Our guides know photography.

When on Safari, the most important element that can make or break your Safari is your guide. Our guides make your Safari! It is the reason our clients come back.

Our guides have credentials from wildlife colleges but every season, they go through intensive training about everything from psychology to how to make you feel comfortable via body language and so much more.

Another thing they learn – photography. Photography on Safari is vital for our guides to know. We have a range of clients from hobbyists, amateur photographers to professional photographers whose work is well-recognized world-wide.

Lighting is crucial. Early morning before the sunrise to capture the first light of day break. How to avoid shadows in the hot mid-day sun. Positioning the vehicle in the right angle to capture the golden hour in the evening. Sunset shots are amazing and when you have a wildlife silhouette, dreamy. These little tricks of the trade are taught. Some of our guides are great photographers themselves.

If we know in advance what you need, our guides will equip our vehicle with supplies like bean bags for stability. We always carry a few in our vehicles anyway. Any specific need you have, we can work with you.

Need to do filming in Tanzania? Our guides will drive special vehicles built for filming. They are open on one side and the gear can be placed on the ground of the vehicle for a lower angle view. Our partner companies in Tanzania have taken professionals like Nick Brandt on Safari, the National Geographic team to Anthony Bourdain for Parts Unknown.

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Reuben, my guide from Olakira Camp in Northern Serengeti with my camera.

For a hobbyist like me, I let my guides help.  They would help me with lighting, shutter speed, angle, etc.  They got me some good shots while I got to enjoy the experience. The picture above is in Northern Serengeti on our early morning game drive and the Wildebeest and Zebra migration was grunting its way into this beautiful region.

I brought home some great pictures and some shots, I can not take credit for. You decide if you want to do that on your Safari.

Twende Safari – let’s go Safari.

logoLife worth Exploring! ™
Make memories on your Journey To Africa Safari.

Get in touch //
Email – Safari@JourneyToAfrica.com
Toll Free within US – 1.877.558.6288
Outside of US – 1.713.592.6228
Form – Request Information

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My camera gear on Safari

My Safari camera bag is getting prepped. Everytime I head out on my Safari, the what camera and lens to take itch starts. When you follow some awesome photographers you can’t help but want to come back with those amazing pictures. Those captures where you can see every lion whisker or see the feathers on a flying bird crystal clearly. I aspire to be like them.

But I have to remember that is their passion. Their job. They have high-end camera equipments and are prepared to carry the heavy weight lenses in special bags. They may sell those pictures or publish articles. Or maybe they just really love photography and the camera and lens is part of the enjoyment. Some of my professional photographer clients have bought two seats to accommodate their camera gear.

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70-300 mm on Safari in Serengeti

I am a hobbyist photographer. I shoot mostly in auto and play a bit with the custom settings. I love good pictures but the weight of the lens and length size is a factor. I am going to suggest what I am taking on my upcoming Safari.

Another thing that I have learnt in the many years of going on a Safari. Rent. Camera equipment is expensive. The only time I get the itch to get new lens or camera is when I am heading out for a Safari. I have found a local Houston renter called the Photo Rental Source that I used last time and am going to do so again. They ship around the US. Some other reputable dealers are BorrowLenses and Lens Rental.

In my camera bag, which is my bag-pack with a camera insert, I am going to carry ::
– My old model Canon T3i.  I would like to stick with my body or I may rent the 60D.
– I really enjoyed using the 70 – 300 mm f4-5.6 L IS on my last Safari and I am sticking with the lens. I liked the photographs I got with this camera. The other option I was considering is the 100 – 400 mm f4-5.6 L but I am going to be doing some walking in Ruaha and Selous and this lens is a heavy. I hope I don’t regret it since I am starting to like birding and this is a birder favorite. I know most pros like prime lens. Love what they get with those large lens.
– For taking pictures of the lodges that I need to review and when I did my walking in Serengeti, I enjoyed using the 24-105 mm f4 IS. It was easy on my back for the whole day walking. I know pros go between this and the 24-70 mm f2.8.
– My Canon Powershot p95 was a good little one for tight squeezes like when I was co-piloting.
– And the iphone 5s – always handy.

My accessories ::
– Camera cleaning kits. A good cleanup end of the day is a good idea.
– Battery charger.
– Converter for the prongs. Most of the chargers are 110-240 V but the prongs vary.
– 2-3 batteries. Our vehicles have charging stations which makes it easy to always have a spare ready.  Evenings at the lodges are also a good time to recharge.
– 2 -3 memory cards. Adjust size and quantity depending on your length of Safari and how much you like to take. Normally you average 400-600 per day. Make sure you get a fast speed card. Nothing more frustration then taking an action shot and your card has to ‘think’.

