9 Dec till 12 Dec 2017
This is a four day trip based from Port Elizabeth on the Eastern Coastline of South Africa and focuses on wildlife natural beauty on both land and sea.
This area has one of the most pristine coastlines and is know for it's wide variety of animal and plant life within small spaces.
For those coming in from elsewhere book into your accommodation. It is highly recommended that you use the Grand Hotel in Central as this will be the central pick up point for all tour members.
This hotel is an historic building that has been restored and provides a whole lot of olde world charm while being close to a variety of amenities.
Locals to be at the Hotel for pick up. Those from out of town will check out. Please be ready 30 minutes before designated departure time
Pack a overnight bag with a change of clothes and bring your camera equipment. Balance of luggage will be placed in safe storage.
Departure 7:am for Hankey - We take the scenic trail up to a local waterfall. Be prepared for landscape shots, abundant plant, bird and insect life as well as dense forest scenes.
Lunch at Inni Kloof, a local Guest House close to the trail
A short visit to the largest sun dial in the Southern Hemisphere as well as the Grave Site of Saartjie Baartman. Lovely landscape views over the valley are had from here
We stop over at the Loerie Dam and Reserve area for a walk around the dam area. Abundant birds as well as super dam shots can be taken.
From there we depart for the Gamtoos River area and book into the Ferry Hotel sitting on it's banks.
You will have a couple of hours of free time to stroll and take shots or just relax and take in the atmosphere, before we embark on a 2 hour sunset cruise up the river. Be prepared for amazing sunset scenic shots as well as plenty of bird life.
Supper and sleep at Ferry Point Lodge
Early Breakfast at Gamtoos Ferry Hotel.
Check out at 8am and departure for the stunning coastline of the Cape Recife Reserve area.
We take a guided tour of the coastal area where the highly qualified guide will point out the various species and features to you. Be ready for coastline landscape, sea bird life and close ups of little coastal creatures
A chopper picks us up for a flip off the coast, allowing you to take shots of the coastline from out at sea - get those wide angles out!
From there we depart for a lazy lunch a Grass Roof restaurant and take a little time to share our thoughts on shots taken
After lunch we hit the road to the Kragga Kamma Game Park we we will embark on a guided tour.
This is not a Big 5 park but has elephant, giraffe and an absolute abundance of other wildlife who are all very accommodating for photographers and not extremely skittish. Get ready for plenty of wildlife shots as well as a couple of spectacular sunset scenes
We take a slow drive back to the city, book into Cora Lodge, a historic building in Richmond Hill that used to be lodging for soldiers during the war.
Supper and Sleep
Early breakfast at Cora Lodge and departure fro Addo Game Park at 6:45am
Addo Game Park is the third largest in South Africa and is the only park in the world to boast the Big 7, including Whales and Dolphins, as it has the coastline within its boundaries.
8am we embark on a guided two hour horseback ride to experience the area first hand. Make sure you have a camera strap. The horses are well trained and no problem for inexperienced riders.
Those who do not see themselves up for this ride will wait at one of the watering holes where they are bound to see some elephant.
We then gather at the watering hole after the ride and wait for those special moment shots. While we wait, a braai (barbeque) lunch will be prepared for us to enjoy.
After lunch, we take a guided tour through the park with a local experienced guide. Addo is a elephant haven and it is common to be able to get shots of groups of ten to twenty elephant with their young who come really close to your vehicle. With some luck we get to get shots of all of the Big 5.
Departure back to the city where we have a stop off at Redhouse on the Swartkps River to get the magnificent sunset shots to be had.
Supper at Cora Lodge and a well deserved nights sleep
Breakfast at Cora Lodge after which we depart around 8:30 for the Maitlands Reserve area.
We take the De Stades trail which is a 9 kilometre walk and promises views of the Maitlands dunes which are nothing short of spectacular. Have the camera ready for sweeping coastal landscapes as well as some great shots along the way. It is quite common to get surprised by small buck species on the trail.
Around 13:00 we will take a lazy lunch at a local restaurant before returning to Cora Lodge for check out. Those wishing to stay may do so - just make arrangements with the hosts.
We then put on our sea legs as we go whale watching or if they are not around, take a visit to St Croix Island.
This island hosts the largest Jackass Penguin population in the world and you will get some amazing shots of these and other local seal and bird life as well as reverse landscapes of the coastline.
Excited weary and happy, we head off to a restaurant for a farewell celebratory supper and test our selfie skills.
DSLR or Mirrorless Camera and for most work, landscapes, trails and nature you will need Mid rage lenses : 18-55, 24-70, 16-85 or even a really wide 10-24.
There will not be much use for prime lenses in the 35mm through to 85mm range as most subject matter is not static. I do however always take my 50mm f1.8 along to get super portrait shots of fellow tour members.
A longer range like a 55-200, 55-300, 70-300 or 70-200 are a must for the wildlife we will encounter as well as getting shots of the abundant bird life. Those who have 80-400's, 200-400's and the like are going to be in their element.
Butterflies, insects and plant life on the trails as well as tiny marine life at Cape Recife are in abundance so a macro lens would come in handy as well if you have one.
Single speedlight - not necessary but could be of use on Gamtoos sunset river cruise as well as Swartkops River sunset stop
Filters do help for coastal shots so if you have an ND filter bring it along.
Lastly, do remember to bring your swimwear as well.
I could recommend for instance a 24-70 f2.8 to get top notch images in the waterfall walk etc but one of the purposes of these tours is for users to get to know their own equipment. And I will be very honest when I say that in my opinion, if you have for instance a Nikon D3200 with and 18-55 kit lens you will get super shots - if you get your settings right. Having as I do, top notch equipment does make it easier - but that is all - it makes it easier to get the perfect shot. There is no reason why everybody should not get them other than experience and knowing their equipment.
Transport, Accommodation and Meals
Transport is via a Mini Bus from venue to venue and open game vehicles in the parks
Accommodation is booked at Cora Lodge except on the first night where we will be staying at Gamtoos Ferry Hotel.
Cora Lodge is a national heritage preserved building that has been renovated and offers a wonderful feel of history to it.
Price per Person
R5295 - Per Person all inclusive at full booking of maximum 8 people
If 6 People are booked on the trip, price is R5495.
Lunch on day one, two and four
Supper on day four
Accommodation for night prior to departure for Hankey
Own drinks, refreshments and spending money