#31. "RE: Wildlife Photography Tricks and Travel Reports." In response to In response to 30
I have been following the discussion with interest, especially the local flavours reflecting the different environments.
Being a girl with African roots myself, we take our anti-bug spray very serious, locally you can even get anti-tick spray to spray on you clothes.
I love the African bush but hate the little critters.
We typically go away for a week to 10 days a couple of times a year, and this is typically on my list:
1. Make sure cameras is packed, memory cards clean, batteries charged, tripod and monopod packed. I use a monopod on the vehicle for more stability, I have not been able to use a beanbag successfully on the open vehicle. 2. Become part of the environment ( no bright colours, a wardrobe that allows me to spend 10 days in the bush with my khaki and camouflage.Believe it or not but it gets cool in winter and the wind chill on an open vehicle is down right chilly, so layer, it is easy to warm up or cool down, especially if you are out in the bush for hours) 3. Wear comfortable shoes ( my "vellies" might not be the height of fashion but I can do anything with them, walk, run even climb trees) 4. Sunscreen and hat ( the African sun can be very harsh) 5. Anti bug lotion/spray, preferable some lemongrass or citronella oil, more natural than DEET and it doesn't eat away your equipment 6. Leather bracelets with lemongrass oil or citronella oil and replenish with oil every day 7. Soap - use lemongrass soap 8. Doom coils - to burn in the rooms or tents, kills and keep the mosquitoes away 9. Malaria prophylaxis - I use Malanil as I have terrible side effects from some of the others 10. Wear long pants after hours and when walking in the bush. Always but always check for ticks after a walk..... I have had tick-bite fever twice...not an experience to repeat 11. Mosquito nets - make sure they don't harass you at night, especially in autumn, spring and summer, it is too hot to sleep in an enclosed area 12. Extra lights - some of our favourite camps have no electricity and very importantly a strong spotlight for any encroaching animals in the middle of the night 13. Water - depending on where you go there might not be clean drinking water, so you need take enough for the duration of your stay. Always keep a bottle with you to prevent dehydration. 14. Batteries - for camera, flashlights, etc. you can not necessary recharge due to lack of electricity.... I have yet to run out on battery life even with a whole week in the bush, but then I have double of everything and one spare (n+2) 15 Good first aid kit - take everything you might require plus some more, during the week someone will have a tummy bug, flu, need a plaster, etc. 16. Snake and scorpion identification book ( goes with no 15 above, extrapolation of Murphy's law: if you have it you won't need it ) 17. Matches, fire for food and tea 18. Rules of the bush: never run when you see one of the cats, but if the guide says run or climb a tree you look for the nearest tree 19. Always check your bed for any unwanted guest before you get in. 20. Be aware of your environment, check the spoor/ tracks and behaviour of the animals around you.
In Africa the mosquitos is not just a pain , the threat of malaria is very real with millions of people still dying every year. So I do take extra care with the family.
Looking at this list it sounds terrible but we really love it, we would typically be a group of about 10 people (ranging from 14 years, my youngest daughter. to 78, my father-in-law) to go. I do wish it is not just a 3-4 weeks a year thing but full-time. If you think this is bad you must see the grocery and drinks list for a group of 10 people for a week.