This one-of-a-kind workshop has been specifically designed around leopards and the green season. You will be taken to the home of the leopard, Londolozi Private Game Reserve in South Africa. Londolozi is where leopard filming first began and it is still the home of Africa’s most enigmatic and striking predator, the leopard.
Almost all other big cat photo safaris run during the South African winter months from (June-Sep). At this time the bush is dry and brown. This unique workshop however, runs at the end of the South African summer, when the bush is lush and green. A leopard surrounded by greenery is quite possible the most beautiful animal in the world! This workshop will see you building a beautiful and unique leopard portfolio that will really stand out from the crowd.
Londolozi has been chosen very carefully as they have expert trackers who are able to track leopards. This is especially important in our summer months (Nov-March) when the bush is lush and green. For this safari we have secured the best ranger and tracker team at Londolozi and both are from the Shangaan tribe.
Londolozi has a photography studio and you will be taught how to edit photographs for print as this is an art form in and of itself. You will then print a canvas photograph from one of your own images taken on the workshop, which you will take home as a gift, all included in the cost.
Only 3 photographers on this workshop means that this is a highly exclusive workshop, and one that is very different to others because it has been purposely timed to coincide with the green season of Africa. This is a time of plenty, a time of spectacular storms and light, a time when the bush bursts forth and all forms of life emerge.
For those of you wanting to extend your safari I highly recommend adding on a few extra nights at Mala Mala Game Reserve, which is right next-door. By combining Londolozi and Mala Mala it is not uncommon to see a dozen different leopards. You can also extend to Botswana’s Mashatu Game Reserve and to include an extension, simply enquire about it when filling out the contact form at the bottom of this page.
Keep reading for full itinerary details and a portfolio of photographic possibilities on this workshop.
This 6 day (5 nights) South Africa green season photo workshop is a highly exclusive product, designed especially with photographers in mind, and aimed at getting you an exceptional and unique leopard portfolio by the end of it.
2020: 14 – 19 Feb FULLY BOOKED!
2021: 14 – 19 March Space for only 3 available
2022: 11 – 16 March Space for only 3 available
2023: 10 – 15 March Space for only 3 available
Waiting lists are open for all the above departures, please fill out the contact form at the end of this page to be added.
This tour can also be booked on a private basis in which case it will be re-costed based on the number of participants.
Cost includes all accommodation; meals; laundry; drinks (excluding premium brands and selected wines); park fees; internal flights; meet and greet service with transfers; private safari drives with exclusive vehicle use; photographic tuition and the guiding services of professional and African wildlife photographer Greg du Toit.
Not included in the cost are visas; purchases of a personal nature; staff gratuities; personal travel and medical insurance; your international flights.
40% deposit confirms your booking. Only spaces available for a total of 3 photographers on this exclusive workshop and only one departure per year. The above cost only applies if the workshop is fully booked with 3 participants.
From Johannesburg International Airport it is a short 10 minute drive to a small private airport terminal and your transfer is prearranged. Unlike other small airports in Africa, this one is pleasant and luxurious. With no long lines, you will soon be seated in a comfortable air conditioned lounge with snacks and coffee on offer. An additional luggage allowance means you do not need to worry about gear.
A 1 hour flight on a light aircraft will see you land at Londolozi, the home of the leopard. This dedicated airstrip is only five minutes from camp and you will have time to settle in and enjoy a delicious lunch. The food at Londolozi is so good that they have even published their own cookbook!
After lunch we will get our cameras and lenses ready for the first safari drive. I will go through a few key checks with you so that you are ready to capture award-winning imagery from the very first drive. On this workshop we cater for all types of photographers, from the very beginner to the very advanced and skilled.
Your first safari drive will not be a mere introduction as the photography will start in earnest and will only end in the dark, when we pull out the spotlights and continue photographing.
Your day will end around a fire and with an incredibly delicious buffet. For the health conscious there is a divine salad bar at Londolozi with their own ‘sexy Londolozi salad dressing‘ and lots of fresh seafood. For the carnivores among you, Londolozi sources its meat from the finest butcheries in South Africa and we do meat very well. In fact it is said we do meat better than almost anyone except for the Argentinians.
