Best South African Photography Safaris? Here’s A 10-Day Luxury Itinerary, Tips!

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When it comes to South African photography safaris, you’ll want to make the most of your time and capture all the incredible experiences you will have. That’s why this 10-day luxury itinerary below is an ideal option.

When you combine it with the helpful safari and photography tips described, no doubt your trip is going to be unforgettable! Keep reading to find out more. 

South African Photography Safaris - sunset
Plan an amazing South African safari. It’s the trip of a lifetime!

CONTENTS – In this article, you will learn all about taking a photography tour in South Africa, including:

Why Consider South African Photography Safaris

No other place offers as much as Africa does, a fairytale continent that mesmerizes its lucky visitors.

You will find boundless skies so clear that the stars look like diamonds, bushman paint and tribal drum dances for a slice of African culture, game drives, and helicopter safaris across the windswept savannah for the adventurer. 

For most travelers, a safari to Africa is a Bucket List holiday.

That is why deciding where and when to go is important because it will increase your opportunity to see the best of the animals.

For instance, visiting Masai Mara during the migration season offers awe-inspiring photography opportunities. The same is true of witnessing the wildebeest migration in Kenya.

Also, just as important is understanding your experience goals. What type of experience do you want to achieve on your vacation? Is it immersive culture or escaping from the city to experience the natural plateaus and grasslands or taking in the awe-inspiring vistas?

Or, maybe you want an adventure vacation trying something you have never experienced before, like Bridge Sliding from Zambia to Zimbabwe on the Victoria Falls Bridge. 

Of course, creating lifelong memories is the most important thing on a vacation. A great way to create memories is by taking the best photos you can. One way to achieve that is to take a photography tour, with a photographer, who can answer your questions to make sure you take the best photos on your vacation.

Related: 7 Easy Tips for Better Safari Shots

About Fana World Travel

This is where an African Safari specialist like Fana World Travel can make the difference. Using their African Safari experiences and the relationships they have built, they work closely with you to customize each safari. That way, you’ll achieve your experience goal. 

Fana World travel also offers group safari tours to Africa, with and without a photographer. Below, you’ll find an itinerary for an exclusive 18-person Elite Photography tour to South Africa and Zimbabwe – one that offers culture, adventure, vistas, and, of course, private game safaris. 

After the itinerary, you’ll find tips about the best time to take an African Safari, photography tips, and general safari tips, as well as a bit about the kinds of animals you’ll likely see.

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Best Time to Go on South African Safari

animals drinking at water source
Look for animals gathering at water sources in the dry season.

The dry season, which is June to October for most of sub-Saharan Africa, is a great time to go on safari. That’s because it will be easier to spot animals as they gather at water sources.

Or, you can go right after the wet season if you prefer fewer visitors. You’ll still see tons of birds and experience the verdant savannah.

​​South African Safari Parks 

South African National Parks (SANParks) manages 19 parks in South Africa. The best-known, oldest, and largest park is Kruger National Park. But you’ll want to work in a range of safari parks because each offers unique experiences. 

For instance, Hwange National Park offers grasslands and woodlands where you’re likely to see the ‘Big 5’ animals as well as hundreds of other species. It’s easily accessible from Victoria Falls, just an hour’s drive from the airport. 

You’ll find budget camping sites as well as luxury lodges here, too.

Cost of South African Safari

The South African safari cost can range from $125 per person per night to upwards of $1,500 per person per night. Keep in mind that experiences like SAFARI FRANK’s best luxury South African safari are priceless. 

Regardless of your budget, you’ll want to find an itinerary that handles the whole experience, from overnight accommodations, transfers, and dining options to quality tours and experiences each day.

The animals may be the main attraction, but you’ll also discover botanical gardens, adventure sports, sunset dinner cruises, and more.

South Africa Safari Itinerary | Fana’s Elite Photography Tour

safari participants with binoculars
Make sure your safari itinerary will meet your expectations.

This itinerary covers a 10-day photography tour in South Africa with Fana Travel.

Day 1

  • Johannesburg · VIP Assistance through Customs & Immigration Commercial Flight – Johannesburg to Cape Town Transfer · Cape Town Airport to 12 Apostles Hotel 12 Apostles Hotel And Spa (4 Nights) 

Day 2

  • Cape Town – Cape Peninsula Tour, Full Day, Private Guided Notes: Lunch / Dinner 

Day 3

  • Cape Town – Cape Winelands, Full Day, Private Guided Notes: Lunch / Dinner 

Day 4

  • Cape Town – Uthando South Africa Tour Scheduled Philanthropic Cultural Tour, Half Day Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens – Half Day Notes: Lunch / Dinner 

