African Safari stuff. A bit late.

Started Dec 19, 2011 | Discussions thread
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African Safari stuff. A bit late.
Dec 19, 2011

I should have posted these pictures 6 months ago. But things got hectic these was so much going on here and my personal life and business that the task of processing 3000 pictures was daunting and I kept on putting it on the back burner. I had also just got the E-5 and a whole lot of other kit so it was in with the new out with the old. ( For a while) . There was also the usual bickering ( which I do admit I am inclined to partake in) about what our cameras can’t do than what they can do. I thought why bother and did random stuff and posted they elsewhere. Any way I sent the last few weeks sorting out the mess and was aging pleasantly surprised how good the Olympus equipment is even what we call out dated E-510/520/620/30 with a 4 to 2 year sensor.

The kit I used was the E-620 with the 12-60 / 50-200 / EC14 . Depending on what I shoot this was the secondary camera. My main camera was the E-30 / Bigma. The ankle biters ( Kids) used the E-510 / 135-400 and the E-520 / 70-300 ( Until it got wreaked) . I shoot raw/jpg on both cameras as the E-620 was a secondary. If I use it as a primary I shoot JPG only as the buffer is terrible. The E-5xxx cameras work very well as per usual. ON that pint I was amazed at some of the shoots taken at high ISO on inferior lenses , but the users did not know that Olympus can’t shoot High ISO and shoot it anyway. The E-30 / Bigma was as per usual flawless and it still amazes me how accurate the focus is in low light on a lens that is f/5.6 at the long end. I often think with that camera ‘ what Olympus focus problems’ . The E-620 is another story though . Its nearly always did focus but some times took it’s time and that on a much faster lens. (50-200 / EC14) . IQ wise I shoot a lot of stuff at between 400-800 ISO. I also hate t he grip on the E-620 but it’s a bit better now with the HLD-5 , The 2 batteries also make the focusing more accurate.

As to the trip we few up to JHB and picked up a rental and drove to the Kruger park (500km). My son was tardy and missed his flight from Durban and for a change someone else was called irresponsible and tardy by my wife. ( I smiled for days) . We spent 9 days ( 8 nights ) in the park and the cost was about $1500 for 2 people . That included connecting flights and car rental and food and fuel as this is a DIY safari. This means you cook (If you want to otherwise use the restaurant.) pour your own drinks etc. ( No fella with a white jacket and fez here to pour your drinks scrub your back.) The accommodation we stayed in is all self catering and serviced. As we spend very little time in the camp itself we did not go for luxurious accommodation. We leave when the gates open and get back before they close. (just) out for about 12 hrs. So it’s just a case of your base is somewhere to prepare food have a (few) drinks , shower sleep and get going again the next morning. The main accommodation normally has a bathroom a air conditioner and is spotlessly clean. Utensils are supplied in some cases . Being ’ locals ‘ we know what frills to cut. We do it often so we maximize the return for the Buck.

For others ( Outside ) visitors interested in doing a DIY at Kruger it is not that expensive compared to the private tours that charge about up to $1000 a day. If you are prepared to plan and have some time. You could do the same trip (9 days , 8 nights ) for about $1500-$2000 for 2 people excluding international flights. That also would depend on how much you ate and drank and where you ate and drank. This consists of medium accommodation and a decent rental. You are not allowed to go off road so a 4X4 is not necessary ( Just a high up car) . All major camps have a sunset night/early morning drives (About 3 Hrs) which are conducted in a game vehicle by PROPPER San Parks rangers. ( Not some one that was selling fruit in Bonn 6 months before and is a guide because he speaks the lingo). Oh yes the drive is about $40 per person.

The Kruger is massive 2,000,00 hectares, 200km wide and 600km long. So there is a lot to see and do. In a park like this game moves with the seasons so one has to do some research. Someone on this forum said Kruger was overrated as they saw very little in 4 days and 2000 km. Well that person was cashing rainbows and did far to much driving, and did not stop to see the animals probably looking for Lions. Lions and the cats find you , They hunt at night and sleep during the day so you sort of stumble on them. People often miss the really good stuff like dwarf mongoose, rhino beetles , chameleons and the other really interesting stuff. The cheetah in the road walked in front of the car as it was it wanted its babies to cross , it was there for about 3 min then gone into the long grass after t he young had crossed the road , it was good fortune. But like the say it amazing how lucky you get if you practice a lot. That is why I say you need time. Find a water hole and park you will be amazed how this empty patch of water is suddenly active. You get up early (Often dark) to see that good game.

Any way here are some of the pictures. Someone stated that I waste money and time travelling these far distances for some far off , grainy , blurry pictures. Well I like some of them. And hope you do to. Some can be sharpened more but I am rather paranoid about hallo’s so I would rather under sharpen.

I will start with the carnivores as everyone want to see LIONS.

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(Aficionado Olympus DSLR )

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. (George Carlin)

New Seventh Wonder of the World.

 CollBaxter's gear list:CollBaxter's gear list
Canon PowerShot SX230 HS Olympus E-500 Olympus E-30 Olympus E-620 Olympus E-5 +15 more
Olympus E-30 Olympus E-5 Olympus E-520 Olympus E-620 Pentax K-m (K2000) Pentax K-r Sigma 50-500mm F4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM
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