AFRICAN ADVENTURE – TALES OF A PHOTOGRAPHER – from the Archives
Here kiddy, kiddy, kiddy, where are you….
Typical, we’ve broken down in the middle of the Serengeti on some beaten old track ages away from the main roads, in lion country. Most people are thinking ‘oh my god, how scary’, but no, not me, I don’t get scared…. I’m thinking great, you bewdy, that means we get to stay out after park curfew in the best light of the day, in lion country, just waiting for that once in a lifetime photo to walk into view! But oh no, not going to happen, instead we see no cats, not even one… just my luck!
Plenty of stars out tonight though – awesome!
We had already fixed the wheel best we could, hobbled the 4wd closer to the main road and to get a mobile signal as in true African style, the CB radio was broken! All the excitement, adrenalin of being where we shouldn’t, then … nothing. I suppose we did at least get a signal from the roof of the 4wd, so were eventually rescued well into the night, after all of the passing cars in the distance not notice me heartily waving my Maasai blanket from the rooftop. I’m sure there was a Lion laying in the grass somewhere thinking..’What IS she doing!!’
One of those trips, one of life’s big adventures and that’s not the half of it, add a few more breakdowns, flat tyres, getting lost and pitching tent, again in the middle of nowhere – again no kiddies – damn! Oh, and did I mention that back at camp, to ‘safety’, every night there we could hear a Simba roaring probably only a few kilometres away. Where was he before when I needed him!
Oh, and I almost forgot, very first day of safari, yes, the VERY first day, my 5Dmk2 breaks down. It came up error 20…no problem, looked in the troubleshoot section of the manual…yeah, did that, and that, but still no taka a picha, buggar! After spending many hours, which turned into days, trying to find a suitable camera to hire, alas to no avail, yes, I had to make the emergency call to my mate back home…’yeah hi.. mmmate… how’s it going…yeah great…oh, by the way, could I pleeeaassee borrow a couple of grand to buy myself a new camera…pleeeaaassseeee’… that’s what friends are for right! Thanks David, you’re a lifesaver!!! Anyway, did all that, but choice in Tanzania wasn’t huge, came away with a Canon 500D, ok camera, but meant my whole system that I had spent time, not to mention money preparing, you know, faster card reader, fire wire connections, more CF cards etc, were all useless. Yes you guessed it, this camera only takes SD cards, so needed to purchase another card reader, cards etc, what a hassle!
Was it all worth it, ubetcha, isn’t that what makes life an adventure!
What would I do different next time.. well firstly, I will never travel again without the backup body. I have always convinced myself that I never needed to waste my money on a second body, but when you’ve experienced that feeling of being half way round the world, in a third world country, on a budget and WITH NO CAMERA, geez man, we all need that other body!
From my previous trips list (see earlier post), the only things I changed this trip was I added a couple of 16gb cards, faster SanDisk card reader, fire wire cables, and bigger external hard drive.
Next trip, yes you heard that right, I will add of course another 5d body, probably the 5DMk3 (have already sold the 500d.) Would also love to add the new canon 70-200mm 2.8 ll lens (yes, I plan to get closer to the action), maybe an improved support system for my camera, oh, and a new camera bag…my old Lowepro is busting at the seams – literally. Have been looking at Andy Biggs creation, the Kiboko camera backpack from Guru Gear.. looks like a great invention, airport friendly, nice and light (so I can add more lenses…and don’t forget that second camera body), with a good butterfly opening system, great for the safari vehicle back seat. (Update, have since purchased this great bag from Guru Gear.)
More stories to tell in 2013, from the archives… my African Adventures continue!
See you on safari,