Safari and camera bags

Started 8 months ago | Discussions thread
C Sean Senior Member • Posts: 1,903
Re: Safari and camera bags

I'm going to South Africa again and I'm approaching this safari different to prior ones. This safari cost more, I'm traveling to five different camps and I'm breaking it down into three segments. Each segment has a different set up and how many people in the vehicle could also play a part what I will bring per game drive/walk.

  • Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve
  • Kruger Park
  • Sabi Sands

In the past I used a Crumpler backpack to take my camera gear onto the plane. The backpack is no longer in production but it just about fit all my lenses and bodies I'm taking with me. The battery chargers and binoculars goes into my main suitcase but this will change for this safari.

In my main suitcase I have my Tenba DNA messenger bag. When I arrived in Africa, it's out of the main suitcase  and I used it for walks or game drives. I have this bag at my side inside the vehicle, lenses all sticking up, lens caps off and lens hoods mounted ready to be shot. Also the bag's lid is covering the lenses to prevent dust. In the side pockets are blower, fosters and cleaning cloths.

I will be replacing the Crumpler backpack with the Tenba shootout 24, the reason is I'm taking an additional lens for Sabi Sands and I have to take the 12-35 for both Blyde River Canyon and also Sabi Sands. This means I will be taking four lenses and three bodies. I'll probably do what in my safari bag next month and update it with my safari photos when I return


Safari vehicles can carry up to ten people but realistically you want 7 the maximum. This way it stop people sitting in the middle and give photographers more freedom. This doesn't always happen because at Kruger we often saw tour companies filling up the vehicles completely and chasing after the big 5.

The other thing is try to share your vehicle with like minded people. Some people are more bias than others e.g. birders, photographers and big fivers. Join a group who you can work with because safaris are actually about team work.

Finally, read the book Don't Run Whatever You Do. It's about a former safari guide telling funny stories of his close calls or the tourist in his group having a death wish. It's funny but also a wake up call. I had a close call in Botswana with a lion and I wished I had read the book prior to my trip to Botswana because I became too relax. Where I stayed in Kenya, by the lake, a tourist in the area or could be the same facility I stayed at, last week a tourist almost got bitten in half after getting too close to a hippo while it's on land. He was trying to photograph it. We had giraffes and Zebras in our camp and we left each other alone. The only animals I got up close to were the monkeys including the big baboons but even then you keep your distance.

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