South Africa Photo Safari

Enjoy incredible wildlife photography & videography opportunities during an exclusive photo safari

Take amazing pictures or videos of wildlife during an exclusive photo safari in South Africa! Set in a  stunning private conservancy that we’ll have all to ourselves, this workshop will allow you encounter an abundance of wildlife, including lions, cheetahs, elephants, and buffalos, in a beautiful setting. We’ll find the best photography opportunities at the best possible light, both during game drives and in the hides the conservancy offers; hideouts that provide incredible angles of wildlife. This photo safari is a collaboration with Enlightened Media, and you’ll be guided by Trai Anfield, a BBC presenter and professional photographer and film maker, who will help you sharpen your skills throughout the experience. And to create the ultimate South African photo safari, we’re offering an optional add-on trip to a private game reserve in the Greater Kruger, famous for its incredible encounters with the elusive leopard. An amazing opportunity for photographers and film makers of any level!


  • Photograph an impressive array of African wildlife at close range
  • Enjoy exclusive use of a stunning game reserve, giving us great creative freedom
  • Enjoy unlimited time during game drives and at hives to observe animal behaviour and get the best shots
  • Receive constant tutoring by professional photographer and film maker Trai Anfield
  • Sharpen your photography or videography skills - or experiment with both
  • Enjoy luxury accommodation and amazing cuisine in the middle of the bush
  • Make the experience complete with an add-on photo safari in the Greater Kruger, focused on leopards

Quick Facts

  • Where South Africa
  • When July 6 - 13 (Add-on: July 13 - 16)
  • Focus Wildlife Photography & Film making
  • Workshop Leaders Trai Anfield & Peter Haygarth
  • Group Size Max. 14
  • Required Photography Level Suitable for photographers of any level
  • Price £2995

Destination Description

Zimanga Private Game Reserve: 

This South African photo safari is set in Zimanga, a private game reserve in KwaZulu-Natal. The reserve, 6000 hectares of pristine bushveld, fever tree forests, and rolling hills, offers the opportunity to encounter all of Africa’s Big Five, plus an abundance of prey species and a dazzling array of birds. Using classic safari game vehicles, and making full creative use of a network of hides, we will have incredible opportunities for both wildlife photography and videography.

And what’s more, on this bespoke photo safari we have no crowds to contend with, as we have secured exclusive use of the reserve throughout our stay. That means there are no constraints on our time with wildlife sightings, allowing us to observe animals for as long as we want, explore appropriate photographic techniques and create the perfect image.

Accommodation at Zimanga: Apart from incredible game viewing, Zimanga also offers stunning accommodation. There are two lodges; The Homestead and Zimanga Lodge, which both offer luxurious rooms, comfortable living and dining areas, and pools. You’ll enjoy full service, delicious meals, and incredible views.

Umlani Bushcamp:  

We are delighted to offer an optional add-on at Umlani Bushcamp, which is the perfect complement to Zimanga. This beautiful eco-lodge sits within Timbavati Game Reserve, a collection of private game reserves that borders Kruger National Park; an area where you spot the Big Five with unique ease. The Timbavati region is particularly famous for its amazing sightings of the otherwise elusive African leopard.

As with Zimanga, we have booked out exclusive use of Umlani for our group, allowing us flexibility with our photography. It also means we have exclusive access to Umlani’s treehouse, a hide overlooking a waterhole. You can even opt to spend the night there, if you’re up for an adventure!

Accommodation at Umlani: At Umlani, you’ll be staying in traditional African reed and thatch huts or rondavels, which all blend naturally with the environment. The accommodation is both authentically African and highly comfortable. All lodges have comfortable beds, crisp white linen, soft towels, mosquito netting, insect repellent and standard bathroom amenities. They also have open-air bush showers for the ultimate stargazing experience.

  • July 6 Arrival in Johannesburg, where we'll meet you and transfer you by road to Zimanga Private Game Reserve. Here, we will have a hearty dinner and settle into our luxury accommodation, which will be our home for the next week.
  • July 7 - 12 We'll spend a full week in Zimanga, home of the Big Five and a paradise for photographers and film makers. We'll spend our days out on game drives and walking safaris, and in the different hides, making the most of the incredible photographic opportunities. You'll be tutored along the way by two professional photographers, so that you'll sharpen your photography or videography skills throughout the week.
  • July 13 After our final game drive we'll tear ourselves away from Zimanga, and either head back home, or continue your South African wildlife odyssey on our specialist leopard-focused extension at Umlani until July 17th.

