Please note that I do not make any money from organizing these trips. Group travel brings individual costs down, so by travelling with a small group I can bring my travel costs down too.

* Trip Difficulty Rating: 1=Easy thro 5=Very Hard




19th May to 1st June 2010.  COMPLETED


Bespoke 13 day Photographic Safari to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, and the Okavango Delta, Savuti and Chobe National Park in Botswana. Flying between locations in our private light aircraft.    COST: £4845pp.  For itinerary see images at the bottom of this page.                      *Difficulty Rating: 1.     View images from 2009 safari HERE

This trip has just taken place and was a great success. New images from my 2010 group safari can be viewed HERE.

TESTIMONIALS - to read what other people have said about the trips, click here





21st May to 8th June 2011     COMPLETED



This amazing bespoke trip is aimed at photographers who want to experience some spectacular locations and photograph incredible wildlife.

THE GALAPAGOS ISLANDS - Remote, spectacular and utterly unique, the Galápagos Islands are a ‘once in a lifetime’ destination for anyone interested in the natural world. The wonderfully diverse wildlife and dramatic volcanic landscapes will exceed expectations, exciting even the most hardened of travellers. The total lack of fear displayed by the birds, reptiles and sealife enables visitors to the Galápagos to see, study and photograph nature close up in a unique environment.

THE RAINFOREST - The Ecuadorian Amazon is a pristine wilderness that is home to indigenous Indians and an almost infinite number of wildlife species such as: amazing birds, bats, butterflies, fish, monkeys, sloth, fresh water dolphins, capybaras, giant otters and caiman (similar to an alligator), plus other harder to spot creatures like jaguar, ocelots and jaguarundi.

THE CLOUD FOREST - The Andes mountains run through the centre of Ecuador and include many volcanoes. The cloud forests, on their mid to lower slopes, shelter profuse wildlife that includes many rare and colourful species of birds and some spectacular exotic orchids.

SAN FRANCISCO DE QUITO - To give the vibrant capital city of Ecuador it's full name, is nestled in a long, narrow valley in the Andes Mountains, between the the Volcano Pichincha to the west and the Machángara River Canyon to the east, in a spectacular natural setting. The city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is an interesting mix of old Spanish colonial and modern architecture.

ITINERARY (summary only - full day to day Itinerary at bottom of this section)

On arrival in Ecuador, we spend a couple of days photographing the sights of the capital city of Quito. Our hotel, the Patio Andaluz, is located right in the colonial heart of the city, very close to all the main sights. We then fly to the GALAPAGOS ISLANDS to take an extensive eight day tour on the 12 berth motor yacht the  MS Samba. We will cruise around several of the main islands in the Galapagos Archipelago. Our boat will have an experienced crew and a resident National Park Naturalist who will lead our shore excursions. We will make at least two shore landings a day to photograph at very close quarters the incredible wildlife.  Islands visited will include:  Santa Cruz, Genovesa, Marchena,  Isabela, Tintoreras Islet and Ferdandina. 

We then return to the mainland and overnight in Quito. The next morning we fly to the small town of Coca where we board motorized canoes to travel along a mighty river to the Napo Wildlife Lodge deep in the Amazonian Rainforest. Among the many highlights will be fantastic birdlife, colourful butterflies, capybaras, caiman, fresh-water dolphins and a visit to an area where thousands of Parrots, Parakeets and Macaw gather at a 'Mineral Lick'.

We then travel to the 'Sachatamia Rainforest Reserve' located high in the Mindo Nambilo Cloud Forest, almost right on the equator          (at N. 0 degrees 1 min 35 sec). This area is famous for it's amazing birds, especially Hummingbirds, the beautiful bright red Cock-of-the-Rock, colourful Trogon's and the rare Umbrellabird. Ant-eaters, Armadillo, Deer, Frogs and Agoutis (a type of very large rodent), plus many types of colourful and exotic orchids are also found within the reserve. We have 3 days high in the Cloud Forest at this luxury lodge before returning to Quito for our final night in Ecuador before we fly home to the UK.



