Working with luxury hotel, travel & hospitality partners, African Inspiration (AI), who manage and promote hotels and lodges all over Southern Africa, Wonderhatch were commissioned to create high quality video and photography content for four luxury safari lodges and so encourage tourism to these wonderful destinations.
The project began in Timbavati, a private game reserve south of Kruger National Park in South Africa. AI manage three safari lodges here, Simbavati River Lodge, Simbavati Hill Top and Simbavati Machaton Private Camp. Each with their unique style, atmosphere and audience, the challenge was to produce digital content to compliment each of the different camps, whilst capturing footage of the incredible safari activities that are on offer – the most obvious, of course, being game drives.
The nature of the shoot meant that we needed to work with a small but agile crew: cofounders and lead photographer Simon Owen and lead film director Patrick Gather together with film editor Joe Boyle, and Head of Production, Penny Harrison were joined by an amazing on site team including game trackers, our driver Frank, as well as 6 models starting from just 2 years old.
Rising early to capture the African sunrise and shooting well into the evening to the soundtrack of the wilderness, the production was peppered with excitement and new experiences to capture. There was the torrential storm which came upon us seemingly from nowhere whilst driving in an open top jeep en-route to a leopard sighting, coming across a pack of 20 painted wild dog as they took their morning bath and watching a mother elephant help her calf wade across the river and clamber up the bank – unforgettable moments captured. From Simbavarti alone we created 26 films for web and social, and over 600 high quality photographic images.
Wrapping up in the African bush, we moved on to the Western Cape, to Cederberg Ridge Wilderness Lodge. We were greeted by a starkly different landscape – sometimes reminiscent of the rolling hills of Tuscany, other times resembling the moon. Joined by more models, we shot a very different itinerary of activities including mountain biking, exploring rock formations and ancient rock paintings and learning about the process of farming and producing Rooibos Tea, as well as, of course, creating lifestyle images and video of the lodge itself. For this lodge we delivered 10 films for web and social and over 300 edited photos.