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Nikongear.com 2012 Official Safari Thread


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#1 Dallas

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 13:07

Hey folks,

This is the official discussion thread for our amazing 2012 Safari, which you may already have read will be done in 3 segments during September and October next year.

So far we have three members (5 people in total) who have confirmed participation on parts or all of the trip, namely Richard Sandor (rbsandor) and his wife, Roland Tibell (Roland) and his wife and Ann Shelbourne (Ann), who will be a veteran of no fewer than three official NG safaris after this one! Four other members have indicated interest but haven't gotten back to me to confirm yet, so there are still 3 places for singles or couples to join us.

This thread is basically for any members who are keen on joining us to discuss the trip, how to prepare for it and what to expect. Think of it as a Q&A for this particular trip. Attached are a couple of Word Documents with the detailed itineraries for the 1st and 3rd segments of the trip. The middle segment is the Sabi Sabi portion which is where you will meet up with the animals and we do game drives for an entire week, so no itinerary for that.

Any segment is optional and each of them have their own pricing. The overview of the trip and pricing per segment is published here.

As always this safari is undertaken and administered by Nature Uncut Tours, so if you want to join us you will communicate directly with Pepe Jones once you've let me know you want to join in on the fun. :)

Some very good news is that the South Africa Rand, which our trip is priced in, is on a downward trend and has lost a significant amount of ground against the USD and other major currencies in the past couple of weeks. The trip just got cheaper! :cool:

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#2 Mexecutioner

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 23:59

Where is part 2?

#3 Dallas

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Posted 23 September 2011 - 05:08

Rodrigo, we don't have a written itinerary for part two, but basically what will happen is that those members joining us in Johannesburg for that leg will arrive more or less at the same time that the 1st leg participants do (30 September).

We will all stay at the Golfers Lodge which is about 15 minutes from the airport and will either fly or drive to Kruger Park airport the next day. Last year we all flew, except for Pepe who drove there with our luggage, but this year we will give the participants the option of flying up or going in the mini bus to see the countryside from the ground. It's a 1 hour flight or a 5 hour drive.

Once we are at Sabi Sabi we check in, have lunch and then get ready for the evening game drive. The next 6 days will see us go on morning and evening drives every day, as well as have optional walking safaris after brunch. There's a lot of time for R&R in between these drives and each drive is different.

At the end of the week in Sabi Sabi those members who are leaving the tour will fly back to Johannesburg, or move on with us to Swaziland for the beginning of the cultural segment of the tour.

#4 Dallas

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 17:32

If anyone needs further convincing to snap up the available three berths on our trip for 2012, Ranger Rich has compiled a list of 10 very good reasons to join us.

Check out the list here.

#5 Dallas

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 11:33

I am very happy to announce that Andy Krugman is going to be joining us for the Sabi Sabi leg next year too. :yahoo:

This leaves only 2 suites available for occupancy (2 singles or 2 couples) on this leg of the trip. If you're looking for the best photography safari at the most reasonable cost look no further than this trip. It's going to be WILD! :)

#6 Ann

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Posted 07 November 2011 - 19:02

Great news!

Welcome Andy — you are really in for a fabulous experience!

There is an excellent chance that I may be able to persuade my room-mate (known on NG as the Lens Fairy; and, to Safarians, as Nicola) from last year to join us too … I know that she is sorely tempted but won't be able to make a final decision until much nearer to the time.

#7 Dallas

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 12:07

As it stands we have 4 confirmed participants for the core of the trip (Sabi Sabi), with two spouses making 6 in total, so it is looking like a great trip already.

Will be really nice if Nicola can join us again. :)

#8 Elsa Hoffmann

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 12:27

Anybody still considering this deal- you will never look back. Money can't buy memories. And you will make plenty of those.
"I drifted into photography like one drifts into prostitution. First I did it to please myself, then I did it to please my friends, and eventually I did it for the money." Philippe Halsman

#9 Ranger Rich

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 13:49

Come on guys....I promise this will be a trip you will NEVER forget! If you would like to see whats been happening over the last 2 months go check out the new Sabi Sabi blog....

Sabi Sabi Blog
Check out my blog: http://www.sabisabi.com/blog

#10 Dallas

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 06:14

The Rand is falling!

As of this moment it is trading at ZAR8.41 = US$1. Looking at the cost of the Sabi Sabi segment of the trip, at the time we put this trip together it would have translated to around $5440 for a single person sharing. At the moment, with this exchange rate the same trip translates to $4,400. This means the trip is now more than $1,000 cheaper than it was at the time of launch for a person sharing.

I don't know how long this rate will continue because the Rand tends to fluctuate erratically over short periods.

#11 Ann

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 16:53

Anyone who has ever dreamed of photographing wild animals in their own environment and in close-up would, frankly, be crazy to miss this opportunity.

My somewhat wicked philosophy is to "seize the day" and worry about how to pay for it later because these sort of opportunities seldom repeat themselves and no-one can take away your memories — or your photographs — of an experience like this.

Work and "responsibilities" can just be put on "Hold" for a week and they really won't suffer as a result.

[The first NG Safari was supposed to have been a "once in a lifetime" experience for me but now South Africa seems to have cast its spell and now I am being drawn back to it again and again. Nicola has definitely been bitten by the same bug and I am pretty sure that she will be returning to Sabi Sabi with us next October too.]

#12 Dallas

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 17:38

Sliding further and is now trading at USD1 = ZAR8.53

Nikongear members who are interested in snapping up those last two seats please contact me ASAP. Pepe is currently on tour but will be back at the end of the month and will be able to respond to any financial queries you may have. Generally we ask for a 30% deposit to secure the seat, with the balance being called for 90 days before the tour is scheduled to begin.

I will be monitoring this forex rate closely and if I see that it is moving in the wrong direction for members overseas I will notify you all so that you can optionally pay Pepe for the trip now and take advantage of this preferential exchange rate.

Members should also note that tomorrow I will be having an article about how to prepare for a safari published on dpreview. This article will link to my photographers.travel website where the NG trip is prominently advertised, so I don't expect those seats to last into the new year.

#13 Dallas

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 05:33

At the moment we still have two suites possibly available for the Sabi Sabi segment of our tour this year.

So far the confirmed Safarians for 2012 are as follows:

Ann Shelbourne
Roland Tibell and partner
Richard Sandor and partner
Mike Berry and partner

Tentative, but unconfirmed:
Fred Azinger and partner
Andy Krugman

Fred and Andy are not able to confirm yet, but have indicated that if any other NG members want to take up the suites before they can confirm their participation, they would stand aside for them.

So, the question you need to be asking yourself is this: do I feel like a hunting down pixel trophies of the big 5 this September/October in one of the most incredible private game reserves in the world?

Well, do ya? ;)




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