In the global travel market that is expanding ever rapidly, more keen travelers are now armed with a camera to freeze all moments that are close to their hearts while on holidays.
With the invent of the Smart phone and built in cameras on mobiles, almost every traveler boarding a flight today is a photographer equipped to snap away their travel moments.
In this backdrop, some specialize travel teams focusing on developing niche segments have been developing dedicated Photographic tours for the die-hard enthusiasts and the professional photographers. This new tier of focused travel has now expanded from landscape photography, cultural events and local traditions, people and moods to wildlife photographic tours covering distant and exotic destinations across the world.
Professionally arranged photo tours covering a myriad of subjects is now a carved out travel niche which is growing each year. But the success of such tours depends of a string of aspects to which such tour operators attention to detail must receive the highest attention.
Key success factors
With my passion for nature photography, I spent the past decade promoting Sri Lanka as a destination ranked high enough to visit for its nature by yearning wildlife safari goers.
Several high profile documentaries filmed by BBC-natural history unit and Discovery raised much awareness of the rich diversity our natural word offers. On the back of such efforts, we began promoting photographic wildlife safaris in the island covering Yala’s leopards, the Great Gathering at Minneriya and the magical Sinharaja Rain Forest.
Our efforts received a massive lift with Blue whale safaris launched by Cinnamon hotels and Jetwing back in 2009.
Today, with a decade of focused effort, a multitude of service providers host well over hundred dedicated photo tours within Sri Lanka and its growing at a rapid pace. Its now imperative for all operators and Government departments to preserve the quality of experience in our national parks which can attract more of this lucrative traveler willing to part with more to tick off their photographic bucket list of wishes.
We then realized the importance of exploring such tours for the Sri Lankan photographic enthusiasts based in overseas safari destinations.
After meticulous planning and several recce’s conducted, we launched Cinnamon Holidays photographic safaris in Ranthambhore national park in India. Three back to back tours cumulated 24 game drives yielding 41 Tiger sightings back in April-May 2015. This inspired us to take guided photographic safaris beyond India to Africa and to Rwanda in search of the majestic big animals including the mountain Gorilla.
Our photographic trips now cover specialized bird tours in Hungary and safaris in South Africa based in private conservancies.
The trips consist of a maximum of eight photographic enthusiasts, and their needs are meticulously planned while any accompanying spouse or a non photographer too enjoys the tour in the company of a bunch of serious photographers.
The best way to see more of the wilds s to travel with keen photographers who’s passion and patience will bring rewards to all.
We have now expanded such tours within Sri Lanka to yearning photographers covering Mannar, Jaffna, Kumana and the Sinharaja rain forest. All trips are accompanied by senior photographic guides that helps the guests to understand the locations and animals much deeper making the entire experience a learning curve within the natural world.
Photography is an amazing tool with which you can begin to admire other forms of life and cultivate within yourself a passion to conserve such species.
It is my strong belief that photographic tours can bring in the top shelf traveler to Sri Lanka while those who embark on such tours both here and overseas tends to be more of the responsible traveler with a deeper sense of understanding on what they want to explore, thus understanding how to be in close company of wild and free animals.