the Hambantota Harbour on the southern coast.

Thereafter we head down and visit the Dambetenne Tea Factory. A visit to the hill country will not be complete without a visit to a tea factory and estate. You can stroll through the beautifully manicured tea fields and thereafter head to the tea factory where the magic of converting raw leaves into black tea happens. An art developed during the British colonial period, some machines used date back over 100 years. The creation of black tea is an art form which has remained relatively unchanged for over a century.

If time permits and the Bungalow is open, we will visit the Adisham Bungalow.

The Adisham Bungalow is a monastery of the Sylvestro Benedictine monks and is a delightful site to visit near Haputale. This large stone building was initially built by Sir Thomas Lester Villiers in 1931 who was a tea planter and later sold in 1961 to the Benedictine monks. The novice monks are trained for a period of a year at this monastery. The building has a unique old-world charm which is brought out by the antique furniture and architecture. There is a welfare shop which sells jams and other fresh produce made by the monks.

The charming St Andrews Church was said to have been built by a gentleman named James Andrews in 1875, who worked at Sherwood Estate as well as Richard Wylie from Pita Ratmale Estate. The atmosphere of this little parish seems timeless and peaceful.

Thereafter we return to Ella and enjoy lunch back at the hotel to savour those views!

Asian Elephants

Afterwards we continue towards Demodara where we ride on a tuk tuk once again to reach the Nine Arches Bridge.

Close to Ella is the famous Nine Arch Bridge, which is a beautiful example of English engineering and design and built entirely out of solid rocks, bricks and cement without the use of steel. The bridge was commissioned in 1921 and is still used to date by trains that travel from Kandy through to Ella.

You will also pass and be able to photograph the spectacular Ravana Falls. This is in close proximity of the legendary cave which is considered a place there Sita (from the Indian saga the Ramayana) was hidden by the Lankan Demon King Ravana.

Afterward we can explore the busy market scenes in Ella, which are great for photographs of typical Sri Lankan life and colourful items for sale.

After dusk we return back to our hotel.

Dinner and overnight.

Day 11 : Galle

We enjoy breakfast and our mountain views and then pack up and check out. Today we're bound for the south coast and Galle. It's a 4 - 4.5 hour drive and we may stop along the way for some photographic opportunities.

vUpon reaching Galle, we head into the historic Galle Dutch Fort where we check in to our accommodation, the fantastic Fort Printers.

After a quick break, we'll venture out on foot for a tour of this historic fort, learning of its intricate past and photographing the wonderful architectures and local life. There is a heady mix of religions and culture and most fascinating is how this fort is its own micro-economy in a multi-religious and multi-ethnic setting.

We then enjoy our final dinner together as a group at the hotel. Nightlife here is rather fun so we can take a stroll and photograph the fort's buzz.

Day 12 : End of Itinerary

Good morning! Can you believe the tour has come to an end. We highly recommend an early rise so you can head out and capture the morning light on Galle Fort.

Enjoy breakfast at your leisure and be ready at the agreed time to transfer back up to Colombo. We can even stop in Colombo for a walk around the city because most flights are late evening! Guests can be dropped off at the airport or we can relax for the afternoon utilising facilities of a wonderful hotel to freshen up before our long haul flights home.

We trust you absolutely loved our Island Escape: Sri Lanka Photo Voyage.

Bookings and Contact:

To ask any questions you may have regarding this very unique photographic adventure, or to book one of the limited places, please contact Michael via the contact form or call +61 408 941 965

NB - COMPREHENSIVE TRAVEL INSURANCE IS COMPULSORY WHEN BOOKING THIS PHOTO TOUR

Encompass Africa

12 Day Botswana Photo Safari

  • Botswana sunset

BOTSWANA – LAND OF GIANTS

NEW

12 - 23 Nov 2021

12 Days / 11 Nights

THIS PHOTOGRAPHY SAFARI IS PART OF THE 'PHOTO VOYAGES' SERIES PRESENTED IN 2021, IN CONJUNCTION WITH AUSTRALIA'S LEADING AFRICAN SAFARI SPECIALISTS, ENCOMPASS AFRICA

Nothing beats the magic of sitting around the campfire of your private mobile camp, listening to the far-off grunt of a solitary lion and the soft incessant call of a Scops owl. Each night after an epic day of photographing, you'll fall asleep under a sky filled with a million stars.

