Saturday, December 5, 2015

C4 Private Guided Safaris, Tswalu Kalahari Game Reserve- By Trevor Kleyn

Recently photo guide Trevor Kleyn returned from a private guided safari to Tswalu Kalahari. 
An incredibly unique safari experience can be had Tswalu, with the opportunity to view and photograph some of Africa's rare species including meerkats, aardvark, pangolin, cape fox, aardwolf, brown hyena and the endangered african wild dog.

The following gallery is a selection of images by Trevor from the trip, enjoy!




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Premier Predator Tour - November 2015 - By Charlotte Blanchet

A wonderful image galley by C4 Photo Safari guest Charlotte Blanchet. Charlotte, recently traveled with C4 and Greg du Toit to Mashatu Game Reserve, Mala Mala and finally ended off at Tswalu Kalahari.  

These are a selection of images from Mashatu Game Reserve, allot of which where captured at the C4 Photo Hides. We had the most unbelievable hide activity for the month of November yet, as the reserve was so extremely dry animals and birds (including all the migrants), where flocking on mass to the waterhole. 

Thanks to Charlotte for sharing this beautiful collection of images from your trip!

If you would like to join Greg du Toit on a Premier Predator Safari next year, see our website for more details HERE!




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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Mashatu Photo Workshop - November 2015, By Kyle De Nobrega

With the threat of drought and the presence of its unforgiving hand, the reserve is stuck in the middle of a transformation. The early rains in September have conned the trees into prematurely using up vital energy, and the contrast of the barren soil lying lifeless beneath a canopy of sprouting leaves has created drama on Mashatu. 
Dynamics have shifted to adapt to drier times and the scarcity of water is putting pressure in dwindling pockets of life across the reserve. The threat of rain is present, but the joy of its power has only been unforgiving. Life has carried on and birds abound competing for nest sites, or protecting ones that have already been in occupation. Impala ewes are heavy bellied awaiting the signal of rain to lamb, predators constrict in ambush near the remaining pools of water and elephants cover the breadth of ancient valleys in search of valuable resources.
Harsh and unforgiving, this unique time of year and its present circumstances is rare and special on its own terms. Life abounds yet around the next corner it merely hangs on with only faith for rain.
The 6 days during our last C4 Photo Workshop and Private Photo Vehicle extension for the year has been nothing but diverse and truly spectacular. Some of the highlights have been:

. Incredibly productive hide sessions
. Elephants at the hide with cloud formations as the backdrop
. Mating pair of leopards
. 2 cheetah kills in the same day
. A huge but brief dust storm followed by a spout of rain whilst out on drive
. Multiple Jackal den sites
. A nest of little bee eaters
. The milky way over an ancient Baobab tree
. An exceptional group of guests who walked away with exceptional images

As I post this, the rains have fallen heavily leaving the dry riverbeds swelling and bursting their banks with water. The time of struggle and drought has passed and may saplings sprout and grass seeds germinate to transform the reserve into true summer full of life.



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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

C4 Photo Hides October - By Trevor Kleyn

Recently, photo guide Trevor Kleyn spent some time manning the C4 Photo Hides. We have come to realise that October, being the buffer month between winter and summer, is the month that the wildlife pluck up the courage to get themselves properly involved at the waterholes. To escape the soaring temperatures of the day elephant, warthog and hyena spend  allot of their day submerged in the water, we also have unusual sightings such as monitor lizards and mongoose who eventually have to ditch their fear of being out in the open all for a sip of water.

Here are a few images from Trevor Kleyn of some of the interesting sightings he had from the hides over the 2 weeks he spent at Mashatu Game Reserve.




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Friday, November 6, 2015

Mount Mahale Magic

Africa has many beautiful places in it to visit that many people know about. Yet there are a few places in Africa that are extremely beautiful and offer brilliant wildlife encounters. Recently Shem Compion led a group of photographers into the Mahale Mountains to find wild chimpanzees in the forests and discovered a magical beach called Greystoke.
Situated on the shores of lake Tanganyika, Greystoke beach makes you feel as if you have found a lost treasure island. Clean white sand, deep blue water in the worlds second deepest freshwater lake and palm trees above instantly turn the hardest safari goers into a beach lover. The fact that there are chimps in the forests above you makes for a Jurassic park feel- their pant hoots booming through the foliage in the course of a day. It all adds to a tremendous sense of excitement when you have settled in and waiting to go trekking.
Once you are amongst the chimps the magic becomes a reality. These animals, totally habituated to humans move through the jungle forest with a grace and speed akin to a fish in water. Their expressions endear and their antics fill you with laughter. They are exceptionally charismatic and photogenic. The experience is 100% a natural history experience as well as being a 100% photographically rich one. There are very few places like that in the world.

