2018/05/19 to 2018/05/27

Family Bonds Photo Safaris 19-27 May 2018

Tour Dates

Mashatu Game Reserve, Botswana is a vast wilderness area and home to ancient migratory elephant routes.  For centuries these majestic animals have traversed these lands, passing down information from one generation to another.  There is no better place to observe and photograph elephant interaction than from the PhotoMashatu hides, intentionally built for photographers. It’s no coincidence that many award-winning photos of elephants have been taken at Mashatu. General game and predators are also abundant in this semi-arid region providing diverse photographic opportunities.

Tswalu Game Reserve is situated in the Kalahari, Northern Cape, which is a vast and magical land with a large diversity of wildlife living in this arid savannah region. Tswalu is probably best known for their colonies of Meerkats, featured on numerous documentaries.

Two of these meerkat family units have been habituated to trust humans and accept them as part of the environment without any interference.  Guests are able to experience family life within a Meerkat colony up close and personal in a completely natural environment.

The photographic opportunities are unparalleled.  Not only do you get close to these delightful creatures, but being on foot you also get to photograph their uninhibited behaviour from unique angles.




Why Mashatu & Tswalu?

  • PhotoMashatu hides provide a unique photographic opportunity – The hides have been intentionally built for photographers.
  • The Hides offer a rare opportunity to get very close to the elephant herds.
  • Trevor Kleyn has spent many hours at Mashatu and has intimate knowledge of the property and where the best photographic opportunities are.
  • The rolling Kalahari dunes combined with the Korannaberg mountains, offer unique and extraordinary backdrops.
  • Opportunity to photograph Meerkats up close from foot in a completely natural environment.
  • With Trevor guiding in your own private vehicle, you will be assured of being placed in the best position for photography at all times.



Day 1 - 5

Mashatu Lodge, Botswana

You will be met and greeted at the O.R. Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, South Africa, by a C4 representative. You will then be taken to your scheduled flight to Mashatu, Botswana, for your 4 nights stay at Mashatu Lodge. Your professional photographer and host will open proceedings with short talk on what we can expect for the Mashatu section of the safari.

The main focus of this trip is the family bonds of Elephants at Mashatu and the Meerkats at Tswalu (Best family bonds).  Trevor Kleyn has spent many hours observing and capturing interaction with both family groups and will be able to utilize this experience and knowledge to guide the you to capturing these unique family moments. He has intimate knowledge of Mashatu and Tswalu and will be hosting the full guiding function at Tswalu.

Mashatu Game Reserve is a wholly preserved and untainted wilderness in eastern Botswana, at the confluence of the Limpopo and Shashe Rivers. The ample plains range from savannah, to riverine forests, marshland, and sandstone outcrops.

Mashatu, “Land of Giants” takes its name from the locally-sacrosanct Mashatu tree and the giants that roam the terrain. As one of the largest private game reserve in southern Africa, Mashatu is, at 25 000 ha (75 000 acres), a fitting setting for the world’s largest land mammal (the elephant) - with the largest herds on privately owned land on earth. Mashatu also provides sanctuary to the world’s tallest mammal (the giraffe); the world’s largest antelope (the eland); the world’s largest bird (the ostrich) and of course, the world’s heaviest flying bird (the kori bustard). Add the lion, the king of the beasts and the iconic baobab - and you have Africa’s Big Seven.





Day 5 - 6

OR Tambo Intercontinental Hotel, South Africa

After breakfast and game drive at Mashatu you will be transferred back to the Mashatu Airstrip for your scheduled flight to O.R. Tambo International Airport for your one night stay over in the OR Tambo Intercontinental Hotel, which is located across the Airport.


Day 6 - 9

Tswalu Motse Suite, South Africa

After breakfast you will walk back into the Airport for your scheduled flight to Tswalu. You will be staying in the Motse suite for 3 nights.

Motse is a beautiful lodge that overlooks the vastness of the Kalahari. All food and alcohol is included in the cost. While you may be rolling in the dust to get ground level images of meerkats you will at least dine comfortably: The Motse is accredited Relais and Chateaux.

Over the three nights we will have one vehicle attributed to us for your personal photographic comfort. This means you have a whole row to yourself so that you can photograph out both sides. We are guaranteed two exclusive sessions with the meerkats. If there is scope for an extra session we may request it. The two sessions will allow you to experiment and fine tune your images when with the meerkats, allowing you to capture unique and compelling images. Over the three days Trevor will tutor and help you with the various subjects we photograph. Be it desert black rhino, landscapes, shooting night shy images or lending my experience and expertise with meerkat behaviour and photography you will receive my complete attention so that you capture the complete side and the full magic of Tswalu, not just the meerkats!




Day 9

International Airport, South Africa

After a last morning game drive, we return to camp for a hearty brunch before departing to the airstrip  for your scheduled flight back to O.R. Tambo International Airport in time for your flights back home. This is the end of the safari.

Mashatu Lodge

Mashatu Game Reserve is located in the Northern Tuli Game Reserve of Botswana bordering South Africa. It is the embodiment of all that defines Africa. Space so open and vast, taking it all in is almost too much; an array of wildlife from the gigantic to the miniscule; majestic skies open to the universe and unfettered by smog; a quiet so loud it thrums with life; and unexpected adventure beyond the game drive with horse-back safaris, cycling safaris and walks in the wild. Experience the lives of Africa's big cats, as well as one of the world's largest mammals - the elephant - through the Mashatu Research Programme.



