Research has shown that, although we live in houses or buildings, we are still cavemen at heart. Nature is where we still belong. The basic wiring in our brains and how we interact are the same as thousands of years ago. That’s why we all enjoy a walk in the woods or gazing at the stars and which is why wildlife photography can be fulfilling both as a hobby or a career.
Here are some of the best places to kick start wildlife photography.
- Kalahari Desert, Namibia
Namibia seems to be a place where stunning beauty resides. Birthplace of the supermodel, Behati Prinsloo, Namibia’s Kalahari Desert is a great place to capture big cats and meerkats on film. When it rains, the desert is transformed – pools of water gather in the riverbeds in the north, and the rivers start to flow.
If it is going to rain, you can expect a sighting of antelopes and elephants. Any meerkats and other burrowing creatures have to escape to higher ground or drown and they can be spotted easily because of this. And in the days that follow lions, Cheetahs and hyena all began to arrive in search of prey.
- Danum Valley, Borneo
Home to the tallest tropical rainforest canopy in the world, Danum Valley is a humid, hot, intense place and one of the last stands of primary rainforest left in Borneo.
You can hear the wildlife here before you see it.
The howls of gibbons, the distant call of male orangutans and the chorus of cicadas; And with patience you will see it – gliding snakes, flying squirrels, the bug-eyed tarsier and a rare bear-like civet called the binturong all live here.
It’s also a reserve for some incredibly exceptional and endangered species including the Sumatran rhino and the clouded leopard, which anyone would truly be lucky to see.
- Shark Bay, Western Australia
Shark Bay in Australia is a World Heritage Area because it is vital habitat for threatened animals. It’s just one of the many things that make up Australia. Its lush seagrass beds and sheltered coves are a refuge for vulnerable species such as loggerhead turtles, humpback whales, and dugongs. Its islands are the last stronghold for five critically endangered land mammals and in it four of them occur in the wild nowhere else on Earth.
The nearby Francois Peron national park is spectacular, and if lucky one can see a group of incredible female dolphins who aquaplane on to the beach to catch their fish. On a good, calm day one can also spot dugongs in the water from one of the cliff-top lookouts.
- Yellowstone national park, US
Yellowstone’s plentiful and diverse wildlife are as famous as its geysers. Habitat preferences and seasonal cycles of movement determine, usually, where a particular animal may be at a particular time. Early morning and evening hours are when animals tend to be feeding and thus are recommended times for photographers here.
The wildlife that one can spot the most in Yellowstone are Bears, Wolves, Elk, Bison, Moose, Badgers, Otters, Fox and any newborn critter. Non-native mountain goats have colonized the northwestern and northeastern portions of the park.
- Queen Elizabeth national park, Uganda
Uganda offers wildlife photographers a chance to capture some of the best wildlife in East Africa but without the hustle and bustle of crowds of the Serengeti or other famous safari parks. Queen Elizabeth national park is renowned for its beauty. This world biosphere reserve offers a rare mix of altitude forest, spectacular lakes, savannah and vast papyrus swamps with lagoons and rivers running through them. While the sites in general aren’t as exciting as Kenya, it’s still worth it.
A quarter of Africa’s bird species are found here, and there are tree-climbing lions, hippos, mongoose, elephants, chimpanzees and flamingos to name but a few.