Mahale has become my new favourite location in Africa. A 4-hour plane flight and 90 minutes boat cruise are now a joy to head towards to as I know that I am heading very far away from the rest of the tourist circuit and very close to the heart of Africa!




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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Wild Shots Event 2016

With the Cape Town event going down a huge success, the bar has been set high for the Johannesburg Wild Shots Event which will be held later this month.

The day was truly inspirational, show casing a wide variety of topics including our very own C4 Photo Safaris Underground Hides, fine art in wildlife photography, exciting new destinations, marine and landscape photography, to name a few.

I think I can speak on behalf of all the delegates who attended that Cape Town event that we left the day feeling excited, inspired and full of motivation to pick up our cameras and start channeling our own personal creativity through imagery.

Be sure to not to miss out on the Johannesburg event, which will be show casing some more fantastic speakers such as Obie Oberholzer, Kim Woulhuter, Heinrich van den Berg and C4's Shem Compion.

Book your tickets HERE!


Cape Town's keynote speaker, Art Wolf "Earth is my Witness"


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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Masai Mara Seasons Best, 2015

C4 Photo Safaris has over 13 years of experience in the Maasai Mara, hence why we take the utmost pride in sharing this wilderness wonderland with our valued clients, nature lovers and co wildlife photographers.

2015 did not disappoint, from season start to finish our clients where entertained by action packed game drives and endless scenic landscapes. This year saw the wildebeest migration herd numbers at its best, along with a huge number of hungry predators that naturally followed the herds in pursuit. To add to the abundance of life, new life was in plenty too with sightings of leopard, lion and cheetah cubs almost every day. 
The Maasai Mara at this time of year is one of nature’s greatest spectacles; thus being why travellers from around the globe have dubbed it ‘the greatest show on earth’. This year C4 Photo Safaris sent a total of 8 photographic guides to the Mara to host and guide our clients, here is a collection of images from Shem Compion, Isak Pretorius, Andre Cloete, Heinrich Van den Berg, Albie Venter, Kyle de Nobrega and RuthNussbaum.
The Masai Mara dates for 2016 are up, so make sure you book your seat to "the greatest show on earth".

 

Masai Mara Exclusive Photo Safari:              Masai Mara Classsic Photo Safaris: 

 

18 - 25 September 2016                                                      3 - 10 September 2016
24 September - 1 October 2016                                         9 - 16 September 2016
30 September - 7 October 2016




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Monday, October 12, 2015

Mashatu Workshop, Sept 2015 - By Trevor Kleyn

Yet another successful photographic workshop hosted at the prime wildlife destination, Mashatu Game Reserve. The C4 Photo Safaris group where hosted at the beautiful Tent Camp by photo guide Trevor Kleyn. Here are a few of Trevor’s shots from the workshop:
 
 

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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Season End: Masai Mara 2015


Much to our groups dismay, 7 days in paradise flew by in no time at all. This may have been due to the fact that every single game drive was filled with some sort of action packed wilderness theatre.

To start off the string off exciting events that where to follow our arrival, we were treated to an aerial crossing of about 3000 wildebeest bounding their way through the Talek River. To say the least, the sighting really set the tone for the rest of the trip. Some of our highlights over the next 7 days included:

