Wildlife You Must Not Miss on East African Photography Safaris

Destination East Africa is blessed with diverse wildlife and has attracted people on photography safaris seeking to capture wildlife moments. East Africa’s wildlife diversity ranges from the sea to gorillas in the mist and offer remarkable safari adventures.

Photography safaris have over the years grown as a tourism niche with the increase in demand for wildlife photography work. With this demand comes need for beautiful authentic work which has forced photographers to move to the most remote destinations.

East Africa’s wildlife diversity comes with great advantages and its unmatched when in comes to photography safaris. Today we are exploring wildlife species that make wildlife photography in East Africa outstanding.


These are savanna’s most feared cats and are evenly spread in the Savannah wildlife destinations in East Africa. As the usual saying, an East African safari without a lion encounter is incomplete and the same goes for photography safaris.

Photographers have captured lions wild and calm moments while hunting, resting and these beautiful photographs never cease to amuse us. These photographs are usually taken from East Africa’s greatest savanna ecosystems like Kenya’s Masai Mara national reserve.

The Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National park Uganda has tree climbing lions whose photography is pretty outstanding. Be it Serengeti national park, lion photography safaris are very enjoyable and while on safari ensure to capture them.

Lioness in Ishasha Uganda. Photography Safaris
Lioness in Ishasha Uganda. Photo by Cam & Natasha
Mountain Gorillas

These rare primates inhabit the forested mountains of Bwindi, Mgahinga, Volcanoes national park Rwanda and Virunga national park DRC. They are among man’s closest primates with 95% DNA similar to humans.

Mountain gorillas are among the most sought for primate species as tracking them offers unforgettable primate experiences. The unique safari experiences they offer makes them East Africa’s ultimate species for photography safaris.

They are often captured feeding, playing around especially juveniles or just relaxing in the forested mountains their most preferred habitats. Mountain gorilla photography safaris are truly rewarding as you capture moments similar to human beings setting in the wild.

The ecosystem setting or habitat for mountain gorillas make gorilla photography safaris even more enjoyable especially when the gorilla camouflage. Important to note however is flash photography is discouraged as it can irritate the gorillas.

Mountain Gorilla in Democratic Republic of Congo
Mountain Gorilla in Virunga National Park. Photo by Blue Skye Photos

These are among the endangered savanna big five mammals. Due to poaching, the rhino population in the east African region greatly declined. Today there are a few places with these land giants and getting photograph them is a great opportunity.

Rhinos in East Africa and a bit widely spread in Tanzania’s Ngorongoro crater and in some conservancies in Kenya. In Uganda, they are only at the Zziwa Rhino sanctuary and in Rwanda can be captured in Akagera National Park.

Being rare wildlife species, photography safaris featuring them makes us appreciate them more and inspires us to add more conservation efforts. Rhinos are the second largest land mammals after elephants and its always fun to have photography safaris capturing these gentle giants.

Black Rhino in Lewa Conservancy
Black Rhino in Lewa Conservancy. Andrew Campbell Safaris

These are part of Savannas big cats and the most elusive of all. Leopards are very solitary but usually come out of the hiding to hunt. They are calculative of every move they make and there is nothing as incredible as capturing some of these moments.

East African photography safaris featuring leopards bring the photography safari more to life and therefore ensure not to miss them. Leopards are widely spread in East Africa from Tanzania’s Serengeti National park to the remote Kidepo valley national park in Uganda.

To capture beautiful and spot on leopard photos however one has to be patient. Capturing them resting in trees or with their little ones is even more adorable. Its always fun to share moments of these anti social cats to the rest of the world.

Leopard in Serengeti Tanzania. Photography Safaris
Leopard in Serengeti Tanzania. Photo by Yarin Klein

The east African region is among the world’s leading birding destinations with various recorded bird species. There are many East African native and endemics only found in the region making birding photography safaris exclusive.

Birds of East Africa are often seen in flocks like the lesser flamingos along the shores of lake Nakuru. There are those that are often captured alone or flying over the skies of the major national parks.

Birding photography safaris in East Africa are rewarding thanks to the great bird diversity and migratory birds that visit the area. For most outstanding bird photography its always good to capture moments like flying or feeding.

Ensure to carry extra batteries and different camera lenses on such adventure safaris as you can never get enough of the wildlife here.

Violet Backed Starling, Akagera National Park
Violet Backed Starling Akagera NP. Photo by Eric Manzi

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