by Nicole Cambré: Blog en-us Copyright (C) Nicole Cambré - All rights reserved (by Nicole Cambré) Tue, 27 Sep 2016 10:13:00 GMT Tue, 27 Sep 2016 10:13:00 GMT by Nicole Cambré: Blog 120 80 Timely planning of our family safari photography trip to Southern Tanzania and Northern Serengeti We will this summer be spending 13 nights in Tanzania (Selous, Ruaha and Northern Serengeti). I already booked this trip in September last year. As we are a family of five we would not have been able to fit this trip in our budget if we had waited much longer. One of the places has 8 furnished tents, the other one only 6 and for our family I already need two of them. 


By booking early I also managed to get a discount between 20% and 50% on the published rates of the camps due to combining two new camps in Ruaha and Selous where there was in 2012 an introductionary promotional offer which they extended to our 2013 reservation. This offer is no longer shown on their site in 2013. In the third camp in case you stay longer than 4 nights a discount of 20% applies to the entire booking.  Safari is of course not a cheap holiday but there is a fine line between it being still more or less affordable and it becoming outrageously expensive.


In addition, Tanzania offers child discounts for children under 16 years and not 12 years as is the case in most other African countries. In two of the camps where we will be staying, one child stays for free and the two other ones pay 50% of the promotional adult rate.  If we had travelled as a couple at the published rates it would have costed us more than what we are now paying for our family of five.

What eats my budget are the internal flights as here the  full rate for five people applies. If you are on a budget you should be able to combine the Ruaha and Selous parks. Flying from Ruaha over Arusha to Kotagende in the northern Serengeti is probably a stretch but I absolutely wanted to see the wildebeest migration away from the crowds on the Kenyan side of the Mara river. There was thus not really any alternative to flying to get to the northern Serengeti.

For our international flights, we are flying with Ethiopian airlines, which turned out the cheapest option as we wanted to plan in a stop-over in Ethiopia and Ethiopian airlines does not charge more if you are flying out from a different airport. The multi-destination ticket (1) Brussels-Dar-Es-Salaam (2) Kilimanjaro-Addis Ababa (3) Addis Ababa-Brussels was not more expensive than a return flight to the same destination in Tanzania.


We picked the parks in the south as we have travelled already the classic Northern Tanzania safari circuit in 2011. The parks in Southern Tanzania are not crowded which is a big advantage.  Those of you that have read already some other of my blog posts know that the sight of a lion being surrounded by 20+ safari vehicles in the Masai Mara or Serengeti during high season is not my definition of a true wilderness experience. In addition Selous has the highest density of the endangered African wild dog. With my luck with wild dogs it probably won't happen that we see them but there will be more enough other wildlife around and hopefully I will come back with some good photographs.

]]> (by Nicole Cambré) Family safari Tanzania migration northern serengeti ruaha safari budget selous Sun, 11 Jun 2017 18:00:00 GMT
Serra Cafema - Boy with albinism received protective clothing In my blogpost of December 2013 on the Angolan himba boy with albinism suffering from heavy burning wounds near Serra Cafema at the Kunene river, I got an update on his condition from a traveller that visited the region in May 2014. On the picture below the boy is completely covered and he seems in a much better health condition than when I saw him.


Thank you Volker A. for sending me the picture.

If you are going to Wilderness' Serra Cafema camp in Northern Namibia you may want to consider leaving any excess sun protection for the  boy.  If you have any pictures , I would be very happy if you could share them with me.

]]> (by Nicole Cambré) serra cafema Mon, 30 Jun 2014 16:45:00 GMT
Abut Dhabi has the largest falcon hospital in the world In April 2014 I had the opportunity to visit the falcon hospital in Abu Dhabi. It is an impressive facility where the hunting falcons of the sheiks are treated. From clipping and sharpening of the nails over replacement of broken feathers to complicated surgery, the clinique does all of it.


More of my images from my visit to the falcon hospital can be found in this gallery




]]> (by Nicole Cambré) Abu Dhabi Sat, 12 Apr 2014 08:15:00 GMT
How to photograph a stranger? Try with a friendly smile ! I get asked frequently how I manage to photograph people I do not know. In April I was travelling through the empty quarter in the Liwa desert in Abu Dhabi and I saw this group of Arab men at the other side of the salt  lake taking pictures .