·         Viewing the famous cheetah Malaika and her three, 12 week old cubs.
·         Watching a female Cheetah kill a Thompson’s gazelle from start to finish, folloed by her 3 tiny cubs practising the art of hunting
·         Lions, lions, and more lions, seen around every bush and on every single game drive
·         4 Wildebeest crossings
·         3 fantastic sightings of Lorian the leopard and her 2 month old cub playing out in the open, of which all 3 sightings where almost exclusively enjoyed by just our 3 vehicles
·         The endless skies and stormy breathtaking sunsets, that seemed to improve by the day
·          Viewing a relaxed bat-eared fox out in the open plains.
·         On our last morning witnessing a clan of 16 Hyena taking down a young wildebeest.
·         Hundreds and hundreds of animals dotted throughout the open plains of the Mara.
·         The incredible and friendly staff of Entim Camp
·         Traditional Masai song and dance around a campfire on our last night
·         Mostly, the fantastic group of clients that we had the privilege of guiding in this magic destination
To top off the incredible time we had whilst on game drive we were always welcomed home to the friendly faces of Entim Camp. With the private camp to our selves we spent our afternoons editing images, sharing stories and just relaxing to the chorus of birds around camp.
The following is a selection of images from the trips photo guides, Shem Compion, Andre Cloete, Kyle de Nobrega and Ruth Nussbaum:


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Monday, September 28, 2015

The great migration 2015


The Great Migration takes place in East Africa between Tanzania and Kenya and is the largest migration of mammals in the world. Our iconic Masai Mara season started early September well into October and we had back to back Masai Mara safaris booked to take our clients to photograph this spectacular event. 

Albie Venter is one of C4's well known photographic guides and he had the opportunity last week to photograph and guide our clients through a weeks worth of amazing sightings.

 "The Mara trip went really very well and we had some crazy sightings"



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Friday, August 21, 2015

C4 at the Getaway Show 2015

This coming weekend 28 - 30 August C4 will be at the 2015 Getaway show in the TicketPro Dome. It has been a while since we've exhibited and we are extremely excited. The last time we were there it was a great success and a wonderful experience meeting new and existing clients. Our stand number is R35, please come and join us, have a chat and bring us some coffee.

Come and see us and stand a chance to WIN a place for 2 in one of our Photo Workshops for 2016, worth R38 000. All you have to do is sign up with us at the Getaway Show.






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Friday, August 14, 2015

C4 Photo Vehicle Experience, Part 2 - By Kyle de Nobrega

Part 2 to our gallery of our epic photographic experience at Mashatu Game Reserve, thank you to ranger Fish for the fantastic sighting! See more about the C4 Photo Vehicle.

Male lion stretching in satisfaction
 

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C4 Photo Vehicle Experience, Part 1 - By Kyle de Nobrega


Just a few days back Mashatu resident photographer Kyle de Nobrega hosted guests on the C4 photo vehicle for an awesome four day experience.

The four days where jam packed with world class sightings and photographic opportunity. Everything from mating lions, new born hyena relocation, multiple leopard sightings and two great mornings spent in the C4 hides including birds and elephants galore.

Here is part one of a two part series of images by Kyle taken over the four days spent on the C4 photo vehicle:

Mating lions

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Monday, August 10, 2015

Matabole Hide, Guest Image Gallery - By Karin Braby

Mashatu Game Reserve guest Karin Braby shares some amazing snaps from her outstanding morning spent in the C4 Matabole Hide this month. Karin and friends were treated to an array of mammal species at the hide, starting off with a blood strewn hyena that was in desperate need of some water to wash down his indulgent night. As the clouds cleared up the ellies took centre stage streaming in, in the hundreds for the rest of the morning.
Thank you to Karin for sharing some of her incredible shots from the morning with us.
 

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Saturday, August 1, 2015

First Day Of The Best Month!

August is by far our favourite month at the C4 Hides. Animal activity has really been picking up around the waterhole, with daily visits from the elephants and an array of bird species visiting for their daily drinks.
Yes, we are only one day into the month, but take a look at the awesome sightings the first day of August has already provided us with...

 

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Big Picture, Natural World Photography Competition 2015

 

 
In this year’s Big Picture Photographic Competition, we have one of our fellow C4 travellers, Marius Kleisch, to congratulate for becoming a finalist.
Kleisch’s striking image titled, “Magical Moment at dead Vlei” of a herd of springbok wondering through the salt pan of Dead Vlei, in the Namib-Naukluft National Park, Namibia was captured during a C4 Photo Safari Trip to the destination in 2013.
American based, Big Picture Natural World Photography Competition, brings nature photographers from all around the globe together all displaying a slice of their magical moments spent in the wilderness. The competition standard it that of a very high calibre, and is judged by some of the world’s top conservationist photographers such as Suzie Eszterhas, Art Wolf and Neil Osborne.
Kleisch, a doctor based in South Africa, describes why he loves photographing the natural world, “Photography is a magnificent way to pass on the richness, uniqueness, and beauty of nature to others.” Well, we couldn't agree more!
To join C4 Photo Safaris on Photo Tour to Namibia, follow the link to our website for more information
 
