What is a photographic safari ?
When you think of an Africa safari it naturally comes to mind taking photographs of the wild life you see.
All safari lodges/camps have game drive vehicles which carry differing amounts of people according to the policies of that safari lodge/camp meaning some may only have 6 passengers, others 8, others 10, other 4 passengers on the vehicle during a game drive
The difference from that experience is the dedicated photographic safari.
While its true that a photographic safari of this type is geared to the more dedicated photographer with generally more advanced camera gear, if you are not that into the higher levels of photography you can still create your own photographic safari experience.
Its not uncommon for some of my clients to request adding in at the time that we are quoting/booking the trip to reserve a am or pm or a full day private vehicle safari which then gives you your own private photographic safari.
Generally dedicated photographers will reserve out the vehicle/guide/tracker for 2 to 3 days at a time.
For vegans we will ensure that there is alternative milks, and appropriate snacks on the game drive vehicle, as well as a full vegan menu plan.
The advantages of a photographic safari
- You have a dedicated driver/guide and some camps will have a tracker as well for your private use of the vehicle.
- Private use of the vehicle means that you can leave and return when you want to.
- When you are out in the bush you can stop at a sighting for as long or as short of time as you want to.
- Some times at a sighting its a good idea to move around the activity according to the available light and or angle of the sighting. Since there is no one else on the vehicle you don’t have to worry about others who may be also taking photos, and reposition the vehicle as you want it.
- Since you have the whole game drive vehicle to yourself, you can spread out with your equipment and have both sides of the vehicle free and clear to work from.
- Some camps/lodges have a dedicated computer with Lightroom/Photoshop that you can use to edit your shots as you go.
- You will find some guides are also into photography and that is a real enjoyable time to be with a guide on a private photographic safari as there is a common point of interest.
The usual morning tea/snack and the after sunset/coffee/tea/drink snacks stops are still part of the private photographic safari activity.
Types of Photographic safari’s
There are 2 kinds of photographic safaris.
The first kind is the general photographic safari…you are in an area ie Kruger National Park, Okavango Delta, Serengeti etc.
On this safari the photographer immerses themselves into the activity that nature presents be it land/air water.
There is no goal, its all about shooting the variety of animals/birdlife/water and the environment during different types of the day which means different lighting, and different animal behavior during the day and night as night drives may be included.
The second type is the specialized photographic safari.
During this activity there is a sharply defined goal that becomes the target.
This could be tracking lions, leopards, cheetah, rhino etc.
Here the focus is the specific animal type and with this in mind the guides/tracker will spend time driving tracking/finding that animal.
What this means is that generally that there is a lot more longer driving time to find that special animal that the photography wants to shoot.
However once its find there is no limitation for how long you can stay with the sighting, as long as the sighting cooperates and does not decide to move away into an area that prevents clear shooting.
Possibly the one private photographic safari that is increasing in popularity is a dedicated birding safari.
The birding community and the dedicated birding photographer are generally solely focused on birding.
For a birding safari we bring in specialized guides and go to the safari areas that have a high bird count and hopefully have some of the more harder to find birds.
We custom design all our photographic safaris according to your needs/wants.
We design your Africa experience as you want it.