A round up of the best art safaris

Art safaris cater for travellers who like to paint and capture their travels in a unique work of art. Tourism Update rounds up some of the best options in Southern Africa.

‘Chitake Impressions’ with Richard King in Mana Pools

The ‘Chitake Impressions’ art safari with Richard King allows guests to travel to remote parts of Chitake in Hurungwe, Zimbabwe.  King was inspired to paint the flora and fauna of the Zambezi Valley, capturing the heart of Africa with elephants, lions, antelope, baobab trees, mopane woodlands and riverine landscapes. Guests can also commission King to paint a picture of them on safari.

The tour includes accommodation for two nights at a Harare-based guest lodge on a bed and breakfast basis; accommodation for four nights at Camp Chitake, including breakfast, lunch, dinner, a professional guide and camping equipment; return airport and lodge transfers; and a three-day painting session with King, including easels if needed.

‘Tailor-Made’ with various Zimbabwean artists

Specialist Safaris offers tailor-made art safaris with various Zimbabwean artists. Guests can choose the artist they like and a tour can be specially arranged. Alternatively, guests can choose from previous tours that include a Zambezi day trip with artist, Tamryn Pohl, where guests can learn how she portrays the humorous side of wildlife; guests can see William Sykes use the art of seeing in 3D during a hiking tour in the Eastern Highlands, or take a train trip with Barry Thomas and learn how to sketch the train they will travel on.

Guests can also visit the Wild Dog denning sites in Chilo Gorge and Gonarezhou with Lin Barrie, or create recycled art work with Kerry Bradford. They can learn the culture of people in Matabeleland through a few brush strokes with Fortune Mpofu or capture the colour and movement of birds during a walking birding tour with artist, Nicole Sanderson.

Art on Safari with Alison Nicholls

This five-day art safari gives travellers the opportunity to improve their creative skills while enjoying the Africa on Foot camp in Klaserie Private Nature Reserve bordering the Kruger National Park. During the tour, guests will go on two safaris a day with artist, Alison Nicholls, who will share her field sketching techniques and teach guests how to create their own wildlife field sketches.

Most sketching on game drives will be done in pencil, pen and other dry materials with the aim of completing as many sketches of different species as possible. Guests can use watercolour and other materials when finishing off their work back at the camp.

Guests may have an opportunity of seeing and sketching various wild animals during the game drives, such as elephant, rhino, buffalo, impala, kudu, zebra, giraffe, steenbok, duiker, mongoose, baboon, vervet monkey,  hippo, leopard, lion, spotted hyena, black-backed jackal, side-striped jackal, caracal, crocodile, cheetah, serval, and African wild dog.

Nicholls will also host workshops on colour and how to use it in wildlife sketches; sketch to studio, demonstrating how to use wildlife sketches to inspire studio paintings; and composition of a wildlife sketch.

Art Safari with Francisco Hernandez

This four-night art safari at The Bush House in the Madikwe Game Reserve in North West province combines travellers’ passion for art with the South African bush. During the tour, guests will experience two daily game drives and have the opportunity to improve their creative skills with artist, Francisco Hernandez.

Hernandez’ preferred medium is graphite pencil and ink and guests will make use of the pencil, pen and other dry materials while sketching on the game drives. Guests may also have the opportunity to use watercolours back at the lodge. This art safari aims to teach guests to sketch wildlife quickly and confidently.

Hernandez will also host workshops demonstrating essential techniques to sketch mammals and birds in the wild and how to use colour. Afternoon game drives will also include sundowner drinks in the bush.

‘Carmines and Goliaths’ with John Threlfall

The ‘Carmines and Goliaths’ art safari, hosted in South Luangwa National Park, Zambia, allows guests to study wildlife and have a full week of painting with artist, John Threlfall.

It is structured around the arrival of Carmine bee-eaters in the area and the Goliath herons that stalk the lagoons looking for prey. Threlfall will hold one-on-one tuition for guests.

Guests will stay at the Thornicroft Lodge in Mambwe and go on day and night game drives, while learning to sketch, paint and photograph animals such as impala. puku, baboons and possibly leopard. Guests will also visit a nearby village and learn how to sketch village life.

‘Lazy Big Cats’ with Julia Cassels

This week-long art safari with artist, Julia Cassels, offers guests the chance to study and sketch big cats and other animals in the South Luangwa National Park, Zambia. Cassels is the author of ‘How to capture movement in your paintings’ and will hold one-on-one tuition for guests, where she will demonstrate how to capture the shapes and colours of Africa and how to play with light over moving objects. Guests will stay at the Thornicroft Lodge in Mambwe and go on day and night game drives, while learning to sketch, paint and photograph animals such as giraffe and elephant that roam the park. Guests will also visit a nearby village and learn how to sketch village life. – Southern Africa Tourism Update

October 2015
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