South Africa: Wildlife, Wine and White Sharks with Tom Svensson and Nigel Atherton

14 – 21 May 2023

Location: Cape Town, South Africa


On this trip to South Africa you will experience a number of amazing photo opportunities, with everything from a great white shark safari and penguins up close, to wine tasting, and a safari with the ‘Big Five’– lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo.

The beautiful surroundings of the Cape give us the opportunity to visit the Cape of Good Hope and photograph seals and penguins, but also offers exciting photography of great white sharks as a relaxing visit to South Africa’s famous wine growing region, where we will visit two wineries.

South Africa photo holiday

South Africa photo safari – Wine, Wildlife and White Sharks


  • Pilanesberg with its large numbers of big cats.
  • The opportunity to photograph the “Big Five”.
  • Photographing from hideouts.
  • Great white shark safari by boat.
  • Penguin colony at Boulders Beach.
  • Seal Island, with lots of seals.
  • The Cape of Good Hope.
  • Wine tasting at two Western Cape wineries.
  • Participation of Tom Svensson and Nigel Atherton during the trip.
  • Lectures and image editing by Tom Svensson.
  • The best photos from the tour will be presented in Amateur Photographer.
View of Cape Point lighthouse South Africa. African landmark

Image courtesy of Zoom Photo Tours

South Africa itinerary

Day 1 (14/5) – Arrival in Cape Town

In the afternoon we gather at our hotel near Waterfront in Cape Town. In the late afternoon we will do a tour of Cape Town and, among other things, ride the cable car up to the city’s famous Table Mountain. From here you have a fantastic view of the city and large parts of the Cape Province, and if the lighting conditions are good there are plenty of opportunities for nice pictures. In the evening we share a welcome dinner at the famous seafood restaurant Panama Jack. (D)

Day 2 (15/5) – Full day in Cape and Wine District

After breakfast at the hotel, it’s time for a tour of the southern Cape Province. We drive along the beautiful stretch of coast, past Chapmans Peak, and take a boat trip out to Seal Island and its large colony of seals. Next stop is the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point, Africa’s southwestern most point. During the day we also visit the famous Boulders Beach, with its colony of about 2,200 African penguins, and the opportunity to photograph them up close.

The day ends with a visit to South Africa’s famous wine district where we visit two wineries: Stellenbosch Wine Estate where we get to taste the vineyard’s own wines and learn about the winemaking, as well as Constantia Glen Wine Estate. You are free to spend the evening at leisure.

Day 3 (16/5) – Great White Shark Safari

In the morning we leave Cape Town and head towards Gansbaai, where the big photography highlight of the day is a meeting with the Great White Shark. By boat we go out into the shark-inhabited waters to photograph this mighty animal up close.

With a little luck, we can also experience the shark jumping out of the water, a magnificent nature experience that gives us the opportunity for spectacular pictures. For those who wish, there will be the opportunity to go down in a cage to photograph the white shark in its element underwater. Back on land, a light lunch is served before we return to Cape Town. There’s a chance to relax a bit, before dinner is served at a nice restaurant in Cape Town’s famous marina and shopping area. (B, L, D)

baboon climbing through south africa forest

Image credit: Tom Svensson

Day 4, (17/5) – Trip to Pilansberg National Park

After breakfast we leave the hotel and fly to Johannesburg and from there go by bus to the next destination: Pilanesberg National Park. After checking in at Black Rhino Lodge where we will stay for the next few days, we have a late lunch before it’s time for our first safari in Pilanesberg National Park. (B, L, D)

baby elephant in south africa

Picture: Tom Svensson

Days 5-7 (18-20/5) – Pilansberg National Park

The next few days we will do morning and evening safaris in Pilanesberg’s fascinating crater landscape. Together with our experienced guides and Tom, we will explore the 57,000-hectare park. Pilanesberg is known for its large numbers of felines and its photo opportunities of the leopard in particular. Other animals that we can photograph with luck, and the skill of our guides, are wild dogs, cheetahs and the rare brown hyena. During our photo sessions in Pilanesberg, Tom will rotate between the jeeps to give us photo tips and personal guidance. In addition to jeep safaris, we will also photograph from some of the park’s five hideouts, strategically located by the waterholes.

This gives us an opportunity to take pictures from new and unique angles. When we are not photographing, we will be image processing and participating in group discussions, with personal and constructive image criticism, from Tom and Nigel. On the last evening of the trip we will share a closing dinner where Tom will select the ‘Image of the trip’ that will advance to the final of the ‘Image of the Year’ competition. (B, L, D)

Day 8 (21/5) – Safari then return home

After a final morning safari we will continue to Johannesburg and its airport for return our flights home. (B)

portrait of a lion cub

Image credit: Tom Svensson

Price: £3,900 or USD $4,730 (for AP subscribers £3,200 or USD $3,800)

What’s included?

  • Transportation according to the programme.
  • Accommodation in part of double rooms at the listed lodges (£470/$565 single room supplement)
  • Meals according to programme (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner).
  • Safaris according to the programme.
  • Park fees.
  • Shark tour.
  • Tour to the wine district.
  • Tour to the Cape of Good Hope and the penguins.
  • Participation of Tom Svensson and Nigel Atherton during the trip.
  • Workshops by Tom Svensson during the trip.
  • Involvement of local rangers in connection with all safaris.
  • Participation of a host from Zoom Photo Tours.
  • Various conservation activities and lectures during the trip.
  • Hotel and other local taxes and fees.
  • Travel documents and practical travel information.

Excluded: Flight to South Africa. All costs of a personal nature, and tips for the rangers (about 10 dollars/day). Cancellation protection and travel insurance.

What should I bring?

  • A camera
  • Lenses: we suggest telephoto lenses up to a 500mm, wide-angle lenses like 24-70mm and mid-size lenses like 70-200m
  • A tripod or a monopod
  • Extra batteriers, chargers etc
  • Rain cover for the camera
  • A laptop with image editing software.
  • A more detailed equipment list will be provided in the information material you will receive prior to the trip.
vineyard view

Image credit: estivillml

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