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Thread: Africa trip

  1. #41

    Default Re: Africa trip

    Quote Originally Posted by jeanie View Post
    where do you go and arrange for such trips?
    any contacts please?
    take good care, jeanie >>>
    Malaria
    Malaria is not to be taken lightly. It is a potentially fatal disease transmitted by the female anopheles mosquito. Certain factors influence the risk of contracting malaria. For example low-lying equatorial swamp will be high-risk all year through, a dry montane plateau set at a subtropical latitude will probably carry no risk at all, and places falling between these extremes often show a marked seasonal pattern medium to high risk in the wet summer months, low to no risk in the dry winter. Remote areas tend to be lower risk as there are fewer people to act as vectors for malaria. Our rule of thumb is to take malaria prophylaxis when in doubt. Ask your doctor for his advice.
    You can also lessen the risk by avoiding being bitten. Wear long sleeves, trousers and socks and douse any exposed skin with a good mosquito repellent shortly before it gets dark (the anopheles mosquito is active at dawn and dusk), and always sleep under a net.

    Sunburn
    The African sun is very strong and harmful. Use lots of sun block and a hat particularly if you are on foot, in a boat, or in an open vehicle. That tan may look good for a few days after you get back from safari, but skin cancer is a high risk for everybody especially fair-skinned people.


    Bugs
    You will probably be bitten by lots of bugs and get lots of itchy swellings (tsetse flies in certain areas are the worst culprits). A good anti-histamine cream usually reduces swelling and itchiness. Check your body for ticks after every bush walk and at least once a day even if you are not walking. If these bites cause discomfort or concern approach your lodge manager for advice.
    always the Light, .... always.

  2. #42

    Default Re: Africa trip

    Yup... I was very very very badly burned after coming down from Kilimanjaro, even with SPF30 sunblock.
    Alpha

  3. #43

    Default Re: Africa trip

    If you go to Kenya, you also need to get Yellow Fever immunization shots.
    Alpha

  4. #44

    Default Re: Africa trip

    sounds more like an expedition than a 'tour'.

  5. #45

    Default Re: Africa trip

    Quote Originally Posted by jeanie View Post
    sounds more like an expedition than a 'tour'.
    It's an adventure! Want a body guard?



    Alpha

  6. #46
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    Default Re: Africa trip

    Jeannie, its an expedition. Perhaps a once in a lifetime trip but certainly unforgettable and most memorable. BTW, I'm planning a trip there next Sept. to see the migration of animals in the Serengeti. Will use local contracts and guides. Will arrange thru' my buddy who goes there 2 - 3 times a year for the past 25 years or so (for business). Prolly go with an experienced Yank photog guide on one of their 'big' safari trips. I plan for about 10 days in the field and perhaps S$10K cost (land package only). Accomodation - luxury tents (but of course) and no more than 3 photogs to a 4 wheel drive vehicle.

    Anyone interested in joining me? PM me so I can begin planning.

  7. #47
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    Default Re: Africa trip

    Hi Jeanie, you can also consider Okavango Delta in Botswana. My colleagues have experience a lion walking pass their vehicle. From there u can also move up to Zimbawe to view the Victoria Falls. Lodging can expensive if stay in the safari, had friends who spend US1k to stay for one night there. But they fly in cooks to prepare 5 stars meals for you.

    Other options is the safari in South Africa, no need to stay in safari, it a day trip, but depends on your luck, that time I went, get to see less animals than I see in Botswana safari.

    I only been to SA and Botswana, so here are some general advice, don't put expensive stuffs in your check in luggage. Get injection for yellow fever, Hep A/B, typhoid and prepare some malaria pills.

    The security there is quite bad, better to get some male companions if possible.

    If travel in SA, dun stop at the traffic lights (they call it robots) at night, even in the city.

  8. #48

    Default Re: Africa trip

    1)for trips like this, what would be the minimal number of days required?(got to plan leave)

    2 weeks, especially if you go ther to shoot. If just touring a week to 10 days min. Why the extra time, the 3-4 extra days are to allow you sufficient to go look for animal, or better, wait for animal to come, so that you can have something dramatic to shoot

    2)is a big mama lens always required?what should be the minimum focal length to bring?

    for the animal, min 400, and tht is assuming you are shooting with a 1.5x crop.

    3)i heard there wont be electricity in certain parts of the stay.so exactly how many days without power and how many batts should we bring to be sufficient?

