MASHATU & MALAMALA, SOUTH AFRICA & BOTSWANA
28th SEPTEMBER – 7th OCTOBER 2020 ( 9 NIGHTS )
In September and October 2020 Grant and Helena Atkinson will lead a private group of photographers to Botswana’s Tuli Game Reserve and into South Africa’s Sabi Sand Game Reserve. This safari and workshop combines some great wildlife areas, with extensive photographic and digital workflow instruction, together with very comfortable and spacious accommodation. We start the safari, after one night in Johannesburg, at the Tuli Game Reserve, located in the east of Botswana.
We will base ourselves out of Mashatu Main camp. Game viewing around Mashatu is excellent with a high density of elephants being just one of the highlights. The terrain, which is a mixture of dry riverbeds, rocky outcrops and plains, provide superb habitat for leopards.
Other predators present here include lion, cheetah and spotted hyaena. Our stay at Mashatu also incorporates time in their ground-level, special photographic hide. For the second part of this safari, we travel to the Sabi Sands private reserve in South Africa. Malamala, our camp, is perfectly situated within the Sabi Sands reserve with a view onto the Sand River, which is prime leopard habitat. Lions, elephant, buffalo, and rhino may also be found here. All photos were taken on recent trips to these areas.
- Nine days on safari in some of the best private game viewing areas in South Africa and Botswana
- We welcome photographers with all levels of experience.
- The group size is limited to 6 participants and we will make use of 2 vehicles (for all drives, except the first two drives at Mashatu where we will have 1 vehicle). The photographic leaders will switch between the vehicles.
- Non-photographer or videographer spouses / travel companions will also have fun on this safari. The wildlife places we visit will appeal to anyone with a love for animals and nature.
- The photo leaders are experienced naturalists with rich backgrounds in conservation and field guiding and the region’s natural history and wildlife.
- A maximum of 3 photographers per vehicle, means that there will be plenty of space to have your gear at the ready, and the opportunity to access both sides of the vehicle.
- We use 4 x 4 vehicles,Toyota Landcruisers at Mashatu and Landrover Defenders at Malamala. The vehicles have 3 rows of seats within, and are without canopies. The sides of the vehicles are open. The open design of the vehicles provide no obstructions to photography. Each photographer can access both sides of the vehicle easily.
- With 2 photo leaders and only 6 participants we focus on individual attention.
- Extra luggage allowances to accommodate our photographic equipment on the charter flights
- Semi-luxury style safari accommodation with air-conditioned rooms, and power points for charging.
- Camp locations are specifically chosen to maximize photographic opportunities by being in private game-viewing areas
- Three morning hide sessions booked for our group in the purpose-built, low-angle photographic hide
This safari represents a fantastic combination of superb wildlife photography experiences, comfortable accommodation and expert guiding. As always, we will spend lots of time out in the field, and you will be with like-minded photographers who are happy to put in the time to get the images. We will be staying in comfortable lodges, with spacious, air-conditioned rooms. For big parts of the safari, we will have the ability to go off-road (not in environmentally sensitive areas) in order to get the best photographic angles of our subjects.
D’Oreale Grande, Emperor’s Palace, Johannesburg, South Africa
28 September 2020 (1 night)
Stay close to the airport at the D’Oreale Grande at Emperor’s Palace. On your arrival at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International airport, and after clearing customs and collecting your luggage, you will be met by an Eyes On Africa representative, who will transfer you by road to the D’Oreale Grande.
Next morning, after breakfast (included) our group will transfer back to OR Tambo (Jhb) or Lanseria (Jhb) airport where we will catch our scheduled plane flight to Mashatu airstrip. From the airstrip it is just a thirty minute drive through the reserve to our camp for the next five nights.
Mashatu Main Camp – Mashatu Game Reserve, Tuli Block
29, 30 September and 1, 2, 3 October 2020 (5 nights)
We will spend the next five nights at Mashatu Main camp. The main camp has 14 rooms. Here we will have our own guides and vehicles for the duration of our stay.
Mashatu Game Reserve is a place rich in natural and cultural history, and offers some of the most exciting game viewing in Africa. It is a place of exceptional beauty where one can explore the rugged, unspoiled African landscapes in open 4-wheel drive vehicles driven by the expert camp guides and experienced trackers.
Mashatu is home to large herds of elephant, giraffe, eland and wildebeest. There are leopard, prides of lion, packs of spotted hyaena and sometimes cheetah. Along the river courses, huge Mashatu trees dominate the ribbon of forest and provide shade and shelter for wildlife.