Day 5

  • Transfer · 12 Apostles Hotel to Cape Town Airport Commercial Flight – Cape Town to Victoria Falls Transfer · Victoria Falls Airport to Hwange Main Camp Transfer · Hwange Main Camp to The Hide 2 Transfer · Hwange Main Camp to The Hide The Hide Safari Camp (4 Nights) 

Day 6

  • A Typical Day at The Hide Safari Camp 

Day 7

  • Zimbabwe – Hwange National Park – The Hide Safari Camp Activities 

Day 8

  • The Hide Game Viewing & Activities 

Day 9

  • Transfer · The Hide Safari Camp to Hwange National Park Transfer · Hwange Main Camp to Batonka Lodge Batonka Guest Lodge (2 Nights) Victoria Falls – Sunset Dinner Cruise on the Zambezi Malachite Notes: Lunch / Dinner 

Day 10

  • Victoria Falls – Tour of the Falls, Private Guided Victoria Falls – Adrenaline Activities – Zipline (Foofie Slide), Flying Fox, Gorge Swing (optional) Victoria Falls – Lookout Cafe – Lunch Afternoon Activities – Victoria Falls Dinner at The Boma – Drum Show Notes: Lunch / Dinner 

Day 11

  • Transfer · Batonka Lodge to Victoria Falls Airport Commercial Flight – Victoria Falls to Johannesburg VIP Assistance – Johannesburg Airport · VIP Assistance through Customs & Immigration.

South African Safari Animals

mature elephant with two babies
You’ll encounter incredible photo opportunities on a South African safari.

Any safari photographer hunting for photo opps would be pleased to see one of Africa’s “big five” animals:

The Big 5 Animals on a South African Photography Safaris 

  • Buffalo – large herbivores in the African savannah and forests, often in giant herds; known to attack without provocation
  • Elephant – one of the largest African animals that live in matriarchal groups
  • Leopard – the smallest of the big cats, nocturnal hunters with beautiful spots
  • Lion – the famous “King of the Jungle.” Males have thick manes.
  • Rhinoceros (Rhinos) – second largest land mammal after elephant, these herbivores use their horn(s) during mating and when defending against predators

Other Animals You May See on a South African Photography Safaris

The Big 5 are in good company, with the range of amazing animals you may see on an African safari:

  • Baboons – a type of monkey that travels in a “troop”; they can climb but are mostly found on land since they don’t have a prehensile tail to grip like other types of monkeys do
  • Birds – Africa has a diverse population of colorful and interesting birds that you can look and listen for – thousands of varieties!
  • Cheetah (Kenyan/Tanzanian) – the fastest land animal, most active after sunset
  • Crocodiles – in tropical areas of Africa, these meat-eaters weigh as much as 2,000 lbs and lay up to 60 eggs at a time
  • Giraffes – the tallest land animals, giraffes are spotted with soaring necks so they can easily reach the highest leaves; they travel in packs
  • Hippopotamus (Hippos) – 3rd largest of the African mammals, they love water and can be very dangerous
  • Ostrich – a flightless bird native to Africa that spreads its wings to show off to mates
  • Thomson’s Gazelle – this graceful antelope is small (26-165 lbs) and agile so it can evade predators; its horns are ringed and curved
  • Topis – a medium-sized antelope that runs up to 43 mph when frightened; herds are most active during early morning and evening
  • Vultures – these large birds of prey have one mate and one egg per year; when sighted on the ground, the group is a “venue,” in the air, a “kettle.”
  • Warthog – these bristly wild pigs look fierce with their 4 tusks but are primarily herbivores.
  • Waterbuck – a type of antelope with beautiful, spiraled horns that are as long as three feet; you’ll mostly see them grazing in grassy areas
  • Wild Dogs – carnivorous, vocal canines that live in packs of 6 to 20 dogs; they all share responsibilities for caring for their pups
  • Wildebeest (Gnus) – the largest type of antelope at 260-595 lbs; they have beards, manes, and curved horns
  • Zebras – a relative of both the horse and the donkey, the stripes of these expressive equines may be brown or black 

Related: Branding a Photography Business: When Your Travel Photos Pay Off

African Safari Photo Tips

two muscular lions
Be ready to capture unexpected wildlife moments on camera!

Here are some tips that will help you get the best photos on your vacation. (Remember, on the guided itinerary above, you will have a photography expert on the tour to assist you.)

  • Make sure your batteries are charged and you have a backup with you
  • Consider getting an inverter or solar charger to top off the batteries when you’re touring
  • Invest in good photo equipment and consider various lenses (animals: 100-400mm or 200-500mm, landscape: 10-22mm; portrait: 24-104mm)
  • Bring extra storage cards; you’ll take lots of photos every day
  • You might want to bring a polarizing lens to counter sun glare
  • When you take photos of animals, try to focus on the eyes. For magazine-like photos, you can center the subject, but the rule of thirds works, too.

