Ugly Hedgehog - Photography Forum
Africa Trips- TIPS???
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Jan 12, 2021 21:30:05   #
RWebb76
 
Dear Friends: I am a huge fan of Africa. I will be headed back when Covid 19 is under control.

I am putting together a list, perhaps an article, on planning for a trip to Africa with an emphasis on photography. I am asking my fellow UHH friends to write down one (or more) tip that they learned or did that might they would like to see added to the list. The tip does not have to be photography related. For instance, our travel advisor had us arriving in Johannesburg and leaving the following morning to Zambia. My wife intervened and planned a few days in J'Burg to see the Apartheid Museum, Soweto, learn more about Mandela, etc. We stayed in a lovely B&B. It was an excellent addition to our trip.

Might be a fun and enlightening conversation.

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Jan 12, 2021 21:52:21   #
IDguy Loc: Idaho
 
Near Jo day after arrival we were treated to an escorted tour of the diggings finding fragments from our oldest known ancestors...over three million years ago. Our small group (6) was led by a local PhD anthropologist. We were surprised and impressed by our day.

I have some images but am away from their location today. Maybe when I get home tomorrow.

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Jan 13, 2021 00:08:44   #
Wallen
 
Before going there:
Have anti malaria vaccination and other medical prep you need.
Bring your medications and supporting papers in case the medicines get questioned in the airport.
have proper health insurance & insure your most expensive equipment.
carry a neck-bag inside your clothes or sew an internal pocket with zippers in your day shirt and have your passport & important document there always with you.
read the latest news and forecast before leaving the country
If you wear glasses or other needs, have at least 2. One in each of your bag would be even better.

CITY:
1. Buildings have walls with electrified fence for a reason. Keep in mind it is not one of those we can call a very safe place. hence:
2. Avoid getting drunk
3. Always travel in groups
4. Bring your own water (drink only bottled water)
5. Tea or coffee is boiled so if thirsty those are better than drinking normal iced water from a jug if no bottled water is available.
6. Try STONEY ginger ale, that thing taste good.
7. Haggle the price if your buying something.
8. Have local emergency numbers in your phone
9. Do not leave your stuffs unattended
10. Always be cordial & observant

COUNTRY:
1. Follow your guide to the letter
2. Do not hang back and inconvenience your group
3. Do not leave the group without informing your guide
4. Be observant & defensive in your actions
5. Do not try to pet any animal
6. Do not feed animal with remaining hand
7. Be more vigilant with personal security at night
8. Never let your phone or com radio run out of batteries
9. Always have layered clothing to match the weather
10. Having 7x30mm Binoculars at hand can increase your pleasure of viewing

For photography,
1. Always take photo from a safe distance & location
2. Aside from you normal gear, carry a pocket size point and shoot with a long big zoom range. In the city, a dslr may attract unwanted attention. A P&S camera being snatched away would be better than you phone.
3. Transfer you photos at the nearest opportunity so you do not risk losing all of your images in an accident or emergency.
4. Always have some water & energy bars with you.
5. Enjoy the trip and make friends

| Reply
 
 
Jan 13, 2021 06:35:33   #
AFPhoto Loc: Jamestown, RI, USA
 
Wallen wrote:
Before going there:
Have anti malaria vaccination and other medical prep you need.
Bring your medications and supporting papers in case the medicines get questioned in the airport.
have proper health insurance & insure your most expensive equipment.
carry a neck-bag inside your clothes or sew an internal pocket with zippers in your day shirt and have your passport & important document there always with you.
read the latest news and forecast before leaving the country
If you wear glasses or other needs, have at least 2. One in each of your bag would be even better.

CITY:
1. Buildings have walls with electrified fence for a reason. Keep in mind it is not one of those we can call a very safe place. hence:
2. Avoid getting drunk
3. Always travel in groups
4. Bring your own water (drink only bottled water)
5. Tea or coffee is boiled so if thirsty those are better than drinking normal iced water from a jug if no bottled water is available.
6. Try STONEY ginger ale, that thing taste good.
7. Haggle the price if your buying something.
8. Have local emergency numbers in your phone
9. Do not leave your stuffs unattended
10. Always be cordial & observant

COUNTRY:
1. Follow your guide to the letter
2. Do not hang back and inconvenience your group
3. Do not leave the group without informing your guide
4. Be observant & defensive in your actions
5. Do not try to pet any animal
6. Do not feed animal with remaining hand
7. Be more vigilant with personal security at night
8. Never let your phone or com radio run out of batteries
9. Always have layered clothing to match the weather
10. Having 7x30mm Binoculars at hand can increase your pleasure of viewing

