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Pangolin Photo Safaris

Features Animals
Kasane, Botswana
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About Pangolin Photo Safaris
Pangolin Photo Safaris caters for photographers of all levels of experience - from complete novices to seasoned professionals. We operate from our very own place The Pangolin Chobe Hotel where our guests enjoy morning and afternoon cruises and drives in the Chobe National Park accompanied by photographic guides and hosts. Dont worry if you dont have a camera either as one will be supplied free of any extra charges with a fresh memory card for you to fill and keep.
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Pangolin Photo Safaris
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Jens Juckel wrote a review Dec 2020
2 contributions
The trip to Chobe river with Pangolin Photo Safaris back in March 2020 was a real unique experience that exceeded my expectations – and by chance excellent timing before the lockdown. Staying at first on the houseboat makes you wind down quickly, enjoying the absolute tranquillity - the off-peak season is probably ideal for that. Being used to do safaris on vehicles, it made a surprising difference to approach wildlife from the river – a completely new perspective seeing elephants bathe next to you sitting in the boat. When moving to the Pangolin Hotel Danielle joined the excursions as a photo host. That was a real game changer. She quickly grasped my level of photographic skills and managed to move from the camera making decisions for me to me taking more and more control. Her in-depth knowledge and ability to effortlessly explain situations and circumstances made this an absolutely pleasant learning journey. A second encounter with Danielle at Jaci’s Tree Lodge in Madikwe Game Reserve later in the year was an equally enjoyable experience. The relaxed way to provide advice and eagerness to find out more about how to operate my not so common Olympus camera have been priceless. Sharing fundamentals of photo editing and enhancing images have been a valuable extra. The “advanced” course providing numerous tips and tricks has made photography one of my favourite leisure activities. Thanks a lot for that!
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Date of experience: March 2020
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Anne Opperman wrote a review Oct 2020
1 contribution
The best investment is the one you make in yourself - enhancing your skills - doing what you love - and in an environment that restores your soul . What more could one ask for and what a privilege we had by spending 3 days with photo host Danielle Carstens at Jaci's Tree Lodge in Madikwe Game Reserve - hoping to achieve this and more Danielle is undoubtedly a master at her craft. Her ability to quickly assess the level of our skills and appropriately assist us to "up our game" was remarkable. She patiently guided us, answered questions and transferred her incredible skills and knowledge. This was very special indeed. We connected with her immediately and this learning experience also translated into a lot of laughter and fun - We also have an overflowing "memory box" of photos which we will always treasure as a reminder of this special time Lessons learned - which I hope will stay with us always - Choosing the correct camera settings Planning your shot and what to look for Framing How to compose for the best outcome Some creative shot skills - high key / low key Natural and subtle post processing techniques Get as low as you can to the level of the subject !!! "I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand." Confucius Keith and Anne Opperman October 2020
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Date of experience: October 2020
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vjlvjl wrote a review Aug 2020
San Jose, CA28 contributions10 helpful votes
This review is a long time coming - it’s a review of the Better Wildlife Photography tour taken in Sept 2019. It's a 9-day photographic safari split evenly among 3 different locations. So, why am I writing this review now - almost a year later. Well, one - writing is hard for me, two - unless there is something unique about my experience, I find other reviews have already covered what I want to share, and three - Covid-19 has me house-bound for the last few months and frankly speaking I have run out of things to keep me busy. So, I have been looking at all my past vacation pictures and re-living those memories. And the memories my wife and I often talk about the most are from this trip. So what have we been talking about? 1. The people of Pangolin Safari — From the moment we showed up at Pangolin Safari lodge in Kisane (we drove from Victoria Falls Zimbabwe to Pangolin - about a 90 minute drive) until the time we left 10 days later, we met one good person after another. The staff at Pangolin - the driver, the receptionists, the wait staff, the chef, the laundry person, the lodge manager, the guides, the boat captain just made us feel sooooo welcome. Their warmth and their friendliness just wanted us to be with them. It was amazing to us how comfortable we felt within a matter of hours. And that comfort grew with each day. When we talk about vacations, this is the only vacation where we have been talking about the people first before talking about the sights or the experiences or the food . . . 