In 2018 I went back to Africa; this time to a private game reserve called Zimanga in the Kwazulu Natal region of South Africa. It’s the first reserve in Africa to offer specialist hide set-ups for wildlife photographers, as well as traditional safari drives. There are 70 square kilometres of bushveld, hills and fever tree forests, with the Mkuze River running through the middle. It’s home to lions, elephants, giraffe, rhino, zebra, African wild dogs, cheetahs, and numerous birds (over 400 species recorded on the reserve).
As my prime interest is birds, this was the focus of my trip – the opportunity to spend some time in hides that would allow for more intimate sightings and behaviour. I wasn’t disappointed. I also had the opportunity for some close encounters with the big mammals – in a jeep and on foot – and even spent some time on the edge of a lake with crocodiles a few metres away!
Although only a week long, this trip was packed – in the hides before dawn, out for lunch, safari in the afternoon until dark, then dinner, bed, repeat. We also had 2 overnight sessions in Umgodi Hide – Zimanga’s flagship hide – where you might be lucky enough to photograph mammals drinking from a waterhole at night.
Here’s a gallery of some of the images I took on this trip, and you can see many more on my Facebook page.