What photography equipment do I need to capture my safari?

If you’re planning a tailor-made South Africa holiday, there’s every chance that you want to return home with mementos of your trip and snaps to show your family and friends. Safari holidays provide a unique experience, which offers unrivalled opportunities for amateur photographers to capture magical moments on film. If you’re hoping to hone your skills while you’re out and about in the wilds, here are some tips to help you pack the right equipment.

What photography equipment should you take on a safari holiday?

If you’re keen to take professional quality photographs, it’s essential to travel with a good camera. For many, luggage restrictions will put pay to carrying huge bags of equipment and accessories, but you should find it very easy to take a video camera and a DLSR camera with you in your hand luggage. If you don’t already own a camera or you’re hoping to treat yourself to a new one for your holiday, it’s worth seeking expert advice and reading some reviews before you buy.

Bear in mind that a safari trip may lead you to all kinds of different experiences and encounters, from being centimetres away from insects and birds to watching elephants plod or lions dart around on the horizon. To cater for different scenarios, it’s a good idea to invest in a camera with a zoom and to consider taking different lenses or two cameras, each with a different lens fitted. If you plan to go on walking safaris, you may also find a tripod useful.

When you’re on safari, you’ll find that the environment can change in an instant. Sometimes, you may not have time to get your camera out of the bags or fiddle around with lenses, and this is why it’s wise to have your phone to hand. Modern smartphones are ideal for taking pictures on the go and they can help to ensure that you don’t miss those once-in-a-lifetime moments. If you have a mobile phone with a good quality camera, this also makes it easy to upload and share images.

If you’re a keen photographer, you may find that you take hundreds of photographs over the course of a single game drive. While this is brilliant news for your portfolio, it may take its toll on your camera’s battery life. Remember to pack a couple of spare batteries in your bag. It’s wise to use rechargeable batteries, as you can charge them overnight ready for the next day out in the savannah.

In addition to stills, you may want to capture your break on film. Taking a video camera will enable you to watch your experiences back when you go home and show people exactly what you’ve been up to and where you’ve been.