Professional wildlife artist Alison Nicholls will share her art techniques and teach you how to create wildlife field sketches. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned artist, Alison will help improve your artwork. This safari includes game drives so that you experience the African bush in a new way, learning creative skills in a beautiful and relaxed environment.
Wildlife viewing in Timbavati is superb - this private reserve within the Greater Kruger boasts regular sightings of the Big 5 (lion, leopard, rhino, elephant, buffalo) and other species such as zebra, hippo and giraffe, and predators such as cheetah, hyena and African wild dogs, which are regular visitors to the property.
Length: 7 days / 6 nights
Group Size: 5 + Alison Nicholls (Guide)
Location: Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, Greater Kruger National Park, South Africa
Departure Dates: 7 - 13 September 2023
This safari is based at Kambaku Safari Lodge in the Big 5 Timbavati Private Nature Reserve. Morning and afternoon game-viewing activities are vehicle-based, using a private open vehicle with a ranger. Morning and afternoon game-viewing activities will be vehicle-based, using a private open vehicle with a ranger. No other camp guests will share the drives, allowing our art group to remain at sightings for as long as they wish to. Kambaku is an owner-run lodge featuring eight thatched chalets overlooking a private waterhole where constant wildlife activity can be observed and enjoyed from the privacy of your chalet and from the main lodge area.
Alison Nicholls is a professional artist who lived in Botswana and Zimbabwe for nine years and returns annually to sketch in the bush, work with conservation organizations and lead our art safaris. She is a signature member of Artists For Conservation, the Society of Animal Artists and a member of the Explorers Club and Salmagundi Club in New York City. Her work is in collections worldwide and has been featured in wildlife art magazines in the USA and UK. She donates a percentage of every art sale to African conservation projects.
Daytime art workshops will feature topics chosen by guests depending on their interests. You will be able to assess your sketches, add colour or more detail, practice sketching some commonly seen species, and learn many tips and techniques from Alison. Some topics which can be covered in detail are:
- Adding colour to your sketches and how to use colour to show distance, heat, dust, light, shadows etc.
- How to use a sketch as the basis for a studio painting.
- Different ways of creating a field sketchbook – by species, by day etc.
Read this post and watch this video explaining what an art safari is all about, and this video to understand Alison’s approach to art.
Africa Geographic client Linda McClue enjoyed this safari in August 2019, and had this to say:
“AG’s art safari with Alison Nicholls was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had! I grew 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 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. This is something I have never been good at. I got much better at visualizing an animal in different positions because of her extensive knowledge of anatomy. I also worked on spending less time on details and working on whole animals, which improved my proportions and overall sketching. I filled pages and pages of my sketchbook.
During the workshop time, we worked on new watercolour techniques. Alison has endless patience with all different skill levels, and we all produced some wonderful art.
The best part of the five days was the friendships and the experiences with the animals that you can’t get anywhere else but on safari in Africa! Now, if we had just seen that African wild dog! I guess I’ll have to come back.”
Lodge visited: Kambaku Safari Lodge
7 - 13 September 2023 - only 1 space left
Per person sharing
Per solo traveller
Please note the above price is ex Hoedspruit. Should you need accommodation before or after the trip, or you would like us to arrange a more extensive safari program on either end, please do not hesitate to contact us. Flights from Cape Town or Johannesburg can be arranged. Please enquire with us if you would like us to book yours or need to know what flight you need to book to reach Hoedspruit in time to catch our scheduled transfer.
Meet and greet at Eastgate Airport (Hoedspruit), return transfers from Hoedspruit Eastgate Airport to Kambaku Safari Lodge. Six nights’ accommodation in large double rooms (shared) with en-suite bathrooms. All meals (starting with light lunch on arrival day and ending with brunch on departure day), a light continental breakfast before the morning drive, brunch, high Tea and dinner. Soft drinks, local beers, local spirits and local wines, coffees and teas. Art tuition by Alison Nicholls throughout the safari, including twice-daily game drives in a private vehicle and informal sketching workshops. Access to the gym, unlimited Wi-Fi, and laundry. All conservation and entrance fees to access the reserve. 24/7 office support.
International or domestic flights or road transfers to reach Hoedspruit. Visas, items of personal nature, premium spirits, wine, champagne, telephone calls, spa, curio shop purchases, travel and medical insurance. Gratuities. Read this article on tipping while on safari. Excess baggage charges, laundry, or any activities not specified in the itinerary.
Arrive at Eastgate Airport (Hoedspruit) where you will meet your guide Alison Nicholls and the other members of your group.
Once everyone has arrived, you will transfer to Kambaku Safari Lodge in the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve. On arrival, you will check into your room and acquaint yourself with Kambaku’s layout – your home for the next seven days.
After a light lunch, Alison will give a short demonstration, showing how she uses simple shapes to begin her wildlife sketches. With your materials and Alison offering advice, you will embark on your first art safari game drive.
Alison will sit in the middle row of the vehicle on drives, allowing her to talk to every guest easily. The main aim of the art safari is to teach guests to sketch wildlife quickly and confidently, and so most sketching on game drives will be done in pencil, pen and other dry materials – with the aim of completing as many sketches as possible. Watercolour and other materials are more suitable for finishing your artwork back at the lodge but may be added during game drives if time allows.
During any game drives, you will enjoy a plethora of game sightings, such as elephant, rhino, buffalo, impala, kudu, zebra, giraffe, steenbok, duiker, mongoose, baboon, vervet monkey and hippo. Leopard and lion, Africa’s biggest cats, prowl the bushveld, and their calls can be heard in the night while you are falling asleep. The lions are famous in the Timbavati – this is the home of the legendary white lions – and their prides have been followed for years. Other fantastic predators found here include spotted hyena, black-backed and side-striped jackals, caracal, crocodile, cheetah, serval and African wild dog.
After a stop for sundowner drinks, you will slowly return to camp, keeping an eye out for some of the nocturnal species that will likely start emerging as the shadows lengthen.
At around 19h30, dinner is served, and the following day’s art safari plan and sketching activities will be discussed.
Overnight at Kambaku Safari Lodge
Each full day follows a similar routine, subject to weather conditions, chance encounters and what has been seen so far. Usually your daily routine will run as follows:
05h30: Gather for tea, coffee and a light breakfast;
06h15: Depart on the morning art safari game drive to sketch wildlife, followed by a late brunch at the lodge;
12h00 – 15h00: This time will be spent at camp where guests can choose to sleep, relax by the pool or get creative in an informal art workshop with Alison. Alison will also be available for individual critique sessions.
15h00: Tea and a light lunch
15h30: Depart on the afternoon art safari game drive
19h30: Return to camp for a hearty dinner and a chat about the next day’s art safari activities.
Overnights at Kambaku Safari Lodge
On your last day in Timbavati, you will certainly be encouraged not to miss out on the morning drive. After braving the early rise for a final time, you will set out again in search of wildlife. And if lady luck shines down, you may even have the chance to focus your lens on the holy grail of the Timbavati – white lions.
After your last drive and brunch, the time to bid farewell to your ranger, tracker and staff at Kambaku Safari Lodge will have arrived. After the simplicity and raw beauty of Kambaku, you will leave relaxed and brimming with wonderful memories and sketches from the incredible Greater Kruger.
If you intend to depart from Johannesburg on this day, we recommend that you choose an early evening (18h00) or night departure.
Africa Geographic will gladly arrange any extensions or pre-trip accommodation bookings/programs you may need in Johannesburg (or elsewhere in Africa).
END OF SERVICES
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