Shem Compion – founder of C4 Images & Safaris – visited MalaMala earlier this month take photos of the lodge for its Head Office in Johannesburg. No visit to the reserve is complete without a meander through the bush, and Shem made sure to indulge his passion for wildlife photography by sneaking off for a couple of game drives.
“I hadn’t been to MalaMala for three years, because my work as a professional photographer has had me travelling far and wide. In the last few years I’ve visited Kenya, Botswana, Namibia, Madagascar and even Japan. In many ways I’ve neglected South Africa, holding to the misguided notion that places outside our borders are more exotic.
Well, was I in for a surprise when I recently spent two nights at MalaMala. Being a self-confessed ‘bush person’, I managed to sneak out for a couple of drives. And what a good call that was. I was astounded at how well the camp operates. The level of the rangers’ knowledge and the excellent game viewing are top notch. In two drives we had lions mating, lion cubs playing in a tree and two different leopards, which we saw at various times of the day. That’s over and above the Big 5 and excellent bird sightings we enjoyed.
The photo opportunities were mind boggling to say the least, and for me this was the real highlight at all these sightings. As a photographer this is a very important aspect.
Until now I have always run my photographic safaris at Mashatu – MalaMala’s sister reserve, but since visiting MalaMala I have now added it as a destination for next year. It offers the best rangers on an extraordinarily large property, the best operations and vehicles, and some intimate and very sumptuous game viewing.
MalaMala might not be able to compete with the Masai Mara or Serengeti when it comes to numbers seen and experienced, but where it wins hands down is the intimacy of the sightings. Nothing in Africa can beat this, and its for precisely this reason that I plan to return with my clients.”
C4 Images and Safaris is the inspiration of wildlife photographers André Cloete and Shem Compion. With their inherent love of nature and travel, starting the company was an obvious next step for Shem and Andre. Their goal is to take their clients to the best wildlife locations with the best photo guides, and since 2004 that is exactly what they’ve been doing. Visit Shem’s Facebook page to see more photos from this talented photographer.