You will need to arrange your own International Flights (UK to Quito approx. £760 return with KLM via Amsterdam) as these are NOT included in the price. (All internal flights to the Galapagos Islands & to the Rainforest ARE INCLUDED, and so are all the private surface transfers etc)

A Galapagos National Park entrance fee of $100.US pp (approx. £53pp) is payable in cash on arrival at the airport in the Galapagos Islands.

A $10pp Galapagos Transit Card is also required. This is pre-paid and is included in the cost of the trip. 1 years membership to the Galapagos Conservation Trust (GCT) is also included and a membership pack will be supplied on arrival in the Islands.

*The price is based on two people sharing a twin room throughout.

All meals are included for the 14 days we are in the Galapagos and at Napo Lodge and at Sachatamia Reserve. For our time in Quito only breakfast is included. (apart from the farewell dinner).

Quito Airport departure tax of approx. $40pp is not included. This is only for the international flights. There is no departure tax to pay on the flights to the Galapagos or to the Rainforest.

Please be aware that in the unlikely event that the Ecuadorian government increases the fuel supplement on Galapagos boats or introduces any new taxes or surcharges this will need to be passed on to passengers. Any other unexpected costs resulting from travel surcharges, exchange rate changes etc would also need to be passed on.
All Passengers must have there own travel, personal and equipment insurance (Very Important) Once deposits are paid over to the travel company, they are non-refundable, in line with the travel companies standard terms & conditions.

*Difficulty Rating: 2 to 3.

View images of The Galapagos Islands  HERE

View images of Ecuador HERE


21st May 2011 

We each fly from our nearest UK airport to meet up with the rest of our group in Amsterdam Airport for our KLM flight to Ecuador on the north west coast of South America.

22nd May  

On arrival in Quito, at Mariscal Sucre International Airport, we will have a private transfer to our hotel, the Hotel Patio Andaluz, which is located right in the heart of the old colonial centre of Quito and is very close to all the main sights. (We have an early check-in arranged, our rooms will be available from 08.30). Quito is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has an interesting mix of old Spanish colonial and modern architecture. Free time to acclimatize to the altitude or to explore and photograph the sights in the area near the hotel. Quito is the worlds second highest capital city and is 9500ft above sea level, so flying in direct from Amsterdam we will experience an altitude change of nearly 2 miles, although altitude is not usually a problem for most people until they go well above 12,000ft.

23rd May  

This morning we have a leisurely half day private guided tour to all the major sights around the city. In the afternoon we can revisit some of the sights, that are within walking distance, to spend more time on photography and perhaps in the evening take some 'night shots' of the nearby squares, churches and the Presidential Palace, before we eat in a local restaurant. You may wish to sample the Ecuadorian national dish of roasted guinea pig or the exceptionally good Locro Soup (made from ‘Papa Chola’ the Ecuadorian potato).

24th May 

Early transfer to the airport for our flight to the Galapagos Islands. On arrival at the small Galapagos Airport on the tiny island of Baltra, we first of all pass through an inspection point to ensure no foreign plants, soil or animals are introduced to the islands, and then we pay our Galapagos National Park Entrance Fee ($100).  We will be welcomed by crew members who will help with our luggage before the short drive to the quayside. We will then board small zodiac's which will transfer our group out to our vessel, the MS Samba. After settling into our cabins, a short safety briefing and a light lunch we set off to our first destination the nearby beaches of Las Bachas. These are organic white sand beaches located on the northern shore of Santa Cruz Island and they are the most important nesting site for the Green Pacific sea Turtles in the Galapagos. Named Las Bachas after the American military occupation on Baltra during the Second World War, the place is a peaceful and beautiful introduction to the 'Enchanted Islands'. On the shore are many marine iguanas, sally lightfoot crabs, we should also see blue footed boobies diving. In a nearby lake, are greater flamingoes, black necked stilts and other shore birds and wildfowl. We can swim or snorkel in the sea from the beach.

