Traveling Part II Africa and South East Asia - Tom Scott

tomscott

Photographer & Graphic Designer
Hey guys,

Just thought I would update you on my travel plans for 2016. Continuing from my 2014/2015 trip of a lifetime of Rio to Lima, then 3/4s of the states I'm off again to do another. I took over 25,000 images in the just shy of 6 months I was away and its been quite a task to sort them... so the thread is unfortunately unfinished but if you would like to read about my gear selection and a little about my first trip here is the link.

http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=22621.msg435360#msg435360

I will use this thread to update my gear choice and also add pics of my trip as I go.

The Trip

Im very happy to say that after a lot of planning Traveling part II is booked!! Me and SWMBO (she who must be obeyed) are heading to Africa for 54 days starting in Cape Town and end in Nairobi.

Spanning eight countries through South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya. This journey is full of diverse cultures, abundant wildlife, spectacular landscapes, stunning beaches and loads of adventure. We will track the Big Five across open savannah, explore the Okavango Delta in a dug-out mokoro canoe, encounter gorillas deep in the Ugandan wilderness. We Travel aboard rugged overland truck and wilderness camping will bring you closer to the region’s wildlife.

Couple of highlights...
Fish River Canyon, Sossusvlei Dunes, and Spitzkoppe, game drives in Etosha, Serengeti, and Lake Nakuru National Parks, Guided township tour (Swakopmund), Okavango Delta overnight bush camping excursion, Ngorongoro Crater visit with game drives, Guided tour of spice plantation (Zanzibar), 4-day Zanzibar excursion, Guided mountain gorilla trek, Guided chimp trek (Kalinzu Forest Reserve).

11960059_701802752353_792265256298376199_n.jpg


Then we are going to south east asia for 41 days starting in Bangkok finishing in Sanur traveling through Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand!

Couple of highlights...
Full-day snorkelling excursion, City tour of Medan, Visit to orangutan feeding platform, Orientation of the Cameron Highlands, Orientation walks of Bandung, Berastagi, Sipirok and Bukittinggi, Entrance to Bromo Tengger Semeru NP, Mt Bromo sunrise climb, street food crawls.

11935035_701802757343_4420370572788792762_n.jpg


Then we are staying in Bali for a while to do our Padi and travel around a few of the other islands including Comodo Island! Cannot wait!!! We fly early Jan and come home early May! With the possibility of heading to India for a while budget depending.

Gear and last trip gear analysis.

Things that didn't work so well

Barely any time for blogging so that is now off my priority list. The iPad Mini was fantastic especially with PS express really powerful. I ran Raws to the CF and small JPGs to the SD then put those on the iPad and edited them as I went to post online. They looked great on the iPad but a lot of members on here were telling me the colour was way off which when i finally got to a computer was abundantly true. Huge disappointment.

So this year I am going to take my MBA as my parents came out to visit me in america and brought it over for me and I was so worried about weight that it came off my list but when I started using it traveling the difference was minimal so it will be coming along this time.

Canon 70-300mm - although an incredibly sharp and small lens it was just far too short. I went to some incredible places like the amazon and it was just miles short sometimes cropping beyond 100% so I will bring something much longer so ensure I get close enough for the game parks etc

Hahnel Dual power USB charger worked once and died it was dead weight for the rest of the trip so I have ditched it for a fospower fuse.

Hahnel ProCube seems great on the outset, but when charging two batteries it will quick charge so only to 60% with both which was extremely annoying as you know with the 5DMKIII its burst speed reduces as the battery power goes below 50% GRRR, Sometimes it would charge one battery 100% and one to 60% and i nearly ran out of power at Machu Picchu on the 4 day inca trail which I was thoroughly annoyed about as I didn't shoot as many images as I wanted to. The USB on the rear also won't work at the same time as charging the batteries. Even with only one charging, it only works when no batteries are charging which is also annoying as its rather large to be a phone charger. But I learned to put both bats in charge until it says 100% then check in camera and let the other charge longer. Its saving grace is that it charges a lot faster than the Canon charger and the fact it can do two at once or I would ditch it.

