Mashatu Green Season 2019


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. It’s no coincidence that many award-winning photos of elephants have been taken from Mashatu.  General game and predators are also abundant in this semi-arid region providing diverse photographic opportunities. This workshop is an introduction to wildlife photography which 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.


There is a little secret about Mashatu that not many people know: It looks it’s finest during the quietest tourist season; the month of January.  The beginning of the year is when zebras give birth to the new generation, and Kudu start calving, the migration of large elephant herds into the area can be seen taking advantage of the new vegetation. Cheetahs normally make their appearance, drawn to the area by concentrations of impala moving from the woodlands into the open plains. The impala are lured out by the tender new grass shoots, which cover the plains in delicate shades of green, especially to the north and east of the Majale River. Expect verdant scenes of elephants walking through the grassy valleys, lion leopard and cheetah in green backdrops and water in the rivers for elephants top play in during the hot hours.

While many people come to Mashatu during the dry season to enjoy the predator action, it is the green and rainy season that the reserve looks immaculate- a vibrant and lush green that makes for beautiful backdrops in your images. The conditions in February are also similar to those in January with Kudus continuing to calve and there is also a good chance of seeing late impala fawns, tottering along on spindly, wobbly legs behind their mothers. 



  • 3 nights accommodation at Mashatu Tent camp.
  • January/February has on average only 4 days of rain, mostly being passing thunderstorms.
  • Clouds in the sky make for lovely skies and excellent landscapes.
  • Exclusive use of a private vehicle with 6 clients on it.
  • 1 x C4 Photo Safaris specialist photo guide to accompany and guide you.
  • The opportunity to spend long amounts of time with predators and elephants in beautiful green surrounds - making for lovely green backdrops to your photos.
  • Use of the Hides while at Mashatu.


Photography Highlights

  • Close quarter photography of Predators such as lion, cheetah and leopard.
  • Excellent, open sightings and photography of very relaxed elephants.
  • 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.

Day 1

Arrival at Midday.

You will arrive at Mashatu at midday. Your professional photographer and host will open proceedings with a short talk on what we can expect over this workshop. You will be staying at Mashatu Tented Camp for 3 nights.

Drive 1 is about enjoying and relaxing. This drive 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 photo 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 and 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 for discussion, critique and learning purposes.

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.

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.


R15 000.00 price per sharing person

R0.00 price per single person

40% deposit confirms your booking. Balance payable 8 week before tour start date.

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

  • Transfers to and from the Border post.
  • Accommodation.
  • All meals.
  • Game activities.
  • The services of our guide, Trevor Kleyn
  • 1 x private vehicle with 6 clients on it.

The above costs don't include

  • Gratuities to staff and guides.
  • Non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks.
  • Extra activities not included.
  • Personal expenses.
  • Travel insurance.
  • Travel visas.
  • Transport to the Pont Drift border post. A return road/flight transfer from Johannesburg can be arranged.
  • New Conservation Levy at Mashatu Game Reserve explained below.

New Conservation Levy at Mashatu Game Reserve

Most areas in Africa, which are earmarked for the conservation of wildlife and natural environment, are realising the increasing necessity for ecological preservation and support of the communities who live on the periphery of these areas. In addition to the major contribution, which the custodians of these sanctuaries make, they garner additional support from guests who enjoy these areas. This is done by way of charging the guests a daily levy, which is earmarked for conservation, anti-poaching and the communities.

With effect from the 1st of January 2019, all reservations at Mashatu, irrespective of the nature, will attract a conservation levy of $10 per person per night. This conservation levy will be included in all reservation pro-forma invoices for settlement prior to arrival at the respective camps within the reserve. For standing reservations made post the 1st of January 2019, these will be amended to include the levy.

Day 1

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

Day 4

Road transfer at 10h00 to border post on last morning.


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.

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