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Orangutans and Komodo Dragons with Tom Svensson and Tesni Ward

7-16 October 2023

Location: Borneo

Take the opportunity to accompany wildlife photographers Tom Svensson and Tesni Ward on an unforgettable photography holiday to Borneo’s rainforests and Komodo Islands to photograph the endangered orangutans and notorious Komodo dragons. If you want to experience some truly unique wildlife and nature, then this is the perfect photo tour for you. The full itinerary can be found below…


  • Explore Borneo’s rainforests and photograph orangutans in the wild.
  • Get close & photograph the notorious Komodo dragons.
  • Cruise the rivers surrounding the rainforest.
  • Opportunities to go hiking, snorkel over colourful coral reefs and swim in crystal clear water.
  • See tens of thousands of bats take flight at dusk.
  • Visit some of Asia’s most incredible temples.
  • Personal tutoring by Tom Svensson & Tesni Ward.


Day 1 (Oct 7) – Arrival in Jakarta 

Once you have arrived at Jakarta we will have an informal dinner and stay overnight at the FM7 Hotel next to the airport.

Day 2 (Oct 8) – Arrival in Borneo

In the morning we will fly to Pangkanal Bun on Borneo where we will board a Klotok, a traditional wooden riverboat. After some time spent on the main river, we will be met by a guide who will welcome you to the rainforests of Borneo and the photography adventures will begin.

Tom and Tesni will tell us what to consider during the first real meeting with the orangutans. After mooring the boat, we follow a narrow path into the dense vegetation where we will soon be surrounded by wildlife. Later we anchor at Rimba Eco Lodge for check-in.

Days 3-4 (Oct 9-10) – Borneo

The following days are spent exploring the rivers of Borneo further. During the days in the rainforest, we will make several hikes into the forest in search of orangutans.

We will visit Camp Leakey, where they reintroduce orangutans into the wild. Tom and Tesni will be on hand to share tips and advice on what to consider when editing the images from the days photo adventures. 

Day 5 (Oct 11) – Borneo to Yogyakarta

During the morning we leave Borneo’s rainforests and we travel to Kumai. We fly to Semarang where we have lunch before driving to Magelang where we check in at our hotel, Sarasvati Borobudur. For a couple of hours in the late afternoon, we will work on image editing under the guidance of  Tom and Tesni. There will be some free time in the evening.

Day 6 (Oct 12) – Sunrise at the Borobudur Temple

We will leave the hotel before the sunrises. We will travel to the Borobudur Temple for sunrise, one of the world’s largest Buddhist shrines and one of UNESCO’s World Heritage sites. After exploring the unique site, we make will make our way back to the hotel for breakfast.

After check-out we move towards Yogyakarta, where we check in at Gallery Prawirotaman Hotel. After the early morning you can spend the rest of the day as you wish. Perhaps you will visit the local market, or relax by the hotel’s swimming pool.

Day 7 (Oct  13) – Yogakarta to the Komodo Islands

In the morning we fly to Labuan Bajo. Here, we board the boats that will become our home as we explore one of the world’s most fascinating places, Komodo National Park.

We will moor at Kelor Island, where you can go snorkelling and swimming in the crystal-clear waters. For those of you who want to enjoy a stunning view, a hiking trail leads up to the top of the island.

During the afternoon we continue to a small uninhabited island to experience a rare event at dusk – tens of thousands of bats take flight. In the evening, we will have dinner on the boat while our guides tell us what to consider when we go ashore to look for and photograph the Komodo dragons.

Day 8 (Oct 14) – Photographing Komodo Dragons

In the morning we go ashore on Rinca Island, and together with our experienced guides we explore the island’s surroundings in search of the world’s largest lizard.

With stuffed memory cards we leave Rinca and make our way towards our next destination, Padar Island, the third largest island of the Komodo Islands. After a hike, we reach the island’s highest point and are rewarded with a stunning view of dramatic mountains, white beaches, and coral reefs. Back on the boat we moor at one of the coral reefs off the island and explore underwater life with our snorkelling equipment.

Day 9 (Oct  15) – Komodo Dragons and Giant Manta Rays

The photo opportunities continue as the first stop of the day is Banunggulung, where we get another chance to photograph Komodo dragons at close range. Tom, who has been on the islands several times before, will show us what to consider in order to use the camera to convey the size of the dragons to the viewer.

When we are not taking pictures, the island’s knowledgeable rangers tell us about the dragons’ way of life and how they hunt. After a hike on the island, we will board the boat again for lunch where we might also be lucky to see a giant manta ray.

After another day of amazing photography, we see the sunset for the last time of our trip, and we end the evening by eating a farewell dinner together. During the evening, Tom and Tesni will announce “Best picture of the trip”, which will go on to the final of the Picture of the year 2022.

Day 10 (Oct  16) – Journey Home

We return to Labuan Bajo, where we have lunch together before flying back to Jakarta for further transfer by ourselves.

Price: £4250/$5370

What’s included?

  • Domestic flights according to the itinerary.
  • All ground transfers according to the itinerary.
  • Accommodation in a shared room (£285/$360 single room supplement)
  • Meals according to itinerary (Breakfast – B, Lunch – L, Dinner – D).
  • Orangutan and Komodo activities according to the itinerary.
  • Local rangers during Orangutan and Komodo activities.
  • Entrance fees according to the itinerary.
  • Services of local rangers during all safaris.
  • Participation by Tom Svensson & Tesni Ward during the entire tour.
  • Workshops  during the tour.
  • A tour leader from Zoom Photo Tours.
  • Various conservation activities and lectures during the tour.
  • Hotel taxes and other local fees.
  • Travel documents and other travel information.

Excluded: Return flights to Jakarta, personal expenses, tips to local guides, cancellation and travel insurance.

You should arrive in Jakarta not later than 18:00 on 7 October and not book your flight home earlier than 21:00 on 16 October.

What should I bring?

  • Your camera.
  • Telephoto lenses up to 500mm (or teleconverter) or mid-length lenses around 70-200mm, wide angle lenses for example 24-70mm.
  • Monopod or tripod.
  • A laptop with image editing software
  • Extra batteries, chargers etc.

A more detailed equipment list will be provided in the information material you will receive prior to the trip.

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