Photographing Elephants in Africa

Top 5 Tips for Photographing Animals in Africa

When you’re going on a once-in-a-lifetime safari in Africa, capturing great photos of your experience is a must. Majestic lions, leaping leopards, gigantic gentle elephants, and magical African sunsets make for jaw-dropping photos that you’ll treasure forever. Africa is the world’s best destination for photographers of all skill levels. With today’s advanced digital cameras, getting amazing wildlife shots is easier than ever. With a bit of planning and know-howm you’ll get images so amazing, they’ll look like they belong on the pages of National Geographic.

Here’s how to do it:

Giraffe StarePack It In
Bringing the right camera equipment is essential to getting eternal images. Use a tripod, window mount, and image stabilizer to get crisp, clear photos. A long lens (300 or 400mm) is good, and longer ones may be even better helps you to get closer shots of amazing animals that are off in the distance. You don’t want to change lenses too much, however, so if you have a standard lens and a long lens, you may want to take two camera bodies. Bring extra memory cards so that you have lots of space for multiple shots. You’ll need them!

Pretty Woman Reviewing Photos on Camera_141200332Get To Know Your Camera
Just bought a brand new camera for your Africa tour? Great! Now its time to practice using it before you embark on your trip. Really get to know your camera and its functions. Experiment with different settings. Try to imagine the type of lighting and subject conditions you will experience on your holiday, and experiment at home to perfect your technique. Photograph your cat or dog in the backyard to get an in-depth understanding how your camera works. For extra practice, you could even take a trip to the zoo! It’ll all pay off when you’re face-to-face with a lion and capture the photo of your dreams.

Lions, Tigers and Zebras, Oh My!
Wild animals can be unpredictable – that’s what makes them exciting. They may suddenly appear and then disappear just as quickly. But knowing the behaviour of the animal you are trying to photograph can go a long way toward capturing that winning shot. Talk to your guide about how to best capture the particular animal you’re looking for. Be patient and take your time. Remember that even professional photographers take hundreds of photos to get that one winning photo. It can take some extra effort but the results will be well worth it.

Leopard Crossing Road with Tourists in Jeep, Kruger National Park_145434481

The Golden Hour
The best time to take photos is in the early morning and late afternoon. This is when the natural light is best for taking photos, and when the animals are most active. Morning and evening game drives are perfect opportunities to avoid the strong shadows and glare that occurs at midday. The soft, diffused light of the golden hour (also known as the magic hour) will make your subjects appear to glow. At sunset, you can capture some amazing silhouettes on the savanna. Give it a try!

Jock Safari Lodge Wildlife

Photograph Family Too
Though you’ll surely be captivated by the presence of graceful giraffes, awe-inspiring herds of wildebeest crossing the plains of the Serengeti, or a powerful pack of lions taking down a zebra, don’t forget to include people in some of your photos. Decades from now, you’ll treasure photos of your husband, wife or children enjoying the scenery or wildlife more than photos of the animals themselves! Showing people in the same shot as wildlife can show the sheer size of the animals. Use common sense around wild animals and ask your guide for help if you need it. Better yet, ask your guide to take a photo of your whole family together. Make the most of your African safari tour with your loved ones, and remember to set down your camera once in a while and take in the full experience. You’ll create memories – and photos – that will last a lifetime!

Kids on jeep with guide

Goway offers a range of African safari tours to suit your family. Visit our website for more information on African safari tours.

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Kirsty Perring
Kirsty Perring

Africa Experts Product Manager – Although British born and now Toronto based, Kirsty grew up in South Africa and is completely passionate about all things Africa. She finds it hard to choose a favourite destination, but lists Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, and Botswana as some of the most special places she has visited, and feels it’s not just about where you go and what you see, but who you get to experience it with. Kirsty is always up for an adventure and will try anything once. As such, she has para-glided in South Africa, zip lined in Mauritius, dived the Red Sea, hot air ballooned in Egypt, and even swam in the Okavango Delta. Next on Kirsty’s bucket list is to climb Kilimanjaro!

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