Price:

USD$7,900 per person (twin share). USD$630 Single supplement is available.

Minimum 6 guests, maximum 8

Elephant

Join us for an epic 11-night adventure through Botswana, enjoying private mobile camping to get you away from the crowds and closer to action, plus time on both land and water for stellar wildlife and wilderness shots.

We'll start the adventure with a doors-off scenic helicopter flight over the Okavango Delta for 45 unforgettable minutes. Then you'll be off on the adventure of a lifetime, on a private mobile safari through Botswana's Moremi National Park, Khwai Concession and Savute National Park.

The finale to your photo voyage in Botswana will be Chobe National Park, where you'll stay at a safari lodge with superb facilities for editing and presenting photos – all part of the workshopping component of this exceptional voyage.

Hornbill

Contact Michael Snedic directly
on +61 408 941 965

Includes:

  • VIP meet and greet on arrival into Johannesburg and assistance to connecting flight (flights not included)
  • Fully accompanied tour with professional photographer and tutor, Michael Snedic
  • All road transfers
  • 1-night accommodation in a standard room at Thamalakane River Lodge with dinner and breakfast
  • Welcome night briefing and Elephants for Africa presentation
  • Scenic 'doors off' helicopter flight (45 minutes) over the Okavango Delta
  • Fixed-wing light aircraft flight into the Delta
  • 8 nights mobile camping safari with professional guide, camp crew and tented accommodation with ensuite facilities, all meals and local drinks provided
  • 2 nights Chobe Pangolin Hotel with meals included and local drinks
  • Safari activities as per itinerary

Excludes:

  • International and regional flights
  • Meals and drinks not listed
  • Laundry
  • Gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Comprehensive Travel Insurance (compulsory)

Cape Hunting Dog

Itinerary:

Note: The daily programs can be subject of changes.

Visit Encompass Africa's VIRTUAL itinerary

Day 1 : Maun

“Dumela / Hello! Welcome to Botswana!” We will be there to give you a warm Botswana welcome when you land at Maun Airport.

There will be a welcome night briefing with Michael Snedic and possibly meeting researchers from Elephants for Africa (pending availability)

Spend 1 night at Thamalakane River Lodge in a standard room with dinner and breakfast included. Tonight as a group you will catch up for a briefing and meet the wonderful team from Elephants for Africa, a local charity doing brilliant work with the giants of the bush.

Botswana aerial view

Days 2 - 9 : Moremi Game Reserve, Khwai Community Area, Savuti - Chobe National Park

DAY 2: After an early breakfast, it's time to pack up and head to the helipad! You're off on a wonderful scenic adventure over the Okavango Delta. With the doors off, you get the ultimate aerial perspective of this water wonderland.

You'll return to Maun and then together head over to the airport.

You will meet your pilot for your stunning light aircraft scenic light aircraft flight over the Okavango Delta and Chief’s Island. This flight gives you a fish eagle’s eye view of this amazing ecosystem with the doors on this time!

When you land at your remote bush airstrip within the Moremi Game Reserve, your guide will provide you with a snack pack on arrival and will be waiting to transfer you to your mobile camp with a game drive en-route. The friendly, attentive staff will help you feel immediately at home and brief you on what to look forward to on your safari. The magic of a mobile camp becomes apparent as the sun sets and you enjoy drinks around the fire before a starlit dinner and a great night’s rest after falling asleep to the sounds of the African bush.

Spending our first two nights camping in the Xakanaxa / Third Bridge area, we explore the surrounding wilderness on game drives during the day. The Moremi Game Reserve protects around a third of the entire Okavango Delta ecosystem – some 5 000km2 (1 930 square miles).

DAY 4: Following an early breakfast, we pack up the camp and continue our journey to Khwai, stopping for a bush picnic lunch en route. The Khwai River forms the boundary between the reserve and the local Khwai Community Area. We spend the next three nights camping at a campsite in Khwai area of Moremi Game Reserve. You will also experience a 2½-hour mokoro trip (water level dependent), discovering channels and lagoons at a relaxed pace in a traditional dug-out canoe.

