Taking an African photo safari is an amazing experience, and in fact a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to encounter the beautiful wildlife, scenery and landscape of the continent. Today, this activity is beginning to gain popularity with large numbers of photographers coming into the continent from different parts of the world not only to witness but also capture a number of memorable moments on camera as well as to narrate their story in their own point of view about the continent.

What is an African Photo Safari?

One would wonder, what is a photographic safari, what does it entail, and where can it be done? Well, when we talk about photography, what most people understand is the ability to write with light. And then the dictionary definition of a safari puts it as an adventurous expedition or simply a journey.

We can therefore state that an expedition or journey that is full of adventure were people relax, explore and look into opportunities to write with light is what we would call a photo safari. While taking a photo safari, people execute their special, personal innovative features as they take part in this exploratory activity by capturing images that are precise to how they view the world they are open to.

Why go on a Photo Safari in Africa?

The major reason for taking photo safari adventures in Africa which I believe is common to many who have done it before is to put emphasis on the ideas we are communicating about or narrating a story on regarding the African tour continent, and also to look at Africa in a new way through one another perspective. Through the camera lens, this can help people learn more about their neighborhoods, what is happening in other communities, and the entire continent, as well as more so assist students as they learn about such topics in school. People are able to get out from their comfort zone into the community and associate with different people with the help of your pictures acquired during the photo safaris. They will also be able to compile the photos they believe narrate a tale of who they are and where they originate from. Therefore, this is your chance to get together with like-minded people to share this adventure of taking shots for a particular reason.

Pre-Safari Preparations for a Photo Safari in Africa

While taking a photo safari, everyone wishes to shoot images whose style is similar to those of the National Geographic’s, a photograph so legendary that totally seizes the moment as well as its subject. There is a possibility of trying to take your perfect ‘National Geographic’ picture if you are somewhat prepared and good luck is on your side putting aside the fact that photographers from National Geographic take several months out in the field while you only have a couple of days to pull off the perfect photo.

Make a good choice of Camera

For the body of the camera, make a choice of one that owns a frame rate that is quick for it will assist you in seizing moments as they take place. An example is a Canon-Eos 1D mkII that for every second shoots at eight frames.

Familiarize yourself with your camera

Your camera is clearly your most significant element and it is important to know how to handle and manipulate your shooting gear and how to maximize your angles when the best opportunity comes. There is a high probability of spending a lot of money on your accommodation as well as the tickets in case you have a booked safari. You should therefore not be sparing with using our camera equipment in case you wish to capture those pictures that you have been yearning for. A point and shoot or smart phone at this point would be useless. Once you make up your mind and decide to purchase a very good camera for this expedition, it is important that you get some time off and try to figure out how to use it before taking your trip. Believe me, you wouldn’t want to be one of those people who fidget with the settings instead of taking pictures of the moments displayed in front of you; such moment rarely re-represent themselves.

Choose your Lenses wisely

Depending on your subjects of focus, as well as the field in which your photography will rotate around, there are several different lens types that will work appropriately for each. A Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) camera has a good lens and it is the perfect choice for doing beautiful photography. The most significant feature on a camera that forms an image is the lens therefore it is crucial to acquire the perfect glass at a price that is friendly to your pockets. The 70-200mm f 2.8 Canon lens is one of the most preferred qualities. It possesses a zoom aspect which adapts to surroundings and can be very efficient in the field. It also works perfectly under dim light and also possesses a broad aperture. Therefore, take time and make adequate research on the choice of lenses you will be taking.

How To Practice Proper Composition in Photography

In photographing wildlife, it is crucial to understand that proper composition is good foundation of a perfect image. When shooting you should make it a habit to avoid ruining beautiful pictures with bad composition which is very common mistake among photographers. You should keep this in mind every time you go to shoot a picture.

