African photo safaris with Dark Continent Explorer will be the highlight of your life.
This is your season to experience something spectacular, adventure in Africa on a wildlife safari. Dark Continent Explorer's (DCE) custom photo safaris will take you to the beating heart of Big 5 country. Our experienced U.S. and South Africa based staff insure that your safari is safe and eternally memorable. Here you can satisfy your desire for adventure, be granted your third wish, and chase your passion for the wild. You'll feel the thrill of lions so close that whiskers twitch. See the honey colored eyes of a cheetah and the mesmerizing spell of a leopards glare.

You can experience the unlikely as you team up with Africa's top wildlife vets and go hands-on with a wildlife capture team. Conservation, choppers, dart guns and adventure in Africa.  Be a part of ecotourism that fuels wildlife recovery. The best Afrika safaris are not cookie cutter. DCE's African safari will transport you into the full Nat. Geo. experience you have dreamt about. Kruger National Park's treasured wildlife will be unveiled by our passionate naturalists during your South African Safari.

This photo safari will be sure to fill your biggest SD cards. Get your safari hat and spend your African holidays with the Dark Continent Explorer team in South Africa. Our team brings a lifetime of African passion for a moment of yours.
Staffed for Your Success

Like any African holiday, the quality of your tour will depend on the people you share your wildlife safari with. Your U.S. based,  photo safari guide, professional  filmmaker Wade Nolan has explored the African continent for over 16 years and has partnered with National Geographic , Animal Planet and the BBC in London on many wildlife specials. Many of the secret spots you will visit are Nolan's favorite wildlife filming locations.



Wade Nolan's South African partner, Bennie Lottering is a smiling master guide who brings unsurpassed authentic Afrikaner flavor and spice to your safari. Bennie is a master wildlife guide who will educate you toward a masters in African wildlife and your doctorate in Big 5-ology.

What To Expect On Your Photo Safari


Our photo safaris accommodate both the novice and the semi-pro.  We design in many photo locations and varying opportunities where you will be in open air Land Rovers, walking down a game trail or in our air-conditioned safari vehicle. By taking advantage of the diversity of multiple big cat reserves and targeting Kruger National Park's, game rich northern and southern half as we place you and your camera in the center of the growly action. A large percentage of the photo opportunities will be up close and will allow you to click and bracket multiple shots. We offer a mix of photo friendly wildlife and free-ranging carnivores.

Dark Continent Explorer's, Wade Nolan has been working with South Africa safaris since the mid-nineties. His background as a professional filmmaker and extreme adventurer have merged in our Wildlife Capture safari. Wade's background as a biologist opened the door to working with wildlife vets and that door now is open to a small group of DCE adventurers each year.  Watch our videos and get a feel for the Africa most will only see on Nat. Geo.. Now you can be in on the action and take home pics or video of your contribution to wildlife conservation. You may be on a capture team moving an escaped giraffe or relocating a white rhino to a breeding program.
At some of our wildlife reserves, you will be able to actually join with the wildlife rangers and care for some of the baby animals. On past safaris we've played with lion cubs, fed newborn cheetahs from a bottle, walked with baby elephants, played with a rescued black rhino calf and took a walk with a cheetah. Our Big Cat tour will offer you photo and personal encounter opportunities not available on other African safaris.
Your guides, Bennie and Wade have been exploring Kruger National Park for a total of 50 years and each have cataloged the secret haunts of the big cats as well as the Big 5. Kruger spans over 7500 sq. miles and the action isn't equally spread. DCE targets the highly productive predator zones that offer you the best photography.

Our private chef and staff will make this an African holiday that will find its way into your journal. Lodging is special, spectacular, and brimming with African ambience. Putting off the dream safari of your life means it will never happen. This is your dance.




