5 of South Africa's best photographic safaris

5 of South Africa's best photographic safaris

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Over the past couple of decades, photography has become a priority for many discerning travellers who are passionate about capturing the quality of their luxury travel experiences on camera.

Some savvy South African game reserves have become aware of the importance of this pursuit in the field of travel, and now offer specialised photographic safaris that focus on helping photographers take fantastic images in the bush.

An article published in Traveller 24 takes a look at five reserves in South Africa where photographers have the best opportunities to develop their skills and create long-lasting memories.

1. Madikwe Game Reserve
Teeming with wildlife and set against striking Kalahari bushveld backdrops, Madikwe is one of South Africa’s most popular reserves. It has become particularly well known for its spectacular leopard sightings and its populations of the Critically Endangered African wild dog.

A stay at Jaci’s Lodges in Madikwe provides guests with safari vehicles that have been fitted with custom-made camera mounts, and the guides have been trained to consider the specific needs of photographers. The daily photographic safari drives are popular with both amateur photographers and professionals, and they give guests the opportunity to learn about photography and capture iconic images without needing all their own equipment.

Its 24-hour photographic hide is also fully equipped with red LED interior lights, spotlights, a radio, and a unique vantage point that makes Jaci’s a premium photographic destination.

2. Welgevonden Game Reserve
The lesser-explored Welgevonden lies in the heart of the beautiful Waterberg region of Limpopo. The reserve is characterised by plunging valleys, antediluvian rock formations, lush vegetation and more than 2,000 plant species, which all combine to provide a beautiful backdrop for wildlife photography.

The luxury Mhondoro Game Lodge is particularly popular amongst photographers, thanks to its state-of-the-art hide in the middle of a waterhole that can be accessed by an underground tunnel from the main lodge. Mhondoro has a developed quite a reputation for its ‘resident’ elephants that frequent the waterhole on a regular basis and are known to even drink from the swimming pool at the lodge.

3. Pumba Private Game Reserve
This malaria-free Big Five reserve in the Eastern Cape has abundant game to photograph, including a pride of extremely rare white lions, which is attracting photographers and wildlife enthusiasts alike.

The reserve has very few accommodation options, making it rather exclusive, and Gameston Lodge is proud to specialise in wildlife photography workshops, which are aimed at those looking to learn the basics of using a DSLR camera. Fantastic Canon equipment is available to use at the lodge and guests will be accompanied on game drives by experienced photographic guides and professional wildlife photographers, who will share their trade secrets and give presentations at the lodge.

4. Zimanga Game Reserve
Zimanga was the first game reserve in South Africa to market itself specifically for the interests of wildlife photographers, as well as wildlife enthusiasts. This pristine and exclusive reserve in KwaZulu-Natal has several impressive photographic hides that were built under the guidance of award-winning wildlife photographer, Bence Mate, with the aim of pushing the boundaries of hide design.

Zimanga’s goal is to be the region’s premium photographic reserve and to provide the opportunity for photographers to produce award-winning photographs.

5. Kruger National Park
As South Africa’s most iconic national park, it’s no surprise that Kruger is a wildlife lover’s paradise, but a Kruger Photo Safari with Wild Eye promises to add a whole new dimension to the experience.

Far from the crowds in the frequented areas of the park, the base for this photographic safari lies in a private concession in the foothills of the Lebombo Mountains, where a plethora of big game is attracted to the water sources in the area. This safari will give an entirely different perspective to this wilderness area, and the daily elephant, lion and buffalo visitors will be sure to make great models.

Are you an amateur photographer keen to hone your skills, or an experienced professional looking for an intensive photographic sojourn with people who share your passion? Then contact Elite Travel Concept to get snap-happy in the wilderness.

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