I have been truly blessed to have had many incredible travel years in recent memory, but this past year was probably one of the best I have ever had. After a very long two years of COVID-19 shutdown, I was finally able to venture out and travel internationally again. Not only that, but the quality of my top travel photos of 2022 made this past year a wonderful year of travel photography as well. Although our plans to visit the Middle East fell thru because of lingering COVID restrictions for the border crossings, we were able to adjust our travel plans and visit the spectacular continent of Africa again.
Those who follow my blog closely won’t be surprised, but I am absolutely in love with the continent of Africa. The incredibly kind people, the gorgeous landscapes, and the amazing wildlife of the continent make it one of the most incredible places on Earth.
Even though I had been to Africa before and knew how wonderfully rewarding this trip would be, our trip to South Africa, Botswana, and Zimbabwe even surpassed my expectations. As I present my top travel photos of 2022 to you, I hope these wonderful images inspire you to visit the beautiful continent of Africa in the near future.
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|Top 25 Travel Photos of 2018|
|Top 30 Travel Photos of 2019|
|My Top Travel Photos of 2020|
|A Look at My 20 Top Travel Photos of 2021|
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Southern White Rhino in Balule
My favorite part about our trip back to Africa this year was the chance to photograph some of the continent’s amazing wildlife again. Although we were able to see rhinos in Tanzania, we weren’t able to get nearly as close to them as we were in South Africa and Zimbabwe. This wonderful shot of an endangered Southern White Rhino I took in the Balule Nature Reserve in the Greater Kruger National Park area is definitely one of my top travel photos of 2022.
Southern White Rhinos at Sunset
By far, one of my favorite things about being able to photograph in Africa is the spectacular sunsets that are a seemingly daily occurrence on the continent. Some of the most incredible sunsets I have ever seen have been in Africa, and it was no different during our visit this past year.
One of my favorite wildlife photographs, and definitely one of my top travel photos of 2022, was this sunset shot I got of two Southern White Rhinos feeding in the Balule Nature Reserve. I could not believe how lucky I was to have this wildlife encounter and be able to get into position to capture these beautiful creatures with such a gorgeous sunset as a backdrop!
Baby Elephant in Kruger
If you have ever been on safari in Africa, then you probably know how adorable baby elephants can be in the wild. I was blessed enough to have multiple encounters with baby elephants while on safari in South Africa, Botswana, and Zimbabwe this past year.
Among my favorite encounters was with this little one in the Greater Kruger National Park area in South Africa. It was walking with its family, then turned and trumpeted the cutest little trumpet as we passed by. I will remember this encounter forever and am so glad I have this wonderful photo to help remember it.
Night Safari in Balule
On safari in Tanzania back in 2017, the one thing that we didn’t get to do that I really wanted to experience was a night safari. There is something so raw and real about seeing the animals at night when their guards are on high, and the predators are out hunting that heightens the senses and make the experience so visceral.
When we visited the Greater Kruger National Park area this past year, we had the opportunity to go on safari at night in the Balule Nature Reserve, and it was incredible. My favorite moment was coming across this large male lion laying in the grass, surveying the landscape. It is by far one of my favorite photos of our trip and definitely one of my top travel photos of 2022.
The Beautiful Three Rondavels
Although wildlife shots make up a big portion of my top travel photos of 2022, they aren’t the only incredible things I photographed on my trip. One of the most pleasant surprises for me was the amazing landscapes that we saw in South Africa, Botswana, and Zimbabwe.
Among these incredible landscapes was the amazing Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve in South Africa. There, I got to photograph the breathtaking Three Rondavels, which are a series of mountains surrounding a gorgeous river bend. The valley is absolutely stunning, and I love this photograph of it!
African Penguins at Boulder Beach
I was expecting to see lions, elephants, giraffes, and other incredible wildlife on our trip, but what I wasn’t expecting to see in Africa when I started planning this trip was penguins.
However, after doing some initial planning, I learned that there is a colony of African penguins that live at a beach outside of Cape Town. I love this photograph because the beautiful African beach filled with penguins is such a contrast. I have now seen penguins on three continents: South America, Australia, and Africa. Now I just need to see them in Antarctica!
Breathtaking Cape Town
Cape Town, South Africa is one of those cities that is almost too beautiful to believe is real until you see it with your own eyes. Between the beauty of its beaches and the breathtaking views from places like the top of Table Mountain, the city is infamous for being one of the world’s most breathtaking cities.
I think this shot of Lion’s Head from one top of Table Mountain is one of my top travel photos of 2022 because it showcases just how beautiful the city really is. Cape Town will always have a special place in my heart and this photo will help me remember my amazing time there!
