This could become along list! Hopefully it becomes one that is growing and not shrinking as we march into an uncertain future.
Africa! Well for a wildlife photographer this is an Aladdin’s Cave. An all year round destination, plus fauna and flora are both so well catered for many photographers go nowhere else. The problem however is choice – as ever in this day and age. Southern Africa is my homeland so for me, I would chooses anywhere from Zambia south. E.g. Namibia…but access and flights may determine your ultimate destination.
Primarily recognised as a sun, sea and beach destination by the residents of northern Europe, this mainly applies to the “costa” (coast). Inland Andalusia and you will find mountainside white villages…and mountaintop for that matter! The blue skies are ever-present and the light in winter and spring is crystal clear and just gorgeous! The rocky sierras provide stunning backdrops and are home to the Spanish Ibex, Griffon Vultures, Imperial Eagles etc. Their are more familiar sites for Africans too, apart form the sun, such as the Flamingoes, Hoopoos and Bee-eaters. There are virtually always flowers in bloom and insects active, but come spring at the end of January and after some rain carpets of wildflowers pop up – and of course February and March are Almond Blossom months! If food photography is your thing – there is always a harvest of some sort happening in the sunny south of Spain.
For vast open spaces and endless blue skies this is hard to beat. A good all-round photography destination – not just the “Big 5”. Lots of desert and sand dunes too!
“Walking the countryside with camera in hand and a little stealth yields many opportunities!” Richard Taylor, 2015. English farmland and a little woodland and Fallow Deer just love it! Sun helps too…
For budding photographers, places to practice before setting out on the Big Safari are well worth their entrance fees:
e.g. Well run Birds of Prey Centres: perfect for flying birds and those powerful, intimidating and beautiful raptor portraits! These were taken at ICBP (International Centre for Birds of Prey), Newent, Gloucestershire, England. Beautiful, well managed centre…
For years I have travelled to Kruger National Park in South Africa. It is easy to get to, huge and has a tremendous variety of wildlife including the “Big 5”. It is not just about the big stuff though as Kruger has an absolute wealth of bird life and the little stuff too. The dry, dusty winter and the wet “Green” Season are very different so offers all-year-round photographic opportunities.
Kruger NP is 4 – 5 hour drive from Johannesburg, where if arriving at the airport, hire cars are very readily available, as are lens hire companies who will deliver a big beast of a lens to you at the airport on arrival if required.
In Europe the Bavarian Forest National Park on the German/Czech border is a superb location to get up close to some of Europe’s larger animals: Lynx, Wisent, Wild Boar, Wolves and Bears! Wonderful educational centre, well managed and extensive. Good photographic opportunities. It gets COLD in winter!