Monday, January 3, 2011

Rounding off the year with the magic of Chiefs Camp - by Isak Pretorius

The scenic beauty and wilderness feeling that Chiefs Island offers makes it one of my favorite places in Africa to visit. It was quite fitting to end the year for C4 Workshops at such a great location.

chiefs island, workshop, wildlife photography,  okavango delta, isak pretorius,

chiefs island, workshop, wildlife photography,  okavango delta, isak pretorius,


With the early December rains, the area has transformed into beautiful green, different from what we had seen five weeks earlier on our previous workshop to the island. It was quite noticeable how much more water was around from the local rains they've had - a beautiful sight to see and exactly what one always envisage the Okavango Delta to look like.

chiefs island, workshop, wildlife photography,  okavango delta, isak pretorius,

chiefs island, workshop, wildlife photography,  okavango delta, isak pretorius,

The workshop was a great success - from the flight into the lodge over the Okavango Delta that gets the excitement going at the beginning of the workshop, to the sharing of photos during our afternoon informal workshop sessions. Anywhere in the bush where you have great game-viewing and a relaxed atmosphere is a great place to learn and put the theory of wildlife photography into practice.

chiefs island, workshop, wildlife photography,  okavango delta, isak pretorius,

chiefs island, workshop, wildlife photography,  okavango delta, isak pretorius,

December in the Okavango Delta means lots of birds, and we had great sightings of raptors, waders and the all the migrant species. Some of our highlights included seeing Pygmy Geese and Rosy-throated Longclaw, and in addition we got great photos of kingfishers and the African Painted Snipe to name a few.

We made the most of the variable weather conditions we experienced as we photographed everything from early morning backlit buffalo, carmine bee-eaters in the rain, to lions shaking their head after the rain. I loved the variable weather and mild temperatures and I like in particular how it forces you to be creative and experiment with all the different genres of photography to make the most of the trip.

chiefs island, workshop, wildlife photography,  okavango delta, isak pretorius,

chiefs island, workshop, wildlife photography,  okavango delta, isak pretorius,

Chiefs Camp is one of the best camps in Africa. Having cocktails on the deck while watching elephants bathing in the water right in front of you makes you realize that this is a special camp. It's not just the location, the luxury, the quality of the service or the food, but also the homey feeling that it provides that people always enjoy the most. Besides game drives, the camp also offer a variety of other activities. A flip over the swamps with a helicopter was a great way to end our workshop and we were all very sad to leave Chiefs Island. We are already looking forward to visiting there next year again. We'd like to say a big thanks to Rory, Jade, Basil, Petra, the rest of the camp staff, and our fantastic driver guides Rex and Jonathan who made this such a memorable trip for us all!

Happy shooting everyone and see you next year!
2-6 November Chiefs Island
7-11 December Chiefs Island

chiefs island, workshop, wildlife photography,  okavango delta, isak pretorius,

chiefs island, workshop, wildlife photography,  okavango delta, isak pretorius,

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