Pangolin Chobe Hotel, Botswana, offers a unique eco-friendly destination, perfect to enjoy the famous Pangolin Photo experiences at the beautiful Chobe National Park either both by water and land.
A fully inclusive package, with all meals and selected drinks included. A hearty brunch, a relaxing high-tea and delicious dinner with wine or beer provided. Two photo safaris are offered per day with expert guides. Pangolin can supply cameras, lenses, and tuition by the resident photographic host.
A beautiful safari-style setting while staying in the luxury of a Pangolin Chobe Hotel venue, newly built fourteen bedrooms designed specifically to ensure every photographer will feel catered for in comfort and in the up-to-date equipment needs.
The main meeting point of the pangolin hotel is the dining room, while the editing area has been designed to allow for both those who would like to have tuition and those who would like to concentrate on their images independently.
The bar and pool terrace offers a space to chill and enjoy cooling off after a day in the park. Pangolins Chobe hotel is to have an inclusive elegant yet relaxed atmosphere where you instantaneously feel like you are a part of a community of wildlife photographically-minded people.
Wildlife photography adorns the walled areas with inspiring images, and lots of spaces to relax in, both with others and independently. The upper deck has a bar with breathtaking views over the pool terrace and the Chobe River and Caprivi floodplains.
Downstairs is a large dining-room space where meals are taken together, either inside or out on the terrace. Leading from this is the pool deck with a fire-pit, the central point of the eco-pool area, creating a sunken lounge to sit and share time around whilst enjoying the beautiful African evenings. Braais (Southern African barbecues) are taken on certain evenings around the fire. Creating a wonderful way to enjoy the fresh evening air and a chance to get to know those who are also staying.
An air-conditioned editing pangolin suite leads off from the gallery, with room for sixteen photographers, all being able to work on their images 24/7. Being dark enough to edit on your laptop (you must bring your own) and if you are staying as part of a workshop or group, the editing suite will be made available privately to you for at least an hour each day.
Wifi is provided throughout the Pangolin Chobe Hotel, due to the location it is not as fast as other parts of the world, however, is certainly sufficient for browsing, social media updates, and downloads of a reasonable size. Pangolin Chobe staff will ensure you are collected from the nearby Kasane airport. We can arrange this for you.
Several Wildlife Photography Workshops are available at various times of the year which can combine stays at the hotel and in a tented camp and the houseboat please ask us for details if these would interest you.
The workshops are hosted by one of the Pangolin resident photographic guides ready to guide you through the basics and assist you with more advanced techniques to take your photography to the next level.
Cameras can be provided free of charge, please ask in advance. Pangolin can supply you with all the memory cards that you likely to fill each day. In the time between the morning and afternoon safari drives, post-production editing can take place with the assistance of the guide, so it is recommended that you bring a laptop in order to review your images in the group workshops.
The specials listed below will automatically be offered to you when proceeding through the booking process.
Combining The Best of The Chobe safari with the Okavango Delta really is the chance to see the Best of Botswana.
The North Western sector of The Chobe, where the mobile camp is situated, offers fantastic viewing of predators and plains game with the middle three days spent on the river for an overload of elephants, hippos, water birds and Fish eagles. The safari ends off with three nights in the pristine Okavango Delta hosted at our partner property Bushman Plains on a private concession.
You will be accompanied throughout by a Pangolin Photo Host who will be on hand to help you get the best photographs possible with our equipment or your own.
Day 1 – 4
The mobile camp is hosted by one of our Pangolin Photo Hosts who will supply you with a camera and telephoto lens and show you how to make the most of every photo opportunity on the morning and afternoon game drives. The same photo host will be with you throughout this safari and the intention is that you will be a far better photographer at the end with an “armoury” of new photographic skills at your disposal.
This safari starts with a game drive through the national park in our custom 8-seater (everyone has a window seat) Landcruiser to the Pangolin Mobile Camp which is based in the North Westerly sector of the park. We make use of private campsites deep in the bush reserved exclusively for our camp. There are five large walk-in tents sleeping a maximum of eight guests (room for a couple of singles) with a dining tent that doubles as an editing area.
Each of the tents has twin (proper) beds with quality linen and a private ensuite bathroom behind. This comprises a toilet, basin and a bucket shower that can be filled to the brim with warm water straight from the campfire when needed. This is “glamping”!
Our chefs are masters at producing delicious meals from the nearby bush kitchen and the support vehicle has enough cold storage to make sure the drinks are always chilled. After dinner, there is time to sit around the campfire and enjoy this true wilderness experience.
The animals of The Chobe are generally very relaxed, which is one of the main reason why photography is so good, and you will often have herds of herbivores like elephants, zebra and buffalo wandering past the camp during the day.
