Zululand South Africa 2022 Workshop Report

In May of 2022, I ran an all new workshop to an exclusive private game reserve in Zululand, South Africa (about three hours drive from Durban). The purpose of this workshop was to provide unique and unprecedented opportunities to photograph African wildlife from luxurious ground level photographic hides as well as to experience more traditional African game drive safaris. There are of course many locations throughout Africa that offer the opportunity to do daily game drives with luxurious accomodations, but to my knowledge there is currently only one location that offers overnight ground level hides of this calibre.

As a specialist polar photographer it might seem unusual be running workshops to Africa; but I have actually been running trips to Africa every other year (pre-covid) for some time. The wildlife and landscape (Namibia) opportunities in Africa are obviously very appealing – even to a Polar photographer! And there are surprisingly many similarities to the mono chromatic nature of the worlds polar regions and the deserts of Namibia for example. Likewise, photographing apex predators such as Lions requires a similar degree of caution to working with Polar Bears.

The main draw card of Zululand is the nine private photographic hides on the reserve, including two Bird Bath Hides or Reflection Hides as well as two overnight hides that are fully equipped with bathroom facilities, a kitchenette for meal preparation, and beds for sleeping and resting. These are the most advanced, comfortable, and sophisticated hides anywhere in the world. They facilitate photographic opportunities simply unavailable elsewhere. See video included below for a tour of one of the overnight hides.

During this workshop we divided our time between the private hides and more traditional African sunrise and sunset game drives. Some of these game drives included the opportunity to get out of the vehicle and walk with and photograph Cheetahs at ground level – an incredibly unique and special experience. The video included below shot from my iPhone from just a few feet away at ground level.

A typical day on this workshop began at 6am with either a private game drive or a personal drop off at one of the ‘day hides’ for a morning session of photography. A typical game drive or hide session is approximately three hours and usually concludes around 9am (depending on sightings). There was then a full ala’carte breakfast, followed by down time to download and review photographs. A light lunch was served at 1pm, and game drive or overnight / afternoon hide sessions began from 2pm. For those staying in the overnight hides, a full dinner was prepared along with drinks of choice for a night in the hide. For those returning to the main lodge we had a full catered three course meal in lodges fantastic dining facility.

The opportunities we experienced during this workshop were both unique and special and as a direct result of the success of the 2022 workshop I will be returning again in May of 2023 with a small group of photographers. This will be an intensive wildlife masterclass with unparalleled and unique photographic opportunities.  This will be a full camp take over meaning that there will be many more opportunities in the overnight photography hides than normal. There will also be ground-level walking with Cheetah photography as well as opportunities with all the big African five – Lions, Rhino, Cape Buffalo, elephants, and giraffes. There is also the chance for more elusive cats including Leopard and Serval.

This exclusive workshop is for a strictly limited number of just fourteen participants (nearly half the places already spoken for) plus a leader and is dedicated to photography of African wildlife at ground level. Although the camp can accommodate many more, we are limiting the number to just fourteen to ensure the best possible experience. Additionally, there will be extensive photographic tuition on how to get the best wildlife photographs including how to get the best photographic results at night from the overnight hides. There will also be multiple hide visits for everyone in the group without the usual restrictions as well as more opportunities for one-on-one tuition in the field.

As we are based in the one-game reserve for the duration of the workshop there are no restrictions on how much equipment you can bring – so bring what you need! If you are excited by the idea of photographing many of Africa’s incredible species at ground level from luxurious private hides then now is the time to register your interest. Places are extremely limited and once spoken for that’s it. Drop me an email for further information including a detailed PDF itinerary. To get an idea of the sort of photographs you can make on this masterclass be sure to check out the high resolution photographs in my South Africa Portfolio.

Finland Wild Wolves of the Taiga Forest 2022 Availability

There have been two places open up on my workshop to the far north of Finland this October to photograph the wild Wolves, Bears and Wolverines that inhabit the stunning Taiga forest in this northern region of Europe. If you are keen to photograph Wolves, Bears and Wolverine against a stunning forest backdrop then drop me an email for further information. Full details of this workshop, including a full PDF can also be downloaded from my website HERE. Be sure to check out the Finland Portfolio on my website to get an idea of the sort of photographs you can make on this workshop. This workshop is strictly limited to just six participants to ensure the best possible experience and photographic opportunities for everyone. To get an idea of what this workshop entails be sure to check out the 2021 Trip Report.

