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“This was my second big expedition with ORYX. As I write this I am reminded of the full title of this young and dynamic company: ORYX Worldwide Photographic Expeditions.
The Antarctic is certainly at the end of our wide world and no doubt on many bucket lists.If you have thought of wanting to go to the Great White continent then plan and book now. If you are a photographer then do it with ORYX.
We travelled in a group of nine with Marius Coetzee, founder of ORYX and expedition leader from 28 December 2013 until 15 January 2014. We were aboard the sturdy purpose-built Russian ice-capable research vessel, the Akademik Sergey Vavilov with a total of 90 passengers. The expedition was managed and run by super staff from One Ocean Expeditions based in Canada. They were professional in every regard, from on ship duties to Zodiac outings and landings, and there was a great emphasis on education with numerous interesting and informative lectures, including from their resident photographers Ira Meyer and Tony Beck.
Even with an expedition crew that has two professional photographic guides you need to have someone like Marius Coetzee to really help you get the shots you want.
Marius has an easy way of discussing the days planned activities and sharing gems about the shots to get. His advice on equipment is first rate and in the field he will seek out the best vantage points and preferentially let his clients shoot. Even with more creative photographers he continuously looks for compositions and movement and shares his ideas freely. This is a rare capability in a first class photographic guide.
ORYX has an extensive network of ground contacts, and landings and transfers are facilitated professionally at ports and airports with no stress for the traveller. As an aside, Marius and I went up to Iguaçu Falls with a private guide, Miguel, and all of ORYX’s abilities including their choice of venue, accommodation and guide scored top marks.
Booking and communication details and other requirements are effortless with Kirsty at the home office.
Get out there and live your life: go on an expedition with ORYX Worldwide Photographic Expeditions.”
Dr. Johann Slazus, South Africa
“Thanks Marius for a great trip! We had a wonderful time and you managed it all fabulously: Asanti Sana! Your tips and suggestions to make the photography more interesting were enlightening. Even the other passengers were impressed.”
Debbie Smail, United Kingdom
“I’ve been back two weeks now, following a trip of a lifetime to Antarctica with ORYX Photography Tours. It was a phenomenal adventure and exceeded all expectations. Marius is a pleasure to travel with; he has a great sense of humor and is very attentive to all.
I was the least experienced photographer in our small group, but was given all the help and guidance I needed not just from Marius but from all in our group. Marius is very good at reading people and understanding what they will like and when they need help, he ensures that his clients get the shots they want and always puts them first.
I would highly recommend this trip to anyone who wants an epic adventure and go with ORYX as you won’t regret it! Wish I was still there, but alas not, so instead I’m in the process of booking my next trip with ORYX and Marius for later in 2014!”
Nancy and I had an absolutely fabulous time travelling and photographing with Dale in Borneo. We came home with some spectacular images of primates, and with so many of them it’s going to take us weeks to get through them all and process all the ones we want to. We were very impressed with all of the arrangements ORYX made to assure that this was a very high quality trip. The ground agents, the lodges, the local guides, the transportation, were all absolutely first class.
Thanks again for such a superb trip. We hope to travel with ORYX again soon
Elisa Hardy, USA
You have all been great to work with and the trip was amazing.
Everything was well planned and organized, the lodges were very pleasant, and the local guides were excellent. We saw every animal on the list and got great photos. I hope you know how lucky you are to have Dale, because he’s a star among photographer tour leads.
He’s not only an extremely talented photographer for wildlife, macro, landscapes, and people, he’s a fountain of interesting knowledge about flora and fauna, and he has an innate ability with animals that’s a big advantage when photographing them. Even if we don’t see what we’re looking for while searching for wildlife, he can always find something cool and unusual to photograph in an interesting way, so it’s fun all day long and never boring. When it comes to non-photography guide-related tasks, he takes charge and is competent in every way.
Thanks again for everything and I look forward to traveling with Oryx again in the future.
“I want to reiterate Sue’s comments about the extraordinary quality of our Pantanal experience. Having Dale and Giuliano as our mentors on this trip made it just outstanding. Accommodations were also excellent, especially the houseboat. Just to reemphasize: Dale’s photographic expertise and teaching skills were outstanding, matched by Giuliano’s naturalist’s skills and rapport with all of the personnel and staff we encountered at the various venues. Our friends and co-tourists on the trip were equally impressed, and we are still drinking caiparinhas and savoring wonderful memories.”
Sue Emerson, USA
“First I want to thank you for all the quick responses to our questions. And for your help in getting us organized. This was one of the greatest trips we have taken. The wild life was spectacular and I got better pictures than I ever have before, due to Dale’s teaching. I admit to being lazy and intimidated in the past and though I have excellent equipment, I never went beyond the programmed and automatic functions. Dale convinced me to start using other functions and to consider the subject from other angles and completely changed the way I will do things in the future. I learned a lot. Everything was well done and the house boat was especially wonderful; it was a 5-star experience with friendly people, wonderful food and skilled boat drivers. We will certainly recommend ORYX to all our friends.”
Denise Iling , Australia
“Dale is an excellent travelling companion and teacher, and we had a lot of fun. Giulliano was a great host, and very patient with us all.”
“We had a wonderful time with Dale and Guiliano. They were a really good match; flexible, thoughtful, understood all our interests and needs. The Pantanal and both young men exceeded our expectations. Dale was tremendously helpful and so enthusiastic. He is also just a terrifically interesting person with a wide variety of life experiences for one so young. He is a pleasure to be with. We found him to be a very good teacher, seeming to know what level of information each participant might need. I think he found the right balance of teaching and just being there and soaking it all in. He helped me be much less intimidated by my camera. The whole experience was first rate, thank you very much!”
Sue Emerson & Robert Purchell, USA
Dale was tour leader on our recent ORYX trip to the Pantanal of Brazil. His love of nature and passion for photography were obvious and the knowledge and experience he shared with us were a huge part of making this an outstanding and unforgettable trip. His photography lessons and advice nudged us into new ways of taking and composing photos and led to the best collection of photographs we have ever taken on any trip. He was a real asset to this trip and his lessons will be remembered and applied. And he also tells great stories.”
Alan and Michelle Hinde
Dale was an excellent guide. His enthusiasm is infectious and knowledge of the wildlife and environment is outstanding. He was a pleasure to be with and we all gained from his photographic expertise. All four of us would travel with Dale on another ORYX trip without hesitation.