Your night will end with you returning to your air-conditioned and very comfortable room. The rooms have full power so charging is not an issue at all and neither are other luxuries like hairdryers (not that I use one).
These 4 full, long and beautiful summer days will be spent indulging in wildlife photography at Londolozi. This is one of the original pioneering private game reserves of the eco-tourism industry in South Africa, and is an unashamedly family run and stand alone operation. The root of the word Londolozi is a Zulu word meaning ‘protector of all living things’, an ambitious conservation ethic that Londolozi embraces in its sensitivity to the natural world. The reserve is internationally recognised for its far-sighted and progressive management of land and wildlife rehabilitation as well as productive community involvement. We will be staying in Varty Camp which is the original safari camp of Londolozi, steeped in history and with an exceptional safari culture.
World renowned as one of Africas finest game lodges, Londolozi was the first game reserve in the world to be awarded Relais & Chateaux status, reinforcing its commitment to luxurious accommodation, fine cuisine and exceptional service. Londolozi was recognized as the #1 Hotel in the World with the Conde Nast Traveler 2014 Readers Choice Award. To wet your appetite some more, Londolozi run a very active blog here.
Our days begin early with a 5 am wake up call where tea and coffee will be brought to your room. At 5h30 am we head out into the wilderness that is Londolozi. Some days we will head south to the large open plains that are the preferred habitat of the cheetah and rhino. Other days we will cross the river and head into the north where beautiful ‘koppies‘ (rocky outcrops) are home to some of the finest leopard viewing in all of Africa (read more about the leopards here). We will hardly see any other cars as we track down Africa’s big game.
Londolozi is a private game reserve within the Greater Kruger National Park. Not only are there no fences but this is one of the largest ecosystems in Africa, bigger even than the Serengeti National Park, and in which we have our own private concession. The animals we will track are wild – no bait, collars or tracking devices are used. This is the real deal and you will photograph numerous leopards in their wild habitat.
Having been born in South Africa and having visited this region my entire life, I have very carefully selected Londolozi to host this workshop. Not only has Londolozi done more in terms of catering for photographers than other lodges but their land lies at the heart of a highly productive game viewing area. We are right in the middle of numerous leopard and lion territories and this is one of the best places in Africa to see and photograph Africa’s Big 5, and all the other general game, including the exciting possibility of seeing Cape Hunting Dog. We have maximum freedom and exclusivity, making this a sublime workshop that will see you go home with full memory cards and memories to treasure for life.
We will have breakfast sent out to us each morning as we are here to photograph! When the the sun is too harsh we will head back to camp and enjoy a leisurely lunch and choice South African wine (but not too much as VR and IS only work up to a point).
We will then have the workshop component of the safari where we will meet for bush school. I have a number of relevant lessons on wildlife photography, which I will share with you. You will be able to ask me any questions that you might have and my tuition will be personally tailored for you. What makes this workshop unique is that we will actually prepare one of your images for print and Londolozi will print a large fine art print which you will take home. This workshop will therefore encompass all aspects of nature photography from capturing the image in the camera through to editing and printing. Of course attending bush school is not compulsory for those wanting to enjoy the swimming pool or a massage (not given by me but by the camp spa!)
After a cup of tea, coffee or cappuccino and some delicious cake, we head out on the afternoon drive at 4 pm. It is Summer time here in Africa and the afternoons are long which means that the light just gets better and better. We will again track down leopards and search for cubs, continuing into the night using a spotlight and our flashes. Low-light photography is my specialty and I look forward to helping you photograph predators, owls and chameleons at night.
We will arrive back in time for a delicious dinner around the campfire followed by nightcaps for those who still have energy to reminisce about the day. After turning in, the good news is that we wake the next day only to do it all again. With the long summer days it means that although this workshop is 5 nights long, you will get 6 days worth of photography out of it.
