Safari Photography Equipment : An Ultimate Guide

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The Joys of Safari Photography

Safari photography is an extremely special type of photography that allows you and the people who see your pictures to see the landscapes and animals of an area in their most natural forms.

But beside the pictures you take, the experience alone is something you will treasure for your entire life.

Anyone can see a picture of an elephant and see the beauty of this giant creature, but it’s not until you are actually there in front of one, that you truly appreciate how amazing nature is.

And yes, zoo photography’s nice and you get to see some awesome animals, but nothing quite compares to seeing a pride of lions just chilling in the rays of the African sun.

That is the difference between zoo photography and safari photography.

Right there in front of you in the wild, no cages, no bars, just you, your camera and the animal and hopefully a little bit of distance!

The opportunity to see wildlife like this can be a once in a lifetime opportunity, although once you’ve been, you will probably try to find any way possible to go again!

As it is such an amazing experience, you want to capture some of those memories for you to reminisce on at a later date or maybe you just want to gloat to your friends that you had an amazing time while they were at work, I’m not judging!

So how do you make sure you can do this trip justice?

Simple… you prepare!

And with the help of our ultimate guide to safari photography equipment, (you can tell it’s ultimate because it’s in bold!) you’ll be all set to take the best safari pictures of your life.

So get comfortable, maybe put “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” or “Africa” by Toto on, you know, to really get into the safari mood, and get reading!

Contents - Click to expand

Best Cameras for Safari Photography

Things to Consider

Before you just go and buy a camera, you should first check that is is best for your needs, in our case, we are looking for the best cameras for safari.

For example if you lived out in the countryside, with loads of lumps and bumps in the road, you wouldn’t then go and buy a sports car.

Whilst it would be a nice car to have, you wouldn’t get the best use out of it as it wouldn’t be suited to your goals.

For the same reasons, we’re going to look at what is best suited for our goal which is to find the best camera for safari photography.

Cost

First up is cost.

This is obviously going to play a huge role in you deciding what camera is best for you.

If your budget doesn’t allow you to get the all singing, all dancing camera that makes you a nice cup of tea whilst your’e using it, then clearly it won’t be for you.

Some of the time it isn’t even based on what you can afford, if you don’t feel that you are getting value for money, you, like me would probably refuse to buy it based on principal.

As you’ve likely just found out, safari photography holidays don’t come cheap, so have an idea of how much you are willing to spend on your camera and it’s likely that you’ll be able to get a good camera to suit your budget.

Weight

Safari photography isn’t a ten minute trip, so you may find that a heavy camera may become a bit of a pain after several hours of shooting.

There will be shots throughout your days that you may have to be poised and waiting for several minutes, if you’re using a heavier camera this will feel a lot longer than minutes!

For these reasons you may want to choose a lighter camera to avoid your arms dropping off, which can be somewhat disheartening.

Something else you should consider when determining the weight you are willing to handle is the fact that you will not only have to carry this on your photography days, but also when you are travelling.

A heavy camera will eat up into the weight limitations that airliners set and could increase your costs for your trip.

Do be aware that when you reduce the weight of a camera, you may also be sacrificing some of the functionality, not always, but it’s something you should keep in mind.

Durability

For any camera to make it onto the best cameras for safari list, it’s gonna have to be durable!

In one of the harshest environments on earth, it’s imperative that your camera can stand up to the elements that it will be exposed to.

It only takes a bit of dust for a camera to be rendered unusable and out in the wilds of Africa, you may find it difficult to fix.

You don’t want your safari ruined something as small as dust.

And whilst dust will be your main enemy, you should also consider the camera’s ability to withstand other elements such as rain and shock should it take an unexpected knock.

Sensor

The sensor is one of the most important parts of any camera.

The sensor captures the light and then turns that light into your picture.

The quality of your sensor will be one of the determining factors as to how higher quality an image you will get.

Generally speaking, a higher quality sensor = higher quality image.

And a lower quality sensor = a lower quality image.

Putting it simply, there are two main types of image sensor:

  1. Full frame sensors
  2. Crop frame sensors

A crop sensor is exactly what it says on the tin, it is a crop of the full frame and as such has a smaller field of view than the larger full frame sensor.

So if you had two identical cameras but one had a full frame sensor and one had a crop frame sensor and you set them up in the exact same position, the one with the crop frame sensor would have a tighter field of view.

In doing this, the crop frame sensor has essentially increased the focal length.

In other words, for the full frame camera to take the same photo, it would have to increase its focal length (zoom in).

The difference in focal length or field of view is determined by the sensor’s “multiplier” or “crop factor”.

So let’s say for example your crop sensor has a multiplier / crop factor of 1.5x, if you were using a 50mm lens, the crop frame sensor would effectively be shooting at 75mm, whereas the full frame would be at the stated length, 50mm.

So what should you go for and why does it matter?

Ultimately this decision will depend on your budget.

A full frame sensor camera will give you a higher quality image, but this isn’t to say that a crop frame sensor camera would give you poor results, it’s just that a full frame would be better in comparison.

Any camera that utilises a full frame sensor will come with a hefty price tag, they just cost more to manufacture.

Whereas a camera that uses a crop frame sensor will be considerably cheaper.

As well as the crop sensor camera itself being cheaper, it may also save you money on lenses.

As we’ll discuss a little later on, you will want a good telephoto lens so that you can get some decent shots of the animals without having to get too close.

So let’s say that you’ve got yourself a 70mm – 200mm lens, with a multiplier / crop factor of 1.5x, this then effectively becomes a 105mm – 300mm lens.

Using a full frame sensor camera with a similar 300mm lens would cost you considerably more.

If however your budget does allow for a full frame camera and a 300mm lens, you would get an overall better image quality.

Something else to consider is the fact that full frame sensor cameras also tend to perform much better in low light with higher ISOs, something that will be very useful if you plan on taking night safari photos.

Frames Per Second (FPS)

This is the amount of photos that your camera can take per second and when taking photos of safari animals, you will find that a high FPS is quite important.

The FPS will be irrelevant for any landscape shots you plan to take as it’s quite unlikely that the plains are just going to get up and start sprinting.

But for the animals, these are wild creatures that you’ll be taking photos of, they can wander off, start running or lick their… ahem, areas!

A high FPS will allow you to capture them before they shoot off or in between these less than flattering moments and the more photos you can take of your subjects, the more likely there will be some in there you like.

Battery Life

Another thing to consider is the battery life of your camera, as I’ve briefly mentioned, this isn’t going to be a ten minute trip.

So if you decide on a camera that has a lower battery life, be prepared to have to purchase spares.

If on the other hand you choose a camera with excellent battery life, I would still test it before your safari, but you may find that the battery life is more than sufficient and you won’t have to buy so many spare batteries.

