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Wildlife Photography Short Course - South Africa

If you are passionate about photography and want to take your skills to the next level with wildlife photography then this definitely is the course for you!.
Capturing the perfect wildlife photograph is not as easy as it looks. Not only does one need creativity and technical knowledge, but also a knowledge and understanding of your subject matter. Learn it all in South Africa!

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Photography is not just about taking pictures, it’s about planning your time in the bush so that you can be in the best possible situation to ‘make’ photographs happen. Course Tutor


Next available dates: March 2-18, 2019

About the Wildlife Photography Course

This amazing Wildlife Photography Course starts with a discussion on the equipment needed to become a versatile nature photographer and then a discussion the various fundamentals that combine to make a good wildlife photograph. 

You will spend mornings and afternoons in the South African bush looking for photographic opportunities followed by a lecture each day and a constructive criticism of any digital photos you’ve taken during activities. 

Not only will you learn the secrets of the trade and just how to take those great images – you will do it under the expert guidance of a professional wildlife photographer!

   Why do the course?

Taking great wildlife photos is not as easy as it looks. There is a lot of thought and time that goes into producing those great images. The purpose of the Wildlife photography Course is to reveal some of these thoughts to budding wildlife photographers, and at the same time to give photographers the time and opportunity to put these thoughts into action in the African Bush, under the guidance of an experienced wildlife photographer and qualified wildlife guide!.

What will I be doing on The Wildlife Photography Course?

This 7 Day Photographic Course is best suited for Novices wishing to learn the basics of wildlife photography.

Module 1: Exposure

Understanding exposure

  • A practical understanding of exposure
  • How to use camera settings to achieve and change exposure
  • How to setup a camera for wildlife photography
  • Creative use of shutter speed, ISO and aperture

Module 2: Composition

Introduction to creative compositions

  • Understanding of compositional techniques and tools
  • Creating a visual flow
  • Creating points of interest and balance

Module 3: Understanding light

To introduce a photographer/guide to African light. 

  • Light direction, time of day and white balance
  • Provide a good foundation of light skills and knowledge to guide photographers
  • Understand the types of light and lighting

Module 4 : Photographic guiding skills

Your role as a photographic guide

  • Communication
  • Positioning photographers in the veld
  • What wildlife and nature photographers want to photograph
  • Interactive photography

Module 5: Editing images and social media

Introduction to Adobe Light Room

  • Import to export
  • Develop module
  • Blogging and social media 

Knowing the limitations of a digital camera under African conditions will help any photographer best deal with frustrations we so often encounter while photographing wildlife. 

Typical Day

A typical daily programme at the camp follows a routine of rising early, usually before sunrise, enjoying hot coffee and biscuits while you listen to the bush – waking up and then leaving the camp for the morning drive and photography session in the wilderness.

You will get back to the camp at mid-morning, ready for a hearty brunch, then a lecture on the topic of the day will be presented. Then you will be free to have an afternoon siesta; practice your newly learned knowledge and techniques or simply relax and absorb the nature around you!

Early afternoon tea and snacks are served before you head out on the afternoon drive for another photo workshop session in the wilderness. After dinner, there will be time around the campfire for informal discussions on the day’s photographic events.

You will be based in camps in prime wildlife areas, and take part in wilderness walks or game drives twice a day. You could be based in two different game reserves, exposing you to a diversity of habitats and species. No other training provider can match this variety of training environments, or the frequency of practical activities we offer.

Things you will need to take with you:

Camera Equipment

  • Your camera - DSLR preferred, but any camera will a Manual option will work
  • Lenses – wide angle, standard zoom and if possible a Telephoto zoom of around 300mm*
  • Any other camera accessories you may wish to use
  • Camera instruction manual
  • Memory cards and card reader
  • Flash if you have one (optional)
  • Good sturdy tripod
  • Beanbag - you can make your own beanbag by filling three quarters of a cloth bank bag with rice
  • Laptop if available – but not necessary​

*It is not necessary to have big telephoto lenses and fancy equipment. Please bring whatever equipment you own and we will structure the workshop around the type of equipment you have. ​

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Not only will you learn the secrets of the trade and just how to take those great images – you will do it under the expert guidance of a professional wildlife photographer. 


  • The sleeping arrangements at all our camps consist of two people sharing per platform tent. 
  • Single requests are required to pay double-rates. Women and men do not share tents unless booked as a couple.
  • Each tent has an ensuite bathroom.


  • Early morning wake-up (tea, coffee, biscuits, fresh fruit and cereal) 
  • Brunch after activity (cooked breakfast and fruit salad)
  • Afternoon tea (light lunch/ sandwiches)
  • Dinner (balanced, warm plated meal with meat, vegetables and salad)

What's Included?

  • Accommodation (sharing)
  • Meals
  • Tea/coffee and cordials
  • Instruction and training
  • Game walks
  • Open vehicle game drives
  • Sleep outs/ additional activities
  • Qualified Guide 
  • World renowned photographer as your Tutor
  • Price includes transfers to and from the project from Johannesburg airport
  • 24/7 Support in South Africa should you need it
  • Assistance with your visa/s
  • Help with finding the best flights
  • We will link you up with others doing the course so that you can travel together if you want to
  • Advice and support here in NZ before you go and before and during the booking/deciding stage

    Optional Add Ons

You can also choose to add on a Wildlife volunteer project in South Africa or Namibia before or after this course (or both!) - we will sort the finer details for you!


Arrival Options

Shortened Johannesburg Orientation and Road Transfer:

  • Fly into Johannesburg for 1 night and attend a short orientation for Sim Cards, Forex, paperwork, and mall visit depending on time allowance with flights.
  • Next day transfer to Johannesburg airport for road transfer which departs at approximately 7am
  • At end of curse depart after breakfast from Camp and road transfer back to Johannesburg Airport. All departing flights should be booked to leave after 8pm.

Hoedspruit Airport Arrival:

  • Fly to Hoedspruit from Johannesburg direct and be collected from there. This is an extra charge (plus flights) but it's alot more direct. 

All course participants receive a Certificate of Participation.

“I really enjoyed my stay here, it was a fantastic experience. We had amazing instructors who were really helpful and gave us a brilliant opportunity to see amazing animals.” Kate Perry

'The knowledge and experience of the group differed quite a bit – some people were very new to it and a few others were more on an intermediate level. I thought this may prove difficult for the tutor, but he handled the diversity very well and everyone was learning right from the start. It’s hard to know what was better – the activities or the lectures. We also enjoyed lectures on composition, lighting, creativity and editing in lightroom. Our newfound knowledge was put to the test while driving around!' - Course Participant 

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