Lowepro Photo Hatchback 22l AW - Not too many complaints its a great bag generally a great companion.
Things I didn't like - the compartment for camera gear is small not meant for a pro body so my fault but nothing in its size category did basically so I could get it on a flight. The big logo on the rear was a big target IMO although I had no issue. The cool area for your back was a waste, I'm on the younger end of the scale and an active bloke who sweats a bit while tracking and when in humid conditions of 35+ deg C it just soaked up all the sweat like a sponge and wasn't that comfortable and took ages to dry. The water cover was great, and the bag itself has loads of support and the straps are comfy, it had a rear compartment that faces your back and an internal camera bag that can be pulled out so in terms of safety even someone slit the bag with a knife (which does happen a lot) the gear was going nowhere without me seeing or feeling. Unfortunately in this class there are no in-between trekking bags with the same system and a mesh back cool zone, removable interior section and a good sized top section for other things like coats energy bars etc. They are all a lot smaller so for the time being its a love hate relationship more love.


Things that did work well

Picking one pic a day editing it and posting which is my goal and will update this thread with the images.

The 5DMKIII - I would have been lost without it, I don't care what anyone says there is not a better camera to go and do a trip like this. As you can read through my last thread I was juggling the A7, A7r and A6000 as possibilities because of weight. But I'm a fit guy and my main packs only 15k and my camera gear about 6 in my day pack so it was a no issue for me. The 5DMKIII has everything in terms of features build etc. I also like the heavier camera and I'm so used to it. Add that with the 24-105mm fantastic range although not the best IQ, I still think its one of canons best all rounders. The 16-35mm F2.8 again fantastic for night and landscape, the 70-300mm again incredible lens but as above just too short for wildlife but for everything else was great I used this a lot! With the pro grade build and weather sealing the gear went through a lot of intimidating environments from -30-40 deg C of NYC, Detroit and Chicago in the really bad american weather of January, the dust and sand of the Atacama Desert and the rainforest tropical storms of the Amazon. These are just a few it went through some of the worst places possible and I didn't so much as get a tiny bit of dust in a lens... The sensor on the other hand..

My gear I see as just tools I don't really protect it in any great manor just shoot and it shows my gear is worked hard and are certainly not museum pieces. I think this also helps in terms of people wanting to steal it, it looks nakard and I didnt have one issue on the whole trip in terms of safety. I haven't had any issues with this selection what so ever, love it and the way it works and the images I got from it were incredible.

So to continue from that point I will basically be taking the same gear as last time:

5DMKIII
24-105mm F4 L
70-300mm F4-5.6 L
16-35mm F2.8 L

Circ Polar, 10 stop grad, gorilla pod

2tb USB3 external, 1tb Hyperdrive

iPad mini ret 128gb

1620571_664996477423_9014046987498294488_n.jpg


10418936_662744974453_3023405699921077890_n.jpg


Power - Hahnel ProCube - charges two batteries at a time and has a 5v USB on the back very compact brilliant for travel. Also has a car adapter.
http://www.hahnel.ie/index.cfm?page=li-ionchargers&pId=145

Fospower Fuse
http://www.amazon.co.uk/FosPower-All-In-One-Universal-International-Converter-Black/dp/B00KC7I2GU

RavPower 14000MaH battery charger

Hahnel Dual power USB charger
http://www.hahnel.ie/index.cfm?page=xtrasforipod_usb&id=148&pId=148

Additions to this kit are a tamron 150-600mm would love the 100-400mm MKII for its IQ and weather sealing but as above far too short even at 400mm and nearly 3 times the price my gear insurance is already £350 so adding another £2000 to my worldwide cover will drastically increase that. The tammy seems the obvious option and as its cheap if it only lasts the trip I won't loose any sleep. Possibly add a 7DMKII but I'm not sure yet as 500-600mm will be more than enough. Also my MBA 11", the iPad mini 128gb was incredible last time around but really missed my MBA so def taking it.

Bags - Rover Pro 45L AW

http://youtu.be/fCpT5kcoNgA

It will be my hiking bag when needed, and be my luggage bag to put things in the hold during flights etc It also has two pull out camera compartments which can be folded down when not in use, or carry other items.

Rover Pro 45L AW
http://store.lowepro.com/shop/outdoor-adventure/rover-pro-45l-aw

RoverPro_45L_left.jpg


RoverPro_45L_back.jpg


RoverPro_45L_case_open_pack.jpg


It has very good supportive straps with an aluminium frame with hip support and a trampoline style rear system for cool air to pass.

I have also bought the Photo Hatchback 22l AW as my day pack its a rear loading camera bag.

This will be for my carry on but also a day pack when I only need a few bits and pieces in the day, it is really compact but holds a lot of gear also has a removable camera compartment allowing it to be a full sized bag.

http://store.lowepro.com/shop/dslr/photo-hatchback-22l-aw

PhotoHatchback_22L_left.jpg


PhotoHatchback_22L_stuffed.jpg


PhotoHatchBack_22L_cameracomp.jpg


Hope you enjoy reading my rants and arguments with myself and the gear! Also the pictures I will post. Any suggestions and comments are very welcome.

Cheers

Tom
 

chauncey

EOS RP
Jun 5, 2011
564
1
Taking the state of the world into consideration...I would make funeral arrangements prior to leaving.
 

JPAZ

If only I knew what I was doing.....
CR Pro
Sep 8, 2012
1,056
174
Thanks for the ongoing information. Traveling (especially in some parts of the world) continues to be a challenge in terms of the gear vs weight vs size comprimises. I've trekked with an F-stop Loka but that bag is not as convenient for some small internal flights. I used the TT City Walker on my last journey which worked well for my day to day carry leaving things I did not want with me locked in my luggage, but, I tweaked my shoulder / neck at the end carrying gear on the Tokyo subway. Using two backpacks like you describe might be a better option I'd not thought of. My total carry was 17-40, 24-70 f/2.8ii, 100-400 ii, 1.4x, 430EXii, a Gorrillapod, and my 5Diii (along with batteries, filters, cards and chargers). The gear worked well for me but I am still trying to think of a better way to carry for the next jouney (because I don't have enough camera bags ;) ).

The only other thing I think about is a 24-105 instead of the 24-70 for the IS but so far most of my keepers are OK using good holding despite slow shutter speeds. I just got a 16-35 f/4 and will sell my tried and true 17-40 which adds just a little more weight.

1+ on the 5Diii as the travel body with utility.

Continue to travel safe my friend.
 

scottkinfw

Wildlife photography is my passion
CR Pro
Having been put up for adoption at birth, I have finally found my biological father-Dad! Take me with you!

Seriously, have a great time. If you have time while in South Africa you might try a shark dive in shark alley. While in The Serengeti, go for a night drive- it is totally awesome. While in the crater, don't forget to look up for astro. Also, I think you will might be somewhat in rainy season in Tanzania, but also wildebeest birthing season which will be awesome, ~1.5 million born plus the predation. Then again, it might be a bit early. Any way you slice it, what a treat.

I can't wait to check out your blog.

Don't forget malaria and yellow fever prophylaxis.

Sek

tomscott said:
Hey guys,

Just thought I would update you on my travel plans for 2016. Continuing from my 2014/2015 trip of a lifetime of Rio to Lima, then 3/4s of the states I'm off again to do another. I took over 25,000 images in the just shy of 6 months I was away and its been quite a task to sort them... so the thread is unfortunately unfinished but if you would like to read about my gear selection and a little about my first trip here is the link.

http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=22621.msg435360#msg435360

I will use this thread to update my gear choice and also add pics of my trip as I go.

The Trip

Im very happy to say that after a lot of planning Traveling part II is booked!! Me and SWMBO (she who must be obeyed) are heading to Africa for 54 days starting in Cape Town and end in Nairobi.

Spanning eight countries through South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya. This journey is full of diverse cultures, abundant wildlife, spectacular landscapes, stunning beaches and loads of adventure. We will track the Big Five across open savannah, explore the Okavango Delta in a dug-out mokoro canoe, encounter gorillas deep in the Ugandan wilderness. We Travel aboard rugged overland truck and wilderness camping will bring you closer to the region’s wildlife.

Couple of highlights...
Fish River Canyon, Sossusvlei Dunes, and Spitzkoppe, game drives in Etosha, Serengeti, and Lake Nakuru National Parks, Guided township tour (Swakopmund), Okavango Delta overnight bush camping excursion, Ngorongoro Crater visit with game drives, Guided tour of spice plantation (Zanzibar), 4-day Zanzibar excursion, Guided mountain gorilla trek, Guided chimp trek (Kalinzu Forest Reserve).

11960059_701802752353_792265256298376199_n.jpg


Then we are going to south east asia for 41 days starting in Bangkok finishing in Sanur traveling through Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand!

Couple of highlights...
Full-day snorkelling excursion, City tour of Medan, Visit to orangutan feeding platform, Orientation of the Cameron Highlands, Orientation walks of Bandung, Berastagi, Sipirok and Bukittinggi, Entrance to Bromo Tengger Semeru NP, Mt Bromo sunrise climb, street food crawls.

11935035_701802757343_4420370572788792762_n.jpg


Then we are staying in Bali for a while to do our Padi and travel around a few of the other islands including Comodo Island! Cannot wait!!! We fly early Jan and come home early May! With the possibility of heading to India for a while budget depending.

Gear and last trip gear analysis.

Things that didn't work so well

Barely any time for blogging so that is now off my priority list. The iPad Mini was fantastic especially with PS express really powerful. I ran Raws to the CF and small JPGs to the SD then put those on the iPad and edited them as I went to post online. They looked great on the iPad but a lot of members on here were telling me the colour was way off which when i finally got to a computer was abundantly true. Huge disappointment.

So this year I am going to take my MBA as my parents came out to visit me in america and brought it over for me and I was so worried about weight that it came off my list but when I started using it traveling the difference was minimal so it will be coming along this time.

Canon 70-300mm - although an incredibly sharp and small lens it was just far too short. I went to some incredible places like the amazon and it was just miles short sometimes cropping beyond 100% so I will bring something much longer so ensure I get close enough for the game parks etc

Hahnel Dual power USB charger worked once and died it was dead weight for the rest of the trip so I have ditched it for a fospower fuse.

Hahnel ProCube seems great on the outset, but when charging two batteries it will quick charge so only to 60% with both which was extremely annoying as you know with the 5DMKIII its burst speed reduces as the battery power goes below 50% GRRR, Sometimes it would charge one battery 100% and one to 60% and i nearly ran out of power at Machu Picchu on the 4 day inca trail which I was thoroughly annoyed about as I didn't shoot as many images as I wanted to. The USB on the rear also won't work at the same time as charging the batteries. Even with only one charging, it only works when no batteries are charging which is also annoying as its rather large to be a phone charger. But I learned to put both bats in charge until it says 100% then check in camera and let the other charge longer. Its saving grace is that it charges a lot faster than the Canon charger and the fact it can do two at once or I would ditch it.

Lowepro Photo Hatchback 22l AW - Not too many complaints its a great bag generally a great companion.
Things I didn't like - the compartment for camera gear is small not meant for a pro body so my fault but nothing in its size category did basically so I could get it on a flight. The big logo on the rear was a big target IMO although I had no issue. The cool area for your back was a waste, I'm on the younger end of the scale and an active bloke who sweats a bit while tracking and when in humid conditions of 35+ deg C it just soaked up all the sweat like a sponge and wasn't that comfortable and took ages to dry. The water cover was great, and the bag itself has loads of support and the straps are comfy, it had a rear compartment that faces your back and an internal camera bag that can be pulled out so in terms of safety even someone slit the bag with a knife (which does happen a lot) the gear was going nowhere without me seeing or feeling. Unfortunately in this class there are no in-between trekking bags with the same system and a mesh back cool zone, removable interior section and a good sized top section for other things like coats energy bars etc. They are all a lot smaller so for the time being its a love hate relationship more love.


Things that did work well

Picking one pic a day editing it and posting which is my goal and will update this thread with the images.