    The better tour operator, the jeep/van/bus should have charger outlets. But there are never enough. Angain, better tour operators, there shuld always be electricity at camp.

    4)what kind of accomodation will we be looking at?tents?rovers?any 5 stars hotel?

    no need to rough it out man, even tent can be ultra delux, with bathrooma nd showers.

    5)is this kind of trip constantly ongoing to different places or you can dump your luggage in a hotel, and make the day trip and then back to hotel in evening?

    bad idea. everything travel with you wherever you go.

    6)any dangers?(sounds stupid but i'm more concerned about health issues and being robbed)

    yeah, if a lion is hungry. however, the most dangerous of the big 5 are actually the hippo and buffalo.

    7)recommended vaccination?and how many days/weeks/months in advance that we have to take it before the trip?

    tour operator will give you the list. it's not short. but as expected.

    8)cost per pax for entire trip?

    $$$ to $$$$$. for 2 weeks, budget at least US$6K, minimum.

    9)any self drive 4WD with GPS system?

    Extremely BAD idea

    10)when's the best time/season to go?and how's the climate like?as hot and humid as sgp?

    fall and spring, to coincide with the animal migration


    11)any personal contacts, lobangs?(if inconvenient, please pm me)

    huh?

    12)other than animals and birds, is there anything else in that country that's worth a visit?

    The big 5 are lion, leapod, elephant, buffalo and hippo.
    deadpoet
    my portfolio

  9. #49

    Default Re: Africa trip

    Quote Originally Posted by Deadpoet View Post
    12)other than animals and birds, is there anything else in that country that's worth a visit?

    The big 5 are lion, leapod, elephant, buffalo and hippo.
    There's also Mt Kilomonjaro (sp) and genocide and blood diamonds...

  10. #50
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    Default Re: Africa trip

    Quote Originally Posted by jeanie View Post
    i forgot one important question...

    can get to shower everyday?
    Probably an elephant shower.....should be FOC.

  11. #51

    Default Re: Africa trip

    o and remember DON'T piss off the hippos...even the crocs are scared of them...tells you how dangerous they are!

  12. #52
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    Default Re: Africa trip

    Quote Originally Posted by garou12 View Post
    There's also Mt Kilomonjaro (sp) and genocide and blood diamonds...
    Mt. Kilimanjaro - the highest mountain in Africa. Also Victoria Lake. Tons of birds like flamingos, vultures (the feathered ones - not the 2 legged ones) and other carrion birds.

    Also, the natives are good to shoot if you are into people photog.

  13. #53

    Default Re: Africa trip

    thanks guys for all inputs.
    very informative.

  14. #54

  15. #55
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    Default Re: Africa trip

    Africa is certainly an "adventure destination" that one should visit at least once in their lifetime. I've been there several times, twice on vacation (2000, 2005). Let me chip in a few words here from my experience.

    1)for trips like this, what would be the minimal number of days required?(got to plan leave)

    The longer the better. If visiting only 1 or 2 places, I think 10 days is enough. If your itinerary is more ambitious, then I think you can easily spend 4 weeks which you allow you to cover the grounds at a more leisurely pace. If you can get 16-18 days leave, you can have a lot of flexibility with the itinerary. Don't forget that you will already use up 2 days flying between SGP and South Africa. If you go other places like Botswana, Zambia, etc, you may fly domestic and more days are eaten up again.

    2)is a big mama lens always required?what should be the minimum focal length to bring?
    I assume you plan to shoot the wild life in the safari parks. If so, a BIG MAMA lens is great to have. One major consideration is the kind of tour being done in the safari. Essentially there are 2 types - a) sitting in the 4 wheel drive vehicle b) walking safari. If you are on the vehicle, you can get very near many of the animals. Sometimes as close as 10m (eg. lion resting). In this case, a fast 70-200mm zoom with a 1.4x teleconverter may be all you need. However, on a walking safari, you cannot get close to the animals. Either the animals keep their distance, or you want to keep your distance because of the danger. Typically this distance may be 100m. So you want to bring your 400mmF5.6 tele lens or better. For my trip, I brought along both a 80-200mm zoom and 200-500mm zoom. The longer lens get used about 80% of the time, and 2/3 of the time was at 500mm end.

    Oh, make sure you bring a decent pair of binoculars (8x40 or better).


