Ute … Our trip was too amazing to begin to qualify. From the Saxon, to Londolozi, to The River Camp, to Cape Grace, it was totally amazing. All along the way we met some great people and had a huge time with all of them. Thank you for your efforts in planning the trip for us. WE hope to come back to amazing Africa someday.
Ken & Sandy Lenoir, Memphis, USA
I want to take the chance to thank you for the wonderful safari and great care you gave me on my photo safari last week. This was a remarkable photographic adventure for me as well as all support around in analyzing and reviewing the pictures I took, while you gave just the advise I needed at the time I needed!
I must say that I am an experienced photographer since many years and also have done numerous safaris some time ago. But nothing came close to your knowledge about capturing scenes especially in wildlife environment and also deep understanding of things far beyond pure photography!
This will definitely not be my last photographic excursion I have done with you and I only can recommend to anybody to try one of Ute's classes out personally - you will definitely be very happy with what you get!
Ute, please feel free to publish this on your website.
Many thanks indeed
Peter Peter Tomsu, Vienna, Austria IT WAS AMAZING !... truly amazing.. We saw two crossings, some parts were emotionally intense.. A 4.5 - 5 metres long croc drowned a baby zebra, pulled her into the muddy waters right in front of us.. I am sure everyone felt it for her.. I have also done the balloon safari, costs 480 USD as an addition.. I enjoyed the ride as the sun came up in the horizon, very serene trip it was.. We were in the game drive sometimes 8-9 hours in a day, pretty exhausting but it was worth it. Safari Air was good, in time, no problems. Staff at the camp were very professional and gentle people. The guide, balloon safari pilot, alles good.. I don't know if I'll enjoy visiting Kruger Park after now on :), I saw more happening in the past few days than I've seen so far since I moved to Africa.. Thank you again for providing me such an amazing experience, much appreciated. Babur Yakar, Johannesburg, SA What journey Ute! Thank you for guiding me along the way, for your compassion + your honesty. I have learnt so much - about how I see photography + about how I see myself. This place nurtures & you do too. I have gained some insight into now. I need to change - mainly to just relax and “be” more. Although it has been a journey of ups + downs, this place + all I’ve learnt … ends on a high. I definitely feel “lifted up”. With gratitude + thanks, Lynda Smith Pakamisa, SA
Thank you again for creating a wonderful experience of narrative through pictures. I heard many comments of appreciation about your soulfulness and sensitivity. The journey of photography towards exploration of self and others have truly been rich and rewarding. Marina Karstel Momentum, SA
Dear Ute, Thanks for a wonderful weekend. I have learned a lot. You are so kind to learn us everything. I also enjoyed Linda’s company. Kind regards, Tersia Botha Pakamisa, SA
You have opened my eyes to a hobby I knew nothing about, nor did I imagine I would love it so much. This is just the beginning of my journey to discover how to capture a beautiful picture. I hope to have the pleasure of seeing you in the near future, perhaps in the rainforest! XOXO Jessica NYC
Thank you for the insight into the “soul” of Africa. Learned a lot! God bless, Lizanne Cape Town
Coming to Africa and Kenya especially was a dream come true. The photography experience made it all the better! It was so much fun to be able to share this with friends and to make new ones. Julie Lehane NYC
This was an amazing experience, both seeing the animals & the Masai Mara & discovering I really like photography. Absolutely unforgettable. Veronica Fiske NYC
Wondered about safari for a long time. Everything was arranged nicely which helped make the trip as pleasant as possible. Mike Brocoum NYC
You have awakened a new passion in me for Africa, a place I had only moderately thought of. I now want to come back and back and back. Thank you for everything. Herb Gingold NYC
#9 Gleneagles Court 27 Second Avenue Killarney 2193 & Manhatten New York, USA 2011/10/25
I am writing to say how pleasantly surprised I was to receive the book, "The Leopards of Londolozi ", feeling like finding a Christmas present in my room. It was one more example of how the many little touches you put into the trip made it so special. The book will always remind me of the beautiful leopards, particularly "Shorty," the "drama king of Londolozi." His tenacity in trying to protect his kill was amazing. He was like a huge spotted acrobat swinging from the tree, trying unsuccessfully to unlodge his kill. And to see the six lion cubs and then their mothers off in the night to find food for their babies was wonderful.