“I thought I should write to you of the amazing trip we had to the Omo Valley with Dale.
The trip was well organised and we were well taken care of.
Dale was a wonderful leader. He was generous with his knowledge and we learnt a lot from him. He was kind, considerate and a lot of fun!
The local arrangements with Dinknesh were excellent too, the drivers were very pleasant and Melkamu in particular was fantastic.
It would be remiss of me not to also mention Kirsty, who was always responsive and efficient.
You can be sure we will be recommending ORYX to our friends!
Shyam Thilagaratnam, Singapore
“I second all of what Shobha has said. We had such an amazing time. The Dale-Melkamu combination was fabulous, as were all our drivers from Dinknesh. We always felt well taken care of, and safe.
Dale was not only generous with his knowledge but also his lenses. He truly has a wealth of information and we really learnt so much from him. His wicked sense of humour was also much appreciated :)
Thank you too to the ever efficient Kirsty!
We hope to be doing more photo tours with ORYX in the not too distant future!
“Trip to Omo valley with Oryx expeditions and Marius Coetzee is like a dream, like a walking meditation. Every detail is so very well ironed out that you forget you are in some of the remotest parts of the world. He will always have his ear to the ground for the rumblings in the valley. Giving you indelible memories is what he is after. No corners are ever cut to ensure your comfort. If some unexpected situation does arise, his steady and calm leadership will keep you centered. You know that he will put your safety first no matter what.
From photography point of view, his genius is talked about a lot all over the internet so I won’t delve on it. What I would like to highlight however is how generous and patient he is as a teacher. He quickly assesses your level of expertise and gives you appropriate pointers. His passion and zeal is consistent whether you are amateur fumbling with a new camera or a well versed photographer yourself. Sometimes he will push you out of your comfort zone to get better images and and then other times he knows to give you creative space.
I have wondered at times if he has more than two eyes. Not sure how he picks on you making faulty composition, helping someone set their camera, keeping an eye out for the senior member so that she does not fall and watching where the “red bag” of a forgetful client went all at the same time!
This is not an expedition. This is treasure of life experiences. You genuinely forget that Marius is your expedition leader. He becomes your friend and family.”
Adalberto Mangini, Italy
“Game over. All the good things come to an end and it is now the time to say bye bye to Ethiopia.
The trip to Omo Valley has been a real photographic expedition and a great adventure. I travelled to lot of places with different people but I must say that this trip was very special. I had the chance to meet Marius Coetzee few years ago and I had the impression that, besides the fact the he his really a great photographer, he is also a real tour leader with clear ideas of what he is doing. I do normally travel with my wife and not too much oriented to groups but this time it was different. We acted like a team and everybody was just fantastic and I was honoured to share this time with you all.
Now, many Companies sell the Omo Valley tours. Just forget about. If you are a photographer just Google ORYX Photography and sign a tour with them! This was not only a ‘tour’ this was a real experience with real people and a real leader.
Thanks Marius and thanks ORYX! I also had the chance to improve my photography with you, and thanks to my entire companion. You were all great and it was a pleasure to share this experience and will be glad to repeat it with all of you (and this time with my wife!) the Mongolian Experience in 2016. Travel safe, travel with ORYX…”
Debbie Smail, UK
“Last day of a fabulous and extraordinary three week adventure in Ethiopia! Massive thanks to Marius Coetzee and Kirsty Horne at ORYX Photography for a superbly organized trip and also to Eyob our legendary local guide!
Anyone wanting an Epic trip, I can highly recommend Ethiopia – stunning scenery, friendly people, great food (and beers) and so much more… And go with ORYX Worldwide Photographic Expeditions -you won’t regret it!!”
Jenny Shearer, UK
“I had a simply phenomenal time and loved Ethiopia every bit as much as you forecast! The other participants on the trip were great fun – we were from five different continents – and all got on extremely well. Thank you for an exceptional, inspiring holiday, ORYX. Everybody said how wonderful you had been, Kirsty, always responding in a friendly, efficient way as if we were your only clients. Thank you, team!”
Biljana Jurukovski, Australia
“Kirsty, Marius and ORYX photography expeditions in general. What I can say..words sometimes cannot justify and explain experiences those experiences need to be lived so one can understand them. Kirsty from day one when I sent the initial email you replied within hours and since never ever anything seemed to be problem..to be honest it was your prompt responses that made me make the final decision to go ahead with ORYX…so for that huge Thank you Kirsty you are amazing :).
Marius – I really don’t have words to describe your commitment towards your clients, your passion for photography, your people skills and ability to deal with different situations. Kirsty you have asked if the tour was up to my expectations. To be honest well above exceeded my expectations..uncle Marius is the best :).
I guess this trip and the people that I met will always stay in my memories..how can one forget the adventures that we had from crossing rivers, negotiating with uncles, to meeting up the most isolated tribes and learning more about photography….I’m looking forward to be with the same group of people on the Mongolia trip.. and final word…. Marius you are young passionate entrepreneur and you should be very, very proud of yourself my friend :).
Regards and lots of Love”
YY Chin, Malaysia
“It does not matter whether you are an adventurer, photographer, traveller or tourist, the Omo Valley in Ethiopia, has a special appeal. Its exotic name conjures mystery, mysticism and certainly, a road less travelled. It is in this valley that several tribes with their traditional ancient culture and customs reside. Each tribe has their particular features and uniqueness. The Mursi with their lip plates, the Karo with their beautifully painted bodies, the Hamer with their Ochre hair and they offer excellent opportunities for “unguarded moment” photography. However, with increasing tourism, it has been a practice that the person to be photographed will demand payment for each photograph taken. Do not be deterred as this is probably one of the ways that the tribesmen can earn some tourist dollar. Do not expect luxurious accommodation but the basic accommodation is liveable and adds on to the rustic experience of your trip of a lifetime. In some places we had to stay in tents which are large and comfortable.