Magical Moment at Dead Vlei - By Marius Kleisch


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Sunday, July 19, 2015

An Underground Image Gallery - By Trevor Kleyn

Recently, photographic guide Trevor Kleyn spent some time at Mashatu Game Reserve manning C4’s Hides. With the reserve rapidly drying up, Trevor along with groups visiting the hides got to witness some great wild life action. Here are a couple of shots from Trevor’s time with us underground.
Impala trying to penetrate through the wall of banded mongoose for a drink of water
 

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Monday, July 6, 2015

Getaway Gallery winner of 2014

The Getaway magazine hosts their photo competition each year and thousands of extraordinary images gets submitted for the competition. C4 Photo Safaris was the proud sponsor for the main prize, a trip to the Great Masai Mara!

 


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Saturday, July 4, 2015

First Day Back In Hiding - By Kyle de Nobrega

What a way to begin a new working cycle back in the hides. Yesterday morning Kyle de Nobrega, our resident photographer at Mashatu Game Reserve, had one cracker of morning in the Matabole Hide. Kyle was joined by guest Willem Kok, between the two of them they could barely contain their excitement as they encountered intimate visits from 5 hyena, a large herd of elephants as well as 3 separate bulls. Not to mention the extremely active birdlife which kept their camera’s clicking all morning.
Here are a few of Kyle’s shots from the morning, most of which were captured using SIGMA’s brand new 150-600mm Sports lens, which has proven to be nothing short of fantastic!
 
 

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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Svalbard Photo Tour - By Astrid Bluemel


MS Stockholm

We’ve arrived in Longyearben on Svalbard. This island, which is about the size of Ireland, and at latitude 78°N, is only 1338km from the North Pole! We are here to photograph polar bears.


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Saturday, June 6, 2015

Courageous Cub – By Loi Nguyen

 
A few days before my departure for a 4 night stay at Mashatu Game Reserve, I saw on a Facebook posting of this very special cheetah family with four sub adult cubs. The cubs where about 15 months old and looked healthy. I was so excited and hoped that they would stay around for my visit as part of a photography workshop led by Greg du Toit. As it turned out, we saw the family every single day, although they were mostly relaxing in the company of each other for the first two days. Not discouraged, we kept checking on them on the third day and witnessed a failed attempt of a hunt. Exhausted, Mama retreated to the shade of a bush and was comforted by her cubs.
We were about to leave them when a large troop of baboons began to come into view. The family hastily retreated and one of the cubs took off, but the remaining 3 cub’s buddle with their Mama at the base of the bush. We feared the worst.
 
Cheetah family surrounded by baboons.
 

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Friday, May 29, 2015

Intimate Namibia Landscapes 2016

Namibia is a massive, desolate landscape and boasts the title of the 4th least populated country in the world. With an average distance between towns of 200km, its endless vistas will be permanently etched into your soul. Namibia’s desert winds have sculpted the world’s highest dunes out of red sand and it is these dunes that make the Namibian landscape like no other on earth. In some places the dunes rise out of endless fields of grass and in others the dunes are as high as mountains. In a special place the sand cut off the water supply to a seasonal wetland and today the result is the petrified trees of Deadvlei. In the far South, fine silica sands are now reclaiming what was once the site of a great diamond rush - the ghost town of Kolmanskop. To the West, a special combination of rocky ground and hot, arid conditions have created one of the most alien plants on earth; the Quiver Tree. Where the Fish River flows over an ancient plateau, it has cut the 2nd largest canyon on earth into the rock. Join Namibia landscape specialists Hougaard Milan and award winning photographer Isak Pretorius for an opportunity to experience and photograph these one of a kind landscapes, from the ground, road and air.
For more info on this trips itinerary click on the link to our website below:
A small photo gallery from our guides below, is just a glimpse to what photographs are possible to capture on this safari!
 

