Guided photo safaris


“Andy is undoubtedly a big ship sailing in a sea of many smaller ones; his teaching style and constant upbeat company keep us coming back again and again”

One of the most exciting parts of nature photography is the necessity to travel to wonderful, natural locations. With that in mind, I lead tours independently to escort groups to some fantastic places in search of life-changing photographic possibilities!

My ethos for leading tours is simple: it must be a dedicated, completely focused photography experience, and not one that is simply claiming to be. I want you to get the best possible opportunity for securing that “once in a lifetime” shot, as well as have a great holiday at the same time!

Having spent much of my life photographing overseas, I got very disillusioned with how I saw photographic groups being organised. It seemed to me that many – not all – photographers had little or no experience of the location they were leading in (how therefore can they predict the movements and behaviour of the species in front of you?!); they were staying in non-optimal locations (perhaps an hour from a park gate, for example, as opposed to directly in the heart of the action); and it seemed that for many the only time these photographers were actually travelling overseas was when they were leading trips….not on their own work; as such, guests were simply subsidising holidays and shoots and getting very little in return.

For me, and I’ve been fortunate in my work throughout my life, this was not how it is meant to be. I decided therefore to essentially set out a blueprint for how a trip should work, geared around: location, timing, space to work, advice/tuition and leadership. I hope that many that have already travelled with me in the last few years will testify to the fact that we’re on the right path! Guests from four continents perhaps give the best indication of that…

I have also set out to be as visible as possible too. You will find me exhibiting at the Adventure Travel Show every couple of years, Destinations (Olympia) annually and the Photography Show (NEC) annually. I’m also a frequent exhibitor at a number of galleries and events in the course of a year (with limited editions), and am always happy to discuss your travel plans of course. For me, personal contact is critical! Anyone can be “big” on the internet…but when it comes to being in front of the customer and building a relationship, then personal contact and trust is key. I’ve never been one to chase a million “followers” in the digital space, but I do ensure that I am there to be seen throughout the year as much as possible through exhibition stands and in the 10 or so talks that I give around the country each year. This, for me, is what builds a relationship…you get to know me…and I get to know you….and we hope it all works out! Haha!

“Simply the best photo leader I’ve ever travelled with: hugely talented, empathetic and outstandingly good company”

So how do we do it?

  • By limiting group sizes you get plenty of time for 1-2-1 time for tuition and guidance
  • These locations have been worked by me for many years before taking you. As such, there is no photographer pushing to the front to get their images first! Also be wary of those that only ever travel abroad when taking guests…you are essentially subsidising their holiday and shoot! For me
  • We spend longer in the field, watching, waiting, photographing and observing…and basically revelling in the environment!
  • We stay in the best location for the experience; at times this might cost a bit more; at others it might be not completely 5 star….but, rather than have you waste time “commuting” to the action, I put you where it happens and maximise your time.
  • We don’t go in the cheaper “shoulder” seasons…when the photography is non-optimal. You are in the right place, at the right time.
  • We tend to stay longer than most and will always go in the best season for the experience. Essentially, you go when I would go myself if travelling on a shoot. Yes, this may cost more, but ask yourself…is it quality or cost that matters most?
  • We have a great time…this, after all, is your holiday too…and I want to make sure that you are heading home with memories and memory cards filled with exciting experiences
  • You don’t need to be a photographer to have a great trip…but you will benefit from being around people who want to experience nature at an unhurried, expertly guided pace. There’s none of this rattling around 5 venues in 7 days on my trips! Instead we take time to concentrate on areas and do them well. That is how photography works.
  • I take you where I go to take photographs commercially. You are in the same places, at the same times, using the same routes that are tried and trusted by a professional. There is no need to fill a quota of “bed nights” at a specific location, and hence turning your tour into something that suits the operator, not the person travelling!
  • We can send you to other locations through a network of connections, on unguided adventures also. All the above principles remain, with the only difference being that I will not be there to help. You can find more details of this service on our “Exposure” section of the website.

Space and availability

All 2020 trips have been full for a long time, but waitlists are always available in case of late drop-outs or cancellations. Please let us know if you wish to be considered on for any of those. Otherwise it’s eyes-down for 2021, and the guided adventures are all listed below. Simply click on the link by each to obtain a downloadable itinerary. Current status you see on this page does not include those who are holding a space, so in some cases a trip might have less places than is shown as we are just awaiting the form. Otherwise, this page will give you a good idea of availability at any one time. To book your space, follow the link below to download a generic pdf form, which you can then download and type onto directly. Once complete, return to either myself or Carrie on the emails below.

