Useful info

  1. Health and security
  2. Carrying photo equipment
  3. About photo equipment

Health and security

Photo safaris welcome people at good physical shape. Sometime we need to walk in a mud and jungles, sometimes we have to cross rivers along a log, sail by wooden boats, fly by small airplanes and helicopters, sometimes climb high mountains – by carrying our photo equipment! If you have concerns/questions after having read the details of the tour, please call or email us before booking. By paying a deposit you confirm not having physical or other deceases that may cause risk for your health and life during the route, as well as for other participants of photo tour. In certain cases we reserve the right to demand medical documents. Final decision of accepting a participant/keeping on route is taken by Company and by group leader personally. After you have paid for the tour, medical circumstances can not be considered as reason for cancellation. We do not held responsibility on medical supervision/services during the route. If you demand specific diet, please inform us when booking and before payment – at certain destinations special diet will require additional expenses.

Malaria and yellow fever

Some of our travels and expeditions happen in tropical countries with risk of malaria and yellow fever. However there are plenty of modern medicine to prevent these deceases and minimize risk of catching it.

Malaria is caused by a bite of Anopheles insects. Malaria is spread in warm and dump regions with average year temperature above 16 С but sometimes happens in colder climate. Totally absent in cold regions

It is widely spread in Western Hemisphere: West-India, Mexica, Central America, northern regions of South America, especially in Amazon delta. Many countries of Africa, south-east Asia, India and north of Australia also live with malaria treat.

Malaron and Coartem are most well-known pills to prevent malaria. These are new generation medicine based on wornwood which means no negative consequences for the health. They are sold in many European and African countries.

Yellow fever. We will not talk that much and simply say that any traveler must vaccinate from yellow fever. Vaccine is valid for 10 years and is very easy to take. Don’t forget you official confirmation, otherwise you will not be allowed to enter certain African countries (Congo, Zair, Uganda, Cameroon, Gabon, etc).

Carrying photo equipment

Each participant has own photography highlights and preferences in photo equipment, so there can be no universal approach to equipment required and its carrying features. Below you will find some advises. If you still use films, we strongly recommend you to turn to digital camera.

Pack minimum equipment required to photo the object of your interest, because you will need to relocate your stuff form time to time – from cars to airplanes and back, from lodge to boat, etc. You will have to take it as hand bag at the aircraft, we do not recommend to carry is as checked luggage. Use hard case or pack it tight into the clothes. As hand bag limits have been reduced by airlines, more and more often photographers have to register equipment as checked luggage. Flying business class you have more weight available free of and charge as hand bag. Don’t forget to sign up for airlines promotions programs as they help to upgrade travelling class in the future.

Camera backpack is a good way to carry your equipment daily, this is much more comfortable than ordinary bag on your shoulder. Avoid huge “professional size” bags and backpacks as it might not be allowed on board as hand luggage. And remember, whatever equipment you carry it must be comfortable for you first of all.

Some of our routes have weights limits for equipment and private stuff due to use of small aircrafts which are not able to transport as much as big planes. Any restrictions we apply serve your security and you should consider them very seriously. Please avoid unnecessary equipment on these routes. Also consider that different countries/airlines have different limits on luggage. We recommend to carry as hand bag two high quality lenses with focus distance , especially the new generation stabilizing image and decreasing vibrations, they occupy less place and can be used in different situations. In most cases it is not difficult to stay within airlines limits on luggage weight on international flights. However there are certain routes in certain countries with lower limits. In this case we always inform you about this condition and about cost for carrying additional kilos. Wild Animals Safari is not responsible for overweight that was not accepted for transportation. For international departures we recommend to make a list of equipment with serial numbers and provide this list to Customs before departure (customs may require to see the goods). You will sign there the official custom paper with list of your equipment and take this paper with you to provide to custom authorities abroad. Otherwise you risk to be asked to pay custom duties upon your return back home with your own equipment. In case you luggage is checked and equipment is found there is no difference for customs weather you travel from China of Costa-Rica, you must be able to provide proof of purchase.

