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The lounge Relax, take a break from photo and camera talk - have a chat about something else for a change. Just keep it clean and polite!

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  #31  
Old 1st September 2015
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Re: Going on safari

We were at Madikwe Safari Lodge on the reserve - http://www.madikwegamereserve.co.za/...-safari-lodge/

The lodge was well situated on low hills so you got a good view off the decks. It was a beautiful building and site, and I'm currently working on some HDR B&W conversions taken of details of the buildings - stone and weathered wood textures, ceramics, Agaves etc.

Not a cheap experience, of course, and you can stay in the reserve for a lot less, but you are spending the hours from 09.00 until about 16.00 in the place between game drives, so you do get more value than from a city hotel of similar quality in my view. We booked through a UK southern African travel expert and the timing was fortuitous - Ebola panic was gripping many credulous people, so we were able to get a very good deal. The rate also includes all meals, game drives etc and I was taken on a solo game walk by 2 rangers, which was a fascinating experience.

The game warden we had was called 'JP', an Afrikaans guy with a slightly twisted sense of humour that we loved (but I suspect caused some irritation among his managers!). He showed the most amazing dedication to the animals, waiting sometimes for a long time for them to move rather than disturbing them. He showed us how he set camera traps to film predators eating kills, talked about his time with the anti-poaching services in SA, and altogether we found him a superb guide for people interested in photography and ecology in general.
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  #32  
Old 1st September 2015
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Re: Going on safari

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Originally Posted by David M View Post
Weren't the big round ones 15 amp and the small round ones 5 amp?
Yes. It was the days of no ring mains and the size of the socket denoted the guage of the wire (hence maximum current capacity) that led direct to the fusebox; large for items like electric fires and small for standard lamps or table lamps.
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  #33  
Old 1st September 2015
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Re: Going on safari

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Originally Posted by drmarkf View Post
We were at Madikwe Safari Lodge on the reserve - http://www.madikwegamereserve.co.za/...-safari-lodge/

The lodge was well situated on low hills so you got a good view off the decks. It was a beautiful building and site, and I'm currently working on some HDR B&W conversions taken of details of the buildings - stone and weathered wood textures, ceramics, Agaves etc.

Not a cheap experience, of course, and you can stay in the reserve for a lot less, but you are spending the hours from 09.00 until about 16.00 in the place between game drives, so you do get more value than from a city hotel of similar quality in my view. We booked through a UK southern African travel expert and the timing was fortuitous - Ebola panic was gripping many credulous people, so we were able to get a very good deal. The rate also includes all meals, game drives etc and I was taken on a solo game walk by 2 rangers, which was a fascinating experience.

The game warden we had was called 'JP', an Afrikaans guy with a slightly twisted sense of humour that we loved (but I suspect caused some irritation among his managers!). He showed the most amazing dedication to the animals, waiting sometimes for a long time for them to move rather than disturbing them. He showed us how he set camera traps to film predators eating kills, talked about his time with the anti-poaching services in SA, and altogether we found him a superb guide for people interested in photography and ecology in general.
Thanks for the info. We're looking seriously at adding a group trip to Madikwe in the future. It's quite different to Sabi Sands from what I hear and there's the added benefit that it's closer to Johannesburg (and malaria free).
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  #34  
Old 1st September 2015
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Re: Going on safari

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Originally Posted by Dallas View Post
Thanks for the info. We're looking seriously at adding a group trip to Madikwe in the future. It's quite different to Sabi Sands from what I hear and there's the added benefit that it's closer to Johannesburg (and malaria free).
Yes, never been to Sabi Sands, but have been to Thornybush.

The landscape here is quite different and more varied - some nice rock outcrops and waterholes, and areas of kalahari-style vegetation and 'black earth'. A mixture of open land, and scrubby trees & shrubs (more like Thornybush). Much of the sandy soil is quite dark red, which makes for a more pleasant colour palette than the usual bleached buff.

They don't drive off road except in a few particular areas or when following a predator.

The famed wild dog packs are currently in quarantine for rabies, so you can't see them in the wild.

