Back from the SIGMA Photo Safari

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We are all safely back again from our this year's SIGMA photo tour in Botswana, Namibia and South Africa with a lot of great impressions. A total of eight participants under the guidance of SIGMA Product Manager Harald Bauer and SIGMA reference photographer Andreas Knausenberger experienced fantastic days in Africa. During the trip the participants learned everything about the wildlife photography by boat and from the vehicle. An experience which is new even for trained wildlife photographers. The first part of the journey led the ambitious photographers from Livingstone in Zambia to Kasane in Botswana and then to Namibia on our houseboat.

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After a smooth, multiple in and off stamping at the various borders, the participants reached the houseboat in the afternoon. It was after a quick coffee and cake when everybody went out on the Chobe and ran for the motives. Andreas and Harald gave helpful tips and tricks, each on a photo boat, how to take photos on a boat. The boats had special Gimpro camera gimbals, which were brought closer in their functioning to the participants by Andreas. The first evening on the Chobe provided already great animal motives and the participants were able to gain the first impressions for the next few days.

To provide the best lighting for photography, everybody was already on the water before sunrise every morning. Objective of the first part of the photo tour was to photograph the countless birds and mammals and to further perfect the techniques. The photo pickings of the respective drives were analyzed by Andreas and Harald at lunchtime and other improvement proposals submitted to the participants.

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The houseboat was laid to a new anchorage every night and accordingly the brunch was enjoyed with spectacular views over the Chobe when changing the position. Of course its elephants and the spectacular elephant crossings, which the participants could shoot several times, are an absolute highlight of the Chobe. But even bird lovers came fully into their own. For sure one of the highlights were the Malachite Kingfishers, which fed their young, as well as the bee-eater colony on one of the steep banks of the Chobe.

A boat was even lucky enough to photograph two lionesses with a little baby cup in the last light of the day. After a total of three days on the Chobe the participants made it to the airport, then to Gaborone and on to South Africa. Here, part two of the photo tour waited for the wildlife photographers which looked excitedly forward to the following days.

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After a brief check and a further border crossing, the group arrived at the fantastic lodge in the Madikwe Game Reserve. A luxury lodge which left nothing to be desired. Delicious dinner rounded off the day.

The next morning we went off well before sunrise and luck was also on our side. So, the participants could immediately identify two cheetahs at the beginning of the first game drive and shoot great pictures. After a coffee break in the Bush and other great motives, the group went back to the lodge. As always the brunch was enjoyed by all and the short time before the lunch / evening game drive was used to relax or to do the first "bunker session". The lodge has a photo hideout directly in a water hole. Here elephants and other animals can be photographed from a very low and interesting perspective. The "photo bunker" was intensively used by the participants before they took off for a further game drive in the afternoon.

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After the evening game drive, Andreas’ and Harald's group wanted to enjoy some sundowners when they were suddenly disrupted by two large lion males. So everybody hurried back inside the vehicles and quickly used the last light of the day. No participant will ever forget what happened next. Next to the vehicles the lion males started to roar and let vibrate the entire car. Pure goosebumps and an unforgettable experience.

On the last day the group decided to seek the African wild dogs, and made a long trip to the west of the reserve. All the luck was on their side and so the animal photographers found the wild dogs. Those however were on their way to another area and so we had to speed up quite a bit to be able to follow the fast dogs. Nevertheless a few great shots could be made and the goal of the trip was therefore fulfilled!

Overall, it was a great company with great people and fantastic motifs. At this point we want to thank once more all participants and especially SIGMA Germany , which has made the lenses SIGMA 150-600 S & Sigma 150-600 C available to all participants for the travel!