Back to All Events

Eastern Cape Wild Coast


  • Lusikisiki, South Africa (map)
 
 The waterfall at Waterfall Bluff.

The waterfall at Waterfall Bluff.

 

Trip at a Glance

  • Duration – 3 nights / 4 days
  • Location – Luputhana, Eastern Cape, South Africa 
  • Difficulty – Easy.
  • Start/Finishes – Lusikisiki, Eastern Cape 
  • Lodging – Private tent with en-suite facilities.
  • Meals – Self Catering.

 

Trip Highlights

  • Spend four days developing your photography skills in the company of photographer Western King.
  • Dusk and dawn photography on South Africa’s spectacular Wild Coast.
  • Self-catered accommodation in the rustic Luputhana Tented Camp.
  • Tutorials and critiques sessions with individual feedback.
  • Workshop restricted to six clients.

PRICE

  • Photographers – R 6,530 pp
  • Non-Photographic Partners – R 2,160 pp   ( limited to 1 per participant )
 
 
 The rock-shelf north of Luputhana 

The rock-shelf north of Luputhana 

 

Description

Luputhana is located on the Eastern Cape Wild Coast of South Africa and serves as the base for the Wild Coast Photography Workshop. Sits on the edge of a rugged rock-shelf, Luputhana epitomises the untamed nature of the region with enormous Indian ocean swells regularly slamming into the shoreline.

Luputhana is also known as the departure point for exploration of Waterfall Bluff, a unique site featuring one of only a handful of waterfalls in the world that plunges directly into the sea.

The entire territory forms part of the Pondoland Marine Protected Area which sees fishing banned and, consequently, has left the coastline largely unspoiled. Photos of sea cliffs, rocky shorelines, crashing waves and even pristine grasslands are all to be found along the astonishingly beautiful seaboard.

The workshop makes use of the basic but exceedingly well-run facilities at the Luputhana Tented Camp, situated on the west bank of the Luputhana River. The isolated camp provides a superb base from which to hunt down prized images.

Difficulty Grading: Easy

Luputhana Tented Camp is positioned in very close proximity to the sea, and this makes the walk to many photography locations especially easy. The most distant setting is Waterfall Bluff, which is found 3 km from the camp. The path to the bluff is gently undulating but while easy, the walk still represents meaningful effort. It should also be noted that almost all photography sites will require some sort of boulder-hopping. It is essential the workshop participants feel comfortable on uneven terrain.

Waterfall Bluff near Luputhana, Eastern Cape Wild Coast

Trip Itinerary

Below is a representative itinerary, one that will undoubtedly change to take advantage of the prevailing environmental and weather conditions. Owing to the orientation of the location, the sunrise period is by far the best time to photograph Waterfall Bluff and each day’s activities are structured around this fact. It's important to note that each sunrise session is dedicated to photographing the event as well as to scouting for new locations for the following morning.

Day 1 – Meet at Lusikisiki

Western will meet workshop participants in the parking lot of the Lusikisiki Plaza (31°21’27.5”S 29°33’53.3”E) at 12.30 pm and depart directly for Luputhana Tented Camp at 1.00 pm. The especially scenic drive to Luputhana takes approximately 1h30  and, accordingly, attendees can expect to arrive at the lodge by 2.30pm.

At 5.30 pm we will set off for sunset photography at the nearby Top Hat rocks. You can expect to be back at camp by 7.30 pm.

Day 2 – Waterfall Bluff

The first objective of the day is to explore and photograph Waterfall Bluff. To do this an early 4.30 am start is required which will allow us enough time to walk to the location for the first light. The focus of the visit is to observe where the first light falls and trace its path as the day transitions from dawn and fully-fledged morning. The outcome of the session we be for each participant to have an established composition to photograph the following day. You can expect to be back at the camp at 9.00 am for breakfast.

Between 10.30 am to 12.30 pm, Western will conduct a tutorial and critique session. The aim is to take a step by step walk through the digital developing process using the best image captured by each client. Every participant will have an opportunity to see how their image might be developed using Adobe Lightroom and, to a lesser degree, Adobe Photoshop.

The period following the tutorial session will be private time before a 5.30 pm departure for the eastern shores of the Luputhana River for sunset photography. You can expect to return to the lodge at 7.30 pm for dinner.

 
 A grassland scene south of Luputhana.

A grassland scene south of Luputhana.

 

Day 3 – Return to Waterfall Bluff

With all the knowledge gleaned from the previous day’s visit, the morning of day three is dedicated to the capturing a prized photo of Waterfall Bluff. Another early 4.30 am start will allow us sufficient time for an unhurried approach to the morning’s photography. You can expect to be back at the camp at 9.00 am for breakfast.

Between 10.30 am to 12.30 pm, Western will conduct a further tutorial and critique session using the newly acquired images from each client. 

The period following the tutorial session will again be private time before a 5.30 pm departure (by car) for the grassland plateau, a venue which provides a change of pace from the thrashing waves of the Indian Ocean. You can expect to return to the lodge at 7.30 pm for dinner.

Day 4 – Final Sunrise

The final sunrise is all about chasing perfection. Based upon a group consensus, the location for the final morning’s effort will be decided around the campfire on the preceding evening. The sunrise represents an opportunity to re-shoot, and perfect, the image that got away. If the chosen location is Waterfall Bluff, then a 4.30 am start will again be required, if not, a more leisurely start may be possible.

 
 A wave-break at sunset near Luputhana. 

A wave-break at sunset near Luputhana. 

 

NON-PHOTOGRAPHIC PARTNERS

Non-photographic partners are allowed but kept to a maximum of one per photographic client. The fee for the non-photographic partner is R2,160. Non-photographic partners are allowed to join photo sessions, but will not receive photographic instruction.

How to Book

We accept bookings online, by email and by phone. Before booking, it is important that you read the relevant Trip Brochure and our Terms and Conditions. If you have any doubt regarding your suitability for a tip, please contact us.

To book online, simply click the Book Now button below and complete online booking form. We will provisionally confirm your reservation with an email response that includes a copy of the trip brochure, booking form (for signatures), T&Cs and an invoice for payment. We accept payment by Visa, MasterCard or electronic funds transfer (EFT) and use PayFast as a payment processing service. A signed booking form and a deposit of 50% is required to secure your reservation. If you are booking less than 56 days before the commencement of the workshop, full payment is required.


Earlier Event: April 27
Sehlabathebe National Park
Later Event: July 20
Drakensberg Amphitheatre