25th May 

After 6 to 7 hours of navigation from Santa Cruz we will wake up to the beautiful cacophony of one of the largest tropical sea bird colonies on the planet. The cliffs are decorated with frigate birds, red-footed boobies, Nazca boobies, swallow tailed gulls, tropic birds and many other pelagic animals. Darwin Bay is the home of many nesting sea birds. Following a wet landing in the early morning light we will witness red-footed boobies displaying for potential mates as they collect nesting material. The great frigate birds inflate their gulag sacks hoping to attract a female. Darwin’s finches, Galapagos doves and Galapagos Mocking Birds stroll the ground to find seeds and insects. The red mangroves, cactus and saltbushes contrast with the blue sky and the dark basaltic walls.  Following lunch we will make a dry landing to climb Prince Philip’s Steps. The steep ascent takes us over 100 feet above sea level, to be welcomed by red billed tropic birds and the aerobatic Galapagos shearwater. A lava rock trail takes us through the endemic dwarf incense tree forest, to find more red footed “lancers” nesting and many of their gannet like relatives, the Nazca Boobies. We will walk through the Palo Santo forest until we exit the trees and are met by the panorama of thousands of storm petrels flying erratically over the lava flows. This is the perfect scenario for the islands top predator to make a successful kill. The short-eared owl, known elsewhere around the world as a nocturnal predator, hunts in daylight on Genovesa. It waits patiently outside lava tunnels and crevasses to capture the storm petrels as they leave their nests after feeding their young. Snorkelling off Genovesa offers a wide variety of tropical fish and also hammerhead sharks in large numbers.

26th May 

The few other boats that visit Genovesa depart and then travel south; the Samba is the only one heading west-northwest. The Galapagos National Park Service granted us the special opportunity to visit Marchena’s Island (normally closed to visiters).  On the island there are endless and untouched lava flows, no fresh water and very little soil.  Punta Mejía is one of the best sites in the Archipelago to snorkel. The water off the north west coast is calm and clear. Apart from great fish diversity, when we snorkel we may see rays, reef sharks and sea turtles.
Navigating southwest to our next landing site at Playa Negra is an exciting experience as we could see bottle nosed dolphins, other cetaceans or feeding frenzies. After an early afternoon snorkel around a recently formed lava grotto where marine iguanas feed, we will start a 5 to 6 hour sail to the west towards the island of Isabela. As we get further away from Marchena the sea floor changes dramatically and we enter very deep water, an oceanic drop-off. The Cromwell current, which arrives from the west generates upwelling and brings richness to the surface. As a result, there are positive effects throughout the marine food chain and we have a good chance of seeing whales and other ocean wanderers. (Whales or dolphins can never be guaranteed, but we will do our best to find them).

27th May 

Human history has left its footprint on this small corner of the Galapagos. Punta Albemarle, the farthest north point of Isabela, was once an important US radar station to prevent any Japanese attempt of destroying the Panama Channel, but only a small dilapidated building now remains.  The recent lava flows here are the nesting ground of the rare flightless cormorant and are the basking terrain of the largest marine iguanas of the Galapagos. As very few boats visit this site, the rare flightless cormorants, that are usually very shy birds, display with total indifference to human presence while building their bulky nests with seaweed. As the morning advances the iguanas wander on to the shoreline to feed, diving off the rocks for green and red algae below the waterline.
Punta Vicente Roca offers an overwhelming diversity of geological formations. The area is an outstanding example of how the Islands were formed and how the forces of nature transformed the landscape and shaped the evolution of the wildlife. Vicente Roca has a volcanic landscape of tuff cones and lava dykes, some of which are at risk of erosion and collapse. We will look at the dramatic structures from the safety of our zodiacs, as we also enjoy watching the Galapagos penguins, brown noddies, blue-footed boobies and other marine life. When the waters are calm enough the snorkelling is fascinating. We have a chance to watch numerous sea turtles feeding on the walls of the tuff cones, which are covered with colourful invertebrates and rich red and green algae.

