Image Safaris’s photographic tours are designed to entirely satisfy the needs of wildlife photographers.
There are three main aspects that contribute to the success of a photographic safari in terms of great images and in-depth observation of animal behaviour: choice of accommodation in the right locations, specific configuration of the safari vehicle, and an experienced and knowledgeable safari guide.
Our main criteria for accommodation choice is the proximity to prime wildlife locations within each park or reserve. We pick the best location in order to be with our subject as early as possible, preferably before sunrise, or when the sun comes up and starts filling the plains with light. At sunset we will wait for the very last light before we start heading back to camp.
The golden light does not last long on the equator, so it is crucial to take advantage of it immediately after sunrise and before sunset. Those are the moments when you can take the best images of the day. Many camps or lodges are beautiful and attractive, but often entail a long drive to reach the place where you are most likely to encounter the wildlife you have come a long way to photograph. This means that by the time you are there the sun is already way up in the sky, and the best light of the day is gone. Same will happen in the afternoon, when the light gets better and better but you have to drive away in order to reach camp before dark. That can be the most frustrating thing for a photographer.
Our motto is “always the first out of camp and the last back in”. Light and interesting wildlife encounters are the key driving force in our photographic safaris. So many times we have had the animals all to ourselves after sunset, the Lions beginning to hunt, the Caracals waking up, the Leopards descending from the tree, often in extremely interesting light conditions. Modern cameras have the ability to capture good images at very high ISO sensitivity, making the first and last minutes of the day quite productive in terms of images and exciting behaviors.
All our safari camps or lodges offer above standard levels of comfort such as en-suite toilet and shower, ample and comfortable tents, recharging facilities for cameras and batteries and good food. Unless specifically required by clients of private and exclusive safaris, we do not offer luxurious or top of the range accommodation. The time we spend in camp or at the lodge is so limited that we feel it is not worth spending significantly more for comforts that we would not have the time to benefit from. On our photographic safaris we generally prefer tented camps where guests can really feel nature around them, the calls of the animals at night, Lions and Hyenas, or the grunting of the Hippos in the river. Many camps are unfenced and animals move freely during the night among the tents. In some locations (such as Amboseli NP or Lake Nakuru NP) however, such tented camps are not available in prime locations or are very expensive, so we prefer to use lodges.
Guests will find a good level of service in all camps and lodges that we visit. People are extremely hospitable, hygiene standards are high and food is generally very good. All accommodation in the parks and reserve will be on full board basis, some includes drinks and laundry. All are able to accommodate special dietary requirements for allergies or vegetarians as long as the information is passed to the kitchen staff in advance.
Please do not hesitate to contact us for any specific camp or lodge you would like to stay during your private safari.
With the exception of Mana Pools NP, Zimbabwe, and Gorilla tracking in Rwanda, most photography on our safaris is done from a vehicle.
We have vehicles that are specifically configured for wildlife photography. In Kenya and Tanzania we use 4×4 Land Cruisers with fully opening side windows, enabling photographers to photograph animals on every angle. All vehicles have pop-up roofs or opening roof-hatches for photographers to stand and shoot from the top when needed.
We supply loads of bean bags so guests do not have to carry extra weight and worry about bringing their own, unless you prefer to do so. In this case we can supply you with filling material.
On all our safaris led by Federico Veronesi, we also supply stands for tripods heads to be applied on the side windows, so you are encouraged to bring your own tripod head for excellent mobility.
We provide a full row of seats to each participant or photographer for the entire safari, as we feel it’s crucial to be able to photograph on both sides of the vehicle and have plenty of space for your gear. For couples with only one photographer we offer the possibility to share a row and benefit of a slight reduction in the tour cost. Only one row per vehicle can be shared, for a maximum of 4 people on each vehicle.
Our Land Cruiser in Kenya offers the possibility to photograph wildlife from ground level, for dramatic eye-level perspectives of animals. One guest at a time can benefit of this facility on each vehicle, so if you are interested in photographing from ground level throughout your safari without sharing the facility with other guests, please contact us to book a vehicle on exclusive use or a private safari. We will be happy to advise you on this and tailor your safari to take maximum advantage of this possibility.
Perhaps the most important aspect of a safari is the guide. All our safaris in Kenya, Tanzania and Mana Pools NP are personally hosted and lead by Federico Veronesi (unless otherwise specified).
Federico is a professional wildlife photographer and an experienced safari guide certified by the Kenya Professional Safari Guides Association (KPSGA, Bronze Level).
He has spent years living in the bush, mostly in the Masai Mara NR, following specific animals day after day for several months and witnessing extraordinary and never-before seen behaviours.
He has extensive first-hand knowledge on the behaviour of many animals including Leopards, Lions, Cheetahs and Elephants. Very few people in the world have followed and studied wild Caracals as much as he has done.
But most of all, it is his passion for African wildlife and photography that can truly make the difference on your safari. This job is his life, his dream come true, so you can be guaranteed that he will give all of himself on any safari to ensure that guests leave with extraordinary images and memories of the fantastic places that they will visit.
When more than one vehicle is required, Image Safaris seeks the services of very good local guides certified by the KPSGA, who are used to working with photographers, and appreciate the needs and requirements that this entails. Federico Veronesi will be always on one of the two vehicles, setting the times, the pace and the approach of the safari.
In Tanzania, strict national regulations do not allow non-Tanzanian citizens to drive guests. Federico Veronesi will seat on the passenger’s seat, next to the driver, instructing him on best positioning, approach, timings etc.
In Mana Pools NP, Zimbabwe, we collaborate with very knowledgeable and certified professional guides who will accompany us on our walks in the floodplains or Chitake Springs looking for close encounters with Lions, Elephants and Wild Dogs.