- 4 Nights MalaMala Camp (South Africa)
- 4 Nights Mashatu Main Camp (Botswana)
- Private vehicle throughout the safari
- 2 Morning Photographic Hide Sessions in Mashatu
- Some of Africa's highest concentration of predators
- Combines two of the best game viewing areas in southern Africa
- All internal and international flights JHB > Skukuza > Mashatu > JHB
- Fantastic opportunities to photograph The Big 5, Wild Dog and Cheetah
- 8 Night Drives with the opportunity to shoot dynamic back-lit and side-lit images
- Additional freight seats on all flights taking weight allowance to 35kg's per guest
Dates: July 26, 2020 - August 3, 2020
Guide: Andrew Beck
Cost: USD 14,995 per single guest
Max number of Photographers: 4
“Not even Tanzania’s famed Serengeti Game Reserve or the awesome Ngorongoro Crater fills your camera viewfinder faster with Africa’s legendary Big Five – at MalaMala, lion, leopard, buffalo, rhinoceros and elephant appear magically, as if on cue,” says acclaimed wildlife photojournalist Geoff Dalglish in his Sunday Times review. “Nor could Hollywood script the wide-screen wildlife encounters any more dramatically or frequently than nature does routinely in the private game reserve that is arguably South Africa’s most famous internationally.”
MalaMala Camp is the oldest and most historical private game reserve in South Africa and the first to make the transition from hunting to photographic safaris. It is the blueprint on which the South African safari industry was built. Every aspect of the MalaMala Camp is designed to appreciate and enjoy the view of the surrounding wilds. Pathways wind their way along the perimeter of the camp to reveal individual ochre colored units tucked into the greenery which flanks the Sand River. Massive trees and rolling green lawns are filled with birdsong, with the occasional antelope or elephant which seeks the succulence of greenery. The camp is unfenced – an oasis in the middle of the bushveld.
MalaMala’s river frontage running north to south is the lifeblood of the reserve, especially in the dry winter months. Wildlife moves from the 4 million acres east of the Sand River, through MalaMala to the river and back again resulting in two way traffic across the reserve where we conduct our safaris. The land of the Eastern side has no access roads, electricity pylons, telephone poles or cables.
There is no time limit on sightings which is an ideal scenario for us photographers – no ‘queue to view’ as this enormous tract of land has a low density of vehicles traversing the area. In addition to this, we will enjoy night drives which, with the ethical use of a spotlight, will allow us to capture dramatic and dynamic images after dark. Our focus during these times will be to make the most of backlit and sidelit images using another vehicle to illuminate our subject.
Mashatu Game Reserve
Mashatu Game Reserve comprises 29,000 hectares (72000 acres) of privately owned land in the conserved wilderness area known as the Northern Tuli Game Reserve. The reserve lies in the eastern extremity of Botswana where the great Limpopo and Shashe Rivers converge. This exceptionally diverse landscape includes wide open plains, grassland, riverine forests, rocky hills, marshland and majestic sandstone ridges.
Each of the air-conditioned suites at Mashatu Lodge (Main Camp) is tastefully decorated and includes impressive black and white prints of Africa’s most beautiful animals. A double bed and an extra-large single bed, together with a seating area that includes a single day bed, comfortably accommodates families. The ample en-suite bathroom with both bath and shower facilities and a separate W.C. complete the well-appointed suites.
Game viewing in Mashatu is spectacular during the dry season with lions, leopards and cheetah roaming the open plains and dry river beds. The rocky substrate means that any grasses in the area are short and provide little or no obstruction in-front of our photographic subjects.
The Matebole Underground Photographic Hide
An entire hide has been sunk into the ground right next to a waterhole that is in prime elephant habitat. Inside, seating is arranged so that viewers’ heads are at ground level.
The waterhole attracts all manner of animals beside elephants including kudu, impala and baboons. However the real attraction is the elephants. These massive pachyderms tower above photographers as they splash and drink in the water as close as 3 meters away! The hide is a strong metal structure and totally elephant-proof allowing for total peace of mind. It is also located on a major elephant thoroughfare on route to shade on the banks of the Matebole and Majale Rivers where the elephant wait out the heat of the midday sun. Shortly after sunrise, when the mornings heat up, the elephant herds pass the hide and drink.
Being in a very animal-rich area, predators are also abundant. Viewers may just be fortunate enough to see a large cat at the waterhole too! Best time of year for viewing from the hide is June – November when the elephants generally visit the waterhole every day but its not just about the Elephants as many general game and bird species visit the waterhole throughout the morning.
We will split our morning activities evenly between two mornings at the hide between 7 and 11 am and two nirmal morning game drives. This way we get the best of both worlds!
- Day 1: Flight from ORT International to Skukuza Airport, road transfer through MalaMala to MalaMala Camp
- Day 2: Full day MalaMala
- Day 3: Full day MalaMala
- Day 4: Full day MalaMala
- Day 5: Morning game drive followed by a flight from MalaMala to Mashatu Game Reserve (Via Polokwane to clear Immigrations), Mashatu Main Camp
- Day 6: Morning Photographic Hide Session, afternoon Game Drive
- Day 7: Morning Photographic Hide Session, afternoon Game Drive
- Day 8: Full Day Mashatu Game Reserve
- Day 9: Morning Game Drive and afternoon flight form mashatu to Lanseria International Airport, JHB
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