The rangers and trackers were so well organized that I feel as if I had seen every species of animal on the reserve. As for the rest of the ambiance, the food was first class, the accommodations were amazing and the staff and guests made the entire trip a delight.
When I got home, my friends commented on how relaxed I looked. The bush and a well organized fascinating itinerary certainly can do that.
Best of luck on your future trips, Dr. Barbara Fisher.
Dear Ute First let me thank you enormously for my learning experience this morning. I feel totally motivated and hugely excited to start playing and exploring with my camera. I cannot believe what a wonderful experience I had. I am looking forward to moving forward in leaps and bounds. Thank you once again Regards Margie Dane
An inspirational journey of learning the beginning of painting with light. The promise of a lifetime of adventure with the camera ahead. Thanks so much for the wonderful inspiration in the best setting ever! Nadine Dreyer
We had a most inspiring afternoon with you and spent much time talking about what we had learnt. Game was very sparse for the rest of the week but we had a new interest in looking for scenes which caught our eye. ... Thank you again for a fascinating experience. Tony and Brenda
Morning Ute! Everything was wonderful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! J The Camp, the people the sightings, everything was amazing! Monika Wassermeier
This weekend has grounded my love for photography once again & simplified it. I went back to the basics & focused on enjoying the moment & being creative. Thank you very much, Tilana Otto.
This weekend has been a very deep experience, connecting with all levels of nature, myself, and being able to express it in the photos I took. You have made us look at ourselves and reflect on the beauty of nature and how connected we are to mother earth. Looking forward to doing another trip with you in the future. Kind regards, Noel Otto P.S. You were like a conductor of an orchestra, not trying to teach us how to play our instruments, but continuously pointing us in the right direction and trust our instruments and ourselves.
Liebe Frau Sonnenberg,
Von der Safari waren wir alle restlos begeistert. Zumindest Ivonne und ich haben nie zuvor solche Tieransammlungen gesehen. Erstaunlich war auch, dass wir den Tieren so nahe kommen konnten. Dies umso mehr, weil man sich ja im Gegensatz zu Safaris in Kenis an vorgeschriebene Wege halten muss. Uns hat das Afrika-Fieber voll erwischt und wir werden sicherlich wieder nach Afrika reisen.
Die von Ihnen ausgewählten Lodges waren genau richtig für unsere Zwecke und übertrafen teilweise sogar meine Erwartungen. Am besten gefiel uns der Aufenthalt im Mbuzi Mawe Camp und in der Lake Manyara Tree Lodge. Hier hatten wir einfach den direktesten Kontakt mit der afrikanischen Tierwelt und Platzangebot als auch Ausstattung ließen keine Wünsche übrig.
Unsere beiden Begleiter von 4x4 Adventures waren die idealen Tour-Guides. Zum einen profitierten wir von der optimalen Orts- u. Tierkenntnis, andererseits auch von deren stetem Bemühen, unsere Erwartungen zu erfüllen. Die beiden waren immer darauf bedacht, dass wir uns rundum wohl fühlen und die "big five" zu sehen bekommen, was uns auch gelungen ist. Außerdem waren die beiden immer gut drauf und haben uns zum Abschied sogar einen "sundowner" geschenkt. Es war einfach atemberaubend schön. Und wenn ich wieder nach Afrika fliege, würde ich gerne wieder mit den beiden unterwegs sein.
