If you want to have fun with a small group of like-minded adventurous people, have a desire to learn in-depth about the area you are in, and not have to worry about taking care of any arrangements, then yes small group travel is for you. Always feel free to contact us about anything that may concern you. Contact our Expedition Coordinator by phone at 505-216-1188 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
I’m interested but I am not from the USA. Can I still join a Focus Expeditions trip?
Yes, by all means, everyone is welcome on our expeditions. People from all over the world travel with us.
Are your expeditions family friendly?
Our expeditions vary. Some of our expeditions are perfect for families with children, while others are not suitable. Consult our office for this information. We are happy to plan a customized family expedition for your family and friends at no additional cost. Contact our Expedition Coordinator or one of our owners by phone at 505-216-1188 or email at email@example.com more information.
Am I booking with your organization or with the local expeditions operator?
You reserve directly with us.
Why can’t I do these expeditions on my own?
Some of our expeditions are in locations that require logistical expertise – in short, they are not easy to get to. Because our team has vast knowledge and experience as photographers traveling the world, we oftentimes know of unique areas that may be unknown to you. We often charter an entire boat or take over an entire lodge so as to provide more flexibility and added experiences for you. Our expeditions include 2 experienced trip leaders, as well as local guides. We have intimate knowledge of these areas, know the ins and outs of each region, and can help smoothly guide you through your expedition.
What is your maximum group size?
We specialized in small group travel to provide the most intense, educational and exciting experience. Group size is dependent on the destination, accommodations available and nature of the expedition. We generally do small expeditions between 8 and 10 travelers. We typically have groups between 12 and 14 travelers when we charter boats for our expeditions (with the exception of the Antarctic where our ships are larger). When we charter a boat or ship it will be the best suited vessel for the location no matter the number of beds and the same with safari lodges; we will generally book out an entire camp.
What do I need to bring?
Each expedition will have a checklist that is downloadable so you can print it out and check off items as you pack. These checklists are made by our leaders, who know and have years of experience traveling in these areas. The expedition checklists cover everything you might need.
Who are your guides and what are their credentials?
Each expedition will have team leaders, usually two, and their bios can be found under the TEAM button on the top of the expedition page. We will also have at least one highly experienced local, English speaking guide with expertise in the area. Our expedition TEAM leaders are highly experienced in the areas that we travel having typically worked many years in these locations photographing.
How many times have the guides lead an expedition to this area?
In most cases, many times, but due to the nature of our business, we are always scouting new and exciting locations so in these cases maybe only once. But you will then be joining an adventurous group of people traveling to an area where very few people have gone before you.
What languages are offered during the expedition?
All trip leaders speak English and expeditions are conducted in English. Between Pete, Reneé, Theo and Jami, we also speak Spanish, German, some French and Afrikaans and have facility in several other languages, such as Portuguese. We will be happy to translate when needed. Contact our Expedition Coordinator by phone at 505-216-1188 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
What accommodations will we have in the field?
Our company priority is to put you in the best location for the wildlife, culture and/or scenery. Thereafter, we will find the best possible accommodations in this area, which could be a high-end lodge, hotel, cruise ship, yacht or sometimes even a tent! We will always have a good support team on the ground to make your stay is as comfortable as possible.
What is the weather typically like?
This is expedition specific, but we design our expeditions with weather in mind, choosing the optimal time of year. Our goal is always to offer the best wildlife and photographic experiences during the best season. The local weather during our trips dictates wildlife patterns and behavior and so we plan our trips accordingly in order to maximize the intensity of our wildlife experiences. In our trip Handbook (provided prior to the trip), we will give you all the necessary details concerning weather, clothing and other information pertinent to the trip.
How do we charge battery-powered / electrical equipment?
In most locations outlets will be available in the rooms. If this is not the case we will have a generator, solar charger on hand or charging devices in our land vehicles. For the majority of our expeditions, there will be a source of power to charge camera batteries and laptops unless otherwise mentioned. In all cases, we recommend that you bring extra batteries for your cameras and keep them charged. We also recommend that you bring an international adapter that is appropriate for the outlets in the location of your expedition.
