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Home -> Reviews & Tips -> Wildlife Viewing & Photography


Wildlife Viewing

Here are some tips to help you make the most of your safari - the majority of these are only applicable for the self-drive element of a trip as the camps and lodges will have their own schedules. Some lodges are quite flexible allowing the clients to dictate the times and duration of the game viewing activities. The best time for game viewing is early morning or late afternoon so try to make sure you maximise the game drives you do at this time of the day. An early game drive before breakfast can be rewarding as predators are more active at this time compared with later in the day. The less productive hours between 11am and 2pm can be used for relaxation or travelling to your next destination. In the drier regions, waterholes can be worth spending time at - patience is required but often rewarded with good sightings.

When on a game drive listen to the sounds of the bush - warning calls are often a sign of predator activity with Tree Squirrels and Spurfowls particularly vigilant!

Drive slowly on game drive roads keeping your eyes peeled for any movement - look under trees and bushes for predators which like to rest here in the shade.

Always remember that you are in a completely natural environment keeping any disturbance to a minimum . Never get out of your vehicle except in designated areas and do not approach too close to Elephants, Rhinos or Buffalo, even in a vehicle, as they can be unpredictable - although it is an over-used phrase it is worth remembering that "all wild animals are dangerous".

Wildlife Photography

Early morning and late afternoon offer the best light for photographs, when the sun light is at its 'warmest'. During the heat of the day the sun light can be quite harsh and animals are less active so photography is not as rewarding.

In general we recommend the following equipment in order to get the best photos of your safari although you can still take some good shots with standard point-and-shoot cameras that have a zoom feature to get you closer to the subject.

Digital SLR Camera - Canon / Nikon offer the widest range of accessories

Fixed / zoom lens - at least 200mm (for animals) or 400mm (for birds)

Wide angle lens - preferably less than 28mm for landscape shots

Tripod / Bean bag - Bean bags are very useful in the vehicle to steady the lens

Digital Media - a minimum of 4Gb of digital media to store your photos

Flash - add highlights to images or use for night photography where allowed

Cleaning cloth / dust brush - regular cleaning is required to eliminate dust

Spare battery / Car charger - 12V car charger and/or spare batteries are a must