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SAFARIS

Improve your wildlife photography skills on safari with Rachel Sinclair

by Victoria Erskine

A picture is worth a thousand words and there is no holiday souvenir more touching than a photograph; a special moment captured in a special place that you can look back on for years to come. 

Now partnered with Safari Sinclair, Wayfairer is offering wildlife photography holidays to safari destinations such as Kenya and Tanzania, complete with wildlife photography guide, Rachel Sinclair, so you can create amazing images of your trip.

Learn about angles, aperture, shutter speeds, ISO, lighting (including nighttime photography) and more on location. At the end of each day, Rachel is available to go through and critique your images and also provide lessons in editing, should you request them.

This safari holiday add-on of wildlife photography guidance is available to keen photographers of all skill levels. For those with limited experience, there is the option to take pre-departure workshops in the UK (where Rachel is based) to work on the techniques required and to hire camera equipment from Safari Sinclair if you don't have your own.

We caught up with Rachel to talk about her passion for photography, her love of travel and her commitment to responsible tourism:

An Interview with Photo Safari Expert, Rachel Sinclair

Male lion under a tree on safari - Rachel Sinclair photography

1. When did you first fall in love with travel?

Luckily my parents both loved travelling so we were always going somewhere in England or Europe. When I was 11 years old we went to stay with some friends who live in Prague. It was my first stay in a log cabin in the countryside.

I'll be honest, I didn't like the mosquitoes or the makeshift toilet, but I loved being surrounded by nature. Our friends showed us the hidden gems of the country that we would have never have found on our own and that's when I got the travel bug.

2. And how did you get into photography?

I wanted to be graphic novel illustrator, however I was a bit too slow at drawing so my art teacher suggested I study photography at college. I purchased my first Pentax SLR camera at 16 years old and I became fascinated by photography, especially black and white darkroom printing.

Cheetahs - Rachel Sinclair photography

3. What is a photo safari, in your own words?

A chance to slow right down and really take your time to watch the animals in their natural environments. It's not about dashing around the national parks in search of animals just so you can tick it off a list. It is about getting in the right positions so you can see nature and take stunning photographs that really do the animals justice.

4. How does photography enhance the safari experience?

Wildlife and nature photographers do look at the world differently. We look for light, we change our angles of view and we are very good at waiting!

When you have tracked an animal for one, two or three hours and then it does something amazing you can capture, not only does it give you great satisfaction, but your photographs then have a story behind them. Your photographs will mean so much more and so will your whole safari experience.

Buffalo with a bird on its head on safari - Rachel Sinclair photography

5. What is it about wildlife photography that you think resonates with people?

Most people have heard of David Attenborough [here at Wayfairer, we are big Attenborough fans, especially of Blue Planet and the Dynasties series] or watched some sort of nature programme on TV. I think we are naturally fascinated by animals and how they act in their natural habitats.

Unfortunately, many people will never be able to see certain animals in the wild, whether that be because of their own personal economic situation, their health or even due to the fact that the animal may be incredibly rare and hard to find.

So, when we see photographs or watch documentaries, it brings us joy and awe. It gives us a sense of understanding and appreciation for what it must be like to see that animal in real life.

6. You’ve spent a lot of time in Africa, where is your favourite place to visit?

To be honest, I still have so many places I would love to visit, so I try not to go to the same place twice unless it is for work. I think for photo safaris the Masai Mara is a great place to visit. There is so much wildlife in there, from big cats to amazing birds, the photographic opportunities are endless and the Maasai people are just so welcoming.

Bull elephant on safari - Rachel Sinclair photography

7. What tips do you have for budding wildlife photographers?

Practice and learn patience! Even though it can be really frustrating when you don't get the shot you wanted, just see it as an opportunity to go out another day and try again.

Also, if you are thinking of booking a holiday to try and see a particular animal, do some research first. I know it sounds obvious, but make sure you go to the right region, at the right time of year and when there is the best chance of you seeing what you want to see.

Also share your photos on Instagram, it's a great platform for budding photographers!

8. Who is a photographer hero of yours?

I will never get bored of looking at the work of Sebastiao Salgado. His Genesis exhibition was the best photography I have ever seen.

9. Where can people get in touch with you or buy your prints?

It would be lovely to chat on Instagram @safarisinclair or send me a message through my website www.safarisinclair.co.uk.

Cheetah hunting zebra on safari - Rachel Sinclair photography

10. What does responsible travel mean to you?

I think it's very important that whatever country I visit, my being there has contributed to it's economy in some way. So, when I am in Africa, I try to use local suppliers, local guides and drivers and camps run by the local people. That means my money is going to actually help African people who live in that particular country.

I think we have a great responsibility to support the residents of the country we visit, making sure tourism is sustainable and beneficial for them and their wildlife. Without tourism there can not be true conservation, and without responsible travel there can not be long lasting conservation. For me, they go hand in hand.

If you're interested in a wildlife photography holiday with Rachel Sinclair, call our friendly team of Luxury Travel Specialists for a chat about your ideas, or fill out our no-obligation enquiry form with details of your dream trip.

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