Here are some tips on acquiring good composition:

The Rule of Thirds

the rule of thirds s quite simple: simply separate an image space into three (3) verticals and three (3) horizontals, then the exact point where these lines join is where a viewers, attention will be drawn most. So whatever is found within the markers regarding the shot you will make is what will offer an impressive composition. Putting your subject at the center of the frame is quite a tempting thing that many photographers fall prey to, however if you do so, you will get a resultant bland (plain) image. In case you want to understand what I am saying, attempt to place anything that your audience may want to see into one among the thirds then practice shooting of a center frame plus one among the thirds. This goes the same for horizons place your horizon either at the bottom or top-most third rather than the center of the frame, you will instantly get a more fascinating image. For a more pleasing composition while shooting animal photographs, do not forget to give them to some extra space within the frame,

  1. Exposure

The next basic is proper exposure. Your camera is composed of a light meter that is in-built, which it utilizes to determine the appropriate f-stop as well as the shutter speed to accurately expose the scene. What usually takes place in photography of wildlife is that the subject you are focusing on is either having a shining background (say a leopard on a tree and the sky illuminates behind it), or in a shadowy light (say an elephant relaxing in a tree shade). This will puzzle the light meter and it may wrongly expose the image thus spoiling the effect hoped to be created by you.

The Automatic-Exposure lock function is the perfect tool for right photography exposure. You can learn how it is activated by taking time and reading though the instruction manual that comes with your camera – this will surely change your experience. Put the setting of the light meter of your camera on to Spot or center-weighted. Using the view-finder focus the camera in various angles with different light intensity; before long, you will discover the change in shutter speed values as the camera adjusts to the light intensity. Basing on the descent of light towards your subject, you may wish to make an accurate setting for exposure of the intensity of light you yearn to take.

How to shoot African landscapes

The continent of Africa is richly blessed with a great diversity of landscapes, breathtaking places where you will immerse in enduring scenery, vast open expanses and distant horizons. Well having an opportunity to do photography within such a varied yet beautiful landscapes is quiet and exciting yet nerve wrecking opportunity especially for first time photographers.

Below I have highlighted the number of tips to help you capture beautiful photographs of Africa’s landscapes

During your photographic safari in Africa, to be able to get the very best of a scene, you should highly think about the equipment you will need on this expedition. a wide-angle lens of 10mm to 20mm is very useful and so is a tripod stand on which you will be able to rest you camera still as take photos. another important thing when it comes to shooting landscapes is contrast and lighting, then lastly make the best use of the natural light as well as the present situation you will be working in so as to acquire the best effect

How to shoot at different times of the day

It is also very important you think about what time of the day you will be shooting you images. A similar scene may appear very different basing on the time and the light of the day. the most ideal time to make your shoots is during sunset or at day break when the angle of the sun creates Long shadows and offers a  stunning golden light perfect for imagery. Before sunrise or after sunset you can also get a number of good pictures. The colors of the night-fall can be unearthly. Moving elements for example clouds or water become blurred in long exposures and a vivid soft light covers the landscape.

Sunset photography means shooting in minimum light which implies longer exposure. Adjust the ISO to shorten or prolong the exposure where need be.

How to deal with exposure and contrast

When doing photography of landscapes, exposure can be problematic especially when working with a scene with too much contrast. In such instances there are two main things that you can do: first, take several images of that same scene with the different exposures, and then afterwards you combine them into a single image using the high-dynamic-range function with applications like Photoshop. Secondly, you may use a graduated filter

What is the impact of back lighting in landscape photography?

I know the number of photographers work by the saying “shoot-with-the-sun-at-your-back” however there are several interesting opportunities that you can look out for if you work by the exact opposite of this saying. There are number of technical challenges that come with back lighting however the results will be worth your efforts. With back lighting everything would seem quite dramatic offering graphic and striking images which will definitely attract the attention of the people viewing your photos

The most powerful impact of back lighting can be experienced when the subject you are dealing with is in light while its background is a shadow. one of the commonest challenge while dealing with backlit subjects is flare and in order to avoid it simply shade or cover your camera lens with your hand or a lens Hood this will help prevent stray light from striking the glass of your camera

The rule of thirds

As you may know the rule of thirds is a significant factor in acquiring an outstanding landscape photo. Keep in mind where to put your horizontal or the focal point of the image and it will make a very good difference between an average picture and an outstanding picture. One would wonder what do I mean by saying this? Well an image will get a pleasing expression or call it aspect if the aspect or horizon of the image you wish to focus on is near to the top or the bottom third section of your photo frame.