For photography,
1. Always take photo from a safe distance & location
2. Aside from you normal gear, carry a pocket size point and shoot with a long big zoom range. In the city, a dslr may attract unwanted attention. A P&S camera being snatched away would be better than you phone.
3. Transfer you photos at the nearest opportunity so you do not risk losing all of your images in an accident or emergency.
4. Always have some water & energy bars with you.
5. Enjoy the trip and make friends
Before going there: br Have anti malaria vaccinati... (show quote)


I am sorry, but I just spent the last two days reviewing more than 7000 pictures that I took on an African safari two years ago, and if I had read the quoted response I would never have gone. I have traveled over most of the world - Antarctica the only continent I have yet to visit- and I felt perfectly safe in Africa. The people, both in the cities and in the country were friendly and very helpful. Never did I feel threatened. I carried two expensive Olympus cameras and did not feel that the equipment was in danger. Of course, I took the same safety precautions that I would any where in the world (including many US cities). COVID and the possibility of getting sick in Africa is an altogether different issue. You will NOT get the same level of medical attention in the African outback that you would in the US or even Europe. So that may be the over arching consideration in your planning. Bottom line is that I would love to go back. It was by far one of the most enjoyable trips that we made.

| Reply
Jan 13, 2021 06:40:04   #
Julian Loc: Sarasota, FL
 
AFPhoto wrote:
I am sorry, but I just spent the last two days reviewing more than 7000 pictures that I took on an African safari two years ago, and if I had read the quoted response I would never have gone. I have traveled over most of the world - Antarctica the only continent I have yet to visit- and I felt perfectly safe in Africa. The people, both in the cities and in the country were friendly and very helpful. Never did I feel threatened. I carried two expensive Olympus cameras and did not feel that the equipment was in danger. Of course, I took the same safety precautions that I would any where in the world (including many US cities). COVID and the possibility of getting sick in Africa is an altogether different issue. You will NOT get the same level of medical attention in the African outback that you would in the US or even Europe. So that may be the over arching consideration in your planning. Bottom line is that I would love to go back. It was by far one of the most enjoyable trips that we made.
I am sorry, but I just spent the last two days rev... (show quote)



| Reply
Jan 13, 2021 06:41:34   #
marilyneg
 
One of my favorite places visited in South Africa was Tembe Elephant Park, which is located in the northers Zulu area on the boarder of Mozambizue. We saw such a great diversity of animals. Their web site does have a mounted camera overlooking the watering hole that offers a constant viewing of the animals visiting the watering hole, you can check it out if you wish. Viewings do vary depending on the time of day, but we saw many elephants, giraffes, nyala, lion, and amazing birds all near the watering hole. Regular tours were held in safari vehicles twice daily. We totally enjoyed our time at Tembe! Our sightings and experience were outstanding, staff excellent.

| Reply
Jan 13, 2021 07:39:35   #
uws Loc: nyc
 
Wear a hat. Bring insect repellant. If you're out in the bush carry toilet paper. There are no bathrooms. Consider buying pants with zip off legs. If you go out early it can be very cold in the morning but warms enough in the late morning for shorts to be more comfortable.
Bring the longest lens possible that you can manage without a tripod. There won't be room for it in your tour vehicle. You won't be allowed to get out for a shot because you'll starting looking like lunch to a predator.

| Reply
 
 
Jan 13, 2021 07:41:09   #
uws Loc: nyc
 
Wear a hat. Bring insect repellant. If you're out in the bush carry toilet paper. There are no bathrooms. Consider buying pants with zip off legs. If you go out early it can be very cold in the morning but warms enough in the late morning for shorts to be more comfortable.
Bring the longest lens possible that you can manage without a tripod. There won't be room for it in your tour vehicle. You won't be allowed to get out for a shot because you'll starting looking like lunch to a predator.

| Reply
Jan 13, 2021 08:05:55   #
Robertl594 Loc: Michigan
 
We enjoyed the DeBeers diamond mine tour near Johannesburg as an outing.

| Reply
Jan 13, 2021 08:52:12   #
Sidwalkastronomy Loc: New Jersey Shore
 
My suggestion is to bring $200-$300 in single dollar bills to give to people tips for posing for photos as a thank you.

| Reply
Jan 13, 2021 08:52:17   #
wireloose
 
Like afphoto I found it safe, even wandering around Dar es Salaam for a day- at night likely a different story. Ikuka in Tanzania was wonderful, few people, lots of animals. I was able to get out of the vehicle and there were guided walks. With just a guide and driver could use a tripod too when we sat in one spot for longer periods of time to watch lions and elephants. Would return in a heartbeat.

| Reply
 
 
Jan 13, 2021 09:11:22   #
Julian Loc: Sarasota, FL
 
Wallen wrote:
Before going there:
Have anti malaria vaccination and other medical prep you need.
Bring your medications and supporting papers in case the medicines get questioned in the airport.
have proper health insurance & insure your most expensive equipment.
carry a neck-bag inside your clothes or sew an internal pocket with zippers in your day shirt and have your passport & important document there always with you.
read the latest news and forecast before leaving the country
If you wear glasses or other needs, have at least 2. One in each of your bag would be even better.

