Zimanga Photo Safari

Join us for this photographic safari to the first photographically dedicated private game reserve in Africa. Zimanga is a birders paradise with over 400 species in the area and features some of the best bird and wildlife photography hides on the African continent, designed in conjunction with world renown hide specialist Bence Mate. Other wildlife on the reserve includes Wild Dog, Cheetah, Leopard, Lion, Elephant, White Rhino, Buffalo and many many more....

Zimanga Photo Safari

Pioneers in the photographic industry of Southern Africa, the Zimanga Ultimate Hides photo safari features the first dedicated private photographic game reserve on the African continent. At Zimanga your entire safari revolves around photography, and capturing the best images possible of birds and wildlife alike from all angles. Whether you are a bird or wildlife photography fanatic this safari is for you. 

The reserve has a huge diversity of wildlife including more than 80 species of mammals, some of these are Wild Dog, Cheetah, Leopard, Lion, Elephant, White Rhino, Buffalo and a host of plains game.

The bird hides attract a good variety of the 400 bird species in the area, including some specials such as Twinspots, Lemon breasted Canaries, Rudd's Apalis and the Green Malkoha. Other regulars include Green Wood Doves, Golden Breasted Buntings, Arrow Marked Babblers, Fire Finches, Wax Bills, Starlings, Kingfishers and many more.

The mostly shallow waters of the Lagoon hide draw in a variety of waterbirds, from tiny plovers and sandpipers, to large birds like herons, storks and fish eagles. In the summer months crocodiles are regular visitors, with large specimens basking on the shoreline and smaller crocs actively catching fish at night. Some wildlife visitors to the bird hides include Squirrels, Monkeys, Warthogs and even a few Leopards.

The Bee-Eater hide targets White fronted Bee Eaters during their breeding season and the placement of this hide depends on where the colony nests are that year.

The scavenger hide is for scavengers ranging from Vultures to Black-backed Jackals and Spotted Hyenas that will keep you entertained.

The Umgodi Overnight Hide offers a dynamic and extremely exciting approach to wildlife photography and an opportunity to photograph many large mammals and predators like never before.

 

Safari Highlights:

  • Several magnificent ultra luxury hides with air-con, leather seats and more
  • All hides are built at eye-level for maximum photographic results
  • Huge diversity of animals and birds
  • Best destination in Africa to photograph Wild Dog
  • Photography from hides / open game viewers and on foot
  • Tusk Photo has booked out the entire reserve for exclusive use
  • Breathtaking animal night photography from the Umgodi overnight hide

Tour Itinerary

  • Arrive at Ghost Mountain Inn around 12:30 pm, once settled in and unpacked, we will be collected by our guide and leave on our first game drive and hide shoot.

  • We will be collected every day by our Zimanga ranger for our early morning game drive and hide sessions and then returned to GMI for a late Brunch, alternatively we will take packed breakfasts with us. During the down time at GMI your photographic host will be available to assist you with any post processing or camera / photographic questions you many have. In the afternoon we will once again depart on a game drive and hide session activity.

  • After our early morning game drive and hide sessions we will return back to GMI for a Brunch and then bid our farewells as we depart on our journey home.

Zimanga Photo Safari

The Reserve: Situated in Northern Natal South Africa, Zimanga is currently a 6 000ha private game reserve with plans of extending to 10 000ha in the near future. The highlight of Zimanga are the 6 specially designed hides. These comprise of 5 bird hides and one large mammal hide, and were designed and built under the guidance of world renowned hide specialist and photographer Bence Mate.

Two of the bird hides are built in a bird bath reflection hide style, here the focus is a small pool of very shallow water built at eye level, with the edge of the pool ending at the brim of a natural branch at the birds feet, this creates an exact mirror like reflection in the dead calm water of the pool. From the hides you can expect to capture many different images from perfect reflections, birds bathing and fighting to detailed portraits and birds in flight images. All with lovely clean unintrusive backgrounds.

The Third and most exciting hide is the Lagoon hide this is the latest addition to Zimanga’s hides, and the first step in diversifying viewing and photographic opportunities on the reserve. This is by far the largest hide on Zimanga and seats 5 photographers, with photographic opportunities any time of day, whether you prefer shooting with the sun, or into it. The fourth and fifth bird hides are seasonal and are the Vulture and Bee eater Hides.

Lastly and most certainly not least the sixth hide being the Overnight mammal hide. An entirely new hide concept for 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.

The unit consists of a custom-built metal hide with chairs and camping-style bunk beds, built adjacent to a small and well-equipped kitchenette to store and warm up food or make a steaming cup of coffee to keep you awake during the long hours of night.  Toilet facilities are available in the hide.  The modus operandi would be to enter the hide in the afternoon and photograph through the backlit afternoon session, and after sunset make use of the LED floodlights installed at water level to beautifully illuminate subjects that approach the water’s edge.  The hide’s main lights are installed on either side, and the high CRI rating of the lights ensures true-to-life colour and illumination of your subject.  The following morning the sun rises behind the hide, bathing the drinking edge in golden light, adding a third dimension of lighting to an Umgodi hide session, and offering guests a variety of images to take home, all incorporating Zimanga’s trademark low angles, carefully selected backgrounds and quality natural lighting. Like the first hides, each seat is equipped with a top-quality tripod and gimbal head.

Accommodations: For these safaris, as there is no permanent lodge on Zimanga at present, our base will be Ghost Mountain Inn, set at the foot of the legendary Ghost Mountain in Mkuze, Northern KwaZulu Natal. This intimate and beautiful hotel at the heart of zululands kingdom is the ideal location for our base, here our meals will be catered for and we will have the opportunity to meet in the conference room for our photographic discussions should you wish to join.

Ghost mountain inn offers superior facilities with 50 comfortable guest rooms, open plan public areas, and a secluded spa. The spacious suite features and private living area, stand alone tub and outdoor shower. 8 garden rooms are ideal for those seeking space and comfort, each with an additional sofa and open plan bathroom. The 19 executive rooms feature larger beds, separate showers and superior amenities, while the 22 standard rooms offer comfortable en suite twin bedded accommodation.

Amenities in each of the rooms include tea and coffee making facilities, satellite television and a private patio to enjoy views of the gardens, the lebombo mountains or the pool.

We will be transferred every day a few kilometers down the road to Zimanga and back to Ghost Mountain Inn by our Zimanga guide.

 

Safari Highlights:

  • Several magnificent ultra luxury hides with air-con, leather seats and more
  • All hides are built at eye-level for maximum photographic results
  • Huge diversity of animals and birds
  • Best destination in Africa to photograph Wild Dog
  • Photography from hides / open game viewers and on foot
  • Tusk Photo has booked out the entire reserve for exclusive use
  • Breathtaking animal night photography from the Umgodi overnight hide

 

The Safari Includes

  • 4 nights Ghost Mountain Inn (Dinner Bed & Breakfast)
  • Exclusive use of the entire reserve
  • Transfers to and from GMI to Zimanga and back for activities
  • Refreshments during activities
  • Services of a Tusk pro photographer

 

The Safari Excludes

  • Lunch at Ghost Mountain Inn
  • All drinks at Ghost Mountain Inn
  • Any additional activities
  • Any items of a personal nature (Phone calls, curio purchases, etc)

Dates & Prices

Departure Date Return Date Tour Cost SADC Rate Availability Location
8 November 201712 November 2017ZAR 17100N/AFULLView More
Hosts: Brendon Cremer | Share:
4 November 20178 November 2017ZAR 17100N/AFULLView More
Hosts: Brendon Cremer | Share:

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