Read these 8 Wildlife Safari Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Adventure Travel tips and hundreds of other topics.
The first rule in wildlife photography safari tours is "be patient". Wild animals will do what wild animals do in their own time. If you are looking for a specific wildlife photograph don't expect the wildlife and weather to cooperate all the time. Sometimes animals and birds just aren't where you expect them to be.
This leads us to the second rule, which is "be flexible". You may have gone looking for one subject, but if you don't see it, you'll probably see some other wildlife that might pleasantly surprise you.
When taking close-up wildlife photography shots with a long lens on a wildlifephotography safari tour, set the aperture at f8 and focus on the animal's eyes. This ensures most of the face will be in focus.
A lens of 300mm in focal length is the minimum for mammal photography. If your interest is in taking photos of birds then 500mm is a good starting point.
Most smaller animals and birds have what naturalists call a "flight distance". This is the minimum distance they will let you approach before they run or fly away (assuming they are aware of you). Keep this in mind as you plan your wildlife safari adventure.
Learn to determine the flight distance for each of the wildlife species on your wildlife photography tour, and you'll get more shots. Try to photograph small animals from a low camera position to accentuate their size.
Take along binoculars on your wildlife adventure you will never be disappointed. In fact, make sure that each person in your safari takes along his or her own binoculars.
As for cameras, it is far better to take along a compact, digital, transportable camera than relying on a camera with film. A good pair of binoculars and cameras with a good telephoto lens will reduce the temptation to leave the vehicle to get a closer look at the wildlife.
It is far better, especially if your wildlife tour will be your first time on an African Safari, to be part of a professionally led safari tour. Let the tour guides do the hard work by finding out where the best place is to stay, and which safaris are the best to undertake.
Safari tours are slick operations and you will be placed in the care of competent people who know the region and the game reserves. You will receive ample advice from them on what to take with on a safari and what not to do.
No african safari is complete without seeing a pride of lions lying down lazily in the hot African sun. However, never be tempted to get out of your vehicle to snap close-up pictures of your wildlife adventure safari. This is the quickest way to die. The same goes for any other large wild animal you see on a safari. Treat them with the respect that they deserve.
Approach all big game with caution. Do not make sudden movements and do not make any noises. Elephants who turn towards you, flapping their ears and raising their trunks are dangerous. Rhinos are notorious for their bad moods and disturbing their line of vision can provoke them to charge you down. Hippopotamus can be the most dangerous of all the wild animals - it is estimated that they kill more people than any other animal.
You need a lot of patience when going on an african safari. Do not expect a major wildlife adventure on the first trip. This is not to say that it cannot happen, though.
Make a list of the wildlife that you would like to see on the safari and find out where you are most likely to find them. As you discover the animals, make notes about where you saw them and what they were doing. Your patience will eventually be rewarded.
Malaria is a health hazard on some wildlife tours. Find out if the area that you are visiting on your wildlife safari adventure is a "malaria zone" and ensure that you take the correct medication and dosage in the required time.
Often some medication has to be taken at least two weeks before your trip. Take along a good insect repellent to ward off the pesky flies and other flying insects.