Whatever the case, it’s still a good move to get some spare batteries, you may have tested your camera and find that the battery life is more than sufficient but there are a whole host of things that could shorten the battery life on the day of the safari, eg. heat or burst mode.

Additional Features

Some additional features that you may want to look out for and that may or may not matter to you are:

2 memory card slots – This is kind of a preference thing but personally I would always choose a camera with  two slots over one if my budget allowed.

You can either use this to increase your storage or it can be used as an insurance policy should one of your cards corrupt.

Connectivity – Does the camera utilise WiFi for the user’s control or file sharing / download?

ISO performance – How well does the camera perform using higher ISO settings and does it really matter for the types of shot that you’ll be taking?

LCD screen – How big is it and does it adjust / tilt?

Is it touch screen?

Button / Menu layout – Are they well designed and easy to adjust on the move?

Video capabilities – Do you intend on taking any videos as well or are you solely interested in the cameras photographic capabilities?

So, onto the best cameras for Safari!

Sony a7 lll

We score this 4.5/5
4.5/5

Key Specifications:

Sensor – 24.2MP BSI Full-frame Image Sensor

Lens Mount – Sony E-mount lenses

Screen – 7.5cm LCD touch screen

Frames Per Second – 10

ISO Range – ISO 100-204,800 (extended)

Battery Life – 610 – 710 shots

Weight – 650g (inc battery and  memory card)

Auto Focus Points – 693

LCD Screen Tilt/Flip – Yes

Picture quality
Features
Design and Handling
Value for money

Pros:

  • Great high and low ISO performance
  • Amazing auto focus coverage, covering 93% of the frame
  • Good battery life
  • Nice wireless capabilities
  • Good value for money
  • Decent button layout
  • Lightweight
  • Dual memory card slots
  • Good customisation options

Cons:

  • Weather proofing could be better
  • The viewfinder resolution is poor
  • Only one of the card slots supports the faster UHS-ll format
  • Touchscreen isn't as responsive as it could be
  • Menu navigation sometimes lags
  • No external battery charger, it charges internally via a usb

Summary

Overall the Sony a7 lll is a great contender for our list of best cameras for safari photography.

It is lightweight and has a very good battery life of 610 to 710 shots per charge, not to be sniffed at.

A full frame sensor gives a very good picture quality and for a very good price, making this camera excellent value for money.

Performing well at high ISOs, the Sony a7 lll is a great choice if you plan on taking a large amount of photos at night.

With 93% frame coverage from it’s huge 693 AF points, this camera has a very reliable auto focus system.

The camera makes use of two memory card slots which is a great feature for any camera to have. It will allow you to massively increase your storage capacity and will also offer you peace of mind should one of your cards corrupt. 

However with all of these positives, there are some negatives.

First up is the weather proofing, put simply, it isn’t great, this may mean that dust from the plains of Africa will end up in your camera’s inner workings and thus render it unusable until you or someone else can fix it…. not good.

The electronic view finder resolution in comparison to other cameras sporting similar electronic view finders is poorer, it’s not terrible but it is noticeable.

Whilst it is great that there are two card slots, only one of them supports the the much faster UHS-ll format, this may or may not bother you, but for me it does seem a little bit odd.

I really like the fact that in today’s world, we’re getting some really good, responsive touchscreens on cameras, however, this isn’t one of them.

Like with the view finder, it’s not terrible but it could certainly be better.

The last main gripe I have with this camera is the battery charging scenario. As it is, you need to charge the battery via usb cable, one end in your camera, the other into a power supply.

Charging it like this takes an eternity and is a real pain in the neck and obviously you can’t do much shooting while you’re plugged into a wall!

If you wanted this camera, I would recommend getting either Sony’s charger or you could try a third party charger but be wary of what you choose, you may find this to be an interesting article on this matter.

Overall, the Sony a7 lll is an awesome camera that is exceptional value for money, especially seen as though it uses a full frame sensor and that is why it makes it onto our list of best safari cameras.

Nikon D5600

We score this 4.2/5
4.2/5

Key Specifications:

Sensor – 24.2MP DX, CMOS

Lens Mount – Nikon F mount (with AF contacts)

Screen -8.1 cm (3.2″) LCD touch screen 

Frames Per Second – 5

ISO Range – ISO 100 -25600

Battery Life – 970 shots

Weight – 465g (inc battery and  memory card)

Auto Focus Points – 39

LCD Screen Tilt/Flip – Yes

Picture quality
Features
Design and Handling
Value for money

Pros:

  • Great image quality
  • Nice and small
  • Lightweight
  • Touchscreen very nice and responsive
  • Very comfortable to handle
  • Great battery life

Cons:

  • Not the best for manual mode lovers
  • The menu navigation is a bit long winded
  • The auto focus can struggle with fast moving subjects

Summary

The Nikon D5600 is a very affordable safari camera and has much to offer.

One of it’s greatest features is it’s touchscreen, it is highly mobile which will allow for a wide variety of angles, a really nice thing to have.

To add to this, it is also highly responsive, nothing is more frustrating when you’re trying to adjust something and the touch function doesn’t work, that’s not a problem with this camera.

Weighing a tiny 465g, this camera is very mobile and shouldn’t eat up into you transportation fees. As it’s so light you should find it to be very comfortable to use, even after multiple hours of use.

The best cameras for safari in my opinion should have a great battery life and a great battery life this does have with a very impressive 970 shots according to Nikon.

And possibly the best till last, the image quality is amazing, proving that cheaper doesn’t always mean worse quality.

I’d like to leave it at that, but like everything in life, nothing or no one is perfect, neither is this camera!

Due to the slightly cumbersome menu navigation, it isn’t very friendly towards those who enjoy the full control that manual mode permits, to make simple adjustments takes multiple steps and when you need to make quick adjustments, this just isn’t ideal.

The auto focus can also be a little temperamental when it comes to particularly fast moving subjects, not great when you’re trying to photograph leaping gazelles or springboks. 

Overall for it’s price, the Nikon D5600 is an amazing camera, the image quality is just fantastic, pair this with it’s light weight and you’ve got yourself an awesome camera for safari photography. 

Canon EOS 80D

We score this 4.5/5
4.5/5

Key Specifications:

Sensor – 24.2 MP APS-C CMOS

Lens Mount – EF / EF-S

Screen -3″ LCD Touch screen

Frames Per Second – 7

ISO Range – 100-16,000 (extendable up to 25,600)

Battery Life – 960 shots

Weight – 730g (inc battery and memory card)

Auto Focus Points – 45

LCD Screen Tilt/Flip – Yes

Picture quality
Features
Design and Handling
Value for money

Pros:

  • Performs well at high ISOs
  • Touch screen looks good and is responsive
  • Great performance in low light
  • Super easy to use
  • Auto focus works well in live view
  • Weather resistant
  • Battery life is good

Cons:

  • Can't customise quick menu
  • Dynamic range is good but not as good as competition
  • Auto focus settings can be confusing

Summary

The Canon EOS 80D is an amazing camera, with an excellent battery life of 960 shots per charge and with some great weather proofing, it is a great choice to take on your safari photography trip.