The rule of depth of field

Another important thing you have to consider while photographing landscapes is the depth of field. At times a shallow depth of field will fix the attention of your viewer to the focal point of the picture. In instances where you want the entire image to be in focus do not forget to shut down the aperture so as to acquire a longer exposure.

How to add a focal point to display a sense of scale

Remember landscapes in Africa are normally very wide so at times it is a very good idea to introduce objects, people or animals into your scene so as to give it a sense of scale. Incorporating animals or wildlife into the natural environment will make a very beautiful composition in such cases

It is very key that you carefully think about where to place yourself as you photograph the African landscape. Try different angles as well as perspectives by moving around until you finally acquire what you want

What is the importance of Aerial Safari Photography?

I know that you have seen a number of beautiful aerial photographic works. Well in such instances during your visit in the African continent you will have to use either a helicopter or a light aircraft and have your camera with you at work. Keep your eyes on the lookout for good composition as well as interesting shapes while exploring the landscape from high above. Thanks to Mother Nature there are endless interesting shapes so try to use all these to your advantage. Look for shapes like triangles, circles, curves, swirls plus any other basic or outstanding shapes so as to create a visually engaging and boldly graphic image.

How to search for interesting shapes and lines in landscapes

While taking your landscape shots simply look for dynamic shapes or lines which will give your picture that edge. There is nothing that demands more attention than leading elements. well leading lines to be specific maybe extremely powerful however leading elements may  consist of other shapes or a progression of different objects from the foreground to the background thus encouraging your viewers to move deeper into the composition and as a result you will create a visual engagement of a higher level. the main significance of lines is to provide an evident visual cue that points to what is vital in an image frame however in case you are to use a leading line ensure that it focuses in a place that is interesting. In case it points outside the image frame you will end up confusing the viewer rather than enticing them

In conclusion I can mention that despite the fact that photographing of landscapes does not have any mandatory rules, my only hope is that the few tips I have highlighted above will inspire you to get something that will be creative during your photographic safari in Africa. at the end of the day, just as the old saying goes: ‘beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder’ so as you venture out to capture some interesting images at the bottom of the mind look for something that will make your photo more outstanding than the arrest.

TOP TIPS FOR PHOTOGRAPHING THE BIG 5

The big 5 in the earlier times were taken to be a threat and were on a sad note dabbed as the ‘Big Five’ difficult and harmful animals which were hunted by trophy hunters. Photographic safaris fortunately changed the way people engage with wildlife. We now currently go home with nothing but just pictures of the leopard, elephant, buffalo, rhino as well as the lion that we take on the digital cameras as trophies. There are several approaches you can use to take perfect pictures for various species under different conditions during your African photographic safari.

Below are a number of the top tips on how to capture these great animals.

  1. Photographing Elephants

You are given a wide range of compositions to select from when capturing elephants. This is because these giants truly present themselves to a crowd of artistic places. You may create a picture that describes them in their natural setting through the use of wide angle lens. You can also concentrate on particular physical features of theirs for example their fascinatingly beautiful eyes, their trunks as well as their tusks by zooming in with your zoom lens.

From various points of view plus positions, you can accentuate their magnitude by capturing them from a lower level say the ground or at a higher angle. A few of the safari camps which contain underground/sunken hides and are in close proximity to the water holes are perfect for shooting for front images of elephants at quite a personal and special point of view.

Where to see elephants on an Africa Photo Safari?

Great places for spotting elephants include: Tsavo East as well as the Tsavo West National Parks, Okavango Delta, Kruger National Park, Tarangire National Park, Chobe National Park and the Amboseli National Park.

