Tips for When to Take out the Camera, and When to Put It Away, When on Vacation in South Africa

There’s a lot you have to do when it’s time to get ready for your South African vacation. You have to research South Africa electronic visa requirements and obtain a visa, if necessary. You have to take precautions for your safety, and you have to pack your bags properly. One thing that many vacationers overlook is their camera!

By all means, grab your camera and be prepared to take pictures with your iPhone when you’re vacationing in South Africa, but you should also put a little forethought into when you should get out that camera, and when you shouldn’t.

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Tips for When to Take out the Camera, and When to Put It Away, When on Vacation in South Africa

Get out the Camera to Take Pictures of People

Why do you take pictures? This question can have many answers, but most people will say they take pictures to remember a particular moment. Think deeper and decide exactly what you want to remember about that moment.

For example, many vacationers take pictures of stuff. That might mean taking a picture of the sunset or the entry to an old building. This can make for some striking photos if you know what you’re doing. Unfortunately, most of us our amateur photographers, and we end up with a file full of dull, lifeless pictures we’ll never look at again.

Instead, focus on taking pictures of people. Take pictures of those you’re traveling with in front of that sunset or people exiting the Apartheid Museum. You’ll be more likely to revisit them later.

Get the Camera out to Take Pictures of Wildlife

Taking pictures of people is always worth your time, but wildlife is also worth whipping out your camera for, even if it’s just a lizard scurrying across the cement.

The trick is to take good pictures of wildlife so your snaps are worth revisiting. A few tips for taking good wildlife pictures include:

  • Learn how to take pictures in different conditions, like full sun and rain.
  • Learn how to adjust your camera’s settings to get the best shot possible.
  • Use a tripod, or steady your hands on an immovable object.
  • Take many pictures in succession to boost your chances of getting at least one good snap.
  • Be patient; you’ll catch more interesting moments if you wait for your subject to do something interesting.

Get the Camera out to Capture Local Events and Festivals

Local events and festivals are great opportunities to take pictures! In many countries, it’s when the local history and costumes are put on display. For example, in South Africa, Minstrel troupes march through the city wearing eye-catching sequin clothing.

Less exciting events can also be worth a few snaps. For example, there are a lot of interesting people and things at outdoor markets that you can take pictures of.

Put the Camera Away When It’s Time to Eat

A lot of people spend a lot of time taking pictures of their food. Although it’s true that it can sometimes heighten your anticipation of eating what’s on your plate, repeatedly taking pictures can actually have the opposite effect. It’s as if you’re already tired of eating before you’ve even started!

Not to mention, your companions probably don’t like sitting down to eat at every restaurant and waiting while you take the perfect Instagram picture before getting started.

Instead, put your camera or phone away and enjoy your food. You’ll be much more likely to remember the way it tastes if you savor every bite instead of trying to remember what it looks like with a picture.

Put the Camera Away When Interacting with Locals

Taking pictures of the locals can be a great way to remember your vacation, but that doesn’t mean you should have your camera out when you’re interacting with them.

There are many ways South African locals can tell you’re a tourist, and one of them is the fact that you’ve got your camera around your neck or your phone glued to your hand. If you don’t want to be treated differently just because you’re from the states, you should put the camera away when you order food when you talk to stall vendors at a farmer’s market, and when you’re walking by people gathered outside their homes.

Vacation is one of the best times to take pictures, but that doesn’t mean everyone and everything deserves a quick snap. Spend more time soaking up your vacation and living in the moment by knowing when to capture a memory, and when to leave your camera in your bag.


A wanderer. A frustrated photographer. Hiker. Lover. Half extrovert, half introvert. Solo traveler.

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