- The Artist
Anne's friends and clients often ask to accompany her to Africa to see the beauty and drama Anne represents in her art and watch her creative process. Exploring Africa since 1998, Anne and Jim have discovered some pretty magical locations and established many dear friendships. Since 2010,we have taken a few Anne's trusted friends and animal enthusiasts off the beaten track to their favorite spots in Africa. It's an awesome, 15-day, 3,000-mile adventure visiting old friends and experiencing the special places we've found after years of exploring. It's an opportunity to study Africa with us,as it was 100 years ago -- before civilization and tourism hit the continent.
Each trip seems to be more fun and adventurous than the last, and we're looking forward to our next trip in November 2020 . Our journey includes all the high points in Cape Town, South Africa, and the Cape wine country. We follow the Kalahari Bushmen during their hunts and share dinner with the group in the desert. Our visitors feel the spray of Victoria Falls and watching lions, leopards, and wild dogs feed from just a few feet away. We also take an elephant-back safari, fish in the Okavango and Zambezi rivers, and spot elephants, giraffes, rhinos, and cheetahs hunting for prey.
Throughout our journeys, we meet the African people and see landscapes that typical tourists rarely experience. Each trip is a chance to make new friends and leave with memories to last a lifetime. It's also an opportunity to involve yourself in wildlife conservation efforts and make a difference in the future of Earth's wildlife.
Visit the "Journal" section to see more photos and journal entries from several of our recent safaris.
CARE TO JOIN?
The most memorable African safaris are usually booked years ahead as the best, most remote, and game-rich camps are quite small with limited room for visitors. We reserve our secret safari camps well over 18 months in advance. Although 2020 has been filled for some time, we still have some places for our November 2021 Safari across Africa.
We can also plan and arrange custom safaris for our friends who can't join us due to scheduling or budgetary constraints. We handle all the details, down to the tiniest items, just as we do on our own safaris. Our friends are met by our friends and escorted at each location and shown a side of Africa only Africans know. Being able to travel at your own convenience, yet have your safari planned by experts who can offer a unique, personal safari, is a great alternative to waiting for an opening on one of our safaris. We often have other folks on our waiting list who can share their own experiences with you. Let us know if we can help or offer some inside advice!
Drawing from our combined 38 years of working and exploring Africa, Anne and Jim, of Oceanographic Expeditions, have crafted an African experience to fulfill the safari dreams of any photographer or lover of African wildlife and culture. As always, Anne and Jim will escort our small group to ensure a personal experience unlike any package offered by large tour companies. With old African friends and experienced local guides, we visit ecosystems encompassing some of the most diverse and highly populated wildlife habitats across the African continent.
OUR TRAVEL PHILOSOPHY
As a wildlife artist, visiting the wildlest and most untouched areas of the planet to experience animals where they live has always been a part of our job description.We are fortunate to be able to "write off "our expedition costs, and bringing several friends enables us to fully enjoy and explore everything our friends and camps have to offer without strangers affecting our trip.Travelling with friends allows us to share expenses and adventures and ,frankly, have more fun. An intimate understanding of Africa's natural landscape and what constitutes responsible, conservation-oriented tourism is key. For several months before you leave our information packets, lists, and suggested reading list will help prepare you for an easy, safe, and exciting safari. Our goal is to not only connect you with Africa's magic, but also enable our friends to actively learn about and support local conservation efforts. Each of the places we stay has been selected for its sumptuous accommodations, incredible wildlife experiences, low-carbon footprint, and interest in preserving Africa's wildlife.
ADVENTURES IN 2021
Our expeditions include stops in five countries and four of Africa's top habitats. To experience as much of Africa as possible in a short 15 days, we'll ditch the rough road transfers and use chartered aircraft to fly from location to location across South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe. We charter planes with extra capacity to allow a full 44 pounds of luggage per person, instead of the usual 20-pound allowance on most safaris.
As always, our adventure begins in historic Cape Town, a beautiful city on the continent's southernmost tip. Our group will stay at the luxurious Cape Grace Hotel, rated one of the world's top hotels and perfectly located under the iconic Table Mountain in the heart of the safe, vibrant Victoria and Albert waterfront. During our three days on the Cape peninsula, Steve Bolnick, our friend and professional guide with "Walk in Africa," will lead us through the natural and cultural history of this rich and diverse environment.
