Mysterious Nocturnal Landscape


5 days / 4 nights

R7,900 per person

Camping & Self Catering

Mark Dumbleton
Carl Smorenburg

10 - 14 June 2018



World Class Night Photography
Beautiful Landscape
Baobab Trees
Endless Salt Pans
Bucket-list Destination

Join Mark Dumbleton and Carl Smorenburg for 5 days / 4 nights as we go in search of spectacular imagery of the mysterious landscape of Kubu Island in the heart of Makgadikgadi Pans in Botswana. Mark has a lot of experience in photographing this iconic destination, and will stop at no end to assist each client in taking home special images of this special place. During this workshop we will go through the entire photographic process - from scouting a location, to composition visualisation, to photographing the dramatic scene in front of us. 

The weather during June is quite stable but can become cold at night, and is perfect for night photography. This workshop will be focussed heavily on night photography. The workshop is based around a new moon, so we'll have perfectly dark skies.


Because of the remote nature of Kubu Island, and the lack of good infrastructure or lodge, this is 100% a camping workshop. Each client will be responsible for his/her own camping gear, food, water and transport. The camp sites are very, very rustic so please don't expect much. A long-drop toilet is about all that is provided. Kubu Island is in Botswana, so you would need all necessary vehicle documents, passports etc to cross the border. The workshop guides will be departing from Johannesburg on the morning of 10 June 2018, and we do advise that everyone try drive in convoy to make for a safer journey to Kubu Island. Kubu Island is about 750km from Johannesburg, and will take between 8-10 hours to complete. A 4x4 or high clearance 2x4 will be needed to make it to Kubu Island.


10 June 2018 - depart from Johannesburg at 4am, drive to Kubu Island and set up the camp site. Sunset and night photography session.
11 June 2018 - Early morning night photography session, sunrise photography session. We can during the day explore the surrounding areas. Sunset and night photography session.
12 June 2018 - Early morning night photography session, sunrise photography session. We can during the day explore the surrounding areas. Sunset and night photography session.
13 June 2018 - Early morning night photography session, sunrise photography session. We can during the day explore the surrounding areas. Sunset and night photography session.
14 June 2018 - Very early wake up call to pack up camp, possible sunrise shoot on route back home. Drive back to Johannesburg arriving late afternoon.


Included In The Cost

  • Expert personal photographic instruction and guidance, advice on capture techniques, thoughts on composition and location scouting.
  • Free copy of Mark Dumbleton's Landscape Photograph Processing Video Tutorials.
  • Entrance fees into the Makgadikgadi, all camping fees, wood and firelighters also supplied for the duration of our stay (for those that wish to braai).

Not Included In The Cost

  • All food and water. Please bring extra water if you wish to shower, as there are no shower facilities.
  • Camping gear arrangements.
  • Transportation to and from Kubu Island in Botswana.
  • Border Fees
  • Formal processing instruction.


  • At any time during the workshop you may choose to search for your own compositions away from other workshop participants. You do not need to stay with the group during sunrise / sunset sessions.
  • Mark and Carl will be taking photographs on the workshop, but only when each client has been attended to and is comfortable with their own shooting. The goal is to take you to these amazing locations and teach you how to photograph them.
  • We unfortunately cannot control the weather. We are not responsible for an unpleasant experience because of foul weather. The best will be done with the circumstances at hand to make the workshop as enjoyable for you as possible.
  • The camera gear Mark uses whilst photographing Kubu Island is as follows : 1 x DSLR Camera (Nikon D810), 16-35 mm lens, 24-120mm lens with a 77mm circular polariser, tripod and ball head, spare camera batteries and memory cards, micro fibre cloth and camera cable release. 100mm Nisi Grad and ND Filters. Please bring all of your filters. We will have good chance to use these. As the workshop is heavily focussed on night photography, a fast aperture lens will be beneficial. A 16-35 f/2.8, 14-24 f/2.8 or something faster like a 20 f/1.8 or similar will work very well.
  • Good walking shoes are recommended. The distances we walk are very easily manageable but we do traverse tricky rocky sections at times and good foot protection will make a big difference to your experience.
  • You will need to be self-sufficient on the workshop, in terms of camping gear and food/water.
  • Because of the distance we need to drive, we will try pair clients with each other to share transport costs. You are welcome to drive on your own as well, its entirely up to you. Mark will send an email to everyone a few months before the workshop to try arrange all the transport plans.

Please make sure to bring the following items with you on the workshop,

  • Headlamp with spare batteries and torch.
  • Extra camera batteries
  • Car inverter to charge batteries. I do have an inverter in my vehicle, so I can help charge a couple batteries.
  • Sufficient food and water as the closest shop is over 100km away.


To make a booking, please click the "Book for this workshop" button at the top of this page and enter in your details, alternatively email Mark at info@markdumbleton.com. A booking confirmation form will be emailed to you to confirm your booking. A 50% deposit is required to secure your booking. Final 50% payment required 60 days before departure.


VIVEK BISHUN - Drakensberg Amphitheatre March 2017 - "Incredible experience in one of the most stunning locations in SA, with 2 great guides who make it fun and enjoyable while sharing their knowledge and skills of landscape photography. A great opportunity to learn from the pro's!!"

GAVIN HARVEY - Drakensberg Amphitheatre November 2016 - "I have recently returned from a photographic workshop done in the Drakensberg. This was an awesome experience as we were expertly guided through one of the most majestic mountain ranges in our country. The opportunities to take incredible pictures were presented at just about every turn of our path upwards. Both Carl and Mark were always more than willingly to assist our group in being able to capture these moments perfectly. I would highly recommend this adventure where you combine your love of the outdoor with taking amazing photos."

Please see below my portfolio of images I have captured of Kubu Island in Botswana. I look forward to sharing in this amazing location with you.