28th May 

At only 30,000 to 100,000 years old, Fernandina is the youngest island of the Archipelago. This immature shield volcano is new born in geological terms.  The further west you travel in the Galapagos Islands, the younger and more volcanically active become the islands. As the westernmost island, Fernandina's volcano, La Cumbre, is the most active in the archipelago. It erupts every few years and as a consequence, much of the island is formed of new lava with very little vegetation. The flat lava offers a stark and surreal landscape, but Flightless Cormorants love to build there nests here. Sea lions, pelicans, egrets, turnstones, oystercatchers, night herons and brown noddy are all common around the coast. There is an extremely large colony of marine iguanas here and it is sometimes difficult to walk without the risk of treading on them. Sally Lightfoot crabs are found in abundance on Fernandina as in most other places in the Galapagos. They can grow to be quite large and are difficult to miss with their vivid red colouring. Snorkeling with turtles, iguanas, cormorants and colourful fish is the best way to freshen up after the heat of our lava walk.
Over lunch we sail to the island of Isabela, here we land at Urbina Bay. Here the volcanic hotspot under the Galapagos Islands generates intense volcanic activity. This area experienced a massive volcanic upheaval in 1954 resulting in some very interesting terrain. More than ¾ of a mile of new shoreline was created, and many coral reef extensions were exposed to the air, as the upheaval lifted the seabed. We each have 3 options here: a short walk along the beach, a longer walk into the interior or the option to swim or snorkel in the bay. In the interior Giant Tortoise, Land Iguanas, Lava Lizards, some massive specimens of cactus and many types of birds can also be found. Urbina is a miniature reminder of a volatile Jurassic past.

29th May 

Isabela Island constitutes almost half of the entire surface of the Archipelago. It is nearly 100 miles long and offers a remarkable diversity of habitats. It's shaped like a seahorse and has four huge volcanoes that are over 5000 feet high. Along parts of the coast are vast mangrove extensions. Elizabeth Bay is the only place on Earth where old tropical mangrove forests and penguins can be found together. The ecosystem is also the home to spotted eagle rays, sea turtles and is a nursery for fish and marine invertebrates, all of which are easy to see in the very shallow and clear water. With the outboards off and using only our oars we will explore this amazing habitat.
When you land at Punta Moreno you understand why the Spanish Bishop that discovered the Islands said: “It was as if God had decided to rain stones”. When he first set foot on a lava field he struggled to find fresh water and in desperation was reduced to chewing on cactus pats to quench his thirst. More than three centuries later a young Naturalist saw beyond the lava. Charles Darwin was amazed by the colonisation of plants and the start of new life in this harsh terrain. He thought this process could easily compare to the origin of life on our planet. Where lava tunnel roofs have collapsed, brackish water accumulates to give greater flamingoes, pelicans, moorhens, herons, egrets, black-necked stilts and Galapagos Martins some interesting habitats.

30th May 

Before breakfast we will take a walk on Tintoreras, a very small islet, where marine iguanas breed and blue-footed boobies dive into the sea around the coast that is full of sharks. A small trail along the shore takes us to grotto formations just off shore where white tipped reef sharks rest. Through the clear and shallow water we will get a great view of the sharks. Sea turtles and penguins are always around too and we will enjoy all of this without getting wet!
After breakfast we will land on the main pier at Puerto Villamil. This is a small township located right on one of the best beaches in all of Galapagos, a spectacular two-mile stretch of silky white sand and palm trees. A five-minute bus ride will take us to the Galapagos Tortoise Breeding Centre. Here we will learn about this emblematic reptile after which the islands have been named. Giant tortoise breeding was decimated for over a century by the early sailors who killed them for food. It is a national priority to bring their numbers back.
We can’t leave the west of the Archipelago without climbing the Sierra Negra Volcano. This giant shield volcano is still very active and last big eruption was in late 2005. It has one of the largest calderas in the world. The active fumaroles, the lava flows and the vast depression formed by the collapse of the magma chamber, are a reminder of how the world was when it was new.

