Africa Wanderlust

10 Best African Photo Safaris You Must Experience

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Even if you’ve been on a safari in the past, an African photo safari is something you want to experience or at the very list add to the top of your bucket list.

But first, what is a photo safari ? The phrase “photo safari” is not a common sentence structure but its meaning can be deduced easily. An African photo safari in general context means going on an adventure with the sole purpose of taking high-quality pictures.

African Photo Safari

This definition also applies to actual safari destinations in Africa since many people are aiming to take photos during game drives. So, what is the use of a photo safari in Africa? Well, here are just a few reasons to consider a photo safari:

  • For the adventure and to preserve the experience for years to come (similar to Northern Lights portraits in the arctic).
  • Working as a wildlife photographer for websites and magazines.
  • An African photo safari can be done for promotional purposes to advertise safari photography tours. Tour operators use these images in their brochures and websites.
  • Educational purposes for schools and conservation projects.

The Best Africa Photo Safari Tours

An analysis was carried out by the website Safari Bookings in June 2019. 157 parks in 11 countries were ranked according to African photo safari reviews from both tourists and experts who work as authors for prestigious travel companies like Lonely Planet and Trip Advisor. The best places for African safari are clustered in Southern Africa. Here is a list of top 10 parks best-suited for game viewing and photographic opportunities.

  • Serengeti National Park, Tanzania , 4.92/5: Abundance of Big 5, especially the big cats, opportunities to view wildebeest migration aka migration safari. ( More Details )
  • Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe , 4.85/5: A variety of safari tours such as walking, canoe, and classic safaris, an abundance of big 5 except rhino, a large population of wild dogs. ( More Details )
  • Mala Mala Game Reserve, South Africa , 4.80/5: Private reserve with luxurious facilities, a high population of wildlife, especially all of the big 5. This park is a must because of the outstanding wildlife viewing opportunity if you visit Johannesburg or Cape Town. ( More Details )
  • Okavango Delta, Botswana, 4.76/5: A variety of tours such as canoe, boat, and classic safaris, waterway paradise, and presence of big 5. ( More Details )
  • Lower Zambezi National Park, Zambia , 4.68/5: Canoe and classic safari tours, and 4 of the big 5. ( More Details )
  • Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana , 4.68/5: Large population of big 5 including the rare rhino species. ( More Details )
  • South Luangwa National Park, Zambia , 4.67/5: Walking and driving safari options, an abundance of the big 5 except rhinos, an abundance of giraffes, and an opportunity to see Victoria Falls. ( More Details )
  • Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania , 4.64/5: Abundance of wildlife including the big 5 inside the unique landscape of a volcanic crater. ( More Details )
  • Sabi Sand Game Reserve, South Africa , 4.62/5: With multiple private reserves in close proximity, you will have an exclusive safari experience with an excellent Big 5 viewing. You can request for a private guided tour for a tailor-made adventure to suit your needs. ( More Details )
  • Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya , 4.59/5: The presence of all members of the big 5, an abundance of big cats and the opportunity to watch the mass migration of wildebeest makes this East Africa destination a must. ( More Details )

Best Month To Go On An African Safari

Kruger National Park Safari

The best time to go on an African Safari depends on the country you are visiting. Different countries are ideal for different times of the year and for different reasons.

January to February: Tanzania

The Great Migration of wildebeests from Serengeti in Tanzania to Masai Mara in Kenya is the most picturesque event during a safari in Tanzania. 

During January and February, you can witness not only river crossings of large herds of giraffes, zebras, and antelopes but also predators like lions attempting to hunt the weakest members of the herds. You can also witness a wildebeest or zebra giving birth.

March-April: South Africa, Ethiopia, Namibia

The best time for game viewing in South Africa is the transition period between summer and winter. The weather is still ideal with mild temperatures. Besides, the summer rainfall from the previous months brings out many members of the wildlife. Kruger National Park is highly recommended.

Ethiopia is another ideal destination since it is about to enter its rainy season just after April. The temperatures will be ideal for both humans and animals to go outdoors. The Simien Mountains National Park is highly recommended.

These two months also see the transition between the rainy season and the dry season in Namibia. The rainfall from March increases the greenery and the temperatures remain quite warm during the day.

May to June: Madagascar, Zimbabwe

May and June in Madagascar see the lowest temperatures and are ideal for viewing endangered species like lemurs and chameleons.

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Zimbabwe’s weather displays features of both wet and dry seasons, so you can witness the highest variety of animals. The relative dryness makes the safari a less muddy and more pleasant safari experience. So many animals come out to drink water from watering holes and rivers.

July to August: Rwanda, Botswana

Rwanda’s dry season is the best time for gorilla trekking for viewing mountain gorillas, colobus monkeys and chimpanzees. Botswana’s Okavango Delta also experiences dryness, so safari tours will be more comfortable and less messy. Animals gather around waterholes, making the viewing much easier. The absence of mosquitos is a huge plus.

September: Kenya

The Great Migration occurs in the opposite direction from Masai Mara to Serengeti in September

Best African photo safari

African Safari Cost

The cost of an African photo safari depends on the package you are purchasing. There are options available for both budget travelers and luxury travelers.

Budget safaris start from 100-125 USD per person per day, while the high-end safari packages can cost more than 700 USD per person per night.

Although the difference is not huge, the cheapest budget safari options are found in Zambia with 150 USD per person for group safaris.

There are also additional costs you need to consider.

  • Level of accommodation: Many national parks will have a range of accommodation from campsites to luxurious tents or cottages.
  • Self-drive: A great option if you enjoy adventure traveling. Self-drive safari is obviously a cheaper option, but also more challenging when it comes to animal encounters.
  • Holiday season: The prices will go up significantly during the school holiday season. You need to find out when the holiday starts and make an effort to visit the parks outside the peak season.
  • Vaccination and medication: Depending on the season and the country, you will probably need certain vaccinations and precautions against certain diseases like malaria.
  • Visa: Although getting a visa is easy, it does cost around 30-50 USD depending on the country.
  • Tips: The safari guides will appreciate a tip between 10-15 USD

Visit here for a detailed breakdown of safari costs.

Frequently Asked Questions About African Photo Safari

It is unusual for wildlife and the human race to come into contact during the safari. That being said, the tours are guided by experienced locals who know how to act around wild animals. They make sure of the absolute safety of both parts.

Although safari tours are completely safe, you have a huge responsibility to make sure they stay that way. There are certain rules that you MUST follow. Leaving the safari vehicle, getting too close to the animals, trying to feed them, and drawing them closer to the vehicles are strictly forbidden and can lead to life-threatening outcomes. Such disruptive behaviors put you and those around you in danger.

The budget safari tours start from 100 USD per person and can go up to 1000 USD. But in general, the cost depends on what you expect from a safari. Refer to the cost section for a detailed explanation.

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African Photographic Safaris

If you’re a photography enthusiast, you might want to consider booking an African photographic safari. Photography is a hobby shared by many. However, taking great wildlife photos requires dedication. By joining a photographic tour you will avoid ending up with a group of people taking selfies at every sighting. Instead, you'll be with people sharing your passion and dedication. Even if you’re accomplished as a photographer in another field, there’s still much you can learn from an experienced wildlife photographer and the skills of anticipating animal behavior. Wildlife photography on safari is unique in its need for patience and bush etiquette. You should never cross the line where your photography interferes with an animal’s existence.

9-Day Photographic Safari Experience

9-Day Photographic Safari Experience

$2,398 pp (USD)

Tanzania: Private tour Mid-range Lodge & Tented Camp

You Visit: Arusha (Start) , Arusha NP, Tarangire NP, Lake Natron, Lake Eyasi, Lake Duluti, Kilimanjaro Airport (End)

Colours Africa Tours and Safaris

5.0 /5  –  159 Reviews

8-Day Best of Kenya Photographic Wildlife Safari

8-Day Best of Kenya Photographic Wildlife Safari

$2,728 to $3,982 pp (USD)

Kenya: Private tour Mid-range Lodge & Tented Camp

You Visit: Nairobi (Start) , Tsavo West NP, Amboseli NP, Lake Naivasha (Naivasha) , Masai Mara NR, Nairobi (End)

Let's Venture Africa Safaris

5.0 /5  –  25 Reviews

3-Day Nyerere National Park Tour - Southern Tanzania

3-Day Nyerere National Park Tour - Southern Tanzania

$1,130 pp (USD)

Tanzania: Private tour Budget Tented Camp

You Visit: Dar Es Salaam (Start) , Nyerere NP, Dar Es Salaam (End)

Mountain Beauty

Not yet rated

6-Day Private Custom African Wildlife Safari (Mid-Range)

6-Day Private Custom African Wildlife Safari (Mid-Range)

$5,990 pp (USD)

South Africa: Private tour Mid-range Lodge

You Visit: Johannesburg (Start) , Kruger NP, Timbavati NR (Greater Kruger) , Johannesburg (End)

Ukhozi Tours

5.0 /5  –  5 Reviews

best photo safari in africa

1-Day Victoria Fals Tour Zambia and Zimbabwe

$171 pp (USD)

Zambia & Zimbabwe: Day tour Shared tour (max 22 people per vehicle)

You Visit: Livingstone (Start) , Victoria Falls, Livingstone (End)

Arnolubi Safari & Tours

best photo safari in africa

4-Day Omo Valley Tribal Tour

$330 pp (USD)

Ethiopia: Shared tour (max 4 people per vehicle) Mid-range Lodge

You Visit: Jinka (Start) , Omo Valley (Cultural Village) , Jinka (End)

More See Tour

best photo safari in africa

½-Day Hot Air Balloon Maasai Mara Early Morning Safari

$495 pp (USD)

Kenya: ½ Day tour Shared tour (max 60 people per vehicle)

You Visit: Masai Mara National Reserve

African Beast Tours and Safaris

4.3 /5  –  6 Reviews

best photo safari in africa

1-Day Serval Wildlife - Heaven on Earth (Day Trip)

$264 pp (USD)

Tanzania: Day tour Private tour

You Visit: Arusha (Start) , Serval Wildlife (Highlight) , Arusha (End)

Mucho Tours & Safaris

best photo safari in africa

7-Day Wildlife and Culture Adventure Safari

$2,746 pp (USD)

Tanzania: Private tour Budget Lodge & Tented Camp

You Visit: Arusha (Start) , Maasai Village (Cultural Village) , Tarangire NP, Lake Manyara NP, Serengeti NP, Ngorongoro Crater, Arusha (End)

best photo safari in africa

4-Day Private Custom Tour of Kruger NP (Mid-Range)

$1,595 pp (USD)

South Africa: Private tour Mid-range

You Visit: Johannesburg (Start) , Kruger NP, Johannesburg (End)

best photo safari in africa

7-Day Kenya Photography Hide Tour

$4,216 to $5,698 pp (USD)

You Visit: Nairobi (Start) , Shompole Conservancy, Olkiramatian, Masai Mara NR, Nairobi (End)

Brighte Maasai Adventures

4.8 /5  –  11 Reviews

best photo safari in africa

7-Day Serengeti Photography Tour Package

$4,337 pp (USD)

Tanzania: Private tour Mid-range Tented Camp & Hotel

You Visit: Arusha (Start) , Serengeti NP, Kilimanjaro Airport (End)

Tansafari-Tours

5.0 /5  –  3 Reviews

best photo safari in africa

7-Day Photographic Safari

$3,784 to $4,257 pp (USD)

Zambia: Private tour Mid-range Chalet

You Visit: Lusaka (Start) , South Luangwa NP, Lusaka (End)

Ntanda Ventures

5.0 /5  –  22 Reviews

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6 Questions About Photographic Safaris

Ariadne van Zandbergen

Answered by

Ariadne van zandbergen.

best photo safari in africa

Why should I choose an African photo safari?

“You would choose a photographic safari because you have a passion for taking great wildlife photos, and you want to develop the necessary skills. Depending on the type of tour, there might be tuition, tips and workshops. Most of all, a photographic tour is designed to facilitate great photos for photographers. This might mean that the choice of location and lodging is mainly based on photographic opportunities. It also means that you’ll be in great locations for photography when the light is at its best. This is usually around sunrise and sunset (you’ll be photographing rather than having sundowner drinks at that crucial time). As well, on a photo safari you’ll be with a group of fellow photographers. They will share your passion and understand the patience required in waiting for the best possible shot at sightings. Whether photography is new for you, or you’re a dedicated amateur, or a professional, it makes sense to book a photographic tour if photography is one of your main interests on safari.”

What level of skills is required?

“You won’t need any prior skills as such. Almost all photographic tours welcome anyone with an interest in photography. However, to make the most of the opportunities and tuition on the safari, familiarize yourself completely with your own photographic equipment before the trip. As well, freshen up on the basics of photography, such as the relationship of aperture and shutter speed. If you don’t have these basic skills, it might make sense to either take a small beginner’s course before the trip or do some reading or online learning to become familiar with the basics yourself. All of which means you can then practice applying these new skills while on tour on the safari.”

Can my non-photographer partner join me?

“Most photographic tours will welcome partners. Often couples don’t share the same interest in photography, yet it is only natural that they would prefer to go on safari together. Some tours offer optional activities for non-photographer partners. Mostly, partners are allowed to join the tour as long as they understand that the tour will be catering for photographers and their specific needs. Most partners of photographers will be used to this in any case, so this rarely creates any conflict. In fact, some partners of photographers make great assistants.”

Is a photo safari led by a photographer?

“Yes, a photo safari is usually led by a photographer. Some African photo safaris are led by high-profile photographers, but that usually comes at a hefty price. There are many photo safaris that are led by unknown photo enthusiasts with lots of experience of wildlife photography. Don’t be dazzled by the photographer’s CV, as the best photographers don’t always make the best guides or tutors. The main job of the photographic tour leader is to facilitate the best photography conditions for the group. A tour leader should never be tempted to put their own photography priorities above the needs of the group. As well as the tour leader’s own photography page or website, check out reviews and tour reports to get a feel for how the tour leader operates.”

Do I need special gear to join a photographic safari?

“When you join a photographic tour, you will be expected to have an SLR (Single Lens Reflex), DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) or mirrorless camera, as opposed to a point-and-shoot. Aside from that, there will be recommendations for equipment, but they are not compulsory. However, it doesn’t make sense to invest in a photo safari without the right gear for taking reasonable wildlife photos. It’s a good idea to have at least two lenses, including a telephoto lens. How big a telephoto lens you need depends a little on where you will go on safari. If off-road driving is allowed, as in many private reserves in southern Africa, you’ll be able to get quite close to animals. In these cases, a 200mm or 300mm lens will be sufficient. Even better is a 400mm or 500mm capacity lens, especially in national parks where off-road driving is not allowed. A convertor can also help to extend your range. It is great if you can avoid having to change lenses by having your lenses permanently set on different cameras. That way, you don’t lose time changing lenses during fast-moving action. Another downside of having to change lenses is that dust gets in and settles on the sensor. An off-camera flash set-up is great for night photography.”

What should I consider when choosing an African photo safari?

“There are many things to consider when choosing a photographic safari. First of all, is a photography safari what you need? Just because you like taking a few photos doesn’t mean you want to sit for hours at a sighting waiting for something to happen. Or that you would like to be up and out every day before breakfast. So, photographic safari packages are really better suited to quite serious photographers, as casual photographers might prefer a more relaxed approach to photography while on tour. However, if you’re a keen photographer, you might opt for a tailor-made private safari. You’ll miss out on any professional expertise, but you can structure the tour as you wish. Discuss your needs with your tour operator. Another factor is the season. The Dry season tends to be most reliable for wildlife photography. However, the lush Wet season, often called the emerald season, is more beautiful and can offer stunning light conditions. Finally, your price and budget are big considerations when choosing any kind of tour.”

  • Experiences

African Photography Safaris

The best places to go on an african photography safaris.

Whether you're a professional or amateur photographer, a photography safari experience in Africa is unlike anywhere else in the world. With Africa's iconic splendour as your subject, there's something new to capture around every corner.  

What makes photography safaris in Africa so special is not only the wildly diverse landscapes, wildlife, and sunsets that will leave you swooning, but also the luxury lodges. At many of these safari lodges, you get access to high-end photography equipment. So, you can travel light and get everything you need when you arrive. Many also have photography studios where you can admire and edit your incredible moments captured on safari.

Several safari lodges in  South Africa ,  Botswana , and  Zambia  offer specialist photography safaris in Africa for all levels of expertise. Take your  Big 5 safari  and  Great Migration adventure  to another level by capturing it on camera and take home some of your best African memories. We can't wait to see what you capture! 

Why choose Africa for your photography safari tour?

Africa is home to several unique animals that you cannot find anywhere else in the world

The sunsets are a photographer's dream

Untouched, varied landscapes 

Several lodges and camps will provide all your photography equipment upon arrival

Guides and rangers are highly skilled in tracking as well as photography 

Grab your camera, let’s go!

What can you expect from an African photography safari? 

Africa welcomes everyone to a photography safari, from complete newbies who've never heard of the rule of thirds to seasoned safari photographers who can seamlessly change lenses on even the bumpiest game drive. Here are some of our favourite African destinations, lodges and experiences that will turn anyone into a professional photographer! 

Boat Photography Safaris in Botswana

Botswana  is arguably one of the best photography safari destinations in the world. One of the last remaining wildlife sanctuaries on earth, it’s rich in unspoiled landscapes and home to over 450 bird species and a wide variety of animals, of which some are rare.

You can go on a photography safari in traditional dug-out canoes called mokoros in the Okavango Delta. This allows you to glide silently through the water without disturbing the wildlife and the low angle of the boat is perfect for taking photos.

In the  Chobe Region , photography safaris are offered on motorised boats and will give you prime views of the animals flocking to the water. The “elephant capital” of the world, you will see herds of elephants as far as the eye can see. Other animals include the rest of the Big 5, zebras, giraffes, the endangered African wild dog, civets, hyenas, baboons and puku antelopes, and the Chobe River teems with crocodiles and hippos. 

Many of these boats have built-in camera arms to stabilise equipment and take the weight off your arms. 