We'll also visit the Cape regions' finest wineries and taste South Africa's world renowned reds and whites in a personal wine class. Our friends will visit Stellenbosch, South Africa's second-oldest town, and browse Dorp Street and many museums, galleries and shops. We'll visit a penguin rookery and enjoy a gourmet lunch overlooking the cliffs of Africa's tip at the Two Oceans Café.
Through Anne's work with the Cheetah Outreach Center, our group will get a behind-the-scenes look at one of the world's top cheetah and endangered species breeding facilities. And we'll take in the Table Mountain's majesty from two vantage points: on the top, overlooking the harbor, and during a sunset sail in False Bay. Visitors can also stop by the Two Oceans Aquarium or spend time shopping in the Victoria and Albert craft markets.
From Cape Town, we'll fly on to Johannesburg, then north to Botswana, one of Africa's most remote and pristine countries. Botswana boasts one of the world's largest deserts, the Kalahari, and the largest inland delta system. It holds more elephants than any country on the continent and is home to nearly 600 bird species. With over 10,000 square miles of verdant channels, lagoons, swamps, and islands, Botswana's diversity is breathtaking.
Botswana is also the birthplace of the oldest culture on the planet, the San Bushmen people. At the Grasslands Safari Lodge, we'll spend time with our bushman friends there and learn how they hunt for food, make medicines and survive in the barren desert. We have been helping a small tribe of Bushmen there for the past 9 years and they have become treasured friends. We share Anne's "Art for Animals" program with these bushmen, and they reciprocate by teaching our friends about their culture, dances, and traditions dating back tens of thousands of years.
Visitors can see a wide variety of Kalahari animals and watch them drink from the watering hole right outside the lodge. We'll learn about the Grasslands lodge's rescue work to capture, condition, and release problem lions back into their native habitat. Our chalets are just 200 yards from the Lion parks and each evening and morning we'll be serenaded by their roaring. At night, we'll sit around the fire and sip Amarula (a Baileys-like African spirit made from berries) and see which animals show up for a nighttime drink. From going along with the Bushmen across the desert on a Gemsbok hunt for food, to watching a Wildabeast "roundup" in the bush, we never know what adventures our friends at Grasslands will offer.
From the vast, dry Kalahari desert, we fly next to the lush, wet savannas of the Okavango delta (and one of our favorite places on the planet,) the remote" Little Vumbura Safari Camp". The Okavango Delta is home to hundreds of species of birds and vast numbers of wildlife. It is the only place on the planet where a river system spreads out and disappears into a desert instead of a body of water. Little Vumbura sits on a tiny, remote, wooded island, shaded by a canopy of ancient Okavango forest that overlooks the Okavango floodplains. Our group reserves the entire six-room, private safari camp, which features in-suite bathrooms, private open-air showers and a plunge pool overlooking wildlife viewing decks. Each room has an intimate, private balcony overlooking a water hole,visited nightly by a variety of wildlife. It's an incredible experience to be sitting at a table ,eating gourmet food and drinking the finest wines in the world hundreds of miles from the nearest civilization and surrounded by the Africa of 100 years ago!
Here we'll watch wildlife survive in their native habitat and explore the savannas and channels by motorboat, "mokoro" (a native dugout canoe), and open Land Rovers. The fishing here is superb and the sunsets are stunning. In the evenings, we enjoy drinks, snacks, and comradery as the orange sun dips into the water. At night we'll dine under the stars and listen to the chorus of African animals in the distance.
After two nights in the Okavango delta, we head west to Chobe National Park, which boasts huge elephant herds and abundant wildlife. Our plane picks us up and takes us to "Savute Camp", a world-class safari lodge known for its comfort and scenic spot on the banks of the beautiful Linyati River, near the park. Savute's rooms are built on private, elevated platforms, each with a private balcony offering dramatic views of the river and game in the area. Along with day and nighttime game drives, our group will spend time on the water and, if you enjoy fishing, we'll fish for for pike, tiger fish, tilapia, and giant Nile perch. On our last trip, we were fishing, sipping gin and tonics, and watching elephant herds swimming a few yards from our boat -- all at the same time!
