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Zimanga and MalaMala Photo Safari - July 2026

July 11th - 25th, 2026
Zimanga and MalaMala Photo Safari - July 2026
South Africa &
Sold Out

OVERVIEW

Embark on a 15-day photo safari, featuring two distinct experiences. The adventure commences with nine days at Zimanga, where wildlife photography unfolds amidst dedicated photo hides and regular game drives. The remaining five days offer authentic wildlife game drives in the renowned MalaMala Game Reserve, promising a diverse array of photographic opportunities.

Upon arrival at Johannesburg's airport, our meet-and-greet service guides you to an airport hotel, where you join Stu and the rest of the group.

After breakfast, a domestic flight to Durban's King Shaka Airport precedes a transfer to Zimanga. The subsequent nine days blend game drives and visits to Zimanga's renowned photographic hides. To optimize the experience, the group divides, ensuring a maximum of three participants for each activity.

The Zimanga segment concludes with a road transfer back to Durban, where the entire group spends a final night together in a comfortable hotel near the beach in Ballito.

The next morning, the group flies back to Johannesburg. The three participants who started at MalaMala first then connect with their international flights home.

Your adventure will continue with a domestic flight from Johannesburg to Skukuza, followed by a 45-minute road transfer to MalaMala Main Camp.

MalaMala, with its unfenced boundary adjoining Kruger National Park, offers an intimate photographic encounter in the pristine South African wilderness. Off-road driving privileges allow close proximity to the "Big 5" and other remarkable species. The Sand River, a highlight, attracts animals during the mild winter, providing prime opportunities to capture resident lions and leopards.

Accommodated in well-appointed rooms overlooking the Sand River, you'll be one of three photographers in a private vehicle led by Stu and a seasoned MalaMala ranger. Four nights at MalaMala Main Camp allow ample time to explore, observe resident animals, and adapt the itinerary based on daily photographic pursuits.

After the MalaMala leg, a domestic flight returns the group to Johannesburg in the afternoon, allowing ample time to connect with your international flight home.

ZIMANGA PRIVATE GAME RESERVE

Nestled in the heart of KwaZulu-Natal, Zimanga stands out as a pioneering reserve in Africa, tailored explicitly for wildlife photographers at every skill level. It beckons individuals seeking a profound connection with the bush and an exclusive, unhurried adventure.

Encompassing nearly 70 square kilometers (27 square miles) of unspoiled Zululand bushveld, adorned with picturesque fever tree forests and rolling hills, Zimanga is intersected by the Mkuze River, a sanctuary for a splendid array of animals and birds, including lion, elephant, leopard, and cheetah.

This rich ecosystem presents exceptional opportunities for capturing breathtaking wildlife photographs.

The Zimanga experience is meticulously curated, offering not just traditional safari game drives but also intimate encounters from a selection of specially designed photographic hides.

This unique combination has been designed to satisfy the aspirations of wildlife photographers, creating an immersive and enriching journey that authentically captures the essence of the wilderness.

THE ZIMANGA PHOTO HIDES

Zimanga currently boasts nine photographic hides, each presenting unique perspectives and opportunities. Notably, the Mkhombe and Bhejane hides, named after the isiZulu words for white and black rhinos respectively, serve as the Bird Bath or Reflection Hides, ideal for capturing exquisite small bird photography.

The larger Lagoon hide specializes in waterbirds and crocodiles.

For large mammal photography, the Umgodi and Tamboti Overnight Hides stand out as the only hides custom-designed to accommodate such subjects.

The bee-eater hide, a mobile unit strategically positioned near white-fronted bee-eater nesting sites, consistently delivers stunning results for these vibrantly colored birds.

Scavengers Hill offers an immersive experience akin to being in a wildlife documentary, while the Forest and Tower Hides were purposefully constructed to explore and capture the diverse avian life inhabiting the Fever Tree forest.

Each hide provides a distinctive setting, encouraging experimentation and innovation in wildlife photography.

MALA MALA PRIVATE GAME RESERVE

MalaMala Game Reserve stands as one of South Africa's oldest and largest private game reserves, renowned worldwide for its consistent Big Five game viewing—Lion, Leopard, Rhino, Buffalo, and Elephant.

Encompassing an expansive 13,200 hectares (33,000 acres), the reserve features a distinctive attribute—an unfenced boundary stretching 19 kilometers (12 miles) in harmony with the Kruger National Park.

The main element of MalaMala's allure is its 20 kilometers (13 miles) of Sand River frontage. This perennial river acts as a natural magnet, attracting wildlife to this pristine area and laying the groundwork for MalaMala's unparalleled game viewing and wildlife encounters.

Particularly captivating in the dry winter months, the river becomes a focal point, orchestrating the movement of wildlife from the Kruger National Park through MalaMala, fostering dynamic two-way traffic across the reserve.

The recently renovated accommodations radiate luxury, complemented by the warm hospitality of the staff. Culinary delights abound with exceptional dining experiences, and the wildlife sightings are nothing short of extraordinary.

DETAILS

This photo safari will be led by Stu Porter, offering tailored photographic guidance.

The tour is designed to provide comprehensive photographic instruction, particularly aimed at beginners, while also embracing an informal and flexible approach suitable for intermediate and advanced photographers. Participants are encouraged to engage comfortably at their preferred level.

We make use of professional guides with expertise in locating wildlife and adept skills in positioning the safari vehicle for optimal photography. This ensures an outstanding experience, facilitating the capture of the finest possible photographs.