The robust weather proofing will prevent any unwanted dust, sand, rain or any other contaminant from getting inside your camera and potentially putting a halt to your safari photography.

Performing exceptionally well in low light conditions due to it’s handling of high ISO settings, this is a particularly good choice for anyone planning on taking any night safari photos. 

If you are particularly interested in photographing a lot of night scenes, then you may find our article on the best night cameras interesting.

Add to this the fact that this camera is super easy to use, and you’ve got a recipe for safari photography perfection!

Unfortunately, the auto focus can have a mind of its own on occasion, whereby it tries to focus on something other than your subject, you can get round this by switching to a manual selection of your choice but it’s a bit of a nuisance.

Especially as the auto focus settings themselves are somewhat confusing.

Although this camera does perform exceptionally well at high ISOs, the dynamic range is a little less impressive and is sub par in comparison to its competitors.

Having said this, the super comfortable and easy to use Canon EOS 80D is a really nice camera and at a decent price too.

Sony Alpha a6000

We score this 4.6/5
4.6/5

Key Specifications:

Sensor – 24.3MP Exmor APS HD CMOS

Lens Mount – Sony E-mount lenses

Screen -3″ LCD screen

Frames Per Second – 11

ISO Range – ISO 100 – 51,200

Battery Life – 360 shots

Weight – 344g (inc battery and memory card)

Auto Focus Points – 179

LCD Screen Tilt/Flip – Yes

Picture quality
Features
Design and Handling
Value for money

Pros:

  • Great APS-C sensor compared to others in it's class
  • Good performance in low light
  • Very compact and lightweight
  • High number of frames per second
  • Really nice responsive viewfinder

Cons:

  • Battery life is on the low side
  • No touchscreen
  • Can be a bit heavy handed with the noise reduction
  • Fiddly to select an AF point
  • No external charger

Summary

The Sony a6000 may be small but boy does it pack a punch!

This camera proves that size isn’t everything, something many of us will be glad to hear!

In it’s tiny 344g body lies a 24.3mp sensor that produces some amazing quality images that surpass many in it’s class.

It has an impressive 11 frames per second, making it ideal for safari photography, that gazelle jumping through the air? No problem, you’ll have taken 20 pictures by the time it’s landed.

Add to this the fact that this camera performs very well in low light conditions, and this is a great all round camera that also doesn’t cost the earth.

Now, onto the bad bits.

Unfortunately, the battery life isn’t as good as it could be at only a rather poultry 360 shots on one charge and to make things worse, it doesn’t come with an external charger.

It comes with an ac adaptor and a USB cable that allows you to charge the battery via USB directly within the camera, but this takes forever, just like the Sony a7 lll.

I’d recommend to do the same as what I suggested for that camera with this one too, get either Sony’s charger or you could try a third party charger but again, do be careful if you go down that route.

Although the camera does perform well in low light conditions, it can have the propensity to be slightly heavy handed with the noise reduction.

Something that may be of concern as a safari photographer is how the AF point selection can be a little fiddly, this will slow you down and when you may be photographing to a schedule, this isn’t good.

And finally, just a minor point and for a lot of people, it doesn’t matter but this camera doesn’t have a touchscreen, I know right, DISASTER!!!

But it is something that is nice to have so, you decide whether it’s an issue or not.

As a whole, the Sony a6000 packs so much into it’s tiny frame, great picture quality, great portability and a great price, this makes it one of our best cameras for safari photgraphy.

Fujifilm X-T2

We score this 4.7/5
4.7/5

Key Specifications:

Sensor – 24.3MP APS-C X-Trans CMOS III

Lens Mount – FUJIFILM X mount

Screen -3″ LCD screen

Frames Per Second – Up to 14

ISO Range – ISO 200-12800 (Extendable to 100-51200)

Battery Life – 340 shots

Weight – 507g (inc battery and memory card)

Auto Focus Points – 325

LCD Screen Tilt/Flip – Yes

Picture quality
Features
Design and Handling
Value for money

Pros:

  • Amazing image quality
  • Massively improved auto focus
  • Solid and sturdy build
  • Two memory card slots
  • Great video capabilities
  • Easy WiFi image transfer
  • Great ergonomic design
  • High level of weather proofing
  • Lightweight

Cons:

  • The auto focus can be slower with some lenses
  • Some of the menu options are a little confusing
  • No touchscreen
  • The tracking could be improved
  • Auto focus could be better in low light situations
  • Battery life isn't brilliant

Summary

The Fujifilm X-T2 is a stunning camera and is a particularly good camera for safari photography.

It is quite light, has a solid build with a robust feeling in your hands, is ergonomically comfortable and to top it all off, takes amazing quality photos.

What more could you want?

Well, as you ask, what about two memory card slots allowing for more storage.

Or what about brilliant weather proofing to keep all of that deadly dust out!

Oh and not to mention it has some truly remarkable video capabilities, shooting at 4k, should you choose to channel your inner David Attenborough!

Now what would a good review be without some nice negatives…. a bad one!

Let’s start small, there is no touchscreen, it’s not the end of the world but it is certainly a nice addition to have, it really is a matter of preference.

Whilst we’re on the topic of small, the battery life… it’s not good, only 340 shots, so when taking safari photos, your’e going to want to bring plenty of extra batteries.

Now, the auto focus is greatly improved on it’s predecessors, but there are still some issues, there are some differences in auto focus speeds depending on the lens you use, again quite annoying. 

To help with this I’d recommend that you get used to the camera with the different lenses before your safari day, at least that way you should be aware of the different speeds with the different lenses.

One last bad thing, and yes it’s about the auto focus. It does struggle a bit in low light conditions, so it may not be ideal for any night time shots that require the use of auto focus.

Wrapping up, the Fujifilm X-T2 is a monster of a camera, superb image quality, superb handling, superb weather proofing, want more superbs?

Well you’ll have to come up with them yourself!

This is quite possibly our number one pick of our best cameras for safari photography.

So that's it for our best cameras for safari photography, onto the Lenses!

Best Lenses for Safari

Things to Consider

Focal Length

You’ll have seen the focal length written on any lens and is written as either a range, for example 35mm – 70mm or singularly like this 50mm.

To put it simply, the focal length refers to how zoomed in you are.

