Why Africa Wild Safaris and Your Host, Photographer Gregory Sweeney are the right choice for safari

About Africa Wild Safaris and Your Host, Photographer Gregory Sweeney

Our Photo Safaris and Why We Are Different

Safari photography host and guide Gregory Sweeney owner of Africa Wild Safaris Africa Wild Safaris is owned by photographer Gregory Sweeney and his wife Karen. Together they own a small lodge with tree houses on a nature conservancy near Kruger National Park. The tree house lodge is the starting point for Gregory's photography workshop safaris. While on safari Gregory is a teacher as well as a host and guide putting to full use his wildlife biology background and experience as a park ranger.


As photographers we explore and discover the best places to find and photograph the most exciting animals. We take a maximum of only 7 guests per tour(unless the extra person is family) and stay at small locally owned lodges in order to allow for a personal experience for each guest. We want to keep our safaris affordable while not comprising on the quality of the animal encounters in the private reserves and parks we visit.


We use open vehicles with 3 tiers of elevated seats: not a glass enclosed minivan like so many other operators. No popping out the top either! Open vehicles are both with and without a top canopy and allow you to shoot in all directions. Our drivers are skilled in positioning the vehicle and approaching the animals. We stay until everyone gets their shot or the subject exits. Some private reserves allow guests, guides,and tracker to get out of the vehicle if you can safely approach your subject.


You will visit a very special place

Situated in the Limpopo Province of South Africa, 20 minutes from Kruger National Park, you will be staying in an area with several contiguous private game reserves. The varied conservation efforts of the reserves (white rhino, black rhino, elephant, lions, buffalo, etc) and the large combined area with open range in proximity to Kruger greatly increases the quality and likelihood of encountering many of the more elusive species.


Our safaris are personal experiences


While on one of our safaris you will be part of a group small enough for all to have as much access to your hosts' knowledge as you want. We stay at small lodges where it feels more like staying at a local's house. In fact, the Sweeney's own and built the tree house lodge where you stay for part of the trip and you will be the only guests there. We also have exclusive use of the lodge and hide at the end of the safari. The lodge in Sabi Sands is small and family run. We feel it is important to be able to connect with South Africans and come to know their home and lifestyles. When on safari we pace ourselves for photographers and those who like to observe the animals. Your host Greg and the local guides and trackers teach you how to read the animal's behavior and anticipate the action shots. We spend time with the animals observing and waiting for that memorable moment rather and rushing off to tick another animal off the list. If a special opportunity arises, we try to be flexible enough to change our schedule and take advantage. Though large animals are attractive, the birds, trees , and small creatures are not forgotten as we educate you on how all parts of the ecosystem work together. The range and quality of wildlife areas in this region is the best in all South Africa and rivals other African countries.


Read testimonials from our guests


Time of year makes a difference to your experience


We visit South Africa in the autumn and spring. This has many advantages for our guests including the fact that this is the off season for travelers in Africa so you will have less crowds and cheaper flights. Autumn is the beginning of the dry season when less grass and undergrowth are present and in spring we visit before the grass grows up. This results in easier viewing of animals. The temperatures in both seasons are lower which will ensure the animals (and the humans) can be more active – no need for closed in vehicles or AC. These drier seasons also means few mosquitoes and bugs to worry about.


Learn about choosing which season for safari


  • What to Expect on Safari

    Peak Animal Activity

    We plan our safaris to coordinate with times when wildlife is most active and easy to find. We also frequent the parks and reserves with diverse wildlife.

    Small Groups

    Few guests means a more personal experience with personal attention to your photography, more room, and less impact on wildlife.

    Repeat Guests

    Our guests enjoy our safaris so much that over 60% of our guests have been on a trip with us previously.

    All levels of skill welcome (and non-photography)

    You don't need to be a professional or ultra serious photographer to enjoy these safaris or to feel like you fit in with the group. You only need to have the spirit of an explorer and a passion for nature. A spirit of learning, adventure, and curiosity ties our guests together.


    We bring you as close as possible to the amazing wild animals. Your safety and that of the wildlife and environment is essential to us.

  • Gregory Sweeney Photo Safaris in South Africa

About Gregory Sweeney

Also a talented underwater photographer, Gregory leads guests on underwater photography tours to photograph sharks, manatees, sailfish, and whale shark, and other marine species.


Before becoming a full time photographer and safari host, Gregory Sweeney served as a Wildlife Biologist / Park Ranger for the National Park Service for many years and lived in New Zealand and traveled the Pacific, Europe, and North America. His work has won several awards and he is the author of Manatees: The Gentle Giants celebrating the beauty of the endangered Florida Manatee. Gregory has been sharing the wonders of South African wildlife with fellow travelers and photographers for over 25 years.

 Learn More of Our Story

Follow these links to see Greg's other photo tours and updates from his underwater photo adventures


Link to Gregory Sweeney's shark diving trips and underwater trips
  • Link to our safari blog
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  • Link to Gregory Sweeney Underwater Photo Tours webpage
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  • Underwater & Bear Trips

    Scuba and Snorkel trips including whale sharks, Bill fish, Sharks, Whales and Polar Bears

  • Video Collection

    Sharks, Sailfish, Whale Sharks, Manta, Etc. : My collection on YouTube

  • Trip Reports & Blog

    Safari Reports, Tutorials, Wildlife Articles, Preparing and Travel Info

About Us

Africa Wild Safaris is owned by photographer Gregory Sweeney and his wife Karen. Together they own a small lodge on a nature conservancy which becomes the home base for their photography safaris. While on safari Gregory is a teacher ans well as a host and guide. Guests are return with memories of once in a lifetime wildlife encounters.