10 Tips for Capturing Memories on Your African Safari Vacation

by Sandy Salle on December 16, 2014

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As I always say, a trip to Africa is a once in a lifetime opportunity. So it’s essential not only to make the most out of your trip, but to also capture those special moments that you’ll want to relive over and over again.

Below are some of my tips for capturing all of your favorite moments from your African safari vacation:

1. Bring a GoPro: Capture some great video or awesome photographs on your trip to Africa, using the GoPro. Our CEO, Amanda Evans, used one on her recent South Africa safari and was able to capture everything from shark cage diving to mountain biking (check out the video here). The GoPro case is waterproof, so if you plan on going great white shark cage diving, you can bring it underwater with you to capture exhilarating footage (and prove to your friends that you actually got in the water with a great white!). Many models also allow you to capture time-lapse footage, which is a highly unique feature.

2. Designate a photographer for each safari outing: Whether you’re on an African honeymoon safari or an African family safari vacation, I suggest designating one person a day to take photographs. Rotating the camera among your family or spouse allows you to get a mix of different photography styles and also allows you to be able to soak in the moments during safari instead of worrying about snapping pictures all the time.

3. Make sure to get pictures of yourself and your travel companions: While on safari, you’ll want to take pictures of all the amazing animals, sunsets, and landscapes you come across, but be sure to have a fellow traveler or your guide snap some photographs of you and your spouse or family. I can’t tell you how many travelers come home and wish they took more pictures of PEOPLE in addition to their wildlife and scenery photos.

4. Jot down memorable moments from the day in a journal: When you get into bed each night during your trip, take just five minutes to write down some of your favorite moments from the day! This way, you won’t forget the important moments and can look back at your journal if you plan on creating a coffee table book of your photographs (you can include snippets of text to accompany the photographs).

5. Take photos of your guides: You’ll spend a great deal of time with your guides throughout your African safari vacation, and many of your favorite memories will most likely include your African safari guide! So ask your guide if you can take a picture of him or her while he / she is guiding or ask a fellow traveler to take a photo of you and your guide together.

6. Use your smart phone camera as well as a more advanced camera: It’s not common, but I have heard of travelers losing all of their photographs from their trip when they return home! I always recommend that you take photographs using your more advanced camera as well as your smart phone to ensure you have pictures on different devices. This way, if you lose pictures on one of those devices, you will have photos on the other.

7. Take pictures of your accommodations: The camps, lodges, and hotels throughout Africa are famous for their stunning and unique designs and décor. You’ll want to capture your memories of staying in these eclectic accommodations through photographs.

8. Invest in a photography class before your trip to Africa: I always suggest taking a basic photography course before your trip to Africa (or at least read some photography blogs before your travels). This way, you know the basics of composition and lighting to ensure your photographs are top quality.

9. Simply soak in the moment: Instead of capturing moments through your camera, take some time to capture memories through your eyes and simply soak in the moment by being present. By having the camera in hand at all times, you are constantly looking through a lens and focused on getting a great shot as opposed to truly seeing what’s in front of you and the magic of it all.

10. Put it all together when you get home! I highly recommend putting together a photo book for your coffee table that contains all of your favorite photographs and memories from your trip! Mixbook.com and Shutterfly.com are easy to use and have excellent design templates. You can print your finalized book through those platforms and both provide high quality printing and binding.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

SavingWild December 16, 2014 at 3:11 pm

Great ideas. So many times I am with clients who forget to put down their camera for moments so they can really take in the moment out from behind the lens.

Sandy Salle December 18, 2014 at 2:05 pm

Exactly, Lori! And I have to admit, I’ve been guilty of not putting the camera down either, but I’ve gotten much better at it! -Sandy

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