 ANDY@FAUNAVISTA.COM or CARRIE@FAUNAVISTA.COM

All trips are fully covered and bonded (although…we don’t do flights!), as per the information later on this page (see “our commitment”).

Scheduled Departures – 2020 

Tanzania: Predators & Prey; 27 Feb – 10 March
Group size: 6; FULL

Baffin: a new-born polar bear cub quest; 31 March – 8 April
Group size: 9; FULL

Yellowstone  & The Tetons in Spring; 25 May – 7 June
Group size: 6; FULL 

Grizzlies of the Nakina (departure 1); 30 July – 7 August
Group size: 8; FULL

Grizzlies of the Nakina (departure 2); 6 – 14 August
Group size: 8; FULL

Chobe Explorer; 25 August – 2 September 
Group size:6; FULL 

Botswana: of  legends and giants; 3 – 12 September 
Group size: 5; FULL 

Zambia: into the valley; 13 – 21 September
Group size 5: FULL 

Paradise in the Pantanal (departure 1); 10 – 21 September
Group size: 6; FULL 

Paradise in the Pantanal (departure 2); 21 September – 1 October
Group size: 6; FULL 

In-depth Zimbabwe (departure 1); 23 Sept – 2 October
Group size: 4; FULL 

The Magic of Mana (Zimbabwe); 2 – 10 October 
Group size: 4; FULL

In-depth Zimbabwe (departure 2); 10 – 19 October
Group size: 4; FULL

Scheduled Departures 2021

Tanzania: Predators & Prey

27 February – 10 March 

Group size 6 

Available: 4 spaces

 

Congo: The Dark Heart Safari

13 – 21 January 

Group size 6 

Available: 1 space (male share)

Ethiopia: highlights and highlands

D1: 1- 14 February; D2: 15 – 28 February

Group size 6; 

Available: D1: 1 space (male share); D2: TRIP FULL

Namibia’s Northwest

D1: 16 – 27 April; D2: 28 April – 9 May

Group size 6 

Available: D1: FULL; D2: FULL

Botswana: a triple site adventure

4 – 14 July

Group size 6 

Available: 2 spaces

Alaska: Kings & Queens of Katmai

1 – 9 September

Group size 8 

Available: TRIP FULL

Kodiak: Land of Giants

9 – 17 September

Group size 6 

Available: TRIP FULL

Paradise in the Pantanal

D1: 10 – 20 September; D2 21 Sept – 1 October

Group size 6 

Available: D1: 2 spaces; D2: 3 spaces

Zambia: a tale of two rivers

25 September – 3 October

Group size 5 

Available: 2 spaces

In-depth Zimbabwe 

D1: 1 – 10 October; D2: 10 – 19 October

Group size 4

Available: D1: FULL; D2: FULL; D3: please enquire

Arviat: polar bears: on foot 

D1: 1-8 November; D2: 6 – 13 November 

Group size 6

Available: D1: FULL; D2: FULL

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD A GENERIC BOOKING FORM

*All prices are quoted as per person based on two people sharing accommodation. Single rooms/cabins/tents are available on some trips, but please enquire at the time of booking as a single supplement will almost certainly apply.

Our Commitment

FaunaVista LLP (Andy Skillen Photography) is a company committed to customer satisfaction and consumer financial protection. We are therefore pleased to announce that, at no extra cost to you, and in accordance with ”The Package Travel, Package Tours Regulations 1992” all passengers booking with FaunaVista LLP is fully insured for the initial deposit, and subsequently the balance of monies paid as detailed in your booking confirmation form. The policy will also include repatriation if required, arising from the cancellation or curtailment of your travel arrangements due to the insolvency of FaunaVista LLP. This insurance has been arranged with Affirma a trading brand of MGA Cover Services Limited (registered address Farren House The Street, Farren Court Cowfold West Sussex RH 13 8BP, company registration: 08444204 authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority registration number 678541) under a binding authority with the insurer CBL Insurance Europe Limited (registered address 2nd Floor 13-17 Dawson Street Dublin 2 Ireland, who are authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority registration number 203120) .

In the unlikely event of insolvency, you must inform Affirma (MGA Cover Services Limited) immediately on +44 (0) 20 3540 4422. Please ensure you retain your booking confirmation form as evidence of cover and value.

FaunaVista LLP is a proud member of ‘The Travel Vault’ – promoting excellence in small scale, bespoke adventure travel.

Policy exclusions: This policy will not cover any monies paid back to you by your Travel Insurance or any losses which are recoverable under another insurance or bond.

“I’ve travelled with multiple leaders in my time, but Andy’s leadership style, humour, empathy and company surpass them all”

“A true professor; my photography has been transformed! Andy moved from a picture taker to story-teller and a new career beckons”