A Family South African Safari – Photos (Part A)

A Family South African Safari

1 – Introduction
2 – A Pit Stop in Paris
3 – Tanda Tula
4 – Londolozi Founder’s Camp
5a – Safari Photos – Part A
5b – Safari Photos – Part B
6 – Cape Grace Hotel
7 – Cape Town Activities
8 – Emirates First Class – Thoughts and Observations
9 – Conclusion, A Few Safari Tips and Future Plans

Upon review of the quantity of photos that I wanted to share, I decided to break them up into two posts.

Between my SLR, iPhone, kids’ Canon point-and-shoots, wife’s iPhone and son’s iPhone, we took over 6,500 photos on the trip.  The sheet enormity of the task of screening and categorization took me the better part of a week when we got home.

The vast majority of the photos were taken with my Nikon D60 SLR.  On the advice of LufthansaFlyer, I bought a Sigma 150-600mm sport lens for this trip.  I was very pleased with the lens.  Having never shot with something like it previously, I practiced for an hour or two at home before we left.  I’m glad I did this.

The cost for the lens was $1,999 when I bought it, though Sigma has it on sale for $200 off right now.  I bought mine via Amazon.  The model is 150-600mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM S (Sport) and here is a link to the manufacturer’s website.  I was told by several to avoid the “Contemporary” version of the same lens, which costs about 50% of the “Sport.”  I also found several websites which will rent the lens.  The all-in cost of rental would have been over $500, and knowing I’ll stick with this base for a while, I was happy to invest in the purchase.

Sigma also offers a 300-800mm lens and there were a few shots where the extra zoom power would have been helpful.  At $8,000 for the 300-800mm, the model I bought feels like the right compromise.

I also had my 18-200mm Nikkor lens and my 10-20mm Sigma lenses in the bag with me.  I did use the 18-200 a number of times, as sometimes we were too close for even a 150mm lens.  If (when?) going again, I’d buy a second camera and just keep the 18-200mm mounted at all times to save the burden of having to swap lenses on short notice.

The 10-20mm lens came in handy for a few shots, but really only a handful.  If we were on foot, I wouldn’t have brought this lens with us – but riding in the Rover, it was easy just to have in the bag.

I used three different memory chips – one for Tanda Tula, one for Londolozi and one while in Cape Town.  This helped keep those photos split apart.  For storing at home, however, I generally grouped the photos by animal.  This was the right decision, but certainly took some time.

* * * * *

It was such an incredible experience the lives of the animals in the animals’ native homes.  Some of the activities that we witnessed forged memories that our family will have forever.

In some cases, we were inches away from the animals.  It took a day or so to get used to this – for example, typically you’d be nervous if four lions are walking directly at an open-air vehicle that your daughter is in – but you could tell from the animals’ behavior that they didn’t view the vehicles as threats.  They’ve grown up around the Rovers – presumably have never been hurt by them – and basically just ignore the Rovers.

With that as background, let me share the first batch of highlights with you.

Elephants

Saf5a-047Saf5a-031 Saf5a-032 Saf5a-033 Saf5a-034 Saf5a-035 Saf5a-036 Saf5a-037 Saf5a-038 Saf5a-039 Saf5a-040 Saf5a-041 Saf5a-042 Saf5a-043 Saf5a-044 Saf5a-045 Saf5a-046 Saf5a-048

Giraffes Saf5a-050 Saf5a-051 Saf5a-052 Saf5a-053 Saf5a-054 Saf5a-055 Saf5a-056

Notable BirdsSaf5a-001 Saf5a-002 Saf5a-003 Saf5a-004 Saf5a-005 Saf5a-006

Cheetahs and LeopardsSaf5a-014 Saf5a-008 Saf5a-009 Saf5a-011 Saf5a-012 Saf5a-013 Saf5a-016 Saf5a-017 Saf5a-018 Saf5a-020 Saf5a-021 Saf5a-022 Saf5a-023Saf5a-024Saf5a-028Saf5a-027Saf5a-026Saf5a-025

The photos continue here.

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