Since 2009 I have been leading photography safaris in Southern Africa for international guests via Photographers.travel. While those expensive safaris are very exciting for me to be involved in, one of the things I have always wanted to do is create affordable safaris for local photography enthusiasts, who I believe also deserve to experience a safari at a reasonable cost. So, I have been on a mission to find the right kinds of places to do this and I think I have found the perfect place for providing a small taste for locals of what one of my bigger safaris is like.
Enter Nambiti Private Game Reserve, situated just outside of Ladysmith. This privately owned reserve offers 22,000 acres of game reserve space, where we will get to see all of the Big 5 and more (see Google map at the bottom of the page for location).
There are ten lodges in the reserve, ranging from 4 to 5 star accommodations. I have secured a booking at the 4 star Ndaka lodge to host a photographic workshop for 6 people where we also have exclusive use of a vehicle so that we don’t have to share with non-photographers. There will be 2 people per row on the vehicle (see photo below).
Here are all the details of the mini safari:
Dates: 10 – 12 July 2015
Cost: R3,450 per person (no single supplement for the first 4 singles to book)
Included: 4 game drives with an experienced ranger, all meals, photographic tuition from me, OM-D camera and lenses supplied by Olympus.
Excluded: Gratuities, beverages, rhino conservation levy of R34.50 per person.
Olympus Photography Workshop
I will spend time with you all before we head out on game drives to make sure that you have your Olympus camera set up properly. I will explain various camera settings and while we are on the drives I will communicate my settings and decision making as we go from sighting to sighting. On the Saturday we will spend some time in the lodge reviewing the images we have taken and I will also show you how I go about editing my images using Adobe Lightroom. We’ll also have a bit of fun in the evenings doing long exposure star trail photography, some painting with light and I will also show you some of the advanced features of the Olympus OM-D cameras, such as Composite and HDR shooting.
Day 1 – Friday 10 July: We aim to arrive at the Nambiti Private Game Reserve at around 2pm on the Friday, preferably driving in convoy if we are all coming from Durban. Once we have checked in we will embark on our first game drive at about 3pm which will last until around 6 or 7pm. Dinner will be served in the lodge.
Day 2 – Saturday 11 July: An early morning game drive will see us leaving our tents before daybreak so that we can find the animals at their most active in the perfect morning light. We will return to the lodge for breakfast and then spend some time during the day reviewing images and learning a bit about processing images in Lightroom from me. Later in the day we will go out on our 3rd game drive, returning in the evening for dinner. After dinner we will have some fun with long exposures using the night sky as our subject. We will also do some “painting with light”.
Day 3 – Sunday 12 July: We repeat the morning program for Saturday with the morning game drive, then after breakfast we will check out of the lodge and head back home.
What To Bring:
- Warm clothes! Ladysmith in winter gets very cold, so we want to make sure that we are properly bundled up when out on the game drives as these can get very cold as we move through the night air.
- Laptop for editing images (optional)
- back-up hard drive (optional)
- memory cards (SD cards)
- tripod (if you have one)
- sense of humour – every safari I have ever hosted has had a strong thread of good humour imprinted in its DNA. This one will be no exception. :-)
The Olympus Connection
I am the KZN based brand ambassador for Olympus in South Africa and as mentioned above, Olympus (via Tudortech) will be loaning us some OM-D cameras and lenses for this mini-safari, so you don’t have to bring your own camera gear. If you’d like to get a feel for what the micro four thirds system is all about, this weekend mini safari will provide you with the perfect opportunity to try out some of the gear and see what the benefits of mirrorless photography are. I have been shooting exclusively with Olympus since late 2013 and there is no way I will ever go back to using DSLR’s. The advantages of mirrorless for me are huge. I will show you some of the glass available for the system as well as a few other things I have learned using it as a professional photographer in Durban.
About Ndaka Lodge
As you can see from the photos below, Ndaka Lodge is a wonderful place from which we will get to explore this amazing reserve and enjoy our surroundings. Each luxury tent has its own outdoor shower as well as underfloor heating and a lounge area where you can relax properly, while absorbing the excellent view of the African bush.
Book Your Spot
If you’re interested in joining me on this mini safari please just send me an email and I will fill you in on how to make the payment. I will need a 50% deposit from you to secure your spot. No spot is reserved unless a deposit is received.