When it comes to capturing wildlife on safari, size matters. The bigger your lens, the easier it will be to take photos from a distance. So when selecting a camera for your trip, be sure to opt for a minimum of 200mm or a minimum of 20x zoom with a compact. Some seasoned safari goers like to have interchangeable lenses whilst travelling, and this gives you the option of adapting to your environment. However, if you don’t want to carry a heavy bag of lenses, it could be a better idea to just opt for one good lens so that you never miss a moment.
Today’s high res digital cameras are outstanding so you’re guaranteed great quality imagery and it doesn’t take much training before you can grasp the basics. Our preferred camera manufacturers are Canon and Nikon (both leaders when it comes to still photography), and some of the best cameras of the moment are the Canon EOS 70D, Canon SX50 and the Nikon D3200. This is just to name a few (there are many more if you do your research) and many SLR purchases can be bought in bundles complete with tripod, memory card plus camera bag. One thing to bear in mind with digital SLRs is that they do occasionally fail (especially in extreme weather conditions) which is why serious photographers like to bring a backup. Having a spare camera also means that you can use a wide angle lens on the one and a telephoto lens on the other for quick changeover.
If you’re not much of a photography whizz or you like to travel as light as possible, there are a number of compact digital cameras that could live up to task of capturing those magical safari moments. In recent years, bridge cameras have improved massively so you won’t struggle to find a decent compact alternative. And the great news is, you will save a lot of money with a compact! For the best picture quality, our advice is to choose a bridge camera with a superzoom. – they have much better focal range than a standard. We recommend the Nikon Coolpix P610, Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000, Canon PowerShot SX60, Canon PowerShot G3 X, Sony Cyber-shot HX400V or the Sony RX100 III.
WHAT ELSE TO BRING
The one thing we always tell our guests to bring is a set of spare camera batteries. Charging is easy back at our featured camps so bring as many as you feel you need. You never know when you might run out of power or when a battery might die on you. Other than batteries, here are some things you may want to pack along with your camera bag:
Portable Hard Drive
There really is nothing more frustrating than a memory card packing in – especially when you’ve spent the whole day taking amazing photos. So backup is essential! We recommend bringing an external hard drive to load all your image files onto at the end of each day as well as a couple of spare memory cards in case you run out of space.
Monopods are extremely lightweight to carry and they are designed to minimise vertical vibrations, giving you a much clearer photo. Extremely useful if you are going on a 4×4 safari and need a little extra stability for your camera.
Protecting your camera from dust and dirt is important on safari and over the years, we’ve seen our guests use everything from camouflage dust covers and rain covers to pillow cases and clothing. It doesn’t matter so much what you use; as long as you can keep your camera shielded from the elements and we would recommend brining a lens cleaning kit too.