Photography Safari Tours on Specialised Vehicles

Londolozi Private Game Reserve's  lodges in the  Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve ,  South Africa , offer photography safaris on their custom-built photography vehicles. 

As part of their conservation efforts, Londolozi has introduced their very own Zero Emissions Safari Vehicle. With a lower carbon footprint than the conventional 4x4, this new electric vehicle moves silently through the bush. It's further modified and fitted with adjustable seats that can swivel 180 degrees, allowing maximum flexibility and unusual camera angles.

Guests can hire all photography equipment from Londolozi, and it will be ready for you upon arrival. Their photographic experience includes the private safari vehicle, a professional photographic tutor, a dedicated ranger and tracker team and full access to the Londolozi Photography Studio for post-processing and editing of your photos.

Bush Walk Photography Safaris 

One of the best ways to see Africa in all her glory is on foot. Located in  Zambia , the  South Luangwa National Park  is dubbed the “birthplace of the walking safari”. 

One of Africa's finest wildlife retreats, it's a paradise for safari enthusiasts, and the park's remote location with a reasonably low visitor count allows for an exclusive safari experience.  

The highly skilled and experienced guides will lead you through the park and show you how they track game, point out all the smaller things you wouldn't ordinarily notice, and give you insight into Africa and her creatures.

With over 400 bird species and 60 different animal species, you will never run out of scenes to capture in this magnificent game-rich park. A photographic walking safari gives you an entirely different perspective and an understanding of how precious these animals and landscapes really are and why they should be protected. 

Photography Safari from a Hide 

Several lodges in Africa offer unobstructed views of the watering holes where animals gather. Even though you can often see them without even leaving the lodge, the best way to get the perfect photos of them from a hide, giving guests the perfect view of all the action. 

Botswana is one of the best bird-watching destinations in Africa, and many lodges are tailored specifically for bird watchers. Examples include  Duma Tau Camp ,  Xigera Camp  and  Jao Camp . 

Book your African photography safari with Rhino Africa

Sounds good? Well, how about taking it up another notch by booking with the best? As the World's Best Safari Company, we'll ensure every little detail is taken care of, so that you can just focus on enjoying every second!  

It's time to start planning your African photographic safari.  Contact one of our Travel Experts , and they'll create a tailor-made tour to suit your specific needs and wants. See you in Africa!

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  • 1 Describe your dream trip
  • 2 A Travel Expert will help curate your experience
  • 3 Confirm & start packing

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Enquire now and a Travel Expert will get back to you within 24 hours.

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See Africa Today

Best African Photo Safari Destinations

best african photo safari

There is no African safari without photography which is why you should pick the best African photo safari.

Africa is home to some of the most iconic wildlife in the world, and a photo safari is the perfect way to capture these amazing creatures in their natural habitat. There are many different African countries to choose from for a photo safari. But some of the most popular include Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Uganda Tanzania, South Africa, and Botswana.

When choosing a photo safari, it is important to consider the time of year you want to go. Also, consider the type of wildlife you are interested in seeing, and your budget.

Table of Contents

Where Is The Best Place To Take A Photo Safari In Africa?

The best African photo safaris destinations are game parks, national parks, reserves and conservancies. Moreover, the best time for this safari is during the dry season which differs from country to country. Movement during this season is easier since the terrain of most parks is rugged and becomes worse during the wet season.

Tsavo National Park, home to Kenya’s Big five

A herd of elephants at the Tsavo National Park, Kenya [Photo by Safari Bookings Blog]

  • Serengeti National Park
  • Maasai Mara National Reserve
  • Etosha National Park
  • Amboseli National Park
  • Lake Nakuru National Park
  • Kruger National Park
  • Lake Manyara National Park
  • Tsavo National Park
  • Okavango Delta

How Much Does An African Photo Safari Cost?

A budget for the best African photo safari sets you back $250 to $1500 depending on the package you choose. Your destination choice also affects your budget. Ideally, East Africa has luxury packages which are expensive. Therefore; if you are looking at a tight budget, head to Botswana and South Africa. Their rates are incredibly amazing and they have excellent photo safari opportunities.

An important thing to keep in mind is that rates are not constant; you may pay lower in off-peak months and higher in peak months.

Which Country Has The Best Photography Safari?

As stated earlier, Africa safari is phenomenal and unique due to the existence of wildlife and other captivating sceneries.  Some of the best African photo safari tours in Africa include the following.

  • South Africa

Which Is The Best Jungle Safari In Africa?

The Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda rates among the best jungle safaris in Africa. It is home to the largest population of mountain gorillas . You get an opportunity to see mountain gorillas in their natural habitat while here. These gentle giants are truly amazing creatures, and it is an unforgettable experience to see them up close.

In addition to mountain gorillas, Bwindi is also home to chimpanzees, elephants, and over 340 species of birds. Golden monkeys, black-and-white colobus monkeys, and red-tailed monkeys are also common sights here.

Gorilla trekking

Queen Elizabeth National Park and Bwindi gorillas. Photo/ Safari Update Travels.

Besides Bwindi in Uganda, Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and Virunga National Park on the Rwanda-DRC border have mountain gorillas. They are excellent choices for a jungle safari too. Thousands of local and international tourists visit Volcanoes and Virunga National Parks each year and enjoy trekking deep in the jungle. Their treks wind up with amazing snapshots of the endangered mountain gorillas in their natural habitat.  While these jungle treks are not as popular as the escapades in the Serengeti and Maasai Mara; they make up for the best African photo safari.

Which Country Is Cheapest For Safari Africa?

South Africa is generally considered to be the cheapest country for safari in Africa. There are a number of reasons for this. First, South Africa has a well-developed tourist infrastructure, meaning there is a wide range of accommodation and safari options available, from budget to luxury.

Secondly, the South African rand is a relatively a weak currency, which makes it more affordable for travelers from other countries. Finally, this country has a malaria-free safari destinations, which save travelers money on malaria medication and prophylaxis.

No matter which country you choose, a photo safari is an unforgettable experience. You see some of the most amazing animals in the world up close and personal including the legendary Big Five. With the help of a skilled guide, you capture stunning photos of these creatures in their natural habitat.

  • Is Kenya the best for safari?

Kenya is without an iota of doubt the home of African safari

  • Which African country is the safest for safari?

Botswana safety rating for safari tourists is the best in Africa

  • Where is best for safari Kenya or Tanzania?

Both Kenya and Tanzania have amazing safari destinations. It’s a matter of preference.

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About the author.

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Teresa Mwangi

Teresa is a journalist with years of experience in creating web content. She is a wanderlust at heart, loves travelling and telling stories about tour and travel in Africa by every angle.

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SafarisAfricana

Photo Safari in Africa

A guide to african photography safaris.

Embarking on a  photo safari in Africa is surely every professional and amateur photographer’s dream. The type of trip on offer can differ depending on your photography level and budget, but there is a great range of options out there for those who know exactly what they’re after.

As with every type of African safari, the time of year you wish to travel has a huge impact on the experience you can expect, the animals you can photograph and the price you will have to pay. Do your homework on where you want to go and when and sum up whether or not this presents the photo opportunities that you seek.  Be realistic – if you want to head to Kenya’s Masai Mara in the hopes of capturing the Great Wildebeest Migration , you can expect to pay a premium for the privilege. But, if your aim is to get the best possible shots, you need to be in these areas when an abundance of wildlife is most likely to be seen, and so prices will naturally be high.

You might be wondering why it is necessary to pay a specific fee for a photography trip when you could just bring your camera along on a standard budget safari. The answer is, it is not necessary and if your budget is tight, you could opt for a self-drive safari and snap away from your car. But there is a reason serious photographers are willing to pay a premium.  Booking your trip via a specialist safari travel operator means the company you go with will have specialist local knowledge and specific safari trucks that offer photographers the best chances of coming away with some amazing images.

Look for companies that cater to small groups of photographers, ideally with a  vehicle that fits up to 10 people that can be used between 3 – 4 of you. This will ensure you each have the required space and range to compose and snap your shots. Check whether the vehicles have roof hatches that allow you to stand up and photograph through, as well as side windows so you can snap away whilst seated.

If you’re worried about not getting close enough to your subjects, ask before you book if your park or reserve offer off-road driving. Some parks also have deals with local big cat sanctuaries where photographers can spend a few days getting close-up shots as part of their package.

The sky is the limit when it comes to how your trip pans out – if you’re going all out, you could fly between several destinations over a 2 or 3-week itinerary, live it up in luxury lodges and pay upwards of $12,000. With a standard specialist trip, you might bag a bargain deal for around $3,000 or, if times are really tough, just stick to a self-drive with cheap camping accommodation.

Before you head out on your first drive, it is worth brushing up on your safari van etiquette. Every photographer has the same aim:  to get the best possible shots. You won’t want someone nudging you or getting in the way of your shot at the last minute, and equally, you won’t want to be the one to ruin someone else’s’ money shot.  Have a word with your guide or your group about seat rotation, elbow room and general van behaviour to ensure you all get off on the right foot.

Top Photo Safari Destinations

Photographers can embark on a photography safari anywhere in Africa –  where there’s game, there is a prime photo opportunity. However, some regions offer an abundance of wildlife at certain times of the year and these are highlighted below.

Southern Africa

South Africa’s Kruger National Park has been the location for some of the best game photos ever to come out of Africa and has a great variety of game for photographers to aim their lenses at.  If you’re specifically interested in elephants, it is worth heading to Addo Elephant National Park in the Eastern Cape to capture some up close.

In Namibia , the Caprivi Strip and Etosha Pan offer great game viewing, while the Okavango Delta is Botswana’s main pick.

East Africa

The Masai Mara in Kenya comes to life with the Great Migration between August and October.

Tanzania features less on the popular photo safari trail but is still worth visiting, particularly for those with an interest in the chimpanzees that reside in the Mahale Mountains National Park. If you head up north to the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater you could also witness the Great Migration begin with the calving season around February / March.

Photo Safari Tips

  • Consider the equipment you want to take with you before you go and leave behind anything that isn’t a necessity. How much you can take will depend on the nature of your trip, but if you’re moving around a lot, or taking internal flights, you will be restricted to what you can bring.
  • Pack plenty of memory cards and spare batteries to ensure you don’t miss out due to avoidable equipment failure!
  • Check what electricity access you will have before you go to ensure you can charge your cameras at night.
  • You probably won’t be able to pack a tripod, but invest in an alternative like a bean bag that is easy to carry and can be perched on a window or other surface to ensure a steady shot.
  • Keep your kit to hand, fired up and ready to shoot as soon as game comes into view.
  • Beware of the dreaded African dust, which not only irritates eyes but can irritate precious and expensive equipment as well! Keep your lens caps on and bags closed at all times when not in use.
  • Check out our tips on taking the perfect safari photo and you’re all set!

Photo Safari Resources

  • WILD4 offer some amazing trips under the guidance of  a professional photographer at a variety of African locations.
  • Photo Snap Shot is filled with essential photo safari tips and tricks for those in the photography safari planning stages.
  • Greg Du Toit offer advice on planning, tips on  specific locations and action packed itineraries.

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Africa’s best game reserves

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Photographic Safaris in Africa

Africa's best authentic tailor-made safaris.

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By Adelle Belle

Safari Travel Planner

Africa offers a unique opportunity for photography enthusiasts through its specialised photo safaris. Unlike regular safaris, these tours cater specifically to the needs of photographers. While on safari, a photographer may need more time and patience than usual to get the desired shot.

This type of safari emphasizes patience, allowing ample time for capturing wildlife in their natural habitat. There will be guides leading you who are knowledgeable about both photography and wildlife. This means positioning the safari vehicle for the best shots and understanding the importance of lighting and timing.

The African photographic safari tours also accommodate the extra equipment that photographers usually carry to make sure that nothing interferes with the search for the perfect image. Countries like South Africa, Botswana, Kenya, and Tanzania are renowned for their photographic safaris. These tours provide an opportunity to not only enjoy the wildlife and landscapes but also to improve your photography skills.

Popular Photographic Safaris in Africa

Each of our popular itineraries can be tailor-made to suit your budget as well as your specific interests..

best photo safari in africa

Botswana Safari and Livingstone Luxury Journey

Botswana Linyanti Concession Zambia Livingstone

From $ 7980 /USD

best photo safari in africa

Amboseli Masai Mara and Victoria Falls Adventure

East Africa Kenya Maasai Mara Zimbabwe Victoria Falls

From $ 7100 /USD

best photo safari in africa

Affordable Chobe and Delta Explorer

Southern Africa Botswana Chobe Okavango Delta

From $ 3345 /USD

best photo safari in africa

Governors Camp Collection Safari

East Africa Kenya Lake Naivasha Lake Nakuru National Park Laikipia, Lewa and Ol Pejeta Conservancy Maasai Mara

From $ 11800 /USD

best photo safari in africa

Classic Zambia Safari in Lower Zambezi, Kafue a...

Zambia Lower Zambezi Kafue Busanga Plains

From $ 6850 /USD

best photo safari in africa

Herdtracker Masai Mara Wildebeest Journey

East Africa Kenya Maasai Mara

From $ 6600 /USD

best photo safari in africa

69 Photographic Safaris to choose from

Stay for 3 - 16 days

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Why travel with us, recent reviews from travellers who planned and booked their africa trips with discover africa safaris, professionalism and helpfulness at the service of the customer.

7 Day Panorama And Mala Mala Safari Review

Alessandra, Switzerland 06 Apr 2024

Megan at discover africa organised an incredible tour for us..

16 Day South Africa & Zimbabwe Safari

Kylie, Australia 17 Apr 2023

Megan warrington was as personable as she was helpful and efficient..

Cape to Kruger to Botswana Review

David Mather, United States 18 Aug 2022

Our south africa tour was absolutely incredible.

Kruger & Sabi Safari Review

Maziar N, United States 25 Apr 2022

Alan was amazing, knowledgeable, passionate, and overall a fantastic tour operator..

Wildebeest Migration Review

Michelle/Javaid, United States 02 Feb 2022

Trip of a lifetime..

9-Day Victoria Falls Tour Review

Melanie Austin, Canada 07 Dec 2019

Travel with confidence, with over 20 years of experience, our team will help you tailor your itinerary to your perfect adventure., 24/7 support, personalized, ready to plan your tailor-made safari.

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Welcome to Pangolin Photo Safaris

We are africa’s premier photo safari operator and lodge owners. this site contains plenty of information on all our pangolin photo safaris, the destinations that we visit (and call home) as well as wildlife photography tips , video tutorials and inspirational galleries to help you become a better wildlife photographer. when you are ready, we have a team of expert african photo safari planners who are on hand to help you design and build your perfect pangolin photo safari. we look forward to welcoming you on an african photo safari soon..

Toby Jermyn pangolin photo safaris director

Our Featured Safaris

Elephants by the Chobe National Park River in Botswana

Chobe and Okavango Delta

When: Mar-Nov Duration: 8 Days Price from: USD8,950

Chobe Photography Safaris

The Best of The Chobe

When: Mar - Nov Duration: 7 Days Price from: USD4,595

Masai Mara photography tour

The Great Migration

When: September 2024 Duration: 8 Days Price from: USD9,950

elephants in Amboseli National Park

When: February 2025 Duration: 12 Days Price from: USD14,950

Pangolin Places

Pangolin Chobe Hotel

Pangolin Chobe Hotel

Perched on a plateau overlooking The Chobe River and Caprivi Floodplains the Pangolin Chobe hotel is designed around a wildlife photography gallery. With only 14 rooms it is an intimate property and the base for our iconic photo safari experiences.

Pangolin Voyager - okavango delta houseboat safari

The Pangolin Voyager

Our floating lodge is actually moored on the Namibian side of the Chobe and is the perfect base for families and groups to charter on an exclusive basis. With 5 cabins the Pangolin Voyager can accommodate up to ten guests.

Dinaka Camp in Botswana

Pangolin Photo Camps

We have teamed up with a selection of highly reputable safari operators to host our Pangolin Photo Camps throughout Southern and East Africa. This gives us plenty of options to visit them at optimal wildlife photography times.

botswanas leading hotel 2023 winner shield 256

Never, and I mean never, was so excellent guided!
I loved being in and on the Chobe. The amount of game and birds one gets to see really close up is amazing. I am just a happy snapper who enjoys seeing wildlife but with Guts’ fun instruction in easy to grasp chunks I was surprised how much I learnt and the quality of some of my pics.
This is truly the way to do a game drive if visiting Chobe National Park. The people of Pangolin are amazing and turned this game drive into one of the most memorable events in my life!
The photo boats are incredible, well equipped with all the resources you need to create magical wildlife photography. If you come to the Chobe and don’t do a photo tour with Pangolin you’re missing out!
This was an incredible trip. Pangolin arranged everything and deserves top scores for coordinating the logistics.
This was the most memorable activity of our holiday! What a treat to be able to use such wonderful camera equipment, with tuition and a guide, in such an amazing location.
We can’t talk more highly of Pangolin and thank them very warmly for a wonderful holiday.
These guys know what they are doing! We were with Pangolin for 5 days on a recent two stop photo safari. Pangolin handled the Chobe part of the trip in Kasane and on the Pangolin Voyager houseboat and it was a wonderful experience from start to finish.
A wonderful experience, since the photo teachers and guide are very very knowledgable. They bring you in the best position to take your pictures, they know their equipment very well, and by experience, they can almost ‘read’ animal behaviour.

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Pangolin Photo Safaris is proud to be the founding partner of a new non-profit organisation dedicated to the conservation of the most highly trafficked wildlife species on the continent: the African Pangolin.

Through a three-pronged approach of Publicity, Participation and Protection, the NGO works with partners in the tourism, conservation and corporate fields with the aim of increasing worldwide awareness of the species; gathering data to contribute towards much-needed research; and implementing protection and rehabilitation projects on the ground.

For more information about this exciting initiative and to join #TeamPangolin visit www.pangolin.africa

APRIL SALE:   Book now and get   up to 60% off!

