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Zimanga:  Specialist Day & Night South African Photography & Film Making Safari

11 - 20 August 2024
8 nights Zimanga + 1 night Balito overnight package £5345 
 sold out

20 - 29 October 2025 
8 nights Zimanga + 1 night Balito overnight package + private photo vehicle drive £5695  SOLd out

Outstanding 9 night specialist photography and film making safari with unique day and night opportunities                                                             

Tour leader:

Trai Anfield - wildlife photographer, film maker, travel writer and presenter of BBC's The Living World

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South Africa Ultimate Photography and Film Making Safari highlights


  • private conservancy and small group (max 6 guests)

  • Africa's foremost network of cutting edge wildlife photography hides, designed by Bence Máté

  • abundant wildlife with Africa's BIg Five possible at incredibly close range

  • photography on the ground with cheetahs 

  • unique mix of hide and game drive photography 

  • unlimited time to observe animal behaviour and create your shots

  • unrivalled opportunities for experienced photographers looking for new possibilities

  • beginner-friendly atmosphere to learn new and creative techniques with experienced tutors

  • unique opportunity to learn wildlife film making with a BBC trained film maker

  • restricted numbers to maximise space per photographer in game drive vehicles:  max 3 photographers per vehicle: full seating row each

  • luxury en-reserve accomodation and cuisine

  • no malaria medication required

  • partners interested in wildlife welcome



On this unique South African safari experience we are as near to guaranteed as possible 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 specially designed hides, we will create shots that simply aren't possible anywhere else.  


And what's more, on this bespoke photography safari we have no crowds to contend with, as numbers are strictly limited.  That means there are fewer constraints on our time with each species, allowing us to observe their way of life, explore appropriate photographic techniques and craft unique images which capture the essence of each animal, their behavior and interactions. 

Zimanga Private Game Reserve has the finest set up for specialist African wildlife photography I've experienced.

We have the freedom and facilities here to get shots that we could only dream of elsewhere. ”


Trai Anfield, tour leader

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We have a terrific mix of photography opportunities here, including game drives and guided night photography sessions, with the piece de resistance being exclusive access to all of the reserve’s incredible hides. These have been painstakingly designed and constructed in collaboration with Bence Máté, widely regarded as one of the most creative wildlife photographer in the world.  It is truly inspiring to benefit from the immense amount of time, effort and care that Bence puts into working out his globally award winning shots.  


With only three vehicles within the entire 7000 hectares of pristine bushveld, fever tree forests, dams and rolling hills there will be no crowds to share sightings with, or get in our way!  And with strictly limited numbers we can access all of Zimanga's hides throughout our stay, with a minimum of two overnight hide sessions.


During the week we will also have the chance to get up close to macro subjects on foot, around the lodge grounds and create amazing images of the stars at night, as our guides and photographic tutors take us through techniques to make the most of every photographic opportunity.


So for the next seven days we will spend our time creating unique images of the reserve's major predators - lion, leopard and cheetah - often on a kill, and observe and capture the behaviour of the reserve's bird, mammal and reptile species at close quarters in the hide network


Hide sessions include:

Lagoon hide – this is where the fish eagles, crocs and kingfishers come to feed, 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 hides - dazzling colours and challenging quick flight

Bee eater hide – bag a perfect shot of this charismatic bird

Vulture / scavenger hide – mayhem and carnage for the strong of stomach

Overnight hides x 2 – built for night time mammal photography, these hides offer 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!

  • optional astro photography sessions: with no light pollution and fine weather Zimanga offers stunning opportunities for Milky Way and other night time photography (conditions permitting) 

  • 1-2-1 critique, review and editing sessions with Trai on request

  • macro photography sessions around the lodge grounds on request


Assistant Tutor 2019


The Perfect Location for Wildlife Videography

As a former BBC film-maker and presenter, and a factual production trainer for Channel 4, Trai also offers you the unique opportunity to learn wildlife filming techniques, with optional tuition in how to produce and shoot video sequences.  

