I'm back safe and sound from my first safari experience.
You may recall I was supposed to go to Kenya and our guide re-routed us to Tanzania.
Thank you to EVERYONE on this forum who offered advice, packing lists, tips and tricks. It was all very worthwhile and I truly appreciate the time you all took to assist.
Just like you all predicted, I now have 'the bug', and wonder when I'll go back again.
We did Taranagire, Lake Manyara, Ngorogoro Crater, Serengeti, and a little bit of Ndutu on our way to the airfield to fly back to Arusha. We also visited a school, an orphanage, a couple of markets, and a Maasai village (which didn't go well).
The people were marvelous, our guides and drivers gracious and funny. I preferred the tented camps to lodges,hands down.
We saw tons of elephants, about 25 lions, and only one leopard. We had a terrific close encounter with a family of Vervet monkeys, plus all the usual zebra, giraffe, baboon, hippos, etc. It was FABULOUS. There were lots of youngsters, including a wildebeest so new the mother was still eating the placenta' and we think we saw a hippo being born. I found giraffes difficult to photograph, and couldn't get a clear shot of those red hornbill birds for love or money ' can't figure that out.
I like the birdies, but every time we slowed to shoot one, it flew away - every time. We all ended up laughing at my 'bird curse'!
I can see how your standards and expectations can get higher and higher as you become more experienced.
I will work on a trip report, because I think I have some good stories to tell. But I'm a little delayed because I got sick two days after getting home and spent 3 weeks very near the bathroom. I was tested for parasites, but by the time I found out the lab had LOST the samples, I was better. I'm still not 100%, but doing better. Doctor says to eat healthy and get rest.
I came home with just over 3,000 photos. The Hyperdrive was good, but not necessary because I edited so heavily on the camera in the evenings. I took two bodies and 3 lenses, shooting mostly with the 100 ' 400. The 4 GB and 8 GB cards were more than enough. My only mistake was not taking a beanbag. Lesson learned.
I did manage to go with carry-on only, and came home with one item of clothing I didn't wear.
I very much want to share some of my photos, but I'm very nervous about doing so. I'm terrible at editing and I've only done a few 'auto fix' and 'sharpening'. I got a lot of ribbing on our trip because I don't use Photo Shop. Not only do I not know how to use it, but I don't believe it's photography when you swap out an entire sky for a better one - OK, call me naive.
Most of what you see was shot 'as is', and any cropping and tweaking for tone or saturation will take me months - if I even do it. I think I did OK and I'm pleased with what I captured both digitally and spiritually. Any advice and constructive criticism is heartily welcomed.
Visit www.cmoff.smugmug.com and go to the Gallery entitled Tanzania 2008: Armchair Traveller Version. There are about 80 photos, with captions.
The second gallery is a whopping 360 images, and was put together for the obligatory family slide show. It's a photo diary of the entire trip, including accommodation, my tripmates, etc. If anyone has the remotest interest in this gallery, email me offline and I'll send the password.
Thanks again for all your help. Stay tuned for a trip report '
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