Photography Tours & Trips in Africa

Push back the branches and focus your lens on specially-crafted photography adventures to Africa. Experience the natural thrill of wildlife encounters from vehicles designed for photography with panoramic views of the plains, allowing you to capture those remarkable images of the Big Five  on a photo safari tour . 

9 Photography tour packages in Africa with reviews

8 Days Kenya  LUXURY  Family Safari & Beach Holiday Tour Tour

  • Photography
  • Wildlife & Nature Photography
  • Christmas & New Year

8 Days Kenya LUXURY Family Safari & Beach Holiday Tour

Wonderful 7 nights journey through Masai Mara, lake Nakuru and Amboseli. Edouard, our tour guide, has been the most patient and accommodating person. He is a terrific guide who can spot animals miles away! We obviously saw the big 5 on many occasions and much more! He has ensured our journey was smooth and was the sweetest person with our 10 years old. The hotel selection was v nice, with high levels of comfort. Albert, the owner of the company, is a v nice man, has been v helpful and accommodating during the preparation of the journey and during. Again a v smooth and fabulous journey. Ps money wise, safari is not a cheap experience but I have found albert company to be v competitive in comparison with others and again this is the trip of a lifetime! Thank you

Moremi Hippo safari Tour

Moremi Hippo safari

The tour was absolutely perfect and exceeded our expectations. Our guide was so knowledgeable and was interested in getting to know us. The chef (Chandolo) was brilliant - his food was amazing and he was also a really warm, welcoming person. The whole team worked great together and I would 100% recommend!

Garden Route and Addo (Classic, 7 Days) Tour

  • Coach / Bus
  • Sightseeing

Garden Route and Addo (Classic, 7 Days)

  • €100 deposit on some dates Some departure dates offer you the chance to book this tour with a lower deposit.

Moremi reserve and Chobe NP Photographic Safari Tour

Moremi reserve and Chobe NP Photographic Safari

Photo Tour to Omo Valley Tour

  • In-depth Cultural
  • Cultural Photography

Photo Tour to Omo Valley

Storytelling Expedition to Morocco - Social Impact Documentary Tour Tour

Storytelling Expedition to Morocco - Social Impact Documentary Tour

3-Day Private Safari Tour - Manyeleti Private Game Reserve Tour

3-Day Private Safari Tour - Manyeleti Private Game Reserve

Predatory Cats, Rhinos and Brave Warriors Tour

  • Intl. Flights Included

Predatory Cats, Rhinos and Brave Warriors

  • Flights included

Photo Tour Lalibela and Omo Valley Tour

Photo Tour Lalibela and Omo Valley

Travel styles.

  • Complete Safari Packing List: Clothes, Medicines, Gear & Essentials
  • Wildebeest Migration in Africa 2022 (incl. Migration Map)
  • 10 Best African Photographic Safaris 2024/2025: Tour Deals & Tips
  • 10 Best Self-Drive Safaris 2024/2025
  • 10 Best African Wildlife Safari Deals 2024/2025
  • Compare Hot Air Balloon Safaris in Africa 2022
  • 10 Best African Camping Safari Vacations 2022
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  • 10 Best Beach Safaris: Places & Packages 2022

Photographed by award-winning Lance van der Vyver from Panthera Photo Safaris.

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NAIL YOUR DREAM WILDLIFE IMAGES

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Photographed in Naboisho by award-winning Lance van der Vyver from Panthera Photo Safaris.

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Photographed by award-winning Lance van der Vyver from Panthera Photo Safaris.

Our Safari Workshops

Okavango delta lion

Okavango Secret Season

From R5,750 / per person sharing 

The Okavango Delta is the largest intact inland delta in the world, and is exceptionally rich in wildlife. Often nicknamed the Jewel Of Botswana, this destination is one that simply cannot be missed.

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Wildlife Of Brazil

From $8,000 / per person sharing

From 300+ Bird Species, Jaguars, Capybara, Caiman, Giant Ant-Eaters to Howler Monkeys... Join us for 11 days in one of the worlds most incredible wildlife destinations.

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Mana Pools and Hwange

Experience nature like never before as we photograph one of Africa's most amazing locations from vehicle and on foot, which promises to produce unique and beautiful images.

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big cats - SABI SANDS

From R27,500  / per person sharing

Looking for leopards? Join us in one of Africa’s most productive areas for big cats. This trip is geared towards leopards, but also provides fantastic opportunities to photograph the other 4 of the big 5.

With Africa in our hearts and years spent guiding and travelling to wildlife destinations around the world, our small team operates from experience.

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Panthera Photo Safaris is a safe travel partner with Global Rescue and recommend that all our guests purchase travel insurance to cover trip cancelation, medical emergencies, field evacuation, emergency assistance and travel delays..

Panthera Photo Safaris is a proud member of SATSA (Southern African Tourism Services Association). Our affiliation signifies our unwavering commitment to ethical conduct and adherence to a stringent code of behaviour in the Southern African tourism sector.

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Photographed by award-winning Lance van der Vyver from Panthera Photo Safaris.

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African Safari Tours

Photo Safari in Tanzania | Incredible Tanzania Photographic Safari Packages, What To Know Before Going For Big Five Safari In Tanzania, Best All-Inclusive African Safari Vacations, big five in Tanzania, 4-Days Serengeti Migration Safari, 10-Days Student Safari Tanzania, Simple Tips to Improve Your Safari Photographs, Responsible Travel, Ngorongoro Crater, Is the Ngorongoro Crater Worth Visiting?, 8 things that should be on your Tanzania itinerary, why you should visit the Ngorongoro Crater, What Camera should i bring for Tanzania Safari? How to Photograph Animals on the Move, Wildlife Photography Tips for Your Next Tanzania Safari, 10 Best African Photographic Safaris 2024/2025, How to Take Fabulous Smartphone Photos on Safari, Lake Eyasi Safari

Everything You Need To Know About Africa Photo Safaris

All you need to know about planning a photo safari in africa..

Africa Photo Safaris: A captivating blend of adventure, wildlife encounters , and photography education, these specialized tours are designed for photographers of all levels who wish to explore and capture the beauty of Africa’s wildlife and wilderness through their lenses. As an East Africa-based tour operator with over 10 years of experience, Africa Safaris introduces you to the magic of Africa photo safaris. For photography enthusiasts, embarking on an African photo safari is a dream come true.

For photography enthusiasts, embarking on an African photo safari is a dream come true. From the vast savannas of the Serengeti to the dense jungles of the Congo, Africa provides a wealth of opportunities to capture stunning images of its wildlife and landscapes. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into everything you need to know about Africa photo safaris, from choosing the right destination to essential gear and photography tips.

Why Choose Africa for Wildlife Photography?

Africa, known as the cradle of life, offers unparalleled opportunities for wildlife photography. Here’s why:A few questions: where would you go for a first trip to Africa? Are there particular locations/parks/reserves and guides that you’d recommend?

Diverse Wildlife: 

From the vast savannahs of the Serengeti to the lush wetlands of the Okavango Delta, Africa boasts a wide range of ecosystems that support an abundance of wildlife species. Whether it’s the majestic African elephants, the elusive big cats, or the vibrant birdlife, Africa provides photographers with endless opportunities to capture awe-inspiring images.

Stunning Landscapes: 

Picture-perfect sunsets, rolling hills, dramatic mountains, and expansive plains—Africa’s landscapes are a canvas waiting to be photographed. The Masai Mara, the Etosha National Park, and the Queen Elizabeth National Park are just a few examples of the breathtaking scenery you’ll encounter.

Unique Cultural Heritage:

 Beyond wildlife, Africa’s rich cultural heritage adds depth to your photography. Interact with local communities, learn about their traditions, and capture candid moments that tell powerful stories. Conservation Efforts: Africa’s commitment to conservation ensures that wildlife and their habitats are protected. Many national parks and reserves implement sustainable tourism practices, safeguarding the natural heritage for future generations.

Benefits of Joining a Photo Safari Tour

Expert Guidance: Learn from experienced guides who understand both photography and the African wilderness. They’ll help you find the best angles, lighting, and compositions. Access to Prime Locations: Photo safaris take you to the heart of wildlife action. Imagine photographing a lioness and her cubs against the backdrop of the Serengeti.

How to Prepare for an Africa Photo Safari

Choose the Right Time: Research the best time to visit based on wildlife migrations, weather, and specific events. Select a Reliable Operator: Opt for a reputable tour operator like us for Africa Safaris. Gear Up: Bring the right camera and lenses. Telephoto lenses are essential for capturing distant wildlife. Know Your Camera: Familiarize yourself with your camera settings to capture those split-second moments. Create an Itinerary: Plan your days to maximize photography opportunities.

Top Destinations for Africa Photo Safaris

Serengeti National Park, Tanzania: Witness the Great Migration and capture iconic scenes. Masai Mara

 National Reserve, Kenya: Home to the Big Five and stunning landscapes. Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda: Explore diverse ecosystems and photograph tree-climbing lions. Kruger National Park, South Africa: Abundant wildlife and varied terrain. Okavango Delta, Botswana: A water wonderland teeming with wildlife.

Ethics and Conservation

Responsible Photography: Respect wildlife and their habitats. Keep a safe distance and avoid disturbing animals. Support Local Conservation: By participating in photo safaris, you contribute to conservation efforts.

Capture the Essence of Africa

Embrace the adventure, immerse yourself in the natural wonders, and let Africa’s magic unfold through your lens

Equipment and Techniques for Africa Photo Safaris

Equipment: Pack a DSLR or mirrorless camera with telephoto lenses (200mm to 600mm), extra batteries, memory cards, and a sturdy tripod. Don’t forget essentials like lens cleaning kits and protective gear for dusty environments.

Techniques for Successful Safari Photography: Master composition by framing shots carefully and using leading lines. Utilize golden hour lighting for warm, soft tones. Experiment with selective focus to isolate subjects and varying depths of field for landscapes. Exercise patience and observation to capture authentic wildlife moments while respecting their natural behavior and habitat.

Essential Accessories for Wildlife Photography:

Telephoto Lens: Capture distant subjects with clarity and detail. Tripod: Ensure stability for sharp images, especially in low light conditions. Bean Bag: Provide support for your camera when shooting from a vehicle or uneven terrain. Remote Shutter Release: Minimize camera shake for long exposures or remote wildlife photography. Lens Cleaning Kit: Keep your lenses free from dust, smudges, and water droplets. Weather Protection: Protect your gear from rain, dust, and harsh weather conditions with rain covers and protective sleeves.

Techniques for Capturing Stunning Wildlife Photos

Patience and Observation: Spend time observing animal behavior to anticipate movements and capture authentic moments.

Composition: Frame your shots carefully, utilizing leading lines and the rule of thirds for visually appealing images.

Lighting:  Make use of the golden hours—early morning and late afternoon—for soft, warm light that adds depth to your photos.

Focus and Depth of Field: Use selective focus to draw attention to your subject and experiment with depth of field for creative effects.

Respect Wildlife: Prioritize the well-being of animals, maintaining a safe distance and avoiding disturbance for ethical photography.

Wildlife Photography Ethics and Conservation

Wildlife photography ethics prioritize the well-being of animals and their habitats. Respect their space, avoid disturbing natural behaviors, and prioritize conservation efforts. Photographers should never endanger wildlife for a shot and should strive to educate viewers about the importance of conservation through their images. 

Conservation efforts aim to protect species and their environments, preserving biodiversity for future generations. By adhering to ethical guidelines and supporting conservation initiatives, wildlife photographers play a crucial role in raising awareness and promoting sustainable practices in nature photography.

Responsible Wildlife Photography Practices

Responsible wildlife photography practices prioritize the well-being of animals and their habitats. This entails maintaining a respectful distance, avoiding disruption to natural behaviors, and refraining from baiting or provoking wildlife. 

Photographers should prioritize conservation efforts, supporting ethical tour operators and minimizing their environmental impact. By practicing restraint and respecting wildlife, photographers can capture stunning images while preserving the integrity of the natural world.

Tips for a Memorable Africa Photo Safari Experience

Timing is Key: Plan your safari during the dry season for optimal wildlife sightings and vibrant landscapes.

Pack Light, Shoot Big: Bring versatile camera gear and essentials like extra batteries and memory cards.

Embrace Golden Hours: Capture the magic of sunrise and sunset for soft, golden light and dramatic silhouettes.

Patience Pays Off: Spend time observing wildlife behavior for authentic shots and memorable moments.

Respect and Preserve: Respect wildlife and their habitats; leave only footprints and take only photographs. 

Photography Tips for Beginners 

Capturing stunning wildlife images requires patience, skill, and a good understanding of photographic techniques. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your African photo safari:

Composition: Pay attention to composition by framing your shots carefully and considering elements such as leading lines, symmetry, and the rule of thirds to create visually appealing images.

Lighting:  Make the most of the golden hours—early morning and late afternoon—when the light is soft and warm, casting long shadows and adding depth to your photographs. Avoid harsh midday sun, which can result in overexposed or washed-out images.

Focus and Depth of Field: 

Use selective focus to draw attention to your subject and create a sense of depth in your photos. Experiment with shallow depth of field to blur the background and isolate your subject, or increase depth of field for landscapes to ensure everything is in sharp focus.

Patience and Observation:

 Wildlife photography requires patience and a keen eye for observation one of essential Safari Photography Tips for Your African Holiday. Spend time observing animal behavior and anticipating their movements to capture authentic moments and unique expressions.

Respect Wildlife: 

Remember to always prioritize the well-being of the animals and respect their natural habitat. Maintain a safe distance and avoid disturbing or provoking wildlife for the sake of a photograph.

Conclusion: Africa Photo Safaris

Embarking on an African photo safari is an unforgettable experience that offers the opportunity to capture breathtaking images of the continent’s incredible wildlife and landscapes Everything You Need to Know About Planning a Photo Safari in Africa. 

By choosing the right destination, planning your safari carefully, and mastering essential photography techniques, you can create a stunning portfolio of images that will transport viewers to the heart of Africa’s wilderness. So pack your camera gear, embrace the adventure, and get ready to embark on the safari of a lifetime. Happy shooting.

What is an Africa photo safari?

An Africa photo safari is a guided or self-driven photographic expedition in various African countries to capture wildlife, landscapes, and cultural experiences through photography.

What destinations are popular for Africa photo safaris?

Popular destinations include Kenya (Maasai Mara), Tanzania (Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater), Botswana (Okavango Delta), South Africa (Kruger National Park), and Namibia (Sossusvlei, Etosha National Park).

When is the best time to go on an Africa photo safari?

The best time depends on your preferred destinations and interests. Generally, dry seasons offer optimal wildlife viewing, while wet seasons can be ideal for dramatic landscapes and bird photography.

What camera equipment do I need for an Africa photo safari?

You’ll need a DSLR or mirrorless camera with telephoto lenses (200mm to 600mm), wide-angle lenses for landscapes, extra batteries, memory cards, and a sturdy tripod.

Do I need photography experience to go on an Africa photo safari?

No, both beginners and experienced photographers can enjoy Africa photo safaris. Guides often provide assistance, and there are opportunities to learn and improve your photography skills during the trip.

How long do Africa photo safaris typically last?

Safaris can range from a few days to several weeks, depending on your itinerary and preferences. Many tours offer customizable options to suit different schedules.

Are Africa photo safaris safe?

When conducted with reputable operators and following safety guidelines, Africa photo safaris are generally safe. It’s essential to listen to guides, respect wildlife, and adhere to park rules.

What types of wildlife can I expect to see on an Africa photo safari?

You can encounter a wide range of wildlife, including the Big Five (lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard, and rhinoceros), giraffes, zebras, cheetahs, wildebeests, hippos, crocodiles, and various bird species.

How do I book an Africa photo safari?

You can book through specialized tour operators, travel agencies, or directly with lodges and camps in your chosen destination. Research and compare options to find the best fit for your budget and interests.

What should I pack for an Africa photo safari?

Pack lightweight, breathable clothing in neutral colors, sturdy walking shoes, a wide-brimmed hat, sunscreen, insect repellent, and a small backpack. Don’t forget your camera gear, binoculars, and any personal items you may need.

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travel tips and travel photography

Planning a photo safari in Africa: 7 essential tips

Planning a photo safari in Africa ? Based on my knowledge and experience as a photographer, responsible traveler , and wildlife enthusiast, I share 7 essential tips that help you plan and prepare a photo-focused safari trip , where it's all about capturing beautiful and high-quality images of your safari adventure and wildlife sightings.

If you have been on an African safari before, you will be aware of the conflict that can occur when traveling with people with different interests. For people with a special interest in (learning) wildlife photography in Africa , I would recommend looking into a photography safari trip, rather than a regular safari . I wrote an article about the difference between a photo safari and a regular safari .

What is a photo safari?

On a photo safari all circumstances that can be influenced, are created in a way to get the best out of your photography. It’s all about going to the right place at the right times, in different lights, getting the best position to photograph from the right (and different) angles, and spending more time at one sighting to observe and get that perfect shot. The more time you spend with the animals, who are telling their story, the better your photos. On a photographic journey, you will not be rushing to tick off the ' Big 5 ' game animals. You will also be out during the ‘magic golden hours’ around sunset and sunrise.

best photo safari in africa

Apart from that, you will learn from a professional photographer who helps to improve your photography skills. If you are traveling in a group, you can also learn from other wildlife photography enthusiasts. Another plus of photography safaris is that many game drive vehicles are designed and configured specifically for wildlife photography with more space to maneuver.

Joining a photo safari doesn't mean you have to be an experienced photographer. On most photography trips it doesn't matter if you're a beginner, intermediate or professional photographer. Having an interest in photography is the basis of what you need for most of these photo trips.

masai mara rhino conservation

Planning a photo safari group tour or private tour

Whether you love to travel in a group or with a private company, there are always a few important things to consider before you book your trip. If you have never been to Africa , I wouldn't recommend planning your safari trip on your own. Feel free to reach out for advice to help you create a personalized travel plan, or to join me on one of my upcoming photo safari tours .