CITY:
1. Buildings have walls with electrified fence for a reason. Keep in mind it is not one of those we can call a very safe place. hence:
2. Avoid getting drunk
3. Always travel in groups
4. Bring your own water (drink only bottled water)
5. Tea or coffee is boiled so if thirsty those are better than drinking normal iced water from a jug if no bottled water is available.
6. Try STONEY ginger ale, that thing taste good.
7. Haggle the price if your buying something.
8. Have local emergency numbers in your phone
9. Do not leave your stuffs unattended
10. Always be cordial & observant

COUNTRY:
1. Follow your guide to the letter
2. Do not hang back and inconvenience your group
3. Do not leave the group without informing your guide
4. Be observant & defensive in your actions
5. Do not try to pet any animal
6. Do not feed animal with remaining hand
7. Be more vigilant with personal security at night
8. Never let your phone or com radio run out of batteries
9. Always have layered clothing to match the weather
10. Having 7x30mm Binoculars at hand can increase your pleasure of viewing

For photography,
1. Always take photo from a safe distance & location
2. Aside from you normal gear, carry a pocket size point and shoot with a long big zoom range. In the city, a dslr may attract unwanted attention. A P&S camera being snatched away would be better than you phone.
3. Transfer you photos at the nearest opportunity so you do not risk losing all of your images in an accident or emergency.
4. Always have some water & energy bars with you.
5. Enjoy the trip and make friends
Before going there: br Have anti malaria vaccinati... (show quote)


Are you talking about the same Africa?

| Reply
Jan 13, 2021 09:30:46   #
Airspeed Loc: Washington, D.C.
 
AFPhoto wrote:
I am sorry, but I just spent the last two days reviewing more than 7000 pictures that I took on an African safari two years ago, and if I had read the quoted response I would never have gone. I have traveled over most of the world - Antarctica the only continent I have yet to visit- and I felt perfectly safe in Africa. The people, both in the cities and in the country were friendly and very helpful. Never did I feel threatened. I carried two expensive Olympus cameras and did not feel that the equipment was in danger. Of course, I took the same safety precautions that I would any where in the world (including many US cities). COVID and the possibility of getting sick in Africa is an altogether different issue. You will NOT get the same level of medical attention in the African outback that you would in the US or even Europe. So that may be the over arching consideration in your planning. Bottom line is that I would love to go back. It was by far one of the most enjoyable trips that we made.
I am sorry, but I just spent the last two days rev... (show quote)


I totally agree. I have spent a lot of time in Africa, especially East Africa, though also some time in the West. Never felt safer, as you take some basic precautions. For example, never go out at night alone in Dar-es-Salaam. At the same time, Kigali (Rwanda) is like the Switzerland of East Africa, they literally sweep the streets clean in the morning.

I have done plenty of safaries, always listen to the guides, and be aware: Hippos an Water Buffalo kill the most people in Africa. As long as you stay in your vehicle you will be safe. Lions, while you are in a vehicle, are safe.

| Reply
Jan 13, 2021 10:23:32   #
FredCM Loc: Central Illinois
 
The tip about single one dollar bills is a big one. There are lots of refugees from Zimbabwe in Jo-burg. The underground economy of Zimbabwe runs on US currency, but small bills. If you give a native $20, it will be worthless because no one can make change. Seriously. They warned us about the refugees downtown Jo-burg. The night belongs to the Zimbabweans, stay in. We stayed at the DaVinci hotel which is very very nice with unbelievable security. Which warns you about roaming around the city. There is a nice mall attached to the hotel and a nice outdoor food court.

| Reply
Jan 13, 2021 10:23:45   #
photoman43
 
I have been to Africa two times for photo safaris. Try and arrive one day ahead of time to allow for jet lag recovery, missed connections, etc. If on a photo safari, bring two cameras so you do not have to changes lenses in the field. One might have a 500mm or a 100-400mm on it; the other a 70-200mm. In cities, buy bottled water only from stores or hotels. The water sold by street vendors may just be tap water in used water bottles.

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