Train your camera on the majesty of southern Africa on an epic journey from thundering Victoria Falls to the shimmering lagoons, meandering streams, and flood plains of Botswana’s spectacular Okavango Delta—the “jewel of the Kalahari.” Enjoy epic photo opportunities on one-of-a-kind adventures by steam locomotive and riverboat and get close to the action on open-vehicle game drives and canoe safaris that venture into the wilderness. Seek out elephants, hippos, giraffes, and cheetahs; rare white rhinos and endangered African wild dogs; plus all manner of bird life.

Trip highlights

Glide down Botswana’s Chobe River aboard the luxury Zambezi Queen riverboat and navigate the meandering streams of the Okavango Delta on traditional mokoro canoes.

Hone your night photography on nocturnal safaris alongside expert trackers in pursuit of leopards, cheetahs, wild dogs, and other predators.

Feel the spray of Victoria Falls, or the “smoke that thunders,” alongside a private guide on the quieter Zambian side.

Climb aboard the vintage Royal Livingstone Express steam train for an unforgettable dinner ride through the photogenic Zambezi River Valley

Itinerary - 12 Days

1 Johannesburg, South Africa

Fly to Johannesburg and transfer to your hotel, conveniently located a short walk from the international arrivals hall.

Accommodation: InterContinental Johannesburg O.R. Tambo Airport

2 Livingstone, Zambia

Return to the airport and catch a flight to Livingstone, a former British colonial hub on the shores of the Zambezi River. Enjoy a private transfer to our elegant hotel near the mighty Victoria Falls, then grab your camera and set out on a private guided tour of this UNESCO World Heritage site. Get a primer on local geology and history, see the famous David Livingstone statue, walk through the rainforest, and emerge at a series of epic photographic vantages of the thundering cascade.

Accommodation: The Royal Livingstone Victoria Falls

3 Livingstone, Zambia

Head into the countryside and capture candid shots of daily village life. Meet community members in their homes, encounter farmers in the field, and perhaps pitch in with daily chores. This evening, board the Royal Livingstone Express, a restored steam locomotive, for a vintage-inspired experience on a dinner train through the Zambezi River Valley. Enjoy a five-course meal and sip South African wine as you gaze out the windows—and peer through your viewfinder—at the Zambezi River.

Accommodation: The Royal Livingstone Victoria Falls

4-6 Chobe River, Botswana

Enjoy a private transfer across the border to Botswana. Board the Zambezi Queen riverboat and settle into your panoramic accommodations for three unforgettable nights gliding along the Chobe River, which forms the border between Botswana and Namibia. Set out by tender boat in search of hippos, crocodiles, and huge herds of elephants. Head to dry land and document village culture near the riverbanks. Photograph African skimmers and other birdlife alongside a knowledgeable guide. Aboard our elegant riverboat, go for a dip in the plunge pool, get lost in a book in the reading room, or simply soak up the scene from your private balcony. Each evening, savour fine South African food and wine as you dine on the top deck, where photo ops sweep in three directions. Then relax by the wood-burning fireplace in the lounge or peer at the night sky through the telescope on deck.

Accommodation: Zambezi Queen

7-8 Kwando River

Practice aerial photography on a short, scenic flight to Kwando airstrip, then transfer to your safari-style camp—your home for the next two nights. Sleep in elegant tents on the floodplains of the Kwando River, and venture into the wildlife-rich Linyanti Wetlands on twice-daily game drives. With your camera in hand, head out on early-morning safaris in open vehicles to spot elephants, giraffes, zebras, and predators on the prowl. Later, join guided walking safaris and birding walks, or relax at the camp. After the sun goes down, head back into the wilderness and hone your night-time camera skills shooting the nocturnal creatures of the floodplains. Enjoy sunset photo shoots, sip sundowners by the sparkling swimming pool, and wind down each night trading photography tips around a campfire.

Accommodation: Kwando Lebala Camp or Kwando Lagoon Camp

9-11 Kwara Concession

Set out on a short game drive en route to the airstrip. Take a short flight over the region’s necklace of islands dotted with palm trees and exotic flora, then touch down at our base camp for the next three nights. Here in the pristine Kwara Concession, get immersed in the wonders of the Okavango Delta—the world’s largest inland delta system and a UNESCO World Heritage site. With the guidance of a National Geographic photographer, capture your experiences exploring its labyrinthine waterways and secret islands by mokoro canoe, boat, safari vehicle, and on foot. Meet with a wildlife conservationist to learn about the Rhinos Without Borders program, a relocation project initiated by National Geographic Explorers-in-Residence Dereck and Beverly Joubert. Between safari excursions, cool off in the plunge pool and photograph the wildlife that congregates to drink at the natural waterhole in the centre of the camp. After dinner, gather around the fire pit for storytelling.

Accommodation: Kwando Splash Camp

12 Kasane/U.S.

Capture your last safari shots on a game drive en route to the airstrip, where a light aircraft awaits. Take your final photographs of the sparkling lagoons and palm-fringed islands on our hour-long flight to the airport. Catch your flight home.

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