My readers know I am the Wildlife Ho-tographer using Canon equipment for 25 years. One of the things I enjoy most, besides taking photographs, is having people accompany me to some of my favorite locations. Sharing the experience I love with others is very fulfilling. For 2016, I will open up three of my photo safari tours to fellow wildlife enthusiasts and photographers and have up to four participants join me on my travels. First trip takes us to the jungles and cloud forests of Costa Rica in search of many species of Hummingbirds, other avian and wildlife. The second trip brings us to the High Arctic for exhilarating whale and Polar bear encounters few places on earth can match. Third trip will be to Botswana and South Africa for a 'Big Five' photo safari.
There are no cost to accompany me on these tours. I am not organizing the tours for anyone and is not responsible for anything. Participants who choose to join me do so on their own free will and risk. They pay their own way and if desire, they desire, they are welcome to use the travel providers I utilize to facilitate my trips. Please email me at Info@MichaelDanielHo.com if you would like to join yours truly on these adventures and share some of our travel tales and experience in photographing wildlife. You can see my equipment bag, follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, Twitter and this Blog and keep up with my travels and see photos from previous trips on my wildlife photography page.
Costa Rica -- March 2016
|Male Green Thorntail Hummingbird feeding in Costa Rica|
Costa Rica has as many micro climates and for 10 days we will devote most of it to photographing the birds and wildlife of this wonderfully exotic country. From waterfalls to cloud forests to spectacular volcanoes, this tour will take in the best Costa Rica has to offer.
Toucans and Hummingbirds are two of many birders' favorite bird species and there should be plenty of them down there. Hummingbirds belong to the family of birds known as Trochilidae. They are among the smallest avians, most species measure about 3 to 5 inches in length and generally weigh between one to two tenth of an ounce. The smallest is the Bee Hummingbird and the largest is the South American Giant Hummingbird, which can weigh about an ounce.
Travel to Selva Verde Rainforest Reserve for an unforgettable experience. We will concentrate on the Sarapiqui Rainforest Preservation Area in the lush lowlands of northeastern Costa Rica. In addition to the many species of birds, animals and amphibians, local attractions such as the Braulio Carrillo National Park, the Arenal and Poas Volcanoes, and the Heliconia Island Botanical Gardens are also on our list to visit and explore. Click on my Hummingbirds and Bird Photography pages to see more photos from previous trips.
Svalbard, The High Arctic -- June 2016
|Polar bear leaping on ice floes in the high Arctic|
Svalbard, an archipelago in the Land of the Midnight Sun, deep inside the Arctic Circle. In the summer months, there is 24 hour daylight and the weather, seas and ice flows can be unpredictable. It can range from a blustery, snowy day with 40+ knots winds to sunny, T-shirt weather the next. The wildlife in Svalbard is diverse. There is a population of about 3,000 Polar bears on the islands, together with indigenous herds of Reindeer. Arctic foxes, Atlantic Walruses, many species of cetaceans, including Humpback and Killer whales, dolphins, seals and pelagic birds can be found among the ice floes, cliffs and numerous islands and coves.
We will go on a small expedition ship for 10 days in search of Polar bears and other Arctic wildlife. The unpredictable pattern of ice flows and weather conditions will be a challenge for the ship's captain and photographers and their equipment but the Arctic scenery, replete with glaciers and ice cliffs are so spectacular, one will be too engrossed to worry about the rough seas and temperatures, if one is properly dressed. Longyearbyen, the 'capital' of Svalbard, has a population of about 2,000 people and is quaint but remote.
Botswana and South Africa -- September 2016
|Male lion utilizing its Jacobson's Organ to taste the air|
Botswana and South Africa are two countries of breathtakingly beautiful sceneries, majestic wildlife and unique cultures. This 2 week safari tour will take us to Chobe and Kruger National Parks, plus the KwaZulu Natal region of South Africa. The Chobe River in Botswana is one of Africa’s most beautiful rivers. It supports a diversity and concentration of wildlife unparalled anywhere else in the country. The National Park was established in 1968 and covers approximately 4,500 square miles, encompassing floodplains, swamps and woodland. The Chobe River forms its northern boundary. There are four distinct geographical areas in the park : the Chobe Riverfront, the Ngwezumba pans, Savuté and Linyanti.
Kruger is one of the largest national parks in Africa, with an area of about 7,600 square miles. The park and surrounding reserves are excellent places to capture 'Big Five' images of Lions, Leopards, Elephants, Rhinos, Cheetahs, Hippos, Cape Buffaloes, Giraffes, Zebras and many other wildlife. There are also hundreds of species of birds to marvel and photograph for the ornithologist in some of us. Take a look at the video below from Tyler Fairbank shot on safari in South Africa.
The area is characterized as ‘savanna bushveld’ with 6 different landscape types: acacia woodland, open woodland, mopane woodland, combretum woodland, mixed combretum woodland and mixed veld. The critically endangered African wild dog is also a regular visitor to the Reserve. The larger and rarer antelopes such as Roan, Eland and Tsessebe may also be seen but their numbers are still critically low. In between game drives, we may stop in on the neighboring villages to learn about the local culture and traditions.
Africa is a far away continent, especially for those who reside in North America but it is truly a fascinating region of the world and this will be a great trip for those who want to concentrate on wildlife photography, with a bit of culture mixed in, time permitting. Click on the Wildlife Photography section of my website to see exciting safari photos from previous trips.