2017/11/02 to 2017/11/06

Mashatu Photo Workshop 2-6 Nov 2017


With the dry season starting to take effect, the colours of Mashatu have changed to red and yellow, interspersed with soft greens. Along the rivers however, it remains very green and it is not uncommon to find leopard reclining in one of the large Mashatu trees. Predator viewing is at its best now. Thee soft rays of the winter sun make lion,leopard and cheetah really glow. As usual, the cheetah are found on the open areas, allowing for easy, close up viewing. Water is starting to become a premium and it is not uncommon to find elephants digging in the river-beds for water, which lies just below the surface. At the waterholes, doves and guinea fowl come down each day to drink.jpgs attracts birds of prey and gabar goshawk (also melanistic) and tawny eagles are commonly seen. With the birth of giraffe in May, there are always a few deaths- this always attracts black backed jackal, spotted hyaena, white backed vulture, lappet-faced vulture and even cape vultures. The water bath in camp is a hive of birding activity and offers probably the most comfortable bird photography ever from the lounge, 3m away!

Please have a look under the the Flights tab for information on how to get to Mashatu and the transfers C4 can arrange for you.


This workshop is designed to get photographers into the best areas to 'get the shots'. Here is where you take your wildlife photography from 'good' to 'great'. By learning the tips, techniques and methods of taking great wildlife images with professional photographers, you will gain great insight and knowledge while improving your wildlife photography.

On these workshops guests will have access to the photo hides.



12 people. 6 photographers. If more than 6 photographers, bookings will close. Minimum of 3 photographers required for workshop to run.


Have images taken during the weekend critiqued by professional photographers.


All levels - group sizes are small enough for individual attention.


Digital SLR's. Have at least a 200mm lens. Laptop if you have one.


Mashatu Game reserve, Botswana (Passports Required).

Not included

Transport to Pontdrift border post.


About your host, Shem Compion

Shem Compion is the founder and owner of C4 Photo Safaris. He uses his intricate knowledge of travel in Africa, its wildlife and fantastic photographic locations to give you the best photographic tour experience you will ever have. Shem grew up roaming the wilds and this interest in Nature led to him studying a National Diploma in Nature conservation and Wildlife Management.

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About your host, Isak Pretorius

Isak was born to be a photographer, but before he discovered this, he became an engineer. Once he picked up a camera, his engineering career came to an end and Isak has now established himself as one of the top bird photographers in Africa. The benefit of his engineering training is his flawless technical knowledge of camera systems and the post processing software that accompanies them.

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Day 1

Arrival at Midday.

Your professional photographer and host will open proceedings with short talk on what we can expect over weekend. Drive 1 is about enjoying and relaxing.  Drive 2 is used to take photos 'as you are used to', so that it sets the benchmark to measure the images taken at the end of the weekend against. Before Dinner, the guide will give a short presentation showing a variety of images and how, by using specific aspects, you can alter and change an image dramatically.



Day 2

05h30 Early morning Game drive/Photo Hide
10h00 Brunch
Presentation on light and composition with regards to wildlife photography. Technical discussion on how to maximise   your use of light with regards exposures.
13h00 Rest and own time
15h30 High Tea
16h00 Game drive/Photo Hide
20h00 Dinner in the outdoor boma and then retire to bed for another day of more great photography!


Over the next few days the daily activity will be the same as day 2



Topics to be covered while on safari:

  • Presentations on light, composition.
  • Tutorials on advanced photo techniques.
  • Use of Lenses for various effects.
  • Post processing your images in Lightroom or Photoshop.
  • Cataloguing images.
  • Review selected images. These will be used for discussion, critique and learning purposes.
  • Flash use and advanced flash use.

Highlights to and what to photograph:

  • Close quarter photography of Predators such as lion, cheetah and leopard.
  • Excellent, open sightings and photography of very relaxed elephants.
  • Dry riverbeds breaking up the landscape. Elephants and other animals are often found drinking in these riverbeds.
  • General game is relaxed and easy to photograph.
  • Beautiful plains areas interspersed with rocky kopjes.
  • A marsh area, when wet attracts all manner of waterfowl.
  • Beautiful sandstone rock formations on the Limpopo River - excellent for landscapes.
  • Archaeological ruins in the Limpopo valley- part of the Mapungubwe society.
  • Rhodess baobab perched precariously on the edge of a rocky hill.
  • Viewing is generally open and clear- allowing for easier photography.
  • Large Baobabs and Mashatu trees dominate the skyline- providing excellent photographic subjects.

