Beautiful baobab trees silhouetted by the setting sun, flocks of birds taking off over the water and landscapes of endless space and serenity are what await all enthusiastic photographers when they plan a holiday to Botswana.
There is no better or more idyllic a location than Botswana for a photographic safari. One of the most authentic and varied African landscapes to photograph, and the images captured while on a mokoro on the Okavango Delta, or a sunset cruise on the Chobe River are ones that could stand up next to images from many professional photographers.
Photographic safaris offer all the excitement of a normal safari with the emphasis on photography, allowing you a chance to set up, plan and take the photo you envisage, taking time to set it up, before grabbing the perfect moment with a simple click of your camera.
Waking up each morning with a sense of anticipation and excitement you leave your luxury tented camp or safari lodge and head out into the African bush, following the fresh tracks of game animals that have passed the same way just hours or minutes before.
Experienced trackers and enthusiastic guides manoeuvre their way through the trees or across the floodplains in search not only of the game, but of the perfect angle from which to photograph the family of Elephants with their babies or the Leopard lazily sleepily on a branch of a nearby tree.
One of the most popular destinations for a photographic safari is the Okavango Delta, as this is the area where the animals stay throughout the year due to the abundant water found here. Of course the golden hours are the most popular and while on your photographic safari it is best to start early, giving you a better chance to capture the pride of Lions hunting their prey or the pack of Wild Dogs chasing after their next meal.
April to October is recommended as the best times of the year to embark on a photographic safari as this is when the animals are most likely to be around the water sources and the greater concentration of game results in better shots. However; the changing scenery from season to season provides endless opportunities for photographs and the safari can be embarked upon at any time of the year.
Busy and exciting early mornings leave plenty of time during the heat of the day to return to your camp to enjoy a hearty breakfast and then spend time relaxing and reading a book, or having a siesta in your beautiful fully-equipped tent.
After a good few hours of rest and relaxation, and a lot of discussion around the morning's shots, it is time to head out again for the afternoon and evening shoot where more excitement and magnificent shots await.
Botswana is also a popular photographic destination as it provides opportunities for photographers to capture more diverse and seldom seen shots such as Lions crossing water ways and Hippos wallowing in the water, stretching their mouths wide open at sunset.
The African wildlife in Botswana is habituated to safari vehicles, resulting in excellent shots as they do not move away as the vehicle approaches. Botswana is also known as one of the best locations to capture eye-to-eye shots, with the camera man/woman snapping the game animal gazing right into the lens.
The allure of Botswana for a photographic safari extends further than the African wildlife. While the landscape is exceptionally beautiful, it is also rather stark and generally flat, providing dramatic vistas of dry savannah as far as the eye can see with a single dead tree on the horizon - perfect for a photograph.
Dry rivers, lagoons and endlessly changing contrasting colours and provide infinite opportunities for the perfect shot. Occasionally, when the guides and trackers deem it safe, you may even be able to disembark from the vehicle to get a better angle.
Both novices and professional photographers are welcome on photographic safaris, and as long as you have an absolute passion for photography you are guaranteed to have a wonderful time.