I walked to the other side while photographing my colleagues until I was standing next to the men and then I just smiled and asked if I could photograph them.



My colleague captured my approach to make contact.  Thank you Maria-Louisa!






]]> (by Nicole Cambré) Abu Dhabi Sun, 06 Apr 2014 09:45:00 GMT
Abu Dhabi; Visiting the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque In early April 2014 I was for work in Abu Dhabi. It provided me with the unique opportunity to finally meet my photographer friend Julian John.  As I had a free evening Julian took me to the big mosque.  Especially in the evening light the mosque provided many fantastic photographic opportunities. I was allowed inside without having to wear an abaya dress as te guard deemed my buff sufficient to qualify as a head scarf. After twenty minutes photographing the inside of the mosque the mullah came to throw me out as he was of a different opinion than the guard and told me to come back in with an abaya.


While Julian was still photographing the inside of the mosque I decided not to search for an abaya but to wait outside instead.  I am so happy that I did as I got the opportunity to photograph those muslim women taking pictures with their phones.


The visit to the mosque ended with a great dinner with Julian and his wife.   Thank you both!  You can check out Julian's great photographs on




]]> (by Nicole Cambré) Abu Dhabi Sat, 05 Apr 2014 22:16:00 GMT
Albino boy has received protective clothing and has been seen by a doctor Wilderness' Serra Cafema camp responded to my blog post on tripadvisor. Thank you so much Serra Cafema for sending the doctor to the albino child and having provided him with protective clothing!  I am so happy for the kid that he is getting help.


Here is an extract of the response from Serra Cafema:

"With regards to the young boy, although he does live in a village around the Kunene river he is not from the Serra Cafema community but a nearby village on the Angolan side of the river thus making it somewhat more tricky for us to offer him all the help we can. We at Serra Cafema have given his mother medication as well as hats and protective clothing (long sleeves and pants) to help prevent further damage. The problem is he is a typical little boy who just wants to play with his friends and does not like being bundled up in layers of clothing. Added to that the extreme temperatures that are experienced having to wear several layers upon layers to protect him from the sun becomes unbearable, so off come the protective clothing with dire consequences. This however has not deterred us from helping this child and his ever endeavouring mother, we have called a Doctor out to meet with mother and child and advise them on any medications or alternative solutions which can be employed to prevent the child from further ailments. We would like to thank you for your concern for this child and for asking others to help, as is the Wilderness Safaris way we do put great effort into caring for the local people that live around and near all our camps and it is always inspiring to see guests such as yourself taking as much care for this as we do "

]]> (by Nicole Cambré) Namibia serra cafema Wed, 19 Feb 2014 21:08:24 GMT
Himba boy with albinism near Wilderness Safari's Serra Cafema camp in the Kunene region of Namibia I wanted to link this blog post to my review of Wilderness' Namibian Serra Cafema camp on Tripadvisor  but Tripadvisor refused to publish the review with the link as they considered the url commercial and self promotional and a violation of their rules, while all I wanted to achieve is that perhaps some future travelers read this post and pack something extra when they are visiting the region to help the boy.



We found this albino boy  (around 10 years old) at the river bank of the Kunene river while staying at Wilderness' Serra Cafema camp. He had severe burning wounds on his arms and legs and could not open one of his eyes.  He was suffering a lot. I had some creme against burning wounds in my travel pharmacy so we went back to treat the boy as good as we could and give some basic advice to his family about having him wear long sleeves clothes and keep him out of the sun as much as possible . This would not have been possible without the  help of our friend and guide Albert who was fabulous in disinfecting his wounds.


I also left all sun protection I had with me but that only provides help for a short period of time.  The boy and his family have no access to any medical treatment.



I took pictures which I have sent to our doctor in Belgium to see how to best continue to help the boy.  I will be sending this week a parcel with long sleeves UV protection t-shirts and trousers as well as a cap and sunglasses together with some more sun protection to Serra Cafema for the boy. I hope it will arrive.


According to the doctors and pharmacist I consulted the problem with most in Belgium available cremes against burning wounds is that they have to be stored in the fridge or at least at temperatures below 25°C and as that is not possible they recommend to desinfect his wounds and treat him with high protection sun cream on a daily basis.