A lower focal length (eg. 24mm) = More zoomed out

A higher focal length (eg. 400mm) = More zoomed in

For safari photography, at minimum you’d want to get a wider angle lens, something in the region of 24mm – 35mm for any scenic or landscape shots or maybe you want to capture a scene like a herd of elephants.

And also a telephoto / super telephoto lens anywhere from around 105mm all the way up to 400mm. This is an essential lens for any safari photographer as it will allow you to get up close and personal, without being up close and personal!

If you are using a camera with a crop frame sensor, then a maximum focal length of 300mm would suit you just fine, as your crop multiplier / crop factor of say for instance 1.5x, would effectively make that a 450mm focal length.

If on the other hand you are using a full frame sensor camera, then you may find better results in investing a little more and going for a slightly higher focal length of 400mm+. 

If you had to only only choose one lens to take on your safari whether that be through budget or weight restrictions, then I’d opt for a telephoto lens.

You can get them with quite low focal lengths and so you could still take some nice landscape shots and closeups in one lens.

Bear in mind though that as a rule, this kind of setup tends to lead to minor quality compromises and so if you can, I would recommend taking at least two lens with your two different focal length ranges. 

Aperture

The aperture is the opening in the lens that allows light to hit your camera’s sensor which then creates your digital image.

You can read more about aperture in our exposure triangle article.

Aperture is what allows you as the photographer to manipulate the depth of field.

A shallow depth of field is when only one specific depth of your shot is in focus for example, the foreground would be blurry, the mid-ground would be sharp and the background would be blurry.

You see this a lot in portrait photography where the subject is crystal clear but the background has a nice blurred effect which really makes the subject pop out.

On the other hand, a deep or large depth of field allows the whole image to be in focus regardless of depth and you see this a lot in landscape photography.

As you’ve probably figured out, there will be times in your safari that you will need to use both wide and narrow apertures.

As a general rule, you want to try and get a lens with an aperture value as low as you can afford whilst maintaining the focal length you need.

Lens Mount

It’s essential that you only use lenses with a compatible lens mount and each camera brand will have their own mounting system unique to their cameras.

Using incompatible lenses will damage the lens and your camera so don’t do it!

Here some useful links to some big camera brands and their lens mount guide / info pages:

Canon lens mounts

Sony lens mounts

Nikon lens mounts

Fujimilm X – lens mounts

Image Stabilisation

Image stabilisation reduces the blur caused by your camera shaking and allows for clearer shots when you may need to use slightly slower shutter speeds, such as when shooting in low light conditions.

Image stabilisation won’t be 100% necessary for your safari photography as you should have the time and equipment to keep your camera steady, but it a nice feature to have, even if you don’t plan on using it.

The reason I’m mentioning this within our best lenses for safari area is because some cameras don’t actually integrate an image stabilisation system in the camera body itself. 

If this is the case with your camera, then you may want to be on the look out for a lens that has built in image stabilisation.

Image stabilisation may be particularly important when choosing your telephoto lens, the image stabilisation will give you a little wiggle room (quite literally!) and will be more forgiving should you be forced to shoot without any kind of stabilisation such as a tripod or rest.

Lens Format

Just something to be aware of is the lens format.

For your use, you will likely only be using either the APS-C (crop sensor) format or the full frame format.

To make things even more confusing, the APS-C format is not always called “the APS-C format”.

But to make things easier for you I’ll list our recommended lenses with the simple version!

Also remember that you can use a full frame lens on a crop sensor camera body, but you can’t use a crop sensor lens on a full frame camera body, they’re just incompatible.

So, onto the best lenses for Safari!

Best telephoto lenses for Safari Photography

Sony FE 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 G OSS Lens

We score this 4.3/5
4.3/5

Key Specifications:

Mount – Sony E-mount

Format – 35mm full frame

Focal Length – 70-300 mm

Max Aperture – F/4.5-5.6

Min Aperture – F/22-29

Weight – 854 g

Min. Focus Distance – 0.9 m (2.96 ft)

Image Stabilisation – Yes – Optical SteadyShot

Picture quality
Ease of Use / Handling
Size / Weight
Value for money

Pros:

  • Great image quality
  • Image stabilisation works well
  • Great minimum focusing distance for nice closeups
  • Robust and sturdy build
  • Fast auto focus in good lighting
  • Nice weather sealing

Cons:

  • Auto focus is a little slower when zoomed in
  • Quite expensive
  • Quite heavy

Summary

The Sony FE 70-300mm is a great lens offering a decent focal length range that should allow for a variety of shots on your safari.

With a maximum aperture of f/4.5 – 5.6, you’ll be able to take those dramatic closeups with a nice blurred background which can make for some astounding photos.

Pair this with the fact that this lens offers a superb picture quality and you’ve got yourself a nice not so little lens for safari photography.

The Optical SteadyShot image stabilisation actually works pretty well and will give you a little breathing room when you aren’t able to keep the camera as steady as you’d like.

The minimum focusing distance of only 0.9m or 2.96 foot is a great feature that will allow you to not only focus on the animals and landscapes of Africa, but also the unsung heroes such as the insects and unusual vegetation that make up the habitat of this great place.

Robust, sturdy and with good weather sealing, this lens should be able to endure the tough environment with ease.

The auto focus is fast when the conditions are friendly, but this is where the negatives start.

Whilst the auto focus is fast when the conditions are good, it does tend to slow down when they aren’t so good, in particular, low light conditions, but it also seems to struggle when you are operating at a higher focal length, this is quite frustrating.

Although amazingly built, it does come at a price, one being the price!

The other being it’s weight and for what it is, it is quite weighty and pricey.

This could be seen as quite a subjective opinion though as yes telephotos do tend to be on the heavier side and for the picture quality you get, you may see it as well worth the investment.

Overall, the Sony FE 70-300mm is an amazing lens for safari and easily makes it onto our best lenses for safari list!

Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD

We score this 4.5/5
4.5/5

Key Specifications:

Mount – Canon EF

Format – 35mm full frame

Focal Length – 150-600 mm

Max Aperture – F/5-6.3

Min Aperture – F/32

Weight – 1,951g

Min. Focus Distance – 2.7m (9ft)

Image Stabilisation – Yes – Vibration Compensation

Picture quality
Ease of Use / Handling
Size / Weight
Value for money

Pros:

  • The image stabilisation is very good
  • Great value for money
  • Brilliant build quality
  • Low amount of distortion
  • Auto focus is quick in good conditions
  • Centre sharpness is good
  • It's very quiet

Cons:

  • It is heavy
  • Auto focus slower at high focal lengths
  • Auto focus slower in low light conditions
  • Image quality drops slightly at higher focal lengths

Summary

When it comes to the best lenses for safari, versatility will play a big role in some people’s criteria.

