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!


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:


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


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.


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


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...


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


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