I want to help this boy  on a permanent basis but sending a parcel from Belgium may take several weeks. If you read this post and are planning to visit the Serra Cafema camp in Northern Namibia  at some point in the future, please pack some extra high protection sun block.  If you are based in Europe you can always get in contact with me and I would be happy to send you some things to bring as it will be faster and more secure than if I were to send them to Namibia directly.



If you see the boy while at Serra Cafema  and you have some pictures please send them to me so that I can keep track if the wounds are healing and it will enable me to keep this blog post updated on any developments on his condition.


Thank you so much!




]]> (by Nicole Cambré) Namibia Serra Cafema Sun, 19 Jan 2014 13:31:32 GMT
Runner-up in the Travel Photographer of the Year contest 2013 My middle daughter Myriam has been Runner-Up in the 2013  Travel Photographer of the Year contest in the age category 14 years and under. For Myriam (12)  it came as a big surprise as it was the first time she participated in a photo contest.  Her elder sister Rebecca was Runner-Up in the same contest in 2012.  Myriam's  images will be featured at the TPOTY exhibition in the Royal Geographic Society in London in July 2014.

Myriam took the images of the wildebeest crossing the Mara river in Northern Tanzania in August 2013 using a compact Sony HX50V.


Myriam was interviewed by the newspapers De Morgen and  Het Laatste Nieuws on December 18th and in the programme " Frituur de Wereld" on Radio 2 on December 20th



Copyright © 2013 Myriam D.

]]> (by Nicole Cambré) travel photographer of the year Mon, 23 Dec 2013 10:15:45 GMT
Angry hippo versus elephant My images of the angry hippo versus the elephant have been published in various newspapers and on national geographic this week through the UK press agency Rex Features.

This elephant had crossed to an island in the middle of the Chobe river in Botswana. The hippo was not happy about it and was apparently defending its territory. When more elephants crossed the river to the island the hippo backed off and went back into the river. 

Here is the url to some of the publications:




]]> (by Nicole Cambré) Botswana Sat, 05 Oct 2013 09:36:38 GMT
Baboons versus leopard We find a heavily bleeding baboon in Zambia's South Luangwa National Park. His troop is making loud alarm calls.  It turned out that the baboon had attacked the cub of a female leopard and the leopard had subsequently wounded the baboon. 


8.34 we find this wounded baboon8.34 we find this wounded baboon


Our guide was convinced that the leopard would return once she had brought her cub into safety.  We waited for a little over an hour and indeed he was right. 


09.35 the female leopard returns09.35 the female leopard returns


The baboons were in vain trying to protect their friend. 


09.35 the baboons are still trying to protect their friend09.35 the baboons are still trying to protect their friend


In the meantime a group of Zambian school kids on school excursion had arrived at the scene. 


09.40 a group of Zambian kids watches the event09.40 a group of Zambian kids watches the event


While I was capturing the expressions of the kids one of the troop baboons bit in the tail of the leopard. A shot I missed but my 13 year old daughter captured it on video. 


movie by R. Deckmyn


The sound at the end of the video is the sound is a  jeep getting a flat tyre. 



09.40 A baboon of the troop had just bitten in its tail (see video)09.40 A baboon of the troop had just bitten in its tail (see video)






]]> (by Nicole Cambré) Zambia Fri, 04 Oct 2013 09:15:00 GMT
AUGUST 2013: The famous Mursi tribe at Mago NP The Eco-Omo lodge in Jinka was fantastic and the Italian food an absolute delight.  The friendly Italian owners made this the best place to stay in the whole of Ethiopia. Too bad that we were only staying for one night.

In the morning we leave this wonderful tented camp to drive to Mago National Park where the Mursi tribe is living. Many Mursi women are still wearing a lip plate made of clay in their lower lip.



The Mursi are a very proud tribe and if you treat them with respect they are friendly. We found them to be the nicest tribe of the Omo valley. I know this is subjective and many people had different experiences.


