Wildlife Photography Course – From a Guest’s perspective

Johan van Zyl All Authors, Johan 3 Comments

On 7-9 October we hosted another Wildlife Photography Course at Cheetah Ridge in the Nambiti Private Game Reserve, Natal.  An easy 5 hour drive from Johannesburg, it is actually the perfect weekend getaway if you need a break from the daily hustle and bustle that has become part of our ‘on the go’ lives.


This course, or workshop, is set out to help everyone get a clear understanding on how their camera’s work and how we can use some manual settings in order to create different, more artistic images.  Do you need to be a professional to join this course?  ABSOLUTELY NOT!  Do you need a massive lens?  ABSOLUTELY NOT!  As long as you have a camera, whether point and shoot of DSLR, we will help you understand what you can and can’t achieve with your camera.



As with all of our safaris we do a trip report on the experience, share some images and thoughts on the trip.  For this trip though, I wanted everyone to get a guest’s perspective and experience and Philip Wood, one of my guests on the course, was kind enough to write about his experience.


This is what Philip had to say…

  • The venue
    1. Cheetah Ridge Accommodation – the chalet was very comfortable, made even more so on the really chilly Friday night by getting back to my room to find that the staff had lit the wood stove. The social areas of the Lodge are very well suited to the needs of the guests and a rustic game viewing experience.
    2. Food – in a few words can only be described as excellent and offering a variety of choices. Presentation was also outstanding.
    3. Staff – Our ranger (Julian) and the support staff couldn’t have done more for us to ensure a really memorable experience.
    4. The Reserve – I was surprised how well-balanced the vegetation, topography and game variety was. I have since met friends who have already been to Nambiti on two occasions and are intending to return. I endorse their feelings and would love to return in the near future with family and friends.
  • The course
    1. Content – starting with questions posed to each delegate about his or her objectives, we were very quickly introduced to the most practical way to go about using the settings of our cameras and lenses to achieve a variety of end-results. In my case, I was taught how to make use of aperture setting as priority and then, through logical steps, make educated decisions about shutter speed, ISO settings and exposure compensation. I feel that I am in control of the process and really enjoyed the extra elements regarding slow shutter speed for capturing movement, etc. Really very happy with the theory and practical content of the course.
    2. Trainer – Johan van Zyl established a very good working rapport with all of the trainees. At no stage did I get the feeling that one of us felt lost or confused. Johan is a well-versed and knowledgeable photographer who knows how to convey his knowledge effectively. During practical sessions Johan positioned himself in the vehicle so that he could give every delegate direct support. He focused his attention on assisting us to get great photos, whatever the situation.
    3. Delegates – I thoroughly enjoyed the company of the other delegates and compliment Wild Eye on the fact that their offering appeals to people who love nature and the opportunity to get a special record of what is out there.
  • Criticism – To be completely honest, it would be petty of me to even try to find an issue to criticise. A well-rounded, value-for-money experience.

Thank you to Philip for these comments and kind words.


Our next Wildlife Photography Course will be from the 17-19 February 2017.  Come join us and let us change the way you see your photography.


About the Author

Johan van Zyl


The opportunity of visiting some of the wildest, undisturbed areas and sharing my passion for wildlife, conservation and photography with like minded people is a privilege that I am forever grateful.

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Comments 3

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