Mashatu Tented Camp

Without stealing away any luxuries, accommodation is in a tented camp situated in the northern reaches of the reserve. Twin luxury safari tents offer you a luxurious rest in bush surrounds. Each tent has two large single beds, an en-suite bathroom with flushing W.C and its own private veranda to relax on. Breakfast and lunch are served in a main dining area whilst dinner is served in an out door boma overlooking an adjacent waterhole. There is a central lounge area to relax in, a plunge pool and a bar. A hide overlooks the waterhole next to the camp.


R20†650.00 per person sharing

R23†500.00 per single supplement

40% Deposit confirms your place.
All prices are VAT inclusive.

Please note: These rates are for African residents only. International clients are welcome on the SADC safaris. The rates for international clients are USD $2300 sharing and USD $2900 single for 2017. Please feel free to contact us for any additional information.


Aimed at beginner/intermediate as well as advanced photographers, this workshop brings like-minded people together to enjoy nature and learn more about improving their photography.

On all our tours and workshops we may ask participants to rotate seats in the vehicles, taking it in turn to sit in the more popular seats in the front and the less popular ones in the rear. The requirement applies to everyone. If there is some reason why you can't take your turn in the back of a vehicle (e.g. a bad back or travel sickness) please inform our office at the time of booking to see if we can accommodate you. We regret that anyone failing to inform us of such limitations before the tour will be expected to rotate seats in the same way as everyone else.


The above costs include

  • Entrance and accommodation (2 persons per tent) to all reserves.
  • Game activities.
  • The services of our guides.
  • Hide sessions.
  • All meals.

The above costs don't include

  • Gratuities to staff and guides.
  • Extra activities not included.
  • Personal expenses.
  • Travel insurance.
  • Travel visas.
  • Transport to Mashatu.
  • Non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks.

Day 1

Park vehicles at secure area at border. A Ranger will meet you there and transfer you to camp. Arrival time 13h00.

Day 5

Depart 11h00 on last day.


How to get to Mashatu:

1.         Self-drive and rental car

You have the option to rent a car from various rental car companies. You can then drive yourself to the Pont Drift Border post. Directions to the Border post will be sent to you. The drive is approximately 6 hours. 

2.         Road transfer which C4 can arrange

C4 Photo Safaris can make arrangements for you to be transferred from O.R. Tambo International Airport to Pont Drift Border post. The road transfer is approx. 6 hours.

3a.       Flight details which C4 can arrange

If you prefer to fly, we can make arrangements for a flight transfer from O.R. Tambo International Airport to the Limpopo Valley Airfield on Mashatu:

  • The service will facilitate guests’ transit through the international terminal at OR Tambo.
  • Meeting time at OR Tambo is 10:45am, and guests will arrive back from Mashatu’s Limpopo Valley Airfield at OR Tambo between 14:30 and 15:30.
  • The flights are non-stop into Limpopo Valley Airfield, which is on Mashatu Game Reserve.
  • Sunday and Thursday flights are subject to a 2-passenger minimum, and flights operating on any other days are subject to a 4-passenger minimum.
  • Guests clear customs and immigration into Botswana at Limpopo Valley Airfield on Mashatu.
  • A late morning departure from OR Tambo to Limpopo Valley Airfield and an early afternoon departure from Limpopo Valley Airfield to OR Tambo will enable guests to co-ordinate most connections with international and domestic flights.
  • The flight takes approximately 60 minutes one way.

  • All flights are in a pressurized turbo-prop aircraft.
  • On completing Botswana immigration formalities clients will be transported via a transport vehicle for up to 60 minutes to respective camps. Please note that this transfer is done in an open safari vehicle.

3b.       Scheduled flights and road transfers option

There are also DAILY flights between O.R. Tambo International Airport (Johannesburg) and Polokwane Airport (approx. 1 hour) and the option of a road transfer from Polokwane to the Pont Drift Border post (approx. 2 hours). 


