Location: Zimanga / South Africa
Workshop start: Durban Airport 05:30
Workshop finish: Durban Airport 05:30
Duration: 7 nights / 8 days
Group Size: Max 12
Level of fitness required: Easy
Join Tatra Photography for an incredible wildlife photography tour in Zimanga South Africa, one of the greatest wildlife reserves in the world. Tatra Photography has exclusive use of the Zimanga resort with classic jeeps safaris in search of the Big 5 and daytime & night-time hide sessions.
Each photographer has a private en-suite room with full board included to provide complete privacy with no single supplement. Our transport for the game drives are large 4×4 customised Safari vehicles with one row per photographer provided. A six passenger vehicle with only 3 photographers. This gives each photographer unrestricted views and valuable extra space for a second camera, large lenses, camera bags and other equipment.
Zimanga, in KwaZulu Natal, is the first reserve in Africa designed for avid safari enthusiasts whilst simultaneously satisfying the needs of modern wildlife photographers of any level, both who prefer a deeper appreciation of the bush and crave an unhurried exclusive experience.
Spread over 67 square kilometers of pristine Zululand bushveld, fever tree forests and rolling hills, Zimanga is bisected by the Mkuze River and home to a splendid variety of animals and birds. Species including lion, elephant, wild dog and cheetah roam freely across the region and can with luck be tracked down for unparalleled game viewing and photographic opportunities. There are over 400 bird species recorded on the reserve and its surrounds.
Zimanga has been nurtured and developed by Senekal family over the last decade and is a conservation orientated destination offering exceptional safari viewing and photographic opportunities within an open free-roaming system.
The hides are unique in their design and execution in Africa which have been built by Bence Mate. With the fresh additions to traditional vehicle safaris the hides have produced several award-winning photographs in the world’s top wildlife photography competitions.
Your tour leader and photographic tutor will be with you throughout the trip in order to help you make the most of your passion for the photography of wildlife. He has a wealth of knowledge to share, and will be on hand at all times in the field to offer guidance in a relaxed and informal manner. To expand on the field based instruction your tutor will also provide further teaching by way of group tutorials held during breaks between game drives and on some evenings. In these sessions he will discuss the creative processes behind recording thrilling and memorable images of African wildlife, as well as provide inspiration for new ideas and photographic techniques for you to try.
Feedback on your pictures is crucially important to help you expand and refine your wildlife photography skills. Our tutors are keen to provide this at any time during the trip, whether on a one-to-one basis, or during the tutorial sessions. You will also be encouraged to seek instruction and ask questions to ensure you learn and gain the most from the photographic opportunities. In short your tutor will help you acquire the photographs you have come to capture!
The learning experience of a Tatra Photography workshop is not confined to guidance and tuition you will receive in the field, as each evening a tutorial is presented to help develop your camera and wildlife photography skills. The tutorials cover a variety of topics, for example, to enhance your camera skills they provide in-depth explanations of key camera functions, such as understanding TTL metering, achieving accurate exposures, configuring autofocus settings for wildlife photography, plus showing you how to use of depth-of-field and shutter speed creatively. To broaden your craft of wildlife photography the tutorials will help you to expand your vision of a subject, by teaching you how to appreciate the qualities of light, and guide you in the art of composition. The workshop tutor will also provide constructive feedback on your pictures during the course of the workshop, to compliment their input from the tutorials.
Mkhombe is Zimanga’s first birdbath or reflection hide and seats four photographers in comfortable office chairs. Mkhombe faces west and allows water-level images of the multitude of bird species that come and drink at the hide in the early morning. More than 80 species have already been recorded at this hide.
Bhejane is Zimanga’s second reflection hide, and the site was carefully chosen to lure shy bird species that prefer thicker habitat. The main attraction at this hide is pink-throated twinspots; a rare endemic with a limited range in South Africa.
ZIMANGA LAGOON HIDE
This hide seats 4 photographers, with photographic opportunities any time of day, whether you prefer shooting with the sun, or into it. Like the first hides, each seat is equipped with a top-quality tripod but is also set on wheeled dollies, so switching direction you photograph into is quick and easy as the heavy-duty dollies silently roll across the smooth floors.
