Archive for the 'Travel Club' Category

Jun 17 2012

News Update: January 2013: Antarctica here we come again!

We are delighted to be headed South again to the frozen landscapes of Antarctica to experience the incredible wildlife spectacle to be found there. This will be our 18th expedition to a place as close to our hearts as our home in East Africa. If you have never been to Antarctica then you must, in the same way that if you have never been on safari to East Africa then you must join us there too. Antarctica is a land beyond reality, a spiritual place that will hold you in its thrall. Nobody forgets a journey to Antarctica.

It’s 100 years since ‘Scott of the Antarctic’ and his four companions reached the South Pole on the 17th January 1912 – only to find that Amundsen and his fellow Norwegians had beaten them to it. Scott and his men perished on the return journey. As a child I grew up on Scott’s legend and was always inspired by the work of his son Sir Peter Scott who became a painter and conservationist ‘par excellence’. It was a great thrill for me to be presented with the Overall Winner’s trophy in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition in 1987 by Sir Peter Scott – the same Award that Angie won in 2002 for her stunning image of elephants drinking in the Luangwa River. The bronze ibis trophies are among our most prized possessions.

In Antarctica the daring deeds of the explorers of the ‘Heroic Age’ – of which Scott and Shackleton are among the most famous – come alive as you travel the icy reaches of the great Southern Continent. And to help you learn more about the history of Antarctica we are delighted to be reacquainted with author and Antarctic Historian Jonathan Shackleton, one of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s cousins, who is certain to provide our fellow travellers with the opportunity of a lifetime to hear more about the great Irishman whose epic adventures have been an inspiration all my life.

We have been fortunate to return to Antarctica nearly every season since our first visit 20 years ago, including trips to Scott and Shackleton’s huts at the edge of the Ross Sea on an epic month-long semi-circumnavigation of Antarctica in 2006. We have twice visited Snow Hill Island in the Weddell Sea to marvel at breeding emperor penguins, and made 8 expeditions to South Georgia – the ‘Serengeti of the Southern Ocean’. However, in January 2013 we will not be visiting any of these places. This is an expedition designed for those who simply cannot afford to be away from home – or the office – for that length of time. Instead we will spend 5 or 6 days on the Antarctic Peninsula, the curly tail of the continent that reaches up towards the southern tip of Argentina from where we embark for our adventure aboard the Ushuaia.

So what’s special about our latest journey to Antarctica? Well for a start there will only be a maximum of 40 passengers – less than half the number that would normally be accommodated on the Ushuaia. Flexibility is the name of the game in Antarctica – just as it is on the best safaris in Africa. This will be the chance to get the best out of the photographic opportunities and for everyone to enjoy quality time with the seasoned team of Lecturers and Expeditionary Staff. In fact to help ensure the best experience possible the number of staff and expeditionary team members will be the same as if we were sailing with a full compliment of passengers. There will be no more than 8 guests per Zodiac for tours of the ice or when heading ashore – and the chance to kayak in the Southern Ocean for the more adventurous of spirit. This will be an Antarctic adventure to savour.

Angie and I will be joining the expedition to help you make the most of the many photographic opportunities that Antarctica promises – from landscapes to wildlife, icebergs to penguins, and with everyone on board keeping a close eye out for whales.

January is a great time to visit Antarctica with the prospect of sunny skies (no guarantees mind you!) and penguins with young chicks – plus those whales.

Our good friend Jonathan Truss will be accompanying us on this expedition as Artist in Residence. Many of you will have met Jonathan on safari with us in the Masai Mara – and Zambia perhaps – two of his (and our) favourite haunts. Jonathan is a great traveller, someone who will keep you amused even when you’re feeling grouchy! A great raconteur, internationally renowned wildlife artist and no mean talent on the guitar, Jonathan will be on hand to help all you budding artists to conjour up a bit of the magic of Antarctica’s icescapes on canvas.  We can hardly wait for the New Year! For more information on this exciting trip check out:

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Jan 20 2010

Thinking Ahead – On Safari with Jonathan and Angela Scott in 2011:

Sunrise2009 was a busy year for us with the launch of two books (Stars of Big Cat Diary and On Safari), participation in the Canon Ambassadors Programme in Perpignan and London, visits to the Bird Fair at Rutland Water and the Lichfield Camera Club at the Garrick Theatre in the UK, and speaking engagements at The Travelers’ Tales and Wild Photos – both at the Royal Geographical Society. It was exhilarating to be able to network with so many friends and acquaintances in the photography and travel world.

We were delighted with the response to the safaris we hosted in 2009. These included two safaris to Rekero Camp in the Masai Mara (Feb and Oct), Celebration of Wildlife and Cultural Life at Little Governor’s Camp followed by our annual Experience Seminars safari to Kicheche Mara Camp – both in October. We also traveled ‘out of Africa’ in 2009 visiting India, the Arctic and Antarctica.

