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Top 5 Essential Safari Photography Tips

by Pete Dobre

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Let’s face it - if you are a professional photographer, you will admit that there are a few things more exhilarating or exciting than a safari into the depths of the jungle.

Not only do you get to see a large variety of flora and fauna that you wouldn't even dream of seeing otherwise, but, being completely prepped with your camera, you can take some amazing pictures as well.

The sheer thrill of a jungle safari is quite hard to match. But how does one go about ensuring that the experience is truly memorable in every sense of the word? On that very note, here are the top five tips for all professional and amateur photographers out there looking to make the most out of their upcoming safari trip:


1. The aspect of good gear

This aspect cannot be stressed upon enough. Make sure that you have all the important gear with you. A couple of really powerful lenses are important if you want to take complete advantage of the safari experience on the whole.

Safari Camera Gear

For African photography safaris, a two-camera setup is the ideal option. The telephoto zoom lens is perfect for all close-up pictures, while a wide angle lens is your best bet for scenery shots. Also, it’s not possible to wield your camera all the time, for some shots require a certain angle and stability, which can be best ensured with a tripod at your disposal. It is recommended to carry lightweight tripods that can be folded down into a handy piece of accessory.

2. It’s all about the light

A lot of people tend to forget that, ultimately, photography is all about capturing light. So don’t get too excited just randomly clicking photos without seeing if there is an adequate amount of light or not first.

safari photography light

Two hours before sunset is the perfect time to shoot the best pictures thanks to the sunlight. If you are planning to take some aerial shots, do that while the sun is shining bright at noon. During this time the day, the subjects on the ground will get maximum exposure and their shadows will be the shortest.

3. Remember to look up

By this, we mean look at the trees. Sure, the sheer variety of wildlife usually does tend to mesmerise people, but not to the extent of completely forgetting about the bird life either.

safari bird photography

You’ll be amazed at just how many species of birds are out there. Not to mention a huge number of bird photos have made their way to nominations for awards of international acclaim. Look up more and you might just be able to sneak away with an accolade for one of your bird-clicks.

3. Patience

This pretty much goes without saying. For any wildlife photographer out there, an exceptional amount of patience is needed in order to capture animals at the best and most carefree state.

Hence, don’t be too eager to click the most number of pictures. Rather, take it easy and observe animals for a while. You may just end up getting a better picture than you previously thought. Also, it is important to watch out for your actions around animals. You will not want to scare them away or intrude on their privacy one way or another.

4. Don’t forget about the environment

A lot of people tend to forget about this aspect. Even if you have the worst luck and are unable to spot any substantially large animals for hours on end, don’t forget that the overall scenery is still there for you to soak in. The African landscape is just as gorgeous and spectacular as the animals themselves.

african landscape safari photography

Don’t miss out on opportunities to capture some amazing pictures of the environment. Look around to capture nature’s wonders: vast landscapes that stretch into limitless horizons, mountains, dense forests, lakes and what not. All you need is a good camera and a unique perspective to capture a series of pictures that could be the best work of your life.

At the end of the day, the most important thing is to be as careful as possible. Follow the rules and don’t get too close to the animals at any cost unless your guide advises otherwise. As far as taking pictures is concerned, be as creative as possible, carry a good zoom lens and you can be sure that you will have the most memorable safari experience of your life.


If you’re been dreaming of finally shooting some exquisite safari photos, be sure to check out BookAllSafari’s photography safaris!

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