Sharpen your wildlife photography skills & support conservation projects.
Travel to Zimbabwe, stay in a wildlife-filled area on the banks of the Zambezi, develop your photography skills with practical and theoretical training, and all the while contribute to raising awareness for wildlife conservation projects.
This program sends you to a game reserve in Fuller Forest, bordering Zambezi National Park. Here, you’ll hone your craft with a camera, using lions, hyenas, elephants, eagles, and many more animals as your subjects. You’ll be led on daily photographic workshops and sanctuary projects with professional photographers, who will teach you the ins and outs of wildlife photography.
As a bonus, you’ll have the chance to take on real-world assignments for the wildlife sanctuary documenting various initiatives. You might get the chance to work with local NGOs the sanctuary’s partnered with too. Your work could be used for vital awareness and fundraising drives. So you’ll get to see what it’s like to be a jobbing photographer and contribute to local conservation efforts.
On top of all this, you’ll be based a short drive from the adventure capital of Africa, Victoria Falls! Not only does this come with the opportunity to take incredible photographs of the impressive falls, but also to horse ride along the Zambezi River, tour the area by helicopter, or explore the river on a cruise or canoeing trip (flanked by hippos and elephants!).
This wildlife photography course offers amazing flexibility, as it runs through the year. Photographers of any level can join, and you can take part for 2 to 12 weeks.
- Great wildlife photography
- Learn about wildlife conservation
- Photographic tutoring by professional
- Stay near the Victoria Falls
- Interesting photography assignments
Photographers on this program live and work on a private wildlife reserve and sanctuary bordering Zambezi National Park, a park that is home to a wealth of wildlife, including elephants, lions, leopards, zebras, giraffes, hippos, and many different species of antelope. Set on the river Zambezi, the park is a sanctuary natural setting for photography, and an incredible place to explore.
Staying at the sanctuary also means unique photographic opportunities of animals that are rescues or part of other conservation initiatives. At the moment, there are lions, spotted hyenas, and a number of smaller animals. You’ll have a chance to observe and photograph them from up close. You’ll also have a chance to get involved with the day-to-day running of a wildlife sanctuary and help document exciting projects.
As if this weren’t enough, you’ll be only moments away from Victoria Falls. So, you’ll come away from this program with a versatile portfolio of landscape and wildlife photography. The adventurous among you can try white water rafting, bungee jumping, or a helicopter ride over the falls. Those who enjoy a slower pace can enjoy river cruises, hikes, and world-class safaris.
You’ll stay at the wildlife sanctuary’s volunteer village; a tented camps that’s set within a private forest estate. The camp consists of a collection of traditional safari tents – permanent tents with plenty of room inside and comfortable beds. The tents house 4 to 6 people, though if you’d prefer a private tent, just enquire with us about single supplement options. Bathrooms are shared and have warm showers. The camp has a communal lounge overlooking the watering hole, so you can often spot wildlife coming to drink.
There’s plenty to point a camera at during this Wildlife Photography Program. First of all, staying in a wildlife sanctuary grants you unrestricted access to the resident animals and a wonderful setting for you to practice your photography. You’ll also head out on regular game drives in Zambezi National Park (generally two half days a week) for close encounters with the wildlife, especially the lions and hyenas.
A unique bonus to this program is that as well as photographing the wildlife, you’ll have a chance to document the exciting work being done at the sanctuary. You’ll be set assignments and sent out into the field to gather valuable images to be used by the organizations for marketing and educational purposes. In addition, you might help run a photography club for kids at a local school.
Then, there’s the stunning scenery and landscapes of the area, not to mention, the spectacular Victoria Falls. And, all the while you’ll be under the expert guidance of seasoned wildlife photography pros.
