Artists Workshop and Safaris
Our artists workshop safaris welcome artists of all standards to enjoy the creative beauty of a South African safari in the company of international wildlife artist and tutor Kerry Newell.
We combine the thrill of a wildlife safari with your passion for art, encouraging the development of artistic skills, while experiencing Africas sensational light, space, abundant wildlife and magnificent landscapes. All the while enjoying luxurious accommodation and our award winning service.
Kerry will lead small groups from beginners to experienced artists (and non-painting partners), to South Africa in 2018. Check out our detailed itineraries and more information about Kerry below.
South Africa artists workshop safari
In February and March 2018 Kerry Newell will lead a private group of six artists on a ten day big five safari and artists workshop in South Africa. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned artist Kerry will teach and demonstrate her techniques and show you how to create your own wildlife artwork, quickly and confidently, in a relaxed environment.
This exclusive safari will start with four nights at our South African safari base, Rukiya Safari Lodge. Rukiya is located on the banks of the Blyde River in the Wild Rivers private Nature Reserve and is also a key location for our leopard research program. You will then visit the exclusive Thornybush game reserve, which is also in the greater Kruger park, followed by three nights at Black Leopard Camp set within the magnificent Thaba Tholo Wilderness Reserve.
This safari offers superb opportunities to see, sketch and photograph the prolific variety of indigenous wildlife that are found in this area.
We understand that as an artist you have a special approach to viewing wildlife, which is why our artists safaris are specifically catered to meet your needs and of-course offer personalised tuition with Kerry each day.
Our South African safaris support local wildlife conservation projects, including our leopard research program funded by our UK charity the On Track Foundation.
On arrival at OR Tambo International Airport Johannesburg guests are met and transfer by kombi (mini bus) to Rukiya Safari Camp in the Lowveld (Kruger Park area). Rukiya is an intimate, luxury tented camp situated on the confluence of the Blyde and Olifants Rivers in the heart of Wild Rivers Private Nature Reserve. The development of the camp was done with a least-impact footprint with a variety of green or eco-friendly principles employed during the construction process. A large part of the area comprises of deck and canvass that has a minimal effect in contrast to conventional brick and mortar. The operation of the camp follows the ecological-sensitive philosophy by utilizing environmentally friendly products that does not contain harmful chemicals. Up-cycled drift- and pallet wood were used to furnish and decorate the camp and were sourced from local suppliers in support of the community. Following a holistic approach to contribute to an ultimate nature experience, great care is taken to provide guests with all the special touches, pampering and comforts during their stay. Safaris and bush walks are part of the offering of all-inclusive packages. The iconic tented accommodation fortifies the African experience that allows guests to immerse themselves in the beauty of the magical Lowveld. Six en-suite luxury tents have been carefully placed underneath the shade of gaint Jackalberry trees with wonderful views to the river.
Rukiya is our safari home and base for much of our work in leopard conservation. It is offers a unique and intimate wildlife experience and the opportunity to take Big Five game drives in the adjacent Balule game reserve (Kruger Park). When entering Wild Rivers Nature Reserve, expect to be immersed in the vista of endless woodland set against the back drop of the majestic Drakensberg mountains that change colour as the day walks on. This 2,600 hectare reserve is bordered by both the Blyde and Olifants Rivers and boasts a diverse landscape with rocky outcrops and savanna where plains game roam freely. Leopard wander and riverbanks are frequented by hippo and crocodiles.
Note: The day 1 itinerary above assumes your arrival at Johannesburg Airport before 10:00. The vast majority of international flights arrive between 07:00 - 10:00. If however your preferred flight is scheduled to arrive later in the day, then we can arrange for overnight accommodation before starting your safari.
Each morning you will be woken with an invigorating cup of coffee before setting off on a morning game drive.
On your first full day on safari we will include our unique bush senses experience. This is an activity that we have developed over many years and has proven to be very popular with our safari guests. In a fun way it encourages you to use all of your senses when in the bush. Not just sight, but also smell, hearing and touch. Some of our senses are dulled by modern living, but this simple and fun exercise quickly hones one’s bush senses, ideal preparation for any safari.
Brunch is followed by time to relax and enjoy the views from your private deck and some 1-2-1 tuition with Kerry, before a late lunch and your afternoon game drive, returning home for a sumptuous dinner.
Note: Kerry will be on hand during all game drives. During down time in camp, guests can choose to relax by the pool or get creative by taking part in informal art workshops with Kerry.
Each morning will begin with a sunrise game drive that will take you through the Wild Rivers Reserve and into the adjacent Balule Reserve (part of the Greater Kruger Park). We have exclusive access, so we the flexibility to extend game drive times if we wish and moreover as nature dictates. We can either return to the lodge for a late breakfast or take a packed breakfast.
When the heat of the day has faded a little, we will enjoy a further game dive, stopping for sun downers as the suns sets and returning to the lodge as darkness falls for drinks and dinner.
