If you are planning to take an African safari to photograph wildlife in Kenya, Tanzania, or Botswana, start by applying for or updating your passport and then getting a few days of practice at your local zoo. A trip to a zoo will give you the opportunity to learn how to operate your camera properly so that you can capture the best possible photos of all the creatures you will find in the wild. Even if you have no plans for international travel, any photo trip to the zoo can be interesting and enjoyable.
Most large cities and many medium-sized cities in the United States have a zoo. There are over twenty-five in the state of California, and over 2,500 zoos spread across the country. Do an Internet search to find the best zoos in your area. I have visited several zoos recently to expand my wildlife photo collection and to take note of some tips that may help you with your photography at the zoo. Issue #143 - Photographing Wildlife at the Zoo of Photograph America has tips that will greatly improve your zoo photography.
Notes and images from Bob Hitchman.