And versatile this lens is with a whopping focal range of 150mm to 600mm perfect for scouring the plains of Africa for next months National Geographic front cover!

With apertures as wide as f/5-6.3, you will still be able to achieve a very attractive bokeh effect.

And as with the lens above, the image stabilisation works superbly, ideal for when you need to take a shot on the move and don’t have the time to set up properly, it just gives you that much needed bit of breathing room, especially at higher focal lengths.

Packing in some great features, you’d think that you may have to remortgage your house to buy this great lens but oh no, this is an absolute bargain, well sort of, for a camera lens it is!

For those action photographers out there, you will be very pleased to hear that this lens’ auto focus is very quick… in good conditions.

Now something that you may not initially find to be a very important benefit, is the fact that this lens is very quiet.

“So what, I’m not going to be anywhere near that elephant that looks like he could be riled easily and ruin my shot, he won’t hear me”

Fun fact for you, an elephant can hear another elephant’s call from 2.5 miles away, make that 6.2 miles in the right conditions.

So the quieter you can be the better, any way who doesn’t like a quiet lens.

Ignore the fact that you’re in a jeep with a real loud engine, just humour my little story!

Talking of elephants, this lens is a beast (good link right?), at nearly 2kg, this lens will definitely make your arms ache after a while so if this bothers you, this may not be the lens for you.

For the most part you will have support of some kind so it may not be an issue for you but just keep it in mind.

Although the auto focus works well under the right conditions, it does start to struggle in slightly less than perfect conditions.

Namely at higher focal lengths and in lower light conditions.

I’m thinking the low light auto focus issues may not be such a problem for most people as the majority of photos that most will want to take, will be taken during the day with plenty of light available.

A slow auto focus at a high focal length may be of more concern after all, that’s why you bought a lens with such a high focal length.

Like the auto focus, the image quality also suffers at higher focal lengths, nothing drastic but still somewhat noticeable.

In summary the Tamron lens is as good as it is heavy… very, making it one of our picks for the best telephoto lenses for safari photography.

Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens

We score this 4.7/5
4.7/5

Key Specifications:

Mount – Canon EF

Format – 35mm full frame

Focal Length – 100-400 mm

Max Aperture – F4.5–5.6

Min Aperture – F32–40

Weight –  1,640g (with tripod mount)

Min. Focus Distance – 0.98m (3.21ft)

Image Stabilisation – Yes – 4 stops

Picture quality
Ease of Use / Handling
Size / Weight
Value for money

Pros:

  • Excellent image quality throughout focal range
  • Image stabilisation performs very well
  • Auto focus is fast and works well
  • Weather resistant and durable
  • Twist ring zoom has been added since predecessor
  • Doesn't suffer terribly with distortion
  • Great minimum focus distance

Cons:

  • It is heavy
  • More expensive than previous models
  • Some complain that the lens uses more power

Summary

When it comes to the best lenses for safari, the Canon EF 100-400mm is a brilliant lens, performing amazingly well throughout the full focal range.

From the widest angle taking shots of the stunning landscapes, right through to a full on zoom shot of the kings and queens of Africa, this lens has got you covered.

Action is also no problem as the auto focus works superbly, locking on quickly and efficiently so you can capture the lives of the amazing animals that live out on the plains.

One thing in particular that has changed since it’s predecessor, is the addition of the twist ring zoom as opposed to the push pull zoom.

Not everyone minded this but on the other hand there were many that did, so this little change is sure to please those that prefer the feel of a twist zoom.  

As with the Sony at the top of our list, the Canon also has a fantastic minimum focusing range of just 0.98m allowing for some very nice closeup shots.

Solid and robust with great weatherproofing, this lens should stand up well to the harsher environments Africa has to offer.

This solid and robust build does come at a cost.

First of all, it is quite a hefty bit of kit, not quite Tamron hefty but hefty nonetheless. Enough heftys for you!

As we’ve discussed, the weight may not be an issue for the most part as you’ll likely have some kind of support set up, but you still need to consider the weight for when you need to commute between locations and also whether it will cause issues with travel weight limitations.

Second up is the price, whilst not too outrageous in the land of lenses, it is more expensive than previous models which is a bit of a bummer.

Finally, some, and when I say some, I mean very few, state that they’ve experienced their battery draining much quicker in comparison to other lenses they’ve used.

Overall the Canon EF 100-400mm is a great lens that can stand up to the less than friendly conditions you may find yourself shooting in.

The build quality and stunning image quality at all focal lengths are two of the reasons why we think that this is one of the best telephoto lenses for safari photography.

Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 200-500mm

We score this 4/5
4/5

Key Specifications:

Mount – Nikon F (FX)

Format – 35mm full frame

Focal Length – 200-500 mm

Max Aperture – f/5.6

Min Aperture – F32

Weight –  2,300g (with tripod collar) / 2,090 (without tripod collar)

Min. Focus Distance – 2.2m (7.21ft)

Image Stabilisation – Yes – 4.5 stops

Picture quality
Ease of Use / Handling
Size / Weight
Value for money

Pros:

  • Very well built
  • Ergonomically designed
  • Great image quality across whole focal range
  • Good weight distribution

Cons:

  • it is very heavy
  • The auto focus is sluggish
  • The lens hood is of very poor quality

Summary

Overall the Nikon 200-500mm is a nice, not so little lens that opens up the possibilities for a wide variety of shots.

You may think that a versatile lens such as this one may compromise the image quality but this isn’t the case.

It performs well throughout it’s entire focal range.

The main benefits of this lens are to do with it’s comfort and handling.

A high quality build is nothing without high quality design, luckily for you, the Nikon 200-500mm lens has both!

The ergonomically designed lens is very comfortable in the hand, pair this with it’s well thought out weight distribution and you’re left with a lens that is a pleasure to use.

Unfortunately high quality and design have been piling on the pounds lately and this lens is one heavy piece of metal, plastic and glass!

The heaviest on our list of safari telephoto lenses but this is where that proper weight distribution and ergonomic design comes in handy.

Let me put it to you like this, imagine you’ve got yourself one big bag of potatoes, we’ll say 20kg, with wire handles and you can only carry it on one side.

Pretty soon you’re going to get pretty tired, it’s going to be uncomfortable and you’re going to be all wonky.

If you were to now have two bags of potatoes 10kg in each (redistributed the weight) and those bags now have super soft moulded foam handles (ergonomic design), you’ll be able to last much, much longer and it may feel as if the weight is much lighter even though it isn’t.

What good is a best lenses for safari list without a good or bad in this case analogy!

Anyway that’s enough about potatoes, unless you want to keep talking about potatoes?

No… ok then!