After breakfast on day five we will transfer to Tangala Safari Camp within the Thornybush Game Reserve.
Tangala boasts sweeping views overlooking an expansive and active waterhole, with the majestic Drakensberg Mountain Range forming an impressive backdrop. With our eco-friendly camp, great hosting, comfortable accommodation and thrilling game drives, guests are assured an unforgettable experience
Thornybush Game Reserve is a favoured safari location for movie stars and the rich and famous and offers approximately 14,000ha of game habitat: open savannah woodland with tangled thicket and thorny scrub. It is a well established reserve and perfect habitat for Africa's famous Big Five as well as a host of other animals (eg. cheetah, African wild dog, hippo, crocodile, giraffe, zebra, various antelope species, porcupine, aardvark). Thornybush is home to 147 mammal species, 114 types of reptile, more than 500 bird species, dozens of fish and amphibian species and 336 types of trees, as well as countless grasses, insects, etc. Game viewing in the reserve ranks as some of the best in Southern Africa with a near perfect year round climate. Guests can enjoy off road close-up views of special sightings and once darkness falls, you'll be treated to thrilling spot-lit night drives in search of rare nocturnal creatures and big cats on the move.
Even on bush roads it takes only 45 mins to transfer to Thornybush so you will have plenty of time to settle in and relax before afternoon high tea and game drive. Again returning to your lodge for dinner. Your second day in the Thornybush Game Reserve starts with an early morning game drive, returning to you lodge in time for a late breakfast/brunch. During the heat of the day, there will be time to relax and enjoying watching animals passing by, or take part in informal art workshops with Kerry. The afternoon game drive will start after high tea and will cover previously unseen areas of the reserve, followed by dinner often taken around the fire in an outside boma.
On your last morning in ThornyBush your game drive aims to pay a last visit to your favourite spots, offering an opportunity to get those final photographs, or sketches. Time permitting we will take the chance to take a short bush walk from the vehicle, before returning to the lodge for a late breakfast. Then transfer back to Black Leopard Camp via the Panorama Route (time permitting), followed by time to relax and unwind at Black Leopard Camp before dinner.
Late morning bush walk or game drive within the Thaba Tholo Reserve. We can also visit the ancient rock art sites within the reserve, which are thought to have been made by the San people over two thousand years ago.
Within the Thaba Tholo reserve we have several observation hides for you to utilise as you wish. These hides were installed for film crews to use during the production of several wildlife documentaries that have been set at Thaba Tholo and facilitated by OTS founder Will Fox, including Masters of Mayhem (BBC).
By now we hope that you will have had a chance to photograph, sketch and observe many large mammals and birds, these game drive aims to fill in any gaps as well as concentrating on smaller mammals and other wildlife or flora and fauna. Brunch followed by early afternoon relaxation and a evening game drive, perhaps to watch the sun set over the magnificent mountain scene.
Late breakfast and time to enjoy the morning in this wonderful setting before a last game drive through the reserve and afternoon transfer to Johannesburg airport.
Prices are based on a group size of six clients plus Kerry Newell.
Accommodation on a sharing basis (twin rooms), single supplements may apply
Tea and Coffee
Guided game drives and or bush walks
Tuition and workshops with Kelly
Reserve conservation entry fees (approximately £17)
Tips and souvenirs
The Thaba Tholo Wilderness Reserve has been identified as being an area that includes grass lands of special scientific and historical interest. The reserve has reluctantly had need to introduce a management policy that includes an occasional and limited annual cull of some antelope species. This policy has been directed and approved by the provincial authorities and has been deemed necessary to protect this unique environment due to a current abnormal high population of some antelope species.
Kerry Newell is a professional wildlife artist based in Cheshire. Her services as a commissioned artist are sought by clients across the UK and further afield in Australia, America and Switzerland.
Her mission is to ignite, inspire and encourage the creative flame that lives in all of us and through her exhibitions, teaching and demonstrations, bring about an awareness to the plight of so many of this worlds diverse and beautiful creatures, whilst having the amazing opportunity to combine her lifelong loves of wildlife and art.
Born in rural Leicestershire, England in 1966, Kerry has always held a passion for art and wildlife. Since her first commission of British wildlife at the age of 14, Kerry has grown to become a highly sought after wildlife artist.
Her keen eye for detail has earned her high recognition with the world famous art material manufacturers Caran d'Ache who commissioned Kerry to produce paintings for their headquarters in Geneva, a collaboration that continues to this day.
Kerry also finds time to share with and inspire others through teaching. And this is undoubtedly where her charismatic and effervescent personality comes into play.
For whether it's running her Wildlife Art Workshops, demonstrating to art groups and societies, talking to students in schools and colleges, or gently encouraging and guiding an individual through 1:1 tuition, Kerry has without any doubt a very rare quality of wanting to share her talents with others. This generosity to share coupled with her capacity as a patient conscientious teacher and her absolute passion for the subjects she portrays inevitably creates a confidence that is both tangible and better still contagious to all who have the privilege of knowing her.