Lions, Leopards & Other Cats

28 Jan 2020

On every trip, especially when you are in Africa for the first time, the desire to see predators is very strong. Predators are less often seen than other wild animals, because they usually move for only three reasons: partner search, defence and hunting. The rest of the day they sleep in the shade. 

To obtain really good pictures, you need a lot of time and patience. With lions you should focus on one animal, keep the camera ready in standby and wait until the lion is more active and is in front of a beautiful background after sleeping. In a national park there are often ruthless and too many cars and coaches that can block the most beautiful view of the big cats. The best is to wait at a water hole and not to get too close to lions when they move around, in order to prevent the background and settings having to be changed constantly 

The camera should be well adjusted for moving animals, to make them stand out better from the blurred background and to have more control over the focus area. Also, a short exposure time is optimal for taking pictures of playing young animals or a fast hunt. Leopards are rather shy animals, and cheetahs are easier to see again, but difficult to photograph because they are so fast. 

The best, but most controversial places are private areas where lions and other wild cats have lost their natural shyness and have become accustomed to being photographed constantly. You can get much closer to these animals, observe them for a long time and take good pictures. 

Detailed information about the African cats of prey and the best tips for photographing the animals can be found on Namibia Outdoor. 

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