All eyes on Africa - a photographer's guide

Our expert photographer, Peter Lemon, has just returned from another successful trip to Africa. He gives us some handy hints for taking photos on safari, and also provides some of his favourite snaps:

Cheetahs often get a hard time from other animals such as lions, hyenas and leopards, who - at the least - will seek to steal their kills. Even jackals can be a major irritant. This cheetah cub had finally had enough of the relentless barking, and sought refuge from the noise a little above ground level.

This is definitely not an everyday event. Indeed it is the first time I have seen, yet alone been able to photograph, a lioness carrying a very young cub. To avoid hassling and stressing animals you should never try to get too close, but on this occasion we were stopped and  the mother brought her some of her cubs quite close to our parked vehicle. 

One of the cubs became more than curious as we held our breath and it waddled towards us. Lying on the floor and aided by a telephoto lens I was able to get this second shot looking across at the cub, before mother decided that enough was enough and moved off, quietly calling her cubs to follow and obey. It was about ten minutes later before the guide was able to start the vehicle, and about another ten before they managed to get me unstuck and up off the floor.

The South Luangwa Valley is one of Zambia’s best known National Parks.  Moving into September and October the land has become parched and arid, the previous rainy season but a distant memory. Most of the pans (waterholes) in the back country have dried up, and animals are increasingly pushed to the river to drink. This elephant was trying to get one last mud-bath  in an ox-bow lagoon which was just about completely dry. It was a case of only being able to get into the mud just one half at a time.

Hippos in water in the middle of the day can often do more-than-passable impersonations of rocks. They tend to be increasingly active late in the afternoon when they are starting to think about coming out for a night's grazing. But occasionally during the day something will cause some agro - and if you are lucky enough to have the camera pointing in the right direction, and a fast shutter speed, you might come up with something of interest.

Check out Part 2 of this blog here.

Have you got some favourite photos you'd like to share with other Peregrine travellers? Head to Facebook and upload them, or send via twitter. You can even email them to us at We love to hear your stories!

If you'd like to test your photography skills in the wild, take a look at all our trips to Africa. We have two trips with guaranteed departures leaving soon, Visions of Africa and The Best of South Africa. So order your FREE brochure or read one online to get more information and book today!

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