Photography 101!

Photograpy Nambiti Hills 2
Whether it’s with a tiny lens on your phone or the fanciest, most expensive equipment around – we’ve all captured a magical moment on camera. In my books, that makes you a photographer. But my question to you is… do you want to be a better one?

So many times I overhear guests saying that they wish they could take better pictures. And let’s be honest, most of us are using our cameras with the bare minimum of knowledge, just pointing and shooting – hoping for something worth sharing! Which is exactly why I’ve decided to make it my mission to teach you a few tricks of the photographic trade with helpful hints and tips on capturing the perfect Safari moment.

So let’s get started with the very basics.

There are so many products out there that offer top of the range quality, but a lot of them come at a top cost too. Which is fine, if you know what you’re buying. Be sure to spend some time doing research online and in the camera stores, chat to professionals, read photography blogs and rent equipment. Yes, you read right… rent! There are actually a lot of places that rent out camera gear which is great if you’re just starting out and want to discover which brand or model or size is right for you.

Once you’ve decided on your camera equipment, make sure you get a nice bag to keep it all well protected from the dust, bumps and weather while out on game drives. Keep a spare memory card in the bag. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you can snap up hundreds of photos, and you don’t want to have to sit and delete pictures the moment Nambiti Hills Phantom Leopard pops his head around a rock.

A helpful tip that I’ve learnt from constantly being out in the open – I always carry a soft pen brush in my camera bag to clean my lenses and avoid any unsightly dust spots from appearing on my images.

Lastly, service your camera every few months if you’re shooting a lot. Just as you would with your car, you need to look after your camera equipment, and it will last.

There’s so much to talk about when it comes to photography, and I’m really passionate about trying to get a better shot each time I’m out there. So I can’t wait to share all the things I’ve learnt with you here on the blog.

So keep snapping those magical moments, and send them our way. Who knows, next time, it might be your share-worthy pictures being featured here on the blog.

Until then,

Pics featured in this blog were taken with a Canon 100 – 400mm f45./5.6 which offers such a great range, and the results really make you feel like you’re up close and personal with your subject.
photograpy Nambiti Hills 3

Photograpy Nambiti Hills

Sharing the magic of Nambiti Hills

The magic of Nambiti Hills
September is Tourism Month in South Africa, and there’s no better time to focus on the positive feedback that we get from guests who have spent some time with us here at the lodge. We recently received a letter from Sarah Jennings. Here’s what she had to say:

“My husband and I needed a break from our busy lives. A friend suggested that we look at a Big 5 experience and relayed their story of Nambiti Hills. After visiting the website, I knew that’s where we needed to go. So I booked online and before we knew it, we were packing our bags and heading for Ladysmith.

Not more than 4 hours later and we were on our first safari, with giraffe on the left, impala on the right… and this was just the drive from the parking lot to the lodge. At the lodge, high tea with the most beautiful views set the tone for the weekend. By late afternoon we headed out on a game drive with Big 5 sightings and stargazing from an old homestead, built back in 1847. All in all; great company, delicious wine, award-winning food and the best setting we could have hoped for.

The highlight of the trip was morning spoils at Zolile Spa, a surprise from my husband. We had the most wonderful couple’s massage overlooking the open-plan reserve that left us feeling revived and relaxed. On the way back home, we began planning our next trip back to Nambiti Hills.”

Thank you for sharing your experience with us, Sarah.You’re always welcome at Nambiti Hills.

Until next time,

An Ode to the Vulture


Let’s be honest, there aren’t very many people who will openly admit to liking a hyena. And regrettably, the same can be said for the Vulture. But, in honour of International Vulture Day – yes, such a day exists and it takes place on the first Saturday of September every year to publicise the conservation of vultures – it seems only fair that I be the voice to our balding feathered friends. Believe it or not, they deserve our praise.

I bet you didn’t know that vultures fulfil a vital function in our ecosystem, cleaning up dead animal carcasses. These flying scavengers help to prevent the spread of diseases by disposing of rotting remains. They’re built for the job too, with a bare head and neck to keep them clean and ensure that bacteria-laden remains don’t fester in their feathers and spread diseases.

So when we’re on a game drive and everyone is looking down at the ground for lion tracks, or into the nearest bush for signs of a rustle – I’m looking up. Because high up in the skies, floating on air currents and getting ready for a meal, are the hyenas of the sky; a tell-tale sign that a kill has taken place, and assurance that Mother Nature and her systems are all in place.

Which is why it scares me when I hear that the conservation of the Vulture is becoming increasingly more concerning as many species are nearing extinction.

At Nambiti Hills, we commonly see the White-backed Vulture, the Cape Vulture and less commonly the Lappet faced Vulture. And it’s a sight that I’d like to keep seeing. Join us this month, as we go in search of and pay tribute to the serious looking, but seriously important Vulture.

See you soon.

A Picture Speaks a Thousand Words

We’ve had the most awe-inspiring month here at Nambiti Hills – filled with incredible sightings, passionate guests, enthusiastic tours and some photo opportunities to really knock your khaki socks off. If you didn’t get a chance to escape to the magic of Nambiti Hills this month, not to worry, there’s always next month – when we welcome the fresh rains of springtime and all the beautiful changes that come with the season.

Until then, here are some of our favourite pictures from a great month at Nambiti Hills.

Elephants at Nambiti Hills
Both playful and clumsy, this picture captures the essence of elephant youth so beautifully.

Spider at Nambiti Hills
It’s not just about the Big 5.
At Nambiti Hills we stop to smell the roses, examine the dung and discover all the resilient little creatures along the way.

Lioness at Nambiti Hills
There’s a quiet sadness that exists in her eyes, and it makes her all the more beautiful.

Hyenas at Nambiti Hills
Never trusted, always close; the hyenas wait around for the perfect opportunity to steal a kill.

Lioness Paw at Nambiti Hills
A bittersweet moment, as a pack of lion takes down their prey.

Buffalo at Nambiti Hills
The perfect time of day, the perfect docile Buffalo… the perfect shot!

The Beauty of our View

Landscape 6 Nambiti Hills
I am sitting quietly, with camera in hand, waiting patiently for the perfect photograph. Hopefully a lion will hunt down a zebra right in front of me, or a crowned eagle will sweep in and pick up its unsuspecting prey.

Landscape 2 Nambiti Hills
But then I have a closer look, and I see a lone acacia tree silhouetted by the sun. I see a quiet herd of Wildebeest backed by a golden sunset. And I realise, that without even noticing it, the perfect moments are all around me.

Landscape 3 Nambiti Hills
From dusk ‘til dawn, we are spoilt with the panoramic views, moody skies and blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moments.
And while they say a picture speaks a thousand words, I battle to find those words. There is something special about being there in the moment, snapping the shot and then taking a mental picture too, because you know that no matter how beautiful the image comes out, there’s nothing quite like the real thing.

Landscape 7 Nambiti Hills
So please join us, and bring your camera with, as mother nature shows off in all her glory.

Until then,