PhotoMashatu Hides

What are photographic hides?

These are structures built to specifically maximise the photographic potential of the subjects that visit them. These hides can be used to view animals in the normal manner, but have been positioned to consider the angle of the sun, the background as well as the angle you are to the animals and birds. If you are a photographer you will notice all of these things immediately and it will enable you to get some absolutely stunning photographs. The results of the images taken form the hides have been published in many magazines and books as well as have won some major awards. This is an indication of just how well the hides are built for photographers. The PhotoMasahtu wildlife photographer will accompany you in the hides. They will help tutor you with the various camera techniques to ensure you get your great images. Have a look at the PhotoMashatu website which gives you a beautiful overview of what you can expect at the Matebole Underground Elephant hide.


Why Mashatu?

C4 Photo Safaris chose Mashatu for a number of reasons:

  • Mashatu is renowned by photographers worldwide for the high photographic ‘hit rate' in both the dry and wet seasons.  The green season at Mashatu is characterised by short summer annual grasses thus ensuring that the wildlife subjects are photographed, unlike many parts of Africa where the wildlife would be only partially visible through thick vegetation or high Savannah grasses, if at all.
  • Mashatu is a semi-arid area. This means animals are attracted to water in the dry season (June – October), making it an excellent location to allow animals to come to you.
  • Drying pools in the rivers attract flocks of storks and herons late in the rainy season (February – May).
  • Excellent elephant sightings at the elephant hides and out in the reserve.
  • Excellent birdlife for the bird photographs.
  • Open landscape that makes for easy photographing of wildlife.
  • Excellent and healthy predator population and sightings.
  • Relaxed animals.
  • Dry riverbeds frame subjects well.
  • Wilderness area relatively close to the major cities.



Pricing is in US Dollar.

Photographic rates 2020  
Hide Session – Half Day (Morning or Afternoon session) $80 $80 $90
Hide Session – Full Day (Morning & Afternoon session)
$140 $140


Exclusive use of Matebole Hide – Half Day (Morning or Afternoon session – 8 pax) $560
$560 $610
Exclusive use of Matebole Hide – Full Day (per day AM to PM Morning & Afternoon session – 8 pax) $960 $960 $1150
Tutoring at camp. Not included in hide fee     
$60 $60 $65
Lens Rental (per day)
$70 $70 $75
Canon 7D body (per day)
$40 $40 $50
PhotoMashatu Vehicle* $650 $650 $720


Persons per hide (excludes photographer guide):

 Matebole hide: 8 clients


PhotoMashatu Vehicle: (per day - maximum 4 pax, but ideally suited to 2 pax. This includes 1 optional tutor session per day & 1 x hide session subject to availability upon booking. For dates 1 December - 1 June each year: "book 3 days, pay 2" and "book 4 days, pay 3" special on photo vehicle.)

The PhotoMashatu vehicle can be booked through the reservations office ( Clients in camp can book on an ad hoc basis at the lodge subject to availability. Please see above for the relevant pricing.


Conditions of Use

Exclusive use is for groups or single photographers who would like the hides for their own private use. The rate is a per day cost and gives clients access to the booked hide during that day ($960 for 2020 and 2021). If you are a group of 8 photographers or more it is usually more cost effective to use the exclusive use rate than the per person rate. Exclusive use of the photographic hides is only applicable to the Matebole hide, subject to availability.

  • All guests using the hide have to be accompanied by a PhotoMashatu wildlife photographer.
  • Should the PhotoMashatu wildlife photographer be unavailable, guests of Mashatu can utilize the hides, at the normal rate in the company of a Mashatu guide.
  • We recommend that photographic hides are pre-booked prior to guests arrival.
  • No children under the age of 12 permitted in the hides.
  • The hides will be closed for maintenance at year end. Please contact our reservations team to inquire about availability and hide closure dates.
  • Guests will be required to sign an indemnity form before using the hides. This is separate to the Mashatu indemnity.
  • All the hides are seasonal and activity may change due to a climatic, or other reasons. You will be notified upon making your reservation if the hides selected are not active.
  • Maximum number of guests per hide: Matebole Elephant Hide – 8 clients.
  • PhotoMashatu cancellation terms apply to all PhotoMashatu products. Copy is available on request.
  • Please note that the photographic hides are closed from 1 December to 28 February each year for maintenance.
  • The PhotoMashatu vehicle, lenses and camera body is available all year round.
  • Drones or UAV’s: Please note that the flying of drones at Mashatu is not permissible anywhere in Botswana without a special permit from Civil Aviation Authority Botswana and the Department of Wildlife and National Parks. Please ensure that written authority from Mashatu Management is granted before applying for the permits.
The concession

PhotoMashatu will have resident wildlife photographers based at Main camp to help guest photographers when they are at camp. They can hire out the use of the photographer to join them on game drives as well as for the photographic hides. He/she will also be available for tutor sessions in camp during the day. Additionally, you can hire out the PhotoMashatu vehicle, in which you will be accompanied by your own personal photographic guide. All guest photographers booking and using the photographic hides will be booked through Mashatu reservations as an additional activity. This will be charged as per the photographic concession rates. Guests at Mashatu may use the hides for normal game viewing purposes as well as photography, but still accompanied by the PhotoMashatu guide.