Sansibar war wie erwartet klimatisch sehr tropisch. Das Hotel liegt abseits der Hauptstraße und ist nur über eine Zufahrt zu erreichen, bei der man nicht vermuten würde, dass sich an deren Ende überhaupt noch Zivilisation befindet. Wir waren anfangs etwas erschrocken und dachten wir werden irgendwo aus dem Auto geschnmissen und ausgeraubt. Aber dem war natürlich nicht so. Das Z-Hotel wird im Grunde gut geführt. Nachteilig ist, dass es über keinen großen Hausstrand verfügt und der öffentliche Strand nicht wirklich gepflegt ist. Begehbar ist der Strand sowieso nur bei Ebbe. Dann kann man tatsächlich kilometerlang am Strand wandern und den Fischern beim anlanden bzw. bei der Reparatur ihrer Boote zusehen und schöne Bilder machen. Die Verpflegung ist etwas einseitig. 14 Tage Urlaub sind m. E. dort nicht zu empfehlen. Da wir aber nur 6 Nächte verweilten, konnten wir uns mit der Situation doch gut arangieren. Man muss seine Erwartungen auf Sansibar im Vergleich zur Safari tatsächlich etwas zurück nehmen.
In den Reiseführern wird außerdem immen die Altstadt von "Stone Town" gelobt. Dieses Lob mag mal früher seine Berechtigung gehabt haben aber inzwischen verfällt alles und man erkennt auch keine Bemühungen, dieses sicherlich ursprünglich wertvolle Erbe erhalten zu wollen. Als ich unseren dort vor Ort gebuchten Guide daraufhin ansprach reagierte er sehr gleichgültig obwohl er ja damit seinen Lebensunterhalt verdient.
Zusammenfassend also ein ganz klares ja für ein Wiedersehen in Afrika. Sansibar wird aber nicht mehr von uns angesteuert.
Liebe Frau Sonnenberg, wir möchten uns nochmals ganz herzlich bei Ihnen persönlich bedanken. Dafür, dass Sie uns diese tolle Reise zusammengestellt und so tolle Lodges herausgesucht haben, danke aber auch dafür, dass Sie jederzeit für uns erreichbar und stets bemüht waren, unseren Aufenthalt in Afrika zu einem wirklichen Erlebnis werden zu lassen. Wir werden diese Urlaubsreise bestimmt nicht vergessen.
Bitte geben Sie unsere überaus positiven Eindrücke von dieser Reise und insbesondere auch die von 4x4 Adventures an unsere Begleiter weiter. Die beiden haben dieses tolle feedback wirklich verdient.
Schöne Grüße aus dem frostigen Deutschland Ivonne und Thomas Lang sowie Gertrud Sörries
Lieve Ute! Dankjewel voor de mooie dagen hier in de Masai Mara. Echt een geweldige tijd: de grootsheid doet je enorm nietig lijken, maar tegelijkertijd ook weer zo gigantisch, dat je werkelijk iemand bent en dankbaar mag zijn al deze ervaringen mee te kunnen maken. Nogmaals dank! Heel veel liefs, Shirley
Liebe Ute, Samen setzen, wachsen lassen und Früchte ernten in nur 4 Tagen. Es war sehr bewegend, habe mich so geborgen, so wohl gefühlt in all dem Neuen. Dein leiten führen hat es mir sehr leicht gemacht. Darf neben meinen vielen Fotos so viel Erfahrung und Eindrücke mit nach Hause tragen. Fahre mit einem sehr warmen Gefühl und Lächeln nach Hause. Vielen Dank, Alexandra
Vielen Dank an Ute, die uns nicht nur fotografieren sondern auch viele Lebensweisheiten mit auf den Weg gegeben hat. Es waren 3 wunderbare Tage in der Masai Mara. Gehörtes ist gut - doch selber sehen ist besser. (Afrikanische Weisheit) Vielen Dank, wir werden uns wiedersehen. Gertrud Sörries It was a great experience! I felt that each day I learnt more about myself, photography and nature. The lodge is phenomenal - great accommodation and phenomenal wildlife experiences. I really enjoyed the small team as I think it helped to bond and grow as a group. The camera and technical lessons were informative and helpful. I learned more about my camera, different techniques and the art of photography, which I will take with me on my future photographic experiences. As a real city girl, I fell in love with mother nature! Overall, fantastic trip! Thank you! xxx Nazley Omar
I’ll never forget this passed weekend. I enjoyed each moment of it. Tersia Botha
To my teacher, my guide and my new-found friend. Your presence and your compassion have moved and shifted me in ways I could only dream about. How do I adequately thank you for this? Peace profound David Allen
I learned a lot about photography, not only from the technical side, how to use the camera and which settings to use. The biggest learning was that you really don’t need to have the finest technical equipment to have nice photos. You can reach the spirit no matter how the camera is. Minna Partanen Dearest Ute,
I just wanted to thank you again for such an amazing weekend - I really had an incredible time. From a photographic perspective, I have learnt so much – you really encouraged us to be creative and I have felt that not only in terms of the pictures, but also in terms of myself as a person. I seem to look at the world differently now and even found myself staring at the light falling on the cars in the traffic yesterday morning!! It seems I have photography on the mind, which is a wonderful thing. Thank you for your kindness and encouragement and for taking us to such a special place, not just physically, but on other levels too. As for Pakamisa, Isabella’s kindness, the hospitality we received from everyone and last, but most certainly not least, the spectacular horses, all made for a destination that will certainly remain with me for a long time to come. I look forward to returning one day.
