Botswana Photo Safari - Photography Workshop
This Safari is sold out for 2016, please consider a 2017 offering
Photograph from the underground elephant hide and a Private game drive vehicle
Shooting wildlife and especially elephant with a 16-35mm lens is the norm for this pond, and many times the photographers in the elephant proof underground hide at Pete’s Pond are splashed by while shooting iconic images of elephant cooling off or covering themselves with mud. Reflective images of Leopard, Baboon, Hyena, Antelope, Monkeys, warthog, and so on are to die for as photographers are at ground level, plus the pond is a source of water for fish Eagle, Raptors and about 350 species of bird.
Mashatu takes its name from the Mashatu tree, though it is often referred to as the ‘Land of Giants’ in honor of some of its truly gigantic inhabitants; elephants, giraffes, ostriches, and the mighty baobab trees. Comprising 75,000 acres of pristine wilderness in eastern Botswana, Mashatu Game Reserve is one of the largest private wildlife reserves in Southern Africa. Located at the confluence of the Limpopo and Shashe Rivers, Mashatu encompasses a variety of habitats including savanna, riverine forest and marshland. As such, it possesses an ecological diversity uncommon in other reserves. In addition to three members of Africa’s famous ‘Big Five’—leopard, lion and elephant—guests may encounter some true rarities, including aardwolf, bat-eared fox, African wild cat, honey badger and black-backed jackal as well as the recently reintroduced endangered African wild dog. Mashatu is a birding paradise, home to more than 350 species.
Mashatu is known as the "Land of Giants," as it's home to the world's largest mammal, antelope, bird, tallest mammal, heaviest flying bird, and second largest cat - the elephant, eland, ostrich, giraffe kori bustard and lion respectively. Other common sightings include impala, waterbuck, bat-eared and cape foxes, black-backed jackal, chacma baboon, caracal, serval, warthog, crocodile and the sporadic aardwolf, honey badger, pangolin and porcupine, among many others.
Why a Botswana Photo Safari?
- Mashatu has a underground hide where you get to photograph mammals and birds while out of the vehicle.
- Mashatu is a semi-arid area, which means that animals are attracted to water in the dry season (June – October).
- Elephant herds visit the waterholes in the riverbeds.
- Mashatu allows for flexible hours inside the hides. You can start early or stay later into the evening.
- Mashatu enjoys some of the most spectacular birdlife on the sub-continent – a distinct draw-card for bird photographers.
- Mashatu’s vast open landscapes make for easier wildlife photography.
- Mashatu also has an excellent and healthy predator population including lion, leopard, hyena and cheetah.
Underground Elephant hide:
What sets Mashatu apart from the other lodges is its hides, (or blinds as they are known in the USA. There are 4 hides, the primary being the elephant hide, so called as the ellies come and play at the waterhole and many times splash the photographers in the hides. This hide has been sunk into the ground 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 water as close as 10 ft away.
Underground Elephant hide Features:
- It is a metal structure and totally elephant-proof allowing for peace of mind.
- It is located on a major elephant route to the banks of the Matabaole and Majale Rivers.
- It is sunken into the ground and photographers get to shoot at water level.
- It is setup with platforms and tables for the photographers gear.
- Elephant and other wildlife get to within 10 ft of the photographer.
October 10 - 19, 2016
Number of Guests / Photographers:
This is a SMALL GROUP safari and as a result we limit the group to 5 persons.
Sold out for 2016
Mashatu Main Camp is an oasis among the undulating and seemingly endless plains of the wild. Burning torches at the camp’s entrance lure safari-goers home where they experience the embodiment of sublime hospitality.
We focus on freshly produced meals in wonderful surroundings - complimenting the friendly and attentive service, all of which is included.
What to expect from the Botswana Photo Safari:
- Composition techniques for action photography
- Stunning images of Leopard, Lion, Cheetah, and the balance of the Big 5
- Photographing moving subjects in a variety of lighting situations
- Panning techniques to create the sense of movement
- Lens selection and composition to create emotion and impact in your images
- Workflow tips and techniques to improve images
- Critiques to open your eyes to different possibilities & improve your photographic skills
Botswana Photo Safari includes:
- 3 mornings in the elephant hide
- 9 morning game drives in our private game drive vehicle
- 9 afternoon / Evening game drives in our private game drive vehicle
- 10 days accommodation in Private Luxury Suites in the Game Reserve
- Breakfast lunch and dinner provided by our Private chef
- 1 late night workshop session on shooting star trails and astro-photography and long exposures, (weather and moon phases permitting)
- Personalized training in the field for those that require it
- Transportation to and from Polokwane airport to Mashatu
- All tourism levies
- VAT (Sales tax)
- All entry and gate fees to the reserves
Each of the air-conditioned suites at Mashatu 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 with younger children. The ample en-suite bathroom with both bath and shower facilities and a separate W.C. complete the well-appointed suites.
This is the ideal camp for a family or photographer and or spouse. A large swimming pool is a focal point where visitors cool down and relax between game activities. The Discovery Room is the portal through which curious visitors get a glimpse of another world – one that existed long before the appearance of man. The animal specimens and relics will fascinate and educate visitors of all ages, as will the resident crocodiles – both great and small.
Meals are a sumptuous celebration of traditional African Cuisine – flavorsome, but lacking in ostentation. Fresh fruits, vegetables, home-made breads and pies, succulent meat dishes and delicious desserts will appeal to a guest who appreciates home cooking at its best.
All the suites include a bath-tub, indoor and outdoor shower, fireplace, minibar, fan, hairdryer, tea coffee making facility and an iPod docking station.
As you experience the awakening of the bushveld, your experienced ranger and tracker set you out on a drive to endure the smell of the bushveld as a fresh encounter unfolds before your eyes. The day is filled with opportunity as you are beckoned into the heart of Africa.
Price is $8995.00 per person sharing, and payment balance is required no later than 120 days prior to the safari.
Refund and Cancellation Policy:
If you must cancel your reservation, Images in Africa Safaris will assess a cancellation charge to cover loss of nonrefundable advance payments we have made on your behalf to ground operators and government agencies, communication expenses, and the loss of time that may permit resale of your space. Exceptions to our cancellation policy cannot be made for any reason, including weather, terrorism, civil unrest, or personal emergencies. There is no refund for arriving late or leaving a trip early. No refunds will be given for unused hotel rooms, meals, or sightseeing trips for any reason whatsoever. Percentage charges are calculated on total trip cost. The following cancellation charges will apply:
All deposits are fully refundable up to 90 days from the date of the reservation, unless the reservation is made within 6 months of the safari commencement date. If the reservation is made less than 6 months of the safari commencement date, then the following refund policy will apply: After 90 days from the date of the reservation, 50% of the deposit is refundable up to 6 months prior to the safari commencement date. Within 6 months of the safari commencement date, and up to 90 days prior the safari commencement date, 100% of the deposit is forfeited but all other funds are refundable. There are no refunds for no shows or cancellations made within 90 days of the safari commencement date.
We recommend obtaining trip cancellation/ interruption and baggage loss insurance which is available from various providers. This coverage may offset cancellation charges in the event of illness before or during the trip and/or if you need to cancel for work reasons depending on the coverage provided by the plan.
- We cannot guarantee that you will view and experience every species as wildlife behavior patterns are unpredictable, however the dates selected and the region selected will provide the best opportunity for the ultimate wildlife experience.
- Spouse, partners, assistants share the photographers row of seating.
For additional information you may want to read through the FAQ page