Returning to the Omo valley, I found that the experience second time around was better than the first. This was mainly due to the people that I was travelling with. The leader of our team was Marius Coetzee, a superb photographer, who is the CEO of ORYX – Worldwide Photographic Expeditions (Pty) Ltd. The trip undertaken by me and my two Australian travelling companions, was a customised photography tour and Marius was always ready to share with us his experiences and tricks of the trade of a photographer extraordinaire. The organisation by ORYX is immaculate and excellent and the vehicles, drivers, cook, guide used were world class. The company took care of everything including negotiating the payments for the photographing of the tribes and preventing the unnecessary hassle of us having to negotiate for a price to photograph an individual and then spending endless time and effort debating over a few cents.
It was a 13 day well spent, I returned from the trip certainly a better photographer and more knowledgeable in the culture of the various tribes of the Omo Valley. Furthermore, I appreciate how difficult it is for the tribes to cope with the changes to modernity. I certainly also left the valley as a better human being.”
The trip was outstanding in every way. The photographic experience was superb, with magnificent opportunities for capturing images of whooper swans, grey geese and numerous other birds to the extraordinary sights and sounds of black grouse lekking, to eagles, to a magnificent great grey owl, to a close up experience with a bear and an even closer experience with a wolverine, along with many other creatures. The success of our trip was ensured by Jari Peltomaki, whose deep knowledge of, and commitment to conservation of the natural environment deepened our appreciation of what we saw. As you know, Jari has a well earned international reputation in wildlife photography and was very willing to pass on his experience and techniques. His swift reaction to our practical needs and his unfailing good humour made every day a warm and pleasurable experience. Altogether this was a memorable event in our lives.
“Having travelled with ORYX on two previous occasions when I decided to visit India again they was the first choice company to arrange it for me .I wanted some culture to sit alongside an Indian wildlife experience. The trip was perfect – great hotels, great sightseeing and best of all wonderful wildlife. Our tiger sightings were phenomenal and I we really could not have asked for more. The local guides were excellent and Marius Coetzee (our ORYX tour leader) could not do enough for us and improved everyone’s photography over the course of the trip. We have all decided to travel with ORYX in India again next year and look forward to another great trip.”
Lorinda Steenkamp, South Africa
“Andries and I would like to thank the ORYX team for a memorable India tour. The tour was exceptionally well planned. The only hassle we as guests were left with was to try and get the best photo of a Tiger. We can only but highly recommend ORYX and will not think twice about using their services again in future.”
Lorinda Steenkamp, South Africa
“Dale Morris was an excellent tour leader. Apart from being a very pleasant person, he also went out of his way to share his wealth of knowledge on photography with us. We started the tour with our photos looking like normal holiday snap shots, and ended up taking some pretty professional images. Thank you Dale for your patience and willingness to help us.”
Alan and Michelle Hinde, Sydney, Australia
“We are writing to provide some feedback on our short trip to India with Oryx, to visit several game parks with Tiger spotting a priority. We had a small group of 4, ably led by Dale Morris, a genuinely friendly and helpful leader. Dale is a skilled and award winning photographer whose enthusiasm for photography was infectious. Dale was a delight to travel with and ensured that everything worked as planned. We managed to see quite a few tigers and also enjoyed the classic sights of the Taj Mahal.”
Amanda Wright, Cheshire UK
I have recently returned from my second ORYX private tour to India with Marius, and wanted to say how much I enjoyed it and to recommend ORYX to anyone considering taking a wildlife photographic trip.
We knew where we wanted to go – Corbett, Keoladeo, Ranthambhore and Pench – but left all the planning and details in the very capable hands of ORYX. We were not disappointed. Everything had been taken care of, from accommodation in the best locations and travel between national parks, down to tips for our drivers and guides, so that we only had to think about the wildlife and the photography – a real luxury.
Marius is an inspirational photographer, and a superb travelling companion. He has seemingly endless patience, and his knowledge and advice have helped even this novice photographer capture some exceptional images! Nothing is too much trouble for him, and his experience has proved invaluable in enabling us to take shots that I know we would not have if he had not been with us. We had the most amazing tiger sighting in Ranthambhore – no mean feat – and fulfilled our wish to see dhole in Pench, as well as many other wonderful wildlife moments on the trip, which were entirely due to him – so a very big thank you to Marius.
I have been on numerous safaris in Africa, and have been lucky enough to have had many amazing wildlife experiences, but the ORYX tours to India have been in a league of their own. We are already planning our next tour to India with Marius, and hope that there will be many more to come!
Jennifer Shearer, United Kingdom
Having recently returned from my third trip to India with ORYX in three consecutive years, with the fourth one in 2015 already on the drawing board, I would urge all those who have not yet been to consider it very seriously as a perfect holiday destination.
The aim of our first trip was to see the glorious Taj Mahal at Agra and, if possible, catch a glimpse of the majestic Bengal tiger yet having succeeded in both, nothing could have prepared us for the excitement we experienced as we raised our cameras those first photographs of them. Thus began a love affair with India.
From the moment we met surprisingly young Marius Coetzee, safari guide and prize-winning photographer at Dubai Airport, we realised he was what one might loosely describe as a mover and shaker, inspiring immediate confidence. Coupled with this was his ability to relax with people of all ages, putting them at ease, thus making mealtime conversations stimulating and fun, so traveling on one’s own need not be a concern. Our first visit to India in 2011 was his too, yet having worked in Natal (KwaZulu) where there is a large Indian community, he instinctively knew how to get on with the locals, appreciating their customs and habits, yet earning their respect by his sound common sense and mature capability.
He stands no nonsense and this is soon understood! This is so important in India, particularly on wildlife safaris, where the drivers’ and guides’ goodwill, and anxiety to please, are so crucial in Marius getting us into the best possible position to find – hopefully – and photograph the rarer species like a tiger or dhole (wild dogs), for despite the photographs one sees, India is very different to the Masai Mara and one actually has to look quite hard for shy predators.
However, the jungles we visited in the northern and central national parks are absolutely stunning, each with its own individual characteristics, though more like Up-State New York than the Amazon, and there is an abundance of game and birdlife. Marius drew on his techniques as a top South African safari guide by playing close attention to alarm calls by spotted deer (chital) and langurs (silver haired, long–tailed monkeys), resulting in wonderful tiger and dhole sightings on a number of occasions, earning him obvious, if slightly grudging, admiration from our jeep drivers and guides, who consider themselves to be the experts on Indian wildlife.
