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Madagascar Photo Tour - September 2020

Wildlife Photographic Tour of Madagascar

Working with Devon-based specialist wildlife tour company Reef & Rainforest, I will be joint leading an exciting photographic tour to Madagascar in 2020.


Dates - 18th September to 2nd October 2020

Meet Us - Oliver & Reef & Rainforest will be exhibiting at the British Birdfair in August 2020. Come and visit to discuss the tours.

Guides - The tour will be led by Oliver along with wildlife expert Daniel Razafimandimby, who has over a decade of tourism & guiding experience in Madagascar. Daniel’s profound knowledge of Madagascar’s wildlife and Malagasy culture combined with his natural charm and excellent spoken English will greatly enhance your knowledge of your surroundings and enjoyment of the tour.

Tutor - Photographic tuition by professional wildlife photographer & naturalist Oliver Smart. Oliver will give full photographic guidance throughout the trip and also offer Adobe Lightroom tuition for those who wish to learn the best ways to process your images taken on the trip.

Daily itinerary - Bizarre & extraordinary is what differentiates Madagascar from anywhere else on the planet. This tour takes in many key habitats to find and photograph some of the unique and wonderful wildlife, dramatic landscapes and intriguing culture.

Key Locations - We will be visiting some of the most beautiful and productive wildlife sites in the country including Berenty, Kirindy, Perinet (Vohimana), Mantadia National Park and Le Palmarium Reserve.

Key Information
• Location – Various (see above)
• Dates – 18th September to 2nd October 2020 (confirmed)
• Flights – international flights are not included in the tour price however Reef & Rainforest can help you with booking these as required. All internal flights are included
• Places – maximum of 8
• Cost – see Reef & Rainforest's website
• Single Supplement – see Reef & Rainforest's website. Please also advise if you are willing to room-share
• Booking – call Reef & Rainforest on +44 1803 866965 to book your place
• Extensions – additional options are available if you wish to extend the tour and take in other locations (e.g. Nozy Be, Ifaty etc.)
• Included – all internal flights, accommodation and food, airport transfers, ground transportation, guiding and photographic tuition
• Not Included – alcoholic beverages (except selected drinks at some lodges), travel insurance, tipping & any other items of a personal nature
• Medical - please speak with Reef & Rainforest to discuss your personal medical background, vaccinations & high altitude travel
• Internet Access – WiFi available in the majority of locations

Trip Details - The full itinerary is now available. For more information on this specific tour please view the itinerary at Reef & Rainforest or by phone on +44 1803 866965 and speak to Ian Loyd.

If interested in future tours with Oliver or would like to be added to a reserve list then please call +44 7802 417810 or email Oliver Smart for more information.

This slideshow selection shows images taken from Oliver's last visit to the country.

Ethiopia Photo Tour - November 2020

The Photogenic Wildlife Highlights of Ethiopia

Working with Devon-based specialist wildlife tour company Reef & Rainforest, I will be leading the second exciting photographic tour to Ethiopia in November 2020.

Dates - 17-27th November 2020

Meet Us - Oliver & Reef & Rainforest will be exhibiting at the British Birdfair in August 2020. Come and visit to discuss the tours.

Guide - The tour will be led by Oliver along with wildlife expert Daniel Million, who has over a decade of guiding experience in Ethiopia. As one of the top Ethiopian naturalists he is well-placed as a top tour leader and naturalist for our adventure.

Tutor - Photographic tuition by professional wildlife photographer & naturalist Oliver Smart. Oliver will give full photographic guidance throughout the trip and also offer Adobe Lightroom tuition for those who wish to learn the best ways to process your images taken on the trip.

Daily itinerary - The trip has been tailored to cover many of the magical locations in Ethiopia, where we’ll be exploring and photographing a wealth of mammals, birds and other wildlife as well as taking in a good chunk of the fascinating culture. Extraordinary landscapes dominate the background to our wildlife watching and stunning star gazing at night will top off a truly remarkable adventure.

Key Locations - We will be visiting some of the most beautiful and productive wildlife sites in the country including the Simien Mountains, Bale Mountains National Park, Sanetti Plateau, Harenna Forest and Lake Awassa.

Additional Site Visits - We will also visit Gondar Castle, Fasilides Bath and Debre Birhan Selassie Church. Don’t worry as there is plenty of wildlife to spot around these locations too!

Key Information
• Location – Various (see above)
• Dates – 17-27th November 2020 (confirmed)
• Flights – international flights are not included in the tour price, however all internal flights are (please ensure you book international flights with Ethiopian Airlines)
• Places – maximum of 8
• Cost – see Reef & Rainforest's website
• Single Supplement – see Reef & Rainforest's website. Please also advise if you are willing to room-share
• Booking – call Reef & Rainforest on +44 1803 866965 to book your place
• Extensions – additional options are available if you wish to extend the tour and take in other locations (e.g. Rock Hewn Churches of Lalibela)
• Included – all internal flights, accommodation and food, airport transfers, ground transportation, guiding and photographic tuition
• Not Included – alcoholic beverages (except selected drinks at some lodges), travel insurance, tipping & any other items of a personal nature
• Medical - please speak with Reef & Rainforest to discuss your personal medical background, vaccinations & high altitude travel
• Internet Access – WiFi available in the majority of locations

For more information on this specific tour and to book your place then please visit Reef & Rainforest or call them directly on +44 1803 866965.

