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9 Day Big Cat Photographic Safari in Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve, South Africa

Vuyatela Lodge, Sabie Park, 1260, South Africa

Big Cat Safari in South Africa

The Big Cat Photo Safari became one of the most popular photographic safaris in Southern Africa. Hosted in the world-renowned Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve, the high density and frequent sightings of lions and leopards allows you countless photographic opportunities. If you are lucky, you could see big cats on every single drive.

Key information

  • Maximum group size: 12 persons
  • Children policy: Children from 12 years old are allowed to join this safari
  • Starting point and ending point: Hoedspruit, Limpopo
  • Afrikaans, English speaking guide

Meet the guides

Joshua, Michael, Villiers, & 1 More…
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  • 16 game drives
  • Explore Sabi Sands Game Reserve
  • Get to visit Djuma Private Game Reserve
  • Chance to photograph lions, leopards, and cheetah
  • Transport in an open-air land cruiser
  • Daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • 8 nights accommodation
  • Airport transfers


9 activity days in English
The organizer also speaks: Afrikaans
Group size: Maximum of 12 participants
Airport transfer included: Air Force Base Hoedspruit
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Check-in Time:
Check-out Time:

You will be staying for eight nights at Vuyatela Lodge. The lodge is equipped with free-standing rooms, an outdoor shower, king size beds, and a brilliant view over the waterhole. The sprawling, colorful lines of Vuyatela create the perfect combination with the wild African landscape it wraps around.

Funky, fusion décor embraces the new African luxury in an eclectic mix of environmentally complimentary design. Each of the opulent suites reflects local South African architecture without compromising on the sumptuousness that distinguishes Vuyatela’s unique identity.

Each of the five suites at Vuyatela are designed in the traditional African kaya-style. A private lounge is separated from the bedroom by an expansive teak deck. Glass doors open the indulgent bedroom to the view from the deck and the pristine African savanna.

Four-poster king size beds dominate the airy bedrooms, while spa baths and outdoor showers complete the ultimate indulgence. Each chalet has its own open deck where, if you’re lucky, you might catch a leopard stealing a drink of water.

  • Accommodation level: Mid-range


Day 1: Arrival

Meet at Hoedspruit Eastgate Airport. Guests arrive at Hoedspruit/Eastgate Airport, and will be transferred to the lodge within the Sabi Sand Wildtuin. Photographic safari guests will have exclusive use of the lodge, which allows for flexibility of meal times, and time spent at sightings.

Djuma Private Game Reserve enjoys a wealth of diverse wildlife, treating guests to some of the best game viewing opportunities in Africa. The team at Djuma are long-serving, and dedicated to providing friendly and professional service.

Guest will receive a briefing on arrival at the lodge in the late afternoon. The briefing will assist both guides and guests to meet expectations, and explain how the game drives are run. There are 2 vehicles, with up to 6 guests per vehicle, so that everyone gets a ‘window seat’.

The 2 vehicles also allows the professionals to put the less experienced photographers together, On each drive, the guests will rotate to different seats, allowing everyone to get a new perspective, from either the front of the back of the vehicle. The photographers also rotate vehicles (group number dependent), allowing guests the opportunity to gain experience from both professionals.

Guests will head out on game drive on an open safari vehicle in search of big cats and the other animals that call Sabi Sand home. A stop for sundowners is included, if sightings allow. Return from the game drive for dinner which is a superb fine-dining experience. Overnight at Djuma Private Game Reserve (Vuyatela). Dinner, lunch, breakfast, and activities.

Days 2 to 8: Sabi Sand Game Reserve

Guests are woken up early, and coffee is provided on the deck before heading out on the morning game drive. Guests are able to spend as much time on a sighting as they like, as the drives are not set to a strict schedule. The photographic guide is able to help the game ranger position the vehicle in such a way so that guests can get the best photo possible. A coffee stop in the bush breaks up the morning.