How do I book an expedition with Focus Expeditions?
You can book your expedition by visiting our website, going to the page of the expedition of your choice, and booking directly on the right hand side. You can also reserve an expedition by contacting us at 505-216-1188 or email email@example.com. We accept all credit cards, personal cheques and bank wire transfers.
Can I join the expedition late or leave early?
Typically not unless it is arranged with us ahead of time. We do not encourage late arrivals or early departures due to difficulties with transportation and logistics. We may be able to arrange exceptions IF we are given plenty of advance notice, and if it is logistically feasible. Any additional costs associated with changes and exceptions will be the responsibility of the client.
How can I ask a specific question about a Focus Expeditions trip?
How do I submit a review about a specific expedition?
There is a review section on our website under each respective expedition. We strongly encourage (and appreciate) reviews after the trip.
How much experience is required?
No photography experience is needed at all. Focus Expeditions welcomes all photo enthusiasts regardless of your photographic skill level! The leaders are all experienced photographers and can help you with any level of photography, beginner or otherwise. Non-photographers will have an equally enjoyable experience as they will get to be a part of intensely unique wildlife interactions and will enjoy their surroundings while practicing their photography skills. Serious photographers and non-photographers alike enjoy our expeditions together. We have been highly successful in blending experiences that make for life-changing adventures.
What type of camera equipment is recommended?
Our expeditions’ focus is primarily on wildlife and so we recommend a telephoto lens with a range of 200mm – 500mm plus a 1.4x teleconverter. Our trips will include some landscape photography, and/or cultural photography (portraits, villages), where a wider angle lens can be a huge asset. A photographer’s bag will typically hold the following range of lenses:
25-70/80 – 200mm zoom
100-400mm zoom or a fixed 300mm
We have had great results using the Canon 100-400 IS zoom lens or Nikon 200-400 VR zoom lens.
Camera cleaning lens tissue, cleaning fluid, microfiber cloth, hand blower for dust
Extra batteries, and memory cards specific to your camera
External hard drives
Laptop computer with Lightroom or Photoshop installed , AC adaptor and cord, with international outlet adapter
Camera battery charger with cords and international outlet adapters
How much camera equipment can I bring?
Pack the minimum amount of equipment necessary to photograph the subject matter specific to our trips. You will need to carry your gear between airports, lodges, tents and vehicles. On some trips we will be using small aircraft and bush planes that have strict weight restrictions for our safety. YOU need to be comfortable with carrying the camera gear that you bring. We suggest a few quality zoom lenses equipped with image stabilization / vibration reduction (IS/VR). They are generally smaller than larger fixed lenses and offer flexibility.
I don’t have my own camera equipment or I want extra, is there a place you recommend renting from?
We recommend renting equipment from these reputable third party providers. Some providers may require insurance on rental equipment. Shipping equipment in the US before and after your trip is fast and easy.
A backpack camera bag is ideal for your airplane carry-on. Keep in mind that hand luggage carried on board must be able to be stowed either under your seat or in the overhead storage compartment. Be sure to check luggage restrictions and policies with your airline.
What if I have to or want to check my camera gear on the airplane?
Unfortunately, more photographers are forced to check their camera gear as opposed to carrying it on board due to strictly enforced airline restrictions. Please be sure to pack your camera gear in a sturdy, well-padded camera case such as a PELICAN brand case. On some airlines you can transport larger or overweight luggage by paying excess baggage charges, which may affect your packing strategy for carry-on luggage. Be sure to check luggage restrictions and policies with your airline.
How can I protect my camera gear and belongings from theft while travelling?
Using your camera backpack as a carry-on is the best way to prevent theft, and improper handling as you will have it with you at all times. We suggest that you lock your camera cases and other luggage with a US approved TSA lock. US Federal regulations prohibit the use of non-TSA locks on checked baggage. A sturdy strap or Zip-Tie is also recommended to prevent the bag’s accidental opening.
What do I do if any of my camera equipment has a problem or breaks?
We shoot in remote locations that are not close to camera stores. You need to bring everything you need in order to be self sufficient. Consider bringing duplicates or backups of equipment that can be easily damaged, critical or disposable. Bring spare batteries, polarizing and split neutral density filters, a set of jeweler’s screwdrivers and a flash unit, and lights. We suggest bringing an extra camera body in case your primary camera malfunctions.
I want to be more prepared, what do professional photographers bring on expeditions with them?
Camera and Lenses:
2 camera bodies – by the same company so that lenses are interchangeable
Long fixed telephoto lens – 500mm or larger
Medium telephoto lens – 180mm – 200mm, or a 70/80 – 200mm zoom (with image stabilizer, vibration reduction) plus a 100/200mm zoom (with IS or VR)
Wide-angle lens – 16mm to 50mm or equivalent zoom
Macro lens – 100/105mm
1.4x or 2x teleconverter – same brand as lens (2x may limit auto focus on some lenses)
Spare compact flash cards / SD memory cards
Camera battery charger with cords and international outlet adapters
Extra batteries (lots of them) – visittsa.gov for current flying restrictions on lithium ion batteries
Laptop computer, AC adaptor and cord, with international outlet adapter
Photoshop or Lightroom for your laptop
Compact flash cards – at least 4 x 32 GB
External hard drive used for backing up flash cards – powered by your laptop via USB/Firewire
Camera manuals – get the most out of your equipment!
Cable or remote release for long exposures
Extension tubes for macro
Tripod and ballhead
Flash – strobe with automatic TTL/ETTL / Flash extender
Photo gear backpack
Lens tissue and cleaning fluid
Hand blower for dust
Circular polarizer filter
Jewelers’ screwdrivers – in checked bag only
Swiss army knife and/or a multi-tool – pliers are very handy. In checked bag only
Plastic trash bags as rain cover – trash compactor or construction site bags are more durable for repeated use
What currency do I need to bring?
US Dollar is the most accepted currency on all of our expeditions. We will specify if a destination requires a different currency.
How much extra money do I need to bring?
It is difficult to say because some people shop or consume more alcohol than others. Consult the ‘what is not included in the expedition list’ and use it as a guideline as to how much you would need to budget for the expedition.
What does the cost of each Focus Expeditions trip include?
The cost of each expedition includes transportation, lodging, meals and tips from our starting point onwards, unless otherwise stated. The accompaniment of at least one local guide (depending on group size) and your leaders is also included. Cost inclusions will be listed at the bottom of each expedition.
Are taxes included in the expedition cost?
Do Focus Expeditions trips include international air flights?
No this is not possible as we have people coming from many different parts of the world. You are responsible for booking your flights to the expedition starting point and return home.
How do payments work?
All payments can be made through www.focusexpeditions.com. We require a 25% non-refundable deposit which may be paid using credit card, personal cheque or bank wire transfer. Another 25% of the expedition cost is due 180 days before expedition start date, and the remaining 50% is due 120 days prior to the expedition start date. You will receive an email notifying you when each installment is due. If at the time of booking you are within 180 or 120 days then we will require more than just the 25% deposit. You may also pay for the entire expedition at once using credit card or cheque.
I’m a single traveler, will there be a single supplement cost?
Yes, on most of our expeditions there is a supplement for single travelers, unless there’s another single traveler available to room with.
I am single and cannot pay the single supplement. Can you find me a roommate?
We will do our best to find another person of the same sex to share with you. If this is not possible you will need to pay the single supplement to join the expedition.
Is travel insurance required?
In the case of certain destinations, it is mandatory to have travel insurance and we will make this clear in these instances. Otherwise no, it is not mandatory, but highly recommended as the initial deposit is non-refundable. At minimum, Focus Expeditions recommends that you have emergency medical coverage, and additional benefits like trip cancellation and interruption.
