ABOUT THE WORKSHOP
The Manyeleti Game Reserve, known as ‘Africa’s best kept secret,’ lies in the midst of some of South Africa’s most prominent and renowned game reserves – the Sabi Sands, Timbavati and Kruger National Park. Being unfenced with these reserves, the Manyeleti also boasts a great deal of wildlife including the iconic ‘Big Five,’ with a particularly high density of lion. Sightings of the rare African wild dog and cheetah are also more frequent than the neighboring reserves, and the everchanging vegetation keeps all naturalists intrigued. Named ‘Place of the Stars,’ by the local Shangaan people, it is this very reason that it captives those privileged enough to experience it. The solitude is almost deafening, and the feel of ‘old Africa,’ almost overpowering as you drive through pristine – almost untouched – wilderness. Manyeleti is truly a magical place kept hidden from the eyes of the world.
Buffelshoek Tented Camp where we host our Big Cats of Kruger Photographic Workshops is an en-suit, semi-luxury, permanent tented camp located in the southern parts of the reserve close to the Kruger Park and Sabi Sand borders. There are few places that rival the scenery around Buffelshoek, and during the dry months you can expect to see regular visitors to the local water hole including elephant, zebra, giraffe, and lion. The camp is unfenced, providing guests with a truly wild experience and you will be escorted to your room by your guide. The most memorable of experiences is when a lion was chased up a tree in camp, joining us for a romantic dinner under the open skies! The camp is solar powered, and guests are able to charge cameras, laptops, phones and other appliances at the main lodge (there are no power points in the rooms). Game drives are completed in an open top safari vehicle, perfect for photography and guests can enjoy a breathtaking view across the African plains from the top veranda.
SAFARI HIGHLIGHTS – WHAT TO EXPECT?
Our safari workshops are based predominantly around the African big cats, however there are also bountiful other animals to enjoy while being out on safari. You can expect to see the following on your safari:
- Spotted Hyena
- Birds (owls, raptors and lbj’s)
- Occasionally sightings of African Wild Dogs, Civets, Genets, African Wild Cat, Cheetah and Honey Badger
WHAT EQUIPMENT TO BRING
I always say, ‘Bring what you can,’ because you never know what situation you may find yourself in and must therefore be as ready as possible. However, this isn’t always possible and therefore I have written from my experience what the best set of equipment includes. It is important to remember that the vehicle is open (doesn’t have a roof) and therefore I would always suggest a camera and lens cover for possible rain or bad weather (THINK TANK products are fantastic for this!). We also get in close proximity to the wildlife, particularly the cats who have become habituated with the vehicles, and with the off-roading ability, we can maneuver the vehicle according to the situation. I would suggest the following:
- DSLR/ Mirrorless Cameras – film photography is not recommended.
- 70-200mm f/2.8 (my go-to lens)
- 100-400mm (most frequent lenses on safari)
- 400mm f/2.8 (optimum for close ups)
- 150-600 f/5.6-6.4 (also provides a great range without having to switch lenses)
- Flash Speedlights (with flash bracket)
- Magmod Flash Magnifier
- Bean bags (can be organized prior to safari)