Rwanda

  • What camera to bring on safari

    Giulia
    March 30, 2021

    If you are wondering what camera gear to pack for your safari experience, look no further! Here is the comprehensive list of all the camera equipment and accessories you will need for your safari.

    This photography gear list is brought to you by our resident photographer Giulia Cimarosti, safari specialist at Shadows of Africa and professional photographer. Guilia also leads groups on our special photographic safaris in Tanzania.

    Generally speaking, depending on the device you use you can expect different results. Let’s go through some options:

    Mobile Photography on Safari

    You don’t have to own super pricey, professional equipment, however it’s quite safe to say that using a mobile phone to take photos during your safari won’t make good close-up images of the wildlife possible, no matter the phone’s model or quality.

    Mobile phones tend to have very poor zooming capabilities, however they can be great for African sunsets, photographing a herd in the landscape, and of course to take the occasional short video for social media, when a curious cheetah decides to climb on the vehicle!

    Keep in mind though that during your safari you won’t always get very close to the animals, so the best way to frame the subject is to use a zoom-telephoto lens on an actual camera.

    Cameras and Lenses on Safari

    If you want to take really good photos on your safari, make sure you bring your DSLR camera! A digital single lens reflex camera will allow you to use manual settings, adapting them to the lighting situation, the distance to the subject and the effects you want to achieve.

    Now you may be wondering what camera body is the best one, but the answer is not an easy one. There are cameras of all formats and brands, but they all have one thing in common: manual settings!

    The thing you need to concentrate on, when thinking about the right photography gear for safari photography, is what lens - or better, lenses - to bring.

    Zoom lenses

    The must-have kind of lens for safari photography is a zoom or telephoto. This is the kind of lens that allows you to zoom into the subject, making it appear closer. There are countless zoom lenses on the market, but make sure your telephoto lens has a focal length of at least 200 mm.

    • Budget
      28-300 mm or 70-300 mm lenses are good budget options for beginners.
    • Medium
      A 150-600 mm lens will allow you to shoot almost anything in daylight, taking your photography to the next level with a reasonable investment.
    • Pro
      A 70-200 mm f/2,8 prime lens, although the focal length is not extreme, is an excellent lens that will not disappoint.
      There are other lenses such 400 mm f/4 or even f/2,8 prime lenses which are top choices but at an extremely high price tag.

    If there is a lens worth an investment when planning to go on a photographic safari, it has to be the zoom!

    Medium and Wide Angle Lenses

    Although zoom lenses are the first ones that come to mind when thinking about safari photography, a wide angle lens also goes a long way when it comes to shooting the animals in their habitat, dramatic African skies and sunsets, and large herds moving during the Great Migration. Make sure you pack a wide to medium lens too!

    • Budget
      The 18-55 mm “kit lens” that comes with most camera kits works perfectly for this kind of photos. As a budget option, any kit lens works perfectly, actually!
      Lenses in the 10-24 mm range are much wider - another good option that will allow you to take creative photographs during your safari.
    • Medium
      A 15-30 mm f/2,8 wide lens is a high quality choice for landscape.
    • Pro
      The 24-70 mm f/2,8 is a “classic”, very sharp lens that never disappoints, allowing you to shoot landscapes (or good quality files to stitch in panoramas later on) and zoom into the subject too.

    Bear in mind that a good wide angle lens also allows you to take wonderful nocturnal photos of the clear skies of the savannah.

    Other accessories

    Now that you know what to use to shoot your safari photographs, let’s think about the accessories you shouldn’t forget:

    • Spare batteries. Although all our vehicles have charging stations to recharge your batteries during the game drives, having one or two extra batteries is always a good idea to keep shooting without a single worry!
    • Memory cards. Believe it or not, I can guarantee you will find yourself shooting dozens and dozens of photos to the same animal or scene. It’s easy when you have lions posing for you, or a hunting scene taking place. So pack extra memory cards!
    • Battery charger. There are regular battery chargers and also double battery chargers that work with USB and/or car power outlets. I like these, as you can charge 2 batteries at once.
    • Protection for your camera gear. The savannah is dusty, and dust is the real enemy of cameras and their sensors. Try to keep everything protected from dust except what you are using. Camera bags or pouches/cloths will work great.
    • Cleaning kit. A full kit includes the sensor cleaning kit and tools to remove dust and clean the camera. Try to keep everything clean by gently removing the dust every day after the game drives. Please note: the sensor tends to get dirty with all the dust of the safari, but at the same time cleaning the sensor is a very delicate task so don’t risk it if you are not sure how to do it!

    Are you ready to embark on your photographic safari adventure? Please let us know if you need more suggestions and information about what camera gear to pack for your safari. We look forward to having you travel with us!

