We leave for Africa in 40 days!

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Aug 16th, 2004, 03:19 PM
  #1
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We leave for Africa in 40 days!

Hello All

I have been a lurker for quite sometime gleaning bits and pieces of advice from others trips. Well, now we leave in 40 days and I am getting very excited. Thought I would share my trip itinerary with you all. My husband and I will be going to:

Kichwa Tembo Bateleur Camp for 4 nights
Ngorongoro Crater Lodge for 2 nights
Klein?s Camp for 2 nights
Fundu Lagoon on Pemba Island for 4 nights
Serena on Zanzibar for one night.

We are still in the midst of packing and wrestling over decisions for a new digital SLR camera?we may go with the Nikon D70 (anyone have any advice on that one?) with both a regular & zoom lens and lots of memory as well as an extra battery.

So?40 days and counting?..

-TG
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Aug 16th, 2004, 03:39 PM
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toccare_girl,
Looks like a fun itinerary with some great lodges/camps but am wondering why you're not going to visit the Serengeti. I imagine it's due to time constraints. Just thought since you're staying in the Mara, you may have wanted to visit the Serengeti as well.

As far as the Nikon D70 goes, I just got mine a couple of weeks ago and it's a great little camera so far. I haven't used it on a safari yet, but I am pleased with the results around here.

Definitely use a zoom lens and I would suggest if you have a 300mm to take it. You will get phenomenal results with it. I would take at least one to two extra batteries so you can always have one charged and ready to go.

Kavey should be able to give you a little more insight on the camera as she just used her's while in Africa recently.
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Aug 16th, 2004, 04:05 PM
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sandi
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divewop - our toccare_girl will be at the Serengeti at Klein's Camp (right outside the border of the Serengeti). If I figure correctly they'll be visiting end of Sept into October, when the migration should be in the Mara, but some of the herds heading back to the Serengeti (maybe). One never knows the exact schedule.

I don't know nothing much 'bout digitals. Kavey where are you!
 
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Aug 16th, 2004, 04:30 PM
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You're right Sandi-
Boy...what was I thinking. Brain fart! Or I musta fallen asleep

Klein's=Serengeti. I don't know how I missed that one.

Sorry about that toccare_girl!
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Aug 17th, 2004, 12:30 AM
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Loved using our Nikon D70 for our 2 month trip.

1) Battery life is phenomenal - exceeded specs. We bought two spares but only needed one. I changed it maybe 4 times during the whole trip and took WELL over 3000 images at finest jpeg setting.

2) It's start up time is faster than any similarly priced competitors. Provided you buy one of the second generation of CF cards it also has a VERY fast write time meaning it's ready to take the next picture damn fast - very helpful when you're taking images of a moving wild animal.

3) The quick menu buttons on the back make changing ISO, switching on bracketing and various other features very easy to access.

4) The lens that is packaged with it (I'll have to check details) is gorgeous. It's a wide angle zoom with quite a good range, 18mm to 100mm maybe? Let me check later. It's a new lens designed for digital.

5) The telephoto zoom lens we also bought is an old model and designed for 35mm film not smaller sensors. The D70 stuggles to autofocus through this a lot but I just switch it into manual. We paid a low price for this one so I'm not complaining too hard. And it's the lens not the camera I believe.
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Aug 17th, 2004, 10:08 AM
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Thanks Kavey

We are trying to decide whether to go with the "kit" for the D70 which includes a 18-70mm Nikkor lens or just buy the body and get a Tamron Wide Angle 28-105 mm which was recommended by a friend (and Prof. photographer.) We are also getting the Nikon Telephoto 300mm lens.

What size memory card would suffice? 1 GB for a 2 week trip?

thanks, TG
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Aug 17th, 2004, 01:19 PM
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sandi
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I preface that I'm not a digital user and still weighing this.

However, from what I've read, that 1Gb sounds interesting, until you realize your entire 2-wk trip (your entire life) can be gone in a snap for any number of reasons - loss, damage - so I would suggest smaller 126s or 256s.

It's like the saying of "not putting all your eggs in one basket" Just my own thought!
 
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Aug 17th, 2004, 01:37 PM
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Sandi
We took along two small X Drives instead of one (not much space) and copied each card to both. Just in case. Probablt wouldnt for short trips but for 2 months...

We really really like the kit lens the 18-70.

Remember 18 on the D70 is like 28 on a film camera and so 28mm on the D70 is going to lack wide angle.
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Aug 17th, 2004, 01:37 PM
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meant, didn't take up much space
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Aug 17th, 2004, 01:41 PM
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Sandi,
Couldn't agree more. On our first ever safari in Kenya we had a brand new card pack up after 4 days and about 160 photos. Luckily we had another card with us and could carry on using the camera.

Once back in the UK we managed to get the card manufacturer to recover about 1/3rd of the photos but even so were really glad we had a spare.

It's not a common problem but it can happen and for this reason we prefer smaller cards over one large one.

Hubby uses the Canon EOS 300D + 75 - 300mm lens with image stabiliser and is really pleased with the results.
The link below contains more info on the camera and photos we took with it in Botswana earlier this year.

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threadselect.jsp?fid=4

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Aug 17th, 2004, 01:57 PM
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Do you know what "size" setting you will be using for your pictures? If you use a 6 megapixel camera you might want to use the largest file size.

I use the largest size on my camera and a little over 100 pictures will fit on a 1 GB card. So I carry two 1 GB and two 512's and download to a portable hard drive and a laptop (stored two places in case anything happens to one or the other) at lunch and in the evening.
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Jan 12th, 2005, 04:19 PM
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HELLO! toccare_girl you have been to two on the places that are on the top or our list!!! We would love to know what you (or anyone else) can tell us - honestly - about... a Kwicha Tembo and Klein's Camp safari vacation in Nov/Dec. Good, bad or indifferenct... love to hear back.
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