African wildlife photography hide trip @ Zimanga Private Game Reserve

Wild dogs
Join me for a photographic safari tour with a difference, designed specifically to get you the best photographs of Africa’s wildlife, up close and personal at Zimanga Private Game Reserve. We will have exclusive access to the whole 6000 hectare reserve in South Africa and will spend 10 days photographing a diverse range of wildlife on a safari uniquely combining photographic hides with game drives.

This trip presents the opportunity to photograph from 6-7 amazing hides, purpose built with photography in mind:

– 2 * reflection pools for kingfishers, birds of prey and an abundance of small beautifully coloured birds. Each hide is located within a different habitat, offering possibilities to photograph different species.

– A lagoon hide to photograph wetland species such as kingfishers, herons and other aquatic species.

– 2 * overnight hides offering amazing opportunities to photograph secretive nocturnal species such as Buffalo and Rhino very close up.
– Scavenger hide – set up to photograph a range of vultures species, eagles and other scavengers.

Alongside the above hides, depending on circumstances, there may also be the opportunity to photograph Beeeaters from a temporary hide.

Each of the hides has been designed and built under the supervision of Bence Mate, repeat winner of prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition, and in my opinion one of the best wildlife photographers out there. Bence has built hides all over the world and knows exactly what is required to get the best shots.

Over the trip you’ll take part in 18 activities, comprising of game drives and hides, including both daytime and overnight sessions in each of the different hides.

Trip highlights at a glance:

– 10 days of wildlife photography, designed to get you shots you won’t get elsewhere.
– Exclusive hire of the whole reserve, giving us the best opportunities to be flexible according to whatever happens during our stay.
– Trip during the best time of year for capturing wildlife photographs.
– Small group sizes (max 7 people per photographic leader/ tutor)
– Local guides combined with expert tuition.
Hide1– The opportunity to drive off track, ideal for photographing predators such as Wild Dog, Cheetah and Lion.
– Varied hide sessions: small birds, mammals, vultures and more.
– Luxury accommodation.
100% of participants rated my last trip 5/5.
– The trip of a lifetime!


12 – 21st June 2017 (FULLY BOOKED)
12 – 21st June 2018 (FULLY BOOKED)
12 – 21st June 2019 (FULLY BOOKED)


£3250 per person. There is no single supplement, however once single rooms are filled solo places will be offered on a twin room basis.

What’s included:

– Beautiful luxury accommodation at the brand new lodge situated within reserve
– Exclusive use of the whole reserve
– Use of all hides
– Game drives in purpose build vehicles (with one row per photographer to maximise opportunities)
– All food included
– Bottled water included
– All transportation from Durban aiport
– Park and conservation fees included
– Tuition and advice throughout the trip both on your photography and the best locations for a wide variety of subjects
– A friendly like minded group to discuss your photography with!

What’s not included:

– Flights (normally around £450-500 return from the UK)
– South African visa (if applicable, currently free to UK residents)
– Alcoholic/ soft drinks
– Personal travel insurance (essential)
– Tips for local guides


“I was very excited about the trip having digested the comprehensive information Jonathan provided beforehand but also a little anxious, I shouldn’t have been. Jonathan’s planning and attention to detail meant that every day was packed with exciting events and sightings; his schedule of activities and organisation on a day to day basis was excellent and ensured that everyone had the opportunity to maximise the potential to see and photograph the varied wildlife in the reserve. Jonathan was an exceptional guide – always made himself available to help and offer his invaluable advice as required which I made full use of – and good company too.The entire package far exceeded my expectations on all fronts. The relationship Jonathan had fostered with the Rangers ensured that we had the best experience possible on game drives made all the more enjoyable because of the small group size. The hides delivered an unprecedented up close and personal eye-level view, the overnight hide was an unforgettable experience. The Ghost Mountain Inn gave us a warm welcome, our comfort was their priority, the food excellent and plentiful.I know it sounds cliché but it really was the trip of a lifetime!”
Karen McGrath.

“This was my second international trip with Norfolk Wildlife photography and many thanks to Jonathan for organising it so well. I am sure that Zimanga, where you can experience really close encounters with wildlife, exceeded everyone’s’ expectations. The reserve, with its amazing hides, is exceptional for photographers. The game drives were really exciting, particularly following the wild dogs, lions and cheetah. The group on the trip were great company and the Zimanga guides were terrific”
Alan Coupe

“What an amazing trip!!! The African wildlife photography hide experience @ Zimanga Private Game Reserve was an unbelievable experience and one
that should not be missed. The whole mix of hides and game drives gives a whole different experience to wildlife photography.The hides themselves are of outstanding quality and images obtained from them are nothing like you could get anywhere else.The guides are incredible and their attention to detail is exceptional. Their knowledge of the reserve, wildlife and history of the area is superb and they ensure you get the most of your holiday. Jonathan had organised everything in fine detail and
the whole trip ran without any issues at all. Jonathan was always at hand for help and advice and ensured he spent time with everyone.
Breakfast and Dinner time was great as each group had done something different in the day and was always exciting to hear what was seen
which made you excited to think what was still to come. A trip that could not be faulted in anyway. It’s a hard place to leave but you will certainly want to return….I surely am :-)”

Tracey Lund

For more images please view the gallery below: