Posts Tagged with “photography in Africa”

Photography and tourism in Africa

Africa is the second largest continent in the world with a population of approximately 1.216 billion. In this population, exists people of different tribes, cultural values and beliefs. This diversity in culture makes Africa a good tourist centre for foreigners and tourists. Photography is also an intrinsic quality in the African culture. Photography helps Africans to tell their stories without misconceptions.

Tourism is an important economic sector for most African countries. Although, some African countries benefit more from it than others due to their eye-catching points of interest. Tourists have always been intrigued with the African culture; the people, their beliefs, their mythologies, and everything that encompasses of the African culture.

African tourism is based on a variety of point of interests: diversity, landscapes and landforms, wildlife, as well as her rich cultural heritage. These variations in interest points have made some African countries to be better tourist centres over others.

Africa is divided in three groups in relation to tourism namely:

Countries with developed tourist Industry: These are African countries that do have a successful tourism industry already, such as Egypt, South Africa, Morocco and Tunisia. They are the top benefactors from tourism in Africa.

Countries with developing tourism Industry: These African countries are still undergoing current development in their respective tourism industries. They have steady and consistent revenues from tourism, such as Kenya, Zimbabwe, Swaziland and Mauritius.

Countries yet to develop a tourism Industry: These African countries are anticipating to have a tourism industry and want to gain from it. They are yet to gain any economic value from tourism because they don’t have a functioning industry that facilitates tourism. These are countries like Tanzania, Algeria and Burundi.

South Africa is one of the most visited African countries by tourists. The wildlife conservation centre; Safari, is one of the country’s major point of interest. The variation of wildlife such as Elephants, Lions, Leopards, Monkeys and other wildlife has been a significant influence in the country’s tourism industry tourists. In 2016, the nation recorded 3.9 percent increase in international arrivals in Cape Town alone. In 2017, the nation’s travel and tourism have contributed to its economic factor and GDP growth by a staggering 2.5 percent –That is USD 27.3 billion which is equivalent to R402.2 billion and South Africa is just a one case scenario amidst other major touristic countries.

Photography also facilitates the tourism industry in Africa and has been used as a tool for democracy, freedom and equality and cultural expression. It gives tourists of what is to be expected when they visit tourist centres. In early South Africa, photography played a significant role in many countries cultural movement in the form of artistic expression. Photography tells stories about these African countries and their cultures; people, food, attires, traditions, etc. in pictures. Their point of interest is also expressed through photography, landscapes, wildlife, past heroes and heroines, religious beliefs and historical events.

These photographs or artistic drawings are hoisted up in museums in Africa and even in foreign countries. They tell about events that have occurred and the diversity in the African culture. These photographs play good roles in convincing tourists to visit the respective African countries and see the point of interest themselves. Another important point is, these photographs can be shared as free stock photos of Africa, and can be explore by other people to have an insight about the continent.

The tourism and photography industry in Africa has contributed immensely to the economic development of the continent; jobs are being created for the locals to maintain these tourist centres and revenues are being generated when tourists visit. Photography and Tourism go hand in hand. They both facilitate the growth of each other.

Some selected readings

Peffer, J., and Cameron E. (2013.) Portraiture and photography in Africa. Retrieved January 10, 2018, from the Web

UNWTO. (2017, July.) UNWTO Tourism Highlights: 2017 Edition. Retrieved January 17, 2018, from the Web

Coustas, W. (2017, September 6.) South African Tourism Facts – Proof that the World loves South Africa. Retrieved January 17, 2018, from the Web

Tutu, D. (2011, April 3.) Photography and the Liberation Struggle in South Africa History. Retrieved January 17, 2018, from the Web

Rogerson, C. (2007) “Reviewing Africa in the global tourism economy”, Vol. 24 No. 3 United Nations World Tourism Organization. September 2007.

Useful tips for exploring photography in a tour of 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! Also don’t miss this article about photography and tourism in Africa.