India – Women Only Photo Tour 2023
US$9,975 / person sharing
12 APR 2023 – 25 APR 2023
ORYX is proud to present a carefully crafted women only tour to key sites in Northern India, with Senior Photo Tour Leader Penny Robartes.
ORYX’s new product, “Women’s only safaris” have been designed to offer women with a thirst for exploring exotic destinations with camera in hand the ability to travel together. As many women feel more comfortable traveling with other women alone, we decided to craft a set of tours dedicated to women travellers. These tours are designed to allow like-minded ladies to learn, have fun and feel empowered to be creative in an environment of camaraderie and support of fellow women photographers.
Our Women Only Photo Tours cater to photographers of all skill levels. Penny will use her extensive photographic experience to teach you how best to utilise your camera and capture your photographic vision while you are immersed in the spirit of the destination.
Our tour to magical India takes place in April which is the beginning of spring and is a great time to photograph the magnificent Bengal Tiger. India of course has many highlights, but the Bengal Tiger is unquestionably one of them! As spring progresses, temperatures in Ranthambore National Park rise and animals, most notably tigers, seek out water sources to slake their thirst and stay cool in the ever-growing heat. In addition to game drives to search for Bengal Tiger and other wildlife, working the waterholes is a good way locate our primary quarry. We also visit the iconic Taj Mahal and colourful Varanasi on this tour, both of which add an exotic blend of cultural elements to the wildlife highlights of Ranthambore and truly offer an amazing overview of India.
Why This Photo Tour Is For You
Day 1: Arrival In Delhi
Today is set aside as an arrival day in bustling New Delhi – India’s second most populous city, and one of the most densely populated on earth. You will be met by an ORYX representative and driven through to your lovely accommodations for the night. This evening during dinner ORYX Tour Leader Penny Robartes will discuss the upcoming India photo tour in detail.
Day 2: Drive Delhi To Agra, Sunset Session At Taj Mahal
After breakfast, we will drive from Delhi to Agra, which is approximate a 4-5 hour drive. Agra is the home of arguably the world’s most famous and spectacular historic building, the Taj Mahal! This morning we will visit this architectural masterpiece, the name of which literally means “Crown of Palaces”. This India Photo tour highlight is a World Heritage Site and is famous for the elegance of its design, its extraordinary translucent white marble dome, its mathematical symmetry and the immense numbers of intricately carved and inlaid semi-precious stones that adorn its walls. This is without a doubt one of India’s most iconic and impressive sites, and this afternoon we will take advantage of the soft afternoon light, which is optimal for photography.
Day 3: Taj Mahal & Agra Fort
This morning we will again visit the Taj Mahal as the sun comes up for golden hour photography. Today we will also explore the fabled Agra Red Fort, located in the centre of the city and serving as a monumental reminder of the fascinating history of the region. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is more accurately a 94 acre walled city and was constructed in the 16th century. Visiting this architecturally spectacular complex is fascinating and from here we will also be able to enjoy views of the shimmering marble Taj Mahal. Our final day in Agra concludes as we embark on one last sunset photography session at the Taj Mahal.
Day 4: Drive Agra To Jaipur
Our India Women’s photo tour continues as we travel from Agra to Jaipur, which is an approximate 4 hour drive. The afternoon is set aside for some relaxation at the hotel (activities to be confirmed).
Day 5: Jaipur To Ranthambore
This morning we will be collected from our hotel and will depart Jaipur for Ranthambore, which is approximately a 4 hour train ride. After arriving, we will check in and enjoy lunch, where after we make our way into the park for afternoon game viewing.
Days 6 To 10: Ranthambore National Park
For each morning and afternoon game drive we will use open-top jeeps to explore the park for Bengal Tiger and other wildlife. The rangers will be on the lookout for tell-tale signs such as pugmarks or scat in the road and will be ever alert for the alarm calls of Sambar, Spotted Deer (Chital) and Hanuman Langur. With luck, these signs will lead us to a Tiger padding along a dusty track or sprawled out in the dappled sunlight of a bamboo thicket. Looking into the amber eyes of this, the largest of all the cats, undoubtedly ranks as one of the world’s ultimate wildlife experiences.
Day 11: Ranthambore Train To New Delhi
This morning on this Women’s Only tour, we will have a further opportunity to photograph game within the reserve, where after we board the train bound for New Delhi, where we have an overnight stay.
