Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Africa & the Middle East
Reload this Page > What do you take on the game drives and what do you carry it in?

What do you take on the game drives and what do you carry it in?

Reply

Sep 29th, 2004, 07:35 AM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 46
What do you take on the game drives and what do you carry it in?

On game drives at the private reserves. What do you carry with you? What do you carry it all in? A backpack? A safari vest? Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Jammie is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 29th, 2004, 08:10 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 346
the open air 4x4 vehicles have pouches on the back of each seat. taht is where i would have my bugspray, sunblock, binocs. i would carry my camera around my neck. tahts pretty much all i brought except maybe a jacket or something if the temp would be changing for evening drives.
bigcountry is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 29th, 2004, 08:37 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,152
On the last trip I had a lowepro backpack that zips open in such a way that items are very easy to access.

Previously I had a more traditional box shaped camera bag.

Both fit comfortably on the seat between my husband and I (in the landrover).

As well as all the camera stuff I carry sunglasses, hats, scarf and gloves, moisturiser (sometimes I get chapped skin from the wind), tissues and a note pad to note down what we see.
Kavey is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 29th, 2004, 01:29 PM
  #4
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 532
My husband was in charge of the camera bag with all of that equipment (including tissues, wet wipes, film and extra batteries) while I used a small, light backpack for other basics like flashlight, animal book, pen, sunglasses, bottled water, plastic trash bag (to eventually potentially leave at to the lodge - helpful if you need to use the "facilities"!), among other stuff mentioned above. Even though it was often just the two of us, we didn't want to risk leaving binocs or something of value in the seat pockets. Sometimes the vehicles get into the camp after dusk when it's tough to see and twice we ended up in different vehicles the next morning.
hlphillips2 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 29th, 2004, 01:38 PM
  #5
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,922
I take my camera, a few lenses, batteries, sunglasses, hat, cleaning cloth for lens, etc.

I know this sounds dorky, but I try to put as much into one of those camera vests and wear that or keep it on the seat on the game drives. It's great when you don't want to carry a large camera bag. Just fill up the pockets with the camera gear and go.

I leave my camera bag in the room and switch out things when necessary. It's amazing how much you can fit it one of those vests. I've had mine for years and it's quite broken in.
divewop is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 29th, 2004, 02:22 PM
  #6
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 596
We would wear jackets sold as fishing jackets that look like safari wear and the sleeves can zip off (purchased at a camping/sports store). We'd also bring one backpack, just bought an inexpensive one that was tan-colored.

Bring INDIVIDUAL HAND WIPES. You will have bush breaks and you will have a tea and sundowner break. Only one camp brought wet towels for our hands.
Clematis is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 29th, 2004, 02:49 PM
  #7
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,152
Oh yeah binocs, sometimes bird books though not usually as guide had some anyway...

Kavey is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 29th, 2004, 03:26 PM
  #8
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 46
Thanks everybody. Sounds like a small backpack would fit the bill. I just have a digital camera so I won't have to worry about lenses and film. I'll be scouting out compact binoculars (one pair for each of us).The hubby will probably bring the video camera. I don't see much mention of video cameras in posts. Are they just not practical?

Also, did you keep a journal to list the animals you saw? Are there special safari journals just for this purpose that I may be able to pick up in Jo'Burg or at Kruger restcamps?
Jammie is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 29th, 2004, 03:42 PM
  #9
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 596
Yes, I brought a professional video camera which was of interest to some of the staff at the camps. I think they're used to seeing small video cameras although I only saw one. The problem is even with an internal stabilizer you will return with a lot of shaky footage. Even when the car is stopped, if anyone else in the car shifts their weight, it will affect the camera especially if you are zoomed out, which you usually are. You can bring or make a small beanbag rest or ask to sit in the front seat if there is no tracker. Also consider a monopod. A shoulder brace might be helpful to some.

Most of the camps have a wildlife checklist booklet but you can also buy one ahead of time. As far as the binocs go, I would think less about compactness and more about quality. When do you go and which camps? I meant to add that I lost some gloves by putting them in the car pouches so I prefer to keep everything in my pack or vest except for water.
Clematis is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 29th, 2004, 03:53 PM
  #10
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,922
Jammie,
We also brought a small personal video camera on our trips. While we did have some shaky moments on film, the majority of the video turned out pretty good. We would take turns using the camera but since I prefer still photography, my hubby ended up using the video camera most of the time.

Oh yeah, by the way, bring a husband or significant other. They're great for helping lug around the heavy stuff!
divewop is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 30th, 2004, 05:16 AM
  #11
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 532
There was no list of animals at our first camp, but there were lists at all afterwards. I simply jotted down each animal in the back page of my journal - even when we had checklists it seemed faster unless it was an unusual bird and I couldn't quite understand our guide.

And we brought a video camera too! Perfect for certain parts of the trip - seeing a newborn zebra take its first steps, documenting the hot air balloon ride, etc.
hlphillips2 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 30th, 2004, 07:39 AM
  #12
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 46
Sounds like we should bring the video camera. There will be a lot to film besides the animals such as the camps themselves. We are going in April and so far I have booked 2 nights in the tents at Mpila Camp (Imfolozi), 2 nights at Lower Sabie and 2 nights at Olifants. I also plan to book 2 nights at Honeyguide. After all the safari action we will be spending a week in Cape Town.
Jammie is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 30th, 2004, 08:33 AM
  #13
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 973
Jammie, I'm jealous that you were able to get the tents at Umfolozi! They were full when we were there, so we stayed in the chalets/cottages/whatever they call them.

Yes, take the video camera as well as a still one. On drives, I take a little notebook to write down what we see, and then use that to write up my daily journal with thoughts and impressions each evening (or next morning sometimes). I also take binoculars, kleenex, lip balm, sunglasses, water, jacket & hat & gloves if it's a night drive. I carry it all in a nylon bag with several compartments, about the size of a large purse. Next time I'll take a flashlight and wet wipes. Good ideas! My husband carries another pair of binoculars and all the camera equipment, in a camera bag. We use sunscreen and bug spray (if needed) before we leave on the drive, so don't need to carry them along.

If we're doing self-drive, I also take the map of the park, an animal identification book, and a couple of kooldrankies (cold drinks) and maybe a picnic lunch.
Celia is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:38 PM.