Zimanga Photo Safari 18-21 June

22nd July 2015
I had visited Zimanga about 9 months ago in 2014 when the first 2 bird bath hides had just been completed and I fell in Love with the hides and the small bird photographic opportunities that are on offer at Zimanga and I was really looking forward to hosting this trip with 3 South African photographers and some more hide photography.

Zimanga currently has 3 completed hides with more currently been built, 2 of the hides are the bird bath or reflection hides called Bhejan and Nkombe respectively, the latest addition in the Lagoon hide, all 3 hides are superb and offer great bird photographic opportunities.

Our first afternoon at Zimanga we spent in the lagoon hide, it was a beautiful afternoon with wonderful afternoon light, the lagoon hide provided us with great photographic opportunities of a nice variety of birds, Grey and Goliath Herons, a Africa fish eagle, Hammerkop, African Jacana, Pied Kingfishers and a Blacksmith Lapwing as well as a Monitor Lizard that walked past the front of the hide, we watched as the Goliath Heron caught and proceeded to swallow a large Tilapia, the great low angle that the hide provides enabled us all to get great images of the birds.

The following morning we went to the Mkhombe hide, this is the morning light hide and we spent about 4 hours in the hide photographing the variety of birds that came to drink and to bath in the water, later on in the morning a Brownhooded kingfisher came to bath as well and although we tried to photograph it as it plunged in the water we just couldn’t predict his path and all we managed to get was blurry water splashes.

That Afternoon we went of a game drive and we spent some time with the Resident Cheetah, some Rhino and a nervous buffalo before a sundowner drink on the crest of a hill with a beautiful lone Acacia tree that we used to practice some landscape photography on.

The following morning we went in search of the Wild dogs that are denning on Zimanga, unfortunately we could not find the dogs even after extensively searching for them so instead we found the Cheetah again and got some lovely images of him as he dozed in the morning sunshine.

That Afternoon we went to the Bhejane Hide to hopefully see and photograph the Pink Throated Twinspot, once again the afternoon light was great and the female Twinspot arrived for a drink but unfortunately the male did not. The rest of the afternoon we photographed the variety of birds coming to drink and bath, we tried some slow shutter speeds on the bathing birds that sometimes worked out OK and other times not so good !

The next morning was our last at Zimanga and we again went to the Mkhombe hide to photograph the variety of birds that came to drink and bath, the time had flown past too quickly and it was time to head home with our memory cards full with birds of all sizes and descriptions photographed from Zimangas magnificent hides.


Photo comment By Barbara Krause: Andrew,another great read,such beautiful photos,just love them...Was the little one in sprinkles of water a Blue Waxbill..Zimanga sounds such a wonderful place,especially with the bird hides...Lovely Rhino b/w,and of course the beautiful Cheetah..Truly brilliant images of the Goliath Heron,thank you yet again for sharing the beauty of Africa. Regards Barbara.
Photo comment By maureen Hofer: exquisite photography. Thes beautiful birds come alive
Photo comment By Graham Turner: Having seen what is available here I am very excited and looking forward to my visit in May
Photo comment By Graham Turner: I am greatly looking forward to our visit in May, the pictures that Andrew has stirred my appetite, it looks amazing

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