Lens to pair w/D7100 on safari, and second camera recs?

Started Jan 31, 2014 | Questions thread
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Lens to pair w/D7100 on safari, and second camera recs?
Jan 31, 2014

About 2 months ago I popped for a D7100 body. Now to buy a lens to go w/it. I was waiting to see if the price on the 80-400 f/4.5-5.6G ED VR AF-S would decrease around the holidays but no such luck, so it's time to pony up so this DSLR newbie can get plenty of practice before embarking on a late May safari to India.

In the meantime, I've been tempted by the 70-200 f/2.8G ED VRII AF-S but am concerned over not having enough reach. I am not an ardent birder but love the challenge of shooting birds as it improves my overall picture taking.

Thoughts on which lens I should get?

Either zoom will make close in shots tough, so I'm considering the following options as options for those shots:

1. Bring the Fuji HX10 bridge camera I already own

2. Use my Sony XR500 video camera to take stills (stills grabbed while shooting video are good; stills not taken during video suck).

3. Get a D7000 body w/an appropriate lens. While costlier than the other 2 options, I like the camera similarities/redundancy. Zoom redundancy would need to be provided by the XR500 shooting stills.

Thoughts on what route to take to handle non-zoom shooting?

Many thanks. I have learned a ton reading through various forums on this site.

 RadioFlyer's gear list:RadioFlyer's gear list
Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD
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