This article is for Wildlife Photographer who is planning for an African safari but doesn’t know when is the best time for African wildlife photography. Read this article to get useful photography tips about where and when to visit Africa for your next African wildlife photography trip. At the end of this article, you will be able to plan your African Wildlife photography trip smoothly.
Before we get started, the first thing to have in mind is, that anytime is the best for your photography work. The selection of time depends on what you want to achieve. Photographers always want to achieve beautiful photos and this can be accomplished by considering the perfect timing weather and the crowd of other tourists in the park.
Why go to Africa for Wildlife Photography?
Africa provides top-class destinations, from beautiful landscapes, rift valleys, lakes, game reserves, and national parks. The increase in population and modern technology caused many wildlife species in many parts of the world to disappear. The only place which has most of its natural environment undisturbed is the African continent.
This is why More than half of lions populations, elephants, and bird species are found in Africa. To make it simple, Africa is one of the most bucket-listed places where millions of tourists go to experience and see wildlife living in their natural environment.
Being a continent with an abundance of wildlife and bird species has attracted many world travelers and wildlife photographers. It is easy to capture beautiful shots of predators in action, from big cats like Lions, Leopards, Cheetah, and the like. Choices of what to capture are always yours, whether you want still images, footage, or a documentary.
Have you heard about the amazing Great Wildebeest Migration in Serengeti National Park? For most wildlife photographers, This event is one of the biggest reasons why they go to Africa for wildlife photography. To make sure you have the proper equipment, knowing the ‘Best time for African Wildlife Photography’ is always vital.
Where to go/take Wildlife Photography?
Again, This depends on what you want to achieve on your photography project. This is because African Wildlife photography has different options, from predator photography to birdlife photography. Knowing Somewhere in Africa where you can go is the best way to make your plan a successful process.
Before looking at ‘Best time for African Wildlife Photography’, Below are our top 10 destinations that you should consider when you are planning for African wildlife photography.
- Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
- Kafue national park, Zambia
- Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania
- Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
- Ruaha National Park, Tanzania
- Okavango Delta, Botswana
- Chobe National Park, Botswana
- Amboseli National Park, Kenya
- Etosha National Park, Namibia
- Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe
The best time for African Wildlife Photography
Africa is a huge continent with up to 54 countries. Planning a vacation to Africa depends on your interests as the continent has a lot of vacation and adventure spots to choose from. For wildlife lovers, the best places to go for wildlife safaris are the Eastern and Southern parts of the continent. The Eastern part includes countries like Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi. Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, Angola, and South Africa are countries that are in the southern part of Africa.
This guide will highlight the best time for African wildlife safari photography in East and Southern Africa;
Best time for African Wildlife Safari in East Africa
Most of east Africa’s famous destinations are accessible almost all year round. If you prefer a mix of clear sky and fewer tourists, February to July can be the perfect time for taking amazing shots/footage. Again, this depends on your interests and the type of shots that you want to take.
December to April is the heavy rain season but the best packs like Serengeti and Maasai mara are accessible and they are less visited at this time. The best place to be for wildlife photographic safari would be Serengeti and Maasai Mara.
February to April is the best time for Calving season photography in the southern part of Serengeti/Ndutu. A large number of predators gather in this area for easy prey of the migrating animals, Mostly the Wildebeests, Zebra, and Gazelles. Photographers can get the best shots or footage of the wildebeest giving birth to their new offspring or even the hunting predators.
April and May are preferable compared to February and March as the area starts to receive less rain, clear sky, and evergreen vegetation which is the best for Photography.
June and July is almost the best time as it is a dry season and the migration is on the way to the north through the central and western part of Serengeti. But if you prefer fewer crowds, maybe this would be your best time as from July to September the park receives many tourists.
The perfect time for African Wildlife photography in Maasai Mara is From July to September as the migration will be heading to the Kenyan side of Maasai Mara Areas.
Best time for African Wildlife Safari in Southern Africa
The weather seasons in the Southern National Park have no difference compared to that of the Eastern part. The only difference is some of the areas/parks on this part become more flooded during the rainy season and this makes the area to be inaccessible.
The best time for viewing wildlife is in October and November during the dry season. The dry season start in July and grasses are short which provides a convenient way of viewing wildlife, if you prefer less crowd, this time could be the best for some photographers
November and December are the best months for predators, if you choose your destination carefully it is possible to get fantastic unique shots. December to March is a heavy rainy season and some of the areas are completely not accessible.
April and May are also wet seasons but the temperature is cool and the sky is clear. We also do not recommend these months as the grasses are still very tall and some areas are wet which makes it have limited accessibility.
Prepare for Amazing Wildlife Photography
It is our hope that now you have an idea about the ‘Best Time for African Wildlife Photography’ and how you can start to plan your amazing trip. When it comes to holiday vacations, Africa is always a place to be as it provides unlimited choices to even amateur travelers! If you are planning for photographing the Great Migration in Tanzania, don’t hesitate to contact us or visit this page for our sample photographic safari itineraries to get more inspiration about how the ideal itinerary will be.