If interested in future tours with Oliver or would like to be added to a reserve list then please call +44 7802 417810 or email Oliver Smart for more information.

This slideshow selection shows images taken from Oliver's last visit to the country.

Hungary Photo Tour - May/June 2021

If interested in future Hungary tours or would like to be added to a reserve list then please call +44 7802 417810 or email Oliver Smart for more information..

From May/June 2021.

Tutor - Led by professional wildlife photographer Oliver Smart who will be on hand to answer all your questions, prepare the hides and sets and to offer Adobe Lightroom tuition.

Daily itinerary - Pre-dawn starts for sunrise shooting, brunch and Lightroom tuition at our lodge until noon. The afternoon is kept free for those wishing to rest, use the lodge hide or take a walk for a spot of birdwatching or butterfly watching. The evening sessions commence from late afternoon until sunset and dinner is served in the local restaurant (a short walk from the lodge).

During the week I expect to photograph over 70 species. In 2018 we observed 139 species (113 in 2016 & 117 in 2015) and between the group we photographed 85 species in 2018 (73 in 2016 & 76 in 2015).

Wetland Species - Black-necked, Great Crested and Little Grebe, Pochard, Ferruginous Duck, Purple, Grey, Squacco and Black-crowned Night Heron, Great White and Little Egret, Pygmy Cormorant, Spoonbill, Black-headed Gull, Whiskered Tern and over 12 species of waders including Spotted Redshank and Black-winged Stilt.

Woodland species - Hawfinch, Middle Spotted Woodpecker, Nightingale, Spotted Flycatcher, Black Woodpecker (rare), Great Spotted Woodpecker, Turtle Dove, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Song and Mistle Thrush, Red Squirrel, various tits and finches.

Steppe species - (from tower hide) Red-footed Falcon, Roller, Common Kestrel, Magpie, Tree Sparrow, Lesser Grey Shrike and Cuckoo. Also on the steppe we’ll have great opportunities for Red-backed Shrike, Wryneck, Bee-eater (several colonies), Hoopoe, Turtle Dove, Collared Dove, Little Owl, Corn Bunting, Sand Martin (single large colony) chats and wagtails. Brown Hare and Roe Deer are also very common.

Breeding species - Working during the breeding season it may be possible to photograph other species depending on what is located in the vicinity. The species above are generally reliable, however other specialities may also include Penduline Tit, Great Reed Warbler, White Stork, Black Redstart and Syrian Woodpecker. River, Savi's and Grasshopper Warbler are also present along with Bearded Reedling.

Lodge species - Kingfishers breed below the garden and visit daily to the drinking pool. Other species include Black Redstart and White Wagtail among many other common garden species.

Bükk Mountains - Ural Owl, White-backed, Middle Spotted, Syrian, Black, Grey-headed & Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers, Wryneck, Collared Flycatcher, Wood Warbler, Edible Dormice, Beech Marten, Fire Salamander, Hungarian Glider, Camberwell Beauty, Roe & Red Deer, Wild Boar and Souslik. Roosting bats may also feature. This is a very small list but covers some of the key target species.

Key Information
• Location – Tiszaalpár, Hungary &/or Bükk Mountains, Hungary
• Dates – TBC
• Flights – Recommendation to fly with Easyjet from London Gatwick
• Places – maximum of 7
• Cost – £TBC per person
• Single Supplement – £TBC per person. Please advise if you are willing to share.
• Deposit – £TBC per person
• Balance – £TBC
• Included – 8 nights accommodation, minimum of 16 hide/photography sessions, all food, airport transfers, on site transportation, guides and photographic tuition.
• Not Included – Flights from Gatwick (approximately £TBC with Easyjet), alcoholic beverages and personal travel insurance.
• Internet Access – WiFi available in Tiszaalpár although limited in Bükk Mountains

This slideshow selection shows images taken from the tour in July 2016. This was another wonderful trip with some amazing conditions for shooting both with and into the light as well as some early morning mist too!

Hungary Photo Tour - July 2015

Visited 4th - 10th July 2015

Here is a slideshow of some of the images taken during the tour in 2015. The wealth of species and exciting conditions to photograph in make this a truly superb destination for bird (and wildlife) photography.

Hungary Photo Tour - June 2014

Visited 9th - 15th June 2014

Here is a slideshow of some of the images taken during the tour in 2014. The species and images taken show what a variety there is and the range of material you can capture. Please also see the diary entries for previous Hungary trips in 2013.

Hungary Recce - June 2013

Visited 5th - 12th June 2013

In preparation for leading tours to Hungary, I visited in June 2013 and completed a reconnaissance of the habitats, hides and of course checked out all the wildlife. Here is a selection of the images taken during the week experiment.

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