On the fourth day, we will pack up the vehicles and head East towards the Pangolin Chobe Hotel.
Day 4 – 7
The Pangolin Chobe Hotel sits on the plateau overlooking the Chobe River and the Caprivi Floodplains below. Completed in 2018 the hotel has 14 guide rooms and is designed around a wildlife photography gallery featuring inspiring images from Africa and beyond.
With its proximity to the Chobe river, the majority of the game activities are done on the Pangolin Photo Boats with the same photo host who accompanied you on the first part of the trip.
By this time you will have improved your photography and will be feeling confident shooting on the manual camera settings. This will allow you more creative control over your images and we spend more time on the boats perfecting various techniques.
The boats seat 8 people all in a row down the middle with room for everyone to rotate 360 degrees. Each seat is has a custom camera gimbal on which we mount your camera and lens. We tend to use bigger telephoto lenses (150-600mm) on the river than on the game drives (100-400mm) as you don’t need to hand hold the cameras on the boat.
We do twice daily game activities on the river and also one or two game drives on a very productive part of the Chobe that we could not get to from the mobile camp.
In between the activities you can relax at the eco-pool or make use of our air-conditioned editing room at the end of the gallery. Your photo host will be on hand during the day to help you with post-production. Access to computers is limited in the Chobe so we suggest that you perhaps bring a laptop with you for image review sessions. Otherwise, we will give you plenty of memory cards to fill throughout the safari to take your images home with you.
Meals are taken as often as possible out on the deck or the interleading dining room with our fabulous chefs dishing out wholesome meals with locally sourced ingredients wherever possible. The evening meals vary from Braai (Barbeque) Nights to gourmet pizzas cooked in our woodfired oven. Most dietary needs can be catered for.
The Pangolin bar on the upper floor has spectacular views and the best cocktails in Kasane and is a great place to relax after dinner with your fellow travellers. Alternatively, the sunken fire pit is always a hit!
Day 7 – 10
On the seventh day it’s time to make our way the short distance to Kasane airport to board our charter flight to The Okavango Delta and the next destination Bushman Plains.
The flight time is normally just over an hour and flies along the border due West from the Chobe along the Selinda. You will be accompanied by your photo host who will be with you for the remainder of the safari.
Bushman Plains, like Pangolin, is owner managed and charming traditional bush camp in one of the most game filled and photographically productive parts of Botswana. The Bushmen who own and manage the camp are, as you would expect, amazing guides and trackers and know their homeland better than anyone else.
The camp comprises five tents and a communal dining lounge area. There are plans to extend the camp to also have a dedicated photo editing area at the beginning of 2020. The spacious tents each have a covered area at the front to relax and an ensuite bathroom at the rear. There is electricity in the rooms and hot water at all times. Don’t expect to find all the fancy add ons like private plunge pools and outdoor showers here. This camp is all about the wildlife experience and not the “extras”.
The camp has two vehicles (with four clients each) and is driven by a guide who is accompanied by a tracker perched on the seat at the front. This combination is a real advantage as the team works tirelessly to decipher the tracks and sign to seek out amazing sightings and photo opportunities. The Pangolin Photo Host at this stage will rotate between the vehicles on each activity spending equal time on each. The vehicles are in radio contact and tend to explore the same area of the concession on each drive. There are only three other camps on this vast concession, so we very rarely come across other vehicles.
We have been working with the guides to understand the needs of wildlife photographers as far as light and positioning is concerned but the real value is their experience and understanding of animal behaviour which means more often than not, we are in exactly the right spot with the right light at the sighting.
One extra activity that’s on offer at Bushman Plains is a walk with one of the guides, dressed in traditional garments, through the bushveld. The guide explains more about Bushman culture and the uses for the plants and trees that are found in the area. This is not to be missed – it’s fascinating and a real insight to a simpler more natural life.
In between game drives there is more time for image review with the Pangolin Photo Host but equally it’s time to enjoy the camp looking out over the plains and seeing what comes by.
The food at Bushman Plains is great with simple delicious fare. Sometimes meals are taken around the fire instead of the dining table with optional cutlery! This is the essence of Bushman Plains. It’s a wonderfully relaxing place to be with no airs and graces and an exceptional wildlife experience.
On the final day we head back over to the Kadizora airstrip for onward charter flights either home or onwards to other destinations detailed in the add-ons section of this page.
At the end of this safari we can guarantee that you will leave a much better photographer than when you arrived with a fistful of memory cards filled with beautiful images that you will treasure forever!
Set Departures – 2020
$6,550 per person sharing / $1,200 single supplement
3 nights Pangolin Mobile Camp + 3 nights Pangolin Chobe Hotel + 3 nights Bushman Plains Camp