African safaris are sometimes a once-in-a-lifetime event for photographers, so finding the right one requires some searching. I thought I would be able to find many well-known names doing these tours, but I noticed that many of the big names in photography do not do workshops there. Perhaps the expense of these trips is discouraging for some photographers, as most of them run between $7000 and $10,000USD. I selected a few for 2012 (though many are starting to be marketed for 2013). There are certainly many more, and if you'd like to give other photographers feedback on African photography workshops that you've participated in, please give some helpful hints in the comments.
MUENCH SOUTH AFRICAN SAFARI (JUNE 10-19, 2012)
This safari and workshop combines some of the best lion and leopard wildlife photography anywhere, excellent opportunities to photograph the Big Five and general game, and photographic and digital workflow instruction. Muench has decided to base this safari at one location -- Singita's Castleton Camp. in South Africa. The group will have private and exclusive use of this well-kept secret villa located in the heart of the Singita concession. This is a private luxury safari geared specifically toward serious photography and game viewing. Workshop Website
EYES ON AFRICA TRAVELS AND SAFARIS - MASAI MARA (JULY 25 - AUG 3, 2012)
In July 2012, Grant Atkinson and James Weis, both experienced guide-photographers, will lead a private group of photographers into Kenya's Masai Mara. This safari combines some of Africa's finest wildlife photography experiences, superb accommodation, and expert guiding. They have selected the Masai Mara at this time of year to coincide with the Great Migration as it moves through the Reserve and surrounding private conservancies. The annual movement of wildebeest and other grazing herbivores across the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem is one of the greatest spectacles in the natural world. This is a private safari geared specifically toward serious photography and game viewing, and participants will be witness to one of the last great wildlife migrations on earth. Workshop Website
TANZANIA PHOTOGRAPHIC SAFARI (AUG 28-SEPT 6, 2012)
Tanzania, south of Kenya on the African continent's Indian Ocean coastline, lays claim to the title Home of the Safari, since the word itself is taken from the Swahili word that means "journey." While Tanzania's Kenyan neighbors may dispute that claim, there is no doubt that Tanzania offers one of the best environments in the world for an enriching wildlife experience. The country's game viewing opportunities are considered by many to be the best in Africa. Its game parks are populated with many of the world's most exotic creatures, including all of the "Big Five." Its lakes are huge and bountiful with fish. Its cities are relaxed and friendly. Yet, to a greater degree than is true of many of its neighbors, this sprawling country, the largest in East Africa, remains untouched by the vacationing hordes. Workshop Website
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MOROCCO PHOTOGRAPHY EXPEDITION (OCT 31-NOV 10, 2012)
Experience Morocco's mystique with a National Geographic photographer on a special photography expedition. With your camera in hand, discover the enchanting cities of Marrakesh and Fez, venture into rose-colored kasbahs, and visit Berbers in their mountain villages. Along the way, our expert will share techniques and insights about how to best capture the variety of images you'll encounter. This trip will touch on many of the highlights of Moroccan cities as well as an excursion in the desert at Merzouga. Workshop Website
AFRICA PHOTO ADVENTURE BY SANTA FE WORKSHOPS (DEC 7-DEC 18, 2012)
Visualize yourself in Africa, at a private game preserve between Mts. Kilimanjaro and Meru. Herds of elephant, impala, zebra, and wildebeest graze near the permanent tented guest retreat at Ndarakwai, home base for this incredible journey. With diverse habitats from riparian woodland to acacia savannah, the 11,000-acre preserve affords opportunities to make stunning photographs that capture the essence of Africa.
Veteran workshop instructors Jennifer Spelman and Renie Haiduk return to Tanzania to lead a small group on an intensive photo excursion of landscape, people and wildlife. Unlike tourist safaris, this is an opportunity for dedicated image-making—in the right light, supported by drivers trained to assist photographers. Land Cruisers with ample space for our intimate group give us the flexibility to follow wildlife off-road, with the option for night drives. Time is built in each day for digital workflow, sharing images and discussion. Along with your favorite camera(s), bring your laptop with editing software you are familiar with, and an external hard drive. There will be several evening shows sharing work and a final presentation on our last night at Ndarakwai. Our adventure includes a charter flight to Ndutu—a historic lodge with private verandas facing the lake with its birds and wildlife at your front door—and for four days we photograph animals moving through the spectacular Serengeti Plains. Traveling by land, we stop at Olduvai Gorge and continue on the legendary Ngorongoro Crater for two incomparable days. We then charter back to Ndarakwai to learn about regional cultures, meet and photograph the vibrant Maasai, and discover what we can offer as image-makers. Passionate photographers of all levels are welcome. Workshop Website