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 (and there’s no denying that among the most cherished are our travel memories).
Setting foot on the African continent is exciting, enchanting, educational and, for most, life-changing. Photographers, both amateur and professional, seek to capture every moment, every dramatic landscape, every curious encounter and indeed every unexpected emotion. With Mother Nature as the picture-perfect canvas, and Africa’s ever-entertaining wildlife as the subjects, it’s no surprise that photographic safaris have become so popular.
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; exploring new places; witnessing endangered species; learning first-hand from different cultures; reconnecting with loved ones in the most enchanting of locations; and of course, documenting all of the above, creatively and passionately, through a camera lens.
We invite you to escape the humdrum of your daily routines and venture off to breathtaking corners of the earth. Come and explore the famously photogenic Serengeti and Mara plains. Start ticking off those once-in-a-lifetime bucket list moments and capture all of the unforgettable memories on film.
To help guests (from beginner right through to professional) take their photography to the next level, we have partnered with photography experts CNP Safaris to launch the ultimate photographic small group journeys in Kenya and Tanzania.
Highly sought after, these five, six or eight-day journeys are hosted throughout by specialist wildlife photographers from CNP Safaris, who provide a wealth of unparalleled photographic expertise, as well as highly trained &Beyond guides, who offer an entirely interpretive and world-class wildlife experience.
With only four seats per departure, photographers truly benefit from personalised, one-on-one instruction, as well as unobstructed views from the custom-built 4×4 photographic safari vehicle. Designed entirely with photography in mind, these vehicles are spacious, comfortable and fully-equipped with all of the bells and whistles making it the ultimate photographic experience.
Last 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 top-of-the-range professional Nikon camera equipment is provided on the vehicles. Everything from the lenses (Nikon 600 mm F4.0, 500 mm F4.0 and 400 mm F2.8) and teleconverters (1.4x and 2.0x) to double gimbal heads are provided so that guests can leave their valuable equipment at home.
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 half-decent 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 “photoshoots” 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 should have been 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 always-performing wildlife and these revolutionary vehicles and guides 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.
Banner image © Grant Telfer.
Vehicle images © CNP Safaris.
Wildlife images © Claire Trickett.