India also has the advantage of a culture stretching back over 3,000 years and cities such as Varanasi, the glorious Holy City built on the banks of the Ganges, and beautiful Udaipur in Rajastan, are a photographer’s delight especially if encouraged by one’s enthusiastic tour leader to reluctantly rise at dawn in order to capitalize on the golden morning light. One never tires of the rich tapestry of colours provided by the glorious silk or cotton saris worn by Asian women with such innate grace and one can only wonder at how immaculate much of their clothing is when many have only a communal water pump or local river in which to do their laundry. Whether you are an aspiring but novice photographer – we started off with little automatic Lumix cameras with built-in zooms, progressed to Nikon DSLRs and under Marius’s tutelage, are now producing more than passable photos, to our great surprise – or an experienced one, in which case you would benefit hugely from Marius’s photographic/competition expertise and advice, intriguing India has absolutely everything you could possible ask for. From the moment the February morning mists lift and the beauty of this enigmatic country is revealed, I am certain you will succumb to its magic, whether your penchant is wildlife, architecture, scenery, or all three.
On each occasion, ORYX has provided us with an Indian guide of the highest caliber, intelligent with an almost encyclopedic knowledge of birds and wildlife, and a touching willingness to do everything possible to make our lives easier, from hailing porters and checking-in our luggage at airports to accompanying us on shopping expeditions to ensure we were given the fairest prices. They, in turn, appointed the best possible local guides at the historic sites we chose to visit and, looking back, thanks to efficient planning, everything worked like clockwork from the moment we were collected at the airport to our departure a fortnight later, no mean feat in a country like India. For a holiday that is anxiety-free, yet filled with exciting sights and sounds, ORYX India is the perfect combination. Enjoy India!
“We are just writing to say how much we enjoyed our recent experience traveling with Marius on our ‘Mega Safari’ for 5 weeks through Africa. All we can say is wow…what a trip! We have travelled extensively and to Africa a number of times. This trip was designed and personally tailored in conjunction with Marius and Oryx to cherry pick the things we really wanted to see and photograph but had not yet managed to do so. The wildebeest migration in Kenya’s Masai Mara, the vivid flocks of Carmine Bee Eater’s annual nesting in the river bank in Zambia, quality leopard sightings and African hunting dogs. That was our must see list. We saw all these wonderful things and more..lots more. We have captured some once in a lifetime images.
During our initial discussions when considering the ‘Mega Safari’, Marius was able to suggest the best timing and arrange the best and most appropriate accommodation and link the connecting travel arrangements seamlessly (although the calmly efficient Kirsty in the Oryx head office deserves most of the credit for that we suspect!) The level of accommodation at superb lodges was of the highest quality. Marius is great to travel with. He is not only a gifted photographer willing to share ideas and photographic tips, he simply has an ability to make things happen. He works hard at looking for the best opportunities for photographers and his knowledge of Africa means you can travel with confidence, and focus on photography and simply enjoying the ride. For those people who may be considering a photographic based trip to Africa we can only say that our experience with Oryx has been outstanding. We have travelled before with Marius and Oryx…..and will do so again!”
“The trip was awesome – the whole family really loved it! As for Greg himself, he was a total hit! Greg is another level. So very happy he could join us, and I doubt it will be the last time either. He certainly helped me out a lot, and also had incredible patience with my mum & sister who were beginners. Thanks so much for organizing this for us – ill definitely give ORYX a shout for our next safari.”
Dr. Basil Stathoulis, South Africa
“My wife and I were in Kenya at the beginning of August 2012 for ten days with Marius Coetzee of ORYX Photographic Expeditions. Although he could not have organised that the two million wildebeest migrate into the Masai Mara, we were lucky that they arrived three days before we did! He organised everything else. We spent an amazing ten days taking pictures every afternoon and evening.
Marius is a consummate host. His happiness in the wild is infectious and his knowledge of animal behaviour insightful and very useful in anticipating things for a picture. He has the patience to wait for it to happen. ORYX makes high quality travel arrangements. All transfers and internal flights were facilitated with the greatest of ease, and the lodges chosen were top notch. I had the most amazing holiday, and took some really fantastic photographs.
My non photographer wife had a fantastic time. She did not spend every photo shoot with us, but her every whim was catered for at the lodges and she recharged her batteries. Marius paid special attention to her to ensure she was not left out and checked regularly at the lodges that she was looked after.
Thank you, Marius and ORYX. I will definitely recommend you to my photographic colleagues and will no doubt become a regular client!”
David Blumberg, Australia
“My partner Dee and I and two friends from the UK Jan and Max have recently returned from an outstanding two week safari in the Maasai Mara with Marius Coetzee of ORYX Expeditions.
I have been going on safari in Africa for 40 years and I can honestly say that this was the best organized and planned safari that I have ever been on. Marius travelled with us and I have to say he was the perfect host.
He was always enthusiastic, pleasant, on time and nothing was ever too much trouble for him. Marius is an award winning photographer but for me his best attribute was the fact that he was keen to pass on his knowledge. He was much more intent on us getting the “perfect shot ” than on getting the ” perfect shot ” himself. I can assure you that this is unfortunately not always the case with professional photographers. Marius chose outstanding camps for us and because of his unique relationship with the camp managers and guides we always received VIP treatment. As anyone who has been on safari a number of times knows the positioning of ones vehicle makes all the difference. Due to Marius’ experience and innate understanding of the animals we always seemed to be in the ideal position for photography and game viewing. For anyone who wants a safari of a lifetime and is keen on improving their photographic skills I have absolutely no hesitation in recommending Marius and ORYX Expeditions.”
Deborah Keener - Brown, USA
“Many many thanks for putting together such a wonderful trip for us. We can’t tell you how much we appreciated all the attention to details. You guys are so passionate about Africa and the trips you put together. It really gives your clients a great feeling. I will always use you guys for traveling and would like to join some of your trips.”
Jane Bedford, South Africa
A belated and brief note …in the air now to Cambodia…to thank you for all the organization you so capably put together to make our Masai Mara and Amboseli such a success. It met every expectation and more…..much more.
The camps chosen for us could not have been better in any way. The attention to detail was superb. And of course the Star of the trip was Greg with his humble but extensive knowledge of the law of the bush and animals. His sensitivity to all things around him be it is clients….now friends…his rapport with all the African guides, his extensive insight of the flora and fauna was quite amazing to experience in his quiet and knowledgeable way. He is a gem and treasure in every sense of the word. He enriched my personal experience to such an extent that I can quite honestly say this trip has been life changing…..it has made me reflect on many aspects of my life and I know going forward will make a marked difference.