    3)i heard there wont be electricity in certain parts of the stay.so exactly how many days without power and how many batts should we bring to be sufficient?
    Some of the camps are operated in a very rustic manner and design for low environmental impact. These camps do not have mains electricity (solar power may be available). So I suggest you get 3 days worth of batteries for your camera. Although you may be in the park for several hours daily (usually 1 early morning trip, 1 late afternoon, 2~3 hours each), your shooting is occasional, not continuous. So turn off the camera after shooting to conserve power and typically 1 Li-ion battery for DSLR should last a whole day. The flash gun is very seldom used, so you can leave this out if your backpack is already overloaded. It's good to check ahead if the camp has mains power.

    4)what kind of accomodation will we be looking at?tents?rovers?any 5 stars hotel?
    There are 5 stars camps, but these cost an arm & a leg. If money is no object then OK. Many of the camps are build with trees/bamboo/reeds/canvas and intended to non permanent. Even so, the beddings are generally of good quality (clean mattress, bedsheets, pillows). Food are also of good quality and quantity (mostly western, grills)

    5)is this kind of trip constantly ongoing to different places or you can dump your luggage in a hotel, and make the day trip and then back to hotel in evening?
    The one that is constantly ongoing is a kind of cross country safari which is based on a very large all wheel drive vehicle. This thing can take about 20 people including all luggages, tents, cooking equip, etc. It goes from one site to another (mix of landscapes, villages and safari parks) across a few countries. Typically it runs from South Africa (Capetown up north to maybe Tanzania and back). One way trip can take up to 16 days.
    The other kind of safari camp requires to travel to the camp and stay there for a few days (3~5 typical). You bring all your stuff to the camp. For the daily park tour, you bring only your camera/lenses and water bottle. Some of the camp also offer a truly back to basic field camp in which your guide will bring tents, food, cooking gear and you stay out in the park for 1 or 2 nights. In this case, you bring only your basic essentials and leave your main bag in the camp. My suggestion is to bring only 2 bags. One is camera backpack, the other is all your barang-barang in a soft trolley bag or backpack with wheels.
    You bring only outdoor gears - 2 outdoor pants, outdoor field long sleeve shirts with UV prot, dry fits and T-shirts you can use then throw away. 1 pullover in case it gets cool. Wide brim hat is a MUST (nylon/soft). If you have a day to spend in Capetown on your arrival, they have very good outdoor gear stores where you can get all the good stuff at reasonable prices.

    6)any dangers?(sounds stupid but i'm more concerned about health issues and being robbed)
    In general, it is not dangerous to walk about in African towns during the daytime. The local people are generally friendly and very interested to talk with visitors. Of course there are areas that you shouldn't go, just ask the locals about this. Don't wear fancy watches or jewelry.With regards to the safari tours, you must follow the instructions of the guides who are also responsible for your safety. You do get a lot of safety briefing. For example, you should NOT wander about outside your tent in the night. If you need to pee in the middle of the night in the tent, learn to use a zip lock bag or similar contraption.
    7)recommended vaccination?and how many days/weeks/months in advance that we have to take it before the trip?
    You can go to Tan Tock Seng Hospital Travellers Clinic and get all your jabs there. You should go there 1 month before the trip. If I recall correctly, they can only give you 3 jabs on the same day, so if you need to have more than 3, you must make another trip down there a week later. Depending on the places you intend to visit, the clinic will make the recommendation for the jabs to take. Usually include Yellow Fever, Typhoid, HepA/B. There are varying opinions about taking Malaria pills before the trip. TTSH will certainly recommend you to buy and take the malaria pills from the hospital's pharmacy. However, in Africa, I have been advised not to take the pills as a precaution. This is because the pills are not effective against all forms of malaria. So, the logic is if you get hit, it is better you get sick and show true symptoms so they can prescribe the right medication to take. In both my vacation trips to the safari parks in South Africa, Zambia, Botswana, Zimbabwe I've seen very very few mosquitoes. Certainly no more than anywhere in SE Asia.

    8)cost per pax for entire trip?
    Excluding the flights between SGP & Africa, the local expenditure can run around US$100~200 per day.

    9)any self drive 4WD with GPS system?
    Yes you can rent vehicles in South Africa to drive around the normal roads & towns. If you do, buy maximum insurance cover. But you can't drive it into the game parks.

