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Wildlife Through the Lens: Africa's Most Photographic Safaris

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Niarra Travel

An African safari gives you the opportunity to take some of the most extraordinary wildlife photography in the world. But with so many countries to choose from, deciding where to visit to get the perfect shot can become somewhat of a challenge.

For those wanting to immerse themselves in the most visually stunning surroundings and get up close and personal with some of Africa's most fascinating wildlife, you need to know the best places to visit. So whether you are an amateur photographer or an experienced professional, here are the most photographic safaris that the African continent has to offer.

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South Africa

If you are looking for the most photographic safaris [SvW3] in South Africa, then Kruger National Park has to be your destination of choice. One of Africa’s largest game reverses, it boasts remarkably diverse landscapes and an incredibly high concentration of wildlife. From its sun-drenched savannas to its mopane dappled woodlands, Kruger National Park’s backdrops alone make it a photographer's paradise.

Here you will may get the chance to take captivating pictures of all of Africa’s big cats, along with the rare African wild dog. For those looking to take stunning shots of African mammals grazing in their herds on the iconic African plains, Kruger is home to over 147 species of mammals - the most of any reserve or national park in the continent.

Next door to Kruger Park and sharing an unfenced border is Sabi Sand Nature Reserve where you will also find ample safari photo opportunities. Snap a graceful giraffe against the golden hues of dusk or a cheetah in full stride as it closes in on its prey.

Kapama Southern Camp Kruger leopard


Boasting over a quarter of Africa's majestic elephant population, Botswana is a prime spot for wildlife photography. For some of the best photographic safaris in Botswana, head to Moremi Game Reserve where the nourishing waters of the Okavango Delta bring this land to life.

Here, patience and perseverance are rewarded with remarkable sightings of Africa's most awe-inspiring animals including lions, leopards, elephants, buffaloes, and the rare white and black rhino.

Capture a herd of elephants silhouetted against an orange-tinged sunset in Chobe National Park or travel to the Kalahari Desert and take snaps of the distinctive black-maned lions amid the arid sun-scorched landscape.

During the seasonal floods waterways and pans of the Delta create an oasis that attracts a staggering amount of wildlife. From capturing a pride of lions lazing in the morning light to Cape buffalos wading across the region's vast rivers. You'll be spoiled for choice at where to point your lens.

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The Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya is one of the most famous game reserves in all of Africa, and for very good reason. For wildlife photographers, it really is like hitting the jackpot, as a trip here offers some of the most visually stunning safaris in Kenya.

The Mara comes alive during the Great Migration, as millions of wildebeests, zebras, and antelopes make their annual journey across the plains from Tanzania in their megaherds, following the seasonal rains in search of new pastures. For photographers seeking unrivalled action shots, head to the Mara River to witness the spectacle of a river crossing, as crocodiles lie in wait for the boldest of the herds to make their way across the river.

For budding photographers this event is the perfect place to make a name for yourself. Those who are skilled enough to snap a picture of the wildebeest as they brave the treacherous waters have frequently been lauded for their efforts, awarded the likes of Wildlife Photographer of the Year by the National Geographic.

Sasaab Kenya Samburu 200

But the Mara offers far more than just this stunning wildlife event. Here, you can get a snapshot of a lioness stalking her prey, a troop of baboons at play, or the vibrant plumage of a crowned crane performing its elaborate mating dance. The land offers endless chances to capture the raw beauty of East Africa.

Head to southern Kenya and Amboseli National Park, where elephant herds graze against the backdrop of the snow-capped peaks of Mount Kilimanjaro. This image is sure to capture the might of Africa’s wildlife and is a must-have for any photography enthusiast visiting the region.

Meanwhile, Samburu National Reserve, in northern Kenya, offers some outstanding photo opportunities with its spectacular landscapes and selection of unique African animals including the Somali ostrich, reticulated giraffe, Grévy's zebra, gerenuk, and the beisa oryx.

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For a Tanzania photographic safari, the Serengeti National Park is an incredible expanse of savanna. As in Kenya, Tanzania enables you to witness the Great Wildebeest Migration unfold with no end to the photography opportunities in sight.

The Selous Game Reserve, one of the largest wildlife reserves in Africa offers a true wildlife experience. Explore this vast reserve by jeep or on foot through its miombo woodlands and extensive grasslands in search of elephants, buffalos, and impalas along with its vibrant birdlife, such as the crested lark and African snipe.

Ruaha National Park in southern Tanzania is known for its dramatic landscapes of bushland, kopjes, and the great Ruaha River snaking through it. Here, you'll find a healthy population of lions, elephants, and giraffes, alongside less common sightings like bat-eared foxes and greater kudus with their striking spiral horns.

Dense mist over the lush Ngorongoro Crater highlands

The Ngorongoro Crater, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a collapsed volcano that offers a distinctive photographic experience. Venture down to the crater floor where lions, elephants, rhinos, and zebras graze side-by-side on the sprawling grasslands, while hippos wallow in the crater lake, joined by flocks of pink flamingos.

For a truly off-the-beaten-path adventure on a Tanzania photographic safari, why not try a chimpanzee trek in Mahale National Park. Hike through the mountains and see the playful antics of these intelligent primates in their natural habitat as they get ready for their close up.

Chimpanzee in Mahale

When to go on African photographic safari

While Africa boasts incredible wildlife year-round, the optimal time to take part in photographic safaris depends on what you want to capture. Each region has a wet season and a dry season, which will have a big impact on the types of photos you are looking to take.

The dry season is peak time for safaris, offering clear skies and sparse vegetation, making it easier to spot the animals you are wanting to photograph, particularly larger mammals.

During the wet seasons there are still some excellent photo opportunities, as landscapes transform into fertile havens and less dust in the air means clearer visuals beneath dramatic skies. Birdlife also thrives during this time and the breeding season is in full swing.

But no matter where you decide to go, these photographic safaris offer a chance to witness the power and beauty of nature first hand and capture unforgettable moments in astonishing detail. At Niarra Travel we partner with expert guides who will be able to take you into the African wild both on immersive walking safaris and traditional vehicle-based excursions to help you capture the ultimate shot.

Leopard resting on a branch in Tanzania, a highlight of Tanzania hidden gems

So if you are looking for a once-in-a-lifetime photographic safari experience then get in touch with our team on +44 (0) 20 3821 5994 (UK),+1 (833) 215 9353(US), or at and begin creating your very own African adventure today.

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