Thank you both for making this all happen and I hope to travel with you again in the future.
Ted Swindon, South Africa
“I SIMPLY HAD THE MOST INCREDIBLE SAFARI OF MY LIFE!
IT WAS AWESOME AND ALL ARRANGEMENTS MADE WORKED LIKE CLOCK WORK. WELL DONE TO ALL OF YOU IN THE BACK ROOM FOR YOUR EFFORTS IN MAKING MY SAFARI SUCH AN INCREDIBLE EXPERIENCE.”
Ted Swindon, South Africa
“I HAVE JUST COMPLETED MY FOURTH SAFARI WITH ORYX PHOTOGRAPHIC EXPEDITIONS.
IT WAS A TRIP WHICH WAS SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED AND PLANNED FOR ME BY MARIUS COETZEE AND WHICH WAS LEAD BY GREG DU TOIT.
ON A SAFARI WITH GREG LAST YEAR WE SPOKE ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHING THE BIG ELEPHANT TUSKERS AND RHINO OF OUR INCREDIBLE CONTINENT.
HE HAD NO HESITATION WHEN HE SUGGESTED THAT THE BEST PLACES FOR US TO VISIT WAS TSAVO EAST (SATAO CAMP), AND SOLIO LODGE IN THE LAIKIPIA REGION IN KENYA.
HE PROMISED TO SPEAK MARIUS TO SEE IF IT COULD BE ARRANGED, AS IT WAS NOT ONE OF THEIR SCHEDULED TRIPS.
THIS WAS A “PIONEERING” TRIP FOR US, AS IT HAD NEVER BEEN ARRANGED FOR ANY OF THE OTHER ORYX CLIENTS BEFORE.
DESPITE THIS FACT, NO CHALLENGE IS TOO BIG FOR MARIUS TO ATTEMPT. HE ORGANIZED THE MOST INCREDIBLE SAFARI FOR ME, AND THAT SAYS A LOT, BECAUSE I HAVE HAD SOME INCREDIBLE TRIPS WITH ORYX!
THIS SAFARI TOTALLY EXCEEDED MY EXPECTATIONS, AND A BIG THANK YOU GOES TO GREG WHO LED THE TRIP, AND MARIUS WHO PLANNED AND DELIVERED, ONCE AGAIN!
THEN I WOULD ALSO LIKE TO GIVE A HUGE AMOUNT OF CREDIT TO KIRSTY AND RAINER FOR THEIR EFFORTS IN ALL THAT THEY DO, AND HAVE DONE TO MAKE THIS TRIP AS WELL AS ALL MY OTHER TRIPS SO MEMORABLE.
THE ORYX TEAM WILL BE RECOMMENDED WHERE EVER I CAN, AS I HAD THE MOST INCREDIBLE PHOTOGRAPHIC SAFARI EVER!
I COMMEND YOU MARIUS FOR YOUR VISION AND INSIGHT, AS WELL AS YOUR INCREDIBLE ORGANIZATIONAL SKILLS IN HOW YOU PUT THE ENTIRE TRIP TOGETHER, ALL ARRANGEMENTS WERE WELL ORGANIZED AND WORKED LIKE CLOCK WORK.
FINALLY MARIUS, NO WORDS WILL EVER DO JUSTICE TO THIS INCREDIBLE TRIP. THANK YOU TO YOU AND GREG FOR RECOMMENDING IT TO ME, AND TO YOU BOTH FOR ALL THAT YOU DID TO MAKE IT SUCH A SUCCESS.
I HOPE THAT MY HUMBLE PHOTOGRAPHS GIVE YOU, AS WELL AS ANY FUTURE PROSPECTIVE CLIENTS A TASTE OF WHAT WE EXPERIENCED.
THE BIRTH OF THE RETICULATED GIRAFFE WAS ESPECIALLY HIGH ON THE LIST OF OUR HIGHLIGHTS, SUCH AN INCREDIBLE AND RARE SIGHTING, AND WE WATCHED AND PHOTOGRAPHED THE WHOLE EVENT!
IT WAS TRULY A TRIP OF A LIFETIME AND I WILL HAVE NO HESITATION TO RECOMMEND IT TO ANY OF YOUR OTHER CLIENTS.
THEY ARE MOST WELCOME TO CONTACT ME SHOULD THEY NEED ANY INFORMATION.
MARIUS, AS TINA TURNER’S SONG SO APTLY PUTS IT; YOU AND THE ORYX TEAM ARE “SIMPLY THE BEST” IN THE BUSINESS!
KIND PERSONAL REGARDS”
Simon Pang, Hong Kong
Hi ORYX team and Greg
We made it back to Hong Kong safely.
Thank you to the ORYX team for providing the support which made this trip a great memorable trip for us! I am sure a lot of behind-the-scenes went into the planning of these trips.
Thinking that I should kill two birds with one stone, i.e. giving feedback while letting Greg find something usable as testimonial for his website.
“Our party of three recently traveled to Masai Mara with Greg on a wildlife photography workshop. While two of us have previously traveled to Africa on another photography workshop, it was the first trip to Africa for the third member of the team. Our experience on this trip has far exceeded each of our expectations.
The abundance and diversity of wildlife in Masai Mara was spectacular (ranging from some serious herds of wildebeest and zebras, prides of lions, cheetahs, leopards, elephants, giraffes and a rhino etc), providing numerous photographic opportunities. We also witnessed impressive crossings of wildebeest and zebras.
Greg was great not only because of his wealth of knowledge in wildlife, he also gave invaluable advice as to how to best capture the amazing scenes happening in front of us from both a technical perspective and also a art/creative perspective. He was generous to share with us his take on different subjects on location, and his award-winning technique and creativity. He also ensured that we were in the best location and have the best angle for each sighting, where we witnessed other vehicles being in the wrong place from a photographic standpoint. He was very friendly and approachable and was fun to be with during our times with him.
The camp selection and the guides at the camps were great (the guides had eagle-eyes to spot animals from a serious distance).
All in all, it was a great trip and we hope to come back to Africa as soon as we can!”