MursiMursi MursiMursi MursiMursi MursiMursi MursiMursi MursiMursi MursiMursi MursiMursi MursiMursi MursiMursi


More of my images from the visit to the Mursi can be found in in the Ethiopian gallery under this link





]]> (by Nicole Cambré) Ethiopia Mon, 12 Aug 2013 09:15:00 GMT
AUGUST 2013: Second part of our trip: On the road to Ethiopia's Omo valley After 13 nights on a fantastic safari to Tanzania's Selous, Ruaha and Northern Serengeti the second part of our trip brings us back  to one of the most beautiful countries in Africa, Ethiopia. Last year we went up north but this time the plan is to visit the tribes in the Omo valley and search for the Ethiopian wolf in the Bale mountains.  Our flight from Kilimanjaro to Addis is nearly three hours delayed due to technical problems. Our friend and guide Tsegaab is waiting for us at the airport.


After a shorter than expected night of sleep we are on our way south.  It is a long drive of about 600km to Arba Minch. On the way we make a photo stop at a market and there was a Khat auction ongoing. Khat is produced mainly in the horn of Africa and in many countries a controlled substance but legal in Ethiopia.


Khat sellerKhat seller



Below are some images from our visit to a Dorze village near Chencha. The Dorze are weavers and are living in 4m high huts.


Chencha-DorzeChencha-DorzeThe Dorze tribe lives in the mountains around Chencha. They live in large (up to 8m heigh) elephant shaped bamboo huts covered with false bananal leaves . They build their huts that high because every year the hut reduces in size due to termites. From the false banana tree they make "kocho", a sort of fermented pancakes. Next to the main hut, there is a smaller honeymoon hut, were the married couple stays for about three months until they have constructed their own hut. The Dorze are famous for their weaving skills. Chencha- DorzeChencha- DorzeThe Dorze tribe lives in the mountains around Chencha. They live in large (up to 8m heigh) elephant shaped bamboo huts covered with false bananal leaves . They build their huts that high because every year the hut reduces in size due to termites. From the false banana tree they make "kocho", a sort of fermented pancakes. Next to the main hut, there is a smaller honeymoon hut, were the married couple stays for about three months until they have constructed their own hut. The Dorze are famous for their weaving skills.


The next day we visit the Arbore tribe on our way to Jinka.  I did not take many pictures there as I was ill that day after the fish at Paradise lodge in Arbra Minch turned out not to be that fresh.


ArboreArboreThe Arbore migrated from Konso some 200 years ago. The Arbore are acting as diplomats in conflicts between the other tribes. They are led by a Chief. The arbore women cover their heads with a black cloth and are wear colorful necklaces and earrings. Small children wear a shell type hat that protects their heads from the sun. The kids body paint their faces. ArboreArboreThe Arbore migrated from Konso some 200 years ago. The Arbore are acting as diplomats in conflicts between the other tribes. They are led by a Chief. The arbore women cover their heads with a black cloth and are wear colorful necklaces and earrings. Small children wear a shell type hat that protects their heads from the sun. The kids body paint their faces.








]]> (by Nicole Cambré) Ethiopia Sun, 11 Aug 2013 09:15:00 GMT
August 2013: Northern Serengeti- Lamai: An excellent safari destination Besides the spectacular crossings of the wildebeest over the Mara river (see my previous blogpost), Northern Serengeti - Kotagenda and Lamai wedge have so much more to offer. The vegetation here is very similar to the Masai Mara. You have the plains and the kopjes only far less people than in Kenya.


Northern Serengeti (Lamai), TanzaniaNorthern Serengeti (Lamai), Tanzania


The area is a predator's heaven. We saw several lions and cheetahs. Only the leopards were hiding during our five night stay. The most spectacular lion sighting was the lion mother with her three week old cubs.


Northern Serengeti (Lamai), TanzaniaNorthern Serengeti (Lamai), Tanzania


The food in the Olakari Lamai camp was the best of our entire trip to Tanzania. The tents were wonderful and the bucket shower was always warm when we needed it. Messenga our guide was great and Richard the camp manager a fantastic host. 






]]> (by Nicole Cambré) Tanzania Fri, 09 Aug 2013 18:15:00 GMT
August 2013: The great migration (Mara river- Tanzanian side) In August we spent five nights in the far north of the Serengeti in a new Asilia Africa camp, Olakira Lamai, at  the Lamai wedge not far from the border with Kenia. I can highly recommend the area and the camp. Richard John, the camp manager was great and with Messenga we had a fantastic guide.



