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Aug 1, 2021 10:32:27   #
photoman43
 
craneman wrote:
In 3 weeks my wife and I are going on a photo safari to South Africa. I am taking a Nikon D7500 with a 70-300 zoom lens and a Nikon P1000 for close and very far shots. My question is, how do I sweet talk my wife into packing one of the cameras?


Try and convince her to take one camera bag with one system in it just for getting thru airports and planes. Then tell her you will take over from there. Make sure she has binoculars to keep her busy while you are juggling two cameras and lenses in the safari vehicle.

This has worked for me on two trips to Africa.

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Aug 1, 2021 11:05:49   #
crabbydog
 
Sneak the camera equipment into her luggage.

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Aug 1, 2021 11:21:46   #
DebAnn Loc: Toronto
 
craneman wrote:
In 3 weeks my wife and I are going on a photo safari to South Africa. I am taking a Nikon D7500 with a 70-300 zoom lens and a Nikon P1000 for close and very far shots. My question is, how do I sweet talk my wife into packing one of the cameras?


Here's my experience with packing for South Africa. Take one suitcase each for personal clothing, shoes etc. Take a photography backpack - mine held two bodies and two lenses plus many storage cards, batteries and chargers. I had no problem with any of the airlines (including the very small planes within South Africa) I carried it onboard. Also, while on safari, there was plenty of room for my backpack and a couple of others belonging to companions.

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Aug 1, 2021 11:40:12   #
Hip Coyote
 
craneman wrote:
In 3 weeks my wife and I are going on a photo safari to South Africa. I am taking a Nikon D7500 with a 70-300 zoom lens and a Nikon P1000 for close and very far shots. My question is, how do I sweet talk my wife into packing one of the cameras?


One option would be to bring your girlfriend and your wife so they can carry more equipment. Or take me and I will carry what ever you need. Barring that, I suggest a few things:

I (and a lot of other hogs) have written extensively on this forum re Africa trips. I will try to summarize here.

I recommend that you search this site for prior Africa trip recommendations. Second, here is a repost of something I wrote a while back on Africa. I altered it slightly to hopefully help you.

First of all, I am envious of your trip. I've been to Africa and cannot wait to go back. Remember, you go for the animals and come back for the people. Seriously.

When I was there I found it absolutely necessary to have two cameras set up for the scenarios I was going to run into in the bush. I carry M4/3 equipment (which is much lighter btw and was perfect for my trip). I had one body with a 12-100 (24-200 FF equivalent) and one body with a 100-400 (200-800 FF eq). I was THE perfect set up. The roads can be quite dusty so changing lenses in the bush is not an option. In fact, I had a backpack on the seat between my wife and I and eventually kept my cameras in some light weight sacks on my lap to keep the dirt off (it was way beyond dust..it was dirt.) I think next time I would use a pillow case or similar. Keep a blower with you at all times. Clean all gear at the end of the day.

You will be surprised at how close you will be getting to animals. Double check the parks you are going to...in some parks, guides drive off road and get very close to animals and in some they are limited to the roads...if your guide goes off road and you have some 500 mm lens on your camera, it just wont work. You will wish you had wider angle lens. The opposite is true for the longer range shots..so you need to be prepared for wide and tele shots.

I think if I had regular sized equipment (photographically speaking) I would consider a bridge camera and a smaller point and shoot. The Nikon P1000 and maybe another smaller camera might be all I'd take. I saw people with massive white lenses in safari vehicles and they looked awkward and unwieldy. One guy was armed for loooong range shots only to find that the animals were practically riding with us in the car. I am sure he got a nice photo of an elephant's eye...but that was about it. One had to be prepared for the right shooting circumstances. An iPhone would have worked better. You may get a Nat Geo pic but most will be memories for you and your wife (and girlfriend if she goes).

I'd skip the tripod. I would have never used it. Cant use it in the bush because you cannot get on the ground usually, lest a critter might want to eat you. And if you do (we did...had an interesting encounter with a rhino whilst on foot), you have to be mobile. There may be a way to do some nighttime astro stuff, but keep in mind, animals are active at night.....eating. You cannot just go out and start shooting away. You say you will use it around the lodge...maybe...but during the day you probably wont need it and at night, you may be limited to staying indoors or have an escort because critters can invade the camp or the camp has no fences. You are not in Kansas anymore and there are real animals that will feast on you...or at least bite you resulting in your demise.

