Planning a photography trip for wildlife can be daunting. With so many ‘wildlife hotspots’ around the world, many come with hefty price tags, lengthy travel and an element of risk. Here are some top tips to sway the odds in your favour.
Do your research
Are you going at the right time of the year? What are the conditions usually like? Is there a plan B?
It’s pointless going to photograph a winter event in summer so make sure you know the facts before you book anything!
Contacting local wildlife trusts or organisations could also help if you have any questions.
Adjust your expectations
Wildlife is wildlife; it doesn’t run on a schedule, often isn’t in the same place twice and doesn’t recognise that you’ve travelled all that way to photograph it!
Think of how many times you may head out in your local patch and not see anything; the same applies in an area new to you, even more so as you won’t know where you’re going.
Plan your budget
Are you going for a day or a week? How will you be getting there and where will you be staying? Wildlife photography can be achieved on a tight budget if you’re willing to skip the luxuries.
Consider camping if you have experience, or hostels to keep costs down. If you’re travelling outside of the country, look into various methods of transport.
Ferries can sometimes be cheaper than flights and you may even be able to take your vehicle with you to cut down on rental costs!
Two birds, one camera
If you’re travelling a considerable distance to photograph wildlife, is there anything else you could go and find whilst you’re there?
Spending an extra couple of days along the way could save you a future trip!
Consider wildlife workshops or tours
Taking advantage of local knowledge and experience may come with a price tag but it’s often worth it.
Find a local wildlife or photography tours or workshop operator who can get you in the right place at the right time.
Although this still doesn’t guarantee success, it increases your chances as they will know the subjects intimately, the best locations and the best approach!