Moving swiftly on, unfortunately the auto focus can be a little sluggish which isn’t ideal if you were planning on taking lots of action shots, but then again if you don’t think you’ll be doing those kinds of shot, it may not be an issue at all.

Now this final point seems a little bit stupid considering how well built the lens itself is, but the lens hood is of a poor quality, it easily falls off and won’t take much of a beating .

Overall, the Nikon 200-500mm is an excellent telephoto lens for safari photography, well built, sturdy and with great image quality across the entire focal range.

Still not sure why I’ve written about potatoes but I’m sure it’ll help someone!

Best wide angle lenses for Safari

Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G Lens

We score this 4.2/5
4.2/5

Key Specifications:

Mount – Nikon F only

Format – DX

Focal Length – 35 mm

Max Aperture – f/1.8

Min Aperture – f/22

Weight –  Approx 200g

Min. Focus Distance – 0.3 m (0.98ft)

Image Stabilisation – No

Picture quality
Ease of Use / Handling
Size / Weight
Value for money

Pros:

  • Great value / price
  • Compact
  • Great image quality
  • Good auto focus

Cons:

  • No image stabilisation
  • Not the best weather sealing
  • Purple fringing

Summary

This Nikon 35mm lens is a perfect addition to anyone’s safari photography kit and a must if you want to be taking those sunrise / sunset shots that Africa is famous for.

To match it’s size, is it’s price. For the quality that this lens offers, the price is actually very good and that is one of the main reasons that this lens makes the list despite one quite major drawback, more on that in a minute.

As just briefly mentioned, the image quality of this lens is quite remarkable and I’d like to say for the price but even if it cost more it would still be remarkable so I won’t even though I just did… oh well!

Although it’s not really all that relevant for the types of photo you’ll be taking with this lens, the auto focus actually works really well and is nice to know that it does perform well should you find yourself in a scenario that it would come in handy.

Now, on to the bad stuff!

I’m going to start with the big one, brace yourself….

Weather sealing… it’s not great.

Now I still think that this lens would make a great addition to your safari photography kit so long as it fits your requirements.

I’d say that this lens would be perfect for someone who is going on a safari photography trip with the main intention of taking photos of the wildlife and making use of their telephoto lens for the majority of the trip.

It’s for someone who is pretty sure that they don’t want to take many landscape photos but want to take a good wide angle lens without breaking the bank in case the right scene just pops up.

That’s why it makes our best wide angle lens for safari photography list!

So, some more minor issues.

No image stabilisation, I don’t really see this as being a massive downer as you’ll likely be taking landscape photos with your wide angle lens and so you should have plenty of time to set up your preferred method of stabilisation.

Some purple fringing can occur with this lens, mainly when being used with wider apertures, this has a very quick fix of just shooting with a slightly narrower aperture or just avoid over exposing your shot in general.

Overall the Nikon 35mm is a compact little lens that packs a punch at a very decent price point, it’s not for everyone but is the perfect fit for some.

Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM Lens

We score this 4.7/5
4.7/5

Key Specifications:

Mount – Canon EF

Format – 35mm full frame

Focal Length – 16-35 mm

Max Aperture – f/4

Min Aperture – f/22

Weight –  615g

Min. Focus Distance – 0.28m (0.91ft)

Image Stabilisation – Yes – Four stops

Picture quality
Ease of Use / Handling
Size / Weight
Value for money

Pros:

  • Great quality build
  • Excellent weather sealing
  • Great image quality across focal range
  • Only small amount of distortion
  • Image stabilisation is present
  • Fast and efficient auto focus

Cons:

  • Corners tend to darken with wider apertures
  • Whilst less than other lenses, there is distortion at both ends of focal range

Summary

Quite possibly my favourite wide angle lens on our list of best lenses for safari.

Solid and well built, the Canon EF 16-35mm is an excellent wide angle lens and is very well suited to the climate that you’ll find yourself shooting in.

It comes with excellent weather sealing making it highly resistant to contaminants such as dust and sand, something that is very plentiful in Africa!

Across it’s 16-35mm focal range, the image quality is superb allowing for some truly breathtaking landscape shots to be taken.

And whilst this lens does suffer from some distortion, most wider angle lenses do, it suffers less so than others making it much less hassle when editing later on.

Unlike our first lens, the Canon does have image stabilisation, which whilst not really very necessary for scenic shots, is nice to have.

The auto focus works brilliantly snapping on to your target quickly allowing you to get the shot that a sluggish auto focus would miss.

Once again, not really that relevant for landscape and scenic shots but nice to have should you find yourself in a situation where a fast auto focus is required.

Now the negatives, of which there are few.

When shooting with wider apertures, the corners of your shot tend to darken which is a pain.

And whilst it is a nuisance, bear in mind that this can easily be fixed in editing.

Also for landscape shots, you’ll more than likely want to be using a narrower aperture to capture all of the details at all focal depths thus avoiding this issue altogether.

The other bad thing about this lens is the distortion.

Now, overall the distortion is much better than some lenses out there but there is no denying that distortion is definitely present at both ends of the focal range.

You get slight barrel distortion at the low end of the focal range and slight pincushion distortion at the higher end of the focal range.

But overall, the Canon EF 16-35mm lens is a superb lens that offers brilliant build quality with integrated weather sealing, superb image quality, image stabilisation and a great auto focus making it an excellent wide angle lens for safari photography.

Sony - FE 16-35mm F2.8 Wide Angle Lens

We score this 4.4/5
4.4/5

Key Specifications:

Mount – Sony E-mount

Format – 35mm full frame

Focal Length – 16-35 mm

Max Aperture – f/2.8

Min Aperture – f/22

Weight –  680g

Min. Focus Distance – 0.28m (0.92 ft)

Image Stabilisation – No

Picture quality
Ease of Use / Handling
Size / Weight
Value for money

Pros:

  • Exceptional image quailty
  • Auto focus works well and is quick to snap on
  • Great weather resistance
  • Solid build quality
  • Comfortable to use
  • low level of distortion

Cons:

  • Very expensive!
  • Pretty big

Summary

Now… the Sony – FE 16-35mm is an exceptional wide angle lens and would be a perfect choice to take on your safari.

The image quality is simply outstanding, performing well across its short 16-35mm focal range.

You’ll be using this lens for your more scenic shots but once again, a fast auto focus is always nice to have and a nice auto focus is exactly what this lens has, fast to focus is just what you want from a lens regardless of whether you’ll be using it often or not.

A very solid build with excellent weather resistance is what makes this lens one of the best wide angle lenses for safari photography.

This lens also doesn’t suffer from large amounts of distortion that could otherwise ruin your shots, yes it can be fixed in post production but why cause yourself more trouble if you don’t need to!

