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About Andy


I am an avid adventurer, conservationist, teacher, and outdoor photographer whose photography celebrates the African landscape and its rich wildlife, people, and culture. My photographic safaris allow my travelers to not only enhance their understanding of photography, lighting, and wildlife, but to develop a life-long admiration for Africa ‘s beauty and culture.

Banana Republic recently used my photographs as the cornerstone of their Urban Safari campaign, and my images were seen in all 750 stores around the globe, as well as in their billboards, catalogs and annual report. I was also the winner of the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year in the ‘Wild Places’ category in 2008 and a highly commended in the ‘Creative Visions of Nature’ category in 2007.

I launched Gura Gear in 2008, in an attempt to deliver lightweight camera bags to the market. I was looking for a lightweight camera bag to hold all of my photographic gear, and there was nothing desirable on the market that suited my needs. After spending 2 years with many prototypes, the Gura Gear Kiboko bag was born. More products are now available on the Gura Gear web site.





Entries in okavango (17)


Botswana Safari Announcement


I am super excited to be running a safari in November 2013 to two camps in the Okavango Delta. Here are some of the highlights:

Botswana: Okavango Delta Photographic Safari

November 8-17, 2013


  • We have private vehicles throughout the entire safari, with only 1 person per row of seating (the vehicles have 3 rows behind the driver, plus a seat next to the driver if you want to be lower down to the ground.)
  • An increased luggage allowance so you can bring all your camera gear - up to 80 pounds per person allowance. Standard weight allowance is typically only 44 pounds by comparison.
  • Exclusive and private use of both safari camps, ensuring freedom to make our own schedule and maximize time spent in the field.
  • Knowledgeable and passionate safari guides in Botswana will drive us in open Land Cruisers to help us get the images we are after.
  • This safari offers superb game viewing and photographic opportunities in some of the best areas in Southern Africa.
  • This itinerary focuses on a real wildlife experience from the surroundings of your premier accommodations.
  • The areas visited offer an insight into the fantastic wildlife in Botswana.


I have setup an information page for additional information. Please email me at if you are interested in joining me in Botswana in November. This safari in November 2012 was one of my most popular safaris to-date, as I ran a pair of them and both were sold out more than 9 months in advance.

If my November date does not work for you, I do have other safaris on the books in 2013 and beyond, and you can see my entire schedule online here.



Bull Elephant near Sandibe Camp, Okavango Delta, Botswana






Photo of the Day - Lioness Crossing Water


Lioness Crossing Water

near Chitabe Camp, Okavango Delta, Botswana. July 2011

Nikon D3x, 200-400mm f/4 @ 340mm, 1/1250 @ f/4


I have been back from safari for a few weeks now, however I haven’t had much of a chance to process or even look at any of my images. I have had a few business related trips, as well as a well needed family vacation.

I absolutely love it when we find predators near and in water. The Okavango Delta in northern Botswana is a very dynamic place to photograph, as the water levels rise and fall throughout the year. When the water rises, you end up with more and more isolated pieces of ground amongst the water. This can be a great thing for photographers, as all wildlife will eventually need to move through these waters. When photographing cats in water, I do like to pay attention to leg positioning as well as head direction. Let’s paint a picture here. We watched a pride of lions on an unsuccessful hunt of impala, and after the imapal ran off through the water we anticipated the lions following one of the impalas that appeared to be hurt. We drove and then positioned the Land Rover so that we would shoot the lions coming through the water from a 90 degree angle, if not a slightly less than 90 degree angle. Why? Well, I supposed we could have shot them coming towards the vehicle, which is also a great shot, but the distance between us and the lions would have given them enough room to walk away from us. Wildlife rarely walks towards you, so rather than fight for an oncoming shot we went for a side shot. I like 90 or near-90 degree angles, because I do like to see at least 1 eye of my subject. For argument’s sake let’s just say that the angle here is 90 degrees. This allowed us to photograph the lioness with 1 eye showing and a hint of her 2nd eye. Eyes make all the difference in a wildlife image, as well as things like leg position and tail. Here we have a visible tail and 4 legs that seem to have a nice balance to them. If you zoom in closely on the image you can also see a nice splash in the water, which is an added ‘golden nugget’ that I like to look out for. Golden nuggest are just those things that help keep a viewer’s attention on an image.

From a processing standpoint, I processed the image in Lightroom with basic tweaks, and then finished the image off in Nik Software’s Viveza 2. One thing to note is that I actually desaturated the lion, as a lion can pick up a heavy orange/yellow color cast if you aren’t careful. The landscape portion of the image needed punch and more saturation, however the main subject did not.


Photo of the Day - Leopard



Chitabe Camp, Okavango Delta, Botswana.

Nikon D700, 200-400mm, 1/200 @ f/5.6, ISO 6400

I do prefer dramatic lighting wherever I can find it, and if I can get a golden rim light on my subject I am going to race towards it. In this example, I waited and waited and waited for her to have a golden rim light on her chin, and the added bonus was the light on her right paw. I have about 30 shots of her prior to this one, but the sun was behind clouds for the earlier shots. This shot required a high ISO of 6400, and even then I was only able to get 1/200 of a second for my shutter speed. My exposure compensation for matrix metering was +1 2/3, as the only thing that matters in this scene is the leopard, and not the blown out sky.

I am leading more and more safaris to Botswana in 2012 (will be a total of 4), and I should have more safaris listed very soon.


Photo of the Day - Elephants in the Okavango


Elephant Family

Okavango Delta, Botswana

Canon 1DMk3, 100-400mm, 1/1250 @ f/5.6, ISO 400


Here is an image that was taken from a helicopter over the Okavango Delta, Botswana. I love to shoot aerial photographs, especially in and around the Okavango. I often take my safari travelers up in the air, as we are able to take off the doors of the helicopter and shoot away. I try and keep my minimum shutter speed at around 1/1000, as slower speeds start show some blur. Shooting wide open isn’t a big deal, because the subjects are far enough away where depth of field isn’t a concern at all. I have to make certain that my harness in the helicopter is extremely tight and won’t come loose, as it would be a loooong way down!


Here is a quick view with a 15mm fisheye, looking down from my shooting position.


Africa Photo Safari Availability for 2011


I do have a few more spots available for the rest of my 2011 safaris, as well as a few new safari announcements. If you are planning your 2011 schedule, and have been thinking about photographing some of the most amazing and abundant wildlife on the planet, here is a quick rundown of what I have available for the rest of the year.

Botswana: The Premier Wildlife Safari. July 4-13, 2011. Only 1 spot available.

Predators of the Sabi Sands, South Africa. July 25 - August 3, 2011. A few spots available, and limited to a max of 7 travelers.

Ultimate Mountain Gorillas and the Masai Mara. September 3-15, 2011. Only 2 spots available.

Kenya’s Masai Mara and Wildebeest River Crossings. September 14-23, 2011. New Announcement, limited to 7 travelers. Only a few spots available after only a couple of hours.

As you can see, my safaris do book up well in advance as there are only a few spots left on some of these safaris. The safaris that are already sold out are not contained in this blog post, and you can see my entire safari and workshop schedule on my main web site:

Andy Biggs Photo Safaris - Safaris and Workshop Schedule

I am starting to work on my 2012 safari and workshop schedule, and I will being to post the schedule as I start to get pricing and schedules all nailed down. It takes a ton of time to plan these safaris. I do know that I will be running two safaris in Botswana in September 2012, and Greg du Toit will be running the popular Predators of the Sabi Sands safari as well (July or August).


Mombo and Little Mombo Best in Africa Again

I use many different safari outfitters throughout Africa, as well as other providers that help me in different areas of my business, and one of the most reliable organizations I work with is Wilderness Safaris. Their camps are always top notch, and their professionalism both at the camps and in the home office always exceeds expectations. It is no surprise that Mombo Camp and Little Mombo Camp in Botswana’s Okavango Delta are yet again the Number 1 Resort in Africa in the 2010 Condé Nast Traveler (USA) Readers’ Choice Awards.

Aside from Mombo’s chart-topping achievement, a number of other Wilderness Safaris camps were prominent in the Top Resorts in Africa: Other camps in Botswana that were rated highly by readers of the magazine were the Okavango camps of Jao Camp (at eighth place) and Vumbura Plains, and the Linyanti camps of DumaTau and Savuti. Namibian camps that featured in Top African Resorts included the Kulala and Ongava camps at Sossusvlei and Etosha respectively.

Destinations were rated on the following criteria: Activities/facilities, food/dining, location, overall design, rooms, and service - all of which Mombo performed almost perfectly according to the readers of Condé Nast! As the magazine states: “Africa at its finest, this camp on the edge of a floodplain has a perfect-scoring location so exquisite, a movie set couldn’t replicate it.”

Most of the camps listed above are camps that I visit on my photographic safaris with my customers. I always frequent properties that me and my business look good, and a huge congratulations goes out to my friends at Wilderness Safaris for this very exciting award. You guys deserve it.


Day 6 –Savuti Camp, Linyanti Concession, Botswana

Today we had yet another overcast day, and it never really got cold at all. Perhaps the mid 50’s isn’t cold for wintertime, and I am sure future days will get cold again. We drove to the open woodland, along the Linyanti River, and we saw herds of giraffe, elephants feeding on the tall grass, baboons and a few wildebeest. We heard some commotion and saw some hyaenas feeding on a day-old giraffe carcass. After 30 minutes, two lionesses came back and wanted to reclaim their kill and the hyaenas quietly walked away. I suspect there was so much meat on the kill that there was enough to go around without too much displacement.

