Here are some tips to help you make the most of your safari - the majority of these
are only applicable for the self-drive element of a trip as the camps and lodges
will have their own schedules. Some lodges are quite flexible allowing the clients
to dictate the times and duration of the game viewing activities. The best time for
game viewing is early morning or late afternoon so try to make sure you maximise
the game drives you do at this time of the day. An early game drive before breakfast
can be rewarding as predators are more active at this time compared with later in
the day. The less productive hours between 11am and 2pm can be used for relaxation
or travelling to your next destination. In the drier regions, waterholes can be worth
spending time at - patience is required but often rewarded with good sightings.
When on a game drive listen to the sounds of the bush - warning calls are often a
sign of predator activity with Tree Squirrels and Spurfowls particularly vigilant!
Drive slowly on game drive roads keeping your eyes peeled for any movement - look
under trees and bushes for predators which like to rest here in the shade.
Always remember that you are in a completely natural environment keeping any disturbance
to a minimum . Never get out of your vehicle except in designated areas and do not
approach too close to Elephants, Rhinos or Buffalo, even in a vehicle, as they can
be unpredictable - although it is an over-used phrase it is worth remembering that
"all wild animals are dangerous".
Early morning and late afternoon offer the best light for photographs, when the sun
light is at its 'warmest'. During the heat of the day the sun light can be quite
harsh and animals are less active so photography is not as rewarding.
In general we recommend the following equipment in order to get the best photos of
your safari although you can still take some good shots with standard point-and-shoot
cameras that have a zoom feature to get you closer to the subject.
Digital SLR Camera - Canon / Nikon offer the widest range of accessories
Fixed / zoom lens - at least 200mm (for animals) or 400mm (for birds)
Wide angle lens - preferably less than 28mm for landscape shots
Tripod / Bean bag - Bean bags are very useful in the vehicle to steady the lens
Digital Media - a minimum of 4Gb of digital media to store your photos
Flash - add highlights to images or use for night photography where allowed
Cleaning cloth / dust brush - regular cleaning is required to eliminate dust
Spare battery / Car charger - 12V car charger and/or spare batteries are a must