Now you know what to expect from a photographic safari in Africa , it’s time to dig into the most important things to know and consider for planning and preparing your photo-focused safari . Here are my 7 valuable tips for planning your African photography safari .

best photo safari in africa

1. Create an overview of your wishes

As a traveler, you are the only one that can decide what’s important to you, and how you want to spend your money.

To make that clear, you need to d o research and create an overview of your wishes . From there, you can start making choices. Consider which aspects are most essential for you. Keep in mind that every aspect can influence the price.

You can make a start by answering the following questions:

  • Where do I want to go? (Country, safari destinations, number of places)
  • When do I want to go? (high-, low-, rain-, dry-season)
  • Do I like to travel in a group or private?
  • What’s my budget?
  • What accommodation can I afford (Budget, comfort, luxury)
  • How long will I be traveling?
  • Do I want to organize it all by myself or book an organized trip?
  • What would I like to see and do?

best photo safari in africa

2. Choose the right time to travel

As you might know, Africa has a wet and dry season and offers variations of climates and weather in different countries and areas. The dry season in Africa is the most popular as well as the most crowded season. The best advantage of traveling in the dry season is that animals are frequently found around water pools because of the scarcity of water. In the dry season, the temperatures are high and landscapes are usually dry.

However, some photographers find the wet season in Africa the best time to photograph because of the dramatic skies, green scenery, better light (because of clouds), and less dust. This is also a great period for capturing newborns.

wildlife photography Kenya: baby warthog

I’ve traveled to Africa in both seasons and in different months. I always try to go in the shoulder seasons , in between dry and wet seasons. Choosing the best time to travel also depends on your personal wishes, budget, and safari destination. Kenya is for example an all-year-round safari destination, while other countries, for example, Uganda , are harder to travel during certain times of the year because of heavy rains.

Sunset Lake Mburo National Park Uganda

3. Choose a reliable and qualified photo safari operator

After you defined your wishes, it’s time to select the right tour operator or organization to travel with and choose destinations and accommodations to stay in. I always attach great importance to organizations with a focus on conservation efforts, sustainability, and responsible travel choices . I personally do my best to select and collaborate with local organizations and try to look for unique, more private experiences, where they also give back to nature and the surrounding communities.

Do your research to ensure that your trip will meet, or even exceed your expectations.  Always search for valuable reviews, ask specific questions in advance to know what to expect to check the reliability, and follow your gut. If you are planning your first African safari trip, feel free to contact me for help or simply join me on one of my group safari trips to Africa . You can even form your own group of max 6 people to accommodate greater flexibility in addressing your preferences regarding the travel period and dates.

Good photography focussed safari companies will offer a 4x4 vehicle with enough space inside, large windows, and a pop-up roof. The luxury photographic companies usually offer a specially-equipped photographic vehicle with sliding gimbals, removable doors, and photography equipment to borrow. Some companies also have the permission to enter National Parks and Game Reserves after opening hours, which is great for an evening game drive or night photography.

Masai Mara Leopard on Night Game Drive

4. Find a guide with an eye for photography

Normally you cannot choose your guide for your safari, but by doing detailed research, like searching for reviews and references, you can increase your chances of finding a guide with an eye for photography.

Guides with an interest and eye for photography will understand how to get you in the right position for a perfect shot. They will anticipate the lights and movements of the animals, and they will always find the best positioning for the vehicle. To get the best out of your photography, your guide has to be committed to leaving in the early morning and staying out for a longer amount of time than on a regular game drive .

Use your guide’s knowledge to capture the best photos. Local guides perfectly know the animal’s habits, territories, and behavior. Tell your guide what’s important for you and what kind of photos you would like to capture. Take advantage of their knowledge and advice!

If you come on a photo safari with me , I can assure you that I work with highly knowledgeable and qualified driver/guides . And as a qualified guide myself with an expertise in photography, we form a great team to give you the best possible safari experience.

photography safari adventure Africa

5. The right photography gear for a photo safari

If you are an advanced photographer, I would definitely recommend bringing one, or preferably two, DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras with exchangeable lenses .

With two cameras (bodies) and different lenses, you can easily switch cameras. For example, when wildlife comes closer, or you want to capture an animal in different contexts, like a wide shot to capture wildlife in its environment and close-ups. In the worst case, when anything happens to one camera, you have a second to continue photographing.

Zoom lens and wide-angle lens

The best zoom lenses for wildlife photography are in the range of 200-600 mm. Zoom lenses with a focal length of 300+ mm are great for capturing wild animals or birds, while more wide-angled lenses are great to capture the beautiful environment or stunning African sunsets. For a crop camera, a zoom lens of 300mm should be ideal. If you’re using a full-frame camera, I would suggest a lens that can reach 400mm zoom. If you are a keen birder, then the more zoom your lens has, the better. For example, 600mm is perfect for bird photography .

Keep in mind that Africa ’s wildlife is most active in the early morning and late evening, which means the lights can be challenging. For that reason, it will be better to bring lenses with larger apertures (f/2.8) and to use a camera that can increase the ISO without getting too much noise in your photo.

Other photography accessories

Apart from the camera and lenses, it's advisable to bring photography accessories like an external hard drive to secure your photos, plenty of memory cards, extra batteries, cleaning wipes, a charger, a camera bag, and a rain cover. To provide stability for your camera, you can also bring a beanbag, monopod, and/or tripod on safari.

Travel Photography Tips from award-winning Travel Photographer Kim Paffen

In the above image captured in Uganda , I carry a 16-35mm wide-angle lens for landscape photography as part of my photography gear

6. Know your camera

Having the most expensive camera doesn’t mean you’ll shoot the best images because whatever camera you bring, it’s extremely important to know how to use it. You will be disappointed if you invested a lot of money in camera gear and your pictures are too dark or blurry.

To practice and learn how to use your camera, you can read the instruction manual, watch some tutorials on YouTube, and most importantly  practice with different settings and conditions  before you're going on a photo safari to Africa . Practice on your dog, take photos in a park or forest, and do whatever you can to get more familiar with your camera and its features. It’s essential to understand the different settings to adjust to different conditions.

If you don’t have the time, motivation, skills, or if there’s any other reason why it’s not possible to learn how to make good photos, please save your money and enjoy the experience. You can try to take photos with your smartphone or a compact (zoom) camera because nowadays, the cameras on smartphones and compact cameras are pretty good. The most important thing is that you have an interest in (learning) photography.

photographing wildlife Maasai Mara Kenya

7. Make a suitable itinerary

Photographic safaris often manage a slow and sustainable travel approach to spend enough time at the right places at the right times. The less time you spend in transit, the more time you’ll have for spending on your destination, being in the moment, and encountering and capturing incredible wildlife. On regular safaris, you usually visit more destinations, which means more time in transit. Another big advantage of slow travel is minimizing your impact on the environment and maximizing your appreciation and connection with the local community and their environment . I would always recommend spending at least three nights at each safari accommodation .

For photography, it’s extremely important to have time and patience. Wildlife is unpredictable and not always active.

When planning your trip, find a good balance between the number of destinations and the time you want to spend photographing wildlife on game drives .

Giraffe photography golden hour Masai Mara

Customized Photo Safari Experience

Do you want to improve your photography skills and travel with like-minded people? You might want to consider joining my upcoming photo safari in Africa ! Contact me if you are interested.

Kenya Photo Safari Masai Mara

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best tips for planning a photo safari in Africa to photograph wildlife and birdlife

Protect Your Trip »

12 Top African Safari Tours

Cross this must-do activity off your bucket list.

Top African Safari elephant

Courtesy of Micato Safaris

Spot the big five on your safari adventure.

Safari tours in Africa are just as diverse as the continent itself, though these types of trips typically require a large sum of money. Whether you want to spend a few days gorilla trekking in Uganda or a couple weeks spotting the "big five" – lions, leopards, African elephants, rhinos and Cape buffalos – in South Africa, you'll find an array of tours to best suit your needs. To help you narrow down your options, U.S. News compiled a list of 12 can't-miss African safari tours. Read on to find your once-in-a-lifetime trip.

Note: Some of the African countries in this article may require travelers to get an entry visa and certain vaccinations in order to visit. Jump to the list of visa and vaccination requirements by country at the bottom of this page for more information.

&Beyond

African Safari vacation

Courtesy of &Beyond

Visitors who don't want to sacrifice creature comforts while on safari will appreciate &Beyond's offerings. During the tour operator's 10-day Kings of the Jungle safari – which starts at $11,340 per person – travelers will see breathtaking natural wonders like the Ngorongoro Crater and the Maasai Mara savanna. But the highlight of this journey is its four-night stay at Tanzania's Serengeti National Park . After watching animals like wildebeest and zebras partake in the great migration while also spotting lions, giraffes and more, vacationers retreat to high-end tents and lodges with private bathrooms.

[See more of Serengeti National Park: Things to Do | Hotels | When to Visit | Photos ]

Wilderness Safaris

African Safari camp vacation

Courtesy of Wilderness Safaris

For some of Africa's most jaw-dropping scenery, opt for the seven-night Namibian Adventure Safari tour offered by Wilderness Safaris. This weeklong trip features visits to the Namib Desert's dune-filled Sossusvlei region (which you may recognize from the film "Mad Max: Fury Road") and the mountainous Palmwag Concession – a protected area with springboks, giraffes, black rhinos and more. The package's per person fee starts at $6,725, which covers most meals, park entrance fees, and transfers from Namibia's capital Windhoek and between the safari destinations. It also covers your stay at properties like the fully solar-powered Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp and the five-star Little Kulala lodge amid the stunning desert.

Wild Rwanda Safaris

African Safari gorilla in Rwanda

Courtesy of Wild Rwanda Safaris)

Adventurous travelers sticking to a more conservative budget should consider Wild Rwanda Safaris' Bwindi Gorilla Safari. The three-day package features a full day in southwestern Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (a haven for silverback gorillas) and an adjacent Batwa Pygmy community. Wild Rwanda Safaris allows guests to choose between midrange, luxury and super luxury accommodation, which can help keep costs down if necessary. The company's packages include the $700 permit required to visit the gorilla park. The round-trip journey by safari vehicle to and from Kigali, Rwanda, and English-speaking guide services are also covered in all rates. The tour can begin from Kampala, Uganda, as well, although you'll spend longer on the road to the park.

Nomad Tanzania

African Safari in Tanzania

Courtesy of nomad-tanzania.com

Sign up for Nomad Tanzania's Southern Tanzania safari and you're bound to get an up-close look at Tanzania's diverse wildlife. Offering eight days of activities, including game drives and boat trips in Ruaha National Park and Nyerere National Park, this safari gives you prime opportunities to spot lions, cheetahs, leopards and elephants, among other species. What's more, lodging at the company's campsites, select meals, and flights to and from Dar es Salaam are factored into the package's prices. Expect to pay a minimum of $5,700 per person; prices vary depending on the time of year, and the tour isn't offered in April and May.

Micato Safaris

(Courtesy of Micato Safaris)

If you want to explore multiple destinations while on safari with plenty of comfort (but a price tag to match), book the 15-day Micato Grand Safari. This outing by Micato Safaris starts with a two-day visit to Nairobi, Kenya, before continuing to the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Maasai Mara National Reserve, and the Amboseli and Serengeti national parks for wildlife-viewing excursions. During your trip, you'll see Mount Kilimanjaro as zebras, gazelles and more roam in the foreground. The package costs at least $22,450 per person (based on double occupancy rates) and includes a hot air balloon ride, a camel tour led by members of the Samburu tribe, and lodging at upscale properties like Serengeti's Four Seasons outpost. The company also offers various extensions allowing you to explore other parts of Africa, from the island paradise of Zanzibar to the deserts of Namibia.

Rothschild Safaris

African safari vacation

Courtesy of Rothschild Safaris

If your ideal safari vacation consists of customizing your trip from start to finish, consider an outing with Rothschild Safaris. The company offers itineraries in locales like Zambia and Madagascar , but if you're hoping to catch a glimpse of the big five animals, the Essence of Tanzania safari is a good bet. This nine-day experience, which embarks from Arusha and returns there by plane, includes game-viewing drives in Tarangire National Park and accommodations like canvas tents and farmhouse lodges. Elephants, zebras and lions are just some of the animals you may spot during your journey. You'll also have the opportunity to go on a nighttime safari to spot nocturnal wildlife.

Lion World Travel

African safari vacation

Courtesy of Lion World Travel

As the trip name implies, Lion World Travel's 10-day Best of Cape Town & Botswana vacation package combines sightseeing in Cape Town, South Africa , with a classic safari in Botswana. During the latter half of the itinerary, visitors will explore Botswana's Okavango Delta (home to cheetahs, crocodiles, hippos and more) and Chobe National Park, which is believed to have Africa's largest elephant population. Prices start at $4,299 per person and cover game drives; many of your meals; and stays at luxury hotels, camps and lodges. You'll need to pay an extra charge for the flights within the tour (Cape Town to Botswana as well as Botswana to Johannesburg ).

[See more of Cape Town: Things to Do | Hotels | When to Visit | Photos ]

Bearded Heron Safaris

African safari vacation

Neil Heron | Courtesy of Bearded Heron Safaris

Travelers keen on seeing South Africa's Kruger National Park through the eyes of a local naturalist will appreciate the 15-day safari with Bearded Heron Safaris. Led by Neil Heron, a nature guide and wildlife photographer and writer, Bearded Heron Safaris' longest option features small game drives that may include lion, rhino, zebra and leopard sightings throughout all corners of Kruger. Rates are inclusive of in-park cottage accommodations and all breakfasts, dinners, snacks and drinks. Flights and park fees are not included. For a 15-day safari, expect to pay 76,900 South African rand (about $4,500) per person.

[See more of Kruger National Park: Things to Do | Hotels | When to Visit | Photos ]

Discover Africa

Black rhinoceros in the african savannah

Getty Images

For an inside-out trip through the natural wonders of Botswana, Discover Africa's nine-day Epic Botswana Adventure is a formidable option. You'll start out at a riverside lodge on the Chobe River – a great location for elephant spotting – before moving onto the marshy Okavango Delta, a wildlife-rich area where you can spot a huge range of animals from leopards to rhinos. The safari ends at the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park, a good place to admire wildlife like zebras and buffalo on the savanna as well as salt pans from a former lake. You'll stay in upscale lodges and campsites within close reach of the wilderness. All meals and transport along the tour are included in the price tag (which starts at $4,800 per person), but international flights are excluded.

Wild Wings Safaris

best photo safari in africa

If you're looking to have a broader experience that mixes in some history and beach time, consider Wild Wings Safaris' eight-day Battlefields, Bush and Beach Safari. You'll start off visiting some of South Africa's historic sites from the Boer wars, before moving on to the Phinda Private Game Reserve, which doesn't allow day visitors, so you should be able to look out for the big five without too many crowds. The tour wraps up at Thonga Beach Lodge, where you can snorkel or scuba dive near coral reefs in the Indian Ocean. As far as safaris go, this one is an affordable option, starting at about $2,795 per person with all meals included as well as a rental car; for the cheapest price, you will need to drive yourself between the destinations, but it's possible to pay an additional fee for a driver to guide you instead.

Cuckoo Safaris

Aerial few of the world famous Victoria Falls with a large rainbow over the falls. This is right at the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe in Southern Africa. The mighty Victoria Falls at Zambezi river are one of the most visited touristic places in Africa.

This tour company kicks off its tours from the majestic Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, with a host of safaris that range from two days to nine, across Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana, including some family-friendly choices. For an affordable option, there's the four-day Discover Victoria Falls, Chobe and Hwange Park safari, which will take you on two full-day tours to Chobe National Park (across the border in Botswana) and to Hwange, Zimbabwe's largest national park, where you should keep your eyes peeled for lions, elephants and more. This safari also includes a sunset cruise on the Zambezi River. The price starts at $900 per person, which includes the tours plus breakfast, lunch and lodging in Victoria Falls; travelers will need to pay for entrance fees to the parks and dinner.

Compass Odyssey

best photo safari in africa

Courtesy of Compass Odyssey

Explore the savanna and deserts of southwest Africa with Compass Odyssey's eight-day Namibia Wildlife Safari. You'll visit a community-based conservation area in Damaraland – known for its desert-adapted elephants, oryx, giraffes and other wildlife – while staying in the rustic-chic Doro Nawas Camp. You'll also spend two days in Etosha National Park, seeking wildlife at the park's bustling waterholes by day and embarking on an evening game drive as well. Starting at $3,750 per person, the tour includes most meals and all park entry fees, but not flights; the company does allow the tour to be customized on request.

Vaccination and visa requirements for African countries

Some popular safari destinations may require you to have received certain vaccinations in order to enter the country as a tourist. Inoculation requirements can include vaccination against COVID-19 and yellow fever, and you'll need to get these vaccines before departing on your trip. Be sure to bring proof of vaccinations with you. If you are transiting through another country en route to your safari tour, you must check that you also meet immunization requirements for the stopover location.

Note that, outside of what's required, there are a number of other vaccinations that are recommended, so ensure you're up to date and fully protected before you travel. In addition, many safari locations are prone to malaria; you should consult with your doctor to see if you need to bring anti-malaria medication on your trip.

Safari countries have varying visa requirements for travelers from the U.S. – these are detailed below. Depending on your itinerary, you may need a single- or multiple-entry visa, and some visas require you to apply in advance of traveling and/or have a certain number of blank pages in your passport. Regardless of your destination, your passport should be valid for at least six months before you leave for your trip.

Here are the vaccine and visa requirements for major safari destinations as of November 2022:

Botswana: If you have recently visited a country where yellow fever is common, you will need to be vaccinated against this illness. This does not include the U.S. but does include a number of countries in Africa, Central and South America. Consult the World Health Organization's website for a list of countries with risk of yellow fever transmission, including Kenya and Uganda.

U.S. citizens and nationals can stay in Botswana for 90 days without a visa.

Kenya: Travelers to Kenya must have been vaccinated against COVID-19 with the last shot administered more than 14 days before arrival in the country. Unvaccinated visitors can enter with a negative PCR test, conducted no more than 72 hours before departure. Proof of COVID-19 tests or vaccines must be uploaded to an online system called Panabios. Kenya is a country where you'll be at risk of yellow fever transmission; it also requires those traveling from other places with yellow fever or cholera outbreaks to be vaccinated against these illnesses. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that you protect yourself against yellow fever before your trip here.

