Wildlife photography is an amazing way to explore the beauty of nature, capture unique and stunning images, and share them with the world. However, before you plan for a wildlife photography tour, there are some essential things you should check to ensure you have the best possible experience. From making sure you have the right gears and lenses to researching the best locations. These essential tips will help give you a head start in planning your wildlife photography tour. With the right preparation, you can ensure that your tour is a success, and you'll come away with some stunning photos and memories which will last for a lifetime. If you are ready to take your wildlife photography to the next level, let's get started!
Research the best wildlife photography locations
If you want to ensure that you want to capture the best moments of animals during your wildlife photography tour, it’s essential to research the best locations. You can start by researching the region’s natural wildlife, seasonal migration patterns, and weather conditions. You should also search for the top wildlife photography tour providers and their top wildlife photography locations for that particular month. This will help you find a tour that is tailored to your specific needs and interests. At the same time, you have to target the animals you want to shoot. There are different national parks and sanctuaries for that animal. You can find national park suggestions on social media, and in wildlife photography magazines or you can ask an expert. There are also several wildlife photography apps and websites that can help you plan your trip. By doing your research about wildlife photography tours, you can minimize the risk of missing out on the wildlife you came to see, and you'll have a much more enjoyable tour.
Make sure you have the right gear
When you are planning your wildlife photography tour, it's essential to make sure you have the right gear. You should start by researching the types of animals you want to photograph and exactly what kind of frames you want. You can then use this information to select the best wildlife photography lenses, camera bodies, and other essential equipment. One of the most important tips is to pre-visualize your frames. When you know the result you are looking for, it will be easier to grab the perfect gear. For example, you can select a wide lens if you want to capture the entire landscape or a zoom lens for the closeup portrait. The second point is the jungle, depending on how big the jungle is or the distance of seeing animals from your gypsy, that also matters. Suppose, you are visiting going to visit Jhalana Leopard Sanctuary where you can get leopards from a closer distance, the 70-200mm is enough to capture the Leopard with their habitat frame. Where you will need 200-600mm in Jim Corbett to capture the tiger in its habitat. In my opinion, it's always good to carry two or three varieties. Before you can select the right camera, you need to determine what you will be using it for. This will help you select the right camera type and features, and you'll have the best chance of success.
Invest in a good wildlife photography tour operator/Mentor from where you can learn
Don't just invest in safari booking, rather invest in learning. As a photographer, you should focus to create a better frame, not just a sighting. When you invest in the best wildlife photography tour operator, check the mentor and guide. That guide will help you to get the best sighting and the mentor will guide you to set the best camera angle, composition, proper exposure settings, and make some creativity with the frame. Wildlife photography tour operators can be invaluable resources while you are on tour. Not only will they know the best times and locations to find wildlife, but they can also advise you on the best ways to approach and photograph animals. A guide can also help you identify animals and plants, and offer you an insight into their behavior and habitats. This can help you get the most out of your wildlife photography tour, and you'll have the best chance of seeing amazing wildlife. You can find a wildlife photography tour guide online or via social media. You can also look for a wildlife photography tour guide in your nearest city or town. Tour guides offer different types of tours, ranging from half-day tours to multi-day tours. Depending on the type of tour you choose, you can also stay at nearby accommodations during your tour. A Mentor can help you to make a frame better using different camera angles and settings. You can learn camera settings, exposure parameters, composition, post processing which will help in future even if you are not going with the same person or doing solo trip. This can help you get the most out of your tour, and you'll have the best chance of seeing amazing wildlife.
Check the weather forecast
When you're planning your wildlife photography tour, it's essential to check the weather forecast for the region. This will help you determine the best times to visit each location, and you'll know whether you need to pack extra clothing or accessories. Weather forecasts are also helpful for wildlife photography, in case you want to shoot a lion splashing water by moving his head, or an elephant playing in rain, monsoon will be the best time for you to get these moments. Or if you love to capture animals with flowers, the blooming season will be best for you. You can find out the weather forecast for the region online, or by speaking to your tour guide. The weather can greatly affect your wildlife photography tour, so it's important to stay prepared.
Research animal behaviors
While on your wildlife photography tour, it's a good idea to research animal behaviors. This will help you get a better understanding of their natural behaviors and habits, which will give you a better insight into how to approach and photograph them. If you know the behavior of the animal, you can previsualize the moment and set your camera for that specific scene. This will increase your chances of getting the right shot, and you'll have a much more enjoyable wildlife photography tour. You can find a variety of wildlife behavior books and articles online, and you can also ask your tour guide for advice. This will help you get a better insight into the world of wildlife, which will help you become a better wildlife photographer.
Practice your wildlife photography skills
Practice makes perfect, so before you embark on your wildlife photography tour, it's a good idea to practice your skills. This will help you get used to your equipment, and you will have a better chance of getting the shots you want. You can practice at home or in the nearby wildlife areas, and it will give you a better insight into how to approach and photograph animals. If you've never tried wildlife photography before, it might be wise to start with easier subjects like insects and common birds. This will help you get a better understanding of the art of wildlife photography, and you'll have a better chance of getting the shots you want.
Prepare a wildlife photography checklist
Before starting your wildlife photography tour, it's a good idea to prepare a checklist. This will help you remember all the essential items you need for your trip, and you won't forget anything important. The checklist should include items like: Wildlife photography tour dates and locations.
Things to carry:
Warm Clothes, sunscreen, sunglasses, wide-brimmed hat, face/head wrap for dust.
Khaki, green, beige and neutral colors T Shirt or shirts with long sleeves. Do not wear any bright color in Safari, such as Red.
Bean Bag, rain/dust Cover for camera and lens.
Power Bank, Extra battery and cards.
Laptop if possible.
2 Body and lens are preferable. One 400+ lens for closeup and 1 below 200 lens for habitat shot.
Before you go, why don't you check out my upcoming Safaris that I lead in different national parks in India.
National Parks and Sanctuaries I cover:
Kaziranga National Park
Jim Corbett National park
Singalila National Park for Red Panda Expedition
Sundarban National Park
Keoladeo National Park
Tadoba andhari Tiger Reserve
Pench National Park
Jhalana Leopard Safari
Mangalajodi Wetland for Bird in Action