Leopard

DAY 7: We head further north en-route to Chobe National Park, where we spend the following three nights camping at a pristine bush campsite in the Savute region and exploring the dry landscape on game drives. Savute is an area that can change dramatically, with the character of the place changing completely depending on the flowing or drying up of the Savute Channel. In 2010, water from the Savute Channel reached the Marsh for the first time in three decades (after a long dry period during which resident lions learned to prey on elephants coming to drink at isolated waterholes). The presence of water can transform these dynamics and the only way to find out what will happen next is to visit Savute with us and see for yourself!

Days 10 - 11 : Kasane

Leaving this parched landscape, we continue our journey north to the contrasting Chobe region of the park. We spend the last two nights at the brilliant Chobe Pangolin Hotel. This place is geared for people like us - wildlife photographers and enthusiasts! We explore the Chobe River by custom built boat with awesome camera tripods and swivel chairs for 360 degree views. We will also have 1 game drive inside Chobe National Park - but the focus is the river!

Photo safari participants

Day 12 : End of Itinerary

After breakfast and morning safari activity, it's time to pack up and check out. We will transfer you to Kasane airport in time for your onward flight out.

Lion

Bookings and Contact:

To ask any questions you may have regarding this very unique photographic adventure, or to book one of the limited places, please contact Michael via the contact form or call +61 408 941 965

NB - COMPREHENSIVE TRAVEL INSURANCE IS COMPULSORY WHEN BOOKING THIS PHOTO TOUR

Encompass Africa

Hippo with baby

12 Day Ethiopia Photo Safari

ETHIOPIA – FABLED LAND

NEW

21 Jan - 1 Feb 2021

12 Days / 11 Nights

THIS PHOTOGRAPHY SAFARI IS PART OF THE 'PHOTO VOYAGES'COLLECTION 2021', IN CONJUNCTION WITH AUSTRALIA'S LEADING AFRICAN SAFARI SPECIALISTS, ENCOMPASS AFRICA

Historically fascinating, culturally diverse and naturally spectacular. With no fewer than nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Ethiopia is steeped in culture and impressive history.

Price:

USD$11,850 per person (twin share). Single supplement NOT available.

      NB: 8 guests required for this tour to proceed

Mountain Nyala

Prayer time Ethiopia

Ethiopian cultural treasures include the UNESCO World Heritage site, Lalibela, with its incredible rock-hewn churches and the unchanged tribes of the Omo River region in the deep south. Ethiopia was one of the first countries to officially adopt Christianity as its religion back in the 4th century, and it’s awash with fascinating religious history and Orthodox Christian churches.

It’s also full of natural wonders. Ethiopia’s diverse landscapes will take you by surprise on this tour as we trek more than 3,000m above sea level, in the Simien and Bale mountains. There’s also incredibly underrated wildlife, including rare and endemic species we will photograph such as the Ethiopian wolf, the gelada monkey, and the Walia ibex, plus some of the best birdwatching in Africa.

Simien Mountains National Park

Contact Michael Snedic directly
on +61 408 941 965

Inclusions:

  • All road and air transfers
  • Accommodation and meals as listed
  • Private guide and vehicles
  • Activities as listed
  • Exclusive use mobile for last 2 locations
  • Scheduled and charter flights to avoid long road transit time and lost days on bumpy roads!

Exclusions:

  • International airfares
  • Visa
  • Alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Tipping
  • Laundry
  • Comprehensive Travel Insurance (compulsory)

Ethiopian tribe

Itinerary:

Note: The daily programs can be subject of changes.

Visit Encompass Africa's VIRTUAL itinerary

Day 1 : Addis Ababa

Welcome to Ethiopia and its capital, Addis Ababa. On arrival clear immigration (visa required) and collect your bags. Proceed to arrivals and meet our driver. Transfer to your accommodation.

If you have enough energy after the long flight, you can visit the National Museum of Ethiopia and photograph the skeleton of Lucy, a hominid that dates from 3.2 million years.

Dinner at the hotel with the entire group. Spend one night at the Radisson Blu with dinner and breakfast included.

Ethiopia

Day 2 & 3: Simien Mountains National Park

We will take a scheduled flight to Gondar this morning. Upon arrival, our private vehicles will take us to explore Gondar so we can photograph the castles complex. We then head to the Simien Mountains National Park. After settling in to the lodge, the highest lodge in Africa at 10,700 feet [3260 metres], we will spend the next two days photographing the stunning landscapes of the park and the Gelada monkeys. It is also home to the Ethiopian wolf, Walia ibex, caracals and more than 50 species of birds with the impressive bearded vulture a favourite to photograph.

