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Pho­tog­ra­phers may go a lit­tle slack-jawed when they set eyes on the Green Mamba 1 – the new Land Rover De­fender re­mod­elled into a plush game-view­ing ve­hi­cle at Thanda Sa­fari, the fives­tar pri­vate game re­serve and mem­ber of The Lead­ing Ho­tels of the World, lo­cated in KwaZu­luNatal. This re­mark­able ve­hi­cle has been created es­pe­cially for the re­serve’s pho­to­graphic spe­cific game drives with lessons led by Chris­tian Sperka, res­i­dent wildlife pho­tog­ra­pher and field guide. So pas­sion­ate about cre­at­ing the best ex­pe­ri­ence for avid snap­pers, Chris­tian, who has trav­elled the world pho­tograph­ing an­i­mals and had his work pub­lished count­less times, ac­tu­ally de­signed the ve­hi­cle him­self. With ex­tra legroom for two pho­tog­ra­pher, al­low­ing them to shoot from tricky an­gles more eas­ily to the pho­tog­ra­phy “arms” on the back seats to rest bean­bags or gim­bals on as well as ex­tra stor­age space for equip­ment, the thought­ful de­sign even in­cludes a Marine Sound Sys­tem com­pris­ing bird-call record­ings, a 12.9” Ap­ple iPad Pro with the lat­est na­ture apps in­clud­ing Roberts Birds of South­ern Africa and three sock­ets for spot­lights. Then there’s the on-board Ne­spresso cof­fee ma­chine and Chris­tian’s sig­na­ture Mar­tini bush bar for evening drinks – af­ter all, even pho­tog­ra­phers like their sa­faris a lit­tle luxe. AVAIL­ABLE Pho­tog­ra­phy lessons are avail­able to those stay­ing at least two nights at Thanda Sa­fari PRICE A half-day Pho­tog­ra­phy Ses­sion in the Wild starts from R2500 (US$185) per ve­hi­cle. www.thanda.com/ex­pe­ri­ence/pho­tog­ra­phy-at-thanda.htm

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