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Difference Between a Photographic Safari and a normal Game Viewing Safari

safari photography

There is always the question,
“What is the difference?”

The answer to that is there is a huge difference!

Something I observed over the years is that most safari companies only cater for the big bus groups and day visitors that are limited on time. Now most of these tourists only have from a few hours to 2 days’ time to spend in the park. What this boils down to is that the guide is pressured to deliver big 5 sightings daily because most of these guests would visit the park for only one day. This means that guides mostly have 9 guests on their vehicle who are only interested seeing the big 5, take a selfie, tick it off the list and move on.

This however means that you might find the big 5 in day, however the sightings are usually of poor quality and most of all, your average photographer never gets the opportunity to take a decent photo or wait for a better photographic opportunity because the guide rushes off after 3 or 4 minutes to find the next animal. Yes, you might see a big variety of animals in a relative short period of time, but you will never be able to get very good photos or to even experience and enjoy the behaviour side of the animals.

For me, this is not ideal, however I know that sometimes you just don’t have the time to do a safari for a longer period. Day trips can however be amazing as well. Having good quality guide can enhance the experience and you will have the time of your life.

This is where the difference between a Photo Safari and a regular safari comes in.

Photo Safari Normal Safari
Spend a lot of time on sightings which means you get a lot of time to
enjoy and experience animals interacting with one another and allows you to
get stunning photos.
Day visitors typically only spend 5-10 minutes on a sighting before
moving on thus not giving you any time to enjoy the sighting and even less
time to get any decent photos.
You have a fully qualified photographic and nature guide on the
vehicle who has vast experience in animal behaviour. Combining all of this
the guide will put you in the right position to get the best shot with regard
to the lighting conditions, anticipating what the animal will do next and
getting the photographer ready for that perfect moment and also assisting the
photographer with their camera settings. Anticipating what the animal will do
next is invaluable as you will have time to get ready for that yawn of a lion
or the shake of the head by an elephant.
You have a qualified Nature Guide. They are however not
photographers, and this can be problematic as they don’t know what
photographers are looking for. They tend to stop where they see the animal
the best and don’t move into a position where there will be a better photographic
opportunity. They cannot help with camera settings and they tend not to think
of telling the photographer to get ready for something the animal might do
next like yawning or a shake of the head which will lead to many missed
Private Safaris with 3 Photographers unless otherwise requested then
up to 6.
Typically, 9 persons on a game vehicle and thus very crowded and this
makes it difficult to take photos. Lots of movement and people are impatient
with one another.
Flexible times. Depending on the safari we will do early morning and late afternoon
drives when game viewing is optimal, or we can stay out from sun up sun down if
something special might happen or if we are in search of something a little
further away from camp.
Normally limited to 8-10 hours with a breakfast and lunch stop. Not
flexible. Usually sticks to certain routes because of time constraints.
Our aim is photography thus enabling us to spend time on that. Same
A lot of people with different interests which makes it difficult to spend
a long time on a sighting as the guide must cater for all guests.
Our times are flexible when it comes to breakfast and dinners. Fixed breakfast and lunch times which means that sightings are cut
short if time is running out.
Photographic Tutoring None
Relaxed and Enjoyable Normally quite hectic as time is a big factor but can be enjoyable.

On our Photo Safaris we will start of by discussing what our mission for our safari is, for example do the photographers want to photograph big cats, birds, landscapes, general subjects and according to that we will approach our day accordingly. Each subject will have a different approach for example photographing birds will be completely different than photographing big cats. This helps the guide to know what to look and stop for and increases the chances for guests to get the sightings they are looking for.

What makes us different from the normal safari operator in the Kruger National Park

  • We want to give you an experience that will stay with you for the rest of your life. It will be a story fitting to tell while viewing your amazing photos.
  • Attention to detail and flexibility to take our clients needs into account.
  • We do not have a fixed schedule because we believe that in order to get that special photograph you need to be patient and that means we do sit on a sighting for hours to wait for that special moment.
  • Our focus is to get you those photographs you have always dreamt of, thus catering to our clients specific needs.
  • Your professional photographic guide will provide you with tips and advice on the vehicle while photographing. Your guide has extensive knowledge of the African bush and the behaviour of the animals that inhabit it thus he will be able to get you ready and tell when the animal is going to do something spectacular
  • We advice you on the best times to visit the park depending on what your mission is, for example the best time for cats is from June to October where as birds are best to photograph from November to April.
  • We limit guests to 3 photographers per vehicle however we can increase that upon request from group.

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