Useful tips for exploring photography in a tour of Africa

photography in Africa

Planning to tour Africa for some mind-blowing shots? If yes, you can be sure of having a swell time with your digital camera. That said, there are quite a few things you’ll want to keep in mind before you start clicking away. For starters, Africa boasts unique scenes, and its people are no different; however, it’s ill-advised to begin taking shots without asking for permission. As we know, it can be super rude to start pointing a camera at anyone you see — it can even cause an offence in some countries. The bottom line; always ask for permission before you snap locals — this is crucial.

It’s good to point out that African children love to smile at the camera. That said, you can be sure of capturing a few shots and have fun while you’re at it. It’s also great to show them the pictures in your camera — doing this can create a better connection, and that’s huge. 

Now, it’s also in your best interest to keep your camera in your bag when you’re around any military area, airport, border crossings and ports — these are no click zones! What’s more, be sure not to take photos of bridges, harbours, military installations, army personnel and more. The thing is, there’s a good chance of getting arrested when you take shots in these places, and the worst part is, you may lose your dear camera in the process.

What should you pack for the trip?

For starters, there’s a good chance that you’re already with a digital camera and that’s great. Now, it’s in your best interest to have a spare memory card as well as a fully charged extra battery — you wouldn’t want to run out of space or juice while taking shots, right?

What’s more, you’ll want to bring a polarising filter along as it can work with the bright African sunlight to increase the saturation of vegetation and more. It’s also recommended to have some sort of dust protection for your equipment as some places can be really dusty. This is especially true if you’re travelling to remote areas and national parks.

What about wildlife photography

Your tourism in Africa won’t be complete without exploring its wildlife. Essentially, early mornings and late afternoons are the best tunes to get the perfect glimpse of wildlife activity. As you probably guessed, these are the best times to start taking shots — the light is soft, and you’ll also get a better definition of the animal against its background.

Note: The weather in Africa is usually hot, and animals’ activity is typically low during the hottest parts of the day.

Two things come into play when exploring Africa wildlife; you’re either in a vehicle or on a walking safari. First off, you should be aware that a tripod will be impractical in a vehicle — it’s better to use a cloth bag filled with uncooked rice to get the job done. On a walking safari? If yes, be sure to get a monopod with a detachable camera shoe — this should help you get super perfect wildlife shots.

It’s also essential to note that most if not all the animals will be at a distance, as such, you’ll want to get a zoom lens. Just be sure to do your homework before buying the lens — 300 to 500mm should work great.

To sum it up, wildlife in Africa can scare easily, so it’s in your best interest to limit the use of flashes at night. The good thing is, there are quite a few useful techniques you can use to capture beautiful shots at night. What’s more, it’s great to turn off all noises on your camera while taking shots of animals in the wild, remember, scaring them off is not part of the plan!

Happy touring!

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This post was written by Suura

An African gallery for publishers, photographers and travellers

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