Kindest regards Kelda KELDA LUND Publisher: National Geographic Traveller & Custom Publishing 8 INK MEDIA t 021 412 2931 f 021 421 8880 m 082 922 9679 i www.8inkmedia.com
Hi Ute Thank you so much for the most amazing horse photography workshop ever. It really was very special being around all those wonderful horses.
Sometimes we let the technical aspects get in our way while taking photographs, your workshop showed me that if you don't focus on the technical aspects you still get awesome photographs and it goes into a much deeper spiritual and emotional level. Thanks again Regards Alison Duncan
I am writing to thank you for a wonderful experience at the Photography Workshop. Everything about the environment was extraordinary. It was breathtaking to be perched on top of the mountain. The accommodations really were five-star; staff were helpful and friendly. I was so pleased with the members of the workshop. They were the type of people who are unpretentious, very open and enthusiastic, and talented. Though I required more attention than normal, no one ever acted like they were being "put-upon" when I needed help, including you.
You were right! In those four days, I completely relaxed, though I worked hardon learning about photography. I forgot about all of my deadlines in the city. I felt more rested than I had in a long time and the days just flew.
And what a stable of horses! I haven't had much experience with horses but they were wonderful to watch and to shoot. Because the shooting assignments were so unique and challenging, the follow-up discussions were also illuminating. I was very sorry I was unable to ride Samurai, the horse with whom I bonded but hopefully I will come back when I am better physically and get that opportunity.
Again, I thank you for all of your hard work and your commitment to facilitating the best possible experience for participants.
Sincerely, Dr. Barbara Fisher
Equine photography with Ute Sonnenberg
Last year I had the pleasure of meeting Ute Sonnenberg at Pakamisa stud for an equine photography workshop.So this year I attended a second workshop as I had immensely enjoyed the first workshop, had added it to the top of the list of outings I really like. The choice of location and subject was as close to perfect as can be found in South Africa and the arrangements for the weekend had been coordinated very effectively by Ute. I found the pricing to be reasonable and the value for money excellent.
Working with Ute is a real pleasure.Her approach to tuition is primarily concerned with working with people whilst sharing her strong knowledge and teaching participants skills in an effective manner. Contact with Ute reveals a sensitive and perceptive personality whilst she has a very effective approach to assessing the people she is working with individually and being able to thus work with each person in what is almost a one on one basis even though it is a group activity. Ute concentrates on improving the feeling with which one is carrying out the task which was photography but that the camera is a tool and the story about the horses and their environment is what we needed to capture and create.
Assistance on using the camera was available from Ute, but she stayed away from complex technical detail on using equipment as far as possible.All the emphasis is on connecting and bonding with the subject which is different to any other photography or art courses I have attended before.
