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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Wildlife Talk 
Thread started 25 Jan 2018 (Thursday) 05:23
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Luggage limits for African Safaris

 
johnrobjones
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Jan 25, 2018 05:23 |  #1

I've booked a three destination Safari from mid July to mid August, visiting Etosha in Namibia, Chobe in Botswana and the Masai Mara in Kenya with CNP Safaris. In preparation I'm trying to establish the maximum luggage weigh I'll be able to take; bearing in mind that we will be using internal flights to travel between locations.

I would welcome any advice about any subject from those of you familiar with safaris; this is my first.

Thanks in advance, John


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ECC233
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Post edited 6 months ago by ECC233. (2 edits in all)
     
Jan 26, 2018 23:25 |  #2

Pack light. Many of the internal flights have strict limits. Also, my carriers have only allowed soft sided luggage. I opted for a normal Rucksack with lenses and bodies in Lenscoat pouches. I have travelled with two different kits (1) Canon 5dsr + 5d4/ 100 mm macro, 100-400 mkii and (2) Sony a7r3 + a9/ 90 mm macro, 24-105 mm and 100-400 mm. In my carry-on I have a rolled up small Deuter sack that I use during the day.

The mirror less system is lighter and quality is equal.

Dust is your enemy. I chose to have high MP and crop rather than use teleconverters. Do remember a couple of clean microfiber cloths, lens cleaning fluid, lens paper and sensor blower. I always have a couple of black waste bin liners with me for protection against rain or dust storms.

A monopod might be useful but I have never found room for one. Forget a tripod. It will just annoy people on the vehicles. You can fill a sock with breakfast oats as an improvised bean bag ... but many places have bean bags available.

Chargers and adaptors! If you are taking two bodies, chose ones with the same batteries. No 1dxii and 5d4 combination here. Take a couple more batteries than you think you need and charge them when you get the opportunity. Power outage is not unknown. Remember, on international flights the batteries have to be in hand luggage not the hold. If you are flying through JoBurg at any point, only take a penknife or a bladed tool if you have checkin luggage. Otherwise you will lose it. That are not allowed in carry-on within the airport.

I like to work up as I travel, so I can also fit in a Mac Book Pro (13”), backup hard drive and card reader.

Finally..... have fun. But be warned, it is addictive!

Ed


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johnrobjones
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Jan 27, 2018 15:12 as a reply to  @ ECC233's post |  #3

Thank you; sound advice.

I'm hoping to take a 1DX and a 1D4; 300 f2.8L IS, 70 -200 f2.8L IS and a 35L as a minimum. CNP Safaris provide a Nikon body with either a 500 or 600 f4 as part of the package. I will also be carrying my MacBook Air, spare memory cards and adapters.
I use a Mindshift First Light 40L rucksack and am hoping it will be ok as hand luggage; the dimensions are just on the limit. I have also been advised that it may be prudent to buy an additional child seat for the flight between Nairobi and the Masai Mara leg as the aircraft are quite small, this would give an additional 75Kg :lol:. I was intending taking a monopod along and perhaps a mini tripod (pocket size) for long exposure landscape shots. Most of the time will be spent in custom vehicles and boats equipped with double Wimberley mounted telescopic supports.

6 months and counting. :-D


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Chris.R
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Jan 28, 2018 20:32 |  #4

I wouldn't bother with a monopod unless you're walking, which isn't normally allowed in Chobe or Etosha. You might jump out on a dry river bed so a wide lens (?24mm) can be nice to have. There's one camp in Etosha (Okaukuejo) with a big waterhole adjacent which you can stake out all night, with a fence you can clamp a camera mount to.
Bean bag yes if they don't provide them. They have a strange mix of mains plugs - British, Euro and SA big 3x round pin, so take a universal. I use a power pack with 4 x a8650 batteries which als can go in torches.
Some of the internal planes are very small indeed. A Cargo jacket is useful, with pockets big enough for a dslr + lens




  
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johnrobjones
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Jan 31, 2018 10:45 as a reply to  @ Chris.R's post |  #5

Ok; I get the point about the monopod. What value would a macro lens give (100L) over using extension tubes with the 70 - 200L if at all? I thought there may be some opportunities to photograph insects etc.


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Wilt
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Post edited 6 months ago by Wilt.
     
Jan 31, 2018 18:30 |  #6

You should go to the web sites of airlines which you will be flying to determine their carry-on limitations. Some can be surprisingly lightweight limitations.
Anything not fitting within those limitations will need to go into checked bags for those flights, and suddenly you have additional concerns of theft or checked bags being tossed about (with risk to contents)


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DiploJohn
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Mar 05, 2018 11:02 |  #7

I've not been to these parks, but I've been to a few in South Africa. As others noted, skip the monopod. And, while the 24mm will be nice for the occasional landscape, you will, in general favor length over width. I have a 5d3 with the 100-400mm L Series 2. While I love it, I sometimes find myself wishing for "more elephant, less grass." I'm here for a while and seriously considering a 7D2 body to take along. (I have the advantage of reaching these parks by car. most of the time.) Oh, and the tip about the adapters and batteries is spot on as well. Enjoy yourself!




  
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Mybludog
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May 07, 2018 05:39 |  #8

When we did our first trip in 2014 we were limited to 15kg each (my wife and I) that included check in and carry on. My camera gear came to 19kg so we only had 11kg between us for our cloths etc.

When going from Wilson in Nairobi to the Mara i was 1 kg over (he took everything we had to weight including my wife's handbag) and he wasn't going to let me on the plane.

As someone else said, check the limits with the airlines your travelling with. Only take minimal cloths. Most of the camps will do laundry for a small charge. Only use soft sided bags that way you wont get knocked back.

I've been twice and took the mono both times. Going back again in September and will take it again.

Most of all, take it all in and enjoy every minute.......it'll go way to quick


Just like a dung beetle......

  
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Luggage limits for African Safaris
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