Photographing Rhinos

Just as it is with elephants the big size of the rhino provides a photographer several options for composition. In this case a wide-angle will deliver an image which contextualizes the rhino in its natural habitat whereas the zooming will enable you to focus on different parts of its body. In reality it has been proved that some of the best and most popular photos of rhinos are those whose composition places these giants in context to the landscape in comparison to portraits that are up-close. a good example is the compelling imagery offered by the photos of the rhinos living in Namibia taken when these giant mammals are in the middle of the wide hush wilderness.

Where to see Rhinos on an Africa Photo Safari?

Some of the best places to see rhinos include Ziwa rhino sanctuary in Uganda, Kruger National Park, laikipia found in northern Kenya, several private reserves found close to Etosha National Park, Pindah game reserve as well as Madikwe game reserve.

Photographing buffaloes

Well the Buffalo is one of the challenging subjects you will ever encounter when it comes to wildlife photograph. Their dark colored body makes exposure quite tricky a thing that you should always be mindful of well taking a buffalo’s photo. You have to make sure that you are correctly exposing the entire scene or else there is a risk of overexposing the entire image as the light meter tries to compensate for the dark hides.

In instances when you’re photographing a herd, it is a common thing that these animals kick up a large amount of dust which offers a very atmosphere for beautiful pictures if you backlight. On the other hand because of their large horns and angry expressions individual bulls offer a great character for studying. They enjoy wallowing in the mud so one of the best places to find them is next to water holes or muddy areas. Their bodies are normally covered in mud, house flies are usually flying around them and their angry fighter expression gives as a very great composition.

Where to see Buffaloes on an Africa Photo Safari?

Some of the best places to see the bafflers include Kafue National Park, the Duba plains found within the Okavango delta, Moremi game reserve, Savute National Park as well as Kruger National Park

Photographing lions

For many photographers the lion is a much-loved safari model which implies that there are a number of compositions that will inspire you. All you need to do is set your desired image away from the crowd and adopt a couple of professional qualities within your approach.

One of the most important character you should adopt is ‘patience’; remember for most of the day lions are sleeping therefore, you have to choose you photography moment very carefully.                                                                                                                                                                                                    They are mainly active in the early morning or in the late evening as the sun is setting. it is very important therefore that you plan your time accordingly as these times of the day will give you the best shots when the animals are up and awake stretching, interacting and ready to make their hunt or even get an opportunity to catch one of them make a kill. You will be able to capture if Lucky, a set of cubs playing not far from their mother. Because of the active nature of the lion cubs, they have become quite an interesting and loved subject among many photographers.

When presented with an instance when a lion is making a kill many photographers tend to zoom into the feeding action and forget about what is happening around the entire kill itself. However if you’re to make enough research you will realize that the best opportunities for photography are taking place on the periphery were several interactions are taking place.

I highly recommend that’s as you are taking a shoot of a lion you spare a couple of minutes and look around you could be rewarded with a number of beautiful images. In case the lioness has cubs I recommend that you focus on them more because they make a more active subject than the adults especially during the day. You can focus on them playing with each other or even with their mother and other older siblings. Making a tight zoom will offer you beautiful details such as the soft paws, kitten like beauty plus several fascinating facial expressions for good imagery

Please remember the principal of photographing lions is to do so either at sunset or at dawn since they spend most of the day napping.

Where to see Buffaloes on an Africa Photo Safari?

Some of the best places to see Lions include the Masai Mara National reserve in Kenya, Duba planes found in Okavango Delta, the Serengeti National Park founding Tanzania, the Busanga plains found in Kafue National Park, Sabi Sands private game reserve as well as Kruger private concessions.

Photographing leopards

Generally, leopards are elusive animals – they are hard to find, but if found many photographers become very excited and end up making a number of mistakes. Amongst the common mistakes made is framing the shot too tightly and trimming off their tails which spoils the composition. Always check the settings of your camera and review each photo right away to ensure that you are well exposing and composing the image.

Although they are a very inclusive kind of subject, leopards offer a serene and elegant composition. They are normally encountered at sunset as they prepare to make their night hunt. They usually remain in the shadows and within the short bushes which together with limited light implies that you need to keep your focus on the exposure. Increase the ISO so as to compensate, the aperture is tuned to the widest setting. Keep in mind when working with a wide aperture that the field depth will be really shallow and so ensure you are focusing on precisely what you want to portray in the picture and adjust the angle accordingly. The most suggestive images of leopards have their shot focused on the mysterious eyes of the animal.

