Sunday, 25 April 2010


A photographic journey is always a mystery. You can get head or tails all the time. Sometimes you stay in beautiful places and other in infected ones. In fact, it is a component of any trip. But for me the main thing is to be able to make good photographs. If I stay and eat in luxury places but I can’t take the pictures I expected to, then the whole trip is a complete disaster. However, sometimes I have slept anywhere, have eaten very simple things, or I have not eaten for long periods of time, but if I have the chance to make good pictures I do not mind it at all, the final result is much better than in the previous case.
Sometimes you stay and eat in unbelievable places and make great pictures. That’s the face in the travel’s coin. Karkloof Spa is one of them.

Premium all, the enclave is everything . For me a five star hotel in the middle of a city cannot compete with a simple accommodation in a wonderful natural setting.
I’ve seen very few places, in my long life of traveller, as Karkloof Spa sited in a beautiful valley full of wild animals in the region of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa.

This was the terrace of my room. I had always to close the door when leaving it to avoid the monkeys getting in. And sometimes I saw warthogs and Impalas coming to the pond to drink.

My room was called the birds of prey's; they could not have assigned me any better. The bathroom was larger than my living room. At night, before dining, the chef recited us all the choices we had between the different and delicious dishes he had prepared.

The spa was amazing, and included traditional and Thai massages. The pool was also a kind of jacuzzi, with hot water. They were two days of absolute relax, although I take many photos of wildlife, in the midst of a long journey filled with very dense schedule and getting up really early.

If the whole trip would have been run like this it would had been great as a luxury vacation, but not the best way to photograph and learn about all South African aspects. Fortunately, I knew the organiser, Elena Solinis, who knows very well (I can’t say the same thing about many other press trip organizers) how to facilitate the work of journalists and photographers, and on this trip I was able to access to all the realities of South Africa, from the most luxurious way or life, to the most humble places in Zulu’s villages and down in the heart of Soweto, for example.

This would be the head; in an upcoming post I will show you the tail.
Except for impala's picture, for all the rest I used a Nikon D700 and a 20 mm F:2,8 Nikkor lens.

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