4-Day Big 5 Luxury Safari (7 – 10 October 2020)
Start Date: 07-10-2020
End Date: 10-10-2020
6 Spot/s available
What’s on your bucket list? An affordable African safari to see lions? Leopards? Elephants? Giraffes? African Sunsets? We’ve got them covered!
Join award-winning Africa Geographic and NatGeo Daily Dozen published photography guides Ernest Porter or Karen Blackwood–or both–on our Luxury African Wildlife Safari in iconic Sabi Sands in the Greater Kruger, world renowned for legendary leopard sightings. It’s home to the Big 5: lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, and buffalo. You’ll also find hippo, crocodile, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, impala, kudu, cheetah, mongoose, wild dogs, dozens of bird species, and so much more–just browse our photos on our website or on Facebook to see what we see on our safaris. Most of our award-winning photos have been taken on game drives!
Our small group, intimate safaris are designed to watch and photograph wildlife. We will coach your photography skills to help you achieve your goals in any way we can. Everyone is welcome, from absolute beginners to advanced photographers to non-photographers who just want to watch the animals while the others click away. Our private vehicle has a dedicated ranger and an experienced tracker to ensure the best possibility of seeing the widest variety of birds and wildlife—and to get into position for dramatic, one-of-a-kind photographs.
We start every morning with coffee or tea and a snack, and set out on a 3-hour game drive to see what happened in the wild overnight. Lions and leopards are usually still active, so we’ll see if they’ve hunted overnight. Elephants are just starting their day, and perhaps we’ll see a hippo out of the water—they travel long distances at night. We’ll stop after sunrise for coffee and another snack…ok, we always PLAN to, but we usually have such amazing sightings that we don’t get our coffee until after the game drive!
After we return to the Lodge, we’ll go on a leisurely bush walk, where you’ll learn about the ecosystem, the local culture, and how to track animal footprints. Our delicious buffet and made-to-order breakfast and lunch are on the covered deck overlooking the waterhole. You can relax by the pool or get a massage before lunch, or join us for our complimentary photography and Lightroom/Photoshop workshops.
We head back out for our evening game drive around 15:30, when the big cats start getting active after the heat of the day. If we’re lucky, we’ll watch lions or leopards hunt! Elephants will be at the waterhole, giraffe should be browsing the tops of the trees, and maybe some wild dogs or cheetah will pass by. We usually stop for a sundown cocktail…ok, again, we always PLAN to, but there’s usually something exciting happening so we’ll often have that cocktail on the vehicle.
After we return to the Lodge, we’ll socialize and talk about our day before moving to the boma for our mouth-watering candlelit 3-course dinner on white linen set up around the fire. We might set up for some night-sky photography, or just sip an after-dinner drink before bedtime.
Typical itinerary for each day:
- Coffee/tea and a light snack before our sunrise Game Drive from 6-9 am
- Bush/nature walk of about 45-60 minutes–easy to moderate hike
- Breakfast upon return to the lodge around 10:00 am
- Free Time or Optional Lightroom/Photoshop CC workshop (see itinerary below)
- Lunch 14:00
- Afternoon/sunset Safari from 15:30-18:30, including a Sundowner Stop (cocktails)
- Pre-dinner Cocktails and Socializing
- Dinner at 19:30
Your arrival Day One starts around 13:00-14:00 with lunch and the afternoon game drive. Departure day (last day of safari) ends after the morning game drive and breakfast.
Included in the safari package:
Double-occupancy accommodations (Single Occupancy available at a small premium), all meals, morning and evening game drives, personal photography and LR/PS instruction, Sundowner drinks from the list, coffee, tea, guided nature walk.
A 15% deposit is due at time of booking, and you can book securely with a credit card. Prices are based on double occupancy. A single supplement is available at an additional reasonable cost; contact us for pricing.
We are always quick to answer questions and to help you plan your dream vacation. Ernest is South African, and Karen is a whiz at logistics, and together we can help make your planning easy and stress-free.
