Top 10 Photography Vacations in Africa and the Middle East
The exotic souks of Africa, its deserts and wildlife offer a real variety of subjects for all photographers. Pack your gear for extreme weather…
The exotic souks of Africa, its deserts and wildlife offer a real variety of subjects for all photographers. Pack your gear for extreme weather and get ready for shutter action in Morocco’s medieval cities, safari parks in Tanzania, hiking to gorillas in Rwanda or visiting the tantalizing markets of Mali.
- Djenne weekly market, Mali
Every Monday local vendors set up their wares and food items to sell in the shadow of the impressive Djenne mud mosque. Trucks, cars, animals and boats bring people from all over the area, and sometimes a lot further away, to buy and sell goods. Photography is a fabulous over the mountains of produce and the kaleidoscope of colorful dress and people.
- Sahara desert, Mauritania
Do your own Michael Palin journey on a trip through Africa’s largest desert. Take a train ride on the iron ore express in Mauritania through the billowing sands, visit desert oasis to Atar. Or visit the seventh holiest city in Islam, Chinguetti, with its 16th century mosque and libraries of ancient texts. Ouadane is even further on from here somewhere in the sand dunes. There’s plenty of gorgeous rolling dune to photograph, wandering tribesmen and the occasional desert oasis.
- Fes and tanneries, Morocco
Journey to one of the most exotic souks of Morocco, the Fes medina. This crumbling tangle of streets is actually world heritage listed and one of the oldest living medieval cities in the world. Photograph the veiled women, laughing children, the mosques dotting the alleyways and the tanneries where hides are died in a series of pits to create leather goods.
- Tanzania Safari
Obviously this is all about wildlife photography with a maximum amount of game viewing and plenty of opportunities for shooting the big game with your telephoto lens. You’ll want to do the Big Five here - elephant, white rhino, buffalo, lion and leopard.
- Pyramids, Cairo, Egypt
You will definitely want to include one of the seven wonders of the world in your image collection. Take in the Sphinx and the Pyramids of Giza and then extend your journey on the Nile to Abu Simbel Temple and all the other wonders of Luxor.
- Balloon Safari, Hoedspruit
For a chance to take a Yann Arthus-Bertrand photograph take a balloon safari over Greater Kruger National Park to shoot the herds of giraffes, zebras, impalas, monkeys, warthogs and buffalos from the air.
- Masai Mara, Kenya
This is one of Africa’s most well known national parks, notably for its rolling grasslands and array of wild animals. But it’s also the home of the semi-nomadic Masai who are great cattle herders and famed for the way they jump vertically in the air. This warrior dance is particularly amazing when shooting their bright red cloth against deep blue skies.
- Mountain Gorillas, Rwanda
Do some rough hiking up the slopes of Mt. Visoke (12,175 feet) for an intimate photography and viewing experience of the amazing mountain gorillas. The hiking can be rough through bamboo and forest but the Gorillas are frequently in open glades, which makes photography very rewarding. The Gorillas are usually unperturbed by your presence and you can photograph them play fighting, climbing trees and wrestling.
- Wildebeest migration, Serengeti
You simply can’t miss this if you’re coming to Africa. This annual wildlife migration of over 1.4 million wildebeest and 200,000 zebra and gazelle, relentlessly tracked by Africa’s great predators, is a photographers dream.
- Cure Salée festival, Ingal, Niger
This marriage festival among the Tuareg and Wodaabe nomads in September will keep your finger glued to the shutter. In this festival young girls choose the man they would like to “try out”, while the men stand in a line dancing and rolling their eyes with lots of makeup – plenty of portrait opportunities. There are also more photograph opportunities in the parades of camel riders, music, races, songs, dances and storytelling that take place.