That should be it. I hope this gives you a starting guideline on camera and lens gear for your Safari with Journey To Africa. Happiness is being on Safari.

I can’t wait to share pictures on the blog from my upcoming Safari.

Life worth Elogoxploring. ™
Make memories on your Journey To Africa Safari.

Get in Touch //
Email us – Safari@JourneyToAfrica.com
Toll Free – 1.877.558.6288
Outside of US – 1.713.592.6228
Fill out a simple form – Request Information

What camera equipment to bring on Safari?

Photograph by Rick Sammon – Masai Mara giraffe

In August 2013, professional photographer Kevin Pepper and internationally recognized photographer Rick Sammon are taking their clients to Tanzania for a photographic Safari – Capture Tanzania by Lens.  On this Safari [August 8th to 16th] the group will get to explore amazing Tarangire National Park, dense and captivating Ngorongoro Crater and vast, green and breathtaking Northern Serengeti.

Besides enjoying these National Parks, the group will have Kevin and Rick with them at all times to improve the photography experience. From what setting to use, right aperture to capture the shot, picture composition to getting back to camp in the evening and talking about post processing. Want to join them on Safari? Contact us at Safari@JourneyToAfrica.com.

Kevin is taking a Safari to Tanzania in April to get a taste of Tanzania and I have asked him to talk about cameras and all the other accessories that need to be considered with taking a Photographic Safari. We will follow up with him after he comes back and get his final packing list for his August Photographic Safari with ‘natural light guru’ Rick.

For us photographers its time to make some decisions — what camera equipment do we take with us to get the photos we expect to be taking?

Camera bodies: Take a main body and a spare if you have one. One will suffice… but two is optimal. On my next Safari with Journey to Africa in April of 2013 and then again in August of 2013 I will be taking the Canon 5D MkIII and the Olympus E30.

Lenses: I suggest full coverage from wide angle to telephoto.  I will be taking the 11-22mm f2.8-3.5 wide angle, a 14-54mm f2.8-3.5 and a 50-200mm f2.8-3.5 with a 2.0x teleconverter for my Olympus body. For my canon body I will have a Sigma 150-500mm f5-6.3 and a 17-40mm f/4.0L

Flash: An external flash is also a suggestion. Filling in shadows and creating proper lighting indoors and when shooting local tribes people is something a flash will help you with.

Camera Bag: A backpack camera bag is ideal. You’ll want to be able to carry your equipment on to airplanes to avoid theft, so a backpack works best. I will have my gear in a LowePRO protrekker 400 as it will fit both my bodies and lenses in the bag while I am travelling.

Tripod: I am not going to tell you that this is a deal breaker… you can choose to shoot in any light situation you want… but why chance it. I will take a monopod , a beanbag and a light carbon fibre tripod. Chances are you will be using the bean bag most while on safari and when not using it the ISO adjustment will compensate for any low light situations. But for golden hour or blue hour shooting you will be kicking yourself in the butt when you see a scene at low light and you have no way to steady your camera for a couple seconds.

Storage Media: I shoot all my photos in RAW and will take a minimum of 5 media cards for the 7 day trip. Each card will be an 8gig or 16gig Sandisk Extreme CF cards and will hold between 400 and 1000 images on each card. If you are a serious photographer, bring a laptop as well, with software for basic editing. Plus, you may want to invest in some kind of external hd backup system so your photos are kept in two locations.

Other accessories: Take a rain cover for yourself and your camera body if you are going to be there in the rainy season like we sometimes will in the coming years. While rain last for very short periods of time in Tanzania, the down pours are hard.

Batteries and chargers: I have four batteries for each camera body and I will take them all. I will also be taking chargers with the appropriate wall plug to charge my batteries as they drain. You can also buy a solar panel charger from a company called voltaic systems for a couple hundred dollars if you want to go that route.

Filters: I will be taking my entire cokin P series polarizers and ND filters with me when I travel. I also have an assortment of Tiffen filters I use. At some point on your safari you will wish you had the right filter. Harsh light or bright skies and darker foregrounds will definitely have you scurrying to borrow someone’s filter if you do not take your own.

Lens cleaners and cloths: Take cleaners and cloths for both your lenses and sensor (if you know how to clean your sensor) If you are not careful when changing lenses you can easily get dust on your sensor.

Conclusion: But let’s not forget, an African safari is about experiencing a once in a lifetime event… that bucket list trip that will leave you with memories of a lifetime.

So there Safari goers. You have your camera equipment guidelines. Now go on Safari with Kevin and Rick and come back with loads of your own photographs and memories! Karibu Tanzania!