It’s A Wild World – My Top Safari Hot Spots

It’s A Wild World – My Top Safari Hot Spots

To photograph wildlife, part and parcel of getting that great shot is location, location, location. It is all about seeing animals at ease in their natural habit and as a photographer, feeling at peace with nature itself. You certainly have to go the distance. There are plenty of safaris for both the amateur and professional photographer and here are a few fave locations to get you started.

Rwanda

Rwanda is possibly the best place in which to observe the all-mighty gorilla; beautiful gentle giants when at rest, yet fearsome when provoked.  The gorilla safaris here are perhaps some of the best you can find, although best to search those catering to photographers only. The Volcanoes National Park is home to endangered mountain gorillas. For a gorilla trek however, it is recommended to go in the dry seasons mid-December to Feb or June to Sept because the hiking and trekking conditions are easier. If however, chimpanzees are on the agenda it is often easier to find them during the wetter months of  mid-February to early June and mid-September to mid-December as the drier months makes food scarce and forces them to head deeper into the forest.  If and when you have had enough here, make Akagera National Park in eastern Rwanda your next stop where you will encounter a range of wildlife from elephants and giraffe to zebras and antelope.

Lowland Gorilla with Stick 6

Tanzania

Home to the world famous Serengeti, Tanzania has to be worth a mention. Time it right for the wildebeest migration (June / July) and you will be in for a spectacular treat. Other times of the year are fabulous too and if the sheer feeling of openness doesn’t take your breath away, the wildlife you can find here certainly will. Here the world belongs to daily hunting, eating and sleeping patterns of the rhinoceros, buffalos, big cats and elephants that roam the great plain. The Ngorongoro Crater is another winner if you have time. Although the best months are June to September, this is peak holiday season also. March to May is the wet season but there are not as many visitors.

Namibia

If you are looking for an alternative to the wildebeest, lions and herds of elephants, Namibia with its burning red sand dunes at Sossusvlei is a wonderful place to be. An ever-changing landscape, the dunes themselves offer plenty of photographic opportunity, to say nothing of its inhabitants such as insects, reptiles, small rodents, and a few other animals that can survive on little water.

Botswana

If you are headed to Botswana it is more than likely that the famous Okavango Delta is topping your bucket list. A hot spot for large herds of elephants, hippos and catering to an influx of tourists all year round, it is not the location for interaction being lions and buffalos but also the location for range or top notch luxury safari lodges. If in need of some serious rest and relaxation for a night or two, this is the place to come. The Duba plains are a great place from which to observe lions but if crocodiles are on the agenda, aim to travel down the Okavango River. June to August is high water season and definitely the best time to book a canoe safari. Too late into summer and the water is running low again.

Zebra Walking

Maasai Mara, Kenya

Not only with the sheer 1,510 sq km of the Maasi Mara will impress you, it is without doubt one of the best places to go to observe big cats. In fact, it is said to have the largest population of lions in Kenya. Best time of year is July when wildebeest and zebra arrive from their migration across the Serengeti and the Grumeti River complete with opportunist predators in toe or November time when they start to head back. For the avid bird watchers, there are rumored to be over 500 different kinds, so choice of what to photograph is not an issue. Grant’s gazelles, Cape buffalo and black rhinoceros, among many others also inhabit this vast expanse of land.

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