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.


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.


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!


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"