This really enhanced the experience of taking a hobby and combining it with an interest or passion whilst being guided smoothly by Ute and her great sense of humor. Duncan Craig 27th July 2010
"Ute is an exceptional photographer. She has that special ability to see the extraordinary within the ordinary. Her website is really inspirational. I found her workshop at Pilansberg so helpful. It was relaxed and easy going, and as we drove around the reserve she shared with us her special ability to spot a good photo. She helped me to experiment, to break from the conventional and try something new. I look forward to the next one..." Lara Kay
“Ute’s workshop stands out for the following reasons:
Small groups and very personal attention and assistance Attention to detail Her passion for nature and the work she does is addictive An amazing breakfast I will go back over and over” Regards, Elize
“My husband and I attended one of Ute’s horse photography workshops and followed that up with a trip to the Pilanesberg. We had both become overly concerned with the technical aspects of operating a camera and Ute helped us to refocus on the pure enjoyment of photography, using instinct and intuition to achieve a good photo. She explained how to take photographs in situations where we would normally not have done so and taught us how to experiment with the conditions at hand, achieving some interesting effects.
Ute was an excellent hostess, keeping the trip light-hearted and fun. We can definitely recommend her workshops.” Regards, Claire & Dirk
Brian Khumalo, Leaders Unlimited, Johannesburg, South Africa I’m the chairman of my company Leaders Unlimited. We provide integrated leadership solutions going from recruitment of executives to board advisory. We do leadership development, executive coaching, mentoring and assessment of leadership behaviour.
I have a great interest in what provides competitive leadership behaviour. I have a great interest in communication and how leaders communicate and how they inspire others. I call it consciousness. When I read about Ute’s course which looks at communicating at an energy level as a form of communication like on a body or a mind level, I got very interested because it responded precisely to my interest in consciousness management.
One of the guys who work for me attended a course where he met Ute and talked to her. He got very interested and excited because he knows about my passion around consciousness.
The key message for me was that communication takes place at three levels of humanity. Just as we are human beings with three dimensions – the body, the mind and the soul or the spirit – communication takes place at a body level through body language. We are all very familiar with body language and using it. The communication also takes place at a mind level through verbal communication. Speaking, reading and writing are the language of the mind. This form of communication is most widely used in the world. The third dimension of our being is the spirit, the soul, the energy level. We never really focus on this dimension. What I found fascinating about Ute’s program is that it focuses on bringing this level to life and activating our communication skills at an energy level. To carry her methodology and her message across in educating people in communicating at an energy level Ute uses photography and light. Therefore you have to do it in a place which offers endless possibilities for capturing moments. In the wilderness you can capture nature and vegetation as well as wild life. The nature provides a high energy vibration because it is widely untouched by human beings. It is appropriate to connect to an energy level.
Absolutely. The biggest lesson I took was that at an energy level the message normally is derived from the silence. It is derived from you being silent and bonding fully with everything that is around you. I attend to explain things and to bring about logic in understanding things. Ute kept reminding me that the less is the better if you want to benefit from energy communication. Go into your soul and derive messages from the silence in the depth of your soul and your spirit rather than from external messages. The second big lesson I took was to make aware that at the core of my being I am one with all of life and creation on earth, I’m one with vegetation, mountains, rocks and animals. At the core of my being I am made of that one divine substance that makes everything health on earth. Therefore I could communicate at that level kept into the consciousness of everything that surrounds me, which is made of the same substance as me.
In my daily life it has influenced me dramatically. I become more aware of my body and my being. Therefore it has increased my own intuition. Things you become aware of without any logic. You are aware that something is wrong or something doesn’t align with your being. Normally I would look for external evidence, logic and reasons on the basic of which I would conclude that something is not good for me. Nowadays I listen to that feeling instead of logic and reasoning. And my experience is that it turns out correct.
