South African Photo Safari | Best Tours & Photographic Equipment

February 4, 2022

Make memories on a South African photo safari while capturing interesting subjects in your frame. The hobbyist might find a traditional safari works just fine. But private photographic safari tours allow for patience, preparation, and space to move around in the vehicle. Private safaris in specialised vehicles might just be what you need to capture the perfect wildlife photograph.

Will you return home with photographs you can be proud of?

The early morning game drives in search of wildlife provide an incredible setting and subject for your photography. Not only that, your feel good African photo safari is one that contributes to conservation. Tourism brings income to rural communities who play a key role in protecting the wildlife in the area.

Before investing in your next photo safari adventure in Africa, there are a few things you should consider. The best time to visit for a safari, where the best South African safaris are, and shops for photography are all important.

South Africa is ideal for a photographic safaris at any time of the year if you know where to go.

Where to go on a Photo Safari in South Africa?

Photo Safaris in South Africa focus on dramatic landscapes, interesting portraits, and wildlife. Fly into Johannesburg or Hoedspruit to photograph wildlife on a South African photo safari in the Kuger national park. Alternatively a 50 minute drive from Port Elizabeth offers you the chance to see the big five in the Addo Elephant National Park.

An elephant walking toward the photographer

The wildlife photographer who is on a mission to visit the world’s most scenic reserves will be very happy with photo safaris in South Africa. It is home to impressive numbers of animals and plants found nowhere else on earth. The local knowledge shared by your South African field guide will help you to make a deeper connection to the area.

The hobbyist photographer visiting South Africa stands to benefit the most from a private photo safari. Despite the incredible setting and beautiful animals it is easy for an amatuer to miss a great photo opportunity. Receiving one on one assistance from a trained guide can help you to get the shot.

Photographic Safaris at Kruger National Park

Photographic safaris focus on the aspects of taking a good wildlife photo. If you can afford it we recommend a photographic safari with &Beyond hosted in the Kruger National Park. Only seating a maximum of four guests, the vehicles feature 360° swivel chairs and state of the art camera mounts with moveable arms.

The lighting and positioning of the vehicle play an important role. Group photo safaris are more affordable. However, more than four photographers make operating bulky equipment in a car more difficult. Discover the Kruger park in a group with a specialised wildlife photography safari tour.

Zebras jumping on photo safari

A private photo safari is the best way to meet your specific needs as a photographer. Enjoy the creative aspects of your trip while the well-planned itinerary ensures you have a rich experience. Last-minute purchases of memory cards or rolls of film are best bought from Cape Town or Johannesburg’s top photography shops.

The Best South Africa Photo Safari for You

The best South African photo safari tours are customised to your needs as a photographer. Interested in photographing rare bird species? Consider a photographic safari in Phinda Nature reserve in Kwazulu-Natal from November to April.

The best African safari pictures come from the wildlife spotted on game drives and bush walks. Your decision to do a photo safari might have been influenced by the images in National Geographic. Photographer Greg Du Toit believes that wildlife photographers help to bring attention to conservation.

Yellow hornbill perched in a tree

Best Time to Visit South Africa for a Photo Safari

Visiting South Africa on a photography safari is best during the dry season. With May to October giving you ideal game viewing. If you are in South Africa and you happen to travel to Cape Town you will experience a Mediterranean climate. The safaris near Cape Town experience a dry season from December to February. 

African Photo Safari Tours Across the Country

Want to tour Africa and bring back incredible photos? From South Africa enter the  /Ai-/Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier Park and cross the border to Namibia. Capture images of the Fish River Canyon, rock paintings, and unique plant life such as the quiver tree.

Short on time? A day trip from Cape Town for a wildlife safari is possible. It will however only provide one game drive for you to photograph wildlife. Consider using the two hour trip to Inverdoorn nature reserve from Cape Town as a scenic photo safari.

Three photographers on safari at night

The evening and morning game drives during a two day safari provides great lighting for wildlife photos. Spend the night in the Inverdoorn lodge or a chalet where you can try your hand at long exposure photography of the stars in the night sky.

Safari Photography Equipment

Your choice of camera, lens, filter, and potentially even film affect the image you will produce. We recommend bringing or renting camera equipment you are familiar with. Be it a telephoto lens on a powerful DSLR or a modern mirrorless camera.

Mirrorless camera bodies are lighter than the ‘traditional’ digital single-lens reflex cameras and produce sharper images than a film camera. With details not visible to the naked eye, high-quality photographs can bring a new appreciation for these wild animals.

tourist on photo safari photographing birds

South African Photography Shops

Cameraland has a shop in Cape Town and an efficient online store with all the gear you need.

Cape Town’s most loved photography shop is Orms. They have gear, rentals, servicing, and even offer a wildlife photography course.

OutdoorPhoto in Pretoria offers gear and rentals in-store and online. The staff is a friendly group of photographic fanatics. They will happily answer any questions you may have.

private photo safari vehicle in South Africa

Last Thoughts on a South African Photo Safaris

South Africa Photo Safaris are an incredible way to get wildlife images. As a photographer, adding a wildlife photo to your portfolio can have a larger impact on the conservation of the natural environment.

Remote areas and specialised teams benefit from tourism. You can expect a warm welcome from South Africans. The safari pictures you capture of a herd of elephants or the fast-approaching cheetah on a hunt will stay with you forever.

If you loved your photo safari in South Africa, consider visiting Namibia on a photographic tour.

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