Photo Safari Report: Emerald Season Luangwa | Robin Pope Safaris | May 2024

The South Luangwa looks spectacular in the rainy season; green, rich and so beautiful. There is new life everywhere and everyone is recharging energy and fat supplies after the long dry season. The only problem from our point of view is access; the park becomes very wet and many areas are beyond reach of a vehicle due to the mud and the flooding rivers and streams. My Emerald Season safaris aim to give visitors an [...]

Guest Report: Jeremy Richards | Emerald Season Luangwa | Robin Pope Safaris | May 2024

Jeremy Richards joined me on safari in May to explore the Emerald Season in South Luangwa. From his Instagram page and his website it's clear that he is an accomplished photographer who has travelled widely, though the Falklands and South Georgia are clear favourites! It was great to have him on board for an 8-night trip and I am pleased to share a selection of his images below. It's so rewarding to see my guests [...]

Trip Report: Emerald Season Luangwa | Track & Trail River Camp | April 2024

This year's rainy season could hardly have been more different from the last. 2023-24's rainfall was steady and fullsome, but it did not bring the intense flooding that we have seen in the last 5 rainy seasons. This was perhaps due to a long dry spell in the middle of the rains which allowed the waterlogged soils to dry, and the seasonal rivers to drop, before the next deluge arrived. Whatever the reasons, the drier [...]

Guest Report: Mike White | Emerald Season Luangwa | Track & Trail River Camp | April 2024

Mike travelled with me last in April 2023. It was extremely wet! We drove through deep water, there were many roads we couldn't drive and it was damp, overcast and very humid. This time could barely have been more different. With El Niño in full swing, we have had a very dry rainy season and April 2024 looks more like June in recent years. It was a great contrast, and the sightings were totally different [...]

Skills: photographing a leopard climbing a tree

Leopards in trees are one of safari's highlights. But, perhaps even better, is the chance to watch and photograph a leopard as it climbs. The power that is shown during this process is phenomenal, whether or not they are carrying a prey prize twice their weight! Creating great images of this moment is not easy; several key elements need to come together. Firstly the guide must choose where to place his guests to watch; ideally, [...]

Trip Report: Bespoke Ndutu & Serengeti | Olakira & Namiri Plains | Mar 2024

The Serengeti holds lots of meaning for me; it featured in Willard Price's books about Hal & Roger Hunt which I read when I was young; it is also famous as one of the world's great wildlife areas, and the concept of Serengeti has even become part of English language to describe something rich and buzzing with life; it's known for the endless herds and the dramatic river crossings that draw in over 300,000 visitors [...]

Skills: Use the back screen

For some time, dSLR cameras have been able to display the image from the sensor onto the rear screen. Canon & Nikon called it LiveView. At first it was clunky, with very slow (or non-existent) autofocus capabilities and slow operation. But over time, the rear screen became more useful, allowing decent functionality without needing to place your eye to the viewfinder. When the screen was flush with the back of the camera, operation was straightforward [...]

Travel to Botswana – December 2024

I have 1 space on a custom tour to Botswana from 30 November to 12 December 2024. The tour is going ahead with the 3 current guests so it is a guaranteed departure and it's the last space on any of my tours for 2024. The tour is timed to enjoy the early part of the green season, when the rains have started to fall, the grass is short and green and wildlife numbers remain concentrated. [...]

Life in the Bush: Nyika Plateau National Park

Nyika National Park is just 250kms from the northern boundary of the South Luangwa National Park. But its position on the edge of the rift valley and its elevation (most of the plateau is above 2,200m) means that it's hard to believe they are on the same continent. The few similarities include the presence of zebra and roan antelope grazing the plains, but there the comparisons end. The route up to the plateau follows the road [...]

Trip Report: Bespoke Pan Luangwa | Chindeni, Kaingo & Nsefu Camps | Oct 2023

October is always considered to be the peak safari month in South Luangwa. It's hot, dry and there is a fantastic concentration of game along the river banks. It's a time for safari purists who seek the greatest interaction of species, the best chances for sightings such as lions hunting buffalo, and don't mind the early mornings and hot days that are required to achieve it. It's elite safari. I was excited to get started on [...]

Trip Report: Two Valley Special | Lion Camp & Anabezi Camp | Sep 2023

Two new guests, David & Cindy, joined two repeat guests, Paul and Debbie, for a late-dry-season safari in the South Luangwa and Lower Zambezi National Parks. When I was selecting the images for this write-up, I had to remind myself that this was just a 9-night tour....it's extraordinary what we saw in that time. Such is the richness of these two wildlife areas, and the quality of experience on offer at Lion Camp and Anabezi Camp. [...]

Trip Report: Bespoke Two Valleys | Classic Zambia, Nsefu & Lion Camp | Aug 2023

It's a huge honour to welcome back guests on repeat visits. It indicates that they enjoy the way that I run my safaris and, more importantly, that they have loved Zambia's wildlife and wilderness. So when Don & Kathy and Kathy & Gordon arrived in Lusaka, it was for their 5th and 4th safaris with me respectively! This is not an accolade that I take lightly; there's no resting on any laurels and it means that [...]

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