On day 3 we explore the Simiens getting great shots of the Gelada Monkeys. This fascinating primate will capture your attention and heart as they forage on the mountainside for food.

We'll enjoy two nights at Simien Mountain Lodge with meals included.

Gelada Baboon

Day 4 & 5: Lalibela

After breakfast, we drive back to Gondar and then fly over to the ancient city of Lalibela. Here we photograph the remarkable rock-hewn churches built in the 11th century. This place has been a pilgrimage for the Coptic Christians for 800 years. We will be able to go inside the churches as well as photograph priests in their colorful garb. Wide-angle lenses are perfect for capturing the amazing human effort and dedication it took built these impressive structures.

On day 5 after breakfast, we have another day photogrpaing the wonders of Lalibela. If time permits we will try to get out to the famed cave church called Yemrehana Cristos. This is the area of active churches and nothing beats getting involved in one of the services.

We will spend two nights in Mezena Lodge.

Ethiopian Wolf

Day 6 - 8: Ethiopia

After breakfast, we'll pack up and checkout. Then it's time to we transfer to the Lalibela airport to take a flight back to Addis Ababa. From here we connect with a charter flight to the Bale Mountains.

This is the first of two locations where we are going to be in a private mobile luxury camp to afford the very best experience away from crowds.

On day 7 we explore the wilderness of Bale Mountains and photograph its endemic wildlife. We can focus on Ethiopian wolf pups if we are travelling in January/February.

On day 8 another day exploring!

We transfer to camp and enjoy three nights at Webb Valley Tented Camp with all meals included.

Lion cub

Days 9 - 11 : Omo Valley

After breakfast, we head to the airstrip and fly on our charter flight down to the Omo Valley. We've got three nights here in our own private mobile camp away from the crowds once again.

This part of Ethiopia offers incredible photography that captures a moment in time in the ancient world of people who live peacefully and close to nature in one of the most far-flung and spectacular stretches of the world. If only we could return to this basic beauty ourselves... you'll have the priviledge of photogrpahing their daily lives and capturing epic and enthralling portraits of local people.

Honey Badger

Day 12 : End of Itinerary

If time allows, we may have one last early morning photo opportunity before driving to the airport for our charter flight to Addis Ababa. This flight avoids 2 long days of driving over extremely rough dirt roads.

We arrive into Addis Ababa where all arrangements end. Depending on your flight times, we can assist with a day room in a hotel or another night or two if you need.

Bookings and Contact:

To ask any questions you may have regarding this very unique photographic adventure, or to book one of the limited places, please contact Michael via the contact form or call +61 408 941 965

NB - COMPREHENSIVE TRAVEL INSURANCE IS COMPULSORY WHEN BOOKING THIS PHOTO TOUR

Encompass Africa

Zebra with calf

11 Day Kenya Photo Safari

  • cheetah kenya africa

KENYA – OUT OF AFRICA

NEW

1 - 11 November 2021

11 Days / 10 Nights

THIS PHOTOGRAPHY SAFARI IS PART OF THE 'PHOTO VOYAGES' SERIES PRESENTED IN 2021, IN CONJUNCTION WITH AUSTRALIA'S LEADING AFRICAN SAFARI SPECIALISTS, ENCOMPASS AFRICA

Kenya is known as the original safari country and the ultimate Out of Africa romantic safari destination. Here you can photograph some of the biggest prides of lions in Africa, witness impressive herds of elephants, experience colourful cultures and so much more. The photographic opportunities are endless.

Price:

USD$10,855 per person (twin share). Single supplement available for USD$1,050

 

       Minimum 5 and maximum 8 guests (window seat guaranteed)

Masai Warriors

On this nine-night luxury Kenya photo tour we'll take in the impressive Amboseli National Park, where great elephant herds roam with the towering Mount Kilimanjaro looming in the background – this is the shot every photographer wants to take.