Read overviews on the Dark Continent Explorers Safari


Dark Continent Explorer - Wildlife Capture and Big Cat Safari        



Only Dark Continent Explorer offers a wildlife safari where you can be part of a wildlife capture team. Dark Continent Explorer will be assisting African wildlife vets using helicopters, dart guns, capture trucks and a trained crew to tranquilize and immunize or move wildlife to breeding programs or reserves. You can be involved to your comfort level. This is just like being in a Wild Kingdom episode with Merle Perkins or an African episode of Animal Planet.
On past safaris Dark Continent Explorer safaris worked with White Rhinos, Sable Antelope, Golden Wildebeest, Roan Antelope, Cape buffalo, Giraffe and Nyala. The wildlife photography prospects are limitless and unique. These days will be recalled forever.
While in the Limpopo region you will also visit with our favorite photo safari lion couple at South Africa's only predator park. Mike and Chrissy are veteran lion breeders and part of the Timbavati white lion recovery project. Lion cubs are common and their new endangered African wild dog project offers a photo safari highlight to your adventure in Africa. Known as, "The man who Walks with Lions" Mike will reveal lion secrets few know.

These fascinating people make your wildlife rich photo safari one of a kind.
From the Crocodile River region, we move through the Drakensberg Mountains to your second treat, your Big Cat safari camp. Big cat photography is a merging of opportunity and roaring passion. To stage these encounters you will travel to multiple safe destinations across your African tour to put you in front of the Big 5 as you will also focus on Big Cats.
Our Big Cat lodge is a breeding facility for reintroduction of wild felines into other reserves and parks. A photo safari paradise. You'll see the rare white Timbavati lions and learn about their uncertain future. You're unique experience may vary from bottle feeding leopard or lion cubs to sharing the evening veranda with a friendly cheetah. The Little Cats will also offer camera-friendly opportunities as Caracal, Serval, Civet and African Wildcats pounce into your memory. Mornings may be spent on the trails of the night predators as armed rangers take you into the bush to experience the old Africa. Dark Continent Explorer offers some special morning wildlife walks where a guide plus baby lions or young cheetahs will accompany
you. In Kruger you'll also be on the prowl for lions, cheetah and leopards in natural habitat as they hunt for their prey. On some days Dark Continent Explorer has spotted and observed 10 or more lions and 3 leopards. Dark Continent Explorer safaris have happened upon kills where the prey is still kicking or the leopard is dragging its catch into a tree. We know the secret haunts of the big cats and focus our time there. While your African safari will include elephant, buffalo, rhino, crocs and hippos, the big cats of the Kruger National Park region are the centerpiece of your photo safaris during your Big Cat and Wildlife Capture Safari.





Watch a Photo Safari Video about Dark Continent Explorer





Dark Continent Explorer
African Photo Safaris

are designed to keep you comfortably
safe and secure

Safety is the paramount concern of Dark Continent Explorer for you while on your safari.

Adventuring in South Africa is captivating. While you travel through Africa’s southern most country, you will be spellbound by its beauty.

For Dates
and Pricing

Politically stable and economically sound, South Africa is the continent’s cradle of safety.

Your African Safari will be safeguarded and guided by top professionals who know South Africa intrinsically.

With Dark Continent Explorer your Photo Safari will be of upmost safety and will be sure to fascinate your soul.

Step into an adventure safari and Photograph the big 5up close and personal.

