Top Destinations & Tips for Wildlife Photography

by Emese Graham
wildlife photography tips

* Photo by Expert Traveller, Nick Plevcak of Australia

To set off on a wildlife photography adventure is to travel with a commitment to truly see and appreciate each destination. Behind each jaw-dropping image is a story of rising well before dawn, of swapping restaurant dining for picnics under open skies, and of branching out from the crowds at every opportunity.

Discover with us the best destinations for photographing wildlife.

Where to Go for the Best Wildlife Photography

Galapagos Islands

giant tortoise

Visitors to the remote Galapagos Islands won’t take long to understand why its resilient creatures inspired such careful study and admiration of nature’s forces.

Dive into the sea to encounter turtles, sharks, fish, and sea lions. Or tour the abundance of life on land. Iconic wildlife like the giant tortoise, marine iguana, and of course, Darwin’s finches are impossible to miss.

South Africa

water buffalo

From the penguins of Boulders Beach to the Table Mountain ghost frogs, South Africa teems with wildlife. One of the best ways to optimize your time is by hopping on a safari to capture portraits of the Big 5.

Grab your zoom lenses and explore Kruger National Park to spot the impressive, yet vulnerable African elephants, Cape buffalos, lions, black rhinoceroses, and leopards.

Costa Rica

scarlet macaw

Blink, and you might miss something. From the giant blue morpho butterflies to toucans and scarlet macaws, Costa Rica’s skies flourish with life and colour. But then again, so do its rainforests and beaches!

Visit Manuel Antonio National Park with an expert guide for your best chance of catching a glimpse of a family of mantled howler monkeys, a famous red-eyed tree frog, and adorable brown-throated sloths dozing in the trees. Then make your way to Ostional Beach and keep an eye out for nesting sea turtles.

Sri Lanka


At the tail end of the summer months, Minneriya Lake is among the most magical places to be. Almost every branch of Sri Lanka’s elephant family tree pilgrims to Minneriya National Park’s main body of water. Witnessing the giant herd of Asian elephants is a sight you’ll never forget.

Stick around to capture the wide spectrum of wildlife for which Sri Lanka provides a home. Pack a waterproof camera to capture orcas and humpback whales along the coast. Or bring a tripod (and some patience) to snap the curious personalities of toque macaque monkeys, langurs, leopards, and peacocks.



Australia’s sheer size and biodiversity make it difficult to decide where best to stay for your wildlife photography trip (may we suggest wherever has the fewest venomous snakes?).

Depending on your airport of choice, try exploring Namadgi National Park, Freycinet National Park, Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, Ningaloo Reef, or the Kimberly.

A great many of Australia’s wildlife species can’t be found anywhere else in the world. So if you want to hear the howl of the dingo, greet kangaroos, koalas, and wallabies, or spend the happiest day of your life with a family of quokkas, there’s no place like Oz.

Our Expert Travellers can help you design the perfect itinerary for travel photography. Book your picture-perfect getaway in a snap!

There’s something else you should know.

3 Simple Tips for Safe & Ethical Wildlife Photography

wildlife photography travel tips

When you’re as obsessed about exploring the world as we are at Flight Centre, a passion for wildlife and the environment just comes naturally.

Last month alone, many of our Expert Travellers volunteered and financially partnered with Humane Societies across North America to rescue over 430 animals from life-threatening circumstances. Protecting vulnerable animals close to home and those impacted by tourism is in our DNA.

One of the key tenets of our Responsible Travel Charter is caring for wildlife. We are committed to assessing the impact of our travel products, partnering with trusted organizations to promote ethical travel, and educating our people and our customers.

Please keep these tips in mind to ensure your photography safari is safe for both you and the animals in your snapshots.

  1. Don’t do anything that will disrupt an animal’s natural behaviour. Whether it’s avoiding the use of flash when photographing nocturnal animals or keeping tempting food items well away from all wildlife, small decisions to protect nature will go a long way.
  2. Always ask, “Are these animals indigenous to the area I’m visiting?” Unfortunately, many “conservation” parks around the world take animals from their natural habitats and keep them captive for the entertainment of tourists. Educate yourself about which species are native, and which are likely being exploited.
  3. Follow the experts. Opt for a tour operator that involves an accredited biologist or environmental scientist whose primary consideration is the wellbeing of the wildlife you’ll be photographing (and who will not compromise your safety or the animals’ safety for the sake of a better picture).

Read more about Brighter Futures, our corporate social impact program, and how Flight Centre aims to empower and improve people and the environment.