About photo equipment

Majority of our tours are tailor-made for 35 mm photography – film or digital. More than 95% of participants use digital cameras. However please feel free in choice of equipment because it is you who will work with it. If you have concerns over possibility to use your camera on specific route, please consult us. For instance, 4Х5 panoramic cameras are not able to make photos of wild animal at action.

For wild animals photography in their natural habitat w suggest to use telephoto lens 300-500 mm plus 1,4 teleconverter for 35mm camera. If you are seriously involved in wildlife photography, you will sooner or later choose 500–600 or 800 mm lens. For macro photography it is usable to take macro lens and extension ring. As always, lens is a matter of personal taste, but it is a good idea to include in your luggage wide angle, “normal” and average lens, this is allow you to take advantage of different objects photography during your photo tour. Majority of you lens need can be satisfied by variable focus lens (please consult your photo equipment seller about different brands). We recommend that standard photo bag contains 17–35 mm zoom, 24–70 mm zoom, 100–400 mm zoom (or telephoto lens 300 mm) plus 500 mm telephoto lens. If you shoot by telephoto lens, please consider possibility to use new lens stabilizing image and decreasing vibrations.

Places we visit are pretty far from photo shops, so please be sure to pack enough batteries, accumulators, chargers, polarizing and ultraviolet filters, and troy screwdrivers set. Don’t forget additional camera case. We recommend to take tripod or monopod. For international flights take the lightest and strongest tripod. Consider models of graphite fiber.

Film (if you still use it) is a matter of personal taste and quantity and type may vary when used by different people. We recommend transparency film as it is flexible for converting into slide-show, easy to scan, suitable to printing shots, and is mainly used by professionals for scanning images for printing and publishing. We recommend Fuji. Velvia is most often used for wild nature photos until now.

Plan to spend from 5 to 10 films of 35 shots per one shooting day. But be warned: wildlife photography is dangerous decease and you may easily spend all your films few times faster than planned. One more reason to consider digital camera, as you can delete bad shots during your photo tour.

Please consider the following: due to security reasons x-rays which scan luggage are now much stronger at airports than a few year before. Some of them created to recognize explosive materials will totally destroy your films while scanning your registered luggage. Always carry your films with you in hand bag.

Below is a list of 35mm equipment for different types of photo safaris and weight limits. This is not an offer to buy out the whole list, but if you already have something – take it with you. Information list (provided few week before the tour) may contain another recommendations for specific photo tour, but it is very seldom case when recommended equipment differs from the list below. Apart of 500 mm and macro lens this is what we take every time. Sometimes we even do not unpack the bags- always ready to travel!

Take with you:

  • 2 корпуса камеры — подходящего к вашим объективам производителя
  • 2 camera cases suitable for your lens
  • Long fixed telephotolens 500mm (or more sometimes for wild animal photography)
  • Average telephotolens 100–400mm zoom
  • «normal» lens (50mm),possibly with macro option, or 24–70mm zoom
  • Wide-angle lens from 17mm to 35mm or equivalent zoom
  • Macro lens (105mm or 200mm)
  • 1.4x teleconverter for telephotolens of the same brand than the lens
  • Extension rings
  • Tripod or ball-and-socket heads or pan heads
  • Photo backpack or coffer
  • Sponge or liquids for lens cleaning
  • Pear to blow off dust from lens surface
  • polarizing filter
  • ultraviolet filter
  • chargers for camera and cable
  • batteries (many!) are better kept in registered luggage
  • troy screwdriver set - to be carried in registered luggage
  • plastic garbage bag to protect from rain (better take уплотненные мешки, they serve longer)
  • Sensor element clearer
  • Memory cards (208 GB)
  • Ripping cord or electronic-optical photo shutter releaser

Last remark. As you go to wild nature to see and photo its beauty, it is useful to make some preparations at home in order to have some general knowledge of place when you’re where. Books or movies can be of great help. The better you know place and object of photography, the better shots you will take back home!


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Special thanks to designers Dmitry and Vladimir Yakovlev for professionalism and original creative decisions;
to translator Irina Kharakterova for qualified texts translation.