Guest Report: Roger and Vicky Fry, UK

14th January 2016

I have known Roger and Vicky Fry for over 5 years, and have taken them on safari annually since then! They are great lovers of the Luangwa and have been wonderful people to take on safari - keen to explore new things, sit and watch whatever the bush is offering and good company to sit with over lunch and dinner. Here's a summary of their time on safari with me since they first came in 2011, and a selection of their images mostly from the 2015 trip.



We met Ed on our first visit to the South Luangwa Valley in 2011. It is a testament to both the magic of this magnificent area and to Ed’s professional and personal skills that, despite the fact we intended a one off trip, we returned from our 5th consecutive visit last year.



As a semi-professional photographer myself, it was of utmost importance to have the right person guiding our trip. Over the years I have attended numerous photographic workshops and have experienced the good, professional photographer who has no interest in either his students or in revealing the secrets of taking a good photograph. This is not the case with Ed. As an experienced wildlife guide/photographer with specialist knowledge of the Valley (well, he does live there!), he takes endless trouble and care to find wildlife in the right light and position the vehicle at the perfect angle. Even if you are a complete novice, it would be hard not to take images you can be really proud of under his care and tuition. We have had loads of memorable experiences but a few highlights were watching a buffalo chase a lion down to the river and back past our vehicle, waiting for a leopard to appear long after others had given up and left and being rewarded with some spectacular shots, and seeing the elusive Aardvaak at dusk on our last trip. But Ed was also able to make the more ordinary moments special as well. One of my own favourite images is one I took of an oxpecker on the back of a zebra. A common enough sight in the Valley, but, due to a request to Ed to look for backlit images, the ordinary turned out to be extraordinary.



Anyone who has been on safari will know that the day starts early and ends relatively late, with a long break in the middle of the day. Ed goes out of his way to help you with any photographic matters back in camp and to review, assess and edit images taken during the day. But if, like me, you feel ‘photographed out’ and would prefer to relax and chill out, the camps chosen are superb. Flatdogs Camp was our first port of call and we have returned each year. Comfortable, stunning accommodation and setting, a relaxing pool and superb restaurant (at which you can eat at virtually any time within reason) combined with charming staff make this camp a personal favourite. Although it is one of the larger camps, it is designed in such a way that you can either enjoy total privacy or socialise with fellow guests or the owners and staff in a relaxed setting. Ed has cleverly combined this camp with Lion Camp, at the other end of the valley. A very different but equally fabulous camp which manages to be stylish without being pretentious. Wonderful accommodation and cuisine with mouth dropping views from the restaurant, viewing area and infinity pool to the floodplain in front, wildlife can be guaranteed to come and drink during the dry season. This location provides a very different viewing experience from the southern end of the Park with the open plains and golden dambos and it is rare to encounter another vehicle. A herd of elephants crossing the plain towards the setting sun, zebra bathed in gold light at dawn and sightings of wild dogs and the rare Cookson’s Wildbeest are some of my favourite memories from this area.



And then there is the leopard, which was the reason we visited Zambia initially. The South Luangwa is famous for its leopard population, and we were not disappointed. We have had too many spectacular sightings to single any one out, but I suspect you are more likely to win the lottery than not to see leopards during your stay. Of course, wildlife being wildlife, nothing can be guaranteed and it takes patience and expertise to find the animals. This Ed has in abundance and we have been richly rewarded on every visit.



So, whether you are a complete beginner or an experienced photographer, (or even if you just want to relax, watch some wonderful wildlife and soak up the spectacular landscape), I cannot recommend Ed’s safaris highly enough. You will experience the trip of a lifetime and return with your soul refreshed and, hopefully, some great images.



Vicky

Leave a comment

Your Name
Your Email
(Optional)
Your Comment
No info required here, please press the button below.