Overnight Hides

Zimanga Private Reserve, South Africa

A session in one of the overnight hides means you have the afternoon with sunset, the entire night, and sunrise with a morning session. The hides have all the comforts of home with bunks, a kitchen, and bathroom. Subtle lights on the waterhole gives enough light for nighttime photography.

Sitting inside the hide at just above water level gives you a perfect seat to watch the parade of animals from late afternoon to past dawn. Some nights are busier than other and you never know what you will see. The ability to be that close to the animals without disturbing them is a wonderful experience. Below are just a few of the images taken first during daylight hours, and then during the night.

There’s something about Zebras that I find hard to resist and the late afternoon light was just right to photograph these. The four little Warthogs lined up perfectly for their picture, and I always enjoy getting a glimpse of the shy and cautious Jackal.

(Click on an image to enlarge)

A small herd of Wildebeests (aka Gnus) stopped by for a drink allowing me some very closeup shots of an adult and calf. Being this close to a Rhinosorous is pretty impressive. We are about 12 feet away in the hide.

And, of course, there are a number of birds that come to the waterhole as well. A Scrub Robin, a Laughing Dove, and the ever-present Glossy Starlings are shown here.

Cape Buffalo are frequent visitors to the waterholes both day and night. Several groups came by during our time in the hide allowing me to have some fun with closeup shots.

Nyala are very shy antelope usually running off before you can photograph them. Waterholes and hides are a great way to get shots of this handsome animal. The first image is of a male and the second a young calf.

There is nothing quite like having an elephant or a Rhino appear a few feet in front of you!

When cats show up at the waterhole it’s always a special treat. We had a couple of visits from the elusive Serval Cat. The lion was also a wonderful sighting; however, he did stick around and scare off the other animals for the rest of the night.

The last image might be one you see in your dreams tonight. He was very impressive closeup!

Hope you’ve enjoyed seeing these. I still have a few more images from South Africa to share. Don’t forget to sign up at the top of the page to be notified by email when I post more images. Thanks for letting me share my photographic adventures with you! Cher

This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. Great shots capturing the wonderful wild life!

    1. Thanks so much! I appreciate you commenting. 🙂

  2. Very fine work. Very sharp for night shots and love the backgrounds.

    1. Thank you, Ed! The way the night hides are set up really facilitates getting sharp images.

  3. What an amazing experience you had! These photos are exquisitely beautiful. In many, it seems as if you are seeing into the very soul of the animals. I appreciate your descriptions of the context and identification of each animal, including information about their characteristics. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thank you, Sandy. And, thank you so much for the feedback. It helps me in planning future posts. 🙂

  4. a special treat to see these. has to be so exhilarating- scary,fun,in awe. i truly
    enjoy all that you do, and know how talented you are.

    thanks again

    1. You are so kind! I truly appreciate your comments. 🙂

  5. Wow! These images are magnificent! What a wonderful adventure! I think these are some of my favorite images I’ve ever seen of Africa! Thanks for sharing!

    1. What a wonderful compliment, Elaine! Thank you so much.

  6. I love seeing the photos you took from the hides. I was there last September and did not see the elephants, zebras or lions. We did catch a leopard and the servile cat. We were photo-bombed by the buffalo and rhinos. It’s a very special place to see the animals up close. Thanks for giving me incentive to go back and look! Awesome images!!!

    1. Thanks so much, Nona! I would have loved to see the leopard there. We got lots of buffalos and rhinos, too. This was my second trip to Zimanga. It just keeps getting better and better. Definitely worth going back to. We’re in the process of planning next year’s visit. 🙂

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