Northern Serengeti is where you have to be to have the best view of  the spectacular crossings of the wildebeest over the Mara river as part of their annual migration. The wildebeest often cross several times a day in both directions.  When it is raining, they get confused. You also need some patience!. Sometimes the wildebeest look as if they are just about to cross but after a while they decide to turn round and move on.  More than once we saw the smaller group of wildebeest that was already at the other side of the river crossing back to rejoin the large group that had decided to move on.


The great migration in Northern Serengeti (Lamai)The great migration in Northern Serengeti (Lamai)


People often think that the Mara river is located only in Kenia's, Masai Mara. A large part of the Mara River is however located in Tanzania.   Around Lamai, the Serengeti is desolated. You are over 100km north from Serenora where 90% of the tourists to the Serengeti are and more importantly you are far away from the traffic jams at the Kenian side of the Mara river .


We had seen the wildebeest crossing the Mara in Kenia in 2011 surrounded by 60+cars but on the Tanzanian side the experience is so much better. Once it was us and just one other car and we were in the prime spot when they started crossing. The crossing lasted for over 1.5 hours.


the Great Migration in Northern Serengeti (Lamai)the Great Migration in Northern Serengeti (Lamai)


The wildebeest get very excited at a crossing point and some become suicidal and can't wait for their turn to cross and just jump from high up onto the other ones.

]]> (by Nicole Cambré) Tanzania Thu, 08 Aug 2013 18:15:00 GMT
August 2013 : Northern Serengeti: Lamai Wedge the local school This trip report  of our fantastic trip to Northern Serengeti (Lamai  Wedge) near the Mara river  in August 2013 is long overdue. I want to start with the most important part of our entire trip being the visit to the local school.  Asila Africa's Olakira's new Lamai camp had only  opened in July 2013. We were the first visitors to the local village school and some children had not even seen a car before. 


The school is in a bad condition and needs urgent renovation.  We had brought some footballs, pens & pencils from home but as the kids had no writing books the pencils were of not much use. We therefore also bought Tanzanian school system writing books in the local village store for all the 200+ children. It is only a small cost for us but it makes a big difference to these children. 


We received a very warm welcome from the teachers and the children  My own children have travelled widely overland through various African countries and they have a pretty good understanding about how difficult the life is for children in many parts of Africa but still this experience was also a true eye opener for them.



Any profits I am making on the sale of my African portraits are already used to support two families in Ethiopia (through the Belgian charity ) and also a child in Zambia  through (


However I want to continue to find ways to support this Tanzanian school. I am working on a wildlife photo book where I will compile a selection of my best images. 100% of the profits of such book will be going to support the school.  Please check my website for updates on the status of this project.


If you go on safari to Northern Serengeti please ask the Richard John, the Olakira Lamai camp manager how you can support the school. If you travel to anywhere in Africa think about packing something extra to help such as English(French depending on the country) school books, footballs, solar powered flash lights.


More of the images from this visit can be seen in this gallery












]]> (by Nicole Cambré) Tanzania Wed, 07 Aug 2013 18:15:00 GMT
August 2013: Ruaha National Park & Kigelia camp: Four nights is not enough! We had a wonderful time in Ruaha and the Kigelia camp in particular. Four nights were much too short. Molel the camp manager and our guide was brilliant. The kids adored him. He taught them the bao game. We have been to various safari destinations in Africa but Ruaha NP is definitely high in our top 3.


It is a beautiful national park with very few vehicles around so I don't think you can get much closer to a true authentic safari experience, far away from the crowds. Within minutes of arriving at the air strip we saw our first animals. A group of lions. What a great start!




We spent most of our afternoon with four fighting giraffes which was an interesting spectacle to watch.





It is hard to get a good giraffe photograph but in Ruaha I was successful a few times.



After a wonderful night of sleep and a great bush shower and breakfast we headed with Mollel for our morning drive.  We came across this elegant but wounded cheetah. It seems that the large wound is not infected and is healing very well .



Lots of elephants too.




The lions of Ruaha are so beautiful.


RuahaRuaha RuahaRuaha



Ruaha is just so fantastic both from the scenery and the wildlife. I hope to return at some point.