Most of the animal photography i did was far more close than I would have expected. Like maybe 20-50 feet. I could have left my long telephoto home and only missed a few shots. Again, depending on where you are viewing animals and off road capabilities will determine your lens length. In spots such as Kruger, you will need a longer lens...in private reserves, probably not.

Be armed at all times! Meaning take a camera everywhere you go. We were walking to dinner in Namibia (kind of freaky in that we were in a camp with no fencing and no escort to dinner and a watering hole nearby...no elephants in the camp but there were lions) and some bush babies were poking their heads out of trees. I slapped the camera into Auto with a high iso and got some decent shots. Speaking of auto iso, you should consider getting familiar (or you may be familiar) with the concept...it works pretty well.

I found no need for a computer. I just put my little SD cards in a holder and hoped for the best. Having a drive back up makes sense. You need a lot of dust and dirt mitigation stuff...blowers, leaf blowers, what ever.

I set up a pre-set on both cameras to capture very fast movements of animals in case we were lucky enough to see a chase. Never happened except at a cheetah preserve in Namibia. But I suggest you do it. When and if that happens, you will not be able to respond fast enough to capture the chase without a preset. I usually shot in Aperture mode. Animals were not really active.

I took a flash and never used it. Some folks bring one with a snoot. Most game reserves do not allow it for obvious reasons.

Remember, you are a rich American (assuming here). Tip generously. You will find that the Africans will try to make your trip as pleasant as possible. In Namibia, I tipped $100 for a two night stay and the receptionist got teary-eyed. You visit a village, try to buy things and leave some money there. You will see some people in very dire circumstances. Covid has drastically impacted the Africans. Be prepared and be generous.

One way to keep weight down is to figure out which lodging place has laundry facilities or laundry services...we were at a few spots where they did it for free, other places they did it for a very low cost. I did a little timeline of when we were doing laundry and found that we really did not need a lot of clothes. I found it much easier to pack for Africa than say a trip to the East Coast of the US.

I know that is more than what you asked for. But I want you to have the best trip possible. Two last pieces of advice. 1- Sometimes, put the camera down and just BE THERE. I did it a few times and it was memorable. Thinking I was in the middle of the bush, watching a lion eat some critter, I was with family, and darned lucky to be able to do it. 2- Talk to people. We were at Robben Island where Mandala was imprisoned for 25 or so years. The crowds went off and I was left with the Robben Island tour guide...who was a prisoner there for about 15 years. Very long story short. He was an anti-apartheid fighter. He was a convicted terrorist (from the ruling White perspective). Was trained in Angola by the Cubans to fight the white ruling party (Afrikaans) in South Africa. He and his fellow resistance blew up bridges, power stations, etc. They were careful to not harm people (so he said) because they knew they would eventually win and have to live with the whites. We talked about weaponry, philosophy of their strategies, family, struggles, etc. It was a memorable day.

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Aug 1, 2021 12:24:59   #
ricosha Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
 
quixdraw wrote:
Only you can know the answer to that! But if you haven't come across it this may be interesting. Link https://www.bythom.com/photographic-travel/africa/index.html


Wow...

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Aug 1, 2021 12:39:15   #
bikerguy
 
Do not bring a monopod for the truck. It will hinder your picture taking and add movement to you images. You will find that you will be changing positions frequently.

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Aug 1, 2021 12:53:38   #
photoman43
 
I used a monopod successfully in Botswana and in Tanzania in a Land Rover. Each photographer on both of my photo safaris had the whole row to himself so it was easy to use what you bough with you. If you had three in each row, my advice would be different. Your safari tour leader should tell you what to expect when in a vehicle for each country visited.

A monopod lets you shoot low--out the side or out a lower window. Low viewpoints are often better than those when standing up and shooting from the top. A good bean bag was essential on both of my trips.

On both my trips, I had two Nikon DX camera bodies. In Botswana, my longest lens was a 300mm f2.8; in Tanzania, it was a 500mm f4; other lens on the second body was a 70-200mm. And I used 1.4x tcs too.

If I were going today, I would take a Nikon 500mm f5.6 pf, Nikon 300mm f4 pf and Nikon 70-200mm f4 and tcs. And probably two Nikon D500s, or one D 500 and one D850.

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Aug 1, 2021 13:06:13   #
k2edm Loc: FN32AD
 
50+ years of marriage has taught me that it is easier to seek forgiveness than permission....sneak the camera on board...