Suzanne Emerson, USA
First I want to say I agree totally with everything that David, Kim and Bob Purcell said about our Masai Mara safari. As Bob said, we choose the trip because we so enjoyed our previous Oryx trip with Dale Morris to the Pantanal of Brazil; we hoped the one to Kenya would have the same superb organization and accommodations, and provide sufficient opportunities to really observe the wildlife and countryside. Not only were our expectations met, they were exceeded in each and every case.
As the main person struggling to learn how to take better photographs, I really appreciated how David and Patrick, the guides, and Greg all worked together to give me the best lighting and angles and opportunities for fantastic shots. Greg was a great teacher ,first by example and second by providing guidance on settings and subjects and always being quick to answer my questions. Best of all, he was helpful without being intrusive. As I look through my many pictures, I can clearly see that the ones toward the end of the trip are better than the ones from the beginning; thanks Greg.
I was very glad we did not have to spend time in Nairobi, and Macushla house was the perfect place to set the mood for the safari beforehand and to compare favorite memories afterwards. The number of animals, happenings, and landscapes we saw is still difficult to comprehend; each day was an adrenalin rush with something unexpected and amazing always popping up thanks to the skills of Greg and the guides. Greg is an encyclopedia of knowledge and provided lots of interesting details and observations that made the trip so much more enjoyable; we really got at least two trips- a photographic one and a nature expedition.It was an unexpected perk to find that Greg was an expert on birds so we got to indulge in one of our favorite hobbies and greatly increased the number of bird species we have seen in the wild. When I mentioned that I would like to see a bushbaby, a hyrax and a hornbill, Greg and Patrick managed to find me all three and we even got to hear the hornbill’s haunting call.
This trip was one of, if not the best, I have ever had. There were no bad moments, it was always fun , exciting and extremely pleasant. Totally awesome. I look forward to taking other ORYX trips in the future.
Kim Spurr, USA
Marius and Greg,
Let me also extend my abundant thanks for such a special trip. I feel like we are still processing all the amazing things we saw, and will be sorting photos for some time (there are some really great ones).
I wanted to add a few thoughts regarding the logistics of the trip as well. The accommodations were really first rate, at Macuschla House and then at both bush camps. As Greg noted, it is great to experience the subtle differences in the environmental settings of Naibor and Kicheche, and the changes in animals around the two camps. The hospitality at both camps was fabulous, but the intimate atmosphere at Kicheche bush camp really stayed with me. Your marketing should emphasize the benefits of experiencing both camps. By using both camps, and by taking the leisure of more than a week for the trip, it was possible to see all nearly all corners of the Masai Mara and understand what a special place it is.
Finally, in talking with other people about the trip, I realized that having a private, dedicated guide for our group really made it special (and certainly made the logistics easy for us). Neither David nor I came prepared to take advantage of Greg’s expertise as a photography tutor, but I want to extend a huge THANK YOU to Greg for sharing his abundant knowledge and expertise as a naturalist and guide. And for his patience with our continual questions and requests to stop to look at everything, even the rocks. It was a brilliant trip.
Bob Purchell, USA
To follow up: our Kenya trip was truly fabulous! While our memories are fresh, I want to touch on a few points:
1) A brief adjustment time at Macushla house before and after the Safari was perfect! In particular, Macushla house was a stroke of genius for the following reasons: away from population centers and terrorists , close to the elephant orphanage and giraffe center, as well as an excellent crafts cooperative/restaurant, and close to Wilson airport. Finally, it is a very comfortable and low-key facility with excellent food and staff.
2) We were interested in the ORYX Kenya Safari because of our very positive experience with the Pantanal trip rather then because it was a photographic tour. We are basically naturalists and birders(okay, amateurish birders): Suzanne is the only avid photographer among us. Basically we much prefer the slower pace of photography tours instead of the hectic pace of a birders’ tour. Consequently, it was a great pleasure to discover that Greg is an outstanding naturalist and birder as well as a world-class photographer. We think that there would be even more interest in Greg’s tours if your website indicated how multitalented he is. Birders and naturalists who lack an interest in photography would certainly be interested in Greg’s other skills. Greg played a very large role in assuring the success of our Safari in many ways.
3) Both tent camps were outstanding venues. All aspects of these facilities were top notch. In particular, the staff and especially the guides were highly professional. It was wonderful to see the mutual respect between Greg and the camp guides in finding just the right places for us to go and just the right things to see and do.
4) The balloon ride was frosting on the cake. I was the only one of us who had ballooned previously. We were all thrilled by it and had a new appreciation for the vastness of the Masai-Mara from the height of a balloon. The perfect place for a balloon flight!
In summary: well done!
Kenya - Migration Safari
James Fitzgerald, South Africa
“I wanted to thank you again for a great trip. I personally learnt a great deal from you, and I know that Mark and Eszter share that view. I also appreciated the fact that you gave preference to us over your own shots – no doubt missing some great opportunities.It was exactly what I was looking for!”
“As a working journalist, I travel for a living and Madagascar is one of the most logistically challenging places to travel to. It is a world unto itself, in every sense of the word. When given a recent book project on Madagascar and in need of some photographic work there was only one person I knew who could help me. Marius Coetzee has been a guide for over 11 years, and there is no one I could feel safer with in a country as challenging as Madagascar.
Marius is patient; he is kind, and above all inspiring!! If you are going to Madagascar, he is the guy. If you are going any place else, he is probably the guy too!”
Homin Lim, USA
We had a GREAT time with Dale. Everything was as expected as we have learned to expect the unexpected. We would go with Dale and your company without any hesitation. We have NOTHING to complain about. Olive learned a lot of things from Dale. How not when you get such a crazy guide.
Alan and Michelle Hinde, Sydney, Australia
“We have recently returned from our trip to Madagascar with ORYX, led by Marius Coetzee. We had long wanted to see and photograph the dancing Lemurs. Marius was an excellent leader of our small group of photographers and made sure everything went like clockwork. Having the transport and accommodation arrangements handled so professionally made the trip worry free. Marius’s knowledge of the best photographic locations meant we were able to get some terrific Lemur and Indri shots. Marius was more than willing to provide photographic guidance and made the trip to this unique place a special experience.”