In instances where the leopard is up in the tree don’t forget about the brighter sky that will be in the background so make all the necessary adjustments as well. In cases where the sky is a bright background use this spot-meter function of your camera to get the best possible value of light. You can either insert the values manually or use the auto-exposure lock function which will prevent your image from being underexposed.

Where to see Leopards on an Africa Photo Safari?

Some of the best places to see the leopard include: South Luangwa National Park, Serengeti National Park, Masai Mara game reserve, Timbavati private game reserve, Sabi Sands private game reserve and Moremi game reserve.

Please note about wildlife photography

in order to make your image outstanding than the rest, focus on presenting your subject in the most ideal way depending on the particular creature you will be handling. Keep your mind open and think creatively. Ensure that you review your images each day at the end of the shooting adventure as this will offer you an opportunity to improve you images. Sometimes when lucky you may be presented with another opportunity to capture the same Big Five animals the following day offering you another chance to perfection – Mother Nature is always full of surprises

The most important virtues of professional photographers are patience, handiness plus familiarity with your equipment, and above all making the best use of available light. These virtues together with a perfect guide and luck on your side you will be able to come up with some of the finest images of Africa’s big 5 animals.

What Photography Equipment to pack for your Africa Photo Safari

For first timers, the idea of heading to Africa for a photo safari is very exciting and brings very many fascinating ideas to mind. As the departure date draws closer, you begin to think about what you should take and shouldn’t pack. For an ordinary traveler, their attention will be on the appropriate clothing to pack however as a photographer, emphasis will be put on what equipment you will need to take with you to enable you capture memorable and nice photographs.

at the bottom of your mind you should remember that unlike the ordinary wildlife safaris which are all about seeing an animal species and then you move on, photographic safaris are not rushed. In case you are joining a group, it is actually better that you choice like-minded travelers taking a photo expedition as well. In order to capture the best shots, you will have to patiently watch the animals to capture an unusual behavior because they are not human that they will make a pause at your go. So below are some of the different equipment you will need on you photo safari in Africa.

  1. Cameras

As stated about you will not need just a single camera for your photo safari in Africa but at least two (2) camera bodies; to some, this may appear extravagant however I have very good reasons to support this. Having another camera in form of back up will be a very life saving thing that will save you from the heart-breaking terror in case the one and only camera you have broke down or failed. It would be worse if this disaster befell you on the earlier days of your say eight (8) days photo safari. So irrespective of whether you are taking two mirror-less cameras, or two DSLRs, or combining the two, it will save you a lot of frustration. it is also very important that you  test your equipment before traveling.

Another reason why an extra camera will come in handy is because Africa is generally dusty. And for anyone familiar with camera equipment you will agree with me that the camera’s super sensitive sensors do not deal with any form of sand or dust. This therefore does away with the need to change camera-lenses on location. in addition possessing two  cameras each fitted with different lenses say a mid range zoom or a telephoto lens will make it very easy for you to swap them. this will make capturing wide shots say of wildlife and their habitat, or capturing animals that are very close to you very easy by simply switching cameras.

I am certain that not everyone can afford to carry two cameras on the safari to Africa, irrespective of whether it is a crop sensor, full frame or another make. The most important thing is for you to closely know and understand your camera – with constant practice back at home on your own pets you will familiarize with functionalities and the correct adjustments you need to make for a good shot, thus boasting your confidence to easily adjust to any conditions that may unfold during your safari.

  1. Lenses

When it comes to a photo safari in Africa, telephoto lenses having a focal-length of 300mm and more are best recommended. The 300mm will also work well on crop-sensor cameras as well, while the full frame cameras will work better with a lens having 400mm and over. If you want to photograph large animals, or even birds, then a longer focal length lens will offer you better shots.