Greenland Winters Cusp 2022 and 2023 Expeditions SOLD OUT

Both my 2022 and 2023 Winter cusp photographic expeditions to the East Coast of Greenland are now sold out – thank you. To those of you joining me on these two expeditions, I am super excited to be returning to Greenland’s East Coast. It is, without doubt, the most spectacular landscape on the planet and at this time of year, we should have superb light and weather conditions to photograph the incredible icebergs that drift slowly through the fjords.

Bookings are now also open for my 2024 expedition to the spectacular Scoresby Sund fjord system on the east coast of Greenland. For 2024 I will be leading a ‘fly-in, sail-out expedition that will depart from Reykjavik via charter plane and land at Constable Point in Greenland. Flying to Greenland saves us two days sailing across the open ocean and means we have more time for exploration and photography.

The maximum number of participants on this expedition has been capped at just sixteen people (the ship can accommodate 32). By limiting the number of participants on the ship we ensure sufficient room for photography equipment, shooting positions, and zodiac photography for all participants without having to compromise. It also means private cabins without single supplement costs.

If you are excited by the idea of traveling to the remote East Coast of Greenland to photograph the incredible landscapes of this country with a small group of dedicated and passionate photographers now is the time to secure your place. Full details including dates, costs, and a detailed PDF itinerary can be downloaded from my website at www.jholko.com in the workshops tab, or drop me an email for more information.

Photograph of the Month June 2022 – Cape Buffalo

The photograph of the month for June 2022 comes from my recent Africa workshop (trip report coming next few days) and is of a Cape Buffalo at night. Photographed from one of the private overnight ground-level reflection hides on the game reserve around 1am in the morning. Although the scene is artificially lit by two floods, light levels are still extremely low and required a combination of high ISO (ISO 6400) and slow shutter speed (1/20th of a second – handheld). The reflection of the Cape Buffalo is obviously the star of the image, but what also appeals to me is the simplicity of the frame. This sort of clean background and reflection is only possible at night and is enabled solely by the cleverly designed hide.

Zululand 2023 Workshop – African Photography Like You Have Never Experienced

I am very excited to announce that in May of 2023, I will be returning to Zululand, Africa for an intensive wildlife masterclass with unparalleled and unique photographic opportunities. This masterclass will be based in a private game reserve in Zululand, South Africa (approximately three hours drive from Durban). Offering luxury accommodation alongside an astonishing array of wildlife photographic opportunities from some of the world’s most advanced and superbly equipped hides – see the video below. This is Africa as you have never experienced. There are currently nine photographic hides on the reserve, including two Bird Bath Hides or Reflection Hides as well as two overnight hides that are fully equipped with bathroom facilities, a kitchenette for meal preparation, and beds for sleeping and resting. These are the most advanced, comfortable, and sophisticated hides anywhere in the world. They facilitate photographic opportunities simply unavailable elsewhere.

This will be a full camp take over meaning that there will be many more opportunities in the overnight photography hides than normal. There will also be ground-level walking with Cheetah photography as well as opportunities with all the big African five – Lions, Rhino, Cape Buffalo, elephants, and giraffes.

This exclusive workshop is for a strictly limited number of just fourteen participants plus a leader and is dedicated to photography of African wildlife at ground level. Although the camp can accommodate many more, we are limiting the number to just fourteen to ensure the best possible experience. Additionally, there will be extensive photographic tuition on how to get the best wildlife photographs including how to get the best photographic results at night from the overnight hides.

This workshop is a full ‘takeover’ of the private game reserve which means you will have full access to the facilities on offer without having to share them with other groups. It also means multiple hide visits for everyone in the group without the usual restrictions as well as more opportunities for one-on-one tuition in the field.

As we are based in the one-game reserve for the duration of the workshop there are no restrictions on how much equipment you can bring – so bring what you need! If you are excited by the idea of photographing many of Africa’s incredible species at ground level from luxurious private hides then now is the time to register your interest. Places are extremely limited and once spoken for that’s it. Drop me an email for further information including a detailed PDF itinerary. Look for the 2022 Africa Trip Report in the coming days.