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Sketching elephants while on safari in Greater Kruger, South Africa
© Alison Nicholls
TRAVEL POST by Alison Nicholls – wildlife artist 

What is an art safari? It’s a safari where you learn to sketch wildlife quickly and confidently. It might seem a little intimidating, but it’s amazing how much your sketching can improve when you spend several hours each day practising. There are only six guests on each safari and artists with any level of experience are welcome. We sketch from our private vehicle on our twice-daily drives and I lead sketching and watercolour workshops at the lodge during the middle of the day. It’s a great way to improve your sketching, enjoy an amazing few days watching South Africa’s iconic wildlife, and meet like-minded travel companions. Non-sketching friends and partners are also welcome.

Take a look at the end of the article for more information about our upcoming 2020 art safaris in the Greater Kruger.

Sketching a lion on an art safari in Greater Kruger, South Africa
© Alison Nicholls

The following is a selection of guest reviews from our 2019 art safaris:

I really can’t say enough good about the art safari; it was FABULOUS! All that I had hoped for and more, and I am still revelling in the memories and reliving it through my sketches. I have no suggestions for improvement because I thought it was perfect. Thank you so much! ~ Melissa F. 

I have just experienced the adventure of a lifetime. Africa Geographic and Alison Nicholls have put together a trip for Africa rookies and old-timers alike… I could not have created a better forum for Africa and my art. ~ Kelly G.

After a wonderful first two legs of my trip (Cape Town and Victoria Falls), I honestly thought that the trip could not get any better. Boy was I wrong. The art safari was one of the greatest experiences. ~ Sarah L.

Two images of guests sketching a buffalo and elephant in Greater Kruger, South Africa
© Alison Nicholls

Kambaku is a beautiful lodge. The staff were all wonderful and helpful. The safari drives were such amazing experiences and I will cherish those sweet memories forever. ~ Emily S.

The art safari far exceeded my expectations. The accommodations were top-notch, and the game drives were truly a lifetime experience. ~ Betsy W.

Africa Geographic Travel
Artist looking at their work at a lodge in Greater Kruger, South Africa
© Alison Nicholls

Thanks for such a wonderful workshop! I have more confidence now than before, for sure. I also love Alison’s demonstrations of watercolour painting with her unique style. ~ Emily S.

Two images of a sleeping lion cub being sketched and art books on a table by a lodge in Greater Kruger, South Africa
© Alison Nicholls

Alison asked us each individually what our goals were, and I shared that I really just wanted to try to sketch profiles of the animals and try to master that. However, by the end of the safari, I found myself enjoying sketching from life much more than from pictures, and really trying to sketch the animals from different angles. I really had such a wonderful time attempting this. ~ Sarah L.

Alison was a patient and versatile teacher. She did a great job of catering to students of different levels. ~ Betsy W. 

Guests watching a giraffe on a game drive in Greater Kruger, South Africa
© Alison Nicholls

The other members on the safari, I now consider friends. I plan to keep in touch with everyone and look forward to seeing everybody’s art. I left the art safari very sad that it was over, but also very happy because I now consider myself an artist. I plan to continue with my sketching, as well as experimenting with watercolour. The art safari is something that I would love to do again, and I would suggest to everybody I know to do something like this. ~ Sarah L.

Guest sketching an elephant in Greater Kruger, South Africa
© Alison Nicholls

The art safari with Alison Nicholls was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had! I grew so much as an artist and learned so much about art and African animals and birds. I really appreciated Alison’s approach to teaching art. She is very knowledgeable about the animals, birds and plants in South Africa. She was able to easily identify the areas where my sketching needed to improve. She had quick tricks and skills that made my ability to sketch moving animals much better. ~ Linda M.

Guest sketching a herd of wildebeest in Greater Kruger, South Africa
© Alison Nicholls

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We're the safari specialists at Africa Geographic - a passionate bunch of experienced safari-goers keen to share our deep understanding of this addictive continent we call home. We create life-changing safaris just for you. Travel in Africa is about knowing when and where to go, and with whom. A few weeks too early / late or a few kilometers off course and you could miss the greatest show on Earth. And wouldn’t that be a pity? Visit our website.

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