31st May 

It is important that we leave the boat early this morning to have a relaxed visit to the Highlands . Breakfast will be served at 6:00 am. At 1800 feet, the greenery offers the opportunity to see the remnants of a Galapagos mature forest. The Daisy trees of the genus Scalesia decorate a couple of extraordinary geological formations. Known as “Los Gemelos”, the collapsed craters are situated in a Scalesia Forest which contains lots of interesting bird life. They are the remains of volcanic magma chambers which collapsed and the vertical sides are now covered with vegetation. Vermillion flycatchers may be seen here, as well as the bright yellow woodpecker finch, Yellow Warblers, doves and Short Eared Owls. Weather conditions permitting we will go for a walk through the giant lava tubes. In the late morning we will transfer across to nearby Baltra Island and on to the airport for the flight back to Quito on the mainland. On arrival we have a private transfer to our hotel, again the Hotel Patio Andaluz, where we stay for just one night. Free time in the evening to further explore the city and it's nightlife.

1st June 

Todays adventure starts early with a private transfer to the airport for a short 30min flight over the Andes Mountains (with great views of snow topped mountains & volcano's) to the small town of Coco. From here we take an exciting journey along the mighty Napo River in a large motorized 'canoe'. We stop at a small village on the riverbank before boarding large non-motorized canoes to quietly paddle the last few miles to the Napo Wildlife Lodges. We stay here for 3 nights. This award winning luxury ECO-lodge, is located in the pristine Western Amazon Basin (The Oriente) on the banks of the Anangucocha Lake in Yasuni National Park, close to the border with Peru. The Napo River is a major tributary of the Amazon. Among the many highlights will be fantastic bird life, including Crested and Harpy Eagles, Toucans, Macaws, and five types of Kingfishers. There are also colourful butterflies, frogs, insects, snakes, sloths, tapiers, capybaras, pink fresh-water dolphins, Caiman (a type of alligator), Giant River Otters, Spider Monkeys and Howler Monkeys. We will visit an area where thousands of parrots, parakeets and Macaws gather to use two nearby 'Mineral Licks'. Other animals such as Jaguars, Ocelots, Pygmy Ant-eaters, Amazonian Manatee and Jaguarundis are also here, but are much harder to spot. There are also recent reports of a Black Panther being seen in the area. The lodge has erected two viewing towers, one is 125ft high and located deep in the forest allowing you to experience life high up in and above the tree canopy. The second is 60ft tall and is almost within the lodge complex, overlooking the lake and surrounding forest. 

2nd June 

A full day of private guided excursions by boat or on foot to view and photograph the exotic wildlife and scenery of the rainforest .

3rd June  

Another full day of private guided excursions into the rainforest, including the visit to the 'Parrot Lick'.

4th June 

After breakfast we return to Quito. We then have a private transfer to the 'Sachatamia Cloudforest Reserve'. Located high in the Mindo Nambilo Cloud Forest, this luxury lodge and reserve is almost right on the equator   (GPS: N. 0 degrees 1 min 35 sec). This area is famous for it's amazing birds, especially the many species of Hummingbirds. We should also see the beautiful bright red Cock-of-the-Rock, colourful Trogon's and possibly the rare Long Wattled Umbrellabird. Ant-eaters, Armadillo, Deer, Frogs, and Agoutis (a type of very large rodent) are also found in this area, along with many types of exotic orchids, flowers, fungi, and a plant with some of the largest leaves in the world. The lodge is located at an altitude of just over 5500ft, on the side of an extinct volcano.

5th June 

Up early to photograph the early morning rituals of the bright red 'Cock-of-the-Rock' bird.  The rest of the day is spent on private guided walks along the many trails in the area looking for wildlife to photograph.

6th June 

Another full day of private guided walks along the many trails in the area looking for interesting wildlife to photograph. At about 4.45pm we leave the lodge for our return transfer by road to Quito. On arrival, at about 6.45pm we check into The Patio Andaluz Hotel again for our final night in Ecuador. We will then enjoy a complimentary 'farewell dinner'.

7th June 

Up at 6am for an early breakfast before our short private transfer to the airport to check-in for our 9.20am international flight back to the UK via Amsterdam.

8th June 

Early morning arrival (5am) at Amsterdam Airport. Here we each take our individual connecting flights to our nearest UK airport.