If you would like to make use of any of the road or flight transfer options, please contact us and we can build it onto your workshop.


On arrival at the Pont Drift border post

  • We will all meet 12h30 to go through the border.
  • Cars will be parked in the secure parking lot between the two border posts.
  • A Mashatu ranger will meet us at the parking and transfer us to camp.
  • If there is water in the river we will cross with the cable car. Cost is 50 pula one-way and will be added to your bill at Mashatu.
  • If the river is dry we will drive through.
  • From there it is a 60 min drive to the camp.

Thank you for your Testimonial, it's much appreciated!


"Having been fortunate enough to have visited Mashatu on several occasions over the last ten years it was fascinating to experience it from a new angle, in particular hide photography. The intimacy with the animals added a new perspective to photography. When you add to this the expertise and enthusiasm of Isak and Kyle there are insufficient superlatives to describe the workshop. I have already booked my next one! Thanks must go also to all the Mashatu Lodge staff. Our ranger Dan Sasebola after 28 years on Mashatu demonstrated his knowledge of birds, animals and the bush in general with feeling. I cannot recommend the experience too highly, the photography opportunities and tuition were first class, thanks to you all!"

Sue Goodman
14 July 2016

Awesome Experience @ Mashatu

"This was my first photo safari and I must say, I have throughly enjoyed myself! Isak and Kyle were most helpful and obliging. They shared very generously on photography tips and often make the effort to check that we are doing fine. It was such a wonderful experience having them with us on safaris and getting us into the best position for pictures. So much that I missed having them terribly on the vehicle during my extension stay. The review sessions on our pictures were also very fruitful and provided many insights on what makes a desirable photograph. The safaris were awesome. There were many big cat sightings and the rangers here are knowledgeable and are very good trackers. You get to spend plenty of time watching and observing the animals. This serves very well when you are trying different approaches to composing your pictures and capturing action scenes. The hides also offer very impressive views and photographic opportunities. I would highly recommend anyone to join the Safari @ Mashatu. Its definitely a worthwhile experience!"

Serene Chew
23 June 2016

Absolutely brilliant

"Mashatu with C4 has been on my bucket list for quite awhile and finally in June I had the opportunity to do a 4 day workshop with Isak and Andre. My expectations were more than met. The whole experience was brilliant and one that has once again been placed on the bucket list as a revisit is a definite. Out driver Jakes was a magician at the wheel and also in predicting animal behavior. We had so many magical sightings and the photo opportunities were fantastic. And Mashatu itself is just a dream. Awesome luxury tented accommodation and delicious food. This workshop should be on everyones bucket list. Amazing!"

Carol Darby
16 June 2016

Awesome Mashatu

"I had heard about Mashatu from a friend and when I discovered that C4 did a workshop there it quickly hit my bucket list of places to visit. And last month that wish became a reality. What a fantastic 4 plus days. Kyle and Andre were awesome photo guides and the tips we received were so helpful in getting great wildlife images. The Mashatu guides were brilliant and were second to none at locating wildlife and getting us into the best position for the wildlife interaction and best light. It was so great I hope to repeat the experience. Thank you everyone."

Carol Darby
16 June 2016

Fantastic Mashatu

"Isak and Kyle was wonderful with lots of patience. Wonderful tips given to all of us. What a wonderful place Mashatu is. Thanks again to the staff- drivers, spotters etc and specially to Isak and Kyle for a wonderful time we had."

Sue Anton van Langelaar
07 June 2016

Mashatu Magic

"Kyle and Trevor have endless experience which they apply to all the unique situations which arise during a Photographic Workshop, from making students aware of changing lighting conditions, teaching us to think ahead to plan for the best possible shot, ensuring that the theory and the practical come together in many ah ha moments, and added to this just being fun and engaging to be with. A magical time in a magical place with the added benefit of concrete photographic learning having taken place. Thank you and baie gracias. "

Yvonne Smuts
06 May 2016


"This has to rate as one of the most exceptional experiences of my life. Mashatu offers the photographer absolutely everything in the way of wildlife - from the herds of elephants and other game, to the magnificent landscapes and the evening skies. Thank you to Kyle de Nobrega and Trevor Kleyn for their unending patience, talent and passion for what they do. I came home having learnt so much about my camera, first and foremost, to lighting, position and angle to get just the best shot. I will certainly be back for more of the same stuff!"

