Thumbs up for Thomson Safaris

Jan 24th, 2011, 02:12 AM
  #21  
 
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Andy, I deserve a nice smile. Ended.
kimburu is offline  
Jan 24th, 2011, 11:56 AM
  #22  
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Kimburu,
I'm actually not entirely sure if I could have charged my batteries in the camps. In all of the discussions we had with Thomson, they kept saying that all of their vehicles had inverters and that I would be able to charge things in them. The particular Land Rover that we were in had a power strip mounted upside down on the roof. It was some kind of universal charger that accepted a variety of plug types and I think that's why my plug didn't want to stay put (well, that and gravity.) If I remember correctly, it had room for 5 or 6 chargers. I merely mentioned bringing tape next time to thwart the evil effects of Newton's First Law of Motion not due to there being a lack of space.
KezerPhotography is offline  
Jan 24th, 2011, 02:59 PM
  #23  
 
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Kezer - you got some really nice photos! I'm glad to hear Thomson was a good company for you. They were my "runner up" when I went to Tanzania last year. I chose Kiliwarriors and had a great trip too (no servals though!) - said this in my trip report, which generated no comments about plugging a certain company. I definitely like to hear about people's experiences with tour operators, as it helps everyone as they contemplate their own trips.
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Jan 24th, 2011, 03:13 PM
  #24  
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This calls for drastic measures. Here's a little something I learned from David Copperfield... Misdirection and distraction.

Oooh, look at the elephants mating!
http://i203.photobucket.com/albums/a...3/elephant.jpg

We saw this on our trip. In Tanzania. On Safari.
KezerPhotography is offline  
Jan 24th, 2011, 03:20 PM
  #25  
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Hi Cateyes!
I looked at Kiliwarriors' website but didn't get much beyond that. A big part of why we went with who we did was the fact that their office is about an hour from where we live. We were able to go meet them in person first to get a feel for how they ran things. We were originally looking at another operator not based out of the US and even though their price was substantially lower I just didn't get a warm and fuzzy feeling from them.
I'll have to see if I can find your trip report but I'm glad you had a good time. Tanzania is a cool place, right?!
KezerPhotography is offline  
Jan 24th, 2011, 03:50 PM
  #26  
 
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Chris, that photo is awesome. You are the man.
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Jan 24th, 2011, 06:44 PM
  #27  
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Leely2, Yup! Very first time on the African continent. I had never even heard of a Serval cat until we came across the first one. After the leopards we saw, they rate a close second.
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Jan 25th, 2011, 07:22 AM
  #28  
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Lamai Wedge...

Looking at a map I think TS has a camp in Mugumu, which is just south of that area, don't they? I can never remember the names.
I think we were in the general area on out last couple of days. We couldn't cross the river because the bridges were washed out.
KezerPhotography is offline  
Jan 25th, 2011, 08:38 AM
  #29  
 
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Chris, the TS camp is inside of the park, south of the Mara River, about 12km south. I can send you GPS coordinates.
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Jan 25th, 2011, 09:56 AM
  #30  
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Those coordinates would be greatly appreciated, Andy. Thanks!

Do you find that you do most of your shooting in the mornings or is it more of a take the opportunity when you get it kind of thing?
I know the light is better and that the animals are more active and all that but I found that I couldn't not take photos even during the harsh mid day lighting because I didn't know if I'd see anything else after that.
I could see if I lived there or even spent a significant amount of time there to accumulate enough morning sessions but what do you tell the average safari goer for shooting when the great morning light has disappeared?
KezerPhotography is offline  
Jan 25th, 2011, 11:05 AM
  #31  
 
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"....shooting when the great morning light has disappeared?"

There's more good light in the late afternoon, around the last two hours before sunset.
The problem is, many safari camps go out too late in the afternoon. That is, they leave camp at 4pm, and finally find a good sighting about 5pm when the light is becoming marginal especially in shaded areas. Some times if your vehicle mates agree you can get your guide to go out maybe an hour earlier. You're likely doing nothing in camp anyway at 3pm (well except maybe taking a nap ).

regards - tom
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Jan 25th, 2011, 11:10 AM
  #32  
 
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Oh, should add, one of the many advantages of going on photo safari with someone like Andy is that his vehicles go out at anytime. So you will be out on drives anytime the light is good including early/late afternoon.

regards - tom
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Jan 25th, 2011, 12:19 PM
  #33  
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Cupcakes!

Oh, sorry. I thought we were still trying to derail the topic and wasn't prepared for an on topic response.

Hey Tom, Thanks. Yeah I was pretty much talking about the time between say 10am-4pm ish. The light may not be great but I certainly don't want to sit around camp. There's the obvious get the sun behind or off to the side whenever possible but... Oh I don't know what I'm trying to say. You completely threw me off my game be responding in an appropriate manner (thanks, by the way.)
Have you participated in one of Andy's tours?
KezerPhotography is offline  
Jan 25th, 2011, 12:53 PM
  #34  
 
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Cheesecake...cannoli...tiramisu!

Chris, I'm like you, I don't like sitting around, napping or anything of the sort. I get my fill of that at home.

Some camps will take you out on a midday drive. And some will also take you out in the early morning and bring you back for a late lunch so you can have breakfast out in the bush. Or take you out all day if you so request. Or some will take you out as early as 3:00-3:30 in the afternoon.

My rule of thumb is first one out, last one in.

Usually camps and guides/drivers will accommodate if everyone in the jeep agrees. So, it does pay to make your requests known to camp managers upon your arrival so they can try to match you with others who want to do the same.

Also, you can sometimes request to go on a short bush walk with a guide midday, on occasion. That's kinda fun to do once in while, too.
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Jan 25th, 2011, 02:15 PM
  #35  
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Tiramisu? Blech!

Almost every day we were there we were out by 7am and didn't come back until about 5-6pm. There was always a nap involved upon getting back.
We had the picnic lunches so we didn't have to go back to camp and could maximize the animal/landscape viewing. Those box lunches were awesome. I don't think we were able to finish a single one of them in one sitting.

We did a private tour so we had the guide all to ourselves. No need to compromise with other guests. I don't think I mentioned it before but we stayed at 4 different camps over 9 nights (10?) and only had other people in camp one evening. That's right, we had the whole place to ourselves! I must admit that it was completely, totally WICKED AWESOME (give me a break,I'm from New England.) We kept asking if there were going to be any others at camp with us and kept getting "nope,just you!" except for that one night when a group had just come back from a Kili climb.
KezerPhotography is offline  
Jan 25th, 2011, 02:47 PM
  #36  
 
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"Have you participated in one of Andy's tours?"
No, but would sure like to!! When my budget allows me to fly business/first class I'll be signing on with Andy.

About game drives earlier than the camp policy, it often works out. But many times there is turn over in your vehicle mates, e.g. new ones coming on board. So the camp is reluctant to change things right away with new guests. And if it is the guests first safari, they (camp and guests) are reluctant to change any camp guidelines.

10am-4pm, down time. Guess you did not have much of that on your driving trip to/through Tanzania? But working out of one safari camp (for several nights) you are not transferring between camps during that time. So you will typically have two meals during that time frame. Breakfast after the morning drive and lunch about 1:30pm. So there goes a couple hours eating . Toss in another hour fiddling with down loading camera cards, batteries, etc. and an hour (or so) nap and it's 3pm and time for tea and biscuits, or if lucky go out on a game drive.

But my next safari coming up in three weeks, -my- first time to Tanzania will be very different for me. Six of us, four being photographers in three vehicles. With the emphasis on spending the maximum time out on game drive. 18 days until take-off

regards - tom
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Jan 26th, 2011, 04:52 AM
  #37  
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Tom, I don't think I'll ever be flying business/first class. That's stupid expensive. I'm ok with suffering for half a day or so but I'm right there with ya. Some day.
Congrats on the upcoming adventure. Here's to wishing you a great trip! What's your itinerary look like?

-Chris
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Jan 26th, 2011, 05:41 AM
  #38  
 
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Regarding being out all day, we typically use the late morning and early afternoon light to tee up our late afternoon golden light shoots. It wears you out, but the payoff is worth it, IMHO.
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Jan 26th, 2011, 05:42 AM
  #39  
 
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Oops, I forgot to. Mention this is for Tanzania safaris. Southern Africa requires a different approach.
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Jan 26th, 2011, 07:18 AM
  #40  
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How so? Is there a big difference in animal viewing between the two locations?
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