We'll have great opportunities to photograph lions, leopards, cheetahs, giraffes, antelope, rhino, wildebeest, eland, kudu, hippos, and more. Here you can truly see the entire lifecycle of the African bush. One of the highlights of this camp is the "Boma Feast," set in the forest with torches and tables of food. We sing and dance with the camp's staff and local villagers, sharing in their traditional dance as a big family.
After two nights at Savute, we fly over one of the Seven Wonders of the World: Victoria Falls. Our group will stay at the historic, 105-year-old Victoria Falls Hotel, where the Queen of England and other dignitaries stay when they visit the area. Its halls are lined with momentos and photographs of the days when Britian ruled much of the world and the hotel was one of the best in the "empire." We'll tour Victoria Falls Park and its unique rainforest, then take a trip to the local market, and visit our friends at the children's orphanage.
While near the falls, Anne and Jim will again offer their wildlife conservation program, Art for Animals, at a local school. While Anne teaches drawing and Jim talks to kids about the importance of protecting wildlife, our friends will get to know some of the kids while touring their amazing school, set in the African bush. This experience with those kids has been a highlight of the safari for many of our friends.
The next day, we'll take a safari on the back of elephants, and then visit a local game preserve that's home to several rare black rhinos. We'll be treated to a private sunset cruise and enjoy drinks on the Zambezi River from our private,1920s-era riverboat.
On our third day in Victoria Falls, the group will soak in the beauty and peace of the river during a canoeing trip above the falls. We'll also have a chance to fish for tigerfish and Nile perch. We often see hippos, elephants, and herds of gazelles along the Zambezi riverbank.
The last night in Zimbabwe includes dinner on the banks of the Zambezi river at the beautiful "ZAMBEZI "restaurant.
Entertainment from traditional Shangaan dancers and singers will accompany our dinner on the banks of the mighty Zambezi river.
The next morning, after shopping at the local market, we reluctantly fly back to bustling Johannesburg. Our team will spend our final night at the Africa Rock Hotel, a tiny and delightful boutique hotel owned by our friends Otti and Zelda -- where we enjoy our final expedition banquet before parting ways as friends and fellow adventurers the next morning.
These specialized tours through pristine habitats are designed to give visitors a chance to meet with local people and learn about important conservation and species preservation efforts. We'll learn about the daily lives of the animals we encounter along the way. By participating in efforts to save the African wild dog, raise orphaned cheetahs, or release lion cubs or baby elephants into the wild, each of us will become part of the solution in Africa. The rewards of these interactions can make a tangible difference in the health of our planet and enrich our own lives.
Anne has a long and intimate relationship with Africa. Her adventures have created indelible memories that she expresses through her art. Her rich friendships and connections on the continent allow her to experience true wildlife dramas that most people typically only see on National Geographic television. Over the last 12 years, while on her annual artistic visits, Anne has grown more involved with several wildlife conservation and cultural organizations.
Her work with the Black Rhino Foundation, Ann Van Dyk Cheetah Centre, Cheetah Outreach and Project Hope has helped link her passion for art with her dedication to protecting wildlife and humanity. Although the size and range of the cheetah population have declined dramatically over the last century, Anne hopes her support for this animal may reduce the threats to these magnificent predators. You'll get to share her contacts and meet her friends who are working daily to protect Painted Dogs, Lions, Cheetahs and other wildlife.
Anne has extensively studied African animals, North American wildlife and endangered orangutans in Borneo. She uses her deep knowledge of wildlife biology, anatomy and reproductive habitats to form the foundation of her artwork. Her shared experience and knowledge is central to our learning adventure.
Through her Arts for Animals non-profit organization, Anne helps teach African children the role wildlife plays in their heritage and future while also teaching them how to draw. Each year our travel friends help us at our Arts for Animals Wildlife Conservation Centre in Zimbabwe. On our expeditions, Anne concentrates on drawing cheetahs, lions and elephants while the travel team will assist with photography and documenting observations. Each day will be another opportunity to share with Anne the heartbeat of Africa.
Jim is an oceanographer and experienced,professional photographer who has led recreational, scientific and research expeditions around the world since 1981. His adventures allowed him to follow his childhood passion to protect the planet, especially its marine life. After graduating from Louisiana State University, Jim lived and worked in Western Europe for several years. In 1976, he left England to explore the world, circumnavigating the planet by ship, bus, camel,sailboat and on foot. He returned from his explorations, two years later to become an award-winning builder and an oil and gas developer in Belize. In 1987, he patented the first electronic underwater communication device for divers.
