Africa's "Wild Studios": The Best Photography Hides for Safari Enthusiasts

Published: 21 October 2023

African safaris are known for their breathtaking landscapes and incredible wildlife encounters - if you don’t believe us, check out our Instagram page for real-life footage! And while seeing these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat is a privilege, capturing these moments through the lens can be a truly rewarding experience - especially when done in what we like to call a, “wild studio.”

Here the models are very often voluptuous with long trunks, and they’re completely unaware of the photographer’s presence. So to provide clients with the ultimate photography hide safari adventure, our Kirsty Gordon has scoured the continent for the most exceptional photography hides - having recently returned from yet another educational visit, but this time in Zimbabwe.

In this blog, we'll take you on a journey through some of the most remarkable photography hides in Africa that we have personally been to, where you can become a true wildlife photographer in the “wild studio.”

1. Kenya: Ol Donyo Lodge

Image Credit: Ol Donyo Lodge

Tucked away in the heart of Kenya's pristine wilderness, Ol Donyo Lodge offers photographers a unique vantage point to capture Africa's iconic wildlife. The photography hides here are strategically positioned near waterholes and animal trails, ensuring you have front-row seats to the captivating animal interactions. From the safe confines of the hide, you can observe everything from elegant giraffes to mighty elephants as they come to quench their thirst.

2. Namibia: Andersons at Ongava

Image Credit: Anderssons at Ongava

Namibia's otherworldly landscapes are a safari photographer's dream! We’ve had plenty of pinch-me moments at Andersons at Ongava where you'll find a hide that immerses you in this awe-inspiring environment. Nestled against the striking backdrop of the Ongava Reserve, this hide offers a unique perspective on Namibia's diverse wildlife, from the majestic lions to the fascinating and hardiest of desert-adapted species.

3. Zimbabwe: Wilderness Linkwasha Lodge 

Image Credit: Kirsty Gordon

Wilderness Linkwasha Lodge boasts not one but two (yes, that’s right folks!) incredible photography hides that provide a front-row view of the untamed African wilderness. The Sunken Hide at the Waterhole in Front of Camp offers a captivating perspective, with elephants and other animals visiting the waterhole throughout the day. This secret spot allows you to remain unnoticed while capturing stunning wildlife moments, with bird books, cameras, and binoculars at the ready.

4. South Africa: A Trio of Incredible Hides

Our home country of South Africa is a renowned destination for safaris and wildlife photography, and we've handpicked three lodges that offer fantastic photography hide experiences:

Image Credit: Kirsty Gordon

Makumu Game Lodge in Kruger National Park provides guests with an intimate and private hide overlooking a waterhole. Capture the raw, authentic moments of Kruger's diverse wildlife as they gather for a drink.

Image Credit: Jaci's Lodges & Darren Donovan

Jaci’s Safari Lodge in Madikwe Game Reserve offers the Terrapin Hide, a submerged wild studio that provides incredible close encounters with wildlife at their watering hole. Perfect for bird enthusiasts and those hoping to capture unique animal behavior.

Image Credit: Mhondoro Safari Lodge

Mhondoro Safari Lodge in Welgevonden Game Reserve invites you to the Mhondoro Waterhole hide, a hub of wildlife activity. The hide is an exceptional place to photograph animals in their natural habitat, but we’d highly recommend visiting during the dry season (June - September) when they gather around the dwindling water source.

5. Zambia – South Luangwa: Kaingo Camp

Image Credit: Janssen Kruse Productions (Getty Images)

The hide at Kaingo Camp, situated in South Luangwe, offers an ideal location to photograph the vibrant carmine bee-eaters during their nesting season - a true bucket list experience if you ask us! These vividly colored birds provide a spectacular photo opportunity against the backdrop of the African wilderness.

Make National Geographic Look Twice at Your Masterpiece

These photography hides in Africa, scattered across Kenya, Namibia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Zambia, offer a wild studio experience like no other. 

As you dream of your next safari adventure, consider visiting one of these remarkable hides to take your wildlife photography skills to new heights. It's an experience you won't forget, and your photographs will tell stories that will last a lifetime.

For photographs from past guests and family of Anywhere in Africa Safaris, please look at our Guest Photos Page - although, not all opted to include a wild studio / photographic hide experience to their trip.

For more information on any of these photographic safaris, please do get in touch with us for an obligation-free consultation where you can discuss your budget and bucket list with us. 

*Hero Image Credit: Jaci's Lodge (Darren Donovan)