Wildlife Photography and Conservation Volunteer Project in South Africa

Wildlife Photography and Conservation Volunteer Project in South Africa

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Photograph African wildlife while contributing to conservation efforts – it’s possible during this exciting photography volunteer project. Set in South Africa’s Greater Kruger area, you’ll get to sharpen your wildlife photography skills during a comprehensive week-long photography workshop. You’ll then put your skills into practice by photographing wildlife such as lions, elephants, and leopards on daily game drives in the stunning African bush, while being guided by a professional photographer.

To support important wildlife conservation work, you’ll have the chance to contribute your pictures to environmental and wildlife NGOs – and you’ll get your hands dirty by working on general conservation projects in the area. This project is quite a unique way of improving your photography skills, enjoying amazing wildlife photography opportunities, and giving back to conservation at the same time. Based at the edge of Kruger National Park, it’s also a great way of spending a month in the African bush!

You’ll start the project with a week-long photography workshop that covers a wide range of techniques, including aperture, shutter speed, long exposure techniques, and composition. It’s a great opportunity to improve your photography skills, before going out and putting all this into practise.

From the second week, you’ll be focusing on photographing wildlife during daily game drives. These drives, all set within the stunning Greater Kruger area, will give you an amazing variety of photographic opportunities; you can expect to capture Africa’s big cats (lions, cheetahs, leopards), as well as elephants, rhinos, buffalos, giraffes, zebras, and many other species. There will also be opportunities for photographer the smaller, but no less striking animals, such as chameleons, frogs, and other reptiles and insects. Your images will be added to a photographic database, which is used to support conservation charities, who can use the images for awareness and fundraising efforts.

Enthusiasm for photography and African wildlife is essential, but experience is not a requirement. This project has been established for all levels – from complete beginners to professionals.

Apart from photographing wildlife, you’ll have the opportunity to assist with hands-on conservation work in the area, which can include collecting data, assisting with conservation education programs, and removing snares.

The project runs throughout the year, with starts dates every month.

Key Information

  • Price $3875
  • Duration 6+ days
  • Group Size 5+

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Gordon

Gordon Young – July 12, 2018

I attended this tour last Nov/Dec 2017. Accommodation is “hostel” like, with normally 4 sharing in bunk beds. Sigle accommodation in a private hut is available at extra cost. Food is basic but you are in the bush, not a hotel. Great atmosphere created by the team, and no one is “left out” even if they can be “difficult” Game drives are evry day (nearly) a few days are dealing with the local children at their school and the garden where they grow produce to help keep them self sufficient, selling the excess in the market. Another day we were clearing the bush from an invasive plant , this is in a private game reserve, in return the group have access to the park. The main game park used is only 20 min from the lodge, sometimes a day and night drive are included. vehicles are open top 4 wheel drive vehicles specially designed, max 7 persons in a vehicle. Rotation of seating is compulsory on a daily basis not every hour or so. So 2 photographers have the 2 middle seats, 1 is usually occupied by your tour leader. so external seating is more normal. First few days are usefull for beginners as you will be given a LOT of help understanding your camera, this is carried on throughout your visit and then tuition using Lightroom as well. Weekends are free time, normally though the weekends are used for external trips which you have to pay for eg Kruger national Park. Every game drive and trip is very well organised with safety paramount. In the local Private game parks the vehicles can go off road, but in the national Parks the vehicles MUST stay on the roads, and you cannot get out of the vehicle. So tripods even monopods pretty useless a bean bag would be more usefull. Inevetively the animals are very often far from you so you will need at least a 400mm lens 3 inc myself had 150-600mm zooms, which had to be hand held within the vehicle, the results though were superb. Some of the group had very basic cameras with “kit lenses” and still produced excellent images so don’t be deterred. When viewed afterward it was difficult to determine which camera/lens combination took which photo. There are some “tests” within the grounds of the lodge where so many images had to be produced within a certain time period. One of those a Macro lens would have been a great help, but due to weight and airlines I did not take one. There were occasional showers on some of the drives so a light waterproof top is a good idea as well as a fleece. Driving in an open top vehicle at speed to and from the drives you get cold, and there are night drives. 2 drives were at a tented camp where you stay overnight with both day and night drives included and some astro photography. Sorry for such a lengthy submision, but hope it’s useful.

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