The price is why you may want to consider this extra trouble!

Hopefully there will be many elephants on your safari, it’s what many photographers will want to see and get a shot of, but before you see them on safari, lets talk about the one in the room!

Yes, yes, that was awful and I do apologise.

Anyway, the price is huge and whilst the performance of this lens may justify the price tag, it may not justify it enough for you to want to pay as much as it is.

On top of this, it is quite hefty for a wide angle lens. At 680g, it is the heaviest on our list of wide angle lenses and with baggage weight at a premium, you may want to prioritise other things.

Overall, there is no denying that the Sony – FE 16-35mm is an amazing wide angle lens with superb image quality but this doesn’t take away from the fact that it is hugely expensive.

I’d say it would definitely be worth the investment if you planned on taking mainly scenic shots but if your focus is more on the animals themselves, then I’d suggest you go for a cheaper (but still high quality) wide angle lens and then spend more on your telephoto lens.

Samyang SYIO35AF-E 35mm f/2.8

We score this 4.7/5
4.7/5

Key Specifications:

Mount – Sony E-mount

Format – 35mm full frame

Focal Length – 35 mm

Max Aperture – f/2.8

Min Aperture – f/22

Weight – 108.1g

Min. Focus Distance – 0.35m (1.14ft)

Image Stabilisation – No

Picture quality
Ease of Use / Handling
Size / Weight
Value for money

Pros:

  • Very small and compact
  • As it's small it's also very light
  • Great image quality (especially for price)
  • Great Price
  • Overall auto focus is fast

Cons:

  • The auto focus can suffer in lower lighting conditions
  • Slightly cheaper build

Summary

The cheapest on our best lenses for safari list is the Samyang SYIO35AF-E 35mm f/2.8, it’s a great little lens, a very very little lens.

Weighing only 108.1g, it’s the lightest on our list of lenses and so this is a great choice for those who like to travel as light as they can without sacrificing performance.

With it’s small weight comes a very small size which again is great for those wanting to keep weight to a minimum.

And as I hear it said so often, its not the size the matters, it’s what you do with it and boy does this lens pack a lot of quality into it’s small frame.

The image quality is excellent especially when you consider the price, but even price aside, the image quality is superb and overall, the auto focus is also very good and snaps on fast most of the time.

The very best thing about this lens is the price, it is an exceptional price for the results you get.

Onto the not so good stuff!

Whilst overall, the auto focus works very well, it can struggle under some conditions such as poor lighting and become a little more sluggish.

I personally don’t fell this is too much of an issue as you’ll likely be using manual focus, but it may bother you so it’s something to consider.

The other downside is less about functionality but more about feel and aesthetics.

The build feels a little cheap and for most this will probably not bother you, but if you prefer the feel of a quality product, then this may not be the lens for you.

Overall the Samyang SYIO35AF-E 35mm f/2.8 makes for a very good budget lens for safari photography.

Very affordable, compact and light it is well suited to those who like to travel light.

But don’t assume that this light weight means it is light on image quality because it certainly isn’t and can easily compete with a lot of other lenses in it’s class.

Best Camera Support

Options to Consider

Camera support is an essential piece of safari photography equipment.

There a few different options when it comes to camera support on your photography safari.

Which one you choose will depend hugely on a few different factors.

Is your vehicle open top with no sides?

If it is, then a bean bag would not be a good idea as you’ll have nothing at the right to rest it on.

Another vehicle consideration is the amount of seating and the location of the seating.

Is there enough space around you for our support suggestions or somewhere that they can be mounted?

Tripods in particular require quite a bit of floor space and that floor space is often very limited making the tripod probably our least recommended method of camera support.

Does your tour provider offer camera support options already?

Some tour providers will actually provide you with camera support options, most commonly bean bags and if you are happy with that, then you may not need to bring any support leaving more room for other accessories.

Bean Bags

A bean bag is likely to be your best option in the majority of cases.

They are light in their unfilled state, versatile, often secure and will offer you the camera support that you need for most of your shots.

Something to bear in mind with bean bags, is that they’ll need filling when you get to your destination, you can use sand, rice, beans or whatever you can find of a similar grain size.

I’d personally opt for a slightly larger grained filler like the rice as sand can and does get everywhere which is not the best for small components of your bag such as the zip.

Bean bags come in a varying range of sizes but I’d recommend going for a larger one as this will give you a bigger base and more weight, both great things when it comes to stability.

On top of this, you may want to look out for the option to attach a tripod head, this is something that usually comes with the larger bean bags and will give you added functionality.

Super heavy duty, water resistant, removable mounting plate and a non slip material that lines the base.

I’m particularly fond of this shape bean bag as it grips ledges, door frames and other similar surfaces brilliantly, add to this the non slip gripping material that lines that u shaped part on the bottom and you’ve got one sturdy bean bag.

If there’s no door for it to sit on, no worry, just flip it the other way up and rest your lens in the groove, it’s still super stable and makes it a super choice for a safari bean bag.

The LensCoat LensSack Pro’s smaller brother, it has all of the features of the pro only it’s smaller and holds a smaller lens.

Ideal if you are using a smaller camera and lens or you just don’t want to carry the heavier pro.

Tripods

Probably one of the least viable options out of all of our safari photography equipment is the tripod.

It just takes up far more floor space than is available in a crowded safari vehicle.

However, there may be times when you can use a tripod, you’re not going to be safariing (it’s not a word, but it should be) the whole time and so a good tripod would be great for some landscape shots.

As space and weight are going to be at a premium, you want your tripod to be as light and compact as possible. 

Weighing only 1,400g and with a folded height of 39cm, this tripod is well suited to safari use, it doesn’t take up too much space and is certainly not heavy.

It offers safari photographers everything they may need with none of the bulk or awkwardness.

You can read more about this tripod on our 6 BEST TRIPODS FOR LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY article, it’s number 4. 

This is very similar to the MeFoto listed above, once again 1,400g and a folded length of 37cm, 2cm less if you want to compare sizes!

And also offers safari photographers everything they’d need in neat little package.

Monopods

On the other hand, monopods are a great choice when it comes to safari photography equipment, they are light, manoeuvrable, take up little space and provide you with much needed stability.

Bear in mind that monopods will work best when the vehicle is stationary and you will still need to brace yourself and the camera to keep it as still as possible but the monopod does make this much, much easier.

Half tripod, half monopod, but I’m falling more on the side of monopod!

What I like about this monopod is the tripod like foot, it adds a massive amount of stability and may be the closest thing to a tripod you could use with the space you’ve got to work with.

It doesn’t have the smallest folded length at 66cm and is also not the lightest, but no heavier than lighter tripods, but I thought this would be a good choice due to the tripod like qualities it brings to the table.

