Photography enthusiasts have a unique opportunity to exercise creative license with the diverse range of shots available while on an African safari. From wildlife action shots to picturesque landscapes and macro snaps of insects and plants, capturing the splendor of Africa as you see it through the camera lens is an extra special way to preserve these unforgettable moments in time.
Procuring and traveling with all the camera equipment can be cumbersome, and you take into account that less is more when packing for a safari. To cover all your bases while still packing lightly, aim to compile only the essential camera components for your trip. An ideal camera kit for safari purposes should consist of three or four lenses, an auto focus body like a Nikon F80, F90, or F100 or the Canon Eos/Rebel range, a dedicated automatic flash, and ample cleaning equipment.
For the lenses, it’s wise to just pack a basic lens of 28-80 or 35-105 along with a wide-angle 20mm lens, a long lens from 400mm to 600mm, and a close-up lens like a 105mm macro. You can consider pairing your camera kit down by experimenting with the specific combination of zoom lenses.
A good rule of thumb if you’re still trying to decide on which type of camera equipment is to purchase the best lens you possibly can instead of the best camera body. Bear in mind that the f-stop rating determines how fast it will shoot, and that the faster the lens, the better.
When shooting animals in motion, F2.8 is preferable. With wildlife photography on safari, anything slower than f5.6 runs the risk of being too slow for subjects in motion and subjects in low-light environments.
(Most photography pros opt to use Fuji Velvia slide film (transparency or color) rated at 50 ASA. Just remember that the resolution of nonprofessional digital pictures doesn’t quite match that of good film, particularly if you’re intending in enlarging images. If you’re keen on using a digital SLR for the flexibility and convenience, remember to adjust your settings accordingly to get the image size quality to 300 DPI for printing purposes.