Monday, October 28, 2013

Mashatu Underground Hide

Professional Wildlife and Nature Photographer, Martin Harvey, recently visited Mashatu and the underground elephant hide. Martin spent much of his time taking video footage at the hide and put together this beautiful video.


Friday, October 25, 2013

C4 Guides Top Shots from the Mara

This year C4 spent 6 weeks in the Masai Mara leading photo tours. It was our 6th consecutive year of hosting these photo tours. Our camp ran beautifully, the location as always, was perfect and we had exceptional sightings.

Our guides are Mara specialists who have all spent many seasons leading photo tours in the ecosystem.
When on safari we believe in quality over quantity and get out guests to take images at excellent sightings in beautiful light.

These are a selection of the C4 guides' images from this year in the Mara. Enjoy and please share amongst your friends.

On the next blog post we will be putting up our clients images from their experiences in the Mara.

Albie Venter (


Monday, October 21, 2013

Mashatu Workshop - Mike Dexter

At the end of all safaris there are some sightings or moments which stand out from the rest. The recent Mashatu workshop was a little different in that each instant smudged into the next; a hotchpotch of memorable imagery, a truly extraordinary experience.

The road to Mashatu Tent Camp is long, rocky and hot. More picturesque areas of the reserve will be explored later. For now the promise of four exhilarating days of idyllic game viewing in one of the largest private game reserves in Africa will have to keep you motivated as you pass through the dry mopane veld.
A shepherd tree leans over the road. In the tree is a small leopard cub which changes everything. We are no longer on our way to Mashatu, we have arrived.

24 hours and 2 game drives later we have had another four leopard sightings. In trees, in river beds, walking, sleeping, yawning, stretching and posing, they bared all for our cameras and by brunch on the first morning there were smiles all around.

I have mixed feelings about lions. They can be murderously boring, frighteningly impressive or gracefully regal. The trait you witness comes down to timing and luck. A pride of 11 (2 lionesses and 9 youngsters) caught and killed a wildebeest bull. We arrived only moments after they had begun to devour their prey. Feeding lions provides a full sensory experience. The sounds, guttural, aggressive and primal accompany the powerful visuals that leave nothing to the imagination.

We returned to the wildebeest carcass 24 hours later. The lions had moved on and in their place was a frenzy of jackals heckling for the prime remains and a hyena crushing bones for the nutritious marrow within.

The young of most species are adorable and baby hyenas, although a member of the ‘Ugly 5’, are no exception. At one den we have counted 9 pups of different ages. They are relaxed, curious, bold and playful; a collection of adjectives that add up to wonderful wildlife images and an overall special experience.

Writing up a summary of this trip is very difficult. I can’t cover it all and yet there’s nothing undeserving of mention. I can’t do it justice with words so I hope that the images will do a better job.


Masai Mara Photography 2013

Words and images by Albie Venter

Yet again I come to the end of a big chunk of the years annual safari calendar. The annual pilgrimage to the Maasai Mara in Kenya. Spending even a few days allows you to witness and photograph natures incredible events so make sure to add it to you bucket list . Below are a few of my favorites from 2013. I hope you enjoy.

A typical and quintessentially East African Landscape. We ventured far from the crowds in search of birds when we were rewarded with  this remarkable scene.

A great Highlight is certainly finding the ever elusive Leopard. In the Mara North conservancy we were treated to fantastic viewing with only a small amount of vehicles.

A Pride of lions make their home adjacent to Off beat Camp in the mara north. Every single day we were treated to their antics. If there was another car it was only from our own camp.

The Off Beat Lion family.

Mara North Lion cubs in the last light of day.

Cheetah are always high on everyones wish list. Wider view of these cats at close range puts them beautifully in the dramatic open landscape.

Two cubs playing in Ol Kedjo Rongai

Making decisive images.

Its not only lions that got us going. We came across a few Black Rhino during the various trips. None more impressive than this enormous old male called Karanja. Fortunately he is on 24 hour protection!!

Close up of Karanja. look at his third "horn".

Hippopotamus in water lettuce

One always tries to encourage our guests to depict animals in a new way. A wide angle of a big male can be quite dramatic.

Very young cubs with mom.

Sometimes everything just falls in place for a great pic. A majestic male lion in a sunrise.

The Mara is probably the best place for action images and who would have though that it woud be one of the most common birds that would be giving us the best action.

Again trying to find new ways to depics familiar animals. Here i used some flash while using motion and radial blur.

WE found two mails one morning skirting camp. Here one is roaring in the earlu morning. A few minutes later they linked up with a female.

One of the coalition fiercely seeing off his brother in order to maintain mating rights.

The mating pair treated us to amazing photo opps right next to camp for the .

Dramatic display of light one afternoon as the suns rays are reflected from the above clouds to give an inverted pyramid shape.

As allways the Mara is one of the best places to view wildlife action

A beautiful female leopard in the first light of day.

A nice surprise! An elusive serval in golden light.


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Photographing the African Wilddog

Words and Images by Albie Venter - Africa Unlocked

Since 2010 I have been photographing the Wilddog packs of Northern Kenya and for the first time we had a dedicated photographic safari through C4 images and Safaris to this unfenced and vast wilderness in search of one of Africa’s most endangered predators. Here are some images of what we got in terms of photographic opportunities.

On our first afternoon we were treated to the entire pack leaving the den and passing leisurely within meters of us.

Following Dogs is always full of adrenalin. They are always doing something and we had them on kills every single drive.

Out on an afternoon hunt and young male poses briefly in stunning light.

A straggler keeping up with the pack.

When having one of Africa's most endangered predators to photograph there isn't much to distract you but bumping a mother and cub Cheetah was certainly a worthwhile diversion. We had the entire afternoon with them as they hunted and even chased the odd Jackal.

Another unfortunate Dik-dik antelope. 

Young dogs playing after an Impala kill.

The dogs come to investigate a remote camera.

And here is the  result.

Breakfast at Laikipia Wilderness Camp.

Our Rooms overlook fantastic wilderness areas.


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Trevor Kleyn at Mashatu

Professional Wildlife Photographer, Trevor Kleyn, spent some time at our Mashatu Photo hides guiding clients recently. Below a selection of images took while he was up there.
All images by Trevor Kleyn.