The Magic of Chobe National Park
Ever since I was a child and saw the raw beauty of Chobe National Park and its enormous herds of elephants in a National Geographic magazine, I have wanted to visit Botswana. It is renowned for having some of the most wild and authentic safari experiences in all of Africa.
One of my most memorable animal encounters that we had while on boat safari in Chobe was seeing this large male bull elephant swim across the Chobe River. It was the first time I had ever seen an elephant truly swim (it couldn’t touch the bottom in the middle of the river), and it was such an incredible experience.
This photograph of the elephant standing on the bank and surveying the river he would have to cross stands out as one of my top travel photos of 2022 because it reminds me of how wild and wonderful Chobe National Park is.
|Chobe National Park Safari Guide|
Young Lions at Chobe
While it is awfully tough to beat the cuteness of baby elephants in the wild, lion cubs certainly give them a run for their money. Most lion cubs are incredible playful and inquisitive, which makes them a joy to watch when on safari.
We were blessed to have been able to see a large pride of lions while on safari in Chobe National Park, and the pride had a number of adorable lion cubs for us to watch. I just love the curious look at we got from this little guy when we pulled up next to where they were resting under a tree. It is certainly one of my fondest memories of our trip and this is definitely one of my top travel photos of 2022.
The Beauty of the Garden Route
Before we visited South Africa, I knew that the Garden Route would have some of the most beautiful landscape that we would see on our trip. After all, I previously rated it as one of the top coastlines for travelers to see in the world.
However, even though I expected it to be beautiful, it still blew away my expectations. It is, without a doubt, one of the most incredible stretches of coastline in the entire world. I took this amazing shot just outside the city of George, not even 20 minutes into our time exploring the coastline.
|Top 20 of the World’s Most Beautiful Coasts|
The Elephant Herds of Hwange
One of the most amazing things about getting to see the incredible Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe last year was getting to see its enormous elephant herds. With some of the largest elephant herds in all of Africa, Hwange is one of the best parks to visit if you love these beautiful creatures. I think this is one of my top travel photos of 2022 because the photograph spotlights the beauty of both the elephants and the remarkable landscapes within Hwange.
Young Elephant in Hwange National Park
Speaking of baby elephants, this shot I got of a young elephant with its mother in Hwange National Park is one of my favorite photos from my trip. If you are into wildlife photography, you probably know that one of the keys for wildlife photography is to try to capture images of the animals when they are looking at you. This just makes the photographs look more engaging and appealing to the audience.
That can be incredibly difficult to do, especially with young animals that are so busy exploring. I love this image because I was able to capture this image when the little one was looking at me, which makes it one of my top travel photos of 2022.
|Hwange National Park Safari Guide|
Baby Elephant in Hwange
Another way that you can capture incredible photographs of wildlife is to capture them in the midst of some of their most defining behavior. Little animals love to explore, and that is exactly what this wonderful little elephant was doing when I took this photograph of it.
It was running thru the long grass, trying to keep up with its siblings. I love this photo because it shows just how adorable and fun they are to see in the wild. I will always cherish this photo because it helps me remember just how amazing it is to see these beautiful animals in their natural habitat acting as they do naturally in the wild.
Keurbooms Beach at Sunset
One of my absolute favorite things about visiting Africa is the extraordinary sunsets that you get to see, and seemingly every night. While we got to enjoy a number of spectacular sunsets during our trip, one of my favorite sunsets that we saw was when we were touring the Garden Route in South Africa.
There is something that is so mesmerizing about a brilliant sunset along a beautiful stretch of coastline that captivates me like few things can while traveling. I love this sunset shot that I took of that sunset at Keurbooms Beach and consider it to be one of my top travel photos of 2022.
|Predicting Amazing Sunrises and Sunsets|
The Wonder of Kruger National Park
No list of my top travel photos of 2022 would be complete without sharing some of my absolute favorite photos from the iconic Kruger National Park in South Africa. Kruger is such an incredible and renowned wildlife destination, and so many great photographs from the park are circling Instagram.
Because of this, my expectations were sky high when we visited the park. Somehow, the park exceeded even my mile high expectations. I absolutely loved how close you could get to the wildlife in Kruger, even though the safari vehicles aren’t allowed to leave the road.
You see, the animals use the roads in Kruger as well. When they aren’t walking on them, they are often grazing by them, like this beautiful giraffe that we saw not even a mile into the park.
Casper the White Lion of Kruger
One of the most unique experiences that we had when visiting the famed Kruger National Park in South Africa was getting to see the infamous Casper the white maned lion. We had been on safari for most of the day without spotting the lions near the Orpen Gate when we noticed a large crowd of cars near the side of the road.
Sure enough, it was Casper and his brother sleeping under a tree to avoid the heat of the day. We were patient and waited for hours for him to get up so that we could get a good look at him. The patience paid off as I was able to capture this beautiful shot when he sat up. It is definitely one of my favorites of my top travel photos of 2022.
