Tips for getting the best photographs on your African safari

Hoping to take spectacular photographs of the wildlife on your African safari? Follow our tips below to ensure you are well prepared and are not left disappointed.

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With the right equipment and a little patience you will be able to capture fantastic photographs on your African safari.

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Take extra memory cards and batteries

This may sound obvious, but you will be surprised at how many people forget to bring spare memory cards and batteries. You don’t want to miss out on a fabulous shot of one of the big five because you have already filled up your only memory card or your battery has gone! Always pop spares in your pockets before heading out on safari so you are well prepared.

Choose a vehicle with good seating

Obviously you will not be able to get out of your vehicle to photograph the animals for safety reasons, so you will need to make sure the vehicle you choose has good seating. Most guided safari tours use 4x4s with windows that can be opened fully and pop up roofs, giving you the chance to stick your camera out and get the perfect shot. Tiered seating in the vehicle will also help you to get a good view of the animals, without the people around you getting in the way.

Get up in time for sunrise

Whilst waking up early may not sound like something you want to do on holiday, it will be worth it for the fabulous photographs you snap. Early in the morning, before sunrise is the best time to spot animals like lions, leopards, and rhinos at the watering holes and rivers.

Don’t forget your zoom lens

When out on safari, you will find that some of the wildlife sightings are fairly close, whereas others are further away. This is where a zoom lens will come in handy. Using a zoom lens will ensure that you do not miss any of the important details.

Whilst we are on the topic of camera equipment, we also recommend that you use an image stabiliser, as it is unlikely that you are going to be able to use a tripod in a packed safari vehicle! Some cameras have in-built image stabilisers, but you can also buy lenses with them built in too.

Don’t ignore the little creatures

Whilst you may be hoping to get the perfect shot of a cheetah or lion, it’s important not to forget about the smaller creatures and birds living in the African bush. Pay attention to these little creatures and you will get some fabulous shots of them in their natural habitat.

Another tip is to study their behaviour, if they suddenly appear on high alert or flee the area, it is likely that a much bigger animal is approaching, helping you to prepare to take the perfect picture!

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Why not attempt to photograph the animals at night from your lodge?

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Take photos at night

If you want to come back with lots of different photographs from your African safari, we highly recommend doing a night shoot. The photographs you take in the dark will provide a great contrast to the African safari photos you have taken in the daytime. Make sure you are prepared by taking a tripod, flash extenders and a shutter remote.

Conclusion

So there we have our top tips for taking great photographs on an African safari. We hope you enjoy your trip (trust us it will be the experience of a lifetime) and get the chance to photograph all of your favourite animals. What we will say is that it is important to witness the beauty of the African wildlife with your own eyes too. There are some things that a camera lens simply can’t capture!

Image credits: hrmann_2000 and The Wandering American

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