The advances in cameras, especially lenses, film and mega pixel-count have been extraordinary, but they are no cast iron guarantee for success. Here are several personal tips which are essential for successful wildlife photography even before you pick up the camera.

  • Get up early

    It may sound obvious but this often means very early indeed, ideally you want to be in a position before the sun is up. Many times it might involve wasted journeys and alarm calls, but unless you are prepared to do this you cannot expect rewards.

  • Sweat

    If the situation dictates climbing a tree or mountain, do not blanch at it. If you are out of condition for such hardships get in shape.

  • Do your research

    If you are going to a new area, go out there and explore the surroundings and take notes of good photographic spots, possible hides, position of the sun at a specific spot around….hours. Gorge yourself on every book on the area including coffee table books, so you are up to speed upon arrival.

  • Be original

    Many people have fixed ideas of what they want to take: a leopard up a tree, a lion on a kill, a cheetah running. By all means try these, but they are hardly original. Look at a situation from left field and bring some originality to your photos.

  • Be quiet and patient

    Impatience will get you nowhere with wildlife.Much better to spend longer in one place than a whistle stop tour around a country. It often is frustrating and this is perfectly understandable, but don’t let it affect you as it will tarnish your efforts.

  • Relax & enjoy

    If you are photographing in the wilderness, be it in South Luangwa or somewhere else, just being there should be enough. Relax and enjoy where you are, your results must show an understanding of your environment not a competitive urge to photograph everything that moves.