The mostly shallow waters of the Lagoon draw in a variety of waterbirds, from tiny plovers and sandpipers, to large birds like herons, storks and fish eagles.
UMGODI OVERNIGHT HIDE
Umgodi is an entirely unique hide concept pioneered on Zimanga, in which up to 4 photographers can be accommodated and sleep over in the air-conditioned hide, built into a waterhole with the large window opening up a few centimeters above water level. Animals that visit the waterhole drink only a few meters from your bed. The drinking edge is 4m from the photographers’ chairs, and to date a large variety of mammal and bird species have visited the water-source.
MOBILE BEE-EATER HIDE
Zimanga’s mobile bee-eater hide can seat 2-3 occupants and it can be interchanged for any other activity.The white-fronted bee-eaters add exciting photographic opportunities as they prefer to flock, resulting in much activity and interaction between individual birds.
THE SCAVENGER’S HILL HIDE
The hide is elevated above the Doornhoek valley and the sweeping view from the top serves as a backdrop to this vulture restaurant. The remains of predator kills (when found) are placed at the site, and to date, 5 species of vultures, together with other scavengers like marabou storks, woolly necked storks, tawny eagles, bateleurs plus several other species like kites, buzzards, jackal and hyena have been seen here.
TAMBOTI OVERNIGHT HIDE
A door seemingly freestanding in the middle of nowhere reveals a declining passageway leading underground and into the new Tamboti Overnight hide. Situated in close proximity to Main Lodge, this perfect spot for a hide was discovered on the confluence of two streams, with a natural clearing in a grove of Tamboti trees providing the exact space required to nestle an overnight hide within.
Your tutor for this workshop is Ben Hall. Ben is one of Britain’s foremost wildlife photographers. His personal approach to nature photography lies in the creative art of ‘seeing’. His aim is to use his pictures to communicate his personal vision, to generate an emotional response and to excite the viewer’s aesthetic sensitivity. He is described by “Living Edge” magazine as ‘a passionate and experienced wildlife photographer, with a perfectionist’s eye for detail’. Ben’s work is represented by Getty images, RSPB Images and Naturepl and is sold worldwide.
Ben specialises in bird and mammal photography and has won numerous international awards including category wins in the British Wildlife Photography Awards and the Windland Smith Rice International Awards. In 2009 he was named ‘Geographical’ Photographer of the Year. He is a regular contributor to clients as diverse as BBC Wildlife, PhotoPlus magazine, Digital SLR User, Photography Monthly and many more. He has appeared on numerous radio and television programmes including BBC’s Walk on The Wild Side and is a member of the 2020VISION photo team. Ben has just finished writing his first book, Wildlife Photography Workshop, which he co-authored with Ross Hoddinott.
Tesni is an award winning professional wildlife photographer based on the outskirts of the Peak District National Park. Having suffered a significant and devastating injury when she competed as a Javelin thrower, she began to pursue her passion of nature photography and has never looked back. Whilst she focuses primarily on British wildlife, she has a passion for travel and exploration and this has lead her to develop a worldwide portfolio with a vast array of experience and knowledge into the species she works with.
Tesni regularly speaks at clubs and events and is the wildlife photographer and ambassador for Olympus in the UK. Her work has also been published in various publications worldwide and is an official tourist board photographer for the Peak District. She has extensive experience leading workshops and tours with the ability to tailor her guidance to the individual.
We have teamed up with Travel Counsellors who will be able to assist in any flight travel arrangements you require and make sure you meet up with the tour at the times advised.
Flight options are available from all UK & international airports, Travel counsellors can also arrange any preferred seating, speedy boarding, luggage upgrade or VIP lounge access.
The Homestead lodge consists of 4 air-conditioned, en-suite rooms. The lodge is located on the western slopes of Zimanga and overlooks the reserve with the Lebombo mountains as a faraway backdrop. Meals are provided and prepared in the main Zimanga lodge with the group. During the daytime guests can relax in the beautiful rim-flow pool, from which elephants have been known to slake their thirst whilst guests sit a few meters away. Free Wi-Fi is available at the homestead.
Our transport for the game drives are large 4×4 customised Safari vehicles with one row per photographer provided. A six passenger vehicle with only 3 photographers. This gives each photographer unrestricted views and valuable extra space for a second camera, large lenses, camera bags and other equipment.
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