Along with an impressive portfolio of birds, you will also have an excellent chance to see and photograph the following:

Lion, Leopard, African Wild Dog, Cheetah, Elephant, Cape Buffalo, White Rhino, Hippo, Spotted Hyaena, Jackal, Crocodile, Giraffe, Waterbuck, Greater Kudu, Bushbuck, Nyala, Zebra, Wildebeest, Chacma Baboon, Vervet Monkey, & Warthog.

DAY 1

Arrive at O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa. Overnight.

Your safari commences with a meet-and-greet at the airport, followed by an escort to an airport hotel conveniently located within walking distance of the arrivals hall.

Stu and the other members of the group will gather to welcome you for dinner at the hotel.

You will stay for 1 night in Johannesburg at CITY LODGE O.R. TAMBO

(Dinner, Bed & Breakfast)

DAY 2

Fly from Johannesburg (JNB) to Durban (DUR). Road transfer to Zimanga

Following breakfast, fly on a domestic flight to Durban's King Shaka Airport.

Upon arrival, our group will be greeted at the airport, and a road transfer will take us to Zimanga in time for lunch.

You will stay for 8 nights at ZIMANGA in luxury en-suite rooms.

(All meals included)
(Local drinks included)
(All laundry included)

DAY 3

Whilst at Zimanga, the group will be split into two groups of three. Each group will get to do the same activities. These will be a mix of game drives in an open safari vehicle as well as visits to the famous hides of Zimanga.

Morning and afternoon activities based on a roster designed by the rangers at Zimanga.

(All meals included)
(Local drinks included)
(All laundry included)

DAY 4

Photographic activities at Zimanga

Morning and afternoon activities based on a roster designed by the rangers at Zimanga.

(All meals included)
(Local drinks included)
(All laundry included)

DAY 5

Photographic activities at Zimanga

Morning and afternoon activities based on a roster designed by the rangers at Zimanga.

(All meals included)
(Local drinks included)
(All laundry included)

DAY 6

Photographic activities at Zimanga

Morning and afternoon activities based on a roster designed by the rangers at Zimanga.

(All meals included)
(Local drinks included)
(All laundry included)

DAY 7

Photographic activities at Zimanga

Morning and afternoon activities based on a roster designed by the rangers at Zimanga.

(All meals included)
(Local drinks included)
(All laundry included)

DAY 8

Photographic activities at Zimanga

Morning and afternoon activities based on a roster designed by the rangers at Zimanga.

(All meals included)
(Local drinks included)
(All laundry included)

DAY 9

Photographic activities at Zimanga

Morning and afternoon activities based on a roster designed by the rangers at Zimanga.

(All meals included)
(Local drinks included)
(All laundry included)

DAY 10

Final morning activity at Zimanga then road transfer back to Durban for an overnight stay in a hotel.

Each group will enjoy their final activity at Zimanga, after which we will check out and drive back to Durban for an overnight stay.

(All meals included)
(Local drinks included)

DAY 11

Depart for the airport after breakfast and fly back to Johannesburg, and then on to MalaMala

Following a delightful last breakfast together, we will collectively fly back to Johannesburg, where we will then connect with another domestic flight to Skukuza.

The three members of the group who initiated the journey with the MalaMala section will proceed to connect with their international flights home.

Upon our arrival at Skukuza Airport, our group will be met and embark on a 45-minute road transfer to MalaMala Main Camp.

You will stay for 4 nights at MALAMALA MAIN CAMP in a luxury en-suite room.

(All meals included)
(Local drinks included)
(All laundry included)

DAY 12

Morning, afternoon & evening photo game drives in MalaMala Private Game Reserve

Enjoy relaxed and flexible photography.

DAY 13

Morning, afternoon & evening photo game drives in MalaMala Private Game Reserve

Enjoy relaxed and flexible photography.

DAY 14

Morning, afternoon & evening photo game drives in MalaMala Private Game Reserve

Enjoy relaxed and flexible photography.

DAY 15

Final morning game drive at MalaMala, then fly back to Johannesburg, and connect with your international flight home.

Following the last morning photo session, we will complete the check-out process, transfer back to Skukuza, and then fly back to Johannesburg.

Ample time will be available to connect with evening international departures.

STEP 1 - PLEASE READ OUR BOOKING TERMS & CONDITIONS

We first recommend that you read and become familiar with our booking terms & conditions, which can be found on this page, under the PRICES box.

STEP 2 - GET IN TOUCH

Get in touch with us to confirm that there are still spaces available on the photo safari that you are interested in. Click on the “ENQUIRE NOW” button above.

STEP 3 - AWAIT A REPLY FROM US & THEN CREATE YOUR CLIENT ACCOUNT

Once we confirm with you that there is space available, and you would like to join the safari, we will send you a direct link via email. Follow this unique link to sign up to our CLIENT AREA. After you have registered with your name, email address and a password of your choice, you will then be asked to complete our online booking form.

STEP 4 - COMPLETE A BOOKING FORM

As soon as we receive your completed booking form/s (1 per participant) then you will be required to send us the deposit to secure your place on the safari.

STEP 5 - SEND YOUR DEPOSIT

Deposits can be paid via credit card, PayPal or international bank transfer. We will notify you as soon as your deposit arrives. Places on the safari will only be confirmed once we have received both a completed booking form and deposit payment.

STEP 6 - FINAL BALANCE PAYMENT

As soon as your booking form and deposit are with us, we will update your CLIENT AREA to display the outstanding balance amount. This amount will be due 90 days before the start date of the safari.