I am highly certain that the flexibility of zoom lenses makes them the best deal when going in Africa. The varied diversity and size of wildlife as well as the different range of distances you will be dealing with will require a good lens option between 100mm and 400mm. also a having a short-zoom lens ranging from 24mm to 70 mm is a good choice as it offers you the flexibility to pull-away to wildlife and add context to the image. People interested in landscape photograph will require a super wide lens of 16mm to 35mm or 14m to 24mm.

Because majority of the wild animals are active early morning and in the late evening, you will find yourself working in environment with low light levels. So a lens with a larger aperture like f/2.8 allows additional light in the camera enabling you use a fairly high speed shutter for longer. Such lenses come at a high cost so a cheaper alternative would be increasing the ISO – and that comes with a setback of increasing noise. Nonetheless most photographers would rather settle for a sharper clear shot with some noise than a terrible shot without noise. This noise however can be eliminated during the post production after your safari.

  1. Filters

These are very useful especially when composing images of landscapes during your photo safari in Africa. A polarizer filter will do well to reduce colors, saturate and glare as well as darken the skies. An ND filter is much recommended if you rightly want to expose the bright skies while at you are at the same time preserving the exposure-detail within the fore-ground.

  1. Camera Support

When we talk about camera supports, there are a number of options you can use here. Below I will discuss just a few.

Bean Bags: these are quite simple but will effectively offer good support to the camera. During your safari, you can rest the camera lens on the bean bags when placed window frames or doorsills or even on the roof of your safari vehicle. Fortunately, most tour operators dealing in photographic safaris in Africa avail their clients with these bean bags. a number of safari goers prefer packing their bean bags with polystyrene balls which are lightweight before departing. These bean bags despite them being useful are not a global solution. they may do well within the east African countries, however when it comes to countries  in southern Africa such as Zimbabwe, South Africa, Botswana, and Zambia, they use open land cruisers or land rovers which will not enable you to use the bean bags.

Monopod: in case a bean bag will not serve you well then a monopod which offers a lightweight more practical option to use in your safari vehicle.

Tripod: this on the other hand is also very useful for photo shots take in the evening, around a camp or for longer exposures. The only limit will be that these three-legged stands occupy a lot of space in the safari vehicle, however if you are in an open private vehicle, then this will offer the perfect platform for your lenses. a number of airlines may not allow you to take the tripod stand as part of your hand luggage and carry it in the cabin; and in case you are placing it in the holding, it is likely to take up a lot of your luggage weight.  An important tip here however, is to remove your camera from the tripod stand while the safari car is moving, that way you will prevent any damages on the camera resulting from the vehicle shaking.

  1. Clamp

I recommend that you choose a make that can easily be bolted nearly everywhere even on the roof bar of your vehicle. You can actually place these clamps in several strategic positions within the vehicle to enable you easily switch the camera from one side to another. A Manfrotto Superclamp with a gimbal head or a ball head is one of the most recommended make when it comes to choice of clamps to use on your Africa photo safari.

  1. Image Storage devices

when we talk about a photographic safari, it include spending several days out in Africa’s wilderness trying to capture the best shots of the gifts of Mother Nature. This will imply that you will take very many pictures in a single day which will require you to have devices on which you can save them all through the safari. Below we have highlighted some of the useful storage options you can settle for during your expedition.

A Laptop and external hard drives: in a single day a photographer may take about 500 pictures a day while a dedicated one may go as many as 800 in a single day. So a portable laptop having external hard-drives is very helpful in safely backing up your photos. In case you have enough luggage allowance, you could settle for two (2) hard drives which will mirror one another. Don’t forget its additional components including the card readers, power cables (charger) as well as connecting cables.

Memory Cards:

Multiple memorable cards are a more portable alternative to external hard drives. At the end of each day’s expedition, you will keep the memory cards and replace with empty ones for the following day. In case you are not comfortable with an option of changing memory cards all the time, then you could acquire one with a bigger memory capacity of 32GB. However, speaking out of experience, I would recommend travelers to use at least 2 to 3 memory cards instead of placing all their work on a single card. It will be very heartbreaking in case you return home and the memory card fails to work!