  • The Top 10 Destinations for an African Safari

    Chris
    August 10, 2018

    The Top 10 Destinations for an African Safari

    When it comes time to plan your African safari adventure, it can be difficult to choose from the many fantastic safari destinations.

    While East Africa's Wildebeest Migration might be the star attraction, there are plenty of reasons to consider other options.

    Today, the Shadows of Africa team breaks down the benefits and drawbacks of the ten best African safari destinations.

    Looking for the perfect destination for an African Safari? From Tanzania and Kenya to South Africa, here are the places you need to visit on your Africa safari trip itinerary! #safari #africa #tanzania #kenya #southafrica #travel

    #10 - Ethiopia

    Ethiopia isn't commonly thought of as a safari destination.

    The nation's most famous attractions tend to be of a historic nature, with images of iconic Gondar and Lalibela sure to come to mind first.

    However, it is perfectly possible to combine a cultural and historic exploration of Ethiopia with a safari to see its unique animals.

    Nowhere else in the world will your safari include black-maned lions, walia ibex, or gerada baboons. This makes Ethiopia a fantastic choice for those who have already 'been there, done that'.

    Pros: Unique wildlife. Fascinating history. Delicious food.

    Cons: Not a traditional safari destination. Recent political unrest.

    #9 - Rwanda

    What comes to mind when you think of a trip to Rwanda?

    Chances are, it's either gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park or visiting the haunting Rwanda Genocide Museum in Kigali.

    Did you know you can also combine the above with a Big Five safari in Akagera National Park? While the park was once something of an afterthought, the Rwandan government has recently made huge strides to import both rhinoceros and lions to bring the park back to its former glory.

    A perfect day trip from Kigali, a safari in Akagera can be tailored to also include a boat safari to make for something different.

    Pros: Easy day trip from Kigali. See gorillas, chimpanzees, and the Big Five in one trip.

    Cons: Wildlife numbers are low and Rwanda tends to be expensive.

    namibia-safari

    #8 - Namibia

    Namibia's stunning landscapes are amongst its biggest selling points. How can you not fall in love with the windswept Skeleton Coast or the towering dunes of Sossusvlei?

    While the tiny southern African can't quite compare with the 'big boys' when it comes to game drives, the country is still a fantastic safari destination in its own right.

    Etosha National Park, in particular, is attracting game enthusiasts from around the world with its towering elephants, the huge variety of bird and animal life, and its dramatic landscapes.

    When you combine this with the country's other significant charms, it becomes a very attractive prospect.

    Pros: Stunning landscapes. Very affordable.

    Cons: Long drives between destinations.

    zambia-elephant

    #7 - Zambia

    Like neighboring Zimbabwe, Zambia is perhaps best known as the home of the majestic Victoria Falls.

    But did you know that it is also a fantastic game drive destination?

    While it is certainly a bit more of an off-the-beaten-track destination than Zimbabwe, Botswana, or South Africa - Zambia's South Luangwa National Park and Lower Zambezi National Park are truly awe-inspiring game-drive destinations that can compete with some of the most famous safari parks on earth.

    Pros: Combine a safari with a visit to Victoria Falls. Off the beaten path charm.

    Cons: Off the beaten path translates into less information and infrastructure availability.

    zimbabawe-lion

     

    vic-falls-zimbabwe

    #6 - Zimbabwe

    Zimbabwe is one of Shadows of Africa's most popular new destinations, with people from all over the world coming to witness the powerful Victoria Falls and explore this gorgeous country.

    It's a shame that so few people extend their trip to see more than just the falls, as national parks such as Mana Pools National Park and Hwange National Park offer fantastic game drive opportunity.

    Combine this with the history of Great Zimbabwe and the aforementioned Victoria Falls and you have a country that can boast being the complete package.

    Pros: Victoria Falls. Close to South Africa.

    Cons: Less developed tourist scene away from Victoria Falls. Political issues.

    queen-elizabeth-uganda

    #5 - Uganda

    Uganda was once dubbed the Pearl of Africa by Winston Churchill, and we certainly agree with that sentiment.

    No country in Africa can offer quite what Uganda does: world-class gorilla and chimpanzee trekking, terrific game drives, and the majesty of the mighty Nile.

    A perfect destination for those who have already visited Tanzania, Kenya, and South Africa - Ugana's wild charm and variety of offerings makes it a great place to plan that second safari.

    Pros: The best place to combine gorilla trekking, chimpanzee trekking, and a Big Five safari.

    Cons: Poor road conditions, expensive domestic flights.

    botswana-safari

    #4 - Botswana

    One of the world leaders when it comes to wildlife conservation, Botswana is a truly world-class African safari destination.

    Chobe National Park is home to Africa's densest concentration of wildlife, Chobe is a conservationist's dream that can boast Africa's largest elephant population and some of the world's most stunning landscapes.