We saw the big 5, although there seem to be very few buffalo. Nice leopard sighting in a tree, although it was too dense for decent photos. Excellent bird sightings (there's a good high hide near one of the waterholes) and as I said the antelope are excellent.

The lodge manager, Rebecca, is very nice and efficient and as usual the lodge staff are friendly and hard-working. Really excellent food. We met a couple of other rangers (seemed to vary quite a lot in style and approach).

That's about all I can remember which might be relevant!
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  #35  
Old 20th September 2015
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Re: Going on safari

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Originally Posted by drmarkf View Post
Thank you.

I'd taken a lot of mediocre images on our first safari trip 4 years ago, so I just concentrated on good light and animals in interesting poses and with good backgrounds - that usually meant being really quick, to avoid the usual tourist shot of their rumps disappearing in to the bush!
Iím just back from my week in Botswana on safari
Although not on a dedicated photographic safari, I used your philosophy of looking for good light and only photographing animals in interesting poses and with good backgrounds. This was not always possible so just a couple of Ďrecordí shots were made on those occasions to ensure the SD card was not filled with non-keepers. What I found an enormous help was having one of my function buttons dedicated to Manual, 1/2000th AV f/4.5, Auto ISO, Continuous, Auto Tracking mode - this enabled a fast switch from the single shot in AV to not having to consider the settings when the action started.
Thanks for your post

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  #36  
Old 20th September 2015
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Re: Going on safari

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Originally Posted by Dallas View Post
I leave for Botswana on Wednesday morning to join up with my guests who are already there with my business partner in the photo safaris I do. According to her they didn't weigh the hand luggage at the check-in when they were flying to Vic Falls from Johannesburg on Friday, so I am hoping that when I fly to meet them in Kasane that I will be spared that issue too. However, having said that, my kit for this year's trip will be well within the restrictions. I will be taking 2 x E-M1 bodies, the 40-150/2.8 PRO with 1.4x TC, the 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO and Oly 75-300mm f/4.8-6.7 II. I will probably also take my little PEN E-PM2 but will see. The bulk of the weight in my carry on is likely to be from my MacBook Pro.

I'll let you guys know how the hand luggage thing works when I get back.
I'm just back from my week in Botswana + Vic Falls. My concerns about weight on the small Cessna planes doing the internal transfers in Botswana were unfounded. It was size that really mattered! As long as the hand luggage could fit into the space at the rear of the seats or on my lap that was O.K. Hold luggage did need to be small and squash able:- 24" x 12" x 10" to fit into the tiny luggage compartments under the plane.

I found the 40-150 f/2.8 Pro the most used lens, did buy the Oly 75-300mm but wasn't nearly as comfortable with this slower lens.
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  #37  
Old 21st September 2015
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Re: Going on safari

We didn't fly in any Cessnas, but also, none of our hand luggage was weighed between South Africa and Kasane, Botswana.

I missed my Olympus 50-200mm on this trip. I had the 40-150/PRO but if I am honest, I think that the latter lens is better for near field subjects, not for subjects at a distance of more than 20m or so.
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  #38  
Old 21st September 2015
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Re: Going on safari

My preferred safari outfit is EM1+50-200+EC14 for the more distant shots and EM5+40-150 for closer use. I have the 75-300 but it's second best to the others and rarely used.
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  #39  
Old 21st September 2015
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Re: Going on safari

I'm becoming a bit of a Safari regular, if anyone wants any hints or tips drop me a line. I have plenty of albums up on flickr

Kenya 2015
Zimbabwe 2014
Botswana 2013
Kenya 2011

with other of non-african destinations in between. All bar this year's trips shot predominantly with the 50-200mm

I have two more already booked for Ethiopia and Kenya and am looking at Chad for 2017 or 2018 at the moment.

The best online resource for Safari planning, hints and tips is no doubt Safaritalk
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  #40  
Old 21st September 2015
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Re: Going on safari

I have thoroughly enjoyed viewing your Flickr albums from your safaris in Africa. Also been inspired by you to try B&W conversion on a few of my recent Botswana safari captures.
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