Not included in the safari package:
Airfare and transportation to/from the lodge (Round-trip airfare from JNB to Nelspruit is approximately $250. You can also rent a car and drive from Nelspruit—approximately 3 hours–or Johannesburg—8 hours), beverages other than coffee, tea, and Sundowner drinks from the list (full bar service and a wine cellar are available), gratuities (gratuities for our Ranger and Tracker are mandatory; please plan approximately R 50-100/day; all other gratuities are optional), laundry service, any other personal expenses.
To make it easy for you, we offer Ground Transportation add-on package that includes 1 night B&B accommodation in Johannesburg for your arrival or departure night, 1 night B&B accommodation in Nelspruit the night before safari, and round trip ground transportation between Nelspruit and Nkorho Bush Lodge, plus a tour of Dr. Jane Goodall’s rescue and rehab facility, Chimp Eden. Why do this? It takes away the stress of driving in a foreign country, on the opposite side of the road, on the back side of the clock, in areas where GPS doesn’t work. Our package is designed to make your trip stress-free. If you choose this package, here are the South African Airways flights to book (approximately $250 round trip):
The day before safari — JNB-MQP (Johannesburg to Nelspruit): 10am SA 8843, OR 11:05 am SA 8841 OR 9 am SA 8827 (this order best allows time to sleep, eat breakfast, and arrive in Nelspruit in time for the Chimp Eden tour)
The last day of safari — MQP-JNB: SA 8846 at 16:40 (this flight allows enough time to get to the airport and arrive in JNB in time for most international departures), OR SA 8844 at 15:55 (there is a risk of missing this flight unless everyone agrees to leave the Lodge early on the last day), SA 8848 at 18:25 (you will arrive in JNB in time for some international flights). Plan 2 hours minimum to get from arrival gate to departure gate.
About our photography, Lightroom and Photoshop workshop (included on Big 5 Safaris):
We feature a building block approach to photography and editing. On the first day, we’ll teach you how to use your camera, from focusing to metering, from Manual Mode to Aperture Priority, and every function in between. On Day Two, we will begin basic workflow and editing skills workshops in Lightroom and Photoshop CC during the day: how to download, organize, and accomplish basic editing of your images so that they are ready for sharing, printing and framing. You must bring a laptop loaded with Lightroom Classic and Photoshop CC for this additional instruction (Do NOT download Lightroom CC!) Please check the Adobe website for their $9.99/month package. The Lightroom and Photoshop course is limited by the length of your safari.
In Lightroom we will look at the following, but not limited to:
- An introduction to Lightroom: how to improve your photo management and processing.
- Setting up Lightroom to keep things simple yet effective: files and folders.
- The basic concept of Lightroom. The catalog vs your photo files; important settings in Lightroom.
- The Library module overview.
- The Develop module overview.
- Introduction to Map, Book, Slideshow, Print and Web modules.
- Importing photos and backup strategies.
- Finding and filtering: keywords, text, attributes and metadata.
- The typical workflow for an outdoor photographer: import, render previews, star rating, flagging, and deleting.
- Setting up presets.
- Basic editing in the Develop module.
- Collections: smart collections and hierarchies.
- Exporting photos.
- Extras: virtual copies.
- Editing in Photoshop through Lightroom.
- Renaming multiple photos and creating standard templates for renaming photos.
In Photoshop we will look at the following, but not limited to:
- Important settings in Photoshop
- Selective Sharpening and Noise Reduction
- Multiple methods of Sharpening
- Basic color and lighting adjustments.
- Using the Tool Pallet for editing wildlife photographs.
- Color spaces, and 8-bit vs 16-bit processing.
- Cloning and using Content Aware.
- Image Sizing, DPI and how to use these tools to determine print size and quality of your photos.
- Creating Actions and Batch Processing
- Using Lens Correction
- Photo Merging
- Explaining Layers and how they can be used in Photoshop
Please see our Terms and Conditions for more information.
Nkorho Bush Lodge
Infinity Pool and Deck
Massage and Boma
Bar and Wine Cellar
Double Occupancy, Single Occupancy