Peggy Farren interviews African safari guide Shaun Scrooby. Shaun talks to us about choosing where to go, what to expect, and what to take with you on a safari. Thanks for tuning into episode #78 of The Understand Photography Show!
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Episode 78 African Photo Safaris with Shaun Scrooby
“The pictures help rekindle the memories of being on those trips.”
Grew up in South Africa
Safari guide for 15 years
Guides trips through 11 African countries as well as Spain and Portugal
“When you’re out there, it’s great to capture the moment, to take it with you, to remember the finer details.”
– most trips last between 10 and 21 days
– some cover a large geographical area: 3-5 countries in one trip
– others focus on one geographical area
– some parks are best viewed by jeep, others by boat
– Africa has more than 50 different countries with varying landscapes, climates, animals, and tribes of people
– there’s so much to see, you really can’t do it all in one trip
Choosing Where to Go
Get information from clients about what they like or what photo opportunities they’re after.
Wildlife or Landscape?
Time of year is important – winter (June/July) has less vegetation, making it easier to see and access the animals. August is peak season – very crowded with tourists – not recommended. Can get a balance between visibility and greener vegetation.
“Guides need to learn about the animals and how to be near them in a safe and secure way. Good guides have a passion for it.”
Typical Day on Safari
Start from the safari camp by 6am, drive through the parks/landscapes for 3-4 hours.
Return in the heat of the day for lunch, download photos, discussions, etc.
Back out driving from late afternoon into the evening, sometimes after dark with special spotlights.
There’s so much variety of landscapes and silhouettes to play with for photographs.
“I still see something new on every trip, it’s never the same. I have clients that have come back 10 times and still get excited.”
Southern Africa – variety of landscapes, the “big 5”- elephant, African buffalo, leopard, lion, rhinoceros, travel in open top vehicle
East Africa – open spaces, wildebeest migrations, usually travel in a closed vehicle
Traveling through many countries of Africa may require a visa – these can be purchased upon arrival, but should be taken care of with other logistics through your safari company.
Generally 6 people per vehicle – everyone gets a window seat with easy access and room to move
There is usually a lot of time in between sightings to talk, give pointers, and educate guests about expected behaviors.
Safari camps help sustain conservation efforts with education and funding from visitors.
2 camera bodies with 2 different lenses – you don’t want to switch lenses in the field – too much dust
Lens coat – helps protect from dust
Lower f-stop lenses will help capture better focused images in lower light
Tripod is not necessary, won’t fit in the vehicles
Most vehicles equipped with gimbals or beanbags to help stabilize your lens
Can leave extra gear in the vehicles while walking
Natural colored clothing is best – you should try to blend in with the environment (khaki is always good)
See you next week for episode 79!
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