You can file these away at the end of each day. That way, you are safe in the knowledge that your data remains untouched until you arrive home. If you don’t like the idea of swapping out memory cards too often, go for larger capacity ones such as 32GB. That said, I don’t like to put all my eggs in one basket, and therefore I opt for 2 or 3 smaller cards in favor of one larger one.

Accessories to pack for an Africa Photographic Safari

  • Batteries

Familiarize with the battery life of your camera prior to taking your safari so that you can have with you adequate spares to take you through every day of the safari. The most import thing to remember is that excessive cold doesn’t do well the batteries so ensure that in the cold night they are not exposed.

Lens Cleaning Cloth

One of the most important accessories to carry with you is a lens cleaning cloth; remember Africa’s national parks are located in the dusty countryside. it is also wise to carry along a lens and camera cover; these will protect your equipment from the dust as well as in the event that it rains.

Smartphone

Notepad and pen

Malaria medication,

Your passport and visa

Binoculars

Head torch (especially when engaging in night activities)

Personal medication

Toiletries

Sun screen lotion

Insect repellent

Some cash

Other Useful information while packing for an Africa Photo Safari

It is important and highly recommended to pack all you high value equipment such as laptops, cameras on lenses in your hand luggage. A number of safety requirements offered by most airlines necessitate that you also have your batteries plus chargers in your hand luggage since you may need to demonstrate that the laptops and cameras are in proper functioning order to the airport security. A basic rule is to have all your photography equipment, medication and travel document in your hand luggage.

It is also important that when you pack you equipment, you prepare for disruption. a number of photographic tours might require 2 to 3 flights to reach your destination. It is very likely that’s on each of these flights you will be subjected to a number of security checkpoints that will require you to unpack and re-pack your laptop, cameras and lenses. It’s for that reason but I recommend you keep all the big items that will require you to unpack repeatedly on top of the small accessories. Have the cables, power charges and batteries wrapped up together in a nearby pocket within your luggage.

Have a camera bag big enough to accommodate your gear but small enough to fit within the airplanes cabins. The bag should be sizable enough so that you can easily and safely lift it in and out of Lockers without additional assistance. Remember different airlines have different rules regarding the maximum weight and size of luggage so always endeavor to check the requirements of each airline you will be using.

Taking an Africa photo safari is an amazing experience, and in fact a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to encounter the beautiful wildlife, scenery and landscape of the continent. It’s no lie that it may be a scary  experience to pack very essential yet expensive photography gear for your Safari, however irrespective of whether you are a first time photo travelers or an experienced photographer ‘always seek advice’. In case you are using a tour agent who is specialized in photographic safaris, consult with them because they have vast knowledge and great experience that will enable you enjoy your adventure with little or no stress at all.

What clothing to pack on a photo Safari in Africa?

Most of Africa is hot and warm throughout the day while the early mornings and nights can get really cold. It is recommended that you pack some warm clothing including a jacket for the early morning adventures and the night game drives. During the day a t-shirt and the lightweight trouser or even shorts are appropriate however don’t forget a rain jacket in the event that it rains. It is also good to wear trainers or sneakers when going on Safari because sometimes you might have to step out of your vehicle and do some trekking.

What documentation is needed for a Photo Safari?

You will need a valid passport which should be running for a minimum of six months after the end of your Safari to travel in any part of Africa just as it is in most parts of the world. In case you need to renew or update your travel passport I recommend that you do this out of the peak holiday season to avoid rushing. However if time is not on your side then you will have to part with an extra money to process a renewed passport back in your home country. Don’t forget to check on the visa requirements of the destinations that you will be visiting on your Safari. Different countries have different visa requirements so pay special attention to this as well.

Do I need insurance for a photo Safari in Africa?

Yes it is very important that when you’re traveling you get insurance. It is important to find out if they have a policy that will cover not just you but your equipment as well on your Safari. Some companies only cover the gear that will be in your hand luggage so carefully read through the different policies and what they include so that you can get something that will be favorable to you.