Safari Photo Tips

12th January 2021

Safari Photo Tips

Our Africa experts not only love exploring beautiful lodges and wilderness areas, but some of them also enjoy wildlife photography. We asked those behind the camera what they think are the most important safari photo tips when heading to their favourite destinations.

Safari Photo Tips

Sunsets are one of the best times for photographs. © Sam Hankss, Africa Expert

  1. The most important piece of advice I can give to get to know your camera. The last thing you want to do is spend your safari holiday fiddling around with settings and looking through the instruction manual. Make sure you have at least a few months experience with your camera and know exactly what you want and how to get it from your camera. Every camera has its strengths and weakness so knowing these and how to get the best performance out of the camera makes your holiday stress free and ensures you come back with the best possible photos.
  2. Use negative space. It is your friend and can be used to create some dramatic shots. Composition plays an important part with negative space so keep your eye on how you compose your images.
  3. Get low. Low angle shots are highly sought after and not easy to come by. Hiring a photographic vehicle from the camp will help in getting these shots.

  1. Whether you are in Mana Pools, the Masai Mara or the Sabi Sands or anything in between, the golden hour is the best time to photograph. The hour after sunrise and the hour before sunset offer the perfect opportunities for beautiful photos. The lighting is great for enhancing details and you can even play around with silhouettes.
  2. It does not matter what brand of camera you have. People can debate all day about this that and the other, but it does not really matter. No matter the brand of your camera, learn to use what you have and how to get the best results.
  3. If you don’t have the budget for multiple bodies and lenses, then versatility is key. For wildlife, a minimum of a 300mm lens would be advisable, and there are some great telephoto lenses that allow a good zoom whilst also a focal length that zooms out enough for landscape images.
Safari Photo Tips

Sometimes your close enough to photograph with your phone! © George Hannen, Africa Expert

  1. Make sure your settings are correct the night before. There is nothing worse than scrambling around with your settings whilst you miss that great photo opportunity. The mornings on safari are early, and not everyone functions at 100% during those early hours, so ensure your settings are correct before you go to sleep the night before. It will save time and hassle in the morning!
  2. Look at others for inspiration. There is nothing wrong with using other photographers to influence your work but try to create your own unique style.
  3. Don’t forget lots of memory cards and spare batteries! There is nothing worse than running out of space or battery during an excellent sighting!

  1. The most important piece of advice is that sometimes you should just put your camera down and enjoy the moment. Watching through a lens does not always do the situation justice, just relax and enjoy the sighting for what it is. Some things only ever happen once in a lifetime, so make sure you don’t miss the full experience.

If you’re interested in an African safari this year, make sure you contact one of our experts.