Guests return to the lodge for breakfast. They will then have the opportunity to interact with their photographic guides for a training group session (1-2 hours), which includes assistance from the basics up to post-processing techniques. Guests will also have the opportunity for one-on-one sessions if required.

Guests will have the opportunity to visit the SafariLive headquarters during their stay. This includes a tour of the Final Control room, meeting the presenters and crew, as well as watching the countdown to the live drive and photo opportunities with the presenters.

After a light lunch, guests board their open safari vehicles for the late afternoon/evening game drive. Both vehicles have two-way radios so that they can communicate between them. This also allows the vehicles to help each other by providing backlighting for each other when on the same sighting after sunset. Return to the lodge for dinner. Overnight at Djuma Private Game Reserve (Vuyatela). Dinner, lunch, breakfast, and activities

Day 9: Departure

Guests are woken up early, and coffee is provided on the deck before heading out on the morning game drive for their last opportunity to photograph the wildlife of Sabi Sand. They return to camp for breakfast, before checking out and connecting with their transfer back to Hoedspruit Eastgate Airport.

Guests may select one of the four complimentary online photography courses to apply their newly acquired knowledge at Djuma, or to learn a new skill at their own leisure.


Joshua McPhail

Michael Dippenaar

Villiers Steyn

Lance van de Vyver


This safari will take you to Djuma Private Game Reserve in South Africa. Djuma Private Game Reserve is an oasis of luxury in the wilds of the Sabi Sand Game Reserve. Situated in the heart of the South African bush, Djuma immerses its guests in a pure safari experience. Djuma’s emotive surroundings and attention to detail will create an unforgettable experience of Africa.

The Team at Djuma offer the right balance of service and hospitality, while at the same time creating an ambiance of “home from home”. The dedicated Djuma Family has been together for many years and has a passion for what they do. Charming hospitality and a genuine love and passion for the Djuma makes this an unforgettable experience.

The reserve is named after the Shangaan word meaning “roar of the lion” - just one of the Big Five you will find on the reserve's doorstep. Djuma Private Game Reserve forms part of the privatized Sabi Sand Game Reserve, bordering on the famous Kruger National Park. There are no dividing fences between Djuma, Sabi Sand and the great transfrontier national park, blending Djuma’s own 7000 hectares into a magnificent ecosystem that wraps around the eastern corner of South Africa.

The reserve enjoys a wealth of diverse wildlife in their natural and undisturbed surroundings. Visitors at Djuma are treated to some of the best game-viewing opportunities Africa has to offer, without compromising on luxury, and relaxation. Best of all, Djuma offers a team of long serving and dedicated staff that have made it famous for its friendly and professional service.



  • Gym
  • Swimming
  • Swimming pool (outdoor)


  • Air-conditioned rooms
  • Bar
  • In-room safe
  • Special menu request


  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Hair dryer
  • Internet access
  • Laundry
  • Library
  • Mosquito net
  • Tour assistance
  • Wireless internet


You are served three daily meals every day as well as tea, coffee, hot chocolate, fruit juice, and water. The trip can cater to specific dietary requirements. Alcohol and soft drinks sold separately.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Coffee
  • Detox juices
  • Soda
  • Tea
  • Water

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan
  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

What's included

  • Twice daily game drives
  • Services of specialist photography guides
  • 8 nights accommodation
  • Transfers from Air Force Base Hoedspruit (HDS)
  • Daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • Tea, coffee, hot chocolate, fruit juice, and water
  • Photographic and post-processing training
  • Laundry

What's not included

  • Alcohol
  • Soft drinks
  • Items of personal nature
  • Laundry (for your own account)
  • Gratuities

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Air Force Base Hoedspruit (HDS). Transfer from and to the airport is included. At Close Quarters will pick you up from the airport on arrival day date for your transfer to Djuma where you will be returned to on day of departure.

Airport: Air Force Base Hoedspruit Airport transfer included: Air Force Base Hoedspruit No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 50% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.
9 days / 8 nights
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Arrival: Saturday October 3, 2020
Departure: Sunday October 11, 2020

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