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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Iceland Photo Safari 2016

Iceland is one of the world most popular landscape photography destinations, and for a very good reason! Situated in the icy North Atlantic, one is surrounded by frozen waterfalls, lagoons and beaches strewn with icebergs, glaciers, glacier caves and so much more. Perhaps the most magical attraction of this far north destination is having the opportunity to witness and photograph the Northern lights, one of the nature’s magnificent wonders.
The trip will be hosted by Iceland and landscape photography expert Hougaard Milan, and C4 Photo Safaris’ award winning photographer Isak Pretorius. Hougaard has previously spent time in Iceland, exploring and scouting out only the best photographic spots and accommodation the country has to offer. This photo safari is one of ultimate convenience, photographers will travel in comfort and the group size will be limited to 10 participants to allow for individual creative freedom.
Come and join us in the breathtaking landscapes of Iceland, and stand the possibility to capture some shots like these...
 For more information on this photo safari follow the link below:
 

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Sunday, May 24, 2015

A Productive Morning at the Hide

After a night of strong winds, we were unsure of what the morning would hold for our regular Matabole Hide session. We set off from the lodge before dawn into the crisp morning air, all wrapped up for our 30min drive towards the hide. As the sun slowly rose where excited to see the many puffs of scattered cloud cover slowly illuminate creating a fantastic backdrop to what we hoped would be a great hide session.
On arrival to the hide we set up our camera gear, we even experimented with a more artist approach to shooting with a Go Pro that we had lodged inside the waterhole. All set up and ready to go, and right on queue an elephant bull arrived. The bull gave us a good show before meandering off back into the Mopane. He most certainly set the tone for the morning with great birds following pursuit, as well as, herds of impala, a troop of baboons, a terrapin and a shy squirrel.
Feeling very content with our morning spent at the hide, we decided to head back to camp for brunch. Jokingly we mentioned between us that all we needed to top off an already top class morning in the bush would be a leopard ... and in true Mashatu style a leopard we did see!
 
Clouds making a perfect backdrop for the morning activity
 

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A Detour to the Matabole Hide - By Kyle de Nobrega

After an early rise at 5am, it wasn’t long before we heard the distant sounds of Hyena and lions calling whilst having a well needed morning cup of coffee. The calling was different, it was intense and clearly not for territorial reasons.
We where planning on heading to the underground hide for the morning but we decided it worthwhile to bypass where the commotion was going on and see what was out there.
We followed the audible commotion for a while before we found what it was all about. A clan of Hyenas where challenging 2 young male lions over the remains of an impala ram kill, yet another victim of the Impala rut. There wasn’t much left and we were lucky enough to catch the last bit of action. The sun was just about to rise and we positioned ourselves according to the lions and hyena, and the approaching golden light. As classic Masahtu has it, there wasn’t a tree or shrub in our way and we had the 2 young males walk past us, shortly followed by 13 hyena unsatisfied with the scraps they were left.
After almost an hour of interaction, the rising sun set the tone of calmness once again. With adrenaline flowing in full force, we retreated to the hide to absorb what we had just witnessed. With a cup of coffee in hand we browsed through the images we had just got on our ‘short’ little detour to the hide.
The good old saying of ‘Mashatu always delivers’ never seems to fail.
 
 