He later earned a certification in Volunteer Administration from the University of Colorado and helped design, then manage, programs for the Aquarium of the Americas in New Orleans. While there, he led reef research and ocean quality expeditions for the United Nations; designed and developed sea turtle protection protocols for the Army Corps of Engineers; and developed ocean awareness educational programs for schools in Central America.
Jim launched Oceanographic Expeditions LLC in 1995 to enable volunteer divers from aquariums across the U.S. to become involved in marine research and conservation programs.To enable divers to activly participate ,he wrote ,"OCEANOGRAPHY FOR DIVERS" ,covering the most useful and interesting elements of underwater sciences. In 1996, he planned and implemented "Project Reef Spawn", which involved 200 volunteer divers in the first hemispheric study of mass coral spawning. A year later, he was asked to address the National Press Club in Washington to discuss the role of volunteers in scientific research.
While in the Bahamas in 1998, Jim was instrumental in developing the first shark conservation study using electronic Passive Injectable Transponders (P.I.T. tags) in black tip and Caribbean reef sharks. He has published scientific papers on mass coral spawning and lobster tagging in the Western Hemisphere; filmed shark feeding habits; studied white sharks in South Africa; whale sharks off Tanzania; and led numerous conservation and biological study expeditions to Central America, Micronesia, Southern Africa, and Egypt.
Jim is also a P.A.D.I. Divemaster who, in 1991, organized the Association of Diving Program Administrators. He served as president of this international organization for eight years and today often volunteers with Diveheart, an organization that teaches SCUBA diving to disabled veterans and children and takes them on diving expeditions. In 2009, he trained and guided the first blind, mute and deaf diver on a dive trip to Cozumel, Mexico.
After meeting Anne London in 2010, Jim's focus changed from marine conservation to wildlife conservation programs. He shares Anne's passion for Africa, and the couple continues to work with disabled veterans and children, both through Diveheart and New Heights Stables, a therapeutic riding facility near their home.
Jim has explored and photographed much of this planet and its wildlife, from the hidden valleys of Afghanistan, the mountains of Nepal to the depths of the Red Sea. His photographs, artwork and videos have appeared in the Washington Post, several wildlife conservation and SCUBA magazines, National Marine Sanctuary publications and on national broadcast television. As an artist, his "thermonuclear art" and outdoor, acoustic art piece, "The Singing Oak" in City Park, New Orleans, have garnered praise in the Cajun capital.
In 2020, Jim was honored to be elected to The International Explorers Club as a "fellow" , recognizing his work to explore our planet and expand Man's knowledge of the Oceans.
Since his first expedition to Northern Africa in 1975, Jim has explored much of the African continent and studied both its wildlife and cultures. His first-hand knowledge of the symbiotic relationships between animals and environment add another dimension to our journey and help visitors understand the full story behind the wildlife drama unfolding before our eyes.
Unlike other safaris, this trip includes no "extras" or hidden fees. The total cost for the 2021 expedition is $17,875.
For the 15-day journey, starting in Cape Town and ending in Johannesburg, trip costs cover: all meals (excluding some dinners in Cape Town and Vic Falls); all luxury accommodations; private chartered expedition flights and transfers from South Africa to Botswana and Zimbabwe; guides; activities; hotel amenities; conservation program donations; government permits; park fees; and taxes. Once we arrive in South Africa, we'll handle all major costs and use our well-established connections to secure the lowest possible cost for a safari of this scope, quality, and duration. Guides Anne London and Jim Hart pay most of their own costs to make the safari as affordable as possible for participants.
We'll send the exact dates and rendezvous times, along with tons of informative background information, packing lists and recommended books to read before the trip. With over 30 years of experience, we will help you prepare for an easy and enjoyable safari months before departure.We know all the timing, hints and secrets of having you fully prepared and ready for this adventure of a lifetime.
Note: Trip costs do not include international flights from the United States, airport and visa fees, special alcoholic drinks, tips, or trip insurance -- which is now mandatory with most African outfitters. We will help you obtain your visas and travel insurance.
If you are interested in joining our friends on this adventure of a lifetime, have any questions about African safaris, would like to discuss our itinerary or send in a deposit to reserve a position, please feel free to contact Anne or Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org.