South Africa remains one of the most popular safari destinations on the planet and with the thousands of people who visit each year, a stunning selection of safari photographs appear at the end of each safari.

Wildlife photography, while perfect for amateurs, budding pros and seasoned professionals alike, is absolutely considered to be one of the toughest forms to master. It’s not just about getting the right shot, it’s also about making sure your equipment is set up correctly, your angle is perfect and your patience is strong.

Most safari photography comes down to pure luck and the ability to have loads of patience while you wait for your subject to appear. Many shots are also a once in a lifetime kind of thing, as the photo is unlikely to be one that can ever be replicated.

To make sure that you get the most out of your photography when you are next on safari, we are sharing 5 tips from National Geographic Magazine that might help you out on your excursion into the wild.

  1. Select your gear

The old saying that the camera you have on you is the best one rings true even on safari, but it does help to make sure that the gear is up to date, and the best you can afford. Because safari photography comes down to timing, you want to make sure that you not only have the right gear but that the gear you have is correctly set up and ready for action.

  1. Photo safari

Because there is such a demand for safaris specifically to take amazing photos, photographers have the option of booking an actual photo safari. These safaris are different in that the trip is designed specifically to take guests on a trip that focuses solely on capturing amazing images. This means the pace of the safari is slowed down and guests can really take their time. Instead of rushing onto the next sighting, the tour hangs around a bit to make sure that you get that shot.

  1. Pay attention to lighting

Natural lighting is what you have to work with, and honestly you couldn’t get better lighting for your images. But the best lighting in the world wouldn’t matter if you didn’t know how to take full advantage of it. Morning and late afternoon light is considered to be the most amazing lighting, but as you know, your safari will go on throughout the day, so you need to know how to take advantage of shadows as well as sunlight. To make the most of your adventure, head out early, as that bright morning light is something special.

  1. Have patience

Wildlife photography is all about having enough patience. The scene you are hoping for is not just going to appear out of the blue, instead, you’ll have to wait for it. And it is the waiting that will require all of your patience. The best shots come from a steady hand and a patient attitude.

  1. Change your perspective

While on a Kruger Park safari or a safari in the beautiful Balule, you will be mostly confined to a safari vehicle, but there are places where you can get out, stretch your legs and take some beautiful snaps. You can also try air balloon and bicycle tours, as well as walking tours, all of which will give your photos a different angle and a different perspective.