Photography is a great media for energy communication. As I said earlier about the substance everything is made of vibrates at the frequency level of light. At the end of the day we are all made of that energy level, of the energy vibration of light. Photography has to do with light. When you capture moments around you using the magic of light and you are communicating with light you are tapping into the consciousness of light and you make the consciousness of light communicate with your consciousness at a light level to capture a moment that then reflects a certain message to you. The photography is the best medium for people to engage at the level of light which is the level of their core. That is the significance of photography to me. It is also fun to do. I never had interest in photography until I went to Kenya. I picked up that interest and became more knowledge about photography which is a great hobby. You are out there in the wilderness and then you come back with all of those moments captured through photography and you can put them on the table and can reconnect with them, you can analyse those moments and you can derive messages from what nature and light were communicating to you. In that way you start to develop your energy communication skills.
It is not easy and it is a lot of work to do. No physical work but it is a lot of inner work. It takes a while before it all starts sinking in because we are so conditioned by the mind. Our mind clicks in immediately trying to make sense of things. One of the things that Ute does is to keep reminding you to snap out of your mind. That is where and when energy communication takes place. When you silent your mind your energy dimension comes to the surface. You have to stop thinking and that is the most difficult thing to do because from the time you start going to school you are told that the mind is all. When somebody tells you that it is not a part of your soul and tells you to let go of your mental capability it is frustrating in the first place.
Who do you think should do the trainings? Every human being on earth. I believe that life on planet earth is at the stage where the third dimension of our being – the spirit and the soul – is going to be the source of competitive advantage. The last 300 years were the era of the mind where mental and intellectual competitiveness was the source of competitive advantage for humanity. That era had run its course and the 21st century is the era where the spirit and the soul are going to be the competitive advantage. Are you still interested in the topic? It is my profession. I am in the profession of helping people tapping their full potential. This is especially good for leaders from all walks of life – political, religious, economically. All leaders have to understand that to lead in the 21st century is going to require more than intellectual capability.
Gregor Gersen, Kenneth Smit Trainingen, Netherlands Have things changed for you after you did the training? I am more relaxed. I always had the pressure to get to results and had stress to finalize and arrange something. In the training I realized more and more that going with the flow is even better. Things come on your path and you can use them or not. I am more open to use the things by looking, listening and experiencing. Who do you think should do the training? I think it is very good for people who are in the top of organizations, in management positions. But I can also recommend it to people who want to learn more about themselves, who want to become more conscious and want to do something with it.
Are you still interested in th topic? Yes. I’ve changed my way of living by using my cell phone as a camera when I walk around and make pictures of special moments, events or nature. When I need them I download them, look at them and learn. That gives me the possibility to continue. Viktoria Susovits, Talk at Nyenrode Business University, Jan. 2010, Netherlands
On January 25th 2010 Ute Sonnenberg was invited by Prof. Paul de Blot of the Nijenrode Business University to give a lecture on her training about communication on energy level. Without any prior knowledge I listened to her with great curiosity.
Ute’s training is based on Quantum Consciousness, which integrates modern physics, Buddhist wisdom and Western psychology. One of its central ideas is that everything is made out of energy; this chair, my arm, an anxious feeling, a positive thought. It is all energy, but in different forms. This is the same energy you sometimes feel when you walk into a room with other people. In the 4 day training in the beautiful nature of Kenya, the focus is on this energy in forms of communication. In our daily life we are conditioned to communicate in a one dimensional way and usually don’t pay attention to unconscious aspects of our communication. These aspects will come to light through different techniques Ute uses in her trainings, like photography. By focusing on body, mind and soul, she tries to capture and explore communication on energy level as wide as possible.
Like Quantum Consciousness, Ute’s training is an experience more than a concept. In order to know and feel what the real impact of the training is, it is not sufficient and satisfying to listen to some words explaining it. It is not a spectator sport, it is an experience. This makes it difficult to answer all the questions raised by the audience. Because the strong sense of curiosity couldn’t be answered as expected, it transformed into a cascade of confusion and emotions. With this, Ute pulled the audience out of their comfort zone and created a whole new energy that would have been felt immediately by someone stepping into the room.
Ute picked Samburu in Kenya to be the best place to experience her training. This place has a very special energy with its red coloured earth, beautiful nature and wildlife. Her presence and short words were enough for me to decide to step into this experience and join her training in October.