We will not be visiting either the Arctic or the Antarctic in 2010 enabling us to offer you some new options
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Nov 27 2009

27 Nov: London

Published by under Travel Club

Great news. Have just met up with Liz Drake of the events management company Spencer Scott to talk through a Botswana safari for June 2010. Looks like it will definitely happen – Okavango Delta for ten days visiting Chiefs Camp (great for wildlife viewing), Abu’s Camp (we filmed elephant back safari here in 1996 for the Dawn to Dusk TV series I presented) which is a remarkable elephant back experience which I have been longing to share with Angie and hopefully a couple of nights at Jao which is a wonderful camp with the opportunity for boat rides and game drives. This will be for a group of 8 to 12 people so nice and personal and something we are really looking forward to sharing with you. Details to follow shortly.

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Nov 24 2009

Safari 2010 Update

Published by under India,Travel Club

We are thrilled to have filled our March 2010 safari to India – all eight of our traveling companions have been on safari with us before. We plan to offer a similar two week safari to India in March 2011 so would love to hear from any of you who have plans to travel to India and would like to join us – just 8 people again plus Angie and myself. And if you would like to join us in the Mara in Feb and October 2011 for a week long safari then please let us know.

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Aug 01 2009

Snow Hill Island – Emperor penguins

Snow Hill 1In early November we will be back in Antarctica for our second Snow Hill Island trip on Akademik Khlebnikov for another emperor penguin adventure. This season may well be the last opportunity to travel to Snow Hill so we would encourage you to join us on what promises to be a memorable cruise to the Weddell Sea and Antarctic Peninsula. Photographing emperor penguins has to be one of our most memorable wildlife experiences.

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Jul 21 2009

India – long term plans: ‘Times they are a Changing’

_G6W7238It is always an extraordinary and exciting moment when you feel a major transformation taking place in your life. I could feel that happening almost twenty years ago when I first visited Antarctica and realized that here was a new and extraordinary land to explore as a photographer: Angie and I both knew that the frozen South might rival our love for Africa. Antarctica was somewhere that made us want to pick up our cameras with a renewed sense of vigour and purpose. The colours, the landscape, the wildlife were all completely new to us and contrasted dramatically with the greens and browns of the African savanna. Antarctica boasted a million penguins to match the great migration of wildebeest and zebra. We have watched this unique spectacle arrive and depart each year as the herds journey from the short grass plains of the Serengeti in Tanzania to their dry season sanctuary in Kenya’s Masai Mara. Angie
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Jul 02 2009

Where are we now?

Arctic1We are currently on the expeditionary vessel Akademik Sergey Vavilov in Svalbard or Spitzbergen as it is also known in the Norwegian Arctic with Exodus Travel who are specialists in polar exploration. There are around 80 passengers on board and we have been traveling around the island of Svalbard in search of polar bears, walruses and reindeer, with plenty of birdlife, while enjoying talks from our on board experts about geology, history, ornithology and countless other fascinating topics on the area. Our role is to help people get the most out of the photographic opportunities, along with our old friend Chris Packham who we were delighted to see take over from Bill Oddie on Spring Watch. We’ve had a number of encounters with polar bears in different settings and enjoyed some great
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Jun 10 2009

India 2009

Published by under India,Travel Club

India We have just returned from an amazing safari in India. We stayed for six weeks and visited out of season – by May the sun is red hot, a great time to see tigers as they are more likely to come to waterholes and streams at this time of year. We had a week in Bandhavgarh National Park – the best place in India to see tigers – and explored a number of new camps and lodges. We were hosted by Nature Heritage for part of our stay and enjoyed the company of Raj who probably knows the tigers of Ranthambhore as well as anyone – he visits the park on a daily basis and has an encyclopedic knowledge of the tigers. We had one remarkable sighting of a mother tiger with three sub-adult-cubs of around sixteen months old that came to drink and cool off at a lake known as Rajbehra late one evening, and saw tigers on every game drive over the next six days.
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Jan 21 2009

Dates to watch for in 2009…

Published by under Travel Club

We would love to see you on one of the Polar trips we are participating in this year:

  • Spitzbergen Explorer on the Vavilov: 25 June to 5 July 2009
  • Emperor Penguin Safari to Snow Hill Island on the Khlebnikov: 3 to 16 Nov 2009
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    Jan 21 2009

    Antarctica: Snow Hill Island and emperor penguins (2 Nov to 15 Nov 2008)

    Snow Hill Island sounds like something out of a Christmas tale, but in recent years it has become known as the easiest place to see emperor penguins at a breeding colony. Discovered in 2004 By Quark Expeditions it is the most accessible breeding colony in Antarctica.

    Rick Sammon was the photographer in residence for this trip and what a gentleman he proved to be – engaging, knowledgeable, and always ready to help novices and professionals alike. Rick is a mine of information and it was a pleasure to travel with him. Angie and I were on board as guests of Exodus Travel the UK based travel company who have chartered the Kapitan Khlebnikov for the same trip in 2009 (3 to 16 November). We wanted to have a taste of what was on offer. With the photography side of things in Rick’s capable hands Angie and I were able to continue work on our Africa book when not experiencing the wonders of Antarctica – this was our 14th journey to the southern continent.

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