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Aug 1, 2021 15:34:19   #
scubadoc
 
We are also going on a African Photo Safari in two weeks. Most of the group are experienced shooters and have been there before. According their advice, I’m packing everything in a ThinkTank Roller bag which will hold two FF bodies, a 100-400 and a 70-200 zoom. I’m told that the camera bag will fit in the open air vehicle. I plan on carrying my main camera with the long tele-zoom with a dust cover and my 2nd body will have the 70-200 lens in the bag, but readily available. Good luck. Our trip was cancelled last year and rescheduled for this year.

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Aug 1, 2021 15:57:22   #
bikerguy
 
scubadoc wrote:
We are also going on a African Photo Safari in two weeks. Most of the group are experienced shooters and have been there before. According their advice, I’m packing everything in a ThinkTank Roller bag which will hold two FF bodies, a 100-400 and a 70-200 zoom. I’m told that the camera bag will fit in the open air vehicle. I plan on carrying my main camera with the long tele-zoom with a dust cover and my 2nd body will have the 70-200 lens in the bag, but readily available. Good luck. Our trip was cancelled last year and rescheduled for this year.
We are also going on a African Photo Safari in two... (show quote)


Fitting your bag in the truck will depend upon the number of people in the truck and how many are bringing a lot of photo gear. The open trucks in southern Africa can accommodate 9 tourists. With nine people there is no room for a roller camera bag. Even when there are only 6 people, 2 per row, a big camera bag is still a problem. Also, if you are taking any of the small planes to the camps there are significant weight and size limits.

Lastly, I would bring something shorter than the 70-200, maybe a 24-70. There are times that giraffes and other animals are very close to the truck and the 70 is too long. Also, it just isn't that much shorter than the 100.

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Aug 1, 2021 17:34:41   #
Hip Coyote
 
bikerguy wrote:
Fitting your bag in the truck will depend upon the number of people in the truck and how many are bringing a lot of photo gear. The open trucks in southern Africa can accommodate 9 tourists. With nine people there is no room for a roller camera bag. Even when there are only 6 people, 2 per row, a big camera bag is still a problem. Also, if you are taking any of the small planes to the camps there are significant weight and size limits.

Lastly, I would bring something shorter than the 70-200, maybe a 24-70. There are times that giraffes and other animals are very close to the truck and the 70 is too long. Also, it just isn't that much shorter than the 100.
Fitting your bag in the truck will depend upon the... (show quote)


Exactly. I agree.

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Aug 1, 2021 17:51:32   #
pdsdville Loc: Midlothian, Tx
 
My wife used to carry my extra lenses when I was shooting film. That ended about the time I got a 300mm lens.

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Aug 1, 2021 17:58:22   #
Scruples Loc: Brooklyn, New York
 
craneman wrote:
In 3 weeks my wife and I are going on a photo safari to South Africa. I am taking a Nikon D7500 with a 70-300 zoom lens and a Nikon P1000 for close and very far shots. My question is, how do I sweet talk my wife into packing one of the cameras?


Good Luck on the Safari.
Good Luck with the wife.

When I want or need my wife to do something, it costs a little more than I planned. I run into a local jeweler and pick up a nice piece of jewelry. Surprise it on her with a camera bag telling her if she could help you pack.

My wife surprised me with a Canon 1v-HS when I disagreed with her.

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Aug 1, 2021 18:25:37   #
scubadoc
 
bikerguy wrote:
Fitting your bag in the truck will depend upon the number of people in the truck and how many are bringing a lot of photo gear. The open trucks in southern Africa can accommodate 9 tourists. With nine people there is no room for a roller camera bag. Even when there are only 6 people, 2 per row, a big camera bag is still a problem. Also, if you are taking any of the small planes to the camps there are significant weight and size limits.

Lastly, I would bring something shorter than the 70-200, maybe a 24-70. There are times that giraffes and other animals are very close to the truck and the 70 is too long. Also, it just isn't that much shorter than the 100.
Fitting your bag in the truck will depend upon the... (show quote)

Our tour leader has specifically told us that our vehicles will have space for a camera bag, either a roller style or large backpack. We also have a72lb weight allowance on the private bush planes. I am following her advice, as she has been organizing these tours for 10 years and knows whereof she speaks.

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Aug 1, 2021 20:00:03   #
mundy-F2 Loc: Chicago suburban area
 
craneman wrote:
In 3 weeks my wife and I are going on a photo safari to South Africa. I am taking a Nikon D7500 with a 70-300 zoom lens and a Nikon P1000 for close and very far shots. My question is, how do I sweet talk my wife into packing one of the cameras?


Just ask her. What would you do if you where going alone?
Mundy

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