This was originally posted on my old web site, and now I am moving over to my blog. - Andy
1) Bracket the difficult exposures if shooting film, or learn how to read histograms on digital cameras. When photographing wildlife, you typically have dark bodies against light backgrounds, which are one of the most difficult situations to expose for. An incident meter is also a great idea.
Know your equipment before you depart for your safari trip. Learning to
use a new camera in the field will most likely end up as that: a test. Bring along the manual for your camera(s)!
3) Bring along a bean bag, or some other means to support your camera. A stable camera platform is preferable to hand holding. I prefer the Kinesis Safari Sack product.
4) Bring the longest lens that you can afford. There will be many shots that will be close, and there will be many that are far away. Having the best tool for the job will definitely help. In 35mm terms, a 400mm lens is a great starting point.
5) You should try and take your best photographs within the first hour of sunlight, and the last hour of sunlight. The closer the sun is to the horizon, the warmer and more dramatic your shots will be.
Try to practice the 'rule of thirds'. By offsetting your subject away
from the center of the frame, you will create nice negative space that
has balance and harmony to your images. After you have practiced the rule of thirds, start breaking the rules. Rules are meant to be broken, especially if you want to think creatively.
7) At the very end of the day, when the sun is below the horizon, flash photography is a must. I have found that a Better Beamer or Flash X-Tender
attached to your flash can illuminate wildlife farther away than you
might think. Better Beamers are also great to put the catch light in
the eyes of a far away mammal or bird. There are 3 reasons for using flash: flash as your main light (brigher than the ambient light), flash as fill light and flash as catchlight. Understand the differences, and how to use your flash for each of these situations.
Learn more about the wildlife you would like to photograph. You will be
amazed at the abundance and variety of wildlife in east Africa, and how
they interrelate. I recommend The Safari Companion by Richard Estes.