Related: Useful Gifts for Travelers Who Love Photography

General Tips About Going on Safari

safari hat leopard | Enjoy Travel Life

On any African Safari, you’ll want to follow these general tips about going on safari:

  • Get a good night’s sleep and wake up early to make the most of your day
  • Bring good camera equipment and take lots of photos
  • Ask plenty of questions of your tour guides; they will be happy to help!
  • Follow the rules
  • Dress so that you’re cool but sufficiently protected from the sun, including a safari hat. The best South African safari clothes include long sleeves and long pants that are lightweight and breathable
  • Avoid clothes that are black or dark blue (which attracts tsi-tsi flies), and bright white, which will get very dusty/dirty. Opt for subtle neutrals, like khaki, brown, tan, and olive which will also be inconspicuous to wildlife. 
  • If you’ll be walking a lot in the bush, get some good safari boots. 
  • Stay hydrated!
  • Bring a small emergency kit for any minor medical situations, like blisters, headaches, etc.
  • Bring binoculars so you can see animals from a distance.

Final Thoughts on South African Photography Safaris

As you can imagine, South African Photography Safaris are the type of experience you’ll remember for a lifetime. With these tips and itinerary ideas, you’re sure to capture some of the best memories on camera. That way, you can savor and share your adventures on safari in South Africa.

Love wildlife photography but thinking about more of an island getaway? Keep reading to discover these top island destinations for a wildlife vacation.

For one-of-a-kind East African National Parks, consider visiting Kitulo National Park in Tanzania or one of these other amazing safari parks in Tanzania for an epic journey into the wild!

Jackie Gately at the beach

About Jackie Gately, editor-IN-CHIEF

I'm Jackie Gately, your travel confidante and the creative force behind Enjoy Travel Life, awarded the "Best Casual-Luxury Lifestyle Blog (USA)" in Travel and Tourism by LUXlife Magazine for four consecutive years.

With 25 years of published expertise, I'm a seasoned writer, editor, and photographer curating inspiring travel guides and lifestyle tips for empty nesters. I hope to kindle your spirit of exploration, encouraging you to overcome obstacles and turn your dreams into reality.

Learn to minimize your pre-travel angst and maximize the joy of exploration with insights from my experiences. Let's make every adventure a celebration of this exciting phase of life! 

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16 thoughts on “Best South African Photography Safaris? Here’s A 10-Day Luxury Itinerary, Tips!”

  1. Have done a Safari while we were on an official trip to South Africa few years back and just loved it. Getting up early morning and then a repeat trip in the evenings was real fun. But it was just a 2 day Safari. Great information and plan for a 10 day exclusive safari. Would love to follow your suggestions.

    • Even 2 days would be fun! Hope you have the chance to plan for a longer trip soon, Subhashish!

  2. I would love to go on a South African Safari to enjoy the myriad of wildlife experiences! Watching the wild animals grazing and strolling across the African savannas from a distance and learning about different species of animals is dream come true for me. Certainly a bucket list worthy place.

  3. I had no idea flies were attracted to certain colors, yikes! I’ve always wanted to go on a photography workshop at a safari so thank you for all of the amazing photo tips. I’m definitely going to have to look into Fana’s Elite Photography Tour!

    • This was news to me, too! I hope you get a chance for that photography tour in the near future. Such an amazing opportunity!

  4. Awesome post…man, I have done 34 safari game drives in Africa, and I still learned a lot from your tips. Thanks for sharing your insights. Off to check out Fana!!! P.S. I think there are spotted wild dogs in SA right? If so, add them to your list, they are SOOOO cool.

    • Oooh – I did not know about the spotted wild dogs. Thanks for the tip! It’s good to hear these tips were helpful to you as a pro. I appreciate you leaving a comment, Mike.

  5. I would love to do a safari in Africa, it truly is a bucket list holiday. The price clearly differs quite a lot between experiences and it was interesting to know when the best time to travel would be to see plenty of wildlife. Thanks also for the tips about what to wear.

  6. I would LOVE to do this in my lifetime! We watch so many of these documentaries that I can imagine myself being there. I appreciate the tips, I would bring everything with me and extra batteries!

  7. I can absolutely see us booking a South African photography safari. Good to get an idea of the price range. We would definitely want a safari that handles all the details so we can focus on enjoying the experience. The 11 day itinerary sounds amazing with such a great mix of sights. Definitely something we will plan one day!

  8. A safari in Africa is on my bucket list, for sure. I have been on safaris in West Africa, but did not the the BIG 5 yet. The 10 day photography tour with Fana Travel must have been an amazing experience! I guess it pays to spend a bit moore in order to get qualified guides and a smooth organization.

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