Americans need an e-visa to enter Kenya. You should apply online at the eVisa government website no more than eight weeks before your trip, as visas are not available upon arrival in Kenya. See more on the U.S. Department of State's website .

Namibia: Those traveling from a country where yellow fever is common need to be vaccinated against it. No visa is required as long as you're staying for 90 days or less.

Rwanda: If you're coming from a country where yellow fever is endemic, a yellow fever vaccination is required before departure.

U.S. citizens and nationals can be issued a 30-day visitor visa on arrival in Rwanda or through the Rwandan Embassy in Washington, D.C. A single-entry visa costs $50, and it's recommended you bring sufficient cash in U.S. dollars to pay for this (although credit card payment may be accepted at Kigali International Airport). Consult the State Department website for more information.

South Africa: A yellow fever vaccination is required if you're traveling from a country with a risk of transmission. No visa is required for stays of 90 days or less.

Tanzania: Travelers must be able to present proof of COVID-19 vaccination with a QR code to enter Tanzania. Unvaccinated travelers must take a PCR test no more than 72 hours before departure, and the test results should be accessible by QR code. Yellow fever vaccines are mandatory if you're traveling from a location where yellow fever is present – including if you spend more than 12 hours in transit in such a country.

Visas are required for tourism in Tanzania. You can apply for a single-entry, 90-day visa online for $50 – and be sure to print a copy of the approval to bring with you. The processing period takes up to 10 days. You can also obtain a visa on arrival for a $100 fee; it's recommended you bring cash to cover this. Find more Tanzanian visa information on the State Department website .

Uganda: To enter Uganda, you must either be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or present a negative test taken no more than 72 hours before departure. Like Kenya, Uganda is a country with risk of yellow fever transmission. All visitors must show proof of vaccination against yellow fever to enter Uganda, regardless of where you're traveling from.

American visitors to Uganda must apply online for an electronic visa before departure; arriving in Uganda without completing this process could result in your detainment. Visit the State Department website to learn more.

Zambia: Visitors who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 must show proof of vaccination but do not need a test to enter Zambia; unvaccinated travelers must undergo a PCR test no more than 72 hours before departure. Yellow fever vaccines are only required if you're coming from an area considered at risk.

Visas are required to visit Zambia, but these can be obtained online before your departure or at a port of entry. Check the State Department website for more details.

Zimbabwe: To enter Zimbabwe, travelers must either be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or must take a negative PCR test no more than 48 hours before your departure. As with other countries on this list, visitors from countries with yellow fever outbreaks also require a vaccine against this illness.

U.S. visitors can obtain a 30-day, single-entry visa upon arrival in Zimbabwe for $30. If you're taking a tour that requires you to leave and reenter Zimbabwe, be sure to get a double-entry visa for $45. You can learn more from the State Department website .

You might also be interested in:

  • The Top Passport Wallets (That Also Hold Vaccine Cards)
  • The Best COVID-19 Travel Insurance Options
  • The Best International Travel Insurance Plans
  • The Best Zoos in the U.S.
  • The World's Best Places to Visit

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World's Best Places To Visit

  • # 1 South Island, New Zealand
  • # 4 Bora Bora

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Why choose wild photo africa for your photo safari.

It’s an early winter morning just before sunrise in the Kruger National Park. We left camp very early in the hope to find some Lions. Last night they were roaring not far from camp. It’s a very cold morning and we are hoping to find them still sleeping on the road. As we come around the second bend there is something moving up ahead. LIONS!!

We approach them, hearts pounding, a whole pride, including cubs and the dominant males! The sun has not yet shown itself. We position ourselves perfectly to get them backlit once the sun peaks over the horizon.

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Capture the moment

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Experience the journey

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Customer review.

Absolutely professional!!!!

Marvelous…..Fantastic work…..Can’t stop viewing…..I shall post them so my friends all over must see and plan a visit……

yes will recommend him, fantastic shots

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Featured Destination

“Where 2 million hectares of unrivalled diversity of life forms comes together with a rich history and archaeology. This is real untamed Africa where animals still can roam freely and continue with life as they did hundreds of years ago. The Kruger National park offers incredible wildlife sightings and ranks as one of the best in Africa.”

Book your next photo safari with us! 

Everything You Need to Know About Planning a Photo Safari in Africa

best photo safari in africa

Frequently Asked Questions

We get a lot of great questions from our clients who are interested in making photography a central element of their safari experience. Here are a few common questions we’ll answer for you in this piece:

  • What are the best times of year for photographers to visit Africa?
  • How much time do you recommend we spend at each camp?
  • Can Extraordinary Journeys help me find a specialist photographic guide to accompany my safari?
  • Will the camps have specially-equipped photographic vehicles?
  • How close will I get to the wildlife?
  • Where can I get access to computers and editing software to use while on safari?
  • What are the luggage allowances for camera equipment?
  • Will the camps have charging areas for my batteries?
  • Can I bring a drone?

When to Visit Africa for a Photographic Safari (and What to Expect)

Generally speaking, we advocate for a slow-travel approach whenever possible, especially on safari. The less time you spend in transit, the more time you’ll have to enjoy your destination, get to know the guides, and—best of all—encounter incredible wildlife. We recommend you spend at least three nights at each camp.

The best time of year to safari really depends on where and when you travel in Africa. Usually, you’ll want to travel in the driest season when the safari experience is most dramatic, typically between June and October.

If you can withstand the heat, we think October is the most dramatic time for photography in Botswana, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

In East Africa, photographers love timing their safaris with the Great Wildebeest Migration from June through October.

We especially love East Africa from late September through December. There are fewer crowds, and even though it can be a bit damp at times, the rains only add to the drama. Another great time to visit East Africa is in January and February.

That said, some photographers love the green season: dramatic skies, clouds to soften the light, fewer crowds, longer days, and less dust.

best photo safari in africa

Where to Go for Photography on Safari

Learn from the experts: camps with photographers in residence.

Three of our all-time favorite camps with in-house photography experts are:

  • Alex Walker’s Serian collection in Kenya’s Maasai Mara and Tanzania’s Serengeti
  • African Bush Camps at Bumi Hills Safari Lodge in Zimbabwe
  • The Jackal & Hide from Natural Selections, located in the heart of the Okavango Delta

best photo safari in africa

Get the VIP Treatment: Hire a Private Specialist Guide

For an even more exclusive photography experience, consider hiring a specialist photographic guide. Here are three of our favorite options.

Wild Studio with Great Plains Conservation — Botswana & Kenya

Wild Studio was founded by world-renowned wildlife filmmakers and photographers, and the expertise of their guides matches that pedigree. Still, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced photographer, you’re welcome at Wild Studio. Your private guide will educate you on photographic techniques while also providing key insights and time-earned perspective on the area’s wildlife, their habitats, and the importance of preserving the ecosystem. And at the end of your safari, a storyboarding exercise helps you tell the story of your safari and help spread the message about conservation once you return home.

best photo safari in africa

Tafika Camp — Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park

A New Zealander by birth, Bryan Jackson visited Africa for the first time in the 1970s and never left. Now co-owner and Safari Manager of Remote Africa Safaris, Brian is based at Tafika Camp in Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park . He has been guiding in the Luangwa Valley for over 20 years and provides exceptional photographic expertise for specialized photographic safaris, thanks to his keen eye and decades spent honing his craft.

Depending on the size of your group, the fee to hire Bryan Jackson is $400 to $700 per day and includes a private photographic vehicle.

The Hide — Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park

The Hide has an in-house photographer/videographer, Neil Fairlie, a native Zimbabwean and experienced wildlife documentary filmmaker. While Neil is based at The Hide , he’s also available to guests at Changa Safari Camp . Neil can guide tours for groups or individuals, beginners and professionals alike. The fee for groups of 1-4 travelers to hire Neil is $420 per day (for a full day), including a private vehicle and guide, in addition to Niel.

best photo safari in africa

Leave Your Gear at Home: Camps that Provide Cameras for You

Special offer: wilderness safaris.

Wilderness Safaris has an incredible partnership with Olympus . If you stay at a Wilderness property in Botswana, Namibia, or Zimbabwe, you’ll have access to a limited number of camera sets to use throughout your safari itinerary. These sets are free of charge and available on a first-come, first-served basis for exclusive use by guests of Wilderness Safari-managed properties.

The benefits are twofold:

  • Travelers get access to world-class Olympus equipment and knowledgeable Wilderness guides
  • The partnership supports a scholarship program for secondary and tertiary education through Wilderness’s non-profit partner, Children in the Wilderness .

If this program is of interest to you, get in touch, so we can reserve a set of Olympus gear for you!

Below are a few properties we recommend for travelers interested in taking advantage of the photography amenities on offer with Wilderness (note: Bisate is not part of the Wilderness-Olympus partnership).

Okavango Delta, Botswana

  • Mombo Camp & Little Mombo – Each room has a camera.
  • Vumbura Plains – A few sets (camera with lenses) plus one pair of binoculars will be available in the main area. Bonus: Wilderness offers a slideshow for guests explaining the partnership with photographic tips and images.

Linyanti, Botswana

  • Kings Pool – A few sets (camera with lenses) plus one pair of binoculars will be available in the main area. Lessons will be on offer in the sunken hide during midday when the hide is most active. An alternative option is a photographic experience on the Queen Silvia barge. In the summer months, there will be a mobile hide for the carmine bee-eaters.

Skeleton Coast, Namibia

  • Serra Cafema , Hoanib , and Little Kulala – Cameras will be available in camp for guests to use in their own time, with a booklet available explaining how to use the camera, including some photographic tips and tricks. Pro-tip: for expert guidance at these camps, we recommend hiring a private guide.

best photo safari in africa

Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

  • Bisate Lodge – A couple of camera sets will be available for guests to use on their gorilla treks. The camera will be pre-set in order to ensure that guests get the optimal photographic experience. Tips for photographing gorillas will also be provided.

Beyond the Wilderness-Olympus partnership, several Great Plains Conservation camps cater to photographers and can provide a camera for you. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Zarafa Camp – Linyanti, Botswana
  • Selinda Camp – Linyanti, Botswana
  • Duba Plains Camp – Okavango Delta, Botswana
  • Ol Donyo Lodge – Amboseli and Chyulu Hills National Parks, Kenya
  • Mara Plains Camp – Maasai Mara, Kenya
  • Mara Nyika Camp – Maasai Mara, Kenya

All of Great Plains Conservation’s 5-star camps have a Canon 5d Mark III or IV with two sets of wide-angle lenses (including 100-400mm) per room for guest use. Guides can do a basic tutorial and can always position the vehicle to maximize the chances for great images.

Learn Everything You Need to Know: Specialist Photo Camps

If you want to learn how to use your camera to its fullest capabilities, a specialist photo camp might be perfect for you. Here are three of our favorites:

Pangolin Chobe Hotel – Chobe National Park, Botswana

For professional, passionate, knowledgeable photographic guides, look no further than Pangolin Chobe Hotel. You’re guaranteed a warm welcome and helpful attention to your photography, regardless of your skills or experience. Plus, incredible wildlife at Chobe make for a wonderfully immersive safari experience.

Zimanga Private Game Reserve – KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Zimanga offers state-of-the-art photographic hides , built in partnership with “The Invisible Wildlife Photographer,” Bence Mate . These hides provide visitors extraordinary opportunities to observe African wildlife. Additionally, Zimanga’s game drive vehicles have a limit of two passengers per row, ensuring ample space for your gear and maneuverability.

Photograph in Comfort: Camps with Photographic Vehicles

For the ultimate experience of comfort, amenities, and exceptional access to great photographic opportunities, a specially-designed photographic vehicle may be just what you’re looking for.

Depending on the property, your vehicle may feature:

  • Space for 3-4 photographers (and their equipment)
  • Drop-down sides for photographers to lie down and get low-angle photographs
  • Three 360º swivel seats, one per “row” – seats also lean right back if required
  • Only front and back bars to hold up the roofless obstruction of view for photography
  • Beanbags and foam camera rest (photographers advised to bring their own tripods)
  • Vehicle kit with a fridge, charging points, roll-down sides for bad weather, etc.
  • Lowered center console with raised lid for quick and easy access to lens changes
  • Lowered snorkel for better forward views
  • Radio aerial at the back of the vehicle for better forward views
  • Specially-designed pop-off roof (choose whether you want it on or off!)
  • Additional leg room

best photo safari in africa

Several camps offer photographic safari vehicles. Here are our favorites.

  • Asilia Africa has photography vehicles based in the Maasai Mara which service all their Mara Camps. They have one in the Central Serengeti for use at Dunia Camp and the new Namiri Plains , one in Northern Serengeti for Sayari Camp (and seasonal Asilia migration camps), and also one in Ruaha for use at Jabali Ridge and Kwihala Camp.
  • Mombo Camp – Okavango Delta, Botswana
  • Mashatu Lodge – Mashatu Game Reserve, Botswana
  • Ngala Safari Lodge – Timbavati Game Reserve, Kruger National Park, South Africa
  • Phinda Vlei Lodge – KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
  • Phinda Zuka Lodge – KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
  • Phinda Homestead – KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Get Up Close to the Action: Camps with Excellent Photographic Hides

  • Ol Donyo Lodge (Amboseli and Chyulu Hills National Parks, Kenya) offers two photographic hides, one at ground level and one sunken container that faces the water hole in front of the lodge.
  • An elephant-proof ground-level hide based at a waterhole, perfect for both beginner and professional photographers
  • Semi-permanent hides that are regularly relocated to drying waterholes in the riverbeds characteristic of Mashatu.
  • An infinity bird hide where you can photograph seed-eating birds at eye level
  • A hide based at the white-fronted bee-eater colony
  • Singita Pamushana (Gonarezhou National Park, Zimbabwe) offers a hide near a waterhole that can comfortably accommodate six guests and their guides. The hide even includes an en-suite flush toilet !
  • Linkwasha Camp (Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe) offers their Photo Hub experience at their sunken hide. This post-brunch event includes an informative slideshow and cameras available for guest use at tea time.
  • Little Makalolo (Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe) offers a Photo Hub experience similar to Linkwasha’s, but the location is at their log pile hide.
  • Chamilandu Bush Camp (South Luangwa National Park, Zambia) has a hide that looks over an oxbow lagoon behind the camp, the perfect location for spotting bathing elephants.
  • Kaingo Camp (South Luangwa National Park, Zambia) offers photographic hides regularly used by National Geographic, the BBC, and the Discovery Channel for wildlife photo shoots and documentaries. Kaingo features both a hippo hide and an elephant hide.

  • Chiawa Camp (Lower Zambezi National Park, Zambia) offers two hides, one near the edge of the Zambezi and one near the camp’s water tank overflow. We especially love the option of a night safari in the second hide where guests can use an infrared spotlight and night-vision monoculars to view any nocturnal (or diurnal) wildlife stopping to drink nearby.

Polish Your Work: Camps with Editing Tools

If you want to head home with perfectly-edited photos ready for printing, several camps offer computers with a full suite of editing tools for guest use. If this sounds appealing to you, we recommend:

  • Singita Ebony Lodge – Sabi Sands South Africa
  • Singita Boulders Lodge – Sabi Sands, South Africa
  • Singita Faru Faru – Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
  • Singita Lebombo Lodge – Kruger National Park, South Africa
  • Singita Kwitonda Lodge – Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda
  • Singita Pamushana – Gonarezhou National Park, Zimbabwe

best photo safari in africa

Keeping It Simple: Photographic Day Tours

You don’t have to build your entire safari around photography to still enjoy some incredible moments behind your camera. For a lighter take on the full-fledged photographic safari, we recommend a day tour! You’ll get to take in amazing views of wildlife and learn to make better use of your camera while you’re at it.

Here are two of our favorite tours:

Chase the Sun Peninsula Tour in Cape Town

This tour gives you a fantastic overview of Cape Town’s highlights, and the route is scheduled to take advantage of optimum lighting conditions in each stop!

Photograph technicolor bathing boxes at Muizenberg Beach, quaint streets and brightly-colored fishing boats at Kalk Bay, jackass penguins at Boulder’s Beach, the iconic Cape Point, and the granite and sandstone cliff face stretching along Chapman’s Peak Drive.

This eight-hour tour includes lunch and is limited to just 12 guests.

best photo safari in africa

3-Hour Photo Safari River Cruise Along the Chobe River

For a half-day photographic excursion, we recommend this cruise along the Chobe. Opt for an early morning cruise (departure is usually around 6 a.m.) or an afternoon one (departure is about 3 p.m.). Either way, the itinerary is planned around optimum lighting conditions, so you’re sure to get some beautiful shots. The boat provides a unique vantage point.

The cameras supplied for this tour are Canon 80D bodies fitted with 150-600mm Sigma telephoto lenses. If you’re a beginner photographer, the photo hosts on board will set you up and help you use the camera to its fullest potential.

Special Mention

Every camp featured in this piece offers something special and well-suited to photography-minded travelers. But if we had to choose a #1 favorite destination, it would be Tswalu in South Africa’s Southern Kalahari.

The colors in this desert game reserve are stunning, and we love that they offer private vehicles. This is also a favorite destination of one of our expert photographer clients, JP Pollak. Check out his rave review here .

What to Pack: Essential Gear

We all love our iPhones, but we promise: Apple will fail you when on safari. For optimum results and an enjoyable experience, we recommend you pack the following:

  • DSLR camera
  • A long lens (an 18-200mm is the recommended minimum) or an all-in-one camera with 20x zoom
  • Tripod, especially for after-dark shots
  • Monopod, especially if you’ll be in a more open vehicle with fewer surfaces to support your camera
  • A bean bag on which to rest your telephoto lens (pro-tip: you can bring the bag empty and fill it in camp with rice or dried beans)
  • Charging gear: adapter, power strip (though most camps have these), and possibly an inverter for the truck (some have outputs)
  • A sturdy dust-proof camera bag or case
  • Lens cleaning equipment
  • Extra batteries (2+) – you’ll be able to charge them in camp, but it’s best to have extras while out in the vehicle
  • Extra memory cards
  • Portable memory card back-up devices (no laptop required!)
  • Wide-angle lens (not essential, but great to have if you want some landscape shots or close-ups of interesting insects)

best photo safari in africa

What NOT to Pack

Too much luggage.