Next is the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in the Laikipia region. These 36,400 hectares of wilderness are home to the country's largest population of black rhino, and a number of the rarer northern species such as Grevy's zebra, Jackson's hartebeest, and beisa oryx.

massai guides kenya

Our safari finale is private mobile luxury camping in the world-famous Masai Mara, a land of great plains, big cats and adrenalin-fuelled wildlife action. We like to avoid the main national park (and the crowds), and go somewhere remote that only a few people have discovered. Here you'll be guided by authentic Maasai people who will get you close to all the big cats and plains game action – and great photo opportunities.

Leopard

Contact Michael Snedic directly
on +61 408 941 965

Inclusions:

  • Nairobi airport/airstrip transfers,
  • Domestic flight (Wilson/Ambo, Ambo/Nanyuki, Nanyuki/Mara, Mara/Wilson)
  • Accommodation and meals as indicated
  • Sole use of vehicle for game driving in (open-sided) 4WD vehicles with English speaking guides
  • Guided bush walks
  • Conservancy & park fees (Amboseli, Ol Pejeta, Olare orok conservancy)
  • Sundowner drinks/bush picnics
  • VIP meet & greet at JKIA
  • Laundry

Excludes:

  • Kenya visa
  • Travel & medical insurance (recommended)
  • Personal items (telephone, shop, spa ...)
  • Gratuities
  • Extra activities (cultural village entry fees, ballooning, ...)
  • Comprehensive Travel Insurance (compulsory)
  • Visits into the main Masai Mara Reserve (Park fees payable locally US$80 per person per night subject to change without notice)

Crowned Crane

Itinerary:

Note: The daily programs can be subject of changes.

Visit Encompass Africa's VIRTUAL itinerary

Day 1: Nairobi

Welcome to Kenya! On arrival clear immigrations (visa required, attainable in advance), collect your bags and meet our driver in the arrivals hall. Transfer to your accommodation.

Spend one night at Ole Sereni with breakfast included. You will meet as a group and chat about the trip over dinner (own expense).

sunset kenya

Days 2 - 3: Amboseli National Park

After an early breakfast, it's time to check out and head to Wilson Airport in time for a morning flight to Amboseli. On arrival into the Amboseli airstrip, disembark and collect your bag. Meet the guide from camp who will assist you into the vehicle. Road transfer to your accommodation.

Spend two nights at Tawi Lodge with all meals, park fees and morning and afternoon private game drive included.

mboseli is at the base of the mighty Mount Kilimanjaro and at the heart of a huge semi-arid ecosystem lies this small national park. Amboseli is home to some of Africa's greatest and last remaining tusker elephants. It is really one of the best places in the world to observe and photograph African Elephants. We’ll spend time tracking and finding the elephants then photographing their daily activities, their social interactions, and behaviours. Their lives will unfold before our eyes and cameras, with the amazing backdrop of Mt Kilimanjaro and the bare and dusty plains of this amazing area of Africa.

There is plenty other wildlife to witness too from lion, cheetah, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, buffalo, hippo and more!

hippo kenya

Days 4 - 6 : Laikipia

After breakfast, we depart by road to Amboseli airstrip in time to catch the morning flight to Wilson Airport and onwards to Nanyuki. We will arrive before lunch and transfer to our accommodation. On arrival, a warm welcome awaits and a hearty lunch. It's then time to venture off on our first afternoon safari in the spectacular Laikipia.

We will spend three nights at Kicheche Laikipia with all meals, local drinks and activities included.

Each day we have a wonderful morning and afternoon safari experience and down time in between!

Cheetah encounter - Kenya, Africa

Days 7 - 10 : Olare Motorogi Conservancy

After breakfast, we will pack up and head off with the group to the airstrip in time to catch the morning flight to the Masai Mara. On arrival into the airstrip, we'll disembark and load into a safari vehicle with our guide. Road transfer to camp game viewing along the way.

We will arrive and check-in at Kicheche Bush Camp for four nights with all meals, local drinks and activities included.

Amazing elephant experience - Kenya, Africa

Day 11 : End of Itinerary

After breakfast, we pack up and head off to the airstrip game viewing along the way. We catch the morning flight so we get back to Nairobi around lunch time so guests can connect with outbound international flights.

Please note we can organise another night of accommodation if required or any other onward arrangements to keep your adventure going.

