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Photography holidays in South Africa
Photography holidays in South Africa
Photography holidays in South Africa
Photography holidays in South Africa
Photography holidays in South Africa
Photography holidays in South Africa
Photography holidays in South Africa

White-sandy beaches and turquoise waters on the one side...

...and amazing wildlife on the other...

...create perfect photo opportunities.

South Africa photography safaris

Best lodges for photography holidays in South Africa

South Africa is a good country for a photography holiday; it offers scenic environments, varied birds and animals in its many national parks and reserves, and a real variety of cultures - excellent for keen photographers! Here we don't offer any photographer-led trips, but self-drive holidays here are flexible and ideal for DIY photographers.

South Africa is one of the world's richest areas for biodiversity. It boasts a number of different micro-climates and associated vegetation zones. Of these, by far the most interesting is the native fynbos vegetation found in the southern Cape. Here photographers will find the famous king protea, South Africa's national flower, along with plenty of other colourful and often endemic flowers, especially ericas and reeds.

With a wide variety of habitats, it's natural that South Africa has many different species of animals - and an excellent variety of birdlife. These are big attractions for many who come on photography holidays in South Africa.

The big mammals aren't only on the land here. Between about May and December, the southern Cape plays host to hundreds of southern right whales, which migrate here, to calve. Then photographers come to the cliff-tops around Hermanus for some of the best land-based whale-watching in the world.

South Africa's many peoples have earned it the title of Rainbow Nation - so photographing people here can be very rewarding; just don't forget to ask before you take pictures! Many different ethnic groups live here, forming a multicultural, multiracial society with 11 different official languages. These vary from the descendants of the original inhabitants of the land, the San Bushmen, to the many peoples who have migrated and settled here over the years.

The Opstal

The Opstal offers the choice between great-value and more elegant accommodation – in any case a lovely base for photography trips in South Africa’s De Hoop Reserve. Come for a wide range of scenic environments, fantastic birdlife and good numbers of game.


Twee Rivieren

The Kgalagadi offers the opportunity to photograph a good number of animals that wander this fossil desert region including lion, cheetah and the endearing meerkat. There is also the potential for some pretty good landscape photography.


The Opstal

The Opstal offers the choice between great-value and more elegant accommodation – in any case a lovely base for photography trips in South Africa’s De Hoop Reserve. Come for a wide range of scenic environments, fantastic birdlife and good numbers of game.


Bagatelle Game Ranch

Around December, January and February – during the rains – the area around Bagatelle Kalahari Game Ranch is carpeted with beautiful yellow devils' thorn flowers. These bring colour and life to the Kalahari, further enhancing the stunning scenery for photographers visiting Namibia.

Eagle's Nest

The Namib feral (wild) horses, high yellow grass and mountain backdrop around Eagle’s Nest make for stunning photos. It is also a convenient base for visiting the ghost town of Kolmanskop, a must see on your photographic holiday to Namibia.

Twee Rivieren

The Kgalagadi offers the opportunity to photograph a good number of animals that wander this fossil desert region including lion, cheetah and the endearing meerkat. There is also the potential for some pretty good landscape photography.

Sossus Dune Lodge

The dunes at Sossusvlei are perhaps Namibia's most iconic and most photographed attraction. Sossus Dune Lodge is the only lodge whose guests are allowed access outside the usual opening times, making it an ideal stop for keen photographers in Namibia.


Kwara Camp

The safari vehicles at Kwara have a roof-removal option, offering almost unobscured views and are ideal for a photographic safari in Botswana. Avid photographers can take a private vehicle/guide (at additional cost) for ultimate flexibility on activities.

Little Governors'

Sited by a broad marsh, Little Governors’ has a great backdrop for wildlife shots in camp, especially elephants and hippos, while spacious vehicles and experienced guides allow for great opportunities to get up close and personal with your subjects.


Okonjima Plains Camp

For close-up shots of the big cats Okonjima should be high on your list. Activities work on a two-day cycle, so allow yourself at least two days here to maximise your chances of good photographs. Be aware, though, that most of the cats are collared.

Photography holidays elsewhere in Africa

Our top ideas and inspiration for Photography holidays in other countries.


Photography holidays in Botswana

Botswana

Botswana is one of Africa's top safari destinations - and also one of our top recommendations for ...

Photography holidays in Kenya

Kenya

Kenya is a delight for keen photographers, with fascinating wildlife to watch against the backdrop ...

Photography holidays in Mozambique

Mozambique

Mozambique offers marine national parks, hundreds of pristine islands and coral reefs - some of ...

Photography holidays in Namibia

Namibia

Namibia is a great choice to photograph varied landscapes, geological features and wildlife. Many ...

Photography holidays in Rwanda

Rwanda

Rwanda has a reputation as one of the top locations in Africa for trekking the mountain gorillas ...

Photography holidays in Tanzania

Tanzania

Tanzania offers some spectacular locations and wildlife for photography holidays in Africa, even ...

Photography holidays in Zambia

Zambia

Professional photographers lead few of our ideas for photography holidays in Africa, but we do ...

Photography holidays in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe is a great spot for photography, providing myriad opportunities to keen photographers...

Where to see wildlife species in Africa

Maximise the chances of seeing your favourite African animals based on traveller sightings reports from the field.


Buffalo

Buffalo

Syncerus caffer

One of the ‘Big Five’, buffalo earned a fearsome reputation in hunters’ tales. By contrast, big herds of these sociable bovids are placid, but mount formidable defences against predators.

83% SUCCESS

1,112 sightings from 1,335 observations

Where to see buffalo in Africa

Cheetah

Cheetah

Acinonyx jubatus

The cheetah is the fastest land animal and the only cat that hunts by pure speed. Found largely in open grasslands, its slim, elegant form is today an increasingly rare sight.

