2020 Art Safaris have been postponed due to Covid-19.
2021 Art Safaris will be in South Africa.
Please contact me to receive details prior to public release.
My art safari experience with Alison was beyond my wildest dreams. I learned so much about drawing the animals. It was a trip of a lifetime filled with fun, learning and lot’s of laughter. Debra Singleton
In 2011 I began leading Art Safaris for Africa Geographic in South Africa. The safaris are suitable for all skill levels and are designed to teach guests how to sketch wildlife quickly and confidently. We have a maximum of 6 guests on each safari. Non-sketching friends or partners are very welcome.
An art safari with Alison takes one on a life journey where one becomes a sensitive naturalist, ones drafting skills are honed and one is exposed to mindfulness. It’s a marvellous package. Alison not only gently guides one in illustrating mammals as they authentically behave with simple pen or pencil lines, she calmly nudges with ideas on how to compose a satisfying composition. Within seconds she suggests what will improve a muzzle shape or what will better capture the muscle and bones carried by a subject. She coaxes one to observe and appreciate animal forms with new clarity and perception. In the process one begins a deeply intimate engagement with wildlife in the South African bushveld. Kirsty Turner
On an Art Safari, much of our sketching is done from an open safari vehicle, giving guests unrestricted views of the numerous wildlife species. I sit in the middle row of seats, so I can easily communicate with everyone during drives. Game drives take place in the early morning and late afternoon, optimal times for seeing wildlife and sketching in good light. Drives last approximately two and a half to three hours but we stop for refreshments midway.
It was the perfect beginning to a magical trip. The group size was perfect – Alison sat in the middle of the vehicle while we sketched and was able to then give each of us constant individualized feedback. Bobbi Bryson
I attended Alison Nicholls’ Africa Geographic safari as a non-participating spouse. Using my photo safari experiences as a baseline, I`ll state unequivocally that never have I experienced such professionalism, enthusiasm, organization and warmth as I did with Alison on this safari. The photo safaris I`ve been on paled in comparison. I would not hesitate to recommend Alison or this African Geographic safari to my closest family and friends. Butch Mazzuca
It was amazing to have Alison right there on every game drive offering ideas and suggestions. I can`t believe in such a few short days how quickly I improved my sketching! Barbara Womack
During the middle of the day guests can relax and take a dip in the pool, or take part in an art workshop. The workshops can cover a number of topics including how to add watercolor to pencil sketches or how to use your sketches as the basis for studio paintings. The workshops are very friendly and informal and everyone works at their own pace.
My husband and I had no idea what to expect for Africa Geographic’s (AG) Art Safari, but thought it would be a great opportunity to combine a trip to Africa with a chance to indulge in my love of art. We weren’t disappointed. AG took care of the details and were very responsive to any questions we had prior to arriving and once we returned home. We were impressed with the lodging and the staff, and were overwhelmed by the amount of food they prepared for us – all very delicious by the way! As for the artist herself, Alison was wonderful! She had a great sense of humor, demonstrated lots of patience as she helped me work through my artistic endeavors, and had a wealth of stories and knowledge. Couldn’t have asked for a better hostess! The art lessons were fun and informal (on game drives or in cozier settings such as around a small table and fireplace), and offered all of us a chance for personal attention and development. I learned new techniques (not the least of which was learning how to sketch animals on the move!), and although I did not create the masterpieces I envisioned, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and would go again! Tammy Cloutier
Sketching in the bush with Alison was a delight, she is thorough, humorous, knowledgeable, and patient. I found it amazing that the placement of a single line transformed my house cat into a lion. Celia Clowe
My passion for wildlife and art had come together to create the trip of my lifetime. I would definitely recommend ‘following the dream’! Judy Hall
2020 Art Safaris in South Africa
Both venues for the 2020 Art Safaris are situated in private reserves which form part of the Great Kruger National Park. September is the dry season, perfect for game viewing. Temperatures at this time range from 13 – 29°C or 55 – 84°F.
Pungwe Bush Camp
September 22 – 26, 2020
Pungwe Bush Camp has been operating on the same site for over 24 years offering simple yet memorable safaris. Situated in the remote and undeveloped southern portion of the Manyeleti Reserve, on the northern border of the Sabi Sand Reserve and the eastern border of the Kruger National Park, at Pungwe the ethos is to deliver a truly authentic safari experience with limited impact on the environment. This back-to-basics bush camp is not only off-grid but also off the beaten tourist track, offering intimate and thrilling wildlife encounters, award-winning meals and a chance to reconnect with nature in one of Africa’s world-renowned, unspoilt wilderness reserves.
Kambaku Safari Lodge
September 27 – October 1, 2020
Kambaku Safari Lodge is an owner-run lodge that provides a unique personal service and relaxing atmosphere for visitors to absorb the space, sights, sounds and feelings that only the African bush can offer. The chalets and main lodge all overlook a private waterhole, but guests can also enjoy the waterhole from the privacy of their chalet or from the main lodge area. Be prepared for some scrumptious bush cuisine and delicious meals served in relaxed and rustic settings. Environmental consciousness is a high priority and as such the use of solar power and gas, with only minimal electricity aims at minimizing our environmental footprint.
By the time we met, I already felt that I knew Alison well as she had taken the trouble to make contact with me on a number of occasions before the trip to outline what to expect, what was required and to make sure any questions were answered. Her artistic prowess is unquestioned but as a tutor, her quiet encouraging manner and friendly demeanour meant that a complete novice such as myself could reveal my artistic ineptitude with no fear of embarrassment. I learnt a lot and was very much inspired to continue my efforts in future. Alastair Gibson
Alison Nicholls is a generous and knowledgeable leader/teacher, helping you understand how animals are built, how they move and why they behave as they do. What better way to understand an animal than to draw or paint it? Alison is also a lovely and amusing traveling companion. I’ve been on over eighteen safaris and have never so thoroughly enjoyed my animal watching experiences. In fact, I cannot imagine going on future safaris without a sketchbook and pencil in my backpack and taking the time to sit, watch, listen, and to really “see” and record the marvels unfolding before me. Penelope Bodry-Sanders
I saw the advert in Africa Geographic and it made me want to take the trip all over again. Judy Rasmuson
Booking and payment details: Once you have decided to join an Art Safari, you will need to contact Africa Geographic for a booking form. Reservations can only be confirmed by the completion of a booking form and the receipt of a deposit. As our groups are small they can fill up quickly. Please email Christian Boix on firstname.lastname@example.org for details or telephone: +27 (0)21 762 4974.
Africa Geographic handle all reservations and payments, and will be delighted to help you with any other travel arrangements you may require in Africa. They can also arrange private, custom Art Safaris.
Can’t attend this year?
Our safaris are small and can fill up very quickly, so if you are interested in a future Art Safari, please let me know. I can then ensure that you, along with other interested guests, receive future itineraries before they are made available to the public on my website.