Lenses for safari

Started Dec 30, 2011 | Discussions thread
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Lenses for safari
Dec 30, 2011

I am planning to go on a safari in spring/early summer 2012.

I am not yet sure where, but probably in either Tanzania, Kenya or Botswana. I do realize that the vegetation differs greatly between the plains of Tanzania and Kenya (Serengeti/Masai Mara) and Botswana (Okavango Delta) and therefore can affect the choice of a good zoom lens.

I am somewhat of a beginner. I have a Canon T2i and the 17-55mm f/2.8IS and the 50mm f/1.4USM. I will take my little Canon S100 on the safari for the wide angle landscape shots. I do not feel that the 17-55mm or the 50mm f/1.4 will be suitable especially since I would like to shoot leopards, which are very difficult to find and are generally secretive and uneasy around people (and therefore, require a greater distance).

I am asking the question now so that I can save up some money before the safari. I am looking at buying one or both of the following lenses: 70-200mm f/2.8 IS II and 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS.

I would appreciate any advice from more experienced photographers who have been on safaris in these three areas. Do you think that I need both since one has a greater zoom and the other has f/2.8 for low light conditions (early morning or dusk)? Or can I get by with just one?

Thank you in advance.

Canon EOS 550D (EOS Rebel T2i / EOS Kiss X4)
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