Day 12: Fly Delhi To Varanasi
After check-in and lunch we will explore and photograph Varanasi (Benares or Kashi), the oldest living city in the world and the city that has been the ultimate Hindu pilgrimage for ages. Hindus believe that one who is graced to die on the holy land of Varanasi will attain salvation from the cycle of birth and re-birth.
Day 13: Varanasi
This morning, we will enjoy an early morning boat ride on the river Ganges to witness the sun rising over the river and Ghats (the broad flight of steps leading down to the water) and also to observe the devotees taking a holy dip and offering morning prayers. After capturing the many sights in the beautiful morning light, we will continue on by foot as we photography the many streets and sights in Varanasi. We will return to the hotel for a late breakfast and have time to relax, editing our images and enjoy your accommodations before we head out on our evening excursion to photograph the Ganga Aarti. Ganga Aarti is an ancient ritual of offering prayer to the Ganges River and is held daily at dusk. Aarti brings eager devotees and spectators across the city to witness the awe-inspiring and spiritual ritual.
Day 14: Fly To Dehli And Depart
Today, our wonderful photographic tour sadly comes to an end. After a final morning’s photography and breakfast we will fly back to Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi and this is where our photo tour concludes.
This was my second private trip with ORYX Photo Tours, combined with my 6th ORYX photo safari group tour. I have two additional ORYX group tours on the horizon. The private trips allow significantly more individual instruction, both in photography and the digital darkroom. In addition, the daily itinerary is totally up to you. Penny Robartes was an exceptional tour leader who constantly gave me invaluable advice on camera settings, animal behavior, composition, and Lightroom processing. While I was very happy with my images and instruction from the group part of the tour, the private tour was a step or two up in quality. I plan to do more private photo tours in the future. I can’t say enough about my experiences with Penny, Dale, and Marius. I can’t imagine traveling with anyone else.
I had the pleasure of meeting Nicolette for lunch prior to my tour. She has been so helpful over the years answering my many questions and making sure everything was arranged.
Our Botswana photo safari to Savute and Khwai went smoothly and without any problems. Our tour leader did a great job helping us with our photographic needs and offered assistance as well. Penny Robartes is very professional, cheerful and a pleasure to have as a tour leader. The camps were very nice, the staff in the camps were delightful and our drivers/guides were very accommodating. Overall, my experience with ORYX Photo Tours was positive.
This was our third photo safari with ORYX Photo Tours and we have a fourth one booked. The itineraries have been spot-on and the guide quality superb. The groups are small so there’s plenty of opportunity for one-on-one feedback and help. The office staff are thoughtful and detail-oriented. This was also our first time traveling with Penny and she was a great tour leader!
Amazing tour with ORYX Photo Tours. Extremely talented and knowledgeable guide, Penny Robartes made this, Mashatu Photo tour, a extremely memorable experience. I spent a week at Mashatu Main Lodge in the Northern Tuli Game Reserve. The small group size, 2 guest to 1 guide, allowed the able to communicate constantly with my guide, Penny, not only gave technical advice but the reasons why certain settings were used along with advice on composition, night photography, etc. Penny was knowledgeable, easy to understand and a joy to be around. You can see how much she loves her job. She took the time between game drives to review my photos and give advice on composition and cropping. On the evening of the 4th day, I injured myself at the lodge and the staff there, as well as Penny and the team at ORYX, took care to make sure that I had the best medical care possible. I was able to get sutured and back on a game drive the following day. Thank you to ORYX Photo Tours for this amazing experience. I will be back!
I spent a week at Mashatu for a Hides and Predators photo tour. The tour was planned for three guests and although one guest cancelled, ORYX ran the tour with only two guests. The small group size offered the opportunity to communicate intensively with the photo tour leader Penny Robartes and so I learned an enormous amount. Penny has immense knowledge and she manages to convey this with her empathetic and good manner. In the run-up to the tour, ORYX took care of all the issues and always made sure that everything went smoothly. The communication was always very transparent and fast. Thanks to the whole ORYX Photo Tours team for letting me enjoy this unique experience!
Penny, I really had a fantastic photo safari in Botswana thanks to you and ORYX Photo Tours for sure! I am still on a bit of a high. Even though this was my third time to Southern Africa and second to Botswana, and each trip has been special, this time having a focus was brilliant and your guidance was invaluable to achieving some excellent photos