Africa Safari -- Feb 2008 [Return]

Safari 2008 Planning Details


Africa Safari Expectation
Photo Expectation
Camera Equipment Taken



Africa Safari Expectation
First Iíll give a little background so youíll understand what kind of trip I was looking for. Iím an artist and I have specialized in wildlife for the past few years. I have been visiting the zoos for years to photograph the wildlife for reference. So I was probably going to Africa for different reasons then most. I have lots of lion and giraffe photos but few of Cape buffalo, or pools of hippos or none of the scenery. I also felt that I needed to make a trip to Africa before I got too old and probably sooner was better than later. Africa is a little more expensive than the average vacation and we had just finished an extensive remodel so my husband informed me that we really couldnít afford to go at this time. Well, artists donít make much money (at least not me) so I decided to get a real job for the first time since college to pay for this trip. I got my part time job in Sept. 2007 and began planning our trip. I spent every spare moment reading trip reports on the internet and in Jan. 2007 I booked our trip for Feb. 2008 with Naipenda Safaris. I sent out my proposed itinerary to several companies. Some didnít answer, one refused to work with me because she thought I was doing the trip backwards (I wanted to fly up to the Serengeti and work my way backwards), and a couple companies I really liked. I picked Naipenda because I emailed back and forth with Jo in Texas who is half owner (Israel in Arusha is the other half owner) and she really seemed to listen to what I wanted. I also liked that she would advice me on other/better options (some companies just gave me a price, period). Price-wise they were on the lower side but not the cheapest and I could pay by credit card (more miles!). They were their own ground operators (name painted on the cruisers, which we learned was very important). And most important, I felt a sense of trust!
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Photo Expectation
First Iíd like to explain my photo expectations. I am a wildlife artist that used a Canon Elan 2E for years and reluctantly switched to a Canon Digital Rebel a few years back (I really like to hold and sort my images when Iím deciding what to paint). I used my Canon 70-300 DO lens, which I love, almost exclusively at the zoos. Again the quality of the photos wasnít as important but I was going to Africa so I wanted the best equipment I could get (within reason) that I could afford and also lift. I ended up buying the 100-400 mm lens and also a 10-22 mm wide-angle to go with my 28-135mm and 70-300. I also purchased the new Canon 40D as my primary camera (I was going to get a newer digital rebel but the larger display on the back sold me as well as the larger buffer). I also took 2 Wolverines (60gb and 120gb) for storage and then at the last minute decided to get a small HP notebook so I could check how I was doing and to also work on the images on the flights home. Iím glad I took the computer because right away I noticed that I really need to underexpose by a 1/3 stop most of the time and my 60gb Wolverine was full about half way through the trip as I shot over 7000 images.
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Camera Exquipment Taken

Hereís what I took:


Hereís what my husband took:
  • Canon high def movie camera HV20
  • 3 batteries
  • 1 external mic Ė didnít use
  • 2 chargers
  • 20 tapes Ė used 11
  • Naneu Pro backpack to hold 1 of my lens, the laptop, HV20 and other essentials

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