Madikwe Game Reserve offers a wealth of opportunity for professional and amateur photographers alike. Here’s a look at what you can expect.
From big cats to wild dogs, and from tiny dung beetles to mighty bull elephants, Madikwe Game Reserve is a nature photographer’s dreamland. The reserve has it all: vast African landscapes, panoramic hilltop views, close-up animal encounters… All you need is the right lens and the right eye.
Photographic safaris present guests to Madikwe Game Reserve with a rare unique opportunity to discover those perspectives with the help of expert guides. Some safari lodges offer guests the option of hiring DSLR cameras and lenses on-site, while some field guides have been trained to drive specifically with photographers’ requirements in mind, positioning the vehicle for the perfect shot. A few are also able to offer photographic tuition, if needed.
While safari game drives offer the best opportunities to photograph Madikwe Game Reserve’s animals in their natural habitat, the reserve’s lodges have their own vantage points as well.
Many safari lodges have underground hides, usually located at their waterholes, which enable photographers to safely get within touching distance of a variety of animals. These comfortable hides are set at ground level, giving you a low-angle view of the animals bending down to drink. Hides are typically open all night and throughout the day. Some safari lodges allow you to sleep in the hides overnight, giving you all-hours access to more reclusive animals who prefer to take their drinks when the rest of the reserve is asleep.
From a photographer’s point of view, the perfect safari is one that balances patient observation with a sharp eye for drama. Often, that means waiting – and knowing where to wait. Your Madikwe Game Reserve safari lodge will typically provide a trained field guide, who’ll know where the best locations are and how to predict the behaviour of the animals.
Some safari lodges also offer customised safari game drive vehicles, which have been equipped specially for photography with swivel chairs, gimbals, camera mountings and removable roofs.
Safari game drives in Madikwe Game Reserve typically happen in the early mornings and late afternoons. This increases the chances of seeing animals out and about, as they prefer the cooler temperatures; and it also means that you’re out in the wilds during “Golden Hour”, when the light is best for photography. It’s then, when the golden light illuminates the reserve, that you’re able to capture the warmth of the African landscape in all its glory. Sweeping plains, pronking impala, laughing hyenas, lounging lions, marching elephants… They’re all out there, waiting to pose for you and your camera.
Madikwe Game Reserve safari lodges that offer on-site hides: