April 19, 2014, 09:04:25 PM

Author Topic: Tanzania with minimal gear  (Read 2201 times)


  • Rebel T5i
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Re: Tanzania with minimal gear
« Reply #15 on: September 29, 2013, 04:27:09 PM »
Here's a few of my thoughts:
1.  I was in Africa two years ago with my first digital kit: 60D+18-200mm kit lens + 100mm macro.
2.  I have since added a 7D body, 70-300L, 10-22, 15-85, Sony RX100 P&S
3.  What I found on my trip is that the only time I felt comfortable changing lenses was in camp under dust-controlled conditions which was fine because the 100 macro was only used in camp shooting plants and insects.

If I were in your situation I would do one of two things:
1. Take 60D (so I had video available) with the 70-300L for wildlife (and reasonable macro) plus the Sony for wider-angle landscape and safety when in cities.
2. Convince a family member (you did say this was a family trip?) who is not into photography to share the gear load with you in exchange for your incredible images.  One person would carry the 60D + 70-300L, the other the 7D + 15-85.

I know many would argue that the 70-300 should go on the 7D for wildlife but I found wildlife to be so cooperative I didn't miss the better autofocus of the 7D when I only had the 60D.  Also, since the 60D allows for video, you can switch between stills and video with the good range of the 70-300.


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Re: Tanzania with minimal gear
« Reply #15 on: September 29, 2013, 04:27:09 PM »


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Re: Tanzania with minimal gear
« Reply #16 on: September 29, 2013, 06:31:06 PM »
I'm going on a trip to Africa next August.  I've searched the forums for other threads on this, and there was some good stuff, but I thought I'd ask for some more specific advice.

It's a two-week "Safari Serengeti" tour.  Arusha, Tarangire, Olduvai Gorge, Serengeti National Park, and the Ngorongoro Highlands & Crater.  It's a more "off the beaten" track type thing.  We'll be sleeping in tents and will have to walk fair distances carrying all our gear at some points, so I don't want to bring too much.  Plus, there are baggage limits.  We'll be given one duffel bag, and everything we need for the two weeks has to fit in it.  Plus a carry-on.  I presume my camera gear will be in the carry-on.

I was thinking maybe one body and two lenses (and maybe a point and shoot as backup). 

I'm willing to buy or rent what I don't have for the trip, so...what should I bring?

Hi, can you tell me the name/contact of the tour company? I wish to do a similar trip..Thanks!


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Re: Tanzania with minimal gear
« Reply #17 on: September 29, 2013, 07:40:35 PM »
I probably spend around 6 to 8 weeks a year on Safari in Africa, so getting gear around has become a bit if an Art.

You mention a Hiking/Tent type Safari, so that may mean your Photography may well be mostly from Foot, as against from a vehicle, and that would suggest two different Rigs, or one Rig that would suit both Foot & Vehicle Photography.

Serengeti/Tanzania can be wide open plains, subjects next to the vehicle, or quite a distance away, if on foot I'de suggest mainly at a distance, which is where you want them if your on Foot, you don't want a Fully grown Male Lion 10 metres away.

A general purpose set up that you need to consider carrying in a backpack while hiking might look like this.

24-70f/2.8 L II
70-300 f/4-5.6 L

I'de suggest the 70-200f/2.8 L II + 1.4x as an alternative to the 70-300, but be aware the 70-200 f/2.8 gets quite heavy after a while, where the 70-300 is quite a bit lighter, the 24-70f/2.8 or the 24-70f/4 will take care of your wide angle & closer up Imaging, I'de go the f/2.8 here as you will then have something that will take care of those Dawn/Dusk shots.

The 1Dx might be an alternative to the 5DMKIII, but it's heavy and the real world value is better dust protection & 14fps over the 5DMKIII. I've used both in Africa and no issues with either. The 6d might be a choice as well, you loose the wonderful AF Options of the 5DMKIII/1Dx though, and generally I only recommend gear I own & use, but my Son uses a 6D + 28-300 when he comes with me & produces some great Images with this Combo.

This suggested gear will present no issues for Carry On, I had a horrible experience with Carry On gear leaving Dar Es Salam on a SAA flight, it finally worked out, but the Cabin Staff were removing carry on Camera gear at the door, even from Business Class Passengers, tagging and putting the gear to the Hold, in many cases unlocked, and despite Passengers being really upset, in a case like this you are best to refuse to Board and make them remove your checked baggage then get another flight.

Be also aware that any Camera Gear that you put into checked luggage stands a reasonable chance of going missing, out of Johannesburg is unfortunately infamous for this.

Otherwise, enjoy your trip to Tanzania, I was there for 5 weeks in June/July 2013 & totally loved it, except for Dar.
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Re: Tanzania with minimal gear
« Reply #17 on: September 29, 2013, 07:40:35 PM »