It’s one of the iconic African animals because of its size, pattern and elegance. What’s more, a great giraffe picture can transport the viewer to the bush in seconds. Follow these tips to take photos of your giraffe sightings to the next level.

The tall and elegant giraffe makes an unforgettable impression. Thanks to its striking coat and impressive size, it is one of the most sought-after sightings in the wild. But due to its extraordinary long neck and legs, capturing the perfect picture of a giraffe can be challenging at best. With these tips on how to get that perfect snap, you’ll become a pro at capturing stunning giraffe moments in no time.

Symmetrical perfection

A giraffe drinking at a waterhole is a captivating sight and an even better moment caught on camera. When they drink, giraffes splay their legs and bend down their long neck to reach the water. If you position yourself correctly, not only will you get a beautiful symmetrical shot, you can also capture the giraffe’s reflection in the water. To do so, use a high aperture (f/11 or more) so the entire scene is in focus. A fast shutter speed will smooth out movement in the water.

A beautiful symmetrical shot of a giraffe drinking water. You can even see the reflection. All pictures by Tate Drucker


Dramatic silhouette

With its unique features and head towering above the trees, a giraffe’s shape is easily recognisable. Put it to good use by capturing its distinctive outlines against the setting sun. To capture a silhouette, make sure the giraffe is in front of the sun, so that it is backlit. Set your exposure according to the lightest part of the picture (the background). This will mean that the subject is underexposed, so the giraffe should be very dark. Ensure that the giraffe’s shape is uncluttered and zoom in if necessary to cut out all the other elements that you don’t want in the picture.

The close-up

Too close to a giraffe for a full-length picture? No need to worry, your picture can still turn out remarkable. Ditch the full-body shot and opt for a close-up of the giraffe’s expressive face. Focus on the eye to make sure it’s sharp, and rather photograph from an angle than head on. The result will be a more interesting composition.

An interesting and beautiful close-up shot of this tall beauty

    Frame it perfectly

In the bush, giraffes tower above the rest. But that doesn’t mean you cannot do more to guide the viewer to the tall, spotted beauties in a distance shot. The environment of the giraffe is key and should always be used to frame them perfectly. Don’t worry if there are no suitable trees around, shoot over the shoulders of your fellow travellers to frame the giraffe. Doing this will give the picture the added bonus of making it feel more immediate and thrilling.

The environment of the giraffe is key and should always be used to frame the giraffe perfectly

Spot the giraffe

Lookin forward to some giraffe sightings in the wild? Take advantage of your Wild Card and visit some of our popular national parks and nature reserves like Kruger National Park, Addo Elephant National Park (near Port Elizabeth), Mapungubwe National Park (near Musina), Ithala Game Reserve and Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park (near Richards Bay).