Where can I get travel insurance?
Focus Expeditions has teamed up with Travelex for our USA participants and World Nomads for all other nationalities. In the ’Book your Expeditions’ box there is a tab that will take you directly to the insurance companies’ websites to purchase your insurance online.
US Travelers can get insurance through TravelEx here
How much notice do you need to cancel an expedition?
Once the expedition is booked you are liable for the 25% non-refundable deposit. Thereafter the charges are based on how many days before your departure date we receive your cancellation notice, and will reflect a percentage of the total cost of your booking.
The 25% deposit is non refundable, except in extreme circumstances (such as death). If the second payment of 25% of expedition price has been received by the 180 day prior-to-departure date it is fully refundable until 179 days prior to departure. Thereafter it becomes nonrefundable. If the remaining 50% of expedition price has been received by the 120 day prior-to-departure date it is fully refundable until 119 days prior to departure. Thereafter it becomes nonrefundable. No refunds are given within 119 days or less of the departure date.
We will send you a statement for insurance purposes once your cancellation has been processed. If you send your cancellation notice by email, we cannot be held liable for non-receipt of email. Please ensure that you receive confirmation of cancellation from us before assuming the cancellation was successful. If you have arranged insurance with a provider other than Travelex or World Nomads, please refer to your insurance provider for claims requirements.
What kind of physical shape do I need to be in for the expedition?
 = Lodge, tentedsafari and/or cruise vessel, potential for higher/ lower temperatures, possible half day hikes on uneven terrain, and/or potential snorkelling.
 = Lodge, tented safari, potential for even higher/lower temperatures, potential moderate to higher elevation gains, two half-day or possible full day hikes, participant should be moderately fit to carry a day-pack with camera gear or additional layers of clothing and be prepared to spend full day outdoors.
 = Camping or hiking steep terrain, high altitude (above 10,000 feet/3200 meters), potential full day hikes. Participants should have high level of physical fitness.
What types of meals do you offer? Do you take dietary restrictions into consideration?
We try to take dietary restrictions into consideration, however due to the remoteness of some of our locations we may be unable to fully accommodate very specific needs. The farther in advance you let us know about your dietary restriction the better chance we have of being able to accommodate it. Contact us at 505-216-1188 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
What expeditions do you recommend for people with disabilities?
This largely depends on the type of disability. Contact us directly at 505-216-1188 or email email@example.com more information. Please refer to each expeditions’ Physical Rating for preliminary guidance on fitness requirements.
Are there any age restrictions on your expeditions?
For most expeditions there are no age restrictions, so long as the individuals are physically capable of staying with the group. Some expeditions are not suitable for children (such as Patagonia due to the risk of pumas). We will specify which expeditions have age restrictions in the expedition summary.
What safety precautions are necessary on your expeditions, or in the areas we are traveling?
We are very familiar with the areas where we travel and do not assume additional risks. We keep apprised of political, environmental and health risks in each region of our expeditions.We encourage you to contact us with any concerns you might have. However, we also suggest you consult your government website to see if there are any travel advisories.
Which vaccinations and visas will I require?
Required and/or recommended vaccines are location specific. We provide detailed specific information for each trip in our expedition details.
Will I experience seasickness on the boat expeditions?
Seasickness is specific to each individual. Some are more prone to its effects and some less. It can affect any seafaring traveler but the degree may vary per trip and season. We are happy to discuss this with you and make some good suggestions that have been appreciated by our clients in the past. Contact us for more details.
Is smoking allowed on your expeditions?
If a client would like to smoke, smoking is allowed however we kindly request that they do so in a designated area. Please talk to your trip leader. We travel in mostly wild, pristine, remote environments. We are very strict about leaving any evidence of our presence as we do not want to leave even a footprint behind. If a client chooses to smoke, we ask that they do so responsibly in order to consider the rest of the group and the natural environment itself. We appreciate your understanding in this matter.