Elise Hardy, USA
This trip completely exceeded my expectations and was exactly what I was looking for for Madagascar (wildlife all day every day). You were all extremely responsive, professional, and courteous.
Accommodations were all nice and the food was always good. Internal flight delays were handled so smoothly by you that they didn’t have an impact on the trip overall.
All of the local guides were great, especially Nono.
Dale was definitely the best photographer-guide I’ve ever travelled with. His photos were gorgeous and he was incredibly generous, patient, and enthusiastic about sharing his knowledge. He kept us entertained all day with new photographic opportunities, and involved us in experiments with new techniques, usually with amazing results. As a guide he had excellent natural leadership ability, and as a person he was warm, friendly, interesting, genuinely nice, and fun to be with.
Everything we did was so much fun, and I will always have wonderful memories of this trip. Would definitely travel with you again.
Thanks so much!!
Greg Cowle, USA
“Thanks, the trip was excellent. Got some great photos, and also learned a lot from Dale on techniques very useful in Madagascar, macro and night photography. Discussing with other guests, I think we all expected to be put in good photography locations to see what we could do, but the effort Dale put in teaching us all new techniques was beyond expectations.”
“Without your team and the local help it would have been impossible to travel in the country. The help was exceptional in dealing with the changes and I never worried we wouldn’t get to where we wanted to go. Dale works very hard to ensure everyone has the best possible angles for shooting and helped me with flash settings and tips at the start. Shooting in Madagascar is different than other destinations I have been to and the assistance in getting started was appreciated.I appreciated the fact that Dale, while taking shots got us in position first before “firing”. That doesn’t always happen with guides, especially when there is a special moment. Thanks again for an introduction to the wildlife of a very unique and challenging country. I’m sure most first time travelers to Madagascar don’t have such a rewarding photo experience!”
“The trip was one of the best photo trips I have had in recent years. Although the landscape was challenging as well as the ability to get clear shots of the animals in the rainforest, your representatives in the field made the trip. The organization you hired in Madagascar were first rate. The ability to meet the challenges of Air Madagascar as well as the other bumps on the road were outstanding. Do not lose this group.Dale Morris is a real pro. Not only did he organize the photoshoots to optimize our ability to get the right shots, but his expertise in the field as it related to the more technical aspects of photography (flash, exposure comp, lens selection etc.) made the trip. Do not lose him. I would have no trouble recommending your organization to my camera friends in Toronto, and I look forward to dealing with your organization in the future.”
“Margaret and I have had another ORYX adventure. Every aspect of a couple of weeks in Namibia was perfect. There was never a flat spot and you ensured we did everything that was possible. The choice of lodges was just right for our purposes. You interacted with the local guides to enhance the total experience. Our photography is improving. From being just mug amateurs a couple of years ago using auto for everything, we are now into focal lengths, back lighting, slow shutter panning and much more. Still a long way to go, but we are enjoying it immensely. Again, thanks for a fabulous experience, and we eagerly await our ORYX trip to Brazil next year.”
“I became interested in ORYX because some of the other outfits who advertise photo safaris don’t really appear to be very strong photographers. ORYX stands out in that regard.”
Alan and Michelle Hinde, Australia
“Just a quick note of thanks Marius for tailoring and running yet another top photo safari for us through some of the best parts of Namibia to see some things we really wanted to see and photograph.
As usual with ORYX everything worked well (thanks Kirsty) with great lodges and excellent guides on the ground. Michelle and I as well as our friends Leigh and Marg all came away with great images, thanks to your ability to get us in the right place at the right time to maximize photographic opportunities and to take advantage of the best light and conditions.
Your photographic tips and encouragement keep us constantly inspired to do better. We would heartily recommend ORYX for any aspiring photographers looking to improve their skills as well as to maximize opportunities for capturing some great wildlife photographic images for their portfolio.”
Marna Terblanche, South Africa
“We all dream of experiences in the bush that will stay with us during the times we need to remember something to lift our spirits. Capturing a moment the best you can, that’s what photography is about isn’t it. And in the bush when you are in awe of the beauty around you, capturing that image is so rewarding. It brings hours of smiles and sharing and for years to come that safari and taking that photograph will stay with you, remind you of the smells, sights and feeling you had when taking that photograph.
We have been fortunate enough to experience a photographic safari with Marius Coetzee co-founder of ORYX Bespoke in hauntingly beautiful Namibia this year. This bespoke trip created by ORYX, with Marius’s great hosting and photographic teaching made all my dreams come true. Having been on many safaris I can honestly say this was the best. Marius and his love for photography inspired us and seeing the beautiful landscape captured through your lens…..words can’t describe it.
Marius, ORYX Team and the soulful people of Namibia thank you for 14 days that will stay with me forever.”
“The trip was awesome – the whole family really loved it! As for Greg himself, he was a total hit! Greg is another level. So very happy he could join us, and I doubt it will be the last time either. He certainly helped me out a lot, and also had incredible patience with my mum & sister who were beginners.
Thanks so much for organizing this for us – ill definitely give ORYX a shout for our next safari.”
Max & Jan Lerwill, United Kingdom
“Dear Marius and ORYX Team,
Thank you so much for organizing our recent trip to Botswana and Rwanda. All the arrangements for travel and accommodation were impeccable. Your recommendations worked out perfectly for us and we are very grateful to you all.
Although Botswana was a great experience, Rwanda and the Gorilla trekking was of course the highlight. The fact that you, Marius, were able to join us for this part of the trip added an extra dimension. Your local knowledge and organization ensured we received the best possible attention and that certainly enhanced the quality of our experience. You also provided good company and needless to say your photographic expertise helped to ensure that we returned home with terrific photos as well.
Rwanda is a beautiful country – we had no idea it was as clean and as safe as it is. We enjoyed the short stay at Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge where we were very well looked after by the hosts, Nelis and Tracy. The first Gorilla trek was such an exciting experience; it is difficult to describe the exhilaration felt upon meeting a Gorilla in the wild for the first time. We enjoyed fantastic viewing that day with the Gorillas in the open for the most part. The second day was equally, if not even more exciting though and quite a different experience with a different Gorilla group including several active Silverbacks moving around in the bamboo forest. Absolutely fabulous and makes it fully understandable why Gorilla trekking is described as the best wildlife experience in Africa.
Thank you again for all you did to make this trip very special and one we will never forget!”