We recommend that you pack simply and sensibly for your photographic safari, keeping extra suitcases to a minimum.

And remember, several camps can provide camera equipment for you (see above).

Pro-tip: While some photographers prefer to bring along a tripod (especially for long-exposure shots at night), it’s not an essential. Most camps have bean bags to help stabilize your camera in the vehicle.

If you plan on bringing camera gear from home, airlines have several different ways to accommodate extra luggage, depending on the carrier. You may be asked to:

  • Book a freight seat for an additional 20kg to 75kg, depending on carrier and route (some carriers charge the child rate, others charge 75% of the full fare)
  • Book an XL seat which allows an extra 15kg (fees vary by route)
  • Pay a weight-based fee for extra luggage
  • Check your bags for transport in the luggage hold under the plane for an additional fee (though with fragile camera equipment, you may want to book a freight seat)

While we understand that drones are great for aerial shots and hard-to-reach places, they’re prohibited in most National Parks and strongly discouraged elsewhere.

The general consensus is that while technically, you might be able to use a drone on safari, it’s best not to bother.

Enjoy all you can from a safari vehicle, photographic hide, or hot air balloon (and there’s plenty to shoot from there!). The drone will be there waiting for you when you get home.

A Few More Important Tips

Be sure to practice with your equipment before you arrive, especially if you’re buying a new camera and/or accessories. The last thing you want is to be fumbling with unfamiliar gear when you could be getting that amazing shot!

Try Some New Techniques

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned expert, it never hurts to pick up a few new photographic tricks. We love these guides to photography on safari:

  • Sabi Sabi’s Wildlife Photography Tips
  • Singita’s Top 5 Wildlife Photography Tips from our Field Guides

And be sure to check out our own ask-the-experts piece, featuring the photo safari advice of four Extraordinary Journeys clients .

Shoot Throughout the Day

Dawn and dusk are obviously the best times to photograph wildlife. The early mornings are worth it! But consider shooting after dark, too. Just remember a tripod for those long-exposure shots (think starry night skies in the deserts of Namibia).

Put That Camera Down

We know you’re here for the photos, but once in a while, it’s important to get out from behind the camera and just enjoy what’s unfolding before you.

Remember Family & Friends

If you’re traveling with loved ones, be sure to snap a few shots of them, too! No need to make everybody shuffle around in awkward group poses, either. Candids of your kids, spouse, or friends observing wildlife and marveling at the beautiful scenery might just be some of the best shots you take home.

Practice Cultural Sensitivity

As with any safari, the local people and cultures are as much a part of the experience as the wildlife. Be sensitive to the customs, social mores, and preferences of the people you encounter, especially when it comes to photographing them. Some groups may welcome your camera while others may find your candid shots offensive. When in doubt, ask your guide what is appropriate. They’ll help you avoid any awkward encounters.

Sample Itineraries for Your Photographic Safari

Does a photographic safari sound too good to pass up? Check out these two itineraries for inspiration for your own adventure!

  • Kenya: Wildlife Photographers Safari at Ol Donyo Lodge and Mara Plains Camp, including a professional photographer guide and private vehicle
  • Zimbabwe: Learn to Use Your Camera in Zimbabwe with Pro Guide Nyengedzayi Kazingizi who also has canoeing and boating licenses (for amazing shots from the water!)
  • Kenya & Tanzania: Our Great Migration Photographic Safari provides the ultimate photographic experience, getting you up close to the action for the Great Wildebeest Migration with both a private vehicle and a specialist guide.

And remember, we customize every journey for our clients; no two trips are ever the same. If this piece already has you thinking of other destinations and properties, contact us today to start planning your tailor-made safari!

Plan Your Photographic Safari Today!

Ready to start planning your own incredible African adventure? We make the process stress-free and enjoyable. Call or email us today to explore your best options for a safari holiday you’ll never forget!

Then, start packing that suitcase because we’ve got all the details covered.

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13 of the best safaris in Africa

From big-name parks to lesser-known, wilder reserves, these are africa’s top safari destinations.

best photo safari in africa

T here’s a lot to consider when it comes to deciding where to go on safari. If you’re keen to see the Big Five — lions, leopards, elephants, buffalos and rhinos — South Africa is a solid choice, with options for all budgets, good tourism infrastructure and family-friendly properties in malaria-free areas. If you’re more seasoned or just keen to avoid the busier spots, you might be tempted by walking safaris in Zambia or southern Tanzania . Timing is a factor, too — most safari areas are at their driest between June and September, but the wet season can be great for birding, it’s cheaper, and those lush landscapes are ideal for photographers. With all that in mind, read on for the best African safaris.

Main photo: Giraffes in Ngorongoro, Tanzania (Getty Images)

An elephant in the Okavango Delta, Botswana (Getty Images)

1. Okavango Delta, Botswana

This inland delta is one of the most beautiful and wildlife-rich areas in Africa. Located in northern Botswana, it is fed by floodwaters from neighbouring Angola between May and October. This is the time when visitors can explore the reed-lined waterways by mokoro— a traditional canoe — which is a particularly special experience. There are a number of reserves in the delta and tourism is controlled so it feels wild and remote; it’s also the most expensive place to go on safari. But the wildlife viewing is exceptional — think buffalo-hunting lions, wild dogs sprinting through the bush, hippos cooling off in the water, elephants browsing acacias. And it’s a great birding destination.

Best base camp Vumbura Plains is one of the fanciest camps in the delta and in a really good spot for wildlife sightings, particularly big cats.

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Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya (Alamy)

2. Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya

The Masai Mara in southwest Kenya is famous for the beauty of its rolling savanna grasslands, the density of its wildlife populations, and, between July and October, the great wildebeest herds that thunder across the Mara River. Big cats — lions, cheetahs and leopards — are prolific. Wildlife is habituated and easy to find. The key to enjoying your time in the Mara is avoiding the crowds — that means finding a great guide or paying a little extra to stay in one of the private community-run conservancies around the edges of the national park.

Best base camp The high-end Cottar’s 1920s Camp is in a private conservancy – great for uncrowded wildlife sightings – and is one of the most long-established camps in the Mara.

yellowzebrasafaris.com/kenya/accommodation/lodges/cottars-camp

The best time to visit Kenya

A zebra and a bird in Ngorongoro, Tanzania (Getty)

3. Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

This inactive, ancient caldera is — at 2,000 feet deep and 100 square miles in area — one of the world’s most dramatic landscapes for viewing wildlife. There are elephants, critically endangered black rhinos, lions and flocks of flamingos. It’s not just safaris that you can do in and around the crater, but also hikes and visits to nearby Masai villages. The crater does get crowded, especially at the peak of the dry season from June to September. Wetter weather during the low season means smaller crowds and better rates, though of course conditions are not as favourable.

Best base camp Neptune Ngorongoro Luxury Lodge is a smart, comfortable hotel with 20 cottages, a pool and a spa — and it’s just five minutes away from the entrance gate of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

The best safari camps in Tanzania

A lion resting in a tree in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda (Alamy)

4. Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda

In the southwest of Uganda, Queen Elizabeth National Park is made up of savanna, forests and lakes, and it holds a diverse range of wildlife from elephants to chimpanzees. It’s perhaps best known for its lions that have an unusual penchant for climbing trees, but it’s also a great place for boat trips and birding. Given its proximity to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, it’s an excellent safari partner to mountain gorilla trekking.

Best base camp With beautiful views and only a few minutes from the park entrance, Buffalo Safari Lodge is a great option for Queen Elizabeth visitors.

Up close with an African elephant at the Nehimba Safari Lodge in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe (Getty Images)

5. Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe

Hwange National Park is one of Zimbabwe’s best and most popular safari destinations, with a diverse range of wildlife across its savanna and forests. Animals you might spot include lions, wild dogs, leopards and cheetahs; Hwange’s also home to one of Africa’s largest population of elephants. In private concessions, you can take walking safaris in addition to game drives. And the park benefits from Zimbabwe’s famously excellent guides (due a rigorous qualification programme). Hwange is easily combined with Victoria Falls, which is only around three hours away by road.

Best base camp In a private concession, the nine-tent, simple but comfy Davison’s Camp is set by a waterhole often visited by elephants.

Two Rhodesian Thornicroft’s giraffes in South Luangwa National Park, Zambia (Alamy)

6. South Luangwa National Park, Zambia

South Luangwa’s wildlife viewing is among the best in Africa, particularly for big cats and elephants. You can spot rare subspecies unique to the area, such as Thornicroft’s giraffes, too. The park — and Zambia generally — is renowned for walking safaris. So, if you’re keen to explore the bush on foot, whether just for the day or on an epic fly-camping adventure, this is the place for you. The Luangwa River attracts large numbers of animals during the dry season, the most popular time to visit. Be aware that many lodges close for the wettest months, between December and March.

Best base camp A popular little spot just outside South Luangwa National Park, Flatdogs Camp used to be a backpackers and it retains a relaxed, friendly vibe.

Hippopotamus in Lake Manze, Nyerere National Park, Tanzania (Getty Images)

7. Nyerere National Park (formerly Selous Game Reserve), Tanzania

In southern Tanzania, Nyerere is Tanzania’s largest — and newest — national park. It was the northern section of the massive Selous Game Reserve, until 2019 when the area was designated a national park. The best wildlife viewing is around the Rufiji River — leisurely boat safaris are a highlight — and the park has populations of lions, elephants, hippos, critically endangered black rhinos and wild dogs. As an added bonus, Nyerere — and the south of Tanzania generally — receives a mere fraction of the tourists who visit the northern parks.

Best base camp Serena Mivumo River Lodge sits on the banks of the Rufiji River, with just 12 elevated chalets overlooking the water.

African elephant in Kruger National Park, South Africa (Alamy)

8. Kruger National Park, South Africa

In the far northeast of South Africa, the Kruger is the most popular safari destination of them all. In addition to the wildlife viewing being superb — especially for leopards, which tend to be extraordinarily nonchalant around vehicles — it’s got great tourism infrastructure, including good roads for self-driving safaris. There are basic self-catering facilities or super-luxury lodges in the Kruger’s private reserves, so something for most budgets. It can be very busy, but travelling in shoulder or low seasons will help, as might venturing to the less-visited north of the park, where there are great walking trails, big baobabs, and fever tree forests.

Best base camp Amongst the sleekest luxury lodges on the continent, Singita Lebombo is for the stylish safari-goer. 15 suites overlook the bush or river. The food and wine offerings are excellent, too.

Where should I go in South Africa?

Best safaris in South Africa

Etosha National Park, Namibia (Alamy)

9. Etosha National Park, Namibia

While the density of its wildlife is much lower than other parts of Africa, Namibia makes up for it with its breathtaking desert landscapes. In the north of the country, Etosha National Park is its most popular safari destination. The best time to visit are the dry months when animals gather at water — there are lots of elephants, plus giraffes, lions — and it’s possible to see black rhinos, too. The Etosha Pan, the focal point of the park, is a salt flat, where mammals and birds such as flamingos gather. You can drive up from the capital Windhoek or take a scenic light aircraft flight — either option reveals some of Namibia’s huge, open landscapes.

Best base camp On the edge of Etosha National Park, Ongava Tented Camp is in a private reserve, where you can go on after-dark game drives and bush walks.

Wildebeest in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania (Alamy)

10. Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

The vast plains of the Serengeti, in northern Tanzania, are featured in dozens of nature documentaries for good reason. Not only is it a striking landscape, but it’s home to incredible wildlife, most of which is extremely habituated to tourists. Watch cheetahs scan for prey from atop a termite mound or park up next to a leopard chowing its kill in a tree. The Great Migration wildebeest herds stop to graze and give birth to their young in the south of the park from November to February; from June, you can see them crossing the river as they move between the Serengeti and Kenya’s Masai Mara on their cyclical migration.

Best base camp In the south of the park, Elewana Serengeti Pioneer Camp has glorious views across the plains. The 12 tents each have private decks and side panels that can be rolled up to take in the surroundings.

The Zambezi River in Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe (Alamy)

11. Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe

On the banks of the Zambezi River, Mana Pools feels wilder and quieter than most safari destinations in Southern Africa. The name means “four” in Shona, referring to the four main pools that make up the park. As well as lions and wild dogs, Mana Pools is known for elephants that have learnt to stand on their hindlegs to reach the higher branches. Explore the river by canoe, or take a bush walk during the dry season (in the wettest months, January to March, parts of the park are inaccessible and lots of properties close).

Best base camp With ten tented suites and being in a private reserve, Ruckomechi Camp gives guests a sense of exclusivity and remoteness. Don’t miss the opportunity to sleep under the stars.

yellowzebrasafaris.com/zimbabwe/accommodation/lodges/ruckomechi-camp

Samburu tribesmen performing traditional dance at the Loisaba Wilderness Conservancy, Laikipia, Kenya (Alamy)

12. Laikipia, Kenya

In central Kenya, the Laikipia plateau is a less-visited alternative to the Mara, with a different appeal. The landscape is open and rolling, with views of Mount Kenya’s jagged peaks. The various reserves in this area are home to the Big Five — including many black rhinos and the last two northern white rhinos, which live in Ol Pejeta Conservancy. The region also has wild dogs and rare subspecies such as the reticulated giraffe and Grevy’s zebra.

Best base camp A mid-range option in Ol Pejeta, Sweetwaters Serena Camp is a solid choice for travellers looking for comforts but without blowing the bank.

The best Kenyan safaris

Elephants in Madikwe Reserve, South Africa (Getty Images)

13. Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa

Close to the border with Botswana, Madikwe is a scenic reserve, with rolling hills and rust-orange sand. It’s home to the Big Five and other charismatic animals, such as wild dogs. Madikwe is a great option for families, as it’s malaria-free and many of the properties are geared to hosting children, with fun activities and private villas. You can also drive from Johannesburg , which cuts down on the expense of light aircraft flights.

Best base camp Madikwe Safari Lodge is a luxury option in the reserve, with 20 rooms including family suites with bunkbeds (and special turndowns for the kids).

Taking a break at Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya (Getty Images)

When is the best time to go on safari?

In most of southern and eastern Africa, the dry season runs from June to October. The advantage of the dry season is that wildlife tends to congregate around waterholes and the foliage is sparser, making animals easier to see. This is typically considered the best time to travel. But the rainy season can be better for landscape photography and birding (as migratory birds are in the south), as well as it being a quieter and generally cheaper time to travel.

What should I bring with me on safari?

Pack comfortable clothes in relatively neutral shades (very bright colours can frighten animals) and layers — mornings and evenings can be chilly enough for a hat and gloves, but by 10am, it’ll be T-shirt weather. Bring sturdy, closed-toe footwear if you’ll be walking, a hat, sunglasses and suncream. Photographers will want their longest lenses, but plenty of people do fine with their smartphones. Binoculars are very useful, although guides usually have pairs to share.

Do I need a guide on a safari?

A good guide will definitely enhance your safari experience — and in many places, you need them. Places like Kruger are great for self-driving (even without a 4×4) and the wildlife is prolific enough to find without a professional. But for walking or night driving, you will always need a qualified guide.

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World Wild Schooling

World Wild Schooling

12 Ultimate Safaris in Africa for Your Bucket List

Posted: April 26, 2024 | Last updated: April 26, 2024

<p>Africa is known to offer thrilling safari experiences through the hearts of its wildernesses. Whether you are looking to encounter the Big Five up close, see predators hunting down their prey, add to your collection of wildlife photographs, or relax in the tranquility of undestroyed landscapes, there is something for you in the national parks in Africa. </p> <p>From the vast savannahs of the Serengeti to the lush rainforests of Bwindi, each safari offers a unique and unforgettable adventure. </p> <p>If you are looking for safaris to add to your bucket list, you will never go wrong with the national parks we review here; they offer unforgettable experiences that are sure to captivate wildlife and nature enthusiasts. </p>

Africa is known to offer thrilling safari experiences through the hearts of its wildernesses. Whether you are looking to encounter the Big Five up close, see predators hunting down their prey, add to your collection of wildlife photographs, or relax in the tranquility of undestroyed landscapes, there is something for you in the national parks in Africa. 

From the vast savannahs of the Serengeti to the lush rainforests of Bwindi, each safari offers a unique and unforgettable adventure. 

If you are looking for safaris to add to your bucket list, you will never go wrong with the national parks we review here; they offer unforgettable experiences that are sure to captivate wildlife and nature enthusiasts. 

<p>If there’s one place in the world to view wildlife in their natural habitat, then the Serengeti has to be it. The National Park is famous for the annual migration of zebras, gazelles, and wildebeests, so book early if you want to witness this phenomenon. Endangered species in the park include black rhinoceros, cheetahs, elephants, and wild dogs. </p><p class="has-text-align-center has-medium-font-size">Read also: <a href="https://worldwildschooling.com/hidden-beaches-in-the-world/">Hidden Beaches Around the Globe</a></p>

Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

Witnessing the great migration of wildebeests is undoubtedly Serenegti’s most iconic highlight. 

But there is much more to enjoy other than the migration of the wildebeests. Serengeti is renowned as one of the best places in Africa to see the Big Five (lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard and rhinoceros) in their natural habitat. Other animals you may see on your safari through Serengeti include zebras, cheetahs, hippos, crocodiles, giraffes and various species of antelopes.

Serengeti is also known for its high concentration of big cats, such as lions, cheetahs and leopards. These are typically elusive, and many people going on safaris do not get an excellent chance to spot them. 

Besides the animals, the vast plains of Serengeti, featuring acacia trees, are so calming to look at, especially when they burst into greenery during the rainy season. Whether you are looking for a once-in-a-lifetime safari experience or you are into wildlife photography, Serengeti offers amazing exploration opportunities you need to experience.

