Planning for a photo trip to Africa

The Dream of many Photographers is to make the trip to Africa. This past year, as I looked at my portfolio and made my plans to diversify my personal collection of travel images I came to the conclusion that now was the time to make the trip to southern Africa for a safari and a bit more. Planning for this trip has been a fun project in itself as working through the logistics of weight, storage, power, image quality, lens reach, camera support and transportation are all considerations that cannot be looked at as a single variable. From a photography point of view I complicated matters by adding a Kilimanjaro climb onto the itinerary, which adds a bit of a challenge to keep weight down.

The traditional thought for what to bring while to Africa for a photo safari which is 2 bodies, a compact camera, a long prime, long zoom, normal and wide angle lenses will be challenged as a trek up Kilimanjaro is limited to a day pack and a 15 kg. pack the porters will carry. Obviously the need for long lenses on a trek are a bit more limited so these huge bricks of glass will have to find safe keeping while on the mountain. The other issue with a trip out and off the grid is power. Recharging is still really a tough proposition using solar as the units are heavy and expensive. I have purchased a small pile of batteries to avoid having to deal with the charging issue and will plan to have enough spares to get me through the trek and back to the grid. Storage was a easy one for me. The safest way to store images is not to move them until a safe transfer can take place. CF cards are almost indestructible and with 200 gb of the ability to shoot RAW+Sm jpg, I should be able to grab images from start to finish of this 18 day trip. I am planning to only pull off the jpg images into a iPad mini for quick editing and posting, otherwise it is fill the card, grab a new one and keep shooting.