When it comes to Africa it is one heck of a challenge to come up with the 5 best places to photograph. Africa is so big you can guarantee these places will not be close by to one another which can make planning a trip to anyone’s top 5 list quite difficult.
There will be plenty of you out there that will have your own top 5 places to photograph in Africa. However, we have done our best to come up with a comprehensive list of what we think should be in the top 5, so please don’t shoot the messenger if you disagree.
At the very least, our aim is to give you food for thought, and if you happen to be in one of the areas we suggest, and of course, you have time as well as a camera handy, then we recommend getting your skates on and camera trigger finger ready for potentially some of the best photography of your life!
1. Safari Photography in Namibia
One of the great things about African safari is that you will get to experience Africa’s wildlife in most areas of the continent. South Africa and Mozambique share the Kruger National Park while you also have Zambia, Namibia, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Kenya, and Tanzania. You will be able to see the big 5, great migrations, chimps, and mountain gorillas in the jungle.
However, number one out of all of these choices is Namibia where you can start your journey around Africa by photographing Nambia DeadvLei.
You can experience a slightly different kind of safari by visiting the desert habitat of Deadvlei on an African Photo Safari and then find your way to The Etosha National Park. Both destinations have become some of Africa’s most popular destinations for photographers.
2. Fish River Canyon: Namibia
The Fish River Canton of Namibia has become one of Africa’s most popular off the beaten track destinations for photographers. It is in the South of Namibia and covers a huge area of – wait for it – 5,900 km². That’s a lot of landscape to cover, but luckily this area has a mix of levels you take shots from. From flat plains that run for miles to hilltops where you can perch yourself for the perfect photo opportunity, you should be able to get most of the area in your scopes.
Some of the canyons here are up to 550 meters deep so if you also like abseiling and rock climbing with your camera, then then the Fish River Canyon is going to be a must-visit place if you decide to take a trip to Africa.
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3. The Kalahari Desert: Botswana
Next door to Namibia is Botswana. If you liked Namibia’s Deadvlei then you will also appreciate the Kalahari Desert where you will also get to photograph desert lands.
It may seem like the dessert does not offer as many photo opportunities to add to your portfolio as rain forests and open safaris in places such as South Africa. On the contrary, photographers alike have consistently voted both Namibia’s Deadvlei and Botswana Kalahari Desert as some of the top places in the country for those serious about photography.
You can easily travel between the two giving you desserts, rainforests, and plenty of wildlife which is why so many photographers are more than content with visiting these destinations.
4. Volcanoes National Park: Rwanda
Not only are the volcanoes in Rwanda’s Volcano national park a much sought-after photo opportunity so are the 360 degrees of breathtaking views surrounding the volcanoes when you climb to the top. Here you will find 5 of 8 volcanoes in Rwanda, and surprisingly not many people even know that Rwanda is well-known for the Virunga Mountains where these volcanoes grace the landscapes.
You will also be able to photograph the rainforests which stretch for 160 km² of rainforest around them as well as indigenous wildlife in the area.
5. Rain forests in Atsinanana: Madagascar
Madagascar is one place most people dream of visiting. It is an island off the coast of Mozambique with some of the most picturesque beaches, forests, mountains, and hilly regions in the world. This is not to mention its underwater landscapes and wildlife.
One reason Madagascar is a good choice for most photographers is because it is the perfect island destination for families as well as for photo opportunities, but there is one argument against this being in our top 5, and that is beach photography is easy to find around the world while most people would prefer a more unique addition to their portfolios such as safari and dessert.
That said, we still decided to add Madagascar on our list because safari is not always for everyone and it has to be said when it comes to African beauty, the rainforests, landscapes and sea on this island offer some of the best photo opportunities in the continent.
Recapping 5 Trips of a Lifetime
One of our aims while creating this guide was to keep you in the southern regions of Africa. This makes it easier for you to be able to plan a trip that includes as many of these places as possible. Namibia is by far the most attractive country in Africa to visit for photographers and as such we have included a nation park safari, desert safari, and the chance to visit Namibia’s Fish River Canyon for some landscape photography. You will also be able to get to Botswana reasonably easily for more desert safari.
As for Rwanda and Madagascar, these are a little harder to get to and will limit your ability to get the best photo opportunities Africa has to offer. If you happen to visit Madagascar still have Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and South Africa close by which will lead you into Botswana and Namibia, while Rwanda has Tanzania and Kenya nearby so you can get your fill of safari even if you decide to visit the Volcanoes National Park.
The reason we did not go into detail for these national parks is that they are frequented by tourists, while Namibia and Botswana are frequented by serious photographers looking for the best photo opportunities that will help build a unique and diverse portfolio.