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These are the 5 Best African Wildlife Photo Safari Destinations

An African photo safari provides an opportunity to discover and document the natural wonders of the African continent. Whether you are an amateur or professional photographer, Africa offers more than regular photographic safari.

The continent boasts a wealth of wildlife, including several endangered species scattered across the top safari destinations in Africa. With the scenic landscape, endless plains, and clear skies as your background, there is something to capture at every turn during a safari tour in Africa. But which are the top 5 Photo-safari destinations in Africa?

1. Okavango Delta in Botswana
Famously known as Africa’s last Eden, Okavango delta is one of the iconic Photo-safari destinations in Africa. This large and unexploited freshwater wetland has the largest inland river delta in the world, which can increase up to 3 times its size when the floodwaters come in.

Despite its water-logged landscape, Okavango Delta boasts a healthy population of plain games, rare antelopes, lions, African wild dogs, elephants, and over 500 species of birds. Naturally, the rivers and small ponds in the Delta are watering holes for an array of reptiles and aquatic mammals such as crocodiles, hippos, and snakes.

A masterpiece of nature, Okavango Delta is a world heritage site, which offers tourists a lush view of Africa’s great wilderness. There is no other safari tour destination in the world where you can view an endless stretch of greenery, clear flowing rivers, and exotic animals at the same time. The Okavango River has a pathway around the delta, which makes boating the best way to explore the delta.

A boat ride is a unique and cozy way to experience the weather and animals closely as you film the ensuing spectacle.

At Okavango Delta, game viewing is excellent year-round. However, the best time to visit the park is between June and September. This timeframe falls within the dry season. During this season, most of the wildlife stay close to the river, so it is easy to sight animals during your boat trips.

There are many interesting activities to experience during your African photo safari in the Okavango Delta. The best of them include;

1. Touring Moremi Game reserve - one of the most exclusive reserves in Africa. Here, bird watching and game viewing are spectacular.

2. Visit Chiefs Island – Chief Island is the largest dry island at the heart of the Okavango Oasis. The island is ideal for game drives and walking safaris. Expect to see non-aquatic wild animals here.

3. Lodges – One of the park's attractions is unique accommodation. The park has water-based camps, land-based camps, and private concessions.

4. Hot air balloon Safari – this experience offers an opportunity to explore the Okavango Delta from the sky.

The most convenient way to visit the Okavango Delta is by plane from Maun Airport (MUB). You may have to charter an aircraft with other tourists. If you are using a tour company, they should include the cost of transport in your bill, which is more affordable.

2. Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya
Masai Mara is Kenya’s flagship conservation center. Nearly everything about Masai Mara is awe-inspiring and picturesque. You will find most of the exotic animals Africa is known for here. The big 5 is a common sight at Masai Mara as well as wildebeest, antelopes, Zebras, Giraffes, eland, and gazelle.

Naturally, Game viewing in the Masai Mara is superb all year round as there are plenty of animals within the reserve. However, there is nothing better than seeing the wildebeest migration up-close. From July to November, the largest movement of land animals occur. Over 2 million wildebeests, thousands of zebras and gazelle move from the plains of the Serengeti to Masai Mara plains to feast and replenish their strength. In November, the animals migrate back to the Serengeti in Tanzania.

This preserved savannah wilderness is located in southwestern Kenya, along the Tanzanian border. The reserve is accessible by land and air. A road trip will take about 6 hours from Nairobi, whereas flying takes approximately 45 minutes.

Masai Mara is a dream destination at any time of the year; however, for a truly remarkable African Photo safari, July – November is the best time to visit. During this period, the wildebeest migration occurs, and the predator animals are always out for a hunt due to the excess availability of prey. Also, other exotic animals come out to feed or hunt. So expect to see something breathtaking at every turn as nature is as wild as it can be.

Besides game viewing, the best activity to experience at Masai Mara is a hot air balloon ride. In a hot air balloon, you get an overview of the reserve and marvel as the large elephants shrink into dots as you ascend.

There are several residencies and private conservancies scattered across the plains of the Serengeti. Each residency offers unique accommodation, from child-friendly to romantic, all at a reasonable price. On the other hand, private conservancies provide fancier accommodation and a more private expedition of the park.

The conservancies are the best option during the high tourist seasons. I recommend planning your photo safari in Kenya with a locally based travel agency such as I used them to plan my Masai Mara tour, and I really loved their mastery of Mara’s grassland savannas. I had multiple opportunities to take great shots including filming the great wildebeest migration.