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Saturday, May 16, 2015

Zakuoma Photo Safari

In the African country of Chad, lies one of nature’s best kept natural secrets, Zakouma National Park (ZNP). Over 350 000ha of untamed, untraveled, unfenced and untouched wilderness is what makes Zakouma the perfect destination for the adventure photographer. Here birds exist in flocks of thousands, buffalo, antelope and elephant move in herds of hundreds and lion’s continue to roam the open plains just as they have since the beginning of time.
Tourism in Chad has been virtually nonexistent up until recent times, which is why ZNP as a travel destination has remained off the radar. This unique attribute is what enticed C4 photo guide and naturalist, Kyle de Nobrega to explore the destination in search of a wild untouched piece of Africa. Kyle was blown away by the abundance of all things wild ZNP had to offer and more so as a photographer, he was challenged by unfamiliar scenario’s that pushed the distinctive moulds African wildlife photography is so often associated with. The result was excellent photography and an abundance of creative opportunities.
We have specifically scheduled this safari to run at the end of ZNP’s dry season, when huge flocks and herds gravitate towards to the remaining pockets of water situated in the marshes and rivers. Along these water courses waterfowl gather on mass, with herds of Tiang, Lelwels Hartebeest, Defassa Waterbuck, Olive Baboon, buffalo and Kordofan Giraffe coming to the water almost all the time. Lion are very common and hunt the buffalo and other antelope as they come to the pools of water. One of the highlights has to be the enormous flocks of quelea that cloud the sky by day, as they dodge the hundreds of predating kites – a scene to behold.
On this Safari, you will be treated to the unique opportunity to explore the reserve and photograph by foot as well as by vehicle. Back at Camp Nomade, which is set up in the most productive areas of the season, one is treated to a North African style tented camp including all the essentials needed to relax and take refuge from the heat of the day.
2016 will mark the first year of tourism for Camp Nomade and Zakouma National Park. C4 Photo Safari’s cannot wait to share one of Africa’s wildest destinations with our fellow wildlife photographers.
Make sure you do not miss this opportunity to see one of Africa’s untouched Gems.
You can view everything you need to know about this safari on our website here:
A large herd of Central African Buffalo
 

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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Mashatu Green Season Photo Safari, 18-23 January 2016

 
A very special transformation happens at Mashatu Game Reserve during the month of January. After the first big rains have fallen in November and December the open plains of the reserve become laden with a carpet of green flowers, Mopane’s sprout their new florescent green leaves and the once dry river beds transform into a playground for elephants and birds. All these create the most picturesque scenario’s for any wildlife photographer.
For this very reason C4 has opened up a brand new safari - ‘The Mashatu Green Season Photo Safari’ which will be running from 18-23 January 2016. On average Mashatu only experiences 4 days of rain in January, however those few days of rain are fleeting and bring dramatic skies that make for spectacular landscape photography. The trip will be hosted out of Main Camp where guests can enjoy the luxury of an air-conditioned room during the heat of the day. You will be hosted by our Mashatu resident photographers, Kyle de Nobrega and Ruth Nussbaum who are the expert and resident wildlife photographers in the area.
The safari will run over 5 nights, 4 being spent at Mashatu Main Camp and 1 night being spent under the stars at the Kogtla camp, from where you will have the unique opportunity to photograph Mmamagwa/Rhodes’s baobab at one of Africa’s most iconic landscape locations.
C4 is offering an exceptional price for this 5 night stay during the Mashatu Green season Photo Safari. The safari includes exclusive use of the photographic hides, photographic vehicle, and of course your two C4 Photo Safaris photographic guides. There is no reason to miss out on this exceptionally well priced safari. If you aren’t sold yet just take a look at some of the images you will get on this safari...

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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Private Guided Trip, Namibia, April/May 2015 - By Trevor Kleyn

After meeting my guests at the Sossusvlei airstrip, we headed out in our small charter plane to Swakopmund.  As we flew the clouds parted giving us a spectacular view of the coastline from up above.  
The birding opportunities in Swakoopmund and Walvisbaai area were great and included both Greater and Lesser Flamingos, Great White Pelicans and a variety of waders.  Inland we got Tractrac Chat, and an abundance of reptiles in the dunes.  
From there we flew to Erongo, a special wilderness area surrounded by the Erongo Mountains, where the desert, mountain and bushveld ecosystems meet.  Here we had fantastic birding and photographic opportunities of Rosy-faced lovebirds, Hartlaubs Spurfowl, Rockrunner and Monteiro’s Hornbill to mention just a few.
Next stop was Serra Cafema Camp in the Namib Desert with breathtaking scenery.  Activities included a boat trip up the Kunene River, the lifeline to many species in the area, as well as a visit to the local Himba village providing different photo opportunities.
I knew Etosha was going to be good when shortly after arriving a Carp’s Tit flittered around in the tree above us while having lunch.  We also had good opportunities with crimson-breasted shrikes and short-toed rock thrush.  A definite highlight was spending an afternoon in a hide at a waterhole watching animals and birds coming down for their afternoon drink.
Last stop was the Caprivi Strip.  Here we enjoyed some scenic boat trips where we were rewarded with sightings of Long-toed Lapwings, Little Bee-eaters and Hartlaub’s Babbler.