29% SUCCESS

418 sightings from 1,453 observations

Where to see cheetah in Africa

Elephant

Elephant

Loxodonta africana

By far the biggest of the so-called Big Five – indeed, the largest land animal on the planet – the elephant shapes the very landscape it inhabits and is a defining presence on any safari.

91% SUCCESS

1,590 sightings from 1,750 observations

Where to see elephant in Africa

Oryx

Oryx

Oryx sp.

Oryx are impressive antelopes, with a powerful physique and elegant markings set off by rapier-like horns. They cut a distinctive dash in some of Africa’s harshest landscapes.

70% SUCCESS

644 sightings from 924 observations

Where to see oryx in Africa

Giraffe

Giraffe

Giraffa camelopardalis

The world’s tallest land mammal, giraffes are herbivores which have evolved many unique adaptations. Their iconic outlines tower above the bush in many of Africa’s wildlife areas.

83% SUCCESS

1,523 sightings from 1,833 observations

Where to see giraffe in Africa

Hippo

Hippo

Hippopotamus amphibius

The territorial calls of the hippo create a signature soundtrack to Africa’s rivers & wetlands. Despite an endearing smile, this aquatic herbivore has a notoriously aggressive disposition.

89% SUCCESS

1,168 sightings from 1,310 observations

Where to see hippo in Africa

Spotted Hyena

Spotted Hyena

Crocuta crocuta

The spotted hyena may be thought of as ‘ugly’ and ‘cowardly’. In fact, this versatile and intelligent carnivore is one of Africa’s most fascinating and warrants attention on any safari.

50% SUCCESS

903 sightings from 1,799 observations

Where to see spotted hyena in Africa

Brown Hyena

Brown Hyena

Parahyaena brunnea

This largely solitary scavenger is one of the more elusive and little-known of Africa’s carnivores. Shaggier than its spotted cousin, it occurs only in the arid southwest of the continent.

16% SUCCESS

112 sightings from 711 observations

Where to see brown hyena in Africa

Leopard

Leopard

Panthera pardus

The most numerous of Africa’s big cats, leopard occur across many habitats, from wild tracts to populated areas. Their grace and their elusive nature make them a unique safari drawcard.

45% SUCCESS

840 sightings from 1,873 observations

Where to see leopard in Africa

Lion

Lion

Panthera leo

Lions are at the top of the food chain and also most safari wish-lists, but with their numbers falling fast, any encounter with these majestic apex predators always feels like a privilege.

80% SUCCESS

1,314 sightings from 1,646 observations

Where to see lion in Africa

Black Rhino

Black Rhino

Diceros bicornis

The black rhino is the smaller and rarer of Africa’s two rhino species but has the more fearsome reputation. Shy and heavily persecuted, it tends to stick to cover.

29% SUCCESS

261 sightings from 899 observations

Where to see black rhino in Africa

White Rhino

White Rhino

Ceratotherium simum

The white rhino is the largest and most numerous of the world’s five rhinoceros species. They are larger, easier to see and generally more approachable than the black rhino.

43% SUCCESS

218 sightings from 508 observations

Where to see white rhino in Africa

Wild dog

Wild dog

Lycaon pictus

African wild dogs are among the continent’s most compelling animals. Much misunderstood, these rare, tie-dyed canids are amazingly efficient hunters with a fascinating social life.

31% SUCCESS

375 sightings from 1,214 observations

Where to see wild dog in Africa

Wildebeest

Wildebeest

Connochaetes sp.

Superficially bovine in appearance, wildebeests are known for their spectacular migrations sometimes in huge numbers. These resilient animals are some of Africa’s most successful herbivores.

63% SUCCESS

1,058 sightings from 1,668 observations

Where to see wildebeest in Africa

Pangolin

Pangolin

Smutsia sp.

Pangolins appear to be more pine cone than animal in their unique armoury of scales. These nocturnal, ant-eating oddities are not only highly elusive but also increasingly rare.

2% SUCCESS

27 sightings from 1,487 observations

Where to see pangolin in Africa

Aardvark

Aardvark

Orycteropus afer

The aardvark is one of Africa’s most bizarre and enigmatic animals. A shy, nocturnal termite-eater, signs of its presence may be scattered about the bush whilst sightings remain elusive.

3% SUCCESS

43 sightings from 1,572 observations

Where to see aardvark in Africa

Eland

Eland

Taurotragus oryx

Africa’s largest antelope, eland are culturally important from prehistoric rock art to modern game farms. Though widespread, they are also shy so sightings are uncommon and often fleeting.

45% SUCCESS

613 sightings from 1,362 observations

Where to see eland in Africa

Meerkat

Meerkat

Suricata suricatta

These highly sociable little mammals have an endearing appearance and comical antics. Found in the drier areas of Southern Africa, close encounters are a sought-after experience.

20% SUCCESS

38 sightings from 189 observations

Where to see meerkat in Africa

Zebra

Zebra

Equus sp.

The zebra is a quintessential African animal: the horse in stripy pyjamas at the end of every child’s A–Z. There are three species, of which the plains zebra is much the most common.

84% SUCCESS

1,724 sightings from 2,057 observations

Where to see zebra in Africa

Roan antelope

Roan antelope

Hippotragus equinus

Africa’s second largest antelope and one of its most handsome, with a powerful build and distinctive markings, roan are wary of people, but renowned for their bravery against predators.

24% SUCCESS

228 sightings from 959 observations

Where to see roan antelope in Africa

Sable antelope

Sable antelope

Hippotragus niger

Perhaps Africa’s most beautiful antelope, sable are renowned for their combative nature, even holding off lions. Shy and restricted in range, sightings of sable are always special.

21% SUCCESS

198 sightings from 954 observations

Where to see sable antelope in Africa

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