The 5DMKIII - I would have been lost without it, I don't care what anyone says there is not a better camera to go and do a trip like this. As you can read through my last thread I was juggling the A7, A7r and A6000 as possibilities because of weight. But I'm a fit guy and my main packs only 15k and my camera gear about 6 in my day pack so it was a no issue for me. The 5DMKIII has everything in terms of features build etc. I also like the heavier camera and I'm so used to it. Add that with the 24-105mm fantastic range although not the best IQ, I still think its one of canons best all rounders. The 16-35mm F2.8 again fantastic for night and landscape, the 70-300mm again incredible lens but as above just too short for wildlife but for everything else was great I used this a lot! With the pro grade build and weather sealing the gear went through a lot of intimidating environments from -30-40 deg C of NYC, Detroit and Chicago in the really bad american weather of January, the dust and sand of the Atacama Desert and the rainforest tropical storms of the Amazon. These are just a few it went through some of the worst places possible and I didn't so much as get a tiny bit of dust in a lens... The sensor on the other hand..

My gear I see as just tools I don't really protect it in any great manor just shoot and it shows my gear is worked hard and are certainly not museum pieces. I think this also helps in terms of people wanting to steal it, it looks nakard and I didnt have one issue on the whole trip in terms of safety. I haven't had any issues with this selection what so ever, love it and the way it works and the images I got from it were incredible.

So to continue from that point I will basically be taking the same gear as last time:

5DMKIII
24-105mm F4 L
70-300mm F4-5.6 L
16-35mm F2.8 L

Circ Polar, 10 stop grad, gorilla pod

2tb USB3 external, 1tb Hyperdrive

iPad mini ret 128gb

1620571_664996477423_9014046987498294488_n.jpg


10418936_662744974453_3023405699921077890_n.jpg


Power - Hahnel ProCube - charges two batteries at a time and has a 5v USB on the back very compact brilliant for travel. Also has a car adapter.
http://www.hahnel.ie/index.cfm?page=li-ionchargers&pId=145

Fospower Fuse
http://www.amazon.co.uk/FosPower-All-In-One-Universal-International-Converter-Black/dp/B00KC7I2GU

RavPower 14000MaH battery charger

Hahnel Dual power USB charger
http://www.hahnel.ie/index.cfm?page=xtrasforipod_usb&id=148&pId=148

Additions to this kit are a tamron 150-600mm would love the 100-400mm MKII for its IQ and weather sealing but as above far too short even at 400mm and nearly 3 times the price my gear insurance is already £350 so adding another £2000 to my worldwide cover will drastically increase that. The tammy seems the obvious option and as its cheap if it only lasts the trip I won't loose any sleep. Possibly add a 7DMKII but I'm not sure yet as 500-600mm will be more than enough. Also my MBA 11", the iPad mini 128gb was incredible last time around but really missed my MBA so def taking it.

Bags - Rover Pro 45L AW

http://youtu.be/fCpT5kcoNgA

It will be my hiking bag when needed, and be my luggage bag to put things in the hold during flights etc It also has two pull out camera compartments which can be folded down when not in use, or carry other items.

Rover Pro 45L AW
http://store.lowepro.com/shop/outdoor-adventure/rover-pro-45l-aw

RoverPro_45L_left.jpg


RoverPro_45L_back.jpg


RoverPro_45L_case_open_pack.jpg


It has very good supportive straps with an aluminium frame with hip support and a trampoline style rear system for cool air to pass.

I have also bought the Photo Hatchback 22l AW as my day pack its a rear loading camera bag.

This will be for my carry on but also a day pack when I only need a few bits and pieces in the day, it is really compact but holds a lot of gear also has a removable camera compartment allowing it to be a full sized bag.

http://store.lowepro.com/shop/dslr/photo-hatchback-22l-aw

PhotoHatchback_22L_left.jpg


PhotoHatchback_22L_stuffed.jpg


PhotoHatchBack_22L_cameracomp.jpg


Hope you enjoy reading my rants and arguments with myself and the gear! Also the pictures I will post. Any suggestions and comments are very welcome.

Cheers

Tom
 
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