NWS RAW - Tailor-made

Beyond the Obvious in Botswana

For safari-goers who have already seen the vast floodplains of the Okavango Delta, this NWS RAW safari takes you off the beaten track in Botswana to the country’s remote Mashatu Game Reserve, offering you exclusive use of photographic hides, specially designed vehicles and expert tutors to help you achieve the perfect wildlife shot.

Duration 7 days
Price From $6,500
When Mar - Nov
Destination Botswana

Safari Overview

When talking about Botswana safaris, the Okavango Delta often receives most of the attention, but far to the southeast lies a reserve that offers something unique to the more intrepid traveller. Mashatu’s vast open spaces, incredible vistas, breathtaking night skies and prolific wildlife make it a photographer’s paradise, and there are plenty of amenities available for guests to make best use of the natural wonders on offer here. Subjects include lions, leopards, cheetahs, wild dogs and spotted hyenas; zebra, giraffe, ostrich and plains antelope; and the largest population of elephants on private land in the entirety of Africa, over 1,000 individuals strong.

What makes this trip extraordinary

  • Spend a week exploring the biodiverse Mashatu Game Reserve, home to an array of breathtaking landscapes as well as over 350 species of bird, 50 species of mammal and reptile and over 150 species of tree.
  • Enjoy three days’ exclusive use of the PhotoMashatu vehicle, designed especially for wildlife photographers.
  • Exclusive use of photographic hides.
  • Expert tutoring from the reserve’s resident wildlife photographer.
  • Canon 7D body rental and lens hire included.

This safari is perfect for the wildlife photographer who wants to hone their craft and go beyond the ordinary.

Ask us a question about this trip

What is NWS RAW?

Remote. Authentic. Wild.

The latest addition to our NWS Select service, NWS RAW safaris take you outside of the norm, revealing a different side to oft-visited countries. These pioneering expeditions are designed for the seasoned traveller who yearns for new experiences, who favours discovery over tourist traps, and who is willing to go the extra mile in order to truly explore and understand their next destination. NWS RAW is for the intrepid, the boundary-pushers, and those for whom travel is more than just a holiday.

Discover our NWS RAW safaris

Day by day

Day 1

Johannesburg - Mashatu Game Reserve

After arriving into Johannesburg, you’ll then depart on your scheduled light aircraft flight to Mashatu Airstrip. Mashatu Game Reserve is situated at Botswana’s easternmost point, on the borders with Zimbabwe and South Africa and at the confluence of the Limpopo and Shashe Rivers. Wild and remote, the reserve’s 29,000 hectares are composed of an exceptionally diverse collection of landscapes, including plains, grasslands, marshlands, forests, rocky hills and sandstone ridges. There are also eight perennial and non-perennial rivers on the property. With over 350 bird species, a healthy big cat population and the most relaxed elephant population in all of Africa, Mashatu is known for having one of the highest “hit rates” for wildlife photographers on the continent. After arriving at your tented camp, take the rest of the day to settle in, absorb the ambience and prepare for the beginning of your safari tomorrow morning.

Overnight: Mashatu Tented Camp L, D

Day 2

Mashatu Game Reserve

Today you’ll embark on two game drives through the reserve, and visit the waterhole where Mashatu’s management have built an exclusive photographic hide for the use of dedicated wildlife photographers. Before heading into the waterside Matebole Hide tomorrow, you’ll now have the opportunity to scope out potential locations, angles and lighting, and formulate a plan on how best to use the site to achieve the best photographic results. You’ll also be able to learn from Mashatu’s resident wildlife photographer, with tutoring sessions back at camp allowing you to discuss techniques, settings and positionings ready for your session in the hide.

Overnight: Mashatu Tented Camp B, L, D

Day 3

Mashatu Game Reserve

Your session in the hide will take place in the morning, so make sure to reach the waterhole early to take advantage of the light conditions. Sunk into the ground right next to the water, you’ll be granted some unique angles of the approaching wildlife. This is prime elephant habitat, but there are plenty of other species that approach to take a drink, including kudu, impala, baboons and even big cats. After your session has ended, you’ll have time to return to camp for lunch and further tutoring, before setting off on a shared afternoon game drive.

Overnight: Mashatu Tented Camp B, L, D

Days 4-6

Mashatu Game Reserve

Over the next three days you’ll be able to enjoy exclusive use of the PhotoMashatu vehicle, a fully customised 4x4 designed to help wildlife photographers achieve the perfect shot. Sliding 270° gimble heads and beanbag arches provide excellent support and manoeuvrability for your camera, while the cushioned dustproof and waterproof storage compartments will keep your equipment in pristine condition. A specialised photographic guide will accompany you on your journey through the reserve in the PhotoMashatu vehicle. Keep your lens poised for storks, herons and other waterbirds flocking to drying pools filled with fish; lions, leopards, giraffes, ostriches and elands moving across open plains; and herds of elephants framed against huge baobab trees. You’ll also be able to enjoy one exclusive afternoon session using the Matebole Hide and a mobile hide, as well as daily tutoring back at camp.

Overnight: Mashatu Tented Camp B, L, D

Day 7

Depart Mashatu Game Reserve

Your time at Mashatu is now at an end, but you will no doubt leave laden with your own personal collection of unique images to remember your time by. Remember to return your rented photographic equipment (if you didn't bring your own) before heading to the airstrip to catch your outward flight.

Trip Details

About Tailor-made Safaris

A tailor-made safari is one designed according to your specific requirements, including budget, dates, personal interests, the number of people travelling, and more. This itinerary is just an example and can be refined and altered to make it perfect for you.

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Your Next Steps

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