Read also: Hidden Gems Across the Globe

<p>The Maasai Mara on the Kenyan side and the Serengeti on the Tanzanian side are interconnected. If you want to witness the wildebeest migration, you can do it on either side. You will be treated to views of the animals moving across the vast plains from one park to another in search of grazing pastures. </p><p>The thing, however, about viewing the migration in Masai Mara is that you may get to see the animals cross the Mara River. If lucky, wildlife photographers may get to catch snaps of crocodiles preying on wildebeests as they cross the river. </p><p>Besides the wildebeests, Masai Mara is also home to the Big Five, which includes large populations of lions, elephants, and buffaloes. Cheetahs, leopards, giraffes, hyenas, and various antelope species are also commonly sighted.</p><p>There are so many ways to experience the vastness and beauty of the Masai Mara other than riding on safari vans. You can have a bush breakfast, take hot air balloon safaris for panoramic views of the park, visit the Maasai villages around the park for an immersive experience, or watch sunsets from the viewpoints in the park. </p><p>The Maasai Mara offers many accommodation options, including luxury lodges, tented camps, and mobile campsites. Many of these accommodations are within or near the reserve, offering convenient access to wildlife viewing areas.</p><p class="has-text-align-center has-medium-font-size">Read also: <a href="https://worldwildschooling.com/safaris-beyond-africa/">Safaris Beyond Africa</a></p>

Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya

The Maasai Mara on the Kenyan side and the Serengeti on the Tanzanian side are interconnected. If you want to witness the wildebeest migration, you can do it on either side. You will be treated to views of the animals moving across the vast plains from one park to another in search of grazing pastures. 

The thing, however, about viewing the migration in Masai Mara is that you may get to see the animals cross the Mara River. If lucky, wildlife photographers may get to catch snaps of crocodiles preying on wildebeests as they cross the river. 

Besides the wildebeests, Masai Mara is also home to the Big Five, which includes large populations of lions, elephants, and buffaloes. Cheetahs, leopards, giraffes, hyenas, and various antelope species are also commonly sighted.

There are so many ways to experience the vastness and beauty of the Masai Mara other than riding on safari vans. You can have a bush breakfast, take hot air balloon safaris for panoramic views of the park, visit the Maasai villages around the park for an immersive experience, or watch sunsets from the viewpoints in the park. 

The Maasai Mara offers many accommodation options, including luxury lodges, tented camps, and mobile campsites. Many of these accommodations are within or near the reserve, offering convenient access to wildlife viewing areas.

Read also: Safaris Beyond Africa

<p>South Africa offers many opportunities for nature lovers, and Kruger National Park is an icon you cannot afford to miss when visiting the country. Kruger, the country’s largest <a href="https://worldwildschooling.com/national-parks-around-the-world/">national park</a>, boasts diverse landscapes, including vast open grasslands, dense bushes, and rivers such as Sabie and the Crocodile. </p><p> In addition to the Big Five, Kruger is home to a huge population of hippos, crocodiles, numerous bird species, giraffes, wildebeest, hyenas, and zebras. </p><p>You can choose to go on guided bush walks, daytime safaris, or nighttime safaris to better your chances of spotting nocturnal animals like leopards and hyenas. </p><p>When visiting Kruger National Park, you can stay at the rest camps, luxury bush lodges, or private concessions. You may also choose to stay in accommodations within the park limits, many of which offer panoramic views of the park and have animals walking by the decks.</p><p class="has-text-align-center has-medium-font-size">Read also: <a href="https://worldwildschooling.com/national-parks-around-the-world/">Must-Visit National Parks</a></p>

Kruger National Park, South Africa

South Africa offers many opportunities for nature lovers, and Kruger National Park is an icon you cannot afford to miss when visiting the country. Kruger, the country’s largest national park , boasts diverse landscapes, including vast open grasslands, dense bushes, and rivers such as Sabie and the Crocodile. 

 In addition to the Big Five, Kruger is home to a huge population of hippos, crocodiles, numerous bird species, giraffes, wildebeest, hyenas, and zebras. 

You can choose to go on guided bush walks, daytime safaris, or nighttime safaris to better your chances of spotting nocturnal animals like leopards and hyenas. 

When visiting Kruger National Park, you can stay at the rest camps, luxury bush lodges, or private concessions. You may also choose to stay in accommodations within the park limits, many of which offer panoramic views of the park and have animals walking by the decks.

Read also: Must-Visit National Parks

<p>As the Okavango River flows into the Kalahari Desert, it warps at some point, forming the Okavango Delta. This delta has become a rich haven for wildlife and attracts wildlife enthusiasts from all corners of the world. </p><p>During your safari at the Okavango Delta, you can spot a wide variety of animals, including the African Bush Elephant, buffaloes, hippos, giraffes, Nile crocodiles, lions, cheetahs, brown hyenas, spotted hyenas, warthogs, Black rhinoceros, white rhinoceros, and a wide variety of antelope species. </p><p>An unmissable activity at Okavango Delta is exploring its pristine waterways. Riding a mokoro (traditional canoe) or motorized boat allows you to enjoy different perspectives of the rich ecosystem. </p><p>Whether <a href="https://worldwildschooling.com/best-river-cruises-in-the-world/">exploring the waterways</a> on boats, tracking the wildlife on foot, or going on game drives, the Okavango Delta is a destination that will surely enchant nature and safari enthusiasts.</p><p class="has-text-align-center has-medium-font-size">Read also: <a href="https://worldwildschooling.com/hiking-trails-in-the-world/">Spectacular Hiking Trails Around the World</a></p>

Okavango Delta, Botswana

As the Okavango River flows into the Kalahari Desert, it warps at some point, forming the Okavango Delta. This delta has become a rich haven for wildlife and attracts wildlife enthusiasts from all corners of the world. 

During your safari at the Okavango Delta, you can spot a wide variety of animals, including the African Bush Elephant, buffaloes, hippos, giraffes, Nile crocodiles, lions, cheetahs, brown hyenas, spotted hyenas, warthogs, Black rhinoceros, white rhinoceros, and a wide variety of antelope species. 

An unmissable activity at Okavango Delta is exploring its pristine waterways. Riding a mokoro (traditional canoe) or motorized boat allows you to enjoy different perspectives of the rich ecosystem. 

Whether exploring the waterways on boats, tracking the wildlife on foot, or going on game drives, the Okavango Delta is a destination that will surely enchant nature and safari enthusiasts.

Read also: Spectacular Hiking Trails Around the World

<p>Mana Pools is known for its stunning landscapes characterized by the meandering Zambezi River, floodplains, woodlands, and the Mana Pools, a series of oxbow lakes. Mana Pools National Park is an excellent opportunity to explore unspoiled natural beauty graced by various animals like elephants, buffaloes, hippos, and crocodiles that can typically be spotted along the Zambezi River. You may also spot elusive predators such as lions, leopards, and hyenas. </p><p>The walking safaris at Mana Pools National Park are a highlight you do not want to miss. It is an opportunity to witness friendly wildlife up close, like giraffes and zebras. For an immersive experience, you may go on canoeing or bird-watching excursions or cultural visits to the local communities.</p><p class="has-text-align-center has-medium-font-size">Read also: <a href="https://worldwildschooling.com/natural-wonders-around-the-world/">Incredible Natural Wonders Around the World</a></p>

Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe

Mana Pools is known for its stunning landscapes characterized by the meandering Zambezi River, floodplains, woodlands, and the Mana Pools, a series of oxbow lakes. Mana Pools National Park is an excellent opportunity to explore unspoiled natural beauty graced by various animals like elephants, buffaloes, hippos, and crocodiles that can typically be spotted along the Zambezi River. You may also spot elusive predators such as lions, leopards, and hyenas. 

The walking safaris at Mana Pools National Park are a highlight you do not want to miss. It is an opportunity to witness friendly wildlife up close, like giraffes and zebras. For an immersive experience, you may go on canoeing or bird-watching excursions or cultural visits to the local communities.

Read also: Incredible Natural Wonders Around the World

<p>Leopards are known to be nocturnal, secretive, shy, solitary, and masters of camouflage, making them the most difficult to spot among the Big Five. Many people on safaris do not get lucky to spot this big cat. </p><p>However, if you would like to enhance your chances of spotting leopards, your best bet would be at South Luangwa National Park, which is known to have a high population of leopards. </p><p>Beyond leopards, the park is also home to elephants, buffaloes, giraffes, zebras, and antelopes. Driving along the Luangwa River is also an opportunity to see crocodiles and hippos. </p><p>South Luangwa National Park offers a range of accommodation options, including luxury lodges, tented camps, and rustic bush camps. Many of these accommodations are located along the Luangwa River, offering stunning views of the river and wildlife that come to drink at the river.</p><p class="has-text-align-center has-medium-font-size">Read also: <a href="https://worldwildschooling.com/natural-phenomena-around-the-world/">Interesting Natural Phenomena To Witness</a></p>

South Luangwa National Park, Zambia

Leopards are known to be nocturnal, secretive, shy, solitary, and masters of camouflage, making them the most difficult to spot among the Big Five. Many people on safaris do not get lucky to spot this big cat. 

However, if you would like to enhance your chances of spotting leopards, your best bet would be at South Luangwa National Park, which is known to have a high population of leopards. 

Beyond leopards, the park is also home to elephants, buffaloes, giraffes, zebras, and antelopes. Driving along the Luangwa River is also an opportunity to see crocodiles and hippos. 

South Luangwa National Park offers a range of accommodation options, including luxury lodges, tented camps, and rustic bush camps. Many of these accommodations are located along the Luangwa River, offering stunning views of the river and wildlife that come to drink at the river.

Read also: Interesting Natural Phenomena To Witness

<p>Etosha National Park is home to one of Africa’s largest salt pans, with waterholes and a large wildlife population. Surrounding the pan are expansive grasslands, mopane woodlands, and acacia savannahs, offering an excellent opportunity to connect with Mother Nature in its unspoiled state. </p><p>Etosha is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including the Big Five, as well as large herds of plains game such as zebras, giraffes, and various antelope species.</p><p>The park is mainly known for its large populations of elephants and black rhinos, which can often be seen at the waterholes. It is also a haven for birdwatchers, with over 340 recorded species. Some notable birds to watch out for include ostriches, flamingos, and eagles. </p><p>Besides viewing the wild animals, the salt pan is also a site to behold, especially during the sunrise and sunset.</p><p class="has-text-align-center has-medium-font-size">Read also: <a href="https://worldwildschooling.com/extraordinary-desert-landscapes-to-explore/">Spectacular Desert Landscapes</a></p>

Etosha National Park, Namibia

Etosha National Park is home to one of Africa’s largest salt pans, with waterholes and a large wildlife population. Surrounding the pan are expansive grasslands, mopane woodlands, and acacia savannahs, offering an excellent opportunity to connect with Mother Nature in its unspoiled state. 

Etosha is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including the Big Five, as well as large herds of plains game such as zebras, giraffes, and various antelope species.

The park is mainly known for its large populations of elephants and black rhinos, which can often be seen at the waterholes. It is also a haven for birdwatchers, with over 340 recorded species. Some notable birds to watch out for include ostriches, flamingos, and eagles. 

Besides viewing the wild animals, the salt pan is also a site to behold, especially during the sunrise and sunset.

Read also: Spectacular Desert Landscapes

<p>As the powerful Nile River squeezes through a narrow gorge, it forms the picturesque Murchison Falls, the highlight of Murchison Falls National Park. The park features a mix of diverse landscapes, including savannah grasslands, dense woodlands, and forests, offering a perfect ecosystem for its large wildlife population. </p><p>The park is home to the Big 5, giraffes, hippos, crocodiles, and numerous antelope species such as Uganda kob and waterbuck.</p><p>On your safari, you can go on boat cruises to experience the Murchison Falls up close, go on fishing trips on the Nile River, or just spend the evenings relaxing in the tranquility of your safari lodges or tented camps.</p><p class="has-text-align-center has-medium-font-size">Read also: <a href="https://worldwildschooling.com/surreal-landscapes-on-earth/">Surreal Landscapes on Earth</a></p>

Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda

As the powerful Nile River squeezes through a narrow gorge, it forms the picturesque Murchison Falls, the highlight of Murchison Falls National Park. The park features a mix of diverse landscapes, including savannah grasslands, dense woodlands, and forests, offering a perfect ecosystem for its large wildlife population. 

The park is home to the Big 5, giraffes, hippos, crocodiles, and numerous antelope species such as Uganda kob and waterbuck.

On your safari, you can go on boat cruises to experience the Murchison Falls up close, go on fishing trips on the Nile River, or just spend the evenings relaxing in the tranquility of your safari lodges or tented camps.

Read also: Surreal Landscapes on Earth

<p>Inscribed as a <a href="https://worldwildschooling.com/unesco-world-heritage-sites/">UNESCO World Heritage site</a> in 1994, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is known for its gorilla trekking experience. It involves trekking through dense vegetation to encounter endangered mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. </p><p>The name “impenetrable” is very intentional. The forest is characterized by dense woodlands, bamboo forests, thick ground cover of ferns and vines, and mist-covered hills. The thick vegetation you need to traverse offers an immersive experience in the pristine wilderness of Uganda.</p><p>While gorillas are the show’s star when visiting Bwindi, the safari also allows tourists to see elephants, chimpanzees, and monkeys. </p><p>The forest has also been described as the world’s best place to see primates.</p><p class="has-text-align-center has-medium-font-size">Read also: <a href="https://worldwildschooling.com/adventure-travel-destinations/">Exciting Adventure Destinations Across the World</a></p>

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Uganda

Inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1994, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is known for its gorilla trekking experience. It involves trekking through dense vegetation to encounter endangered mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. 

The name “impenetrable” is very intentional. The forest is characterized by dense woodlands, bamboo forests, thick ground cover of ferns and vines, and mist-covered hills. The thick vegetation you need to traverse offers an immersive experience in the pristine wilderness of Uganda.

While gorillas are the show’s star when visiting Bwindi, the safari also allows tourists to see elephants, chimpanzees, and monkeys. 

The forest has also been described as the world’s best place to see primates.

Read also: Exciting Adventure Destinations Across the World

<p>Hwange National Park is the largest national park in Zimbabwe. It is known for its large elephant population, which gathers around waterholes during the dry season. The park is rugged and beautiful, with stunning vistas and dramatic sunsets perfect for photography</p><p>In addition to elephants, Hwange National Park has lions, leopards, cheetahs, wild dogs, zebras, buffaloes, and numerous antelope species.</p><p>Hwange is also home to a rich birdlife, with over 400 recorded species. Wildlife photographers will have a great time capturing this birdlife, with the most famous sightings including raptors, waterbirds, and migratory species.</p><p class="has-text-align-center has-medium-font-size">Read also: <a href="https://worldwildschooling.com/most-dangerous-tourist-destinations/">Extreme Travel Destinations Across the World</a></p>

Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe

Hwange National Park is the largest national park in Zimbabwe. It is known for its large elephant population, which gathers around waterholes during the dry season. The park is rugged and beautiful, with stunning vistas and dramatic sunsets perfect for photography

In addition to elephants, Hwange National Park has lions, leopards, cheetahs, wild dogs, zebras, buffaloes, and numerous antelope species.

Hwange is also home to a rich birdlife, with over 400 recorded species. Wildlife photographers will have a great time capturing this birdlife, with the most famous sightings including raptors, waterbirds, and migratory species.

Read also: Extreme Travel Destinations Across the World

<p>Large herds of elephants, with a stunning background and the highest peak in Africa, is an experience Amboseli National Park is renowned for. The imposing presence of Mount Kilimanjaro in the background makes exploring Amboseli even more fascinating. </p><p>Other than the stunning peaks, visiting Amboseli lets you relax in the tranquility of open plains, acacia woodlands, and surrounding wetlands, all of which create a picturesque setting for spotting wildlife. </p><p>Lions, cheetahs, leopards, giraffes, zebras, buffaloes, and antelopes are some of the park’s most famous sightings. </p><p>Enjoy views of Mount Kilimanjaro, especially during sunrise and sunset; take hot air balloon trips for panoramic views of the park, or photograph the large herds of elephants in the heart of Kenya’s wilderness.</p><p class="has-text-align-center has-medium-font-size">Read also: <a href="https://worldwildschooling.com/glaciers-to-witness-before-they-disappear/">Spectacular Glaciers To See</a></p>

Amboseli National Park, Kenya

Large herds of elephants, with a stunning background and the highest peak in Africa, is an experience Amboseli National Park is renowned for. The imposing presence of Mount Kilimanjaro in the background makes exploring Amboseli even more fascinating. 

Other than the stunning peaks, visiting Amboseli lets you relax in the tranquility of open plains, acacia woodlands, and surrounding wetlands, all of which create a picturesque setting for spotting wildlife. 

Lions, cheetahs, leopards, giraffes, zebras, buffaloes, and antelopes are some of the park’s most famous sightings. 

Enjoy views of Mount Kilimanjaro, especially during sunrise and sunset; take hot air balloon trips for panoramic views of the park, or photograph the large herds of elephants in the heart of Kenya’s wilderness.

Read also: Spectacular Glaciers To See

<p>Taking safari drives or trekking tours across Volcanoes National Park offers the opportunity to encounter endangered mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. </p><p>Dramatic volcanic peaks, including the famous Virunga volcanoes, dominate this park. The landscape is characterized by lush bamboo forests, montane rainforests, and alpine meadows, all of which create a great and calming environment perfect for unwinding in nature.</p><p>This park is also home to various monkey species, forest elephants, and numerous bird species. </p><p>If you like hiking, plan to summit the Virunga Volcano, which offers stunning panoramic views of the park and its surroundings.</p><p class="has-text-align-center has-medium-font-size">Read also: <a href="https://worldwildschooling.com/spectacular-volcanic-destinations/">Spectacular Volcanic Destinations</a></p>

Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

Taking safari drives or trekking tours across Volcanoes National Park offers the opportunity to encounter endangered mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. 