July 6 - 13, 2018 (optional add-on: July 13 - 16)

Zimanga Price: £2995 per person sharing 

The price includes:

  • Airport transfers
  • Accommodation
  • All meals
  • Game drives & walking safaris
  • Guidance by experienced local guides and trackers
  • Unlimited access to hides
  • Photography tuition
  • Reserve fees

The price does not include:

  • Flights to OR Tambo Airport in Johannesburg
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Soft drinks and alcoholic drinks
  • Gratuities

 Umlani (optional add-on) Price: £1290

This price includes:

  • Road transfers between Zimanga and Umlani & transfer to OR Tambo Airport on the 16th
  • Accommodation
  • All meals
  • Game drives & walking safaris
  • Guidance by experienced local guides and trackers
  • Access to the tree house
  • Photography tuition
  • Reserve fees

The price does not include:

  • Personal travel insurance
  • Soft drinks and alcoholic drinks
  • Gratuities

Zimanga offers the perfect setting for exploring all elements of wildlife photography. During this photo safari, the focus is fully on wildlife photography and film making. Zimanga offers the perfect setting for exploring our opportunities fully; having the reserve to ourselves means we can plan our days flexibly and use the hides whenever light conditions are optimum for each one. We will also have the chance to get up close to macro subjects on foot, and create amazing images of the stars at night, as our tour leaders and tutors Trai Anfield and Peter Haygarth take us through techniques to make the most of every photographic opportunity.

We have a terrific mix of photography opportunities at Zimanga, including guided walking and game drives, with the piece de resistance being exclusive access to all of the reserve’s incredible hides. These have been designed and constructed in collaboration with Bence Máté, an acclaimed wildlife photographer. It is truly inspiring to benefit from these craftily designed hides, which allowed Bence to achieve some of his globally award-winning images. Hide sessions include:

Lagoon hide: This is where the fish eagles, crocs and kingfishers come to feed,  and elephants play and drink and water birds gather.
Reflection bird hide: Smaller mammals such as mongoose, monkey and warthog drink here, alongside a kaleidoscope of colourful small birds.
Woodland bird hide: A perfect place to capture birds in flight.
Bee eater hide: An ideal place to photograph this charismatic bird.
Vulture hide: This offers mayhem and carnage for the strong-of-stomach, when a carcass is available.
Overnight hide: Built for night time mammal photography, this hide offers a beds and kitchen and bathroom facilities, as well as the ability of lighting night time subjects to gain stunning dramatic shots. If the conditions are right you could even get the milky way as a background!

In short, you can expect the following opportunities on this photo safari:

  • Creating unique images of the reserve’s major predators – lion, leopard and cheetah – often on a kill
  • Tracking African wild dog as the pack hunts and capers in the early mornings
  • Observe and capture the behaviour of all the reserve’s bird, mammal and reptile species at close quarters in the hide network
  • Macro photography sessions
  • Astro photography sessions: with no light pollution and fine weather Zimanga offers stunning opportunities for Milky Way and other night time photography.
  • Capturing many of the reserve’s species from the air with our dual-controlled inspire drone! We’ll be taking a drone with us this year again, so there’ll be a chance for you to experiment with aerial photography and videography too! We are CAA certified and insured for commercial aerial flying.

Your Photography Workshops

Throughout this photo safari, you’ll be guided by professional photographer Trai Anfield and Peter Haygarth. They’ll provide photographic tutoring, both during theory sessions and in the field, and will be able to offer assistance with technical issues, composition, and post-production.

Recommended Equipment

Trai recommends the following gear:

  • Camera body (and a spare of some description – even just a phone)
  • Plenty of spare charged batteries
  • Plenty of spare cleared memory cards
  • A variety of lenses that suit both landscape photography (wider angle) and wildlife photography (telephoto).  The wider end of the spectrum (anything from 10mm – 50mm) will give great shots that include some habitat context as well as your subject, and may also come in handy for night time astro photography if conditions allow.  For closer detail 300mm – 400mm is ideal.  You may also have the chance to use a macro lens, for instance on flora and insects. (If you would like to hire a lens for the trip we can recommend some reliable providers.)
  • Hard drive and a laptop/external drive to download and store your photographs on should you fill your memory cards.  If you wish to edit your photographs on the trip please bring a laptop loaded with the software you use – I’m also happy to demonstrate both Photoshop and Lightroom on my laptop.
  • A water/dust proof covering for your camera and lens – doesn’t have to be expensive, I use cheap transparent plastic ones from the internet – they do the job fine and have the bonus of being really light.  Even if it doesn’t actually rain, photographing Victoria Falls can be a very wet experience.
  • A tripod will be useful.

Trai Anfield

Trai Anfield has an impressive CV. She is a photographer, workshop leader, video journalist, producer, and meteorologist. She spent 13 years presenting the weather forecast and hosting various programs for the BBC, before deciding to combine her love of photography, conservation, and travel to set up an independent production company several years ago. This allows her to photograph the natural world, host wildlife photography workshops around the world, and support a variety of conservation charities that she is passionate about. Trai still presents The Living World, BBC Radio 4’s flagship natural history program, and she also writes wildlife and environment articles for various magazines.

Peter Haygarth

Co-tutoring this photo safari will be Peter Haygarth, a wildlife photographer and videographer with over 30 years of experience. Peter first met Trai while working as a UAV pilot and flight trainer. He is an experienced drone pilot and drone camera operator, filming for TV series, adverts and feature films. Some of the highlights of his drone flying career ware working on Top Gear, Bake Off Creme de la Creme and teaching Alex Walker of ‘Alex Walkers Serian’ safari camps to fly in Tanzania across the plains of the Serengeti. Peter also works as a photographer in sports, capturing Premiership football action most weekends.

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