Daryl Balfour Photographic Safari

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Jun 24th, 2012, 06:35 AM
  #1
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Daryl Balfour Photographic Safari

Has anyone traveled with Daryl Balfour? How was the experience? Worth the cost? Would the safari be appropriate for someone who isn't really "into" photography?
samcat is offline  
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Jun 25th, 2012, 01:28 AM
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Hi Samcat

No I haven't, but what is the cost? I would think that it would be very expensive and not so much inappropriate, but maybe overkill for you if photography is not your thing.

Kind regards

Kaye
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Jun 26th, 2012, 02:10 PM
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Why not post the safari itinerary - areas visiting, how many days at each, lodging, means of transport (drive or fly), how many in the group (or just for you) and, of course, the cost.

Oh, and do tell which month.
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Jun 27th, 2012, 07:00 AM
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Thank you both for your input. This was a general question. Someone has recommended Balforu to a friend of mine (party of four) and it just seemed expensive to me. I was looking for input from someone who had traveled with him.
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Jun 28th, 2012, 02:20 PM
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Again, cost is relative. Why we asked, what? where? when? and price?
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Jun 28th, 2012, 08:34 PM
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Even if I knew the itinerary, days, cost, etc. I could not comment on the value. Why not? Because I have not been on a photo tour with Balfour. And as we have said here many times - it is your game drive guide that is the single most important component of your safari. And that is what samcat is asking, what is your experience with Balfour as tour/game/photo guide. Or to further spell it out, maybe Balfour delivers photo opportunities "in spades"? Or maybe he is hardly more than a travel agent?

regards - tom
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Jun 29th, 2012, 12:28 AM
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OK, I had a quick look at their website and they do photographer led tours. On a brief look, they actually look quite good, as someone who is interested in photography. However, I've looked at these type of trips before and in general you will be paying a premium for having a specialist photographer guides along, plus these trips also factor in extra costs such as exclusive vehicle use. Which is fine, if that's what you want.

However, if you are not a photographer, all that will be wasted on you. Plus, the trip will be full of keen photographers all talking about photography and the evenings might involve workshops where people compare their best shots of the day- that sort of thing.

If you're not really into photography you might be bored AND you'd just be paying a premium for things you're not really interested in. So I don't really know why a non photographer would go on a tour like that (unless they were accompanying a photographer partner).

There are plenty of options available and there is no need to look only at "tours". With a group of 4 you can get something tailor made to suit you.
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Jun 29th, 2012, 09:52 AM
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And agree with stokeygirl. Depends basically on your/their interest in photography.

regards - tom
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Jul 2nd, 2012, 03:45 PM
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Depends ... here is an extract of an interview with Balfour taken from Kruger 2 Kalahari...

Mistake No 1...

I walked to within about 40m of Tshokwane and noticed that he was aware of me but continued feeding. This was the kind of behavior I'd become accustomed to with the other big old tuskers I'd worked around. I set my tripod down low and sat on the ground to commence shooting.

Suddenly Tshokwane charged. At about 15m from me Tshokwane stopped his charge, then curled his trunk under his chest, trumpeted shrilly, lowered his head and charged in all earnestness. I continued photographing, saying to myself "This is for real! Great shots!!!
Mistake No 2...

I continued photographing until my lenses would no longer focus - and by then Tshokwane was less than 3 meters from me, approaching in a cloud of dust and I knew I was in trouble!

I scrambled to my feet and was hit in the small of my back as I turned to get out of the way. A moment later a second heavier blow sent me flying into the thorn scrub and before I knew it I was under Tshokwane's body and his feet were flying around me. Trying to get out of the way and avoid being stood upon I clinched like a boxer, grabbing hold of one of the elephant's forelegs and hanging on for dear life.

I recall looking at the toenails on his feet and thinking how ugly they were! Tshokwane stilled, then stepped back and stood on my left calf muscle before reaching down with his trunk, grabbing my right ankle, and hoisting me overhead.

He then slammed me back into the ground, dislocating my hip with the wrenching impact and thus immobilising me. Then I saw one of his huge tusks coming straight for my face and I pulled aside, taking a glancing blow to the side of my head which fractured the skull and knocked me senseless.

I regained consciousness about an hour and a half later and to cut a long story short, dragged myself to where I could see my revolver lying in the dirt - the Kruger authorities insisted I be armed when they gave us permission to walk in the park, and Tskokwane had torn a camera bag and my holster from a belt around my waist - and fired a distress signal of three shots in the air.

Sharna was waiting in the vehicle back on the road, heard the shots, realised I was in trouble, and eventually found me where I lay in the bush. She managed to load me into the back of the pickup and drove me to Skukuza, from where I was airlifted to hospital in Nelspruit.

Perhaps the biggest lesson from the event was that a mock charge can turn very serious in an instant. The only predictable thing about a wild animal is its unpredictability.

Also the film was recovered unscathed from both the Nikon cameras I was carrying despite Tshokwane having stomped on them really well! That taught me about the durability of my equipment and I've sworn by Nikon cameras ever since.
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Jul 2nd, 2012, 04:43 PM
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YIKES!!!
and
Another reason to like Nikon!!!
thanks mkhonzo

regards - tom
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Jul 3rd, 2012, 12:40 AM
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Hmmmm, he sounds like a Darwin award waiting to happen.
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Jul 3rd, 2012, 03:25 PM
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Stokeygirl....I agree!
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