One of the female lions was quite pregnant and should have cubs soon, and the other female had a ‘milky eye’ and was a bit more aggressive. We watched them do the typical dining activities, and we broke off after a little while to go have some coffee and tea. Kills are always a great thing to see, especially for the first time, however it doesn’t always produce the types of photographs that people anticipate.

After lunch we worked with the local wild dog researcher to locate and photograph a pack of wild dogs. Wild dog sightings are rare to begin with, and this one was special because they also had 5 puppies with them. The pack was 17 strong, and we just sat and watched them sleep and play for the afternoon. What a treat. The dogs had a temporary den that they will keep for only a few days, and we worked with the researcher to locate the pack using a radio collar, and it took a fairly decent offroad drive over mopane trees to get there. This sighting was definitely a challenge photographically, because we never did get a good, open area where they were playing.

On the way back to camp, we sat and watched a large herd of elephants cross the road in absolutely perfect light. What a day!

Note: All images in these daily blog postings are very very rough edits of the things we have seen, and I often omit the photographs that take too much time to process. I don’t take much time off during the day, as I am working with people with their photographic needs. All of my images in these posts will have to be re-processed when I get back home, and they are only included in these blog entries for illustration purposes.






Day 5 –Chitabe Camp / Savuti Camp, Botswana

Today was our last day at Chitabe Camp, and like the previous mornings, it wasn’t too cold when we started out. It was overcast and more windy today than the past few days. On the days when we are leaving one camp and heading to another, we typically have a shorter morning game drive to allow for an early brunch, packing of duffle bags and time to get to the airstrip.

We knew we wouldn’t be out for more than about 3 hours, so we chose to search for game closer to camp. We found a healthy-sized cape buffalo herd, and chose to spend the bulk of our time with them. When photographing buffalo, if you wait for a long while you may end up with them on all sides of your vehicle. We didn’t have the time to accomplish that particular approach this morning, due to time constraints. We were able to find quite a few red billed oxpeckers on their backs and faces, and chose to home in on the symbiotic relationship between the two.

After a nice brunch, the Chitabe staff sent us on our way with smiles and full bellies. We made it to the airstrip before our pilots arrived, and we took the time to tell bush stories and just chew the fat. On all of my safaris, we always provide whatever it takes to allow people to bring enough camera gear to make the safari successful. On this safari we have provided for a pair of Cessna Caravans for our group, which significantly increased the weight allowance from only 44 pounds to more than double. This is a huge benefit if photography is your main goal from your safari.

After only a 30 minute flight to Savuti, we disembarked our planes and jumped into our safari vehicles. I also had a chance to see my friend and guide Kane, which is an excellent safari photographer and guide. You can see his photographs at I helped him setup his web site last year, and he updates his site often.

After a 3:00 tea, we headed out for our first game drive at Savuti. Right outside of camp, we were stopped by a large group of elephants on both sides of the road. A lone bull elephant decided to walk towards us and dined on a healthy diet of minerals about 10 feet from us. We had a great time zooming in and grabbing intimate details of his face, ears and tusks, and when he was through putting on a show for us, he picked up some loose dirt and flung it in our faces. I actually had to turn my D700 + 70-200mm lens upside down just to get the dirt out. Talk about a fun time with a very very relaxed bull elephant that all in the vehicle will remember.

As the sun started to get low in the sky, we worked the edges of the Savuti channel in hopes of picking up lion or leopard tracks. We did track a lion for the better part of 2 hours, however we never could catch up with it before we had to head back to camp.

On the way back to camp, we stopped to photograph a lone bull elephant crossing the channel. The channel is more flooded now than in recent years, and the water is flowing all the way to the Savuti marsh, inside Chobe National Park. This is a significant change since the early 1980’s, as the channel hasn’t held flowing water since that time. The area is lush and green, and elephants are crossing the water quite often.

We were back to camp on the early side, as we didn’t stop for anything on the way back. An early dinner awaited, and now I cannot wait for tomorrow’s game drives, as we have heard of the local wild dog pack’s movements near our camp.

Note: All images in these daily blog postings are very very rough edits of the things we have seen, and I often omit the photographs that take too much time to process. I don’t take much time off during the day, as I am working with people with their photographic needs. All of my images in these posts will have to be re-processed when I get back home, and they are only included in these blog entries for illustration purposes.


James Weis strutting his photographic stuff with BB, our guide



Lone elephant, crossing the Savuti channel at sunset