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Wildlife Photography Course

A one-week photography course that focuses on applying learned photography skills to real-world conservation situations and wildlife experiences. Participants live at a beach-side accommodation and spend five of the seven days taking photographs and applying their skills on a free-roaming wildlife reserve.

Wildlilfe Photography Course


Location Mossel Bay, South Africa
Duration 1 week only
Dates All year round (excluding 24, 25 and 26 December)
  • You must have an Upper Intermediate level of English
  • Special skills: You should have an interest in learning about photography and conservation and have a sense of adventure
Minimum Age: 18
Documents required Enrolment form, curriculum vitae, letter of motivation, passport copy, proof of medical insurance
Day of arrival Sunday
Day of departure Sunday


  • Experience Africa, with the chance to see free-roaming wildlife, including the Big 5
  • Enjoy beachside accommodation (live at the beach, learn in the bush!)
  • Explore and develop your photography skills under a trained professional
  • Create and expand your own photographic portfolio
  • Make new friends from all over the world
  • Experience amazing tours and adventures in and around the Garden Route

Project information

This one week photography course in Mossel Bay, South Africa, focuses on applying learned photography skills in real-world conservation situations and during wildlife experiences in the free-roaming wildlife reserve. Participants stay in beachside accommodation and spend five of the seven days taking photographs and applying their new skills. On one of the seven days, you will also have the opportunity to go on a hike. Any free time will be for you to add any additional activities of your choosing (at an additional cost). There are also beginner photography and conservation workshops included.

The Wildlife Photography Course is located at and operated by the same organisation as Good Hope Volunteers’ Wildlife Research Project. For further details concerning this project, please see the Wildlife Research Project description.

Your daily schedule:

*07:00 Breakfast at the accommodation
07:30 Depart for the reserve
08:00 -12:00 Photography training / application session #1
12:00 -13:00 Packed lunch in the reserve
13:00 -15:00 Photography training / application session #2
16:00 -18:00 Photo Editing
*19:00 Additional tutorial / classroom lesson (some evenings)

* Days may begin several hours earlier (for sunrise photography) or several hours later (for sunset photography) but this will be advised in advance.

Course schedule

Sunday: (Arrival Day, preferably before 14h00) Take time to settle in your room and relax before the orientation and a welcome barbeque (braai) that evening. Orientation will cover safety, what to expect, reserve conduct, and provide a chance for everyone to get to know each other.

Monday: (Reserve Day 1) In the reserve from 08h00 - 16h00. The primary focus is acclimatising to the reserve and your personal gear, an open day to photograph the plains, the game and other wildlife which can be spotted. The evening will include an introduction to photography workshop that covers topics such as ISO, shutter speed, aperture, etc.

Tuesday: (Reserve Day 2) In the reserve from 08h00 - 16h00. The focus today is on macro photography with plants and small invertebrates.

Wednesday: (Reserve Day 3) In the reserve from pre-sunrise to 12h00. The focus today is on early morning / low lighting photography. The afternoon will include a workshop on animal behaviour and time for editing / photo review.

Thursday: (Reserve Day 4) In the reserve from 13h00 to sunset. The focus today is on scenery, sunsets, and star photography. The morning is reserved for any additional activity you wish to participate in (at own cost - see the list below).

Friday: (Reserve Day 5) In the reserve from 08h00 - 14h00. This is a general photography day for exploration and tracking. Time to put your newly learnt skills to the test.

Saturday: Day hike in either Mossel Bay or a nearby town. This will be determined depending on weather / best opportunity for photography.

Sunday: Departure Day

It is important to note that this description serves as an example only. The daily tasks and challenges depend on the photography student, the time of year, weather and other factors. The final schedule can therefore vary substantially from the above.


You will be staying at a family operated hotel with daily housekeeping, security, WiFi (in the common areas), a lounge, restaurant, bar, swimming pool, and exceedingly friendly staff.
The hotel is located less than 1 kilometre (a ten minute walk) from the Hartenbos sea-front where additional restaurants, shops, a gym, coffee shops and other amenities are located.
The accommodation is apartment style, with two bedrooms and additional bunk beds in the common area, and shared bathrooms. The rooms are fully self-catering with a kitchen and cutlery and cookware available as well as braai facilities (BBQ) and satellite TV, with limited channels.

A continental breakfast is included for the seven days. A packed lunch is included on field days in the reserve (Monday - Friday), all dinners are self-catering. The grocery store is located within walking distance.