Photo Safari vs Photo Workshop – What is the difference?

What is the difference between a Photo Safari and a Photo Workshop you might ask? They sound fairly similar don't they?

Well, whilst both types of tours contain the word 'photo', there are indeed a number differences between a standard photo safari and a photography workshop. This blog aims to address these differences, in addition to highlighting the varying levels of workshops on offer based on your knowledge of wildlife photography, and associated skill level.

Photo Safari

Our scheduled photo safari's are tours with set dates, to set destinations with set group sizes and are hosted by at least one of our expert photographic guides. But, despite these tours having a photographic focus to them, they aren't necessarily designed exclusively for photographers.  We know.. that might sound strange. But, by virtue of the fact that almost everyone possesses a smart phone these days, often with incredible camera capabilities, everyone is a de facto photographer whether you are aware of it or not.

Unfortunately, the common misconception when considering a 'photo' safari, is that you require the latest and greatest camera gear on the market, and better yet, intimate knowledge of how to use it. This is simply not the case at all.  Whether you have a smart phone, an entry level camera, or the top of the range mirrorless technology, a photo safari is designed to help you with your photographic journey, irrespective of gear or skill level.  In field tuition by our guides is extremely valuable if you are just getting to grips with your camera, or looking to sharpen your skills. Either way, the aim is to ensure that you head out into the field and take your images to the next level, having a huge amount of fun in the process.

The time in-between the morning and afternoon safaris on our photo tours is for guests to make use of as they see fit. Whether that be relaxing at the plunge pool, having a spa treatment, catching up on rest, or joining your guide to improve your post processing skills, it is entirely up to you.

Photo Workshop

A photo workshop on the other hand, is a far more dedicated tour, focused on in field tuition, post processing techniques as well as in-depth daily presentations on various interesting topics, both technical and creative. Workshops are aimed at providing a well-rounded educational experience on all things wildlife photography related.

Furthermore, the workshops on offer are further broken down based on your level of competence, photographic skill level, and of course what it is you would like to get out of your workshop experience. These will be outlined here below..

Digital Photography 101

This photographic workshop is our entry level course aimed at those just starting out on their photographic journey and would like to understand the fundamentals of digital photography.

The course covers the basic technical aspects of photography including an introduction into exposures, and the interrelationship with shutter speed, aperture and ISO.  Once mastered, the course progresses to cover some of the creative aspects of photography, including placement in the frame, composition, eliminating distractions from your image, and more!

These courses usually take place in the Wild Eye offices at the Design Quarter Shopping Centre, Fourways, Johannesburg hosted by one of our guides.

Note: No in field tuition apart from what is practiced in the classroom.

Intermediate to Advanced

The Masai Mara workshop which takes place at the Wild Eye Mara camp in Kenya, and the Sabi Sabi Seminar which takes place at Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge, South Africa, are designed as a step up from the Digital Photography course, aimed at those who are familiar with their gear, and possess a fairly decent understanding of the basic technical elements of digital photography, but are looking to learn a whole lot more, and get out into the field to put these newly acquired skills to the test.

The morning and afternoon safaris will have in-field tuition from your guide(s) who will assist in putting the theoretical knowledge into practice, and the break between the morning and afternoon safaris will consist of presentations by your guide(s) on the various components of wildlife photography, both technical and creative, all of which can be found in the workshop manual that will also be presented to guests.

And what better destinations to take your photographic skills to a whole new level than the Masai Mara and the Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve, both of which teeming with close wildlife encounters.


The Pantanal workshop is considered Wild Eye's 'premium' photo workshop, covering everything that you would in the Masai Mara Workshop, or Sabi Seminar, but with a strong emphasis on thinking 'out of the box' and implementing challenging creative techniques in addition to the standard wildlife portrait shots. Additionally, advanced level post processing techniques are a focus of this workshop.

The Pantanal Photo Workshop will see guests receive two workshop manuals, one which covers the creative elements in wildlife photography and the second covering basic Lightroom workflows, shortcuts and processing techniques.

Morning and afternoon activities will entail in field tuition by your photographic guide(s), putting the theoretical lectures into practice, as well as photographing with post processing techniques in mind.

We trust this has provided insight into the key differences between Wild Eye Photo Safari's and Workshops, but, if you have any further questions on the differences between the two, or if you'd like guidance in choosing the most appropriate tour for you, do not hesitate to get in touch with our team

We hope to welcome you on one of our Photo Tours or Workshops soon, to take your photography to the next level, and 'change the way you see the world'!

Masai Mara Wildlife Photography workshop

Wild Eye Photographic workshops are designed with one goal in mind - to make you a better wildlife photographer!  Enjoy a carefully constructed wildlife photography experience focussed on taking your photographic knowledge and skills to the next level.

Jaguars of the Pantanal Photo Workshop

Through a combination of daily wildlife photography presentations, a detailed workshop manual, a small group of photographers, two Wild Eye guides, an expert local guide and the Pantanal at our disposal, you can be assured of a photography workshop that will not only leave you inspired, filled with new knowledge and the desire to continually better your craft, but also with a portfolio of stunning imagery of these beautiful big cats.

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