leopard at hide
leopard in hide

A special moment on a photography course

After many hours spent down in the hide, it was only a matter of time until I saw my first leopard come down for a visit. Nothing in this world could have prepared me for a sighting like this.

Before the guests arrived at the hide this morning I was setting everything up and out the corner of my eye I saw a flock of guinea fowl alarm and scurry off, only to look up at… a young male leopard staring straight at me 10m away from the hide just as the sun was peeking through the tree line. I slowly crept back to reach my camera and was totally surprised to see that instead of running off, he moved even closer!

He proceeded to drink right in front of me barely leaving any space at 80mm to take the shots. He then decided the hide was far too interesting to not investigate and came and stuck his head inside for a better look. After what felt like a few minutes of investigating he walked off into the forest surrounding the back of the hide.

I followed him on foot briefly as he was totally relaxed with me being around and got back into my vehicle and spent the next half an hour with him in the most magical of light.

Truly the best and most magical experience I have had in the bush thus far.

To include this experience in your Botswana safari holiday

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Holidays that include this experience:


There are different ways to get the most out of your photography – going on a specialist photographic mobile safari, going to a lodge with resident photographers, or booking a day or more’s tuition from a photographer at whatever camp you’re staying at. This means that in essence you can get help to perfect your photography anywhere throughout Botswana.


You can learn to get great shots at any time of year. The green season has brighter colours and more dramatic, clearer skies. The dry season tends to be quite dusty, but this can be very atmospheric.

Options for photographic tuition in Botswana

Mashatu Main Camp or Tented Camp: Mashatu can offer photographic tuition from a few hours to a couple of days. They have some excellent hides so this makes for a great way to capture some superb shots, as well as time in a safari vehicle.



By Kyle de Nobrega is a professional guide and wildlife photographer working at Mashatu Game Reserve.