Successful African Wildlife Photography

Good African wildlife photography is a result of a mixture of good fortune, patience and skill.

There's not much you can do about the luck part, but there is a lot you can do in the skill and patience departments to ensure great animal pictures.

I've (more about me) been lucky enough to develop my African wildlife photography skills over many years in the Kruger National Park in South Africa and other African reserves. I've learnt a few things that definitely make a difference in the quality of the shots you can obtain...

Rules of the African Wildlife Photography Game

  1. Use the right photography equipment:
    • The lens is the most important piece of equipment you need, even more so than the camera. Make sure the lens is the best that you can afford.

  2. Get up early and stay out late:
    • Sounds like a recipe for disaster but it works remarkably well. Most of the wildlife is much more active at these times and the light for wildlife photography is at an optimum. You can often catch some of the nocturnal animals heading out for the night or bustling back home. Won't see them at any other time.

  3. Invest in a beanbag or window tripod:
    • For reducing blur at those long focal lengths and remember to turn off the car when you compose. Any vibration can have an effect on the clarity of your photographs.

  4. Be prepared:
    • Your camera should be ready to snap at a moments notice. If you have more than one lens consider investing in another camera body. Changing lenses may cost you the picture of a lifetime.

  5. Have patience:
    • If you have time, simply waiting at a waterhole can be very rewarding. I've seen some interesting things at waterholes like an elephant chasing a crocodile, a fish eagle catching it's supper and just about every kind of wildlife visiting to quench their thirst including the big cats.

  6. Learn the basics of photography:
    • Your African wildlife photographs will improve remarkably if you master some photography basics.

The Best African Wildlife Photography Locations

I've set up a list of the best places in Africa for wildlife photographs. It's based on my personal experience and the experiences of other African wildlife photographers who have submitted their wildlife photos and safari trip reviews to African Safari Journals.

As the founder of African Safari Journals I get to read them all and it gives me a very good idea of where to go for excellent African wildlife photography opportunities.

Kenya and Tanzania Photo Safaris

Masai Mara and Serengeti: If you want photos of the big cats, the Masai Mara and Serengeti are excellent places to do it. The big advantage there is the open grassland and rolling plains that make for unobstructed African wildlife photography.

South Africa Photographic Safaris

Kruger National Park: You cannot beat this game park anywhere in Africa for sheer variety of picture opportunities. The bush can be somewhat dense but the wildlife are often very sporting and "pose" close to the road.

Sabie Sands Private Reserve: You are almost guaranteed of getting pictures of the "big 5" here as there is a large amount of game concentrated in a relatively small area and the rangers are very skilled at tracking the big game.

Botswana Photograph Safari

Selinda Reserve: This is a private reserve which means you can get off the beaten track to get really close to anything you see. Particularly good area for wild dog picturesphotography.

There are many more places where you will be able to get magical wildlife photographs, but in my opinion the above places are the absolute pinnacle.

Top Three Safari Companies

These are the best safari companies in Africa ranked by African Safari Journals using thousands of safari travel reviews.
Top 3 Safari Companies

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.