March 01, 2024 5 min read

In the heart of Zambia's South Luangwa National Park, there exists a sanctuary where the wild lives unbridled and the opportunities for photographers are as vast as the African sky. At Dusty Boots Travel, we pride ourselves on unveiling these hidden gems to the world, and Shenton Safaris’ photographic hides represent one of these treasures. Crafted with the wildlife photographer in mind, these hides offer an unparalleled window into the intimate lives of Africa's majestic creatures.

The Magic Behind Shenton Safaris’ Hides

Dusty Boots Travel - Mwamba Bush Camp - Wildlife Photographic Hide

Photography, at its core, is about capturing moments that tell stories, evoke emotion, and transport the viewer to places they've only dreamed of. Shenton Safaris’ photographic hides do just that, providing a unique stage where the drama of the natural world unfolds. These hides are not just structures; they are carefully designed to blend into the landscape, offering photographers a chance to witness wildlife behaviours up close without intrusion.

The diversity of wildlife in South Luangwa National Park is staggering. From the thunderous herds of elephants to the stealthy prowls of leopards, each day brings a new story. The positioning of the hides takes advantage of the natural movements of these animals, alongside the changing light of day, to offer shots that are both breathtaking and rare.

Your Lens Into the Wild

Embarking on a photography journey into the heart of Zambia’s wilderness requires not just a keen eye, but also the right equipment. Shenton Safaris’ hides, nestled in the pristine landscapes of South Luangwa National Park, call for a photographer to be versatile and prepared. The choice of lens and camera can make all the difference in capturing the fleeting moments that nature unveils.

Canon R6MKII Mirrorless Camera for Wildlife

For those moments within the hides, where the intimacy of wildlife encounters unfolds right before your eyes, having a range of lenses can enhance your photographic storytelling. Extreme wide-angle lenses, such as a 15-35mm or 24-70mm, are perfect for capturing the expansive beauty of the environment and the context of wildlife interactions. The Canon RF 24-105mm F2.8 lens is incredible, particularly for getting those up-close shots in the photo hides (or photo blinds, as some refer to them). It's also fantastic for night drives when you're in need of a fast lens. They allow you to tell a broader story, showing animals in their habitat. Additionally, a 70-200mm lens offers a versatile range that’s ideal for a variety of shots, from environmental portraits to closer wildlife details.

Bird photography, with its demand for detail and the often skittish subjects, benefits greatly from the reach and clarity of 400mm and 600mm prime lenses. These lenses are indispensable for capturing vivid, close-up shots of birds in their natural settings, revealing the stunning details of their plumage and behaviour.

When venturing out on game drives or walks, a 100-500mm lens generally provides sufficient flexibility for most subjects, allowing you to capture everything from the broad landscapes of South Luangwa to the intricate details of its inhabitants. This lens is a workhorse for wildlife photographers, adept at adjusting to the unpredictable movements and behaviours of animals.

For photographers looking to streamline their gear without compromising on the range of their capabilities, a combination of a wide-angle lens for those breathtaking landscapes and wider scenes, paired with a versatile telephoto lens like the 100-500mm or the Canon RF200-800mm, offers a compact yet powerful toolkit. The Canon RF200-800mm, in particular, extends your reach further, ensuring you’re prepared for any photographic opportunity, from the majestic elephants at the river to the elusive leopard lounging in a tree.



A Symphony of Light and Life

Photography is as much about patience and understanding as it is about equipment. The hides at Shenton Safaris are stages set against the backdrop of the African wilderness, where the light plays as much a role as the wildlife. The golden hours of sunrise and sunset paint the scene in hues that add depth and emotion to your shots, while the harsh midday sun challenges you to find new angles and perspectives.

Capturing wildlife is about more than just waiting for the perfect shot; it's about understanding the rhythm of the natural world. Animals are storytellers, each movement and interaction a piece of a larger narrative. The hides give you a front-row seat to these stories, offering lessons in animal behaviour that only time and observation can teach.

Crafting Your Photographic Safari

Planning your journey with Dusty Boots Travel means more than just booking a trip; it’s about crafting an experience that resonates with your passion for photography. The best times to visit, the choice of accommodation, and the guidance of experienced safari guides are all elements that we tailor to enhance your photographic expedition.

The dry season, from May to October, transforms the landscape into a stage where wildlife congregates around the dwindling water sources, offering unparalleled photographic opportunities. Meanwhile, the green season brings a different kind of beauty, with new-born animals and migratory birds adding vibrancy to the park.

Beyond the Camera

A photographic safari with Shenton Safaris is not just about the shots you take; it's about the experiences you'll carry with you long after you've left the hides. It's about the silent anticipation in the air, the sound of the shutter capturing a moment in time, and the stories you'll tell through your photographs.

Dusty Boots Travel - Coffee time with the Giraffe at Kaingo Camp, South Luangwa National Park in Zambia

At Dusty Boots Travel, we understand that the journey is as important as the destination. Our expertise in planning and booking photographic safaris in South Luangwa National Park ensures that your adventure is seamless, from the moment you decide to embark on this journey with us to the moment you return home, memories in tow.

Accommodation Options

Comfort meets the wild at Kaingo Camp and Mwamba Bush Camp. With accommodations that respect the environment and immerse you in nature, your stay is an integral part of the experience.

Dusty Boots Travel - Kaingo Camp - South Luangwa National Par in Zambia

In Conclusion

The photographic hides at Shenton Safaris in Zambia's South Luangwa National Park are more than just a destination; they are a journey into the heart of the wild. They offer a sanctuary where photographers can immerse themselves in the untamed beauty of Africa, capturing moments that speak of the soul of the wilderness.

PS: At Dusty Boots Travel, we proudly align ourselves with Canon, having spent many years capturing the untouched beauty of the wilderness through their lenses and cameras. The references to gear in this blog predominantly feature Canon equipment, from the versatile Canon RF100-500mm to the expansive reach of the Canon RF200-800mm lens. However, we wholeheartedly acknowledge that the art of photography is deeply personal, and the choice of gear reflects that individuality. Whether you're drawn to Nikon, Sony, or another brand, similar equipment from these manufacturers will serve you just as well in the field. Our preference for Canon is rooted in our own experiences and the exceptional results we've achieved with their gear over the years, and we're excited to continue this journey with Canon by our side.

Join us, Dusty Boots Travel, as we guide you through this unforgettable adventure, crafting an experience that goes beyond photography. Visit our Zambia page to start planning your photographic safari, and let us turn your dreams of capturing the wild into a reality.