About the Author

James Tyrrell


James had hardly touched a camera when he came to Londolozi, but his writing skills that complemented his Honours degree in Zoology meant that he was quickly snapped up by the Londolozi blog team. An environment rich in photographers helped him develop the ...

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on 10 Must-Have Items to Include in Your Camera Bag

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Master Tracker

And some hand sanitiser …

Haha hopefully the ranger will also have some with him or her, Ian!

A extra video camera. The newer cameras come with a video function but I have found it use too much battery except if you have a spare battery on hand. I use a small seperate video camera and I can still take photos with the Canon.

Thanks to the aforementioned earlier blog, I brought 3 batteries to my recent visit which prevented a repeat of a previous unfortunate dead battery experience.

I’ve starred in that movie a number of times!

I always bring a strap and never leave on a road trip without it firmly fixed to my camera and over my body. It doesn’t interfere with my shooting and keeps me from constantly worrying about my camera while we are bouncing around in the vehicle. Started doing this after setting my camera down on the seat next to me to search through my bag for another battery at the exact moment we hit a large hole – my camera slid off the seat and down the floor to the next level of seats. Fortunately the only damage was a few scratches on the hood, but I learned my lesson on securing my gear.

Hi Karen, I know opinions are divided on this one!
Personally I have found that a strap can be more of a hindrance for me, but I think that’s partly because I’m driving, and it gets looped around the gear stick or around the Low Range/High Range stick.
I think as a passenger it’s probably a good idea, especially if you plan to do some walking…

And remember that you can rent a terrific zoom lens at Londolozi (particularly important for those of us traveling with weight limits on our gear).

Very true Sandee!

I always pack a small torch for the afternoon game drive. I found out the hard way that once it gets completely dark, I couldn’t find my camera dials, very frustrating. It’s also handy when I’m trying to pack away my black camera and lens in it’s black camera case into my black backpack!

Torch is a very good one, even a small one clipped to the side of the backpack on a keyring!

A rocket blower is great to use before using a glass cloth and a small washcloth, to wipe away errant raindrops, etc. I also find small ziplock bags are great for keeping the small bits organized like batteries, sd/cf cards, Allen wrench, two part cleaning tissues…..also a multi pocket vest seems cliche but is useful for easy access to a battery or SD card rather than having to dig through a camera backpack.

Always good to review the necessities for successful shooting.

Great suggestions . . . I have one more. For an upcoming safari where I won’t always have access to electricity, I purchased a solar charger with 2 USB ports.

This is a great suggestion Jeff! I have one of those and it’s incredibly useful!

Great and very helpful article James! I’m going on safari next year in the northern Sabi Sands and was curious if you prefer auto or manual focus and which you prefer?

Auto focus 98% of the time Michael. Manual I’ll only really use if there might be some obstructions in the way like grass or leaves and the camera is picking them up.

Good list, although we’ve found binoculars to be redundant with a good zoom lens. But if you consider binoculars, spend the extra bucks for stabilizing ones like Canon’s … they are fabulously better!

Hmm interesting comment re. the binocs vs zoom lens. Don’t you find it much easier looking through both eyes instead of just one?

James, I always carry an extra battery, I use a canon Sx70 with a powerful zoom, I got tired of dragging around all the camera equipment, and the sx70 works great. I have multiple high speed cards, and always carry a pair of binoculars. Great article

I use almost all of these items reliously!! The GoPro is especially helpful in underwater photography. I don’t have a lens cleanin kit or a leatherman (I do have a swiss army though)

Senior Digital Ranger

James..professional photographer here in Atlanta..I am in TZ at least once a year for a month..since we use pop top LC’s there is very little use for us for tripods or even monopods. The one thing that we use extensively and are commonly left off these various lists are flash with extenders. Almost impossible to get back lit or animals in the dark or in shade or in HDR situations without flashes. Enjoy your blogs..Londolozi looks like a great safari company with impressive people.

Hi Jim,
Thanks for the kind words. I know a number of professional photographers who visit who use flashes with extenders.
When guiding you’re fairly limited space-wise unfortunately; it’s pretty much what you carry right next to you in the Land Rover, so no one at Londolozi is currently invested in that kind of set-up, but I’ve certainly seen the magic they can produce!
Best regards

Senior Digital Ranger

Sandisk ssd to back up sd cards once a day.

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