7 best Destinations for Photo Tours in Africa
Discover the best Africa has to offer for photographers
Africa is incredibly photogenic. The continent immediately conjures up the image of lions and elephants roaming on open savannahs, with acacia trees forming silhouettes against dreamy sunset. But Africa offers more than amazing safaris; there is a wide variety of unique destinations for photo tours that are worth exploring. Here are seven countries that form the perfect backdrop for a photography workshop.
– By Irene Gianotto
What makes Botswana the jewel of Southern Africa are its unique habitats, extraordinary wildlife viewing opportunities and friendly nature. The country hosts a wetland area that is one of the last remaining unspoiled wilderness zones of the continent; the famous Okavango Delta. A unique ecosystem, this fan-shaped wetland covers roughly 15,000 square acres of the Kalahari Desert in northern Botswana. With a wealth of wildlife, including big cats and elephants, the Delta offers wildlife photography with a truly unique backdrop. Other incredible spots for photography are the fossilised shores of Kubu Island and the vast and surreal-looking Makgadikgadi Pan, with its desert-like landscapes and photogenic baobab trees. To find out more about this country, here are 10 quick and interesting facts about Botswana.
When it comes to landscape photography, it doesn’t get much better than Namibia. With its ancient deserts, dramatic canyons, distinctive rock formations and striking red sand dunes, Namibia is a place of effortless beauty and endless photographic inspiration. Absolute highlights during a photo tour of Namibia are the vast Skeleton Coast, the sensational shapes of Quiver Forest, the deserted mining town of Kolmanskop, and the famous Sossusvlei and Dead Vlei in the Namib Desert. And for those keen on stargazing and astrophotography, Namibia offers exciting opportunities too, with the most wondrous night skies.
Keen to explore this incredible country through your lens? Find out more about our Namibia Photography Workshop!
3. South Africa
With a healthy flow of tourists from around the world, South Africa is a favourite destination for a reason. The country offers a variety of stunning natural settings, beautiful coastlines, interesting cities, and, of course, many national parks with a wealth of wildlife. A safari highlight is Sabi Sands, a collection of private game reserve that offer close encounters with the African Big Five – including the otherwise elusive leopard – with high frequency. Among these is Djuma Game Reserve, the setting of our Wildlife Photography Workshop with photographer Alan Hewitt. Another game viewing highlight, and the setting of another South African photo safari, is Zimanga Private Game Reserve, an area that offers exclusive wildlife photography opportunities, with the added bonus of a range of state-of-the-art hides that allow unique photographic angles.
Mozambique is well-known for its magical white sandy beaches, extending for miles and miles of beautiful coastline of the Indian Ocean, spotted with lagoons, mangrove swamps, and barrier lakes. This country is the perfect location for underwater photography. Consider traveling to Guinjata Bay, where you’ll have the chance to scuba dive in Africa’s most renowned waters, home to whale sharks, humpbacks, manta rays and many tropical fish. To visit this idyllic area, go on daily dives, and improve your photography skills, consider joining a month-long Underwater Photography Course!
if you’re keen on wildlife photography, Maasai Mara is the place for you. This area of Kenya offers a breath-taking natural beauty that is distinctly spectacular, both because of its iconic rolling savannahs and the incredible ease with which to spot – and photograph – an abundance of African wildlife. You can expect to encounter elephants, lions, cheetahs and giraffes, as well as incredible exotic birds, like lilac-breasted rollers, kingfishers, vultures, marabou storks, and eagles. The Maasai Mara is also the stage for the greatest wildlife show on earth: the Great Migration, with a spectacle of millions of wildebeest and zebras crossing the plains every year. To experience this spectacle, join our Maasai Mara Photography Workshop!
Despite its turbulent history, Rwanda is now one of Africa’s most stable nations. Tourism is a key contributor to the economy and the country is best known for its excellent gorilla tracking opportunities. The environment is quite unique: mountains covered in equatorial jungles and bamboo forests helped the country to earn the nickname of “Le Pays des Milles Collines”, the Land of a Thousand Hills. It won’t be hard to find incredible wildlife to capture with your camera: local fauna comprises chimpanzees, golden monkeys, tropical colourful birds and a variety of reptiles including chameleons. Nyungwe Forest is home to 13 different monkey species – including Angolan Black Colobus, Mona Monkey and Owl Faced Monkeys, and other natural spots worthy of mention are Lake Kivu and the Virunga Massif. Rwanda also has a cosmopolitan capital: Kigali is an optimistic, vibrant, and welcoming city.
Uganda, together with Rwanda, is home to the critically endangered Mountain Gorillas. Scenic mountains, lakes, tea plantations and waterfalls are some of the landmarks that impressed Winston Churchill when he visited the country, leading him to refer to it as “The Pearl of Africa”. Bwindi National Park is the perfect destination for magical misty landscapes photography lovers. This is one of Africa’s most ancient and biologically diverse jungles, inside its tightly knit vegetation find home not only a population of around 340 Mountain Gorillas, but also 350 bird species, and 120 species of mammals. Join us on a Mountain Gorilla Photography Workshop to encounter and photograph these incredible animals up close.