Nikon lenses to bring on a Safari

Started Apr 17, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Re: Nikon lenses to bring on a Safari
In reply to pmallahan, Apr 20, 2012

It really does depend on where you go. In the Kalahari and other arid parks, you need a long lens. Even my 500VR is too short and I am forced to use converters. Where it is more bushy such as in the Kruger or the Sabie area, you might get away with 300-400mm. I found my 200-400 ideal there. In Botswana I used my 70-200 with TC20EIII a lot.

The other factor is how you are traveling. If you are driving yourself, you need to stick to the roads or tracks, so a longer lens is better. If you are being driven in a safari truck in one of the national parks, they also have to stick to the roads. However, in the private parks the drivers can go off road to get you close to the animals. At Elephant Plains in the Sabie Sands (excellent facilities at a reasonable price) I got by with a 70-200 most days as the driver got you right next to the cats. The photo below was taken at 300mm. That is how close you get.

As far as the second body is concerned, consider the cost of the whole trip and the devastating effect of your camera packing up. Buy something like a used D60 for a few bucks and sell it afterwards. You will not lose much. Consider it as insurance.

pmallahan wrote:

Don't listen to everyone saying the 70-300VR isn't enough lens. I did a safari in Botswana and Zambia a couple of years ago and asked the same questions, I thought about renting the 80-400 but ultimately ended up buying the 70-300. Most of the time you will be close enough to use the kit 18x105 and still get some decent shots but the 70-300 will give you more than enough reach. You can look here if you want to see what the lens is capable of and what you can expect.

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WSSA #324
Nikon D90
18mm-105mm VR AF-S
70mm-300mm VR AF-S
35mm1.8 AF-S

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Fujifilm X100S
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