This month we’re focusing on photography – celebrating the fact that we live in such a beautiful area and that we get to share it with you. We were delighted to sit down for an interview with Andrew Morgan, esteemed photographer, to pick his brain about all things photography and why he loves the Chobe River region so much.
Enter our photography competition! Submit your favourite photo of your stay with the Zambezi Queen Collection on Instagram and stand a chance to win a 3-night luxury stay with Mantis for two people. The competition is open from 1 April to 30 September 2022. Read more here.
Andrew will be the judge of our photography competition. So don’t miss out on this opportunity to show us your photography skills. We were also so chuffed to learn that the Chobe River was Andrew’s first photographic safari experience.
“In 2006 I borrowed my Dad’s old Minolta film camera and Sigma lens to go on a trip to the Chobe River, my first real wildlife photography experience.”
Read on for more.
Tell us about Andrew Morgan and your photography journey?
Growing up, my father was always taking photographs—initially, wildlife but also my sister and I playing sports at school. We spent a lot of time in the bush growing up, and I think it was a natural progression that I started taking photos. In 2006 I borrowed my Dad’s old Minolta film camera and Sigma lens to go on a trip to the Chobe River, my first real wildlife photography experience. In 2007 my parents bought me my first digital camera, and I started to work as a sports and events photographer on weekends while studying for a BCom at university. I moved to Zanzibar, Tanzania, in 2009 to run a small logistics company, and in the second year there, started to take photographs professionally as a side hustle. Before long, my side hustle became my business. I resigned from my job and opened a company photographing weddings and later lodges and hotels around the region.
Do you have a favourite photo you’ve taken of all time?
That’s a very tricky question – like asking a parent which child is their favourite! I have a few that stand out, though. On my first safari in Tanzania, I took a photo of a Masai herdsman holding a baby goat (it was an interesting time with the smelly goat then being thrust into my fiancé’s arms ahead of a 4-hour drive into the Serengeti). When my Dad first saw the picture he told me it was an award-winning shot. It later went on to get placed third in the Nature’s Best Photography competition in the “culture” category, so it holds a special place. There are also some wildlife shots and even some lodge shots that are special, usually because of the situation and circumstance surrounding getting the shot rather than the shot itself.
Your favourite spot in Africa?
Ah! Another impossible question. The Kruger will always be right up there; it’s the place I’ve spent the most time, and the smaller bush camps like Biyamiti and Talamati are fantastic. The Serengeti never disappoints, although it can often feel a bit too busy depending on where you are.
Chobe and Nyerere National Park (previously Selous Game Reserve) are great because you can do game drives as well as boat safaris. It’s such a privilege getting close to animals from the water and seeing them from such a low perspective, and of course, the birding is great.
Your favourite animal/bird/creature you like to photograph?
I think I go through stages. At the moment, I find Zebra are brilliant. Unless predators are hunting, they are generally just lying around hidden in a bush. But if you hang around with a herd of Zebra, they give you something interesting, maybe fighting or rolling in the dirt. But even just standing, looking around, there is a lot to photograph. A close-up detail of their stripes, a couple together resting their heads on each other’s backs, or a group all in formation.
What do you love most about safaris?
I think it’s just about being out there in the bush. The clean air, all the sounds of the wild, a campfire in the evening. It’s peaceful and reinvigorating.
What makes the Zambezi Queen Collection experience so unique for photography lovers?
Being based on the water, there is always something going on right around you. Animals coming down from the park to drink at the water’s edge, birds fishing in the river, elephants crossing the channels and the most awesome landscapes. It’s the full package.
So now that Andrew has inspired you to snap the perfect shot why not make it happen? You couldn’t find a better place to hone your skills than travelling with us. As our guest, you’ll be able to access our custom-designed photographic safari boat. Our boat accommodates six passengers and is designed to give you greater stability and 360-degree views for a broader range of subject matter. Every seat is also equipped with a mounting for resting SLR cameras. Our experienced safari guide can also assist you in snapping that perfect shot! Access to our photographic boat comes included with all our itineraries – all you need to do is book ahead.