African Wildlife Photo Safaris

The Wildlife Center of Virginia is pleased to offer photo safaris to South Africa, Botswana, and Zimbabwe. These amazing trips are based at Africa Through Your Lens exclusive Chazen Game Preserve and Spa – 32 square miles that is home to some of Africa’s most spectacular wildlife.

What will we see? Each trip is different, but Center “safarians” have seen and photographed lions, leopards, elephants, cheetah, rhinos, wildebeest, Cape buffalo, giraffe, hippos, lions, baboon, scores of bird species … on and on.

These tours are organized and custom-designed by the Wildlife Center for a small number of guests – usually no more than a dozen travelers. Most tours have a ‘personal escort’ from a Center representative – Erwin Bohmfalk, the chairman emeritus of the Center’s Board of Directors, or Center President and Co-Founder Ed Clark, or another member of the Wildlife Center’s senior staff.

Safaris are 12 to 14-day adventures – a day of travel to and from South Africa, and 10-12 days in South Africa.

The Center and Africa Through Your Lens will be offering three different safari packages for 2017. Each package covers all foods, drinks, lodging, ground transportation, etc. Safarians are responsible for travel to South Africa; airfares from Washington Dulles to Johannesburg generally average about $1,200 round-trip.

South Africa Photo Safari. Extensive opportunities for wildlife viewing, spectacular scenery in the provinces of Free State and KwaZulu-Natal. Your motorized trek across eastern South Africa will include visits to a variety of public parks and private nature reserves and even a chance to take a dip in the Indian Ocean. In additions to wildlife viewing and game drives, safari-goers will enjoy cultural sites and arts-and-crafts demonstrations. Price is $3,595 per person, of which $500 is tax-deductible. Single supplement: $300 per person.

Botswana/Zimbabwe. Starting at Chazen, this trip includes visits to pristine wildlife areas in both Zimbabwe and Botswana, where travelers will get “up close and personal” to the full spectrum of African wildlife, both in open safari vehicles and in small boats. The highlight of the trip is a visit to Victoria Falls, one of the most spectacular natural sites in the world. Price is $5,795 per person, which includes all amenities for the safari, plus airfare between South Africa and Botswana/Zimbabwe, and travel visas to the countries visited. As with all WCV safaris, $500 of the fee is tax-deductible as a contribution to the Wildlife Center. Single supplement: $620 per person. Price includes airfare between Johannesburg and Victoria Falls airport.

Ultimate Natal Safari. The Center’s newest safari; includes a stay at an exclusive private lodge located inside a private reserve containing more the 55,000 acres of highly protected and carefully managed wildlife habitat. Considered a “Big 5 Reserve”, we will have the opportunity to see all “big five” species, elephant, Cape buffalo, rhino (black and white), lions, and leopards. A pack of the highly endangered African Spotted Dogs roams the reserve, as do giraffe, cheetah, more than a dozen species of antelope, hundreds of species of birds, and a wide range of other South African wildlife species. Unlike safaris with commercial operations, that merely show you wild animals, on the Wildlife Center’s educational safaris, you truly will experience being in the wild. You will learn about the behavior and natural history of the species we see, and you will come to understand the conservation challenges we will teach you about the wildlife we encounter.

The lodge itself is an experience in bush luxury, with beautifully appointed rooms, common areas decorated in with local art and wildlife, and dining that exemplifies the best of African elegance. Wildlife Center guests have had some of their most dramatic and exhilarating wildlife encounters while on the Ultimate Natal Safari. Price is $3,950 per person, of which $500 is tax-deductible. Single supplement: $500 per person.

Spring 2017 dates

March 21 - April 2: Botswana/Zimbabwe/South Africa (Erwin) 

April 1 - April 13: Ultimate (Erwin)

April 11 - April 22: Ultimate (Ed) Space newly available!

April 24 - May 4: Ultimate

May 14 - May 26: Ultimate (Ed) -- FULL

Fall dates to be announced. 

For additional information about these safaris, please contact the appropriate tour leader:

Erwin Bohmfalk

Ed Clark