photographic safari vehicle

Collect moments, not things Indulge in the luxury of learning a new skill on one of our specialist photographic safaris in East and South Africa…
by 10th October 2016

With Mother Nature as the canvas, and the earth’s ever-entertaining wildlife as the subjects, it’s no surprise that photographic safaris are so popular. Which is why we have partnered with photography experts CNP Safaris to launch the ultimate in African photographic safaris.

We invite you to escape the humdrum of your daily routines and venture off to breathtaking, unknown places. Start ticking off those bucket list items and capture the unforgettable moments along the way.

It’s a well-known fact that luxury travellers nowadays aren’t solely focused on plush interiors, glittering chandeliers and white-glove service. Today’s travellers seek the luxury of experiencing new things; of exploring new places; of witnessing endangered species; of learning about different cultures; and of reconnecting with loved ones in the most enchanting of locations. So why not indulge in the luxury of learning a new skill on one of our photographic safaris?

They say photography is a love affair with life and that a single photograph captures a moment in time that is gone forever. There is a certain romance in photography, with the photographer on an endless pursuit to freeze time and give permanence to life’s most treasured memories.

To help guests take their photography to the next level, we now have two custom-built, five-seater 4×4 photographic safari vehicles (in partnership with CNP Safaris) in East Africa. One is based at &Beyond Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp and &Beyond Bateleur Camp in Kenya’s Masai Mara, while the other is based at &Beyond Grumeti Serengeti Tented Camp and &Beyond Serengeti Under Canvas in Tanzania’s Serengeti (with a third three-seater vehicle that alternates between the Serengeti/Mara to accommodate larger groups of up to eight photographers in two vehicles).

We also recently added customised photographic vehicles to our fleet in South Africa, allowing guests to enjoy photographic safaris at both &Beyond Phinda and Ngala Private Game Reserves. Seating a maximum of just four guests, these vehicles boast state-of-the-art camera mounts with easy-to-manipulate photographic arms, as well as convenient plug points and exclusive access to a specialist photographic guide who will share expertise on shutter speed, lenses, filters, angles, lighting and so much more.

Earlier this year, I just so happened to be in the right place at the right time and was very fortunate to hop on two game drives in one of these advanced, one-of-a-kind vehicles at &Beyond Serengeti Under Canvas. As a keen, but admittedly very amateur, photographer, it was a golden opportunity and I cannot rave enough about the experience.

Photography equipment is expensive, heavy and not ideal to lug around on international flights, so professional Nikon camera equipment is provided on these vehicles during certain peak seasons throughout the year. For those pre-specified dates, everything from the lenses and teleconverters to double gimbal heads are provided so that guests can leave their valuable equipment at home. These specific departures are jointly hosted by an expert &Beyond guide, as well as a specialist photographic guide who can offer professional photographic guidance.

Above images © CNP Safaris.

A Canon girl myself, I was given an impressive 500 mm lens with Nikon body, complete with a 1.5x teleconverter and not only did the CNP guides help me get set up, but they also gave me a quick Nikon 101 so that I felt confidently armed and ready to take what I hoped would be some great photos.

Each state-of-the-art seat not only boasts unobstructed views with ample leg room and two built-in padded camera bags for storing equipment, but the 360° swivel chairs also ensure that photographers don’t miss a beat, allowing them to glide back and forth for the ultimate view. The gas-lifted seats also absorb the bumps in the road, enabling a smoother, more comfortable ride.

With more than generous space and eight (!) individual, permanent power supply points allocated to each seat, photographers can put their feet up in between “photo shoots” and edit images on their laptop to pass the time.

We saw so much on those two Serengeti Under Canvas game drives, from lazy hyenas, bright pink flamingoes and curious bat-eared foxes, to enormous dazzles of migratory zebra (in the thousands) and a pair of inexperienced lions that managed to royally botch what appeared to be a slam dunk kill.

I snapped in excess of 800 photos and each evening, the CNP photographic guides would take my memory card and in minutes, they had scrolled through all of my images and presented me with my Top 5 photos for each drive. I was blown away, not only by the personalised service, but also by the quality of the images.

With the magnificent Mother Africa as your backdrop, the diverse and ever-performing wildlife and these revolutionary vehicles to up your game, I can guarantee, from personal experience, that you’ll go home with world-class photographs and memories to last a lifetime.

These safaris must be booked in advance … click here to reserve your spot!