    Of course, there's more to a Botswana safari than just Chobe. Botswana is home to a number of other fantastic parks that are worthy of your time.

    Pros: World class conservation record. Africa's densest wildlife population.

    Cons: One of Africa's most expensive destinations.

    south africa cheetahs safari

    #3 - South Africa

    Arguably the most famous African safari destination, South Africa is justified in its popularity.

    Its diverse landscapes, fantastic beaches, world-class wines, and famous game parks make it a hugely popular destination.

    South Africa's level of development and the fact English is the primary language makes it an appealing destination for first-time safari travelers, but it also means a more crowded tourism scene.

    Still, Kruger National Park is justifiably considered one of the world's best safari parks, and the prospect of combining this with the stunning Garden Route, the popular South African wine regions, and the gorgeous beaches makes South Africa a great choice.

    Pros: English speaking nation, well-developed tourism market, and a variety of activities.

    Cons: Crowded market can make booking hotels difficult.

    amboseli

    #2 - Kenya

    Kenya often refers to itself as "Africa's safari capital", and the East African country absolutely has a claim to that mantle.

    Home to the world-famous Maasai Mara as well as boasting the best views of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Kenya is also an affordable and well-developed tourism market that is great for families or people traveling on a budget.

    Shadows of Africa offers a huge variety of Kenyan safari tours, so there is something for all walks of life.

    Pros: Home to the Wildebeest Migration in August-September. Views of Mt. Kilimanjaro from Amboseli. Cheapest East African nation.

    Cons: Popularity means hotels sell out early.

    leopard-tanzania

    #1 - Tanzania

    The undisputed king when it comes to African safaris, Tanzania is home to the Wildebeest Migration for ten months of the year.

    It's also home to the World Heritage-listed Ngorongoro Crater, Africa's tallest mountain, and the gorgeous island paradise of Zanzibar.

    When it comes to putting together your dream Tanzanian safari, Shadows of Africa have you covered. We've been in operation here for almost a decade and know the country inside and out.

    Pros: The best place to see the Wildebeest Migration. Mt. Kilimanjaro. Zanzibar. Ngorongoro Crater.

    Cons: East Africa's most expensive destination.

    Want to go on an African safari adventure? From Tanzania and Kenya to South Africa, here are the 10 best countries to visit for your African safari trip. Let us help you plan your safari itinerary! #travel #africa #safari #tanzania #kenya #southafrica

    -----------

    With so many choices when it comes to planning your African safari, it can be difficult to find the right fit for you.

    Thankfully, Shadows of Africa has expertise in all ten of the above countries and can help find the perfect fit for you!

    Contact us to start planning your dream safari now!

  • The Ultimate Safari Packing List: What to Pack for your African Safari

    AdminSoa
    July 4, 2017
    When it comes time to pack for your safari, we've got the ultimate packing list as well as a guide to how to dress for safari.
  • Planning a Dream Honeymoon in Africa

    AdminSoa
    June 1, 2017
    Planning your dream honeymoon? The Shadows of Africa team can arrange something truly unforgettable across our huge selection of destinations.
  • Yellow Fever Update

    Chris
    May 25, 2016

    Due to the recent outbreak of Yellow Fever in Angola and reported cases in both Uganda and Kenya, the Ministries in Health in Rwanda, Kenya, and Tanzania have issued a statement regarding the need for Yellow Fever vaccinations for all travellers wishing to enter these countries.

    In light of this recent development, we urge all Shadows of Africa clients to ensure they have had their Yellow Fever vaccination at least ten days ahead of their intended travel dates and have an up to date Yellow Fever vaccination card with them at immigration.

    An up-to-date Yellow Fever vaccination card is needed if entering Tanzania, Kenya, or Rwanda from another African country, even if you are just transferring through.

    If you are flying directly from your home country, you don't need to worry about this.

    The Yellow Fever vaccination lasts for ten years, so if you have had yours in the past decade, you'll just need your vaccination card.

    It's also important that your vaccination be up to date for health reasons. Yellow Fever is completely avoidable if vaccinated.

  • How to Book the Perfect African Safari Vacation

    Chris
    April 24, 2016
    Planning your dream safari trip? Here are a few questions you should ask yourself to ensure you get exactly what you're looking for.
  • How to Apply for an East African Visa

    Chris
    January 18, 2016
    The new East African Visa allows entry into Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda on one visa, but how do you get one? We've got you covered!
  • Optional Activities in Rwanda

    Lesia
    January 6, 2016
    While many come to Rwanda for the gorillas, there are a wealth of natural and cultural sites worth adding to your Rwandan itinerary.
  • Types of Accommodation in Africa

    Chris
    December 12, 2015
    When planning your trip to Africa, your accommodation is very important. We offer a wide variety of accommodation options designed to suit your tastes and budget.

Items 1 to 9 of 19 total

Page:
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3