    10)when's the best time/season to go?and how's the climate like?as hot and humid as sgp?
    The cooler season is more green. Plenty for the animals to eat, but they have a lot of vegetation to hide behind also and harder to spot. The hot season is dry, not so humid as Sgp, the land is more yellow/brown/parched, the water sources are smaller, but the animals are easier to spot since there is less cover. What you are able to see is also a matter of luck since the herds do move around alot especially in the large open game parks.

    11)any personal contacts, lobangs?(if inconvenient, please pm me)
    It is not difficult to plan your own itinerary and do it Free & Easy instead of booking a standard tour from travel agents here. There are lots of info on the internet. A lot of African tour operators are based in South Africa and do have websites.

    12)other than animals and birds, is there anything else in that country that's worth a visit?
    Besides the wildlife, Africa do have many other attractions. There are varied landscapes such as Vic Falls, Kalahari desert, Orange river water rafting, the very pretty Capetown, etc. I find the villages to be very interesting - the mud/straw houses, loads of smiley kids though they look scruffy, cottage industries, etc. English is widely spoken in many areas, so talking to the locals is interesting too.

    I will hesitate about an all ladies group visiting Africa on backpacking style. Good to have some guys go along.

  16. #56

    Default Re: Africa trip

    To Jeanie:

    I suggest you google. Luminous landscape is a good start. Photo.Net as well.

  17. #57
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    Default Re: Africa trip

    do you dive? my friends are planning a dive+safari trip to SA next feb/march for 10 days. total cost including flights is about 3.8 to 4k sgd.

    here's the brief itinerary:

    Wed: 13 Feb
    Land in South Africa - Durban
    Get picked up from airport (We will need to somehow arrange the combi to be at the airport)
    We'll leave straight from the airport to go to Hluhluwe Game Reserve (North Coast on the way to Sodwana)
    Stay there for the night.
    Dinner at Lodge

    Thurs: 14 Feb
    Breakfast at Lodge
    3 hr Game Drive
    Leave for Sodwana 4:00pm
    Stay in Sodwana
    Stop and have Dinner at Wimpy / KFC (for everyones own account)

    Fri: 15 Feb
    2 X Dive Sodwana
    Toasted Sandwiches.
    Dinner (BBQ + Salads)
    Stay over Sodwana Bay
    Optional Quad Biking to Sibaya Lake (everyones own account)

    Sat: 16 Feb
    1x Dive Sodwana
    Breakfast - Buffet
    1 x Dive Sodwana
    Dinner - Buffet
    Optional Beach horse riding (everyones own account)
    Big Party (dj, music, decorations,lights ect.) - It's an annual Valentines Party - lots of fun!
    Stay over Sodwana Bay

    Sun: 17 Feb
    1 X Dive Sodwana
    Breakfast - Buffet
    1 x Dive Sodwana
    Dinner - Buffet
    Stay over Sodwana Bay

    Mon: 18 Feb
    Leave for Mozambique - Ponta D'oura
    Have lunch on the way, Wimpy / KFC (everyones own account)
    Arrive +- 13:00pm
    Free time - relax on beach, go for walks, markets.
    Dinner (BBQ with salads)
    Stay over in Mozambique

    Tues: 19 Feb
    2 X Dive Mozambique
    Brunch, Egg, Bacon, French toast/ Musli and yogurt ect.
    Dinner (Beef Lasagne)
    Stay over in Mozambique

    Wed: 20 Feb
    2 x Dive Mozambique
    Brunch, Scharmas
    Trip to Ponta Malangane. It's about 20min drive - very pretty.
    Dinner ( BBQ with salads)
    Stay over in Mozambique

    Thurs: 21 Feb
    2x Dive Mozambique
    Brunch, Hamburgers
    4x4 Quad Biking to restaurant, (meal excluded)
    Stay over in Mozambique

    Fri: 22 Feb
    Brunch, Egg, bacon and toast / Muesli / yogurt.
    Leave Mozambique head back towards Durban.

    Flights: Singapore Airlines SIN-JHB-SIN, South African Airways JHB-DBN-JHB.

    PM me if you're interested?
    www.colouredshots.com
    Kodak film disposable camera

  18. #58

  19. #59

    Default Re: Africa trip

    thank you SO MUCH for the information guys.
    really really appreciate it.

  20. #60

    Default Re: Africa trip

    antacid,

    yes i dive.but i only open water diver.and i havent been diving for the past 10 years..(i think).

    i'm more into photography trips.so i dont think i'll go diving.(though i know i can do underwater photography but it's another poison i dont want to venture into because of all the equipment and additional cost).

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