Elephant Traffic Jam in Kruger
I have visited a lot of wildlife destinations on three different continents, but few other parks compare to what I saw when we visited the iconic Kruger National Park in South Africa. Not only does the park have one of the largest densities of wildlife in the world, but the park is one of the easiest places to go on self-safari in all of Africa.
The park’s many paved roads make it one of Africa’s most accessible wildlife parks to visit. Not only that, but the fact that the animals love the roads as much as the people do makes for some interesting wildlife encounters. I took this spectacular shot of a bull elephant creating a traffic jam within the park. Silly people, don’t you know that elephants have the right of way?
The King of Kruger National Park
While I think that it is incredible to see all of Africa’s animals in the wild, one of my favorite animals to see while on safari is undoubtedly the lion. You would not believe just how huge the lions are until you see them walk by your safari vehicle.
They can be difficult to find and spot on safari, even in the parks with large populations, so a lion sighting is always special. We were especially thrilled to see this large male lion while on safari in Kruger National Park in South Africa. No doubt, one of my top travel photos of 2022 and one of my favorite photographs of a wild lion I have taken.
The Breathtaking Knysna Heads
The Garden Route in South Africa is one of those places that you don’t really need to talk up much because the pictures of the area speak several thousand words. One of the prettiest spots that we visited along the Garden Route was the Knysna Heads, which is located just outside the city of Knysna.
The views were nothing short of jaw-droppingly beautiful, as you can see in my photograph below. It is one of those spots where you kind of wish you could just sit there all day and watch the waves crash up against the rocky shoreline. It is spots like this that make me love coastlines so much and its why I picked this photograph as one of my top travel photos of 2022.
The Gorgeous Robberg Nature Reserve
Another incredible spot along the Garden Route in South Africa is the amazing Robberg Nature Reserve, which is located on a peninsula South of the city of Plettenberg Bay. Known to have some of the most breathtaking coastline in all of Africa, if not the world, the Robberg Nature Reserve is chock full of stunning coastal vistas.
If you’re lucky, you might even see a whale off the coast. I love this photograph that I took while in the nature reserve because it showcases just how beautiful the coastline is and how incredible the surf is in this area. It’s definitely a place I want to get back to one day!
Black Rhino in Stanley Livingstone
We thought we were spoiled when we got to see the endangered Southern White Rhino while on safari in South Africa. Little did we know at the time, but we would also get to see the equally endangered black rhino when we went on safari in the Stanley Livingstone Private Game Reserve in Zimbabwe.
Unlike the white rhinos that we saw in the Greater Kruger National Park area, the black rhinos we saw in Zimbabwe had their full horns. There is something absolutely magical about seeing these incredible creatures in their natural habitat. I will definitely remember this experience for the rest of my life, and I am glad to have been able to capture shots like this to help remember the experience.
The Breathtaking Storms River Mouth
By far, my favorite place to explore and photograph along the Garden Route in South Africa was at the gorgeous Storms River Mouth. Not only is the coastline in this area absolutely spectacular, but it is also home to one of the coolest bridges that I have ever seen. I was able to capture this stunning sunset shot at the Storms River Mouth, which I consider to be one of my top travel photos of 2022. The waves crashing into the rocky shoreline with the sun dipping below the horizon was insanely beautiful.
The Incredible Storms River Bridge
Speaking of the Storms River Suspension Bridge, I just love this photograph that was taken of me on one of the suspension bridges enjoying the scenery. I could have sat on that bridge for hours and just watched the waves come crashing into shore.
Like the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge in Northern Ireland, being on the Storms River Suspension Bridge gives you an amazing perspective of the beautiful coastline that you just can’t get from shore. While I was also able to capture some pretty neat selfies, I definitely think this is one of the top travel photos of 2022 for me and one of my favorite photographs of the Garden Route.
Sunset at the Storms River Mouth
Like my other sunset shot that I captured at the incredible Storms River Mouth in the Garden Route, I absolutely love this sunset photo. Not only is the light beautiful, but I love how you can see the waves crashing into the shoreline all the way into the distance. I really wish I could have spent more time exploring the Garden Route because the vistas and the sunsets were incredible!
The Spectacular Victoria Falls
The last of my top travel photos of 2022 that I want to share with you is of a place that I have been wanting to see for what seems like an eternity. Ever since reading about Dr. David Livingstone’s explorations of Africa as a kid, I have wanted to see the iconic Victoria Falls in person. Let me tell you, it certainly did not disappoint.
I love this photograph because it really gives you an idea of the size and magnitude of the falls. It also helps that we saw some of the most beautiful rainbows I have ever seen form over the falls, which makes this photo even more magical!