For the client who is accustomed to luxury, this lodge will meet every expectation. 14 luxury suites lie along the camp’s perimeter, and are designed to allow absolute privacy and a communion with the bush and its inhabitants.

Each of the air-conditioned suites at Mashatu Lodge is tastefully decorated, and includes impressive black and white prints of Africa’s most beautiful animals. A double bed and an extra-large single bed, together with a seating area that includes a single day bed, comfortably accommodates families with younger children. The ample en-suite bathroom with both bath and shower facilities and a separate W.C. complete the well-appointed suites.jpgs is the ideal camp for the family traveller.

A large swimming pool is a focal point where visitors cool down and relax between game activities.jpg Discovery Room is the portal through which curious visitors get a glimpse of another world – one that existed long before the appearance of man.jpg animal specimens and relics will fascinate and educate visitors of all ages, as will the resident crocodiles – both great and small.


Mashatu Cuisine

Meals are a sumptuous celebration of traditional African Cuisine – flavoursome, but lacking in ostentation. Fresh fruits, vegetables, home-made breads and pies, succulent meat dishes and delicious desserts will appeal to a guest who appreciates home cooking at its best.


OR Tambo Intercontinental Hotel

South Africa’s only luxury airport hotel, the InterContinental Johannesburg O.R. Tambo Airport is less than 70m from the International Arrivals hall at Johannesburg’s O.R. Tambo International Airport.

There are a total of 138 beautifully furnished en-suite rooms, comprising of Deluxe and Executive rooms as well as two luxurious Presidential suites. Accommodation features in each room include writing desk, complimentary WiFi, coffee machine, mini-bar, television with DSTV and DVD player, electronic safe, 24-room service, porter service and  wakeup facility.
Services and facilities throughout the rest of the hotel are equally geared towards meeting the needs of our guests. Highlights include the Camelot Spa for a host of pampering treatments, an indoor heated swimming pool, conferencing facilities and a uniquely African dining experience at Quills Restaurant, which serves a range of breakfast, lunch and dinner options as well as light meals and drinks. Our in-house rewards programme meanwhile offers generous specials for hotel rewards programme cardholders, making you feel even more welcome every time you return.



The Motse

The Motse nestles at the foot of the Korannaberg mountains, facing westwards across the grasslands of the Kalahari. Motse means “village” in Tswana and our village consists of just eight spacious and secluded “legae” (another Tswana word, for “little house”) or suites.

These legaes are built of local stone, rich red clay and traditional Kalahari thatch. Recently redesigned by world-renowned Boyd Ferguson, our suites define an elegant, barefoot luxury. Writing in Conde Nast Traveller, Justin Cartwright describes their charm: “A style has evolved in southern Africa of safari chic, which involves a fusion of African artefacts and art with very contemporary furniture. Nowhere I have seen does it as well as Tswalu.”



Each suite comprises a spacious bedroom with an open fire, a sumptuous en-suite bathroom with both indoor and outdoor shower, and a large dressing and study area. Your private sun deck overlooks a waterhole and the changing Kalahari animals it attracts.

Two legae have been designed especially for families. Each offers two separate bedroom suites with their own en-suite bathrooms, separated by an expansive living room again leading on to a shady, private terrace. These legae are each over 170 square metres in size and create the perfect environment for any family group.

The Motse accommodates no more than 20 guests at any one time to make for a truly intimate Kalahari safari experience. The main house is a spectacular space in which to meet, with its elevated decks and elegant lounges. An infinity pool offers an endless view over the savannahs and a secluded spa is designed to complete your total relaxation. The mezzanine library is equipped with satellite tv (the Motse also has full broadband Wi-Fi access throughout) and its museum cases display rare artefacts from the area. All profits from our exclusive Foundation Gift Shop go directly to fund important new research on the reserve.


$11 950.00 per person sharing

$15 535.00 per single supplement

Max 3 photographers and total of 6 people allowed (non-photography partners)
30% deposit confirms your booking. Balance payable 8 week before tour start date.

Above costs include

  • Pickup and transport for the entire tour.
  • Entrance to concession and accommodation in camp.
  • All meals, based on three meals a day.
  • Private vehicle at both camps.
  • Flight transfers:
        JHB - Mashatu return
        JHB - Tswalu return
  • Hide sessions.

Costs not included

  • Gratuities to staff and guides.
  • Extra activities not included.
  • Personal expenses.
  • Travel insurance.
  • Travel visas.
  • Alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.

Day 1

Meet and greet at O.R. Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, South Africa, by a C4 representative. From here you will be taken to your scheduled flight to Mashatu, Botswana for your 4 nights stay at Mashatu Lodge.

Day 5

Meet and greet at O.R. Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, South Africa, by a C4 representative. From here you will be taken to your scheduled flight to Mashatu, Botswana for your 4 nights stay at Mashatu Lodge.

Day 6

After breakfast you will walk back into the Airport for your scheduled flight to Tswalu for 3 nights stay.

Day 9

After your last game drive you will be transferred back to Tswalu Airstrip for you flight back to O.R. Tambo International Airport. This is the end of the safari.

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