experience the thrills of Africa


Hear what Dark Continent Explorers safari friends are saying.
Judy Walker
Our guides were wonderful and knowledgeable, our cook fantastic, and our small group made this a trip of a lifetime. If you have ever considered Africa, this is the way to do it. With the experienced Dark Continent Explorer team.
Jim Walker
All of the safari camps were luxurious and the meals and stories around the fire were great. I must say that adventuring in Kruger was the highlight of the trip. The adventure was everything Dark Continent Explorer said it would be, from wonderful meals to shopping to elephants to lion tracks on our back trail. Even though the wildlife was an outstanding part of the trip for me getting to know the people and experience the culture was the best.
Michael Shirra
On Day 3 we went with a wildlife vet to capture wildlife for vaccination. The unparalleled experience of being able to be photographed handling a Rhino in "The Wild Kingdom" compares to nothing else that you have ever done and I have not heard of any other tour company offering anything even close to this.
Lori Shockley
This safari was the BEST vacation I've ever had!  My favorite things were petting the cheetah and playing with the lion cubs! Getting to participate with the wildlife vets and help move 22 Roan antelope was awesome. Bennie & his staff are quite knowledgeable about the animals, birds & plants actually their interpretation made Africa come alive.
Glen & Donnie Halter
When I think of my favorite thing about our trip to South Africa, I picture all the amazing  animals, lions, elephants,  beautiful birds, trees and flowers, unique and special people and the outstanding accommodations at every stop.
Russ Tipton
The wildlife capture is unreal. I don't know of a single tour operator in Africa that takes you inside with wildlife vets to actually participate hands-on. I felt like I was in an ecotourism movie. The food, lodges and company was top shelf. Bennie and his North American counterpart Wade made the safari come alive with their never ending flow of great stories and information. The campfires were beyond special. We had a small group of 8 that enjoyed the safari together.


Kathy Negro
The big, expected parts of the trip like the safari drives through Kruger   Park were wonderful.  Our days were busy and filled with one wonder after another; however it is the small treasures that keep returning to me.  The soaring fish eagle returning to its huge nest of sticks, the black-backed jackal trotting off in the underbrush, the cheerful weaver bird working miracles with Mopani silk, my chatting with the Batik artist about her unique silk cloth, watching water cascade into circular potholes in a valley gorge, hearing the thunder of hundreds of hooves from Cape Buffalo moving away from us, and driving the narrow roadway through the majestic Drakensberg Range to mention a few.

Photo Safari Videos

Photo Safari Videos

Watch Photo Safari Videos.
See lions, elephants, zebras, hyenas and the many other wild animals that you will encounter while on safari.
Experience what you will do on safari with the videos.
Get captured in the serenity of Africa’s beauty.

Contact Dark Continent Explorer

Contact Dark Continent Explorer

Contact Dark Continent Explorer
Photo Safaris
By phone at 724.694.8858 (Eastern time)
or e-mail at

Wildlife Capture And Big Cat Safari

Wildlife Capture And Big Cat Safari

Wildlife Capture and Big Cat Safari will take you on an adventure full of encounters with your favorite African wildlife. Get close to the big cats and participate in a wildlife capture team as you help the ecosystem. Be a part of the full reality of Africa on the Wildlife Capture and Big Cat Safari.

Safari FAQs

Safari FAQs

Questions and Answers about Dark Continent Explorer's African Photo Safari's 1. Who...

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Wildlife Capture and Big Cat Safari

Wildlife Capture and Big Cat Safari


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Photo Safari Videos

Photo Safari Videos

   Photo Safari Video's Take a tour through the African  Safari video moments...

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Safari Testimonials

Safari Testimonials

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Your African Safari Niceties

DSC08615 150x150 Your African Safari NicetiesYour private chef will prepare dynamic African cuisine over glowing Leadwood embers each evening. Candlelight dinners under the glittering southern sky will be a grand finale of each adventure laced day. Campfire stories will give you journal worthy entries as will each day in the African bush.
africa holidays small size 150x150 Your African Safari Niceties Your wildlife safari's accommodation will be in luxury thatched-roof bush lodges or exquisite and secure African style safari tents where the night sounds and aroma of Africa will serenade and sooth you after the evening campfire.
Private hot water baths and fresh linen make your accommodations
as comfortable as your home. Graskop9 Copy 150x150 Your African Safari Niceties
Swimming pools and reading patios grace the lodges. Our lodges offer night wildlife viewing over lit waterholes that will hold your attention until the wee hours…after that, listen for the lion's distant roar.


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Dark Continent Explorer Safari Dates and Pricing


Dark Continent Explorer
African Photo Safaris 2016
Call now at 724.961.1027
There is limited space on our safaris!


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