Himba Villlage
 

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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Mashatu Photo Workshop, April 2 - May 3 : By Isak Pretorius

Safari Diary - 29 April 2015

Photo Workshop, Mashatu Game Reserve in Botswana

We were so inspired by our photos and the potential at the bee-eater hide that we decided to give it another try this morning. The dark background, golden side-lighting and action created stunning photos. A coffee break under a big Mashatu tree concluded both the morning drive as well as the first photo workshop. We to...ok our guests back to the border and picked up the new guests for the second workshop. During the afternoon drive our original plan was to have a look at the lions feeding on the elephant carcass. Instead, we found a leopard and spent the whole drive with her as she climbed a few trees, walked around, drank water and finally disappeared into the thicket. This was a fantastic start to the second workshop and the bar had been raised very high.
 
 
Leopard | 1/50sec at f/4.5, ISO 2500 | Canon EOS-1D Mark IV + EF200-400mmf/4L IS USM | Shutter priority, -1 EV

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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Mashatu Photo Workshop, April 25-29 - By Isak Pretorius

Safari Diary - 25 April 2015

Photo Workshop, Mashatu Game Reserve in Botswana...

The April rains in Mashatu carpeted the land in a stunning green with yellow and purple flowers and I’ve never seen the bush this beautiful. Temperatures are also down with warm days and cool nights. I met the guests at the border for the start of the first scheduled photo workshop for 2015. After checking everyone into the lodge we embarked on our first game drive where we were blessed with good sightings of jackals in golden light and a leopard just before sunset. We toasted to another stunning day in Africa! Let’s see what tomorrow will bring!
 

Leopard | 1/800sec at f/4, ISO 2500 | Canon EOS-1D Mark IV + EF200-400mmf/4L IS USM | Shutter priority, 0 EV

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Patagonia Photo Tour 2015


Hougaard Malan has just returned back from an unbelievable two weeks safari with clients in Patagonia.
Situated on the outer fringe of the Antarctic Circle, Patagonia remains one of the most remote and unspoilt wilderness destinations of the world. The sheer grandeur of Patagonia’s landscapes is what magnetises photographers towards it as a world class photographic destination. The landscape of  ice-capped mountains towering 3500m above sea level, surrounded by Magellan Beech forests hosting a pallet of autumn colours and not to mention the cascading waterfalls and crystal blue lakes, create a platform for some of the most picturesque landscape images a photographer could ask for.
Our recent Patagonia landscape photo safari,  co-hosted by C4 Photo Safaris and Capture Earth was one of ideal weather conditions that allowed for some amazing images. The beech trees painted the mountains with their thousand colours and the clear crisp evenings and mornings highlighted the clouds and reflections with dashes of pink and orange.
C4 Photo Safaris will be running another Patagonia landscape tour in April 2017. We will keep you posted. Enjoy the beautiful images below with lovely Autumn colours due to the exellent timing of our tour.



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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Serengeti Calving and Predator Safaris 2016

Over the past 5 years C4 Images and Safaris have run photo safaris to this magnificent, but large wonderland. We have now refined this itinerary to give you the ultimate experience of the Serengeti calving season. Spend 5 glorious nights with us deep in the beating heart of this ecosystem. We have a located and partnered with a small camp, far away from other lodges with their own airstrip. From here we have exclusive access the reserve as well as the game management areas- perfect for locating and spending time with the calving herds of wildebeest. 

 David Nodde



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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Serengeti calving photo safari: client images

Over the past 4 years C4 Photo Safaris have run photo safaris to this magnificent wonderland and 2015 was no different. With exclusive access to the reserve as well as the game management areas, we give our clients the opportunity to spend time with the calving herds of wildebeest and secondly search for hunting predators, which are found in abundance.
 

Marna Terblanche


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Monday, March 30, 2015

Antarctica 2016: Crossing the Southern Circle

The first time I stepped onto land in Antarctica I was asked, “is this your seventh continent”? to which I belatedly replied, Yes! I had not considered it before because I was in awe of my surrounds and very excited for the upcoming landing. Antarctica does that to you- the obvious becomes an after thought because you are so caught up in the moment of enjoying this wonderland.