Basic it may be but it is a brilliant monopod and if you don’t usually use monopods and don’t want to invest too heavily, then this is definitely the monopod for you.

With a 54.3cm folded length and weighing only 445g, you can definitely consider this monopod lightweight and portable.

And to top it all off, it’s cheap, what could be better!

Clamps

Now when it comes to clamps, everyone’s had different experiences, some will love them and some will loathe them, I personally would prefer to use a mixture of bean bags and monopods.

But for lightweight setups, clamps can be a good choice, also be sure that the vehicle you will be in has something to clamp on to.

The good thing about clamps is that they are small and will not eat into your baggage weight limits.

Clamping securely to many different items and surfaces, this clamp is a very nice choice for lightweight setups and makes for a pretty stable support.

If you were going for some sort of clamp for your camera support, then you should make sure you get something that is very sturdy and has a good build quality and a good build this particular clamp is.

Best Safari Camera Bag

Things to Consider

Luggage Restrictions

So you’re going to need somewhere to put all of your safari photography equipment.

Now, first things first, If you can, I would always advise taking your camera as cabin luggage.

This way you know that your precious cargo is not going to be roughly handled and everything should arrive at your destination in one piece!

However, there are restrictions to cabin luggage size and weight and this will depend on your airline so it’s always best to check with them direct as they’ll have the most up to date info on baggage sizes.

There will be items that you’ll be able to carry on yourself such as memory cards and filters and don’t forget you’ll have hand luggage too that you may be able to utilise but always check with your airline first that there are no prohibited items.

If you are planning on taking lots of gear that will easily exceed the weight limit, then I would highly recommend you use a much more robust camera bag as it may take more of a beating than if it was cabin luggage.

Durability

When it comes to durability, build quality must be at the forefront of your mind and you should be prepared to pay that little bit extra to properly protect your safari photography equipment.

Yes, you could skimp a little and find something cheaper but should said skimping cause some of your equipment to get damaged, you’ll end up paying the price of a better quality camera bag anyway in repairs and replacements.

So buy well and buy once!

Look out for tough and durable materials that can withstand vigorous use and quality fixings like straps, clips and buckles.

Accessibility

For the most part you will probably be ready and waiting with your camera set up and ready to shoot but should your camera be stowed away or maybe you need to quickly switch lenses, then quick access is a vital feature for a bag to have.

Top access bags are great at providing quick access mainly due to the fact that you can just stand them up, open a zip and you’re away versus having to lie your bag flat, undo a much larger zip and then remove what you need.

And with other people in close proximity, I’m sure they’d be much happier if you didn’t need to splay out your camera equipment across the vehicle! 

Compartments

Customisable compartments are an absolute must in my opinion, obviously not all lenses are created to the exact same dimensions and so being able to move and adjust the compartments to fit your equipment is a vital feature. 

Additionally, the compartment walls themselves should have some level of padding that will protect your equipment from knocks and bumps in transit.

So, onto the best safari camera bag (or bags!)

An absolutely brilliant camera bag from Incase who offer some great camera bags in addition to much, much more.

Lightweight, durable and with a tonne of space, this camera bag is perfect for your next safari trip.

It has a very nice top access point for easy access to your camera and lenses, well padded customisable compartment system, plenty of internal pockets, straps for easy attachment of a tripod or monopod and plenty of other neat little features.

You’ll be more than happy with storing your safari photography equipment in one of these!

You can see it’s impressive storage here.

With multiple access points, this camera bag definitely scores well on accessibility and also offers plenty of storage space for all of your gear.

Also including adjustable padded compartments, the LowePro is also up there as a contender for best camera bag for safari photography!

Now if you just have too much gear, then I would strongly recommend you invest in something like a Pelican case.

I particularly like this one as it is made of a resin that is up to 40% lighter than other polymer cases without sacrificing its strength.

it is lined with a foam that will support all of your equipment and prevent any damage no matter how frisky the baggage handlers get!

And don’t worry about having to lug it around, it has wheels, I know, I know, very high tech!

And you may be feeling that you’re not sure about investing in a Pelican case, I mean what if it breaks?

No worry, it comes with a lifetime guarantee, pretty cool right? 

What else might you Need?

Amongst all the high tech cameras and lenses, you’ll also need some slightly less interesting safari photography equipment.

Spare Batteries

Picture this, you’re half way through your safari on day one and you’re pretty snap happy right now!

There you are snapping away then….. BOOM, black screen!

No more photos for you today.

Make sure you avoid this by bringing one or two spare batteries, you could even test your battery life before your safari by taking plenty of photos with various settings to see how long it lasts and then gauge how many batteries you’d need.

Cables and Chargers

What good are your spare batteries if you’ve got nothing to charge them with at the end of the day.

Also bring any cables you need for transferring images from your camera or memory card to your laptop or hard drives.

Cleaning Equipment

Bring some lens cloths, alcohol wipes and other cleaning equipment for your lenses and camera.

Remember you’re in Africa, it’s pretty dusty so make sure that you keep your equipment clean.

Laptop

There’s potential for hundreds if not thousands of photos per day and so at the end of the day you may find it beneficial to transfer those images to a laptop and external hard drive.

Do remember though that the weight will add up.

Hard Drives

As just briefly mentioned, you are going to have a lot of photos so backing them up to an external hard drive at the end of each day would be a very good idea.

Memory cards

An alternative to having to take potentially bulky hard drives and laptops, you could just take plenty of memory cards.

This is probably the choice I’d go for as the weight saved would allow me to fit in another lens or camera body.

Don’t forget this essential bit of kit! 

Binoculars or Monocular

A great tool to use to scout out your next shot and if space is limited as it so often is, you may want to consider a monocular instead of binoculars.

Headtorch

Handy to have around the camp and for taking shots at night, it also frees both hands up for changing camera settings.

A Diary

Not essential buy it makes for a nice sentiment to look back on.

You could take note of the story behind special shots whilst the event is still fresh in your memory.

Sun Screen

Lots and lots of suns screen.

It’s Africa… it’s hot and sunny!

Keep yourself well protected and avoid the various “lobster” comments you’ll get when you get home!

So that's our ultimate guide to safari photography Equipment!

We’ve covered the best cameras for safari, the best lenses for safari; wide angle and telephoto, camera support, safari camera bags and any other bits and pieces you could ever need in your safari photography equipment list.

But the biggest bit of advice I could give to you before your safari, is to just enjoy it.

Yes you are out there to take photos but every now and then, just take a moment to soak it all in.

There will be moments out there that you may never experience again so savour them!

Anyway, I hope that you find this guide very useful and I’d love to hear your safari stories!

Have we missed anything or want to share your safari stories? Leave a comment below!

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