Planning a Trip to Africa.... Could Use Some of Your Advice

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by kundalini, Feb 2, 2010.

  1. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I just found out that I have an opportunity to accompany a friend on their business trip to Africa. There are still a lot of unknowns, like which country! Chances are it will be either Tanzania or Zambia. Their office headquarters will be in the capitals. It all depends on the company's need. It will be for a 2 week stay. I’ve been to Senegal and The Gambia several years ago and had a wonderful time, but have always wanted to go back to a more interior look.

    Although I have quite a few stamps in my passport, this will be the first time traveling with more than a P&S. The gear that I will be taking are a gripped D700, 14-24mm (arrives tomorrow [​IMG] ), 24-70mm & 70-200mm (all f/2.8), SB-800 (only one I think), monopod and the usual suspects like extra batteries, memory and such.

    Because of all the potential hassle with all the gear as carry-on, the rip off of checked baggage charges and just the burden of lugging it around, I am considering to have it shipped to my destination via FedEx or whomever. Would this be a smart move? I mean, this way I’ll only have to concern myself with my clothing as carry-on…. and maybe the D300 and a couple of primes for inconspicuous shooting. [​IMG] haven't decided on the 300mm yet.

    Once I have more details and likely more questions, I will pass them on for more insightful advice.

    Thanks for your help. Oh yeah……. I’M PRETTY EXCITED!!!
     
  2. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    My african experience is old now and not the kind of thing that would help you. Sorry.

    And I haven't been on a plane since the december problems so I can't really help you from personal experience but I can tell you that my friends who fly to jobs, rent the gear locally. Yes, some people have shipped it to the job but they decided to rent soon enough because they pass the cost to the client and their own gear is not getting abused.

    From what they tell me, DO NOT take so much gear that you can't have it in your carry on. And make sure and call the airline you're flying to figure out what the deal is today with camera gear and carry ons :grumpy:

    In the meantime, here's an interesting article on the subject:
    Flying With Camera Gear Post 25 Dec, 2009

    Enjoy Africa, if not the flight...
     
  3. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Cheers cloudwalker.

    Renting is not out of the question, but I am an hobbyist and this is certainly not a paid gig. The thing is.... I have some good gear (IMHO) and want to use it. Why the hell shouldn't I? This is prime time, baby. :biggrin: From my previous trip to Africa, it's not difficult to aquire a minder. This is my anticipation for the upcoming trip. As far as I know I will have solid contacts for such a thing. I've always had a tendancy to NOT go where the tourist go and always try to hang out with the locals. I don't see this trip to be any different. Yeah, I've been in some dodgy places and yeah, I've met some dodgy characters, but I have only been robbed once in my travels. Well, the other time I was drunk on my ass and it was only money and a few bruises. The minder that I hired in The Gambia was very concerned with my well being. In fact, at the time I was there, a student riot occured. We were told not to leave the compound, but my minder saw me through some of the worst parts of town without incident.

    I have already read the link you provided, but thanks for brining it out again for others to read.
     
  4. chip

    chip TPF Noob!

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    I have been to Kenya, Tanzania, and Zaire. I love Africa and the people. I, however, would definitely NOT ship expensive camera gear there! Good chance you will never see it again. I would hand carry it with me. If you want to go on a safari tour, you need something longer than 200mm on FF body and something lighter. Honestly your D700 set is just too big and heavy to me. Not to mention it could be a thieves target. Something like a D90 with a 10-24mm and a Nikon 70-300mm VR would be good. Remember 300mm on a DX body is like a 450mm. That ought to pull in the animals from far. Have a fun trip!
     
  5. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I never like to put all my eggs in one basket. I have always packed at least one lens and one body inside my main luggage suitcase, so that it is well-padded from the luggage handlers and the whole airport load,unload,luggage carousel routine. Lens separate from the body, packed inside clothes and bubble-wrapped. Some stuff comes carry-on with me, for the overhead compartment. In this way your risk is minimized.
     
  6. jackieclayton

    jackieclayton TPF Noob!

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    i'm sorry i don't have any advice to offer you, but I just wanted to comment and say how lucky you are! what a wonderful opportunity!! If you get to go to Tanzania you'll get to go to the Serengeti! how amazing, have fun!!
     
  7. Formatted

    Formatted TPF Noob!

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    It really depends on where you are staying, who you are staying with.

    I'm going to Kenya in september for 3 months, I'm staying at a eco-lodge where I will be working. I'm taking all the gear I can with me. Simply because I know once I get there it will be safe. Its the travelling I am worried about.

    Africa isn't as dangerous as it is made out to be. If you know the right people.
     
  8. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    I realize that and I believe that you are good to go if you take your gear as carry-on. Just have to make sure you can carry it on :D

    I wondered about that. In some countries it just isn't the best idea. I never send anything to France by way of the post office for example. Theirs is too often on strike and things disappear at those times :lol:

    A little risky considering how much luggage doesn't get to were it's going and how many things disappear from the luggage :grumpy:

    I agree and was certainly not trying to say that it is in normal times. At least not anymore than anywhere else. I happened to be there to cover war and riots so my experience was a bit different.

    But, K, it sounds like you've experienced that somewhat yourself so, enjoy the trip. Any way to make it a pay job like maybe by spending a day shooting some missionaries/church's project?
     
  9. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

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    Having called Transat recently, here is what they say:

    Carry on:

    1. Camera case must be smaller than any other carry on luggage and there is a measurement restriction.

    2. One DSLR size camera. Point and shoots and cell phones don't count.

    3. One or two small auxiliary lenses.

    4. The camera case is in addition to other carry-on luggage allowed.

    skieur
     
  10. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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  11. RyanLilly

    RyanLilly No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You can probably take most of your gear in a carry-on, weight becomes the issue before size. See how much you can pack before being overweight. Usually you can have another "personal item" A laptop bag, camera bag, purse etc. so hopefully you can divide your gear between the two. I would look up the carry on policy for each airline, and print that page and take and keep it with you, that way if there is any dispute you can hand them their own rules and hopefully find a quick resolution.

    Also, If you are traveling with another person, you could have them carry some gear if you need extra room.
     
  12. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    BTW ....

    I think your 70-200 might be a bit short for wildlife photography. Even with a 1.4X Tc, that's short for wildlife. I would suggest at least 300-400mm (maybe a 300mm with a 1.4x TC would make the most sense in terms of carry-a-bility if that's a word).
     

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