Dramatic volcanic peaks, including the famous Virunga volcanoes, dominate this park. The landscape is characterized by lush bamboo forests, montane rainforests, and alpine meadows, all of which create a great and calming environment perfect for unwinding in nature.

This park is also home to various monkey species, forest elephants, and numerous bird species. 

If you like hiking, plan to summit the Virunga Volcano, which offers stunning panoramic views of the park and its surroundings.

Read also: Spectacular Volcanic Destinations

<p>While the Portuguese capital is popular, it doesn’t have visitor numbers as high as European cities like Paris, <a href="https://worldwildschooling.com/best-things-to-do-in-rome/">Rome</a>, or <a href="https://worldwildschooling.com/barcelona-with-kids/">Barcelona</a>. Head to hilly Lisbon by the sea for pastel-painted buildings, historic structures like majestic São Jorge Castle, and a museum packed with ceramic tiles. You’ll also find beautiful beaches outside the city, making them ideal day trip destinations.</p><p class="has-text-align-center has-medium-font-size">Read more: <a href="https://worldwildschooling.com/things-to-do-in-lisbon/">Best Things To Do in Lisbon</a></p>

Must-Visit European Cities

Turn your wanderlust into reality with our list of  must-visit European cities .

  • Read more:  Must-Visit Cities in Europe

<p>If you’re wondering where your next adventure will be, Chile is a popular destination and the longest country in the world. Whether observing Patagonia’s tall peaks or trying out exquisite wine at top-notch wineries, there is something to do for everyone. If you’re looking for some bars, then you should visit Valparaiso.</p>

Visa-Free Countries

Explore these  countries visa-free  with your American passport.

  • Read more:  Visa-Free Countries

<p>This Kefalonia town is a flower-filled Greek delight. It’s enclosed by the azure waters of the Mediterranean on three sides and features a pretty pebble beach. Dipping into the local tavernas for a drink or to enjoy <a href="https://worldwildschooling.com/best-traditional-greek-foods-to-try-in-greece/">delicious Greek food</a> is de rigueur, and Venetian-built Assos Castle is also well worth a look. It is also one of the most <a href="https://worldwildschooling.com/landmarks-in-greece/">famous landmarks of Greece</a>.</p><p>Read also:</p><ul> <li><a href="https://worldwildschooling.com/best-greek-islands-for-beaches/">Best Greek Islands for Beaches Ranked</a></li> <li><a href="https://worldwildschooling.com/best-time-to-visit-greece-travel-tips-from-a-local/">Best Time to Visit Greece</a></li> <li><a href="https://worldwildschooling.com/day-trips-from-athens/">Best Day Trips from Athens</a></li> </ul>

Stunning Small Towns in Europe to Visit in Your Lifetime

Add these charming European small towns to your bucket list.

  • Read more: Small Towns in Europe

<p>Filled with some of the most luxurious resorts, including 5-star food and stay, you’ll live like royalty if you visit. There are seven places where you can see live fish in your room, just across the glass window. To dive into the local culture a little more, you will find their traditional Maldivian boat, dhoni, that fits the weather conditions of the locale.</p><p class="has-text-align-center has-medium-font-size">Read also: <a href="https://worldwildschooling.com/underrated-tropical-vacation-destinations/">Top Underrated Tropical Destinations</a></p>

Tropical Destinations To Add to Your Bucket List

Dreaming of paradise? Discover tropical destinations to add to your bucket list.

  • Read more: Tropical Destinations To Visit in Your Lifetime

<p>If there’s one Caribbean island made for sipping rum punch, then Barbados must be it. The efficient Bajan buses also appeal to those who can’t or don’t want to drive. The restaurants, food markets, bars, and distilleries are excellent for foodies and rum drinkers. Cheers!</p><p class="has-text-align-center has-medium-font-size">Read also: <a href="https://worldwildschooling.com/17-worldwide-festivals-not-to-miss/">Must-Visit Festivals Around the Globe</a></p>

Caribbean Destinations Where No Visa Is Needed for Americans

Discover passport-free paradise with our guide to Caribbean destinations for US citizens .

  • Read more: Caribbean Destinations Without Visa

Read the original thread on 12 Ultimate Safaris in Africa for Your Bucket List .

This article was produced and syndicated by World Wild Schooling .

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Tourists slammed for posing naked in popular desert spot: ‘very sickening’.

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They de-nude-ed the landscape.

Another day, another instance of tourists disrespecting a landmark.

This time, foreign sightseers angered Namibian authorities after posing naked atop the legendary Big Daddy Dune in the Namib Desert, as seen in photos circulating on social media .

“It is very sickening and it really [creates] a bad image for Namibia,” Kenneth Nependa, vice-chairperson of the Federation of Namibian Tourism Associations, told the Namibian Sun, the BBC reported.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by The Namibian (@thenamibian)

He added that these antics risked attracting tourists who think that “anything goes” in the southern African nation.

Accompanying footage and video, snapped by an unknown source, shows the unnamed trio strutting about in their birthday suits atop the over 1,000-foot-tall sand mound, which is reportedly popular with families.

Visitors didn’t appreciate the tourists treating the scenic site like a nude beach and called on tourism officials to take action against the crass culprits.

Authorities haven’t yet publicly identified the sandy stripteasers, who allegedly left Namibia by the time authorities received the reports.

Tourists on a dune.

However, the nudists could be banned from entering the country’s parks, according to tourism ministers, who added that the “extremely shocking” act was public indecency and therefore punishable by local law.

In light of the indecent incident, officials are calling on visitors to report violators to authorities so they can deal with them accordingly.

“We appeal to that section of tourists to summon the conscience so that they do the right things,” declared Romeo Muyunda, a spokesperson for the ministry of environment, forestry and tourism.

However, many social media users disagreed that the incident was problematic.

“Why are they in trouble? They bothered no one,” an X user declared, according to the BBC, while another claimed that there is “nothing wrong with sunbathing.”

Big Daddy is one of the three largest dunes in Namibia’s Namib-Naukluft National Park and is a popular destination among sightseers looking to get a picturesque view from its crest.

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A Billionaire Tech CEO Is Throwing the Most Epic Wedding Ever in Egypt —And He Nearly Missed It! (Exclusive)

Billionaire tech CEO Ankur Jain and his bride, fitness guru Erika Hammond, got stranded in South Africa after their charter flight couldn't get a permit

best photo safari in africa

Billionaire tech CEO Ankur Jain and Erika Hammond nearly missed their own epic wedding celebration in Egypt!

The founder and CEO of Bilt Rewards, 34, and his bride, 32, who is a former WWE wrestler and creator of Equinox’s Knockout class, planned to kick off their four-day extravagant wedding in Cairo with a welcome party at the Muhammed Ali Palace — but they didn't make it to the celebration until 2:30AM thanks to a complication with their chartered plane.

Jain tells PEOPLE that the flight fiasco began when the couple and their friends were preparing to jet off to Egypt from South Africa where they had been on safari. “Everything was smooth. All of the checked bags were loaded into the vans ready to go when we get a phone call that our Egypt Air flight had been turned away by the South African government,” says Jain. 

Despite weeks of negotiations and planning in order to get approval for an overnight departure, the charter flight that they had booked ultimately wasn’t able to pick the group up in South Africa due to a permit issue.

The news sent the bride and groom to-be “scrambling” as they tried to figure out what to do next. Jain and Hammond worked all evening to try to figure out a way to make it in time for their wedding celebration party, and even considered booking a commercial flight to another city in South Africa to get to Dubai and then to Cairo. 

“We were gonna miss for sure at this point, the whole opening day,” Jain recalls. “We were even worried about making the second day and you can imagine, we planned this for a year. Erika was in decent spirits… I was devastated.”

It wasn’t until 8 a.m. the next day that they finally received a pdf with the transport authority’s signature on the permit allowing them to take off. However, with the new schedule, they wouldn’t arrive in Cairo until 11:00PM — three hours after their opening party was scheduled to begin.

“We sent a message to the group like ‘Hey, we’re not going to be able to make the party tonight… You guys go have fun. We’ll see you tomorrow,’ ” Jain says. “And right away, our friends were amazing."

“Everybody rallied on that group chat and said, ‘Nope, we’ll push the party, we’ll stay up…. we’re going to keep the party going and you guys come when you land, and we’re going to celebrate together,’ ” he continues.

However, that still wasn't the end of their complications. During a stop in Nairobi to refuel, the ground crew didn't show up for two hours. By then, their flight schedule was pushed back even further and they weren't expected to land in Cairo until nearly 2:00AM.

Still, Jain says their guests in Cairo happily waited until they arrived. Despite the 12 hour journey, the wedding guests on board with the bride and groom hyped themselves up by playing music as they all changed and got ready for the party while up in the air. They even did an impromptu “fashion show” while Hammond's Bridal Glam Team Dawn artists Kelly Dawn did her makeup while Jackie Seabrooke did her hair at the back of the plane. 

“While we were on our way, everyone in Cairo was at the bar together, sending us photos, rallying us to get there," says Jain, adding that Lance Bass kept the dance party going until their arrival.

Never miss a story — sign up for  PEOPLE's free daily newsletter  to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

They finally made their grand entrance at around 2:40AM. in the morning and the entire wedding party stayed up all night celebrating as a DJ played music while belly dancers and fire dancers performed. 

Jain tells PEOPLE that despite the “chaotic” start, they eventually were able to have fun the way they planned. “We partied until 5:00AM having just the best opening night,” he says.

The pair, who first met when Jain started working out at Rumble Boxing where Hammond — who is on the founding team of the celeb-loved gym, was an instructor at the time — will tie the knot in a private ceremony in Cairo over the weekend.

“There's something so special about being in a completely different world environment. So we decided, our wedding is about having a moment together to celebrate the new beginning, having a really special party with our friends somewhere where you're in a different world,” says Jain.

Adds Hammond: “It’s a once in a lifetime experience!”

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The emotional rollercoaster of a baby animal safari

Spring in Botswana is when the antelope have their young and the predators are on the prowl

Great Plains Conservation Experiences and wildlife sightings

“Over there, two lions doing what lions do best. Snoozing” said our guide, pointing at a lioness stretched out under a Kalahari apple-leaf tree. Eyes closed, legs sprawled, tail flicking from side to side. Close by her, cubs were cuffing each other lazily. Grabbing my camera, the words “utterly adorable” sprung to mind until, a few yards away, I spotted a baby giraffe, also stretched out on its side, but with two more lions gnawing hungrily at its ribs. 

It was typical of the particular frisson you get during November in the Botswana bush. It’s the season when many of the herbivores produce their young, and the meat-eaters know it. A great opportunity to see the baby animals at their most engaging – as long as you realise that a fair number of them will end up at the wrong end of a kill. 

Elephants on Great Plains safari Botswana

November is also one of quietest times of year when it comes to tourism. Our summer is winter in sub-equatorial Africa and is the busiest for safaris. It’s the dry season, when the animals tend to gather around diminishing water holes and are therefore easier to spot, and it coincides with peak holiday time for families. In September and October, spring is in the air, with temperatures and humidity beginning to rise as the more unpredictable rainy season approaches. And so November is normally the time that the safari camps take a breather and gear down for a quieter spell before the Christmas rush.

However, the Botswana spring is also a magical period which sees the bush transition from the parched, dusty winter months to the lush fertility of summer, flushing green as the leaves of the mopane trees start to unfurl and the spectacular flamboyant tree adds a bright-red splash to the landscape. Exotic flowers, crimson fireball lilies, white bauhinia, aromatic wild honeysuckle, bright purple jacaranda and delicately yellow frangipani, bloom around the camps – and the jeep tracks are perfumed with the pungent scent of wild sage.

And it isn’t just about the flowers and the animals. Because it’s spring, the birds are also at their most active. I spotted plenty of summer migrants, including the carmine bee-eaters, with their spectacular colouring and distinctively long tail feathers, as well as resident weaver birds perfecting their exquisitely crafted, communal nests on the branches of acacia trees. 

Giraffes in Botswana, Africa

Egyptian geese, great white pelicans, blue helmeted guinea fowl and the comical long-necked African darter bird dabbled on the water’s edge, and from time to time I caught the emerald flash of a Burchell’s starling or the luminous blue of a woodland kingfisher in flight. My excursions into bush echoed with the ringing call of the blacksmith lapwings and the “glug-glug” of the coppery-tailed coucals – and there wasn’t much peace at night either, a cacophony of courting cicadas and mating bull frogs echoed around the swampy reed beds.

Even the bush floor was full of activity. Alongside the drama of big animal spotting, some of my most fascinating moments were spent watching dung beetles pincering their giant balls of muck into shape, before rolling them through the hordes of tiny, scuttling red velvet mites, and past sleepy leopard tortoises emerging from hibernation, in an effort to impress a potential mate.

My plan was to explore this fertile and fecund season in north-west Botswana’s Okavango Delta region from some of its most remote bases, namely Selinda Camp, Duba Plains Camp and newly opened Sitatunga Private Island, all stylishly comfortable eco-camps – part of Great Plains Conservation – which are scattered across some of the richest habitats for elephant, lion, hippo, leopard and cape buffalo.

Duba Plains Camp, Botswana, Africa

Each camp offered different types of drives and sightseeing, but the sense of drama and suspense was common to them all. From the hyena, lurking in its burrow waiting for an unsuspecting antelope calf to separate from its mother, to the unblinking eye of a crocodile lying log-like in the shallows on the lookout for prey. And from a jackal waiting patiently for its turn to feast on a rotting carcass to an eagle flying low in search of unsuspecting rodents. Most thrillingly, we spotted a leopard which became almost completely camouflaged as it silently merged into the tall grasses. 

But by far my most chilling encounter was the vultures, which began to cluster next to our jeep and as close as they dared to the lioness and her cubs. They were watching the lions have their fill of the baby giraffe as silently, motionlessly and intently as we were, but with lunch rather than photography on their minds.

Sitatunga Private Island, Botswana, Africa

How to explore Botswana

Remote and beautiful, the Selinda Spillway is a channel of water connecting the northern Okavango Delta to the Linyanti and Chobe rivers, which teems with wildlife. Within minutes of driving from Selinda Camp, we saw family pods of basking hippos wallowing in the shallows while bull elephants, mothers and calves as young as two or three weeks paddled along the water’s edge. 

In the scrubby grassland, impala antelopes grazed alongside their long-legged, bambi-eyed offspring, while horned tsessebe, among the fastest animals in the bush, stayed close to their gangly, sandy-coloured young. Troops of baboons and vervet monkeys stalked through the scrubby plain with babies tightly gripped to their chests and warthog piglets cavorted around their bristly and tusked mothers who, although far from conventional beauties themselves, certainly produced some of the most cute and captivating offspring I saw, with their snubby snouts and flapped-back ears.

Great Plains Selinda Explorers Camp walking safari experience with elephants

By helicopter

A 10-minute trip by air in a small, four-person helicopter from Duba Plains proved to be an excellent way to get a feel for the enormity of the region, a sense of space that you can’t fully appreciate on land. And, from above, it also becomes crystal clear why the area is described as a panhandle as the Okavango river channels into the region from the far-off highlands of Angola before branching out in long tendrils, which flood in a pan shape over the land. 

The swampy green landscape was criss-crossed with hippo paths, glittering like snail trails, and we swooped low over elephants as they plodded along their well-trodden routes, past white termite mounds so large they could be seen from the air. One of the most astonishing moments was dipping over a herd of Cape buffalo, close enough to make out their dark bulk and formidable curving horns. 

A 40-minute boat trip along the Okavango from Sitatunga, its banks edged by papyrus and reed beds, took us to a disembarkation point on a small island, where we followed our guide quietly and in single file past sausage trees, fever berry groves and outcrops of elephant palm. 

Great Plains Selinda Explorers Camp walking safari experience with elephants

Pointing out the centuries-old baobab trees, and clumps of milkweed, home to fluttering African monarch butterflies, our guide showed us how to identify hippo and antelope tracks in the sand and explained how elephant dung contained berries which would be rich pickings for baboons while hyena dung, tinged white from scavenged bones, created calcium-rich food for tortoises. Traced in the dust were trials made by puff adders and he showed us holes in the river bank which were home to water monitor lizards.

Cazenove+loyd (020 7384 2332; cazloyd.com ) offers tailor-made travel to Botswana, with a six-night stay at Selinda Camp, Duba Plains Camp and Sitatunga Private Island (two nights in each camp) from £9,860 all-inclusive, with private transfers, based on two sharing. A two-night add-on at Mpala Jena Camp in Zimbabwe (for Victoria Falls) starts at £2,200. You can fly from London to Johannesburg or Cape Town with British Airways ( ba.com ) from £714 return.

Baby animal predictor: Your chance of seeing newborns in November

Antelope 5/5.

Tsessebe and impala (both types of antelope) are seasonal breeders giving birth from October to November. The tsessebe are the first to produce their young, then the impala. Though they can run almost from the moment they are born, the young are ideal prey for the big cats.

Antelope, wildlife, Africa

Warthogs 5/5

For warthogs, rutting starts in April or May and the piglets are born from October onwards. Typically a sow gives birth to two to four piglets who are weaned within six months and although they stay close to their burrows while nursing, I saw plenty of grazing mothers with their young scampering around them.

Warthog

Elephants 4/5

Also non-seasonal breeders and herds are made up of all ages from young calves to huge bull elephants who can live to around 60-70 years (males don’t reach their full height until around 35 years). Although you may not see a new-born, you’re very likely to see mothers with their young, as calves aren’t completely weaned until at least two years of age. After long 22-month gestation periods, baby elephants can weigh up to 120kg and will be on their feet within two hours of birth, joining the rest of the herd within a couple of days.

Baby African elephant

Giraffe 3/5

Technically, these are non-seasonal breeders, so may give birth at any time of year. But because they are herbivores, they are most likely to give birth in the spring when food is more accessible and survival rates are higher. Even if you don’t see a newborn, herds will always include a variety of ages from youngsters to adults.

Lion sightings in Africa

Lionesses in the wild give birth every two to four years, but there may be several females in a pride so there is also a good chance of seeing youngsters, if not newborn cubs.

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