DATES AND RATES
2024 start dates: 1, 15 January / 5, 12 February / 4, 11, 25 March / 1, 15 April / 6, 13, 27 May / 3, 17 June / 1, 8, 15, 22 July / 12, 19, 26 August / 2, 16 September / 7, 14 October / 4, 11, 25 November / 9, 23 December
2024 rates: 2 weeks: $2095 / 3 weeks: $2850 / 4 weeks: $3575 / 6 weeks: $4895 / 8 weeks: $6215 / 10 weeks: $7535 / 12 weeks: $8850
ITINERARY: WHAT AN AVERAGE WEEK LOOKS LIKE
Your average week begins with a photo op for anti poaching activities, capturing flora and fauna and the volunteers working to protect them. This is followed by a photography class with one of your guides, before you head out to photograph and identify bird species as part of a scientific bird survey. Finally, you end the day taking in the stars with an astro photography workshop.
After an early start, you’ll spend the entire morning on a game drive. This will be an incredible opportunity to capture spotted hyenas, lions, and elephants as the sun rises over Zambezi National Park. In the afternoon, you’ll debrief from the game drive and share your best pics with the group. The evening will be spent winding down around the campfire.
You’ll have another exciting opportunity to get involved with conservation research. At the start of your day, you’ll assist with camera trap data collection, then head back to sort and edit what you find. After this, you’ll continue with a class on more advanced editing techniques. After lunch you’ll take on your first NGO assignments, which can vary depending on which projects are available with which partners at the time. In the evening you’ll head out and assist with another scientific survey, this time on nocturnal species.
Your day kicks off with a unique opportunity to photograph Zambezi birdlife at the reserve’s own dam. You’ll then head back to edit the photos you’ve taken with continued guidance from your photography managers. Once you’ve finished editing, you’ll be on game drives for the rest of the day. You’ll take a tour of some of the national parks’ choice destinations for wildlife photography in the afternoon.
It’s time to make the most of this program’s location and take your camera to Victoria Falls. You’ll have a workshop on landscape photography and how to capture the immensity and minutia of the falls. This is followed by another workshop, this time on high speed photography. You’ll head to a vulture feeding to capture the birds in flight. The working week might end with an optional excursion into town to enjoy a meal at one of Victoria Falls many renowned restaurants.
Saturday morning is spent catching up with any final editing then uploading your photography to their online photography bank. The rest of the weekend is your own. You could spend it taking in one of the many attractions or activities in the area such as bungee jumps, sunset cruises, white water rafting or hikes. Alternatively you could spend your time resting up for the exciting week ahead.
|Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
|Regular start dates
|Photography guide: Hanna Wigart & Tay Belcher
|Max. 8 people per instructor
|All photography levels
- Accommodation in authentic safari tents with housekeeping and laundry services
- Three meals a day
- Airport transfers from Victoria Falls Airport
- Free reliable wifi
- 24-hour, on-site support from friendly, knowledgeable staff.
- Flights to and from Zimbabwe
- Personal travel insurance
- Items of a personal nature
We recommend the following equipment:
- DSLR or mirrorless camera (a camera that can shoot in manual mode)
- A range of lenses; ideally including a zoom lens (at least 300mm)
- Extra battery
- Sturdy camera bag
- Laptop if you’re keen to improve your post-production skills, and/or if you’d like to review your images
- Laptop with Lightroom
- Rain cover for your camera (if you wish to photograph the falls)
WORKSHOP LEADERS: Hanna Wigart & Tay Belcher
Hanna is a wildlife photographer with a background in zoology, so she’s able to offer insight into both the photography and the wildlife you’ll be photographing. Hanna has worked with incredible wildlife around the world, and is passionate about using photography to spread awareness of conservation and research projects.
Tay was born and raised in Kenya, and initially started out as an underwater photographer. Since she grew up in Africa, wildlife photography felt like a seamless progression. Her main passions lie in conservation and communities, with bird photography and high-key photography being her specialties.
Under their mentorship, you’ll receive both theoretical and practical training as they guide you through your wildlife photography assignments.