When I prep for wildlife safaris/photo trips, there are a zillion things that I do in order to insure success with the least amount of hassles or gotchas. I'm a list junkie and this started out as the typical what to bring pack list on my first African safari back in 2004. As you will see, this list continued to grow because the "whys and how" are just as important as the "whats".
After 40+ photo trips, I painstakingly documented what worked and didn't - ranging from travel prep and logistics to clothing, shooting techniques, tools and workflow - because:
- Airlines are continually cracking down on carry-on size and weight,
- Reducing stress is always top of mind and I want travel adventures to be efficient and comfy; especially, when traveling 40+ hours door:door and when it's impossible to run to a store when something breaks, leaks, is forgotten or is taken;
- I want good value from my investments - especially, since products that weigh the least - aka every ounce counts - usually cost a premium. I have no affiliation with vendors mentioned and this blog was written before COVID reared it's ugly head.
- I was in Tanzania when COVID struck and it was stressful getting home. Now we have even more travel disruptions, supply chain issues, Omicron, changing country entry/testing rules, and unpredictable weather impacting the animals. I haven't picked up a camera since this last safari but am heading back in Feb. 2022 (w/travel insurance 'course).
Since I often get requests for advice, I'm sharing my trip planning bible in this living document. Check back for updates to: 1) Chris' Packing, Travel and Image Storage Tactics which includes Extreme Cold Weather tips, 2) How to Shoot from a Safari Land Rover, Safari Prep and Image Workflow and 3) Avoiding International Air Travel Grief. Yep, it's a ton to do and think through; but, no pain, no gain. For faster browsing: scroll down one page at a time by pressing the fn key + down arrow (Mac) or use Page Up/Down keys. To scroll super-fast, press the fn key + hold the down arrow.