Pin-tailed Whydah

Bookings and Contact:

To ask any questions you may have regarding this very unique photographic adventure, or to book one of the limited places, please contact Michael via the contact form or call +61 408 941 965

Carol-and-Laureen-Kenya

NB - COMPREHENSIVE TRAVEL INSURANCE IS A NECESSITY WHEN BOOKING THIS PHOTO TOUR

Encompass Africa

amazing bird kenya

20 Day Falklands – South Georgia – Antarctica Photo Expedition

With Michael Snedic

27 February - 18 March 2021

 

EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT NOW AVAILABLE

On this 20-day photographic adventure we will explore the wildlife paradises of South Georgia and the Falkland Islands before visiting the amazing Antarctic Peninsula.

There will be a maximum of 9 photographers on this expedition, being led by professional nature photographer and tutor, Michael Snedic. Photographers of all experience levels are welcome. Michael will be guiding you and supporting your photography during the expedition. Not just in taking photographs in the field, but also in reviewing and critiquing your photos along the way.

Contact Michael Snedic directly
on +61 408 941 965

Ice formation

Participants photographing penguin in South Georgia

Your 
Experienced Photography 
Leader

On this expedition you will have access every day to professional nature photographer and instructor, Michael Snedic. He will be there to help you photograph the stunning scenery and wildlife we will encounter. Michael will be conducting a series of classes throughout the voyage, as well as being on-hand throughout the outings.

As a full-time professional, Michael is an accredited member of the Australian Institute of Professional Photographers (AIPP). As well as being a professional wildlife and nature photographer, he is an experienced photographic tutor, with 18 years experience presenting photography expeditions and adventures across the globe.

Michael Snedic

Michael Snedic is an experienced (24 years) and widely-published photographer, writer and photo expedition leader. His photography articles and images have featured in numerous publications in Australia and across the world.

Michael is owner of WildNature Photo Expeditions and presents exciting photography workshops and tours to many extraordinary wild places across the globe. He is a Nikon School tutor and was the Nature Conservancy Australia Photo Competition Ambassador and Judge in 2015, 2016 and 2017. Michael loves sharing his photographic knowledge and passion with workshop participants, helping them improve their photographic skills.

Australian Institute of Professional Photography

Nikon School Tutor
Nikon School Tutor

quality tourism accredited business

Itinerary:

Our itineraries are always subject to weather conditions, but the basic plan is as follows:

Day 1

Begin your Antarctic adventure with an overnight stay in Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world.

Ushuaia is a relatively small city and is easy to find your way around. From Avenida San Martin, the streets run uphill and you can get a great view of the Beagle Channel from the top. If you arrive early you might also like to visit Tierra del Fuego National Park, which is located 11 km west of the city.

Day 2 – Ushaia – boarding ship

Today we board the ship and embark through the beautiful Beagle Channel in the afternoon, leaving Ushuaia behind you. The channel is rich in wildlife, so rug up and head out on deck. Michael will get everyone on his photo expedition together for a welcome and photography chat. He will also point out any penguins, cormorants, petrels and Black-browed Albatross in the sea and air, for you to photograph.

Close Penguin Encounter - Antarctica © Michael Snedic © Michael Snedic

Day 3 – at sea

On our way towards the Falklands, our day is full of preparatory activities aboard the ship. We will also be keeping our eyes open for wildlife such as albatrosses.

Days 4-5 – Falkland Islands

As you approach the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas), see a treasure-trove of birdlife emerge. Kelp Geese, rockhopper penguins and Magellanic penguins are native to the area, so use your newfound knowledge to identify the various species you come across. Depending on the weather, daily Zodiac trips will take you to various landing sites around the Falklands. Hike up rocky beachheads and socialise with the friendly local residents in Port Stanley.

Icebergs - Antarctica © Michael Snedic © Michael Snedic

Days 6-7 – at sea

More shipboard presentations over the few days will prepare you for upcoming shore landings and possible Zodiac cruises along the coast of South Georgia. You'll know you’re in bona fide Antarctic waters when you cross the Antarctic Convergence – the biological boundary dividing Antarctica from the rest of the southern seas.

Over these two days at sea, Michael will be presenting an image critique session, an audio-visual plus helping out his participants one-on-one with photographic tuition geared towards their own particular skill levels.

