In the past few years, photography has swiftly become a popular pastime rather than a niche professional pursuit. A handful of South African game reserves have seen this shift in popularity and now offer specialised photographic safaris for amateurs and pros alike - and instagram accounts are filling up with gorgeous wildlife photography!
Here are five game reserves that offer some of the best photographic safaris in South Africa:
Madikwe Game Reserve
The striking Kalahari bushveld and abundant wildlife make Madikwe an incredible photographic location. Particularly favoured for its population of critically-endangered African wild dogs and unforgettable leopard sightings, Madikwe is one of South Africa’s biggest and best ‘Big 5’ game reserves.
Kruger National Park
Far from the crowds that flock to the public areas of the Kruger National Park, the base for this photographic safari is a rustic private lodge called Camp Shemu, which is nestled in a private concession in the foothills of the Lebombo Mountains. The camp’s waterhole, the dam, and the nearby river draw a plethora of big game to the area, including a 30-strong resident pride of lions, elephants and buffalo are daily visitors to the waterhole.
Zimanga Game Reserve
Zimanga is the first game reserve in South Africa to be designed specifically with the interests of wildlife photographers in mind. Zimanga is a favorite hotspot for birders to ‘nerd out’ with over 400 bird species recorded here. This pristine and exclusive photographic reserve has five state of the art and luxuriously-furnished photographic hides that were conceptualized by the award-winning wildlife photographer and hide expert Bence Mate. The reserve also boasts healthy populations of wild dog, leopard, cheetah, elephant, crocs and many other iconic beasts.
Pumba Private Game Reserve
The Pumba reserve has abundant game to photograph, including a pride of exceptionally rare white lions. It is one of the youngest and most exclusive members of a growing league of excellent malaria-free ‘Big 5’ reserves in the Eastern Cape. Game drives are accompanied by renowned professional wildlife photographers and experienced photographic guides, who will share tips and tricks along the way, as well as give presentations back at the lodge.
Welgevonden Game Reserve
This malaria-free ‘Big 5’ reserve is characterized by rugged rock formations, plunging valleys, lush green vegetation and more than 2 000 plant species, all of which provide a stunning backdrop for wildlife photography. The exclusive and under-explored Welgevonden is found in the heart of Limpopo’s beautiful Waterberg Region.
Which reserves pique your interest? Our Elite Travel experts can take you there!
Need some more inspiration? Take a look at our Instagram account for some ideas of shots that you can take on your adventures!
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