After one last safari drive, you (and your fine art print) will take a 1 hour flight back to Johannesburg for your onward travel home. For those of you not wanting to head home there are a number of exciting options to extend your stay in Africa. Mala Mala is just next-door where more leopards await. If you wanting to extend even further, a wonderful option would be to add Mashatu Game Reserve to your itinerary where the green season can result in a spectacular bloom of yellow flowers. Another option is to do an urban photo safari in Cape Town as March is the best month weather wise. Penguins and mountain vistas await. These private extensions are handled on a per request basis and should you wish to extend, please mention it in the contact form at the bottom of this page.
– Although you sign up for this workshop to build a phenomenal leopard portfolio, being in a comfortable lodge does not hurt, right? Londolozi offers fine hospitality and scrumptious cuisine with luxurious air conditioned rooms.
– Vehicles are an incredibly important part of any photo safari and Londolozi have extremely comfortable vehicles with soft suspension and no roof or poles to get in the way. With only 3 photographers on this exclusive workshop, you will be able to shoot out the left and the right of the safari truck.
– The vehicles at Londolozi have custom-built beanbag platforms allowing for easy and effective camera support (so no clumsy monopods).
– Londolozi have their own tracking school and with our own dedicated tracker we will track down and photograph Africa’s shyest big cat, the leopard. Tracking leopards is more than a skill, it’s an art form, making this an authentic safari experience.
– Although the focus of this workshop is on leopards, Londolozi is a Big 5 safari destination with the possibility of seeing cheetah and Cape Hunting Dog plus rhino, elephant, buffalo and lion, not to mention Africa’s other iconic animals like warthog, hippopotamus, giraffe and zebra.
– This is a highly exclusive workshop and as such, you do not want lots of cars at animal sightings. At Londolozi you will seldom see other vehicles as sightings are limited to only 3 vehicles per sighting and animals are treated with the utmost respect.
– I have spent the last 10 years documenting the African leopard. This has resulted in published portfolios in both the BBC Wildlife and Geo magazines. On this workshop I will share with you my recipe for photographing predators in low-light.
– You will benefit from having a professional wildlife photographer on-board for every safari drive whereby I will not only help with camera settings and recommendations, but with the positioning the vehicle too; to take advantage of the light and unique animal behaviour.
– The time of year has been carefully chosen for this workshop so as to visit Londolozi at the end of the South African summer. Almost all safaris to Africa run in our winter months and this results in almost all leopard photographs looking similar. For this workshop we have chosen a time of year when there are dramatic storm skies and beautiful green backgrounds. The air is clean and the light is crisp. There might be thunder showers, although it is the very end of the rain season and this should not hinder our photography. It will actually aid it as the lighting in and around these afternoon storms is simply sublime.
– This workshop affords you the opportunity to photograph leopards, Africa’s most beautiful cat, and not only this, but to also capture them in the most stunning green sub-tropical habitat.
– This workshop does not just encompass photographing in the field and once back in camp you will be taught how to select an image to edit. Knowing which image to edit is the first step in producing award-winning imagery.
– Learning how to edit a file so that it is print ready is an art form in and of itself. On this photo workshop we will not only prepare an image for print but Londolozi will actually print one of your own photographs, which you will take home.
– If you have not visited Africa in the Summer months, then you are in for a treat as the bush is simply bursting forth with life. The migrant birds are all here, butterflies and dung beetles are the order of the day, as are wild flowers. Bring your wide-angle lenses and macro lenses along too.
– Although the chief objective of this workshop is leopards, we have a full 5 nights and plenty of time to capture the full diversity of life. There are no long distances to cover at Londolozi as the camp is situated in the heart of the reserve, which means that you have lots of opportunity to enjoy your photography. The Summer days are long which means more time in the field and more photo opportunities!
– For those of you wanting to extend your stay Mala Mala is right next-door and Mashatu Game Reserve in Botswana is only 2 hours away. Why not make this a green season extravaganza and extend your safari by filling out a form at the bottom of this page.