3. Kruger National Park, South Africa
It doesn’t get much better than a Kruger photo safari. This man-made wildlife resort offers one of the most diverse games viewing in the world. Here, it is common to see the big 5 – leopard, lion, elephant, rhino, and buffalo in one day.

Other sought-after wild animals such as cheetah and wild dog plus exotic birds can be found here as well. With the park's game drive activities and walking safari, you can see these animals closely and capture the best sights.

Kruger National Park is a traveling photographer’s ideal destination. This safari destination is ideal because of its good road network, expert guides, and excellent service. Also, the guides and trackers work together to find picturesque sightings. Consequently, it will be easy to get around the park to see interesting games that you can photograph.

Other than wildlife, Kruger National park boasts of award-winning accommodation and seamless logistics. At Kruger, you will find themed accommodations. Some lend themselves to romance others are designed for friendship and family bonding. The lodges have an array of activities that can keep your busy in-between expeditions.

Activities such as specialist photography courses, wine tasting, archery, star gazing, tennis, cooking lessons, and yoga go on daily.

Kruger is nestled in the southern part of South Africa. The park can be accessed via flight or road. Each mode of transport has a different cost implication. Daily flights run between Johannesburg and most of the private lodges around Kruger. Travel time by air is approximately 90 minutes.

Etosha National Park, Namibia
Africa offers a rich variety of safari experiences, and Etosha National Park is one of the distinct offerings. The 20,000 square kilometer park is mostly arid and desert-like. Its most striking feature is a humongous saltpan so big it can be seen from space. Though the park seems inhospitable, a slew of water holes at the edge of the saltpan support hundreds of wildlife that live around and within the park.

Etosha is home to rare species such as the black rhinoceros, and hundreds of species of birds, mammals, and reptiles. These animals come to the waterholes to quench thirst and hunt. Consequently, it is easy to see exotic animals and find interesting photographic subjects. The landscape and clear sky create a beautiful background for photography.

Game viewing is the most interesting activity at Etosha National Park. At any of the main waterholes in Etosha, you can expect to see and photograph exotic animals - springbok, zebra, elephants, lions, elephants, gemsbok, and more. Other interesting activities include self-drive safaris, birding, and stargazing.

Etosha National Park is renowned as the most accessible game reserve in Namibia and Southern Africa. The game reserve is located in the northwestern part of Namibia. You can only visit the reserve in an automobile, preferably a sedan.

Depending on what type of wildlife you want to experience different seasons will meet your expectations better. The dry season is a great time to see wildlife at the water holes, whereas the wet season is excellent for bird watching and has infrequent wildlife sighting.

The park has facilities that will make your stay comfortable. There are shops, viewing decks, restaurants, petrol stations, and a range of accommodation. Most of the accommodations are grouped into camps. These camps offer a degree of exclusivity with its private game viewing, self-drive expedition, and tour guides.

Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
There could never be a complete list of African safari destinations without the Serengeti national park. Renowned for its abundance of animals and the wildebeest migration, the 14,763 sq km park is Tanzania’s largest and most famous park. Serengeti has a magnificent landscape made up of savannah vegetation, rivers, and cliffs.

The national geographic channel films many wildlife documentaries at the Serengeti. Here, you will see the big 5 (Leopard, Lion, Elephant, rhino, and buffalo), the rare African wild dog, exotic birds, and more.

Without question, the main attraction of the Serengeti is its wildlife. Every year, the reserve witnesses one of the most spectacular events on earth, the wildebeest migration. This event occurs in October, November, April, May, or June, and it offers plenty to photograph.

In the local language, the name Serengeti means the place where the land moves on forever. So prepare to be astonished by the size of the park. There is no ideal time to visit Serengeti as it has exciting game viewing all-year-round. However, if you want to witness and capture the wildebeest migration, plan your visit to fall within June and November.

Other than game viewing, the most interesting activities at Serengeti include birding, visiting the downtown settlers, and exploring the local food. The reserve can be visited through a combination of air and road transport.

An African photo safari is an exciting adventure. The continent has many choice destinations, and the best 5 destinations have been listed in this article. Each of them offers a unique version of the wild that will astonish you and give you plenty of opportunities to capture memories for a lifetime. Visit today and start planning your photo safari in Maasai Mara National Park. It’s the best African wildlife photo safari destination for first-time travelers to Africa.

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These are the 5 Best African Wildlife Photo Safari Destinations

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