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For best photos on game drives, which row of seats do you prefer?

For best photos on game drives, which row of seats do you prefer?

Apr 16th, 2005, 05:55 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5,553
For best photos on game drives, which row of seats do you prefer?

While I will enjoy a private vehicle for much of my upcoming safari (thanks to my party of four), once I am on my own in the Sabi Sand, I will definitely be sharing with others.

It would seem that the back row would offer the most convenience for shooting pictures, as then you have a height advantage.

However, I know in the Sabi Sand there are times that a leopard is actually within touching distance, and at times lions are no more than 15-20 feet away. In order to get a nice photo it would seem that being in the lowest row would work out best.

So, for those of you who are somewhat serious about your photography, where do you prefer to sit?

Roccco is offline  
Apr 16th, 2005, 10:25 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 618
hi there, 3 out or 4 trips i was alone. so it didn't matter. but the first one.
there was 5 of us. i tended to grab the highest sit in the right-rear.
if your a lefty. maybe you want the left,lol.
thats what i went for. felt right for me. not sure if this helps.
although, if your in the truck with other people. you may end rotating. we didn't, but i heard other people mention that.
cheers, david
tuskerdave is offline  
Apr 16th, 2005, 12:50 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 682
Africa newbie here...
Would it be safe to assume that the best spot to chat/learn from the guides would be the front row?
Ericka is offline  
Apr 16th, 2005, 01:06 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 618
hi, that 1st trip. our zim guide talked along the way. but for the better sightings and pics. the upper seats.
even in my kenya and tanz trips. i'm was standing all the time.
if you like to sit in front. grab it fast or take turns using that seat.
tuskerdave is offline  
Apr 16th, 2005, 01:07 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,536
Most wildlife photographers prefer to be on the same level as the subject. On all of the game drives at MalaMala I sat in the seat beside the driver and had perfect views of everything. Also, you can use the dash to brace the camera on.
sundowner is offline  
Apr 16th, 2005, 01:31 PM
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I tend to agree with sundowner. Not that I'm an expert photog, but when I could get the seat next to the driver, I grabbed it. Otherwise, we sat in the first row behind the driver.

In fact, I asked for the seat besides the driver when I saw that it was empty and after my second ever game drive, I got tired of climbing into the seats behind. Excuse me, please provide a door! What's with this climbing stuff? Sure a little attitude on my part, but I didn't sign up for a Kili adventure.

I can see your point regarding the rear seat, but unless you've got elephants or giraffe, at higher levels... as you say, with those cats only a few feet away, you could probably do better on lower seats.

On one game drive at Singita, there were three lions sitting right outside my passenger seat. All I did was to point the camera down and joila... a great photo of the girls grooming one another. No one else in the vehicle was able to get this shot. But that's not always the case.

As tuskerdave mentioned, and as is often done... if you have others in the vehicle, suggest rotating seats.
Apr 19th, 2005, 08:13 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,305
I found the back row too bumpy, too high, and too far from the driver. I like the row just behind the driver.
lisa is offline  
Apr 19th, 2005, 06:49 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 80
In 2004 at Inyati in the SSGR, I found that in the back seat, although higher than the others, my shots very often were impeded by people in the middle row leaning out trying to get a better angle for their shots. IMO, the rear seat is the least desirable.
jrruff is offline  
Apr 21st, 2005, 07:58 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 207
I also like the row just behind the driver. Easier to get in and out of. Easy to talk to the driver. Good position for photos. We had new people in the truck each day, so even rotating, we were able to get that seat most of the days. A few days we were on the last row. That would also be our least favorite.
JackieSun is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2005, 01:13 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,220
I prefer the front row just by the driver but, when sharing the safari vehicle with others I feel it's important to check the preferences of fellow guests and to share...

I am not so keen on the seat by the guide as I find that my view in some directions is too blocked and there's not that spare seat between me and him to put my camera bag - in the regular passenger rows the middle seat provides that space.
Kavey is offline  
Apr 30th, 2005, 11:59 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 596
Back row is my least favorite especially if the middle row has decided they're not interested in anything but chatting. I would take the seat by the driver if I was alone. We also would rotate seats each ride to be fair to all.
Clematis is offline  

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