2. Our photography guide — was Danielle. She was a rookie and if I’m not mistaken, our workshop was her first workshop. Sometime before the trip I received an e-mail from Pangolin introducing her - and my heart dropped when I read she was a rookie. I have been planning a safari for two years, did a ton of research, talked with people who had gone on a safari for do’s and don’s, and finally chose to go with Pangolin. With all the excellent reviews Pangolin has, I felt going with Pangolin was the best decision. When I received the email introducing Danielle, I thought I’ve made a mistake. I COULDN’T HAVE BEEN MORE WRONG. Danielle might have been a rookie at Pangolin, but she was no rookie. Her knowledge of photography and her knowledge of animal behavior turned out to be the backbone of our memorable experiences. She is patient, she was a mentor, she was a teacher, she cared about our experiences. My wife is not a photographer so she went out of way to ensure my wife was enjoying her experiences in the midst of photographers. 3. Our safari — This was a dream vacation and it far surpassed our expectations. I certainly expected to see wild life in their natural habitat. What I didn’t envision was that I will be able to see their natural behavior — we saw (can I say “experienced”?) wild dogs going on a hunt, we saw lions salivating over a kill made by leopards but not being able to get to it high up on a tree, we saw elephants strategizing how to cross the river with their young ones, we saw wild buffaloes herd mentality, we saw colorful birds - lots of them, and be able to get pin-sharp pictures of birds in flight. When we share our photos and videos with our friends, we tell them we went on a Photographic safari. They always ask how’s a photographic safari different from a regular safari. I answer them with a single phrase - we were able to experience animal behavior which you might not experience in a normal safari. Photographing birds in flight is tough even for experienced photographers. So, being able to capture these shots for a novice is exceptional. It’s exceptional because Danielle made it easy — She would ask us to set our cameras to the optimal settings and focus on the bird’s eyes and start clicking as soon as the bird makes a dropping. She explained that many birds will make a dropping before taking off. So, if you’re already focused on the bird and are clicking when the bird is making a dropping you’ll catch that bird in flight. I’m not sure a regular safari provides you with that kind of guidance. Or positioning yourself at the bank so you can photograph lions drinking water because you know they will drink water after eating and relieving themselves. It’s these animal behaviors that set this safari from a normal safari. It’s observing these animal behaviors that formed the backbone of our memorable experiences. 4. Food - I’m a foodie. When I was researching safari’s, food was initially high on my list of priorities until someone explained that I’m going to Africa to see wild life. So, focus on the right things. Food, therefore was not high on my list. However, I was blown away by the quality, freshness and diversity of the food served. The food at the lodge in Kasane was excellent - dare I say it was approaching Michelin 1-star standards. We still talk about the chef at the lodge - unique preparations, flavorful dishes and excellent presentations - all served with a huge dose of humor from the chef! The food on the house boat was very good. And the food at the campsite was excellent as well. We were well fed and were appropriately hydrated! 5. Accommodations - We stayed at 3 different places on this safari. The Pangolin lodge in Kasane is relatively new and is purpose built for Safari goers. It far exceeded expectations - very well furnished rooms with comfortable beds and tons of outlets to charge all the equipment simultaneously. Staying on the houseboat - Pangolin Voyager was a very pleasant and enjoyable experience. Comfortable room, beautiful upper deck and friendly crew - the boat Captain (who is also a guide and the waiter), the chef and the housekeeper. We had a very enjoyable 3-night stay here. And then the last place we stayed at was the Jackal and Hyde campground - Quite comfortable, nice camp, and even nicer people. In summary, Pangolin’s Better Wildlife Photograph Safari far exceed our expectations on multiple levels. As you can probably tell, we are continuing to re-live our experiences even now.
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Date of experience: September 2019
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Barb C wrote a review May 2020
Toronto, Canada100 contributions4 helpful votes
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Only at Pangolin for 2 days but had 4 water safari's and 1 land safari. Animals are just amazing. Danielle our safari and photo guide was great teaching us how to use their camera's properly. Would definitely go back to this place.
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Date of experience: October 2019
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Burd825 wrote a review Apr 2020
Toronto, Canada142 contributions65 helpful votes
I love photography and the opportunity to use a 600mm lens to capture wildlife was a must! My photos are incredible and in natural environments, meaning no jeeps. A bit of a splurge but worth EVERY penny!
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Date of experience: March 2020
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