OCTOBER 6 - 19, 2019
Do you love photography? Do you love African wildlife? Do you care about the future of these animals? If so, we have the perfect trip for you.
Join Wild Tomorrow Fund and wildlife photographer, Charles Chessler in Zululand, South Africa for a two week photography and conservation experience this October. Charles will teach you how to take stunning photos of African wildlife that include elephants, rhinos, and giraffe. He’ll also teach you landscape and outdoor portrait photography. Wild Tomorrow Fund's ecologists will teach you about conservation challenges, and how your passion for photography can help protect threatened species and their habitats.
As a wildlife conservation organization, we have the unique opportunity to provide photographers access to not only incredible African safari scenes, but also the opportunity to shoot behind-the-scenes conservation work. Imagine photographing a hyena being collared, a tranquilized lion, or a rhino dehorning? These are the types of conservation projects that we fund for partner reserves – and depending on what is most needed in October, you will be witness to these exciting projects, using your photography to capture the experiences.
We welcome photographers from beginners to advanced. Charles will guide you in the basics of photography including composition, exposure, light, dynamic range and panning. And he will help get you out of your auto setting! Casual critique sessions will help you improve your photography during your trip.
We believe that photographers make some of the best storytellers. And we want you to share the stories of these animals and the conservation threats facing them. You will be ‘on assignment’ for Wild Tomorrow Fund, helping us document our work, while building your personal portfolio.
As well as learning how to take amazing photographs you will also take part in real conservation work. This will include the following:
Rhino dehorning. Participate and photograph this once-in-a-lifetime experience. Read more here about why dehorning is a critical, practical strategy to protect rhinos from poaching.
Bird Ringing. Get close to the incredible diversity of birdlife on our two conservancies located next door to the iSimangaliso Wetlands, a UNESCO world heritage site and home to more than 500 bird species. You’ll help a regional bird expert identify, ring and photograph birds.
Zebra Identification project. Our Ukuwela conservancy is home to thirty two zebra. The stripes of each zebra serve as unique identifiers and enable us to tell who is who. You will spend several mornings and sunsets walking on foot to help create our first zebra ID kit.
Biodiversity Camera Trap survey. You’ll assist our ecologists in our camera trap surveys learning how to setup a variety of cameras – from small units to a professional DSLR camera trap kit. It will be exciting to see if the cameras capture leopards, hyena, serval and other shy species while you are there.
Habitat Restoration Work. Roll up your sleeves to assist Wild Tomorrow Fund's team of ecologists and rangers with habitat restoration work at our two protected wildlife reserves. Projects may include pulling out old fencing, going on a snare patrol with rangers, or installing ranger camp solar power – whatever needs to be done to assist the running of a wildlife reserve.
Community work. For the long-term success of conservation it is essential that local communities benefit from wildlife conservation initiatives, and are engaged as partners in conservation. You will visit a school which we support as well as participate in cooking a meal for orphans within the community.
In addition to the field work, you will also learn about conservation issues and challenges, from our team of ecologists and conservationists.
Wild lion conservation: Learn first-hand about the status of wild lions in South Africa and how wild lion conservation is impacted by canned hunting and the lion bone trade.
Elephant conservation in southern Africa: Learn about the issues facing elephants in South Africa, and the conservation programs used to address the challenges.
Habitat Conservation: We’ll discuss the major concepts and scientific principles including habitat loss, fragmentation and the importance of connectivity and its impact on carrying capacity.
Spotted hyena conservation. Learn about the conservation challenges facing the spotted hyena in southern Africa, including misconceptions and human-wildlife conflict. A campfire dinner will be followed by a night drive in search of hyena.
Giraffe conservation. Learn about the ’silent extinction’ of giraffes. This will be a great introduction to the giraffe of Ukuwela as you will photograph our giraffe for our ID kit.
Rhino conservation. South Africa has the largest population of rhinos left on our planet (80%) and is under a huge poaching crisis. Learn about the realities on the ground in KwaZulu-Natal South Africa and the anti-poaching methods being deployed.
All about zebras. Learn about zebra conservation, behaviors and get an introduction to the thirty two Ukuwela zebras. A major assignment for the group will be to individually identify the zebra to create an ID kit.
There’ll also be plenty of time to relax and experience African wildlife on safari. You’ll have the chance to encounter elephants, rhinos, lions and many other species. In addition to Wild Tomorrow Fund's two wildlife conservancies, you will visit:
Hluluwe-iMfolozi Wildlife Reserve. Home to the second largest population of rhinos in the world. You will be in a private game viewer vehicle driven by a local guide. This game drive will provide lots of opportunities to see and photograph breeding herds of elephants, rhino and other Big 5 animals.
St Lucia Hippo-Croc water safari. Hop on a boat for a trip up one of the largest estuarine systems in Africa, and South Africa's first UNESCO World Heritage Site, the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. Home to 800 hippos, approximately 1000 Nile crocodiles and over 500 bird species.
Horseback safari experience. Riding a horse alongside wildlife is a completely different experience from being on foot or vehicle. It's hard to ride and photograph, so simply climb into your saddle and enjoy the opportunity to get up close to zebra and wildebeest. It’s perfect for all levels of riders, and don't worry, there are no lions in this section of the park.
Elephant Safari. An elephant-focused safari drive at Tembe Elephant Park, home to some of the largest tusked elephants remaining in Africa. It will include a visit to a waterhole hide where you’ll sit quietly and watch these giants coming and going. Tembe is an incredible wildlife reserve.
Elephant Interaction. Meet Rambo and Rachel, two survivors of an elephant culling program in Kruger National Park in the 1980s. They now are semi-wild and have grown up into gentle African elephants. While Wild Tomorrow Fund does not support the domestication of wild animals or wild animal interaction, we have thoroughly vetted this experience. The Elephant Interaction is sure to be a favourite memory of your trip.
Ukuwela Night Drive and Camp-out Experience. Spend a night at Wild Tomorrow Fund's Ukuwela Conservancy, camping and sharing stories around the campfire. Look up to the star-lit sky and fall asleep to the sounds of the African night.
RESERVE YOUR SPOT
If you’d like to reserve a place on this amazing trip please click here.