Hosted Jointly by Magnum Excursions and Road Runner Photography Tours
Location: Zimanga Private Reserve, Mkuze, KzaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Two Dates From Which To Choose:
Group Size: 12
Cost: $5,495.00 per person, double occupancy. $530 Single Supplement
Group Leaders: Buddy Eleazer,Don Schroder, Denise Silva
Safari Origination Point and Conclusion Point: This safari begins in Durban, South Africa and concludes in Durban, South Africa
This is the package for a serious wildlife photographic getaway. It’s also the perfect destination if you want to get close to wildlife and observe activity in a non-obstructed perfect set of conditions.
We have the entire reserve to our group! Guests will be able to use all of Zimanga’s world-class hides as well as going on off-road tracking game drives with the potential of building up a stunning and varied wildlife photographic portfolio. The choices will be difficult.
Some say nothing beats the exhileration of tracking African off-road and through riverbeds to see them in a natural setting. Others say nothing beats the excitement and anticipation of sitting in wait at a waterhole , knowing that anything can appear …. and now there are even more exciting options with the development of the Overnight Hide where anything can appear out of the darkness! Don’t worry, you will not have to make a choice as we plan to make all three options available to you throughout this safari.
Zimanga, in South Africa’s KwaZulu Natal, is the first reserve in Africa designed for avid safari enthusiasts while 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. It is the intention for Zimanga to become the region’s premier wildlife photographic destination and the owners are committed to the continual development of the reserve, striving to push the boundaries of a new wildlife experience unlike that found anywhere else on the continent.
Spread over 15,000 acres 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 developed by Charl and Mariska Senekal over the last decade. As an avid photographer, Charl has created a photo safari destination like no other. Vehicle safaris, with no more than two clients per row, and several “state of the art” photographic hides built under the guidance and supervision of “The Invisible Wildlife Photographer” Bence Mate offer visitors never-seen-before opportunities of observing African wildlife. These hides are unique in their design and execution in Africa. In conjunction with the fresh additions to traditional vehicle safaris already produced several award-winning photographs in the world’s top wildlife photography competitions.
Zimanga has a policy of a maximum of 2 people per row in the open game drive vehicles. This assures each person of plenty of space and a clear view of the wildlife. By off-road tracking we will be able to get excellent viewing angles of lions, leopard, cheetah, rhino, elephants and many other species of animals. These game drives are so good that we would recommend this location even if the reserve did not have photographic hides.
There are currently seven photographic hides on Zimanga. these include
These hides have been designed and built by the owners of Zimanga and Bence Mate who is not only a former winner of the coveted BBC wildlife photographer of the year award in 2010 but is a world authority in hide design, construction and photography. Bence has previously built hides on his farm in his native Hungary as well as Costa Rica and South America, but these are his first hides in Africa.
Planning and building hides of this caliber is an exhaustive process. First a location is selected from an extensive short list before a test box is installed and used for several months allowing the design and positioning to be adjusted, often by the tiniest degree, to ensure that the lighting, focal lengths, backgrounds and animal behavior all fall in to place so that the photographers produce images of startling quality and originality.
Each of the hides is designed for its potential subject whether it is a large mammal like a giraffe or elephant or the smallest of birds like waxbills and twinspots. The photographers are invisible to their subjects behind specially imported one-way glass so as not to startle the subject with any movements or sounds.
Photographers are seated on comfortable executive-style chairs, which glide effortlessly and quietly on across the wood laminate flooring. A solar-powered air conditioning unit situated in the roof of the hide controls the temperature and humidity within. The hides are spacious and soundproofed with carpet on the walls to muffle the sound. The carpets themselves are inlaid with a fine silver thread to eliminate mildew growth in such close proximity to a water source.
The hides allow photographers a non-intrusive method of wildlife photography and although the subjects are free-roaming, and hence no sighting is guaranteed, the hides tip the balance heavily in favor of the photographer to get that amazing shot.
With the exception of Overnight Hide, all Zimanga’s hides harness the power of the sun, with all the electricity demands for the hides met by solar installations.
Please note the following important factors when deciding to visit the hides at Zimanga:
ZIMANGA MAIN LODGE
The Zimanga Main Lodge opened in 2018. The floor plan of the new lodge includes spacious lounge areas inside the main building, on the decks as well as an elevated view of the valley from the roof lounge. Other facilities include a boardroom, library and quiet lounge attached to the south-eastern wing for those seeking to escape the crowd. The term crowd is loosely used here as the lodge will only sleep a maximum of 14 guests, hosted in six free standing two-bedded units with two additional single rooms, offering privacy within a splendid KwaZulu Natal lowveld setting.
7 NIGHTS – 8 days
Our 7 Night stay consists of the following:
Necessary Fine Print: South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe are stable countries, but the world is changing and Africa is changing with it. 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.
Terms and Conditions For This Event – Please contact us regarding details.
What Do I Do Next?