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Sunday, March 29, 2015

Guest Image Gallery, Serengeti: By Gerhard Uys

 
Yet another fantastic guest image gallery from our C4 Photo Safari travellers.  Gerhard Uys, recently returned from Kusini Safari Camp in the Serengeti, where he and his wife along with photo guides Greg du Toit and Isak Pretorius experienced the spoils of one of Africa’s finest wildlife destinations. As seen in Gerhard’s images the trip was jam packed with top class predator sightings, as well as an array of bird species, wildebeest on mass, and of course breath-taking sunsets. Thank you to Gerhard for sharing the highlights from your trip with us!
 
 
 

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Guest Image Gallery, Serengeti and Mahale Mountains: By Randall Bacon

 
Recently returned from the Serengeti and the Mahale Mountains is guest traveller Randall Bacon. Randall along with fellow travellers and photographers, where guided and hosted by top wildlife photographer Greg du Toit. The group’s first stop on the trip was the Serengeti, in search of the large migrating herds of wildebeest who at this time of year have begun their calving process. Unfortunately, the group didn’t catch the migration but where still treated to fantastic predator sightings on a daily basis.  Thereafter, the group continued to a remote destination on the eastern banks of Lake Tanganyika, Mahale Mountain. The area offers a unique experience, of exploring the pristine indigenous forests in search of the shy Mahale chimps. The team where extremely successful in capture some incredible shots from both of these Tanzanian wilderness areas, thank you to Randall for sharing a few of your top shots from the trip.
 
 
 

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Monday, March 2, 2015

C4 Photo Hide Update

What a start to the photographic season in the C4 Hides at Mashatu Game Reserve. After scoping out a colony of White-fronted Bee-eaters hard at work digging away at the banks of the Majalie River, we rushed back to camp to collect the mobile hide. We gave the birds 2 days to get used to the big green ‘box-like’ object above their colony before setting off before sunrise to capture these beautifully coloured creatures in first light.
Unfortunately the morning was overcast, but this ended up working in our favour as we had more time to spend with the birds before the harsh light of the day kicked in. After 10mins of not one bird in sight and a slightly dampened faith that the colony had taken to us, the first bird arrived. Thereafter the performance continued until our batteries where dead and memory card where full up.
Being co-operative breeders the juvenile birds from the first clutches of the season, where hard at work digging holes and collecting food for their families within the colony. The juveniles make for perfect subjects as they are almost oblivious to the photographers and the tent, allowing the photographers to get close to them.
During the course of our action packed morning we had multiple visitors including, Laughing Dove, Meve’s Starling, African Hoopoe and Carmine Bee-eaters, not to forget mating White-fronted Bee-eaters!

White-fronted Bee-eater


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Monday, February 23, 2015

An action packed, Premier Masai Mara Predator Safari to start the year.

The Masai Mara is of course most famous for the river crossings of the wildebeest across the Mara. However, what many people don’t realise is that this is the predator capital of Africa. No where else is the lion density higher or the cheetah numbers higher.



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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The shot: Studio pose

I don’t know how or why, but I know that Adelie penguins were going to be my favourite of that species in Antarctica. Penguins themselves are remarkable birds. They were first thought to be fish…, but then quickly classified as birds once a few were cut open. Additionally, when we see them, in the ‘warmer’ months of the Antarctic summer, they are actually close to overheating. 


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Mashatu Vlei - C4 Mobile Hide

 
After almost a month of no rain during our supposed ‘rainy season’ here at Mashatu Game Reserve, an interesting window of bird photography opportunity presented itself. The water in the vlei area of Mashatu, close to the Limpopo River had just enough volume to make for a perfect environment for a variety of waders.
On a game drive one day we drove past what looked like it would be an ideal spot to set up a mobile hide and test out what the waders had to offer us photographically. With the tent erected the afternoon before, we set off at 4am towards the vlei, the idea being to be ready and set up inside the tent before the waders began about their daily activities.
Unfortunately for us the sun decided to disappear behind thick cloud on the consecutive mornings of our attempt to capture the waders in first light. Nonetheless, despite the not ideal lighting conditions the waders still came to the party and this is what we managed to capture of them whilst lying on our bellies.
 Wherever you are situated in the world, it is always possible to seek out photographic opportunity whether it is a water bath in your backyard that attracts a certain bird or a staged macro scene of an interesting insect you came about in your flat. Get creative, keep shooting and you might be surprised with what you come out with!
 
Mobile tent (with a few adjustments) on the waters edge
 

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