As Trai says 'There’s far more to wildlife film-making than just switching your camera to video mode!  We'll look at how to storyboard, shoot for the edit, and produce wildlife films that will really impress on your return home'

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Full South Africa Ultimate Photography + Film Making Safari Itinerary


Day 1

We suggest an international flight to Durban that arrives the day before your Zimanga safari starts, and an overnight stay here, so that you are well rested and on time to catch the early transfer to Zimanga the following morning.  We have included convenient, comfortable accommodation. in Ballito on this night.



Day 2

We will depart our Durban hotel at 08:00am prompt and transfer directly by road 3 hours to Zimanga private game reserve.  Here we will have lunch and settle into our en-reserve luxury lodge accommodation, which will be our home for the next week.  Afternoon game drive & hide sessions.



Day 3- 8

Home of the Big Five and much much more, Zimanga Private Game Reserve is a photographer and film maker’s paradise. Owner Charl Senekal’s vision is to make Zimanga reserve second to none for African wildlife photography, and there aren’t many that can even come close to challenging him.  

We have a terrific mix of photography opportunities here, including both game drives, and exclusive access to all of the reserve’s incredible hides. These have been painstakingly designed and constructed in collaboration with Bence Mate, widely regarded as most creative wildlife photographer in the world.  It is truly inspiring to benefit from the immense amount of time, effort and care that Bence puts into working out his globally award winning shots.  The owner is also always developing new ways of getting close to the wildlife, with the addition of low level boat photography a welcome addition since our last visit.

During our 'down time' Trai is available for 1-2-1 tuition and inspiration sessions on request: there is plenty of time here to experiment and explore more post processing options.

In 2025 we have also added an exclusive private game drive for every guest using the low-slung photography vehicle (which can accommodate 1 or 2 people lying down if you wish to share your drive).

Day 9

After our final game drive we tear ourselves away from Zimanga, and head back to Durban King Shaka International airport, arriving in time to connect with your overnight international flights home... or perhaps onwards to your independent South African adventures?  Please note: flights today should be booked no earlier than 17:30 to allow adequate transfer time.


Accomodation at Zimang

Everything at Zimanga, including the food and accommodation options, are extremely high quality 


The Main Lodge accomodation is exceptional.  Rooms are both spacious and practical, with huge twin or double suites featuring two well-equipped work areas for editing photographs and films etc.  Each double suite is in its own discreetly spaced out chalet with a private deck overlooking the reserve.  The lodge also has its own pool, bar, restaurant and sun deck.

We have the following accomodation options reserved for our party:
2 x twin / double suites
2 x single rooms (available on request on a strictly first come first served basis)


For more information on Zimanga Main Lodge accommodation please visit


Other Facilities
The boardroom space for briefings and 1-2-1 sessions is situated in the Lodge and accessible to all.



Dates and Rates  

11 - 20 August 2024    (8 nights + Balito overnight package)  
Luxury Lodge Accommodation £5345 per person SOLD OUT

20 - 29 October 2025 (8 nights + Balito overnight package) + private vehicle drive £5695  - SOLD OUT

Includes: South African ground transfers between Ballito and Zimanga, all reserve fees, game drives, access to state of the art day and night hides, experienced wildlife guides, expert photography tuition,  8 nights luxury accommodation, food and soft and local alcoholic beverages at Zimanga Lodge, Durban overnight.
Excludes: international flights to Durban, personal travel insurance, gratuities, 

Getting There

The closest major airport to Zimanga is Durban King Shaka International (DUR).
Major airlines including British Airways, South African Airways, KLM, Emirates, Quatar, Turkish and Virgin fly direct 
to Durban, or via Johannesburg with connections to Durban, from the UK.

Please Note

Our road transfer from Durban leaves at 08:00am prompt, so that we reach Zimanga in time for our first afternoon game drive.  

We therefore recommend arriving in Durban the night before we travel to Zimanga and have included your first night hotel in Ballito

Our departure from Zimanga will take place after our last morning game drive & breakfast, so we advise booking return or onward flights no earlier than 17:30 on our final day.

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