Glynnis Wood
04 May 2016


"My main purpose for visiting Mashatu was to visit the under ground hides. We were royally entertained by two groups of elephants and numerous birds. I got my images from there that I wanted. The trips on the vehicle was also very enjoyable and seeing leopard every day was special. The lodge and staff at Mashatu tented camp was, as expected, exemplary. Oh and how can I forget, Trevor, from C4 Photo Safaris, was a fantastic host. Hint to other prospective travellers to Mashatu, ask Trevor to make coffee. Only reason is that the animals come out of the bush when he does. Cannot wait for my next trip to Mashatu!!!"

Francois Venter
12 April 2016

Mashatu workshop

"We were beginner photographers and after four days left feeling we we could go and do it all. There is still a lot to learn , but thanks to Andre and Kyle we have a good understanding of the principles of good photography. You are passionate about photography , sharing your knowledge in a patient and effective way Thank you very much."

Andries and Yvonne Ferreira
19 March 2016


"We can only be grateful that guys like Shem and Kyle are willing to offer time to spend with us novices. Their knowledge made this an exceptional experience. Their patience made us feel special. Exceeded all our expectations. THANKS"

Leo and Alta van Vuuren
19 November 2015

Elephant Hide - Mashatu

"We have once again made use of the Elephant hide. This time we had a few guests with us. Needless to say they loved the experience. I would like to compliment Kyle for his patience, knowledge and excellent service. He really was an ambassador for C4 and photographic guides as a whole! 1010! He pointed out shots to the people. Helped with not only DSLR cameraís but even Sony video cameras and iPhone time lapses! Thanks very much for the excellent service! "

Andrew and Lucy Stephens
17 October 2015


"Well well well, what an experience. To summarise into a few paragraphs I cannot do, Iíll simply have to tell all over and over again in person. Everything went really well, many of the attendees went from never using a SLR before to manual mode in the first 3/4 days. The mini classroom sessions held during the break time in the middle of the day were very popular and fit in nicely in those downtime periods. Their thirst to learn was as strong as their eagerness to get back into the car for the next game session. A measure of a successful event is the staging of a dozen or more people together who donít know each other and by the end of the trip are exchanging email, phone numbers and Facebook requests. A bond has been formed and life long friendships have sparked. From my eyes its great to see such a well oiled operation, I wouldnít change a thing and I congratulate you & C4 on an impeccable offering. Although I work with Jay often and he does a great job here at home, it was great to see him in his natural environment, he really shines in Africa. I learnt quite a few new things and got to spend some quality time with the new 5DS which is an absolute gem of a camera. Although we do experience events weekly its rare we do more than a week with a single group and the value is exponential. I believe this trip if proof of itís merits and gives me the confidence to inform Steve/Canon that a highly professional, enjoyable and valuable adventure was had by all. Mashatu is so very special, I want to take my wife and kids to show them first hand myself (just got to wait for the kids to grow up a little). The whole camp, the people, the tents even has a vibe of being very homely. The hot water bottles for example is a simple touch that brings so much happiness to an already amped up & excited photographer. I understand why you choose Mashatu as a regular rotation for Iconic Images adventures, its simple African heaven. Ngala was also very good, I felt it was important to see two different game reserves and having been now I appreciate this even more. The wildlife at the two locations were quite different along with the altitude and topography which gave me a sense of a far more rounded Africa. Ngala has a lot of luxuries even the fussiest traveller would appreciate and I would love to return there also. I would highly recommend both game reserves without a doubt and I thank you for going the extra mile with the last minute change to Ngala to ensure our journey was tailored to be the best it could. In other good news, Iíve already had some discussions about the 2016 photo safari to Namibia with a few interested parties and I believe I have 4 people whoíd be likely to confirm and pay deposits when the safari goes live. Iíll let Jay know a bit of background on the interested parties, all proficient photographers and local Brisbane collective members whom just want to jump in and grab a piece of the action we experienced this year. I had a flutter of private Facebook messages after posting an album and some stories on Sunday evening. I plan on holding a collective member night called ďA night in AfricaĒ wi