Africa travel suggestions

PixpopPixpop Big grinsPosts: 12Registered Users Big grins
Looking for suggestions and experience on gear for an African trip. We'll be traveling from Cape Town up the coast through Namibia and back. Wildlife, scenic landscapes, and people in villages along the way are my targets.
Great trip - but - we are doing this by MOTORCYCLE. So I need to be small, light and packable. Don't want to destroy anything in the environment but don't want to have the camera so buried away that when an opportunity arises I can't get to it.

My available gear:
7D, 70-200/2.8, 50/1.4, 17-55/2.8, 10-22, 100-400, 1.4x tele.

It would be great to hear from some "been there done that" folks.


  • spacefuzzspacefuzz Major grins Posts: 102Registered Users Major grins
    edited May 26, 2011
    Its been 12 years since I was in South Africa last but I did live in Capetown. Around town can get some iconic warf shots, and then of course Table Mountain and the apostles from the Camps Bay area. Wonderful beaches. There are some great hikes up to Table Mountain, or you can take the tram. Depending on the weather can get some great clouds for dramatic images up there.
    In the parks watch out for lions and elephants. Being charged by an elephant sucked, and I'm glad our SUV reversed fast. We also had a lion try to jump into our car, so watch your back on a motorcycle. I'd recommend a long lens for the animals, hope you dont get too much vibration from the bike. Lots of the park roads were washboard so have fun with that. As you get into Namibia the Orange river provides some nice scenery right next to desert, and then of course all the Kalahari has to offer (not the US water comment). Watch out for guinia fowel on the road, they like to walk in front of vehicles. I'd recommend the 100-400 as a drive through the park lens during the day. If you need to change lenses to get a wide angle, landscapes dont move. And well if you need the wide angle to get that pic of the lion, you have other worries.
    Take your malaria pills and have fun! Would love to see pictures when you get back.

    (and yes be very wary of crime)
  • bnlearlebnlearle Major grins Posts: 102Registered Users Major grins
    edited May 26, 2011
    I've been on a few safaris in SA and have quite a lot of experience with animals (wild and tame). Have grown up studying reptiles and African animals, specifically, and my photography career is all that keeps me from moving the family out to the bush and becoming a guide. No joke.

    I could be wrong about the following, but it's what I know to be the case ;)

    Wildebeests are really of no concern -- I think the poster above might be referring to Cape buffalo. These are the #2 killer of humans in Africa (after the hippo). Very true about being between a hippo and water source. Really, unless a hippo is in deep water, you don't want to be around them. I've been on foot with large groups of hippo -- maybe twenty feet away -- but always when they are in deep water, where they may be aware of us but not exceptionally nervous. If the water is shallow, stay away. If you see one on land, and you aren't in a vehicle, pray or climb a tree.

    As far as elephant charges go, I can't count how many times I've been charged. And of all the bushmen I know, every one of them says to stand your ground. As long as you keep your wits about you, learn a small bit about elephant behavior (knowing what a mock charge looks like, for example), elephant charges can become something you almost yawn at :)

    Lastly, as far as being on a motorcycle through the bush, I hope you aren't wanting to go game driving on a motorcycle -- especially without a guide. The bush is extremely safe when viewed properly -- either in a vehicle or with an experienced guide on foot/bike/etc. But going out looking for game on a motorcycle is a very dangerous thing to do unless you are an experienced guide in the African bush. I am assuming that you are using the motorcycle for traveling around -- not for going on game drives. If you are, and you aren't very experienced/learned about African animals, their behavior, and how to react to that behavior if it comes your way, I strongly suggest otherwise.

    Having said all that, I've been all over the world and the African bush outshines every place I've been a thousand times over. I named my son "Clive Kruger Earle" after the NP is SA. It's left me that in love with it. You're in for the trip of your life!!!
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