Panorama Photography on a Southern Africa Safari


When many think about a ‘safari,’ they instantly picture a Land Easy riding bike thundering across the hot and dusty African savanna, running after the ‘big-five’ animals. However, a southern African firefox can be so much more, especially if you tend to be doing a self-drive safari.

On the guided safari, you are susceptible to the driver and other travelers, while on a self-drive firefox, you are the boss, and you also decide where you will go and how long you will stay.

If you wish to photograph landscapes while on firefox, there are many opportunities but you might not get out of your vehicle as there are harmful animals around. We discuss the safest locations to photograph landscapes within four of southern Africa’s most famous game reserves.

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

The Kgalagadi attracts thousands of nature photography enthusiasts not just for the fantastic animals but also for the most unusual landscapes. You have the contrasts between blue African sky, heavy red dunes, carpets and rugs of yellow and magenta wildflowers, white calcrete coves, and green trees and shrubs.

The actual Auob and Nossob highways provide good opportunities; however, so do the wilderness encampments because they are mainly situated along high dunes. Our favorites are Kieliekrankie, Kalahari Tented Camp, and Gharagab because of their height. Urikaruus, Bitterpan, and Grootkolk camps aren’t situated as high however can also provide nice scenic pictures – you need to be a little more creative.

Twee Rivieren, Matojo Mata, and Nossob may also provide scenery opportunities; however, watch out for telephone rods and other distractions that may flow into your composition!

The Kgalagadi is also the best park for you to photograph star trails caused by it being so far faraway from civilization and, therefore, far away via light and pollution. Upington is the closest city, and that is 300 kilometers away!

Kruger National Park

There are many excessive viewpoints, such as Nkumbe, Tshanga, Grano Kop, and Bobbejaan Krans, that you can drive for you to and where you are allowed to make your vehicle to set up your tripod. In addition, some camps present excellent landscape potential because they are situated high on a mountain, like Olifants camp, or maybe because they are next to a sea, such as camps like Skukuza, Shimuwini, and Lower Sabie.

It would be best if you looked out for trees that you may photograph against the rising or maybe setting sun while from your game drive and for typically the wild flowers that floor covering some waterholes after fine summer rains.

Some campement provide better star walk photography opportunities than others. Crocodile Bridge, Berg en hel Dal, and Pretoriouskop are generally too close to civilization and that means you have lights from Komatiepoort, Malelane, and White River/Nelspruit as well as pollution from the sweets factory spoiling the photographs.

When you prefer more adventure on your safari then you could go on a 4wd trail or a rough track.
The three 4×4 voyage trails are self-drive hiking trails that allow you to get out of your vehicle. Nevertheless, it would be best if you remained close to the motor vehicle. They last about 3-4 hours and can provide good-quality landscape opportunities.

There are 7 2-day, 3-night wilderness strolling trails in the Kruger Recreation area. You stay in rustic, old-fashioned camps and experience the African bush on foot – correct wilderness with remoteness, comfort, peace, and no other people — except the other people within your group and the two equipped rangers!

Four paths provide amazing landscapes:

• Nyalaland Trail – the far north of Kruger and is the most remote Backwoods Trail. The scenic emphasis is the spectacular Lanner as well as Luvuvhu gorges.

• Olifants trail – is in the main Kruger, and you will go to remote control valleys and gorges and the very scenic confluence from the Letaba and Olifants streams.

• Wolhuter Trail — is in the southern Kruger, an amazingly scenic wilderness region characterized by high granite outcrops with deep valleys.

• Bushmans Trail – can also be in the southern Kruger, and it is characterized by deep valleys as well as high rocky outcrops along with stunning views. These high-lying outcrops are accessed earlier in the morning so you can appreciate the vastness of the landscape and the tremendous photographic lighting.

Etosha Nationwide Park

Etosha National Recreation area in Namibia is very toned but some of their waterholes can make for good scenery photographs. Reservoirs such as Homob, Salvadora, Twee Palms, and Chudop are incredibly scenic and there is the view covering the pan from the view-points or maybe from pools that are based on the edge of the baking pan such as Okondeka.

The opinions from the camp waterholes, Moringa (in Halali Camp) and Okaukuejo waterholes also develop good scenery photographs.

Typically the waterhole at Namutoni getaway is not very scenic though the fort in the camp produces very effective landscape photographs. Usually, the views from on top of typically the Namutoni fort and at the top of the Okaukuejo observation structure also provide 360-degree vistas of the surrounding areas.

Pilanesberg Sport Reserve

The Pilanesberg is in an extinct volcano as its walls collapse inward, building many small hills that supply pleasing backdrops to your images. Keep this in mind when shooting animals. In addition, there are great opinions from the picnic sites along with view-points located up on typically the hills, which provide excellent landscape potential.

Some pet bird hides, such as Mankwe and Rathlogo, also provide reasonable probability – depending on the sunshine and the subject.

Landscape Images Gear

Fortunately, the imaging gear needed for landscape images is not as expensive and heavy as what is necessary for wildlife and bird digital photography. It would be best if you had a good tripod, the cable release, some filters (a polarizer plus soft as well as hard graduated neutral thickness filters), a wide-angle zoom lens (for grand vistas), regarding a 200mm lens (for intimate landscapes). If you do not possess a wide-angle lens, don’t worry – you can shoot several overlapping frames of the picture and then stitch them with each other to make panoramas.

If you don’t have Photoshop again, don’t fret; as possible, download free panoramic software programs such as the Hugin Panorama Picture Stitcher.

Mario Fazekas is a wildlife photographer living in Newcastle, south africa, and is the webmaster associated with Find out more about Nature Photography and Photographing Landscapes.

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