TESTIMONIALS

Photographer feedback: 2016 Chobe-Zimanga safaris

We think our safaris offer a fabulous experience for enthusiastic wildlife photographers, but don’t take our word for it, read what our guests have to say.

As a couple with a passion for photography, we have been on many photo tours, and this trip with Ann and Steve Toon stands out as being absolutely excellent and one of the very best, with the added bonus of being very reasonably priced and remarkable value for money for the truly diverse and unique photo opportunities on offer. Can we come again, please! Steve and Ann Toon are the UK Southern Africa photographic experts. They have been visiting Southern Africa several times a year for 20 years and their 40 years combined experience of travel and photographing in Africa shines through in their knowledge of the best and most unique photo opportunities, their encyclopaedic knowledge of the wildlife and the environment, and their calm, friendly but very efficient management of travelling and staying in Africa. They are excellent hosts and company and seen to have inexhaustible energy and patience, being always available to sort any issues with the (excellent) accommodation, health concerns and activities. Having two professional hosts for only 6 clients meant that we benefited from expert personal help when ever needed or asked for. We found them selfless in their attention to ensuring their clients were in the very best photographic positions, and providing regular, but quiet and unobtrusive advice on settings and composition, and anticipating evolving scenes based on their deep knowledge of animal behaviour (‘ you might want to check your ISO as the light is improving…perhaps underexpose a bit to stop the fish eagle breast from burning out…check your speed, that kingfisher is just about to dive…lets wait, that elephant is heading for the river’). We have been on one or two trips where the guide's personal photographic objectives dominated their behaviour  - never with the Toons!
JM, Cumbria
What a fantastic experience you gave us all! Very many thanks.
LL, Northumberland
Thanks for a wonderful holiday which far exceeded my hopes and expectations!
ES, Northumberland
You will have the best photo trip of your life and you are in great hands with Ann and Steve.
SH, Lancashire
Thanks so much for such a great time and making my dreams come true. It was just brilliant.  I wake up in the mornings wanting to be on the Chobe river!  Thanks for the time of my life and your great company.
FB, Cumbria
Thank you both for giving us such a memorable safari. We had a whale of a time and enjoyed every minute of it, learnt a lot, got lots of pictures and really relished the ability to concentrate on photography. Your gentle tutelage was invaluable. The group was really wonderful and I have many happy memories of our time together.
JS, Northumberland
I was fortunate enough to be on the inaugural Chobe-Zimanga photographic trip and the comprehensive briefing notes and joining instructions set high expectations for what was to follow. In the event, the venues and close access to so many birds and mammals far exceeded this and the organisation, accommodation and food was first class. Ann & Steve were excellent hosts using their vast experience of the regions in both helping to establish optimum locations, identifying the wildlife and providing valuable insights into the behaviour and lifestyle of the species. The trip was suitable for keen photographers at all levels with Ann & Steve providing appropriate guidance on optimum camera settings and lenses to maximise the chance of getting stunning images. Ann regularly reminded us of her dictum on the first rule of photography which is “enjoy yourself”. I think I can safely speak for all the guests in concluding that we certainly did that. Highly recommended.
RT, West Yorkshire
Our trip with you was a fabulous and unique experience.  Each day brought a new delight in terms of animal behaviour and wildlife photographic opportunities: a family of the rare painted dogs including fourteen puppies at close quarters;  mirror reflections in Bence Mate's fantastic hides of fish eagles, jacanas, melba finches to mention but a few; yellow-billed storks nesting en masse and flying (even I managed to get some good pictures in focus!); sable antelope; meeting Kalahari the cheetah in his home context; hovering pied kingfishers; hippos yawning; a kaleidoscope of giraffe; and of course the amazing elephants: dusting; mud wallowing; snorkelling. We enjoyed it all and were particularly appreciative of your regular but not invasive reminders about changing exposure, ISO, aperture etc. as the situation before us developed and the light changed.  The most vital input that you had, using the experience of our wonderful local guides, was to take us to the right places in the right light.  I shall never forget the tiny calf elephant struggling up a step in the river bank helped up with her mother's trunk, the whole scene bathed in precious golden light. The hotels were extremely well appointed, the food much to be enjoyed, and the staff at Chobe and Zimanga delightful. We much enjoyed your generous company and tapping into your voluminous information bank about these parts of Africa, and for giving us the opportunity to experience Chobe from the unique viewpoint of the river, and Zimanga in the early days of the Mate hides.  You were both excellent guides.
RM, Cumbria
I wanted to thank you personally for a lovely holiday.  I had my doubts about joining such an illustrious group of photographers, but I needn’t have worried! I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and learned a lot too. Your organization was perfect and you made me feel very welcome. I would certainly like to join you on a future trip.
JB, Derbyshire