Mashatu provides a refuge for the largest single population of elephant on privately-owned land in Botswana. Known as the relic herds of Shashe, these elephants are the last living testament to the great herds that once populated the meandering Limpopo valley. Today, the population on Mashatu Game Reserve alone, is estimated to number in excess of 700.
During our stay at Mashatu, we will also make 1 afternoon and 2 morning visits to their well-known photographic hide. This hide is designed with high-quality photography in mind, and as such, allows for safe, ground-level shooting opportunities. Mammal species which are most often encountered here are elephants, impala, baboons, warthog, eland and rarely spotted hyaena. Many bird species also visit the hide, and they can sometimes be photographed at close proximity.
After our morning game drive at Mashatu we depart by air to MalaMala (we will clear customs in the town of Polokwane to transit from Botswana to South Africa).
MalaMala Main Camp, Sabi Sands Game Reserve, South Africa
4, 5 and 6 October 2020 (3 nights)
MalaMala regularly provides some of the finest game viewing in Southern Africa. It has been the location for a large number of acclaimed international and local wildlife documentaries (including National Geographic). Aside from buffalo, elephant and rhino, we can expect to see lion and leopard. Other large carnivores like spotted hyaena, cheetah and African wild dogs are also sometimes encountered here. The game drives will take us through a variety of habitats, with the Sand River and its tributaries being focal points of the wild environment. We will spend 3 nights at MalaMala Main Camp, which has 18 rooms. Here we will have our own guides and vehicles for the duration of our stay. We will have 3 guests per vehicle.
Some of the reasons for the phenomenal wildlife sightings at MalaMala are that there is a very low number of people actually living within the reserve and only guests staying at one of the MalaMala camps can enjoy this land. Wildlife is free to roam between the Greater Kruger Park and private reserves like the Sabi Sands that share a boundary with the park. Sound environmental management policies have also long been practiced at Malamala.
Photographic safaris are conducted in open 4-wheel drive vehicles, allowing for total freedom of movement and the ability to leave the road and track down some of the more unique sightings such as lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo.
1 September 2019
Today after our final morning at Malamala, we will be transferred to the airstrip for our flight to Johannesburg
Air travel and customized extensions to this safari, can be arranged through Eyes on Africa. Ask us for further information.
This trip will run with a minimum of 3 participants and a maximum of 6 participants.
US$15 985 per person sharing
US$3 500 single supplement
This fee includes all in-country ground and air transportation as well as all accommodation and all meals (except as noted above and in exclusions below).
Please note: We will attempt to adhere to this itinerary as much as possible. However, certain conditions (political, climatic, environmental, cultural, or wildlife migrations) may necessitate changes in the itinerary. We reserve the right to alter any itinerary at any time, if necessary. We will attempt to notify participants of changes as far in advance as possible. Costs incurred by such changes will be the responsibility of the participant.
What is included
- Accommodation on a shared basis, however should you want single accommodation on the safari, please get in touch and enquire if this is possible
- 2 x Trip leader (Grant and Helena Atkinson if all 6 seats are filled)
- Private safari vehicles throughout trip
- Luggage allowance for air charters (extra freight seats have been arranged): 70 pounds per person in total.
- All safari activities and transfers to/from the airports and the hotels
- Small quantities of laundry can be done at Malamala for no fee, bigger quantities can be at done at a small fee
What is NOT included
- International airfare and / or other transportation between your home and the airport
- Dinner / drinks in Johannesburg on Day 1
Drinks at Mashatu
- Discretionary gratuities for hotel staff in Johannesburg and safari camps
- Discretionary gratuities for local guides
- Laundry at Mashatu can be done for a small fee
- Visas, travel insurance, personal purchases (including curios, special spirit liquors, telephone calls, etc).
- Optional pre- / post safari tours and meals or accommodation before or after the safari
- Please read our Safari Code of Ethics and Conduct.
- During the safari we will share our workflow and processing techniques on the computer. To make the most of this opportunity you are advised to bring a laptop and card reader as well as enough external storage for these sessions as well as the editing software you are most comfortable with. Grant and Helena both use Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop CC.
- Air travel and customized extensions to this safari may be arranged through Eyes on Africa as desired. Ask us for further information.
- Discretionary gratuities for driver guides are recommended at USD $25 to $30 per person per day.
- Discretionary gratuities for camp and hotel staff are recommended at USD $15 to $25 per person per day.
- Any discretionary gratuities for guides, staff and trip leaders should be paid out in cash.
- Our group size is a maximum of 6 participants.
- Note also that some of the safari camps will only accept cash for private purchases.
- Although most safari lodges offer complimentary internet access, connections are unreliable and extremely slow.
- Special dietary requirements can be accommodated if sent through beforehand.