What happens when an enthusiastic group of wedding and portrait photographers goes on a photo safari in Africa? You have a ton of fun, that’s what! I’m blaming my absence of blog posts over the past weeks on my spotty internet connections in Africa and being chased by wild beasts all day. Actually, we did most of the chasing, but it sounds more adventurous the other way.
Our workshop consisted of 18 people, which is as many as we could fit in the safari cruisers. Our days began at 5am, with a light breakfast then on to the vehicles at 6am. We’d explore the park until 9 ish, then find a beautiful spot on the plains somewhere free of predators and have a morning coffee break. We’d return to the lodge about 11am for brunch, have a little workshop class time, have afternoon tea at 3:30 then hop back on the Landcruisers for the evening drive at 4pm. At about 6pm we’d find another lovely spot for wine and hors d’oeuvres (consisting of traditional beef jerky, or biltong, amongst other things). At about 7:30pm we’d head back to the lodge to a large and delicious dinner around a candlelit fire pit. We did this for 8 straight days and it never got old. Visiting with the animals began to feel like visiting good friends – the initial excitement of the encounters turning to familiar anticipation. We started to relax and appreciate them even more, noticing details we didn’t catch on first sighting.
On our very first departure from the lodge, not 5 minutes in to it, we were halted by a large herd of elephant drinking from the river we needed to cross. We all knew from that first moment that this would be an incredible trip! Each outing was completely unique - some turning up new animal encounters, others bringing us closer or in to more intimate settings with animals we’d previously seen from afar. By the end of the week, nobody wanted to leave. It was truly a significant lifetime experience.
After the safari, my family and I spent time exploring Cape Town and that was beautiful in a very different way. I couldn’t help but miss the animals though. I found myself (and my kids did too) longing for the quiet sunrise drives, disturbed only by the roar of a lion or the cawing of our favorite birds. Safari has gotten under my skin like very few other experiences have. And I don’t mean in an itchy, infection sort of way.
Here are some images! I hope they can convey even a small percentage of the incredible feeling of being there.