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A photographic safari is so much more than simply taking a couple of snaps with your phone when you’re on a game drive. On a photographic safari, everything is geared around the wants and needs of the photographer, whether they are a seasoned professional or a talented amateur. This means specially adapted private vehicles, guides who understand how to position the vehicle for the best light and view, and being unhampered by having to consider other guests.  If you want to wait for hours for a leopard to wake up at dusk and begin stalking, you can. If you have to have a swivel chair that allows for a 360° outlook, consider it done. If you have a specific bird in mind, the whole drive can be given over to finding it.

Many photographers prefer to travel in Green Season because, not only are there fewer vehicles at sightings, but the emerald foliage allows wildlife to ‘pop’ in a way they don’t against the brown landscape of peak season. The short-lived afternoon thundershowers also wash the air of dust, which can be considerable in the dry season. If you want to undertake a photographic safari, be sure to visit an area where off-roading and night drives are allowed so you can get closer to animals and see unusual nocturnal species. This precludes national parks but includes private reserves set in beautiful landscapes where your imagination can run riot.


  • You can take your time getting the images you want without pressure from the rest of the group

  • Specially adapted vehicles have camera rests, charging stations and even only two seats on 360° mounts

  • Specialist guides are patient and willing to wait at a sighting until you have your shot

  • Private reserves allow you more flexibility in timing so you can get the best sunrise and sunset light

  • Some lodges will send a packed lunch so you can spend all day out in the bush, finding spectacular sightings to capture

  • Many lodges have hides at waterholes so you can get unique angles and close-ups on drinking animals and birds


Some of the most iconic safari photos have been taken in East Africa, which is also a regular for wildlife documentary filmmakers. The Serengeti in Tanzania and Masai Mara in Kenya have open landscapes that allow you to capture dramatic action without background clutter. These are the places to get shots of the Wildebeest Migration, which can be seen nowhere else. Beyond the Mara and the Serengeti are the diverse landscapes of Selous, Ruaha, Samburu, Tarangire and Amboseli, each of which have a different feel. The sun here turns blood-red as it sets, offering a challenge to photographers who want this iconic image.


The private reserves around Kruger in South Africa are probably the best equipped for photographers who want access to conveniences like 24/7 power, high-speed Wi-Fi and customized vehicles. These luxurious lodges are also in rhino and leopard strongholds. But don’t overlook Botswana for the Okavango Delta and Moremi, and Zimbabwe for Mana Pools and the Victoria Falls. Namibia is perfect for photographers who want to drive themselves rather than be guided while Zambia, as the home of walking safaris, allows you to venture out on foot with armed guides and rangers. Eschewing the vehicle means you can find smaller wildlife and get much lower angles.


Once the wildlife photography bug has bitten, you’ll soon get itchy feet to photograph gorillas in Rwanda or Uganda. The challenges here act as motivation for dedicated photographers: you may trek for hours to find your troop so need to be fit to carry your equipment; conditions may be misty or gloomy so you need to consider your light settings carefully; and, you only get an hour with the gorillas so you need to be comfortable with your camera and working quickly. Specialist photographic guides who run private tours are available to help you work under these constraints so you get your shots.


Here are our favourite Photographic Itineraries to inspire you. All of our itineraries can be tailored to meet your specific requirements.


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