Close seal experience in Antarctica © Michael Snedic

Days 8-11 – South Georgia

South Georgia is a wildlife haven, as the breeding site for animals from all over the Southern Ocean. King and Gentoo Penguins, nesting albatrosses, as well as fur seals and the huge Southern Elephant Seals are all examples which we will be meeting on land, with multiple landings per day. More than half of the world’s Elephant Seals breed here, along with more than 100,000 King Penguins.

As well as its amazing wildlife, there’s a lot of human history on the island, including the remnants of sealing and whaling industries. Visiting the grave of the explorer Sir Ernest Shackelton at Grytviken is a highlight for many people.

Gentoo Penguins © Michael Snedic © Michael Snedic

Days 12-13 – at sea

Now we leave the subantarctic islands and wildlife behind. If conditions allow, the ship may attempt landfall on the South Orkney Islands, which are officially in Antarctica.

Days 14-17 – South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula

You’ve arrived in Antarctica! Snow, glaciers, icebergs, mountains, penguins, whales, it’s all amazing. The scale of the environment is literally breathtaking, and you will take away photographs and memories you will never forget. We explore many islands as well as landing on the continent itself.

Sunset in Antarctica © Michael Snedic © Michael Snedic

Day 18-19 – Drake Passage

After more than two weeks of wildlife encounters, we start our journey home (depending on the weather we still hope to see birds such as albatrosses).

Day 20 (12 December) – Ushuaia and Buenos Aires

After breakfast we leave the ship, and have a little time to explore Ushuaia again before we take our charter flight back to Buenos Aires and your connections home.

Elephant Seal and Penguins © Michael Snedic

Health and Fitness

Anyone in normal good health can join us on this adventure. There are no special tness requirements, although we will be often climbing into and out of the in atable Zodiac boats, and walking on shore.

The ship has a doctor and basic medical facilities on board. If you have specific health concerns or dietary requirements these should be discussed with our booking sta .

Photographing in South Georgia © Michael Snedic

Our Ship

The Ocean Endeavour is a great expedition ship, with plenty of vantage points for scenic and wildlife photography from all around the ship. Along with our group the voyage will also have non-photographer passengers and while we will be mingling with them and sharing the ship and the general Antarctic experience, the photographic advice/instruction will be for our group.

On Zodiac outings we usually operate as a group with our own boat, where Michael will always be with you to provide photographic guidance. We work closely with the Quark expedition team throughout (and before) the voyage to optimise operations on both sides to help everyone.

The ship is quite spacious, and is very well appointed. You won’t be roughing it!

Ocean Adventurer

CabinEarlybird Price
Triple$25 100
Lower Deck Twin$24 055
Main Deck Porthole$26 605
Main Deck Window:$29 070
Superior$29 780
Deluxe$32 100
Suite$34 500
Owner's Suite$36 820

NB - These prices are in AU dollars per person, twin share. A 5% deposit is required to secure your place.

Prices

The trip is being put together with our partners at Peregrine Expeditions, and they take care of the bookings and travel arrangements for us, while we run the photography program. The ship has a wide variety of cabin classes, and your choice of berth type directly impacts the price of your ticket.

When you book a single berth in a twin cabin, we do try to allocate cabins so you share with another member of our photography group.

Inclusions

  • Photography tuition by Michael Snedic throughout the expedition.
  • Hotel accommodation in Ushaia on day 1.
  • Shipboard accommodation on the Ocean Adventurer
  • All breakfasts, lunches and dinners onboard.
    Coffee, tea, cocoa available around the clock.
  • All ship-based excursions.
  • Pre- and post-departure materials.

Exclusions

  • Airfares and other travel expenses to/from Buenos Aires.
  • Passport/visa expenses.
  • Personal/travel insurance coverage.
    Peregrine will discuss with you the required insurance coverage (due to the remoteness of our destination).
  • Onboard bar, laundry, and telecommunications charges. Limited internet access is usually available onboard.

Gentoo Pengion with chick - Antarctica © Michael Snedic © Michael Snedic

How to book

To reserve your place, to get onto the waitlist once it’s booked (there are sometimes cancellations in the long lead-up to these expeditions) or just to ask more questions about the workshop, contact Michael.

 

For more details, contact Michael Snedic either via his Contact Form or by calling +61 408 941 965.

Group shot - Antarctica South Georgia

Peregrine

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