King’s Camp (Timbavati) rank among the best wildlife watching and photography places I have experienced, not only in Africa but in the World. The abundance of Leopard and the quality of the sightings is just amazing. Drivers and trackers do a fantastic job, and the avoidance of “game jams” thanks to the policy of only two vehicles allowed at a sighting is a great advantage. Leopard is clearly the main attraction at Timbavati, but there were great sightings of Buffalo, Elephant and White Rhino. Accommodation and the entire infrastructure around King’s Camp is just wonderful. The rooms are a delight, food excellent, very nice birds around the gardens, great bar and library, and some of the very best service I’ve experienced anywhere. We were pampered in every way imaginable. As a wildlife enthusiast and photographer who has been around, I certainly recommend King’s Camp and Timbavati as a superb, rewarding and very productive destination. I hope I find the time to go back some time soon.
Margaret Yufera -Leitch, Canada
I’m not sure if I can adequately express my enthusiasm for our tour through South Africa. Sharing time with some of the most exotic animals on the planet will continue to be one of my most treasured memories. What I loved most, was the proximity and intensity of the experience with leopards. Although I am not a wild life photographer, I am an adrenaline junkie, and hearing the hiss of an adult leopard is one of the most exciting times I can remember. In my most spectacular day dreams, I could not have thought up lodges like Kings Camp or Leopard Hills. ORYX group put together a trip that was virtually bespoken to both my husband and my tastes. We were able to share an adventure together, and this was possibly the best trip we have taken together. This was achieved by a seamless set of logistical operations, not a hint of a problem with travel, accommodation, food, or even photography opportunities. Mother Nature may be unpredictable, but ORYX seems to have managed a way to make her a little happier.
Ignacio Yufera, Spain
Organization by ORYX was faultless. It really felt like we were getting the best of everything, even when compared to other visitors, and Marius’ excellent relationship with apparently every ranger and tracker in the reserve was a big bonus, making communication with other vehicles especially productive. His extensive bush experience and photographic sense added a lot of value to the trip.
Edward Lang, Australia
“ORYX did us proud, from Kirsty’s exceptional logistics management, your own support & Help, and mostly Greg’s complete professionalism, looking forward I must admit to June & Tanzania”
“Thank you for arranging such a wonderful safari for us. The lodges were great. The logistics were superb from the moment we got out of our intercontinental aircraft! Driver/guides were very good, and we enjoyed Greg’s pleasant company and photographic advice. Thank you also for the gifts Greg brought to us. They were very much appreciated. We look forward to traveling with ORYX again some time in future.”
Delmar Hoogendoorn, South Africa
“I actually do not have the words to describe how incredible this journey was. I can only thank you for bringing back this little piece of heaven called the Sabi Sands back into my life again. Your ORYX friend for life.”
Harry & Irene Penner, Canada
“We arrived home two days ago after a most incredible and wonderful trip. The highlight of our trip was the Kings Camp safari but everything was fabulous!! We really appreciate Dale for so many reasons. He was excellent in teaching us, being personable, sharing his knowledge, expertise and passion for wildlife photography. We learnt so much. It has been busy trying to catch up after our vacation but this weekend we hope to start applying some of the ‘editing’ that Dale taught us. We would highly recommend this experience and DALE!! An absolutely wonderful experience!! We really hope that we can do something similar in the future and would definitely be calling ORYX (and Dale).”
Deborah and Russell Keener Brown, USA
“Marius, Greg and Kirsty,
Thanks so much for all you did to make our Safari experience epic! We really appreciated all the extra efforts to each detail. Especially, our bags and transport service….what a way to get through the airports with you guys – we were whisked away from the gate and escorted through customs. And, we love our Oryx bags – especially Russell.
It was such a privilege to spend a week with Greg. On all levels he is a joy to spend time in the bush with. It’s really apparent through his passion, knowledge and talent why he is The Wildlife Photographer of the Year.
We had some amazing sightings. From following mating leopards for 5 hours on my birthday to packs of wild dogs, cheetahs, and 19 different leopards. Oh, and two snakes! And of course, spending some time with Claire was very special to us.
All the best,
Trevor and Lesley Collins, Australia
“A fantastic safari experience from pre-travel through the safari to post travel – all the little details necessary for our comfort and enjoyment were taken care of with the minimum of fuss. We had a great time helped by the professionalism and friendliness of the ORYX team. All our needs were anticipated and attended to but most importantly every day was fun and an adventure.”
I would like to express to the best of my ability how wonderful, beyond expectations, this trip was. I don’t know how I was so fortunate to end up with Nelis. He was absolutly fabulous. Patient, courteous, a wonderful photographer and person. More knowledge regarding the animals and birds than I could ever have hoped for. We got along very well and I was smiling non-stop and as emotionally happy as I have been in a long time. A wonderful mix of lodges. 8 different leopards at Sabi Sands. Wonderful guide and tracker (Matt & Nelson) at Inyati. And I have to let Adam know that one of the biggest highlights of the trip was the Aardvark in the driveway to Zebra Hills. I would go any where with Nelis. Thanks again, Scott Burnham
“Spitsbergen was incredible. None of us expected to love it as much as we did and I definitely need to go back one day soon. Elliott was great and a lot of fun, and certainly helped me loads with my technique.”
Laura Dyer, South Africa
“Elliott was fantastic to have along. He has an unassuming way of helping people take better shots. It felt as though he was always there for advice, without any kind of forced structure.”
Rob Tarr, South Africa
“It was, as you suggested, the trip of a lifetime for me, and I still pinch myself when I see the images of icebergs, glaciers, polar bears, walruses etc. Thanks Elliott for the guidance and companionship on the trip – we had a great group, and felt really comfortable at all times, knowing also that everything possible was being done to get us the best photo-ops available.”
“We have to thank our guide Elliott Neep, an amazing wildlife photographer who works with ORYX Photographic Tours, for such a great trip. Without Elliott our trip would have been that much poorer! The ORYX group was certainly a class act. Of course, we also have to thank Joshua, our driver for our time in TZ. With x-ray like vision and deft driving, Joshua made sure that we were the first on scene for all of the best moments of our trip”
Pradeep Bansal, USA
“The tour was everything and more. Elliott was a wonderful guide and I learned a lot from him.”