Well, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, is it not? Hopefully you’re all looking forward to a relaxing end to the year (or perhaps you’re off on an adventure somewhere?!). Whatever you’re doing, I hope it recharges you and gets you all set for an exciting 2024….and beyond!
As I’ve been talking about in the last couple of newsletters, the number of destinations I will be taking groups to and guiding will be limited to three per year from next year onwards, and the result of that is that, unfortunately, all the destinations I have planned and released for 2024 and 2025 are virtually booked up.
The exception to the “space available” issue, is Gabon…a brilliant and exciting new destination that I will be working in during 2024 (part of the Congo Basin book) and opening up to take people too with me in 2025. It’s been a logistical challenge, but we’re finally over the line with the plan and it’s now open for reservation (two groups of four plus me on each one). You can read all the details by following this link: Glorious Gabon and for more background, check out the “Glorious Gabon” news item in the feed too.
Don’t worry though, if you missed out, just drop me a line as I can always add you to the wait-list in case a space becomes available.
There’s always the “private tour” option too of course. I might not be able to be there with you, (perhaps a blessing!), but I can of course organise you to do the exact trip with the same guides I’ve always worked with and do it in the same way as if I was there leading.
If I don’t know…you won’t go…
My philosophy has always been the same: if I’ve not been to the location and worked there myself, on my own (ie. Not with guests…), then I simply won’t recommend or book you to go.
That is my bespoke booking mantra…as I’m pretty fed up with seeing people who never go to these places simply taking a commission for using up their bed-night quota on you. Grrhhhhhhhh!
I am a firm believer that your role as a photographic guest is not to subsidise the travel plans of a pro (or aspiring one) by having them tag along on your adventure to take their own photos. Not only is this annoying because you are basically paying for them to have the same experience as you, but I do roll my eyes when I hear about photographers leading trips to places they’ve never seen and perhaps to see animals they’ve never seen either. Photographic guidance isn’t just about what button to press and when, it’s an understanding of animal behaviour, familiarity with the species and the conditions you are going to experience to make sure you are in full anticipatory mode to capture the image of a lifetime when it presents itself. Of course, being calm under pressure is a lot easier when you know the animals and terrain too, as that’s likely when you need the help most. For example, ideally, you don’t want the first time your photo guide is charged by an elephant to be the time they are leading you! Experience is everything….choose wisely 🙂
To that end, this year we’ve had a couple of successful independent trips to Zimbabwe and Tanzania for example (organised by us, but a group travelling without a photo leader), and next year we’ve got a whole bunch: ranging from Zambia to the Himalayas, Tanzania to Chile…and a few places in between. So, if you can’t get onto a trip with me directly, don’t forget to drop me a message and I’ll see what I can sort out for you. As with all “bespoke” trips like this, you get the same conditions and guides that you would otherwise have if I was there alongside you. Click the link above to find out more!