Thank you Mollel and the rest of the team for such an amazing experience!



]]> (by Nicole Cambré) Tanzania Sun, 04 Aug 2013 13:00:00 GMT
July 2013: Wild dogs and lions in Selous, Southern Tanzania So far on our previous trips with Ethiopian airlines we had no reason to complain but the initial hard landing in Paris to pick up some additional passengers was not a good start. The fact that the in-flight entertainment system did not work was not a problem but that this system was still working with VHS videocasettes made us wonder about the age of the plane. After a turbulent night flight we finally landed in Addis Ababa but it took two attempts to get there. It gives a weird feeling when the plane is just about to touch the ground the pilot aborts the landing. The second landing attempt about 15 minutes later turned out to be more successful.


Our flight from Addis Dar-Es-Salaam was less turbulent. As we had bought our visa upfront in Brussels immigration was very quick. Luggage pick-up went quick (four bags on a row---too good to be true). Zaituni of Afrika Afrika was waiting for us at the arrivals hall with the taxi driver to take us to the national airport about 10 minutes away for onward flight to Selous. At the national airport we noticed that one bag was not ours..... With the help of a friendly employee of Coastal aviation my husband got back to the international airport. The woman whose bag he had taken was luckily still there as was our bag. We had enough connection time so no harm done as we noticed the error in time. The tv was on at the airport as Tanzania was playing against Uganda.


Our plane to Selous was a small Cesna plane with room for 12 passengers.  When we landed, Peter and the Amara team were welcoming us  at the airstrip with snacks and a cold drink.


My eldest daughter- knowing how desperate I was about seeing wild dogs – joked that she saw wild dogs from the plane. It turned out that the guides had that day for the first time in three weeks time seen wild dogs and they were only five minutes drive from the airstrip. I would have never imagined that the first animal  I see on this trip to be a wild dog. What a great start especially after we had missed them on all previous safari trips !




The hospitality at Amara during our four nights stay was fantastic. Peter and Anita were great hosts. The food was fabulous...and the bush barbecue we will never forget.


Our guide Joseph was great. He had eagle eyes and found us some beautiful lions. It was just us and the lions and no other vehicles around.


SelousSelous SelousSelous


In general wildlife in Selous is very skittish compared to other African safari destinations. Even the giraffes and buffalo's were afraid of cars which may be due to the hunting concessions on the other side of the reserve and poaching being a still a big problem in Selous.  Following the vultures we found a dead elephant with his tusks removed. So sad! Especially as this was the only elephant we had seen during our trip to Selous.


There are many beautiful birds in Selous like this colourful lillac breasted roller.





The water bucks were not scared.either (they are not on the menu of the lions because of their smell)






...and after all we had seen the wild dogs  for the first time ever!













]]> (by Nicole Cambré) Tanzania Wed, 31 Jul 2013 12:00:00 GMT
Runner-Up in the 2012 Travel Photographer of the year contest (-14 years) My eldest daughter Rebecca was named as  Runner-up of the Travel Photographer of the Year 2012 award in the age group of 14 years and under.  I am very happy for her that her images were selected in such a prestigious photo contest especially as this is the first time she ever participated in a  photo competition.

Below are Rebecca's selected images from our joint trip to Ethiopia in april 2012. The awarded images in all categories will be exhibited in July at  the Royal Geographic Society in London.

LalibelaLalibela LalibelaLalibela LalibelaLalibela LalibelaLalibela

]]> (by Nicole Cambré) travel photographer of the year Tue, 09 Jul 2013 19:00:00 GMT
Beavers in Belgium For a couple of weeks in June 2013 a beaver family was housing in the Dijle river . Each evening they would show up in the center of the town of Leuven. Unfortunately the beavers were scared away last week by some drunk students. I was lucky to spot and photograph the beavers on two occassions. For more images see my gallery



]]> (by Nicole Cambré) Belgium Thu, 27 Jun 2013 06:00:00 GMT
June 2, 2013 Back to the Belle Epoque The authentic Ostend, that is the title that the website gives to the Belle Epoque Quarter at the Belgian seaside town of Ostend where we are spending most of our weekends. 



]]> (by Nicole Cambré) Belgium Sun, 02 Jun 2013 20:40:00 GMT