As an avid amateur photographer since my childhood, going on a photo safari in Africa had long been one of my dreams. In early 2014 I saw a promotion in my newspaper’s travel section for a special photo safari in August to Tanda Tula and Mashatu led by Denis Glennon (Iconic Images) and Shem Compion (C4 Photo Safaris).
It happens that I had a previous professional relationship with Denis when we both worked in a national Australian practice specialising in healthcare projects and environmental consulting.
What I read really attracted me to this particular tour - the track records of both Denis and Shem as wildlife photographers and mentors, the limited numbers of participants and their low ratio to the leaders, the possibility of encountering the rare white lions of Tanda Tula, and the unique opportunity to photograph from the in-ground hide by the waterhole at Mashatu.
In doing my research, I read the many glowing references on the Iconic Images website, but for me seeing the Vimeo movie footage shot from the Mashatu hide was the absolute clincher.
I signed up with great anticipation and proceeded to prepare using all the guidance offered by the tour leaders. That photo safari was for me one of my life highlights, both photographically and experientially.
Every day we encountered a wide range of animals in all sorts of situations. The trackers and guides were excellent and knowledgeable, and Denis and Shem were brilliant mentors who generously shared their expertise.
The photos I captured are amongst my most treasured, and I was so impressed by that experience that I signed up with Denis and Shem (plus the legendary Art Wolfe) to go on their photo safari to Kenya and Tanzania the following year.
I certainly intend to get back to Mashatu one day to experience its wonder again.
Photos and text by Joe Lewit
Follow the link to his Flickr account: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jozioau/albums
Why not join us on our popular Photo Mashatu Workshops in 2021.