The itinerary could be subject to small changes, especially the Galapagos section, which is at the total discretion of our boats Captain and/or the National Park Naturalist, who could make changes due to weather, sea conditions, wildlife movements, landing site rotation or volcanic activity etc.

WET / DRY LANDINGS: On dry landings your feet will remain dry as you can just step out of the zodiac onto rocks or a quayside. Wet landings are usually on the beach and here we have to step from the zodiac into the shallow surf and walk ashore. Just carry your shoes and put them on once ashore. It's all very well organized and no one should find it a problem. The Samba has two large zodiac landing craft and on all zodiac rides / landings, there will be a maximum of only 6 people per zodiac (+ driver). All safety gear is provided.

What WEATHER can we expect........?

GALAPAGOS: There are only 2 distinct seasons: The 'hot & wet' season which runs from December to Mid May and the cooler 'dry' season for the rest of the year. You would think it's best to avoid the wet season, right?  Wrong! During the wet season it rains less than in the dry season of most other destinations (only around 22mm per month in May). Even then, the rains are short lived with sun soon returning. Daytime air temperatures are between 27-31C. The sea is also warmer for swimming at about 26C and much calmer. During August and September the sea can be pretty rough, sometimes making landings unsafe. The cold Humboldt Current flows through the islands between mid July and October bringing sea temperatures down to a chilly 17-18C, cold enough to need a wetsuit, although 'land' temperatures in August can easily exceed 40C.

THE BEST TIME TO VISIT BASED ON THE WEATHER IS FROM MID APRIL TO THE END OF MAY.  The sea is still warm and calm, it's not scorching hot, rainfall is very low, the sky should be clear, everything is green and lush and the 'high season' tourist rush has not yet started.                                                                                                                               

THE RAINFOREST: The daytime air temperature is around 26-32C & 90% Humidity in May & early June. It can rain at any time of year, it is after all a "rainforest".  Early June, when we arrive, is the beginning of the "not-so-wet season".

MINDO CLOUD FOREST: Daytime air temperatures of 25-29C & 84% Humidity in May & early June. Less chance of rain than in the rainforest, but we could still have a shower or two.

QUITO: Although Quito is right on the equator, due to the altitude, spring-like daytime air temperatures of between 16-20C can be expected.





Polar Bears, seals and walrus, plus incredible Arctic scenery on a 16 day trip around the north coast of the Svalbard Islands (Spitzbergen) in the High Arctic, 1500 miles above the Arctic Circle -  (by Private yacht charter).  View images of the High Arctic HERE

25 day overland adventure in Rajasthan & Northern India - Agra, Taj Mahal, Delhi, Udaphur, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Western Desert, Jaisalmer, Ranakpur, Kumbhalgarth, Pushkar, Varanasi etc.  View images of India HERE

22 day Winter trip to China - Harbin Ice Festival / Beijing / Great Wall (in the snow) at Jinshanling / Hong Kong / Cambodia - Angkor Wat / Bangkok / Myanmar (Burma) - Mandalay, Pagan, Yangon, Bago, Mt Popa.

Costa Rica - Wildlife of the Rainforest

Wildlife Spectacular - South Georgia & The Falkland Islands (and possibly Antarctica). View images of The Falklands HERE

Photograph and swim with Great White Sharks in "Shark Alley" in South Africa

Brazil and the Fernando de Noronha islands (The Galapagos of the Atlantic)

Burma / Vietnam / Laos / Cambodia / Thailand

Kenya / Tanzania / Zanzibar

Belize / Honduras / Nicaragua / Guatemala / El Salvador

Chile - The Atacama Desert and Patagonia. View images of the Atacama HERE - View images of Patagonia HERE


Arctic Canada 

Western Greenland & the High Arctic

Latvia / Lithuania / Estonia 

Japan. View Images of Japan HERE 



New Zealand. View Images of New Zealand HERE

Wildlife of Madagascar

If you are interested in any of these 'possible' trips, then please register your interest by e-mail to:




African Safari Itinerary and Galapagos trip Info: