I’m happy to announce my 3rd annual travel photography tour with G Adventures. The 2014 edition of the tour will be going to South Africa!
In 2012 we did a tour of the American Southwest where we photographed some of the great national parks like Yosemite, Death Valley, Zion and the Grand Canyon. In 2013 I lead a group to Italy where we shot in Venice, Rome, Cinque Terra and the Amalfi Coast.
Next year I’ll be going with photographers to explore the nation of South Africa. I’ve been wanting to do a photography tour where we could photograph wildlife. The previous two tours had lots of great landscapes and cultural sites, but little in the way of animals. Kruger National Park should provide this in spades. In addition to trying to photograph the Big Five, we’ll be capturing the sights of Cape Town and Johannesburg.
Here are the basic details you need to know:
- Dates: May 12-20, 2014
- Staring Point: Cape Town
- Ending Point: Johannesburg
- Cost: US$1899.00
- Meals Provided: 6 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 4 dinners
- Lodging: Hotels (4 nights), Sleeper Train (1 night), Lodges (3 nights)
In addition, you’ll be getting personal instruction from myself during the trip and online assistance BEFORE the trip.
We expect this trip to be sold out again, and seats are sold on a first come, first serve basis. If you have any questions about the tour, feel free to ask in the comments or send me an email.
Here is the full itinerary of the tour:
DAY 1 CAPE TOWN
Arrive at any time. There will be a welcome meeting around 6pm on Day 1 where you will meet Gary, your Chief Experience Officer (CEO) and your fellow travelers. Please look for information on this important meeting in the lobby of the hotel.
DAY 2 CAPE TOWN
Spend two hours in the morning learning the basics of travel photography with our photography host, Gary Arndt from Everything Everywhere. After, enjoy a free day in Cape Town with options to visit Robben Island, Table Mountain, explore Cape Point (Cape of Good Hope) or embark on a wine tour around Stellenbosch (45 min drive). In the late afternoon, take part in a sunset photoshoot before experiencing an authentic meal in a local home.
There is plenty to do with your free time here. Opt to visit the old French Huguenot town of Franschoek and surroundings (1hr drive). Not for the faint of heart, there are numerous adrenaline activities in the surrounding areas, from skydiving to abseiling to cage diving with great white sharks. Choose to wander through the city centre to see some of the oldest buildings and gardens in South Africa (Botanical Gardens and Parliament Gardens). Check out the numerous museums including the wonderful Cultural Historical Museum or hit up the Planetarium.
Cape Town’s name originated from the term ‘Cape of Good Hope’ when Bartholomew Diaz and other seafarers looked forward to the sight of Table Mountain, like an inn that promised hospitality and prosperity. The city is steeped in a rich history and is a cultural melting pot with its diverse and vibrant character. The residents come from Khoxisan and other African tribes from the North, and Indonesian, French, Dutch, British and German settlers. Cape Town is the third most populous city in South Africa, with over 3 million inhabitants, and is the provincial capital of the Western Cape.
For shopping, dining and entertainment the V&A Waterfront is a hotspot for foreigners and locals alike. Still a working harbour, the waterfront is an example of creative architecture and restoration and has become South Africa’s most visited tourist attraction. The Waterfront offers shops from designer boutiques to craft stalls, a host of restaurants and coffee shops and plenty of other activities.
In the evening of Day 2 we’ll get to experience cultural exchange first hand with a local dinner in a private home. This authentic community experience will provide the opportunity to get deep inside the heart of Cape Town and experience some real homemade food.
DAY 3 CAPE TOWN
Enjoy another free morning to hit up everything on your ‘To Do’ list in Cape Town before an overnight train to Johannesburg. Travelling by train will allow you to mingle with the locals, get to know your fellow travellers a bit better and save some time crossing this long distance overnight. By taking the train, we’re able to keep your CEO with you from start to finish, ensuring you get that cohesive group travel experience and you’ll have the support and security of a local expert with you at all times.
DAY 4 JOHANNESBURG
Visit Soweto township and enjoy an bicycle tour with basic but tasty lunch from a local snack bar. The cycling will involve a few hills and a walking tour can be arranged on request.
Johannesburg, also known as eGoli, is the most populous city in South Africa. The city is affectionately known as “Jo’burg”, “Jozi” and “JHB” by South Africans. It is the site of a large-scale gold and diamond trade due to its location on the mineral-rich Witwatersrand range of hills.
From Jo’burg we’ll visit Soweto township and take an included bicycle tour of the area. The tour is about 4 hrs with some small hills, but something most people should be able to handle. The tour will vary from trip to trip and focus mostly on the people of the area. Some highlights will be learning the history of Soweto township, a visit to a traditional Shebeen where beer is brewed by local women and passed around in giant pots, visiting some local homes, a stop at a refugee camp, stopping by the exterior of Nelson Mandela’s house and learning stories of the black South Africans’ struggles against apartheid. We’ll stop for a local snack lunch. When time permits we can also visit local musicians and churches as well.
DAYS 5-7 GREATER KRUGER AREA/KRUGER NATIONAL PARK
Take the Panorama Route into the greater Kruger National Park area. Stop en route at some of the highlights of the Panorama Route (subject to time availability). Enjoy two full-day game drives in Kruger NP in an open safari vehicle. Keep an eye out for elephant, lion, rhino, leopard and buffalo—Africa’s famed Big Five. there will be plenty of time to set up shots and practice the photography skills you’ve learned so far.
Breakfasts here are boxed for early game drives and dinner is at the Shalati lodge, just outside the entrance to Kruger. The lodge can provide boxed lunches to allow for a full-day in the park uninterrupted.
In the evening of Day 6, enjoy a traditional dance experience in Shalati.
Our game drives will take us into the park on our quest for the Big Five. The world-renowned Kruger National Park offers a wildlife experience that ranks with the best in Africa. Established in 1898 to protect the wildlife of the South African Lowveld, this national park of nearly 2 million hectares is unrivaled in the diversity of its wildlife and a world-leader in advanced environmental management techniques and policies. Truly the flagship of the South African national parks, Kruger is home to an impressive number of species: 336 types of trees, 49 fish, 34 amphibians, 114 reptiles, 507 birds and 147 mammals.
DAY 8 JOHANNESBURG
In the morning visit the Planeterra-supported G Hope Africa preschool before departing for Johannesburg. Enjoy a final evening in Jo’burg recapping the journey and brushing up on post-production tips and tricks.
The Planeterra-supported project, G Hope Africa Preschool has over 80 children, under the age of 5, in attendance. Planeterra focuses on sustainable solutions, such as early childhood education, to provide access to resources for communities in need. The school has one teacher, and two teacher’s helpers that organize activities for the children, as well as provide them with two meals each day, new compostable toilets and fresh water. This school provides support to the children and prepares them for the transition into primary school.
DAY 9 JOHANNESBURG
Depart Johannesburg at any time.