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Utilities

 

A safari to East Africa is an exciting and memorable experience. Please use this section as a guideline to help you prepare for your safari.

As our guests, we’ll discuss your preferences to see what suits you best. Whether it’s driving or flying between camps, going on a camel safari, horseback riding among giraffes, bird watching, taking a moonlit dhow voyage or big game fishing for sailfish we’ll be happy to arrange it.

Allow us to take you to our favorite undiscovered private destinations where you’ll experience fantastic
‘forever memories’.

 

We recommend that you read up (guidebooks, historical novels, and travel articles) about the country you are visiting - familiarize yourself with the local climate, customs and cultures.  The latter will earn you respect and diminish the chances of inadvertently offending the locals.

 

 
Safari Preparation

 

 
WHAT TO PACK

Soft bags are preferable to rectangular suitcases and the weight of luggage that can be carried on small aircraft is limited to 25-53 pounds depending on the size of the plane. Osero Safaris will also be glad to store any excess luggage at our head office at no extra charge.

DOCUMENTS
  • Passports (with visa entries)
  • Health cards (vaccination certificate)
  • Airline tickets
  • Cheque book
  • Cash & Travellers’ Cheques
  • Separate record of T/Cheque numbers
  • Credit Cards (VISA, Mastercard and/or American Express),
  • Photo copy of passport/visas/Insurance papers
CLOTHING
The list given below is a basic indication of what you should bring. Bright colors should be avoided while on safari (fine for the coast and Nairobi); camouflage clothes are illegal because they are worn by local soldiers.
  • Tennis Shoes
  • Flip flops
  • Hat
  • Windbreaker/Jacket
  • Pullover Sweater/Sweatshirt
  • 2 pc. safari pants (or chinos)
  • 2 pc. safari shorts
  • 4 pair sport socks
  • 3 short sleeve shirts
  • 1 long sleeve shirt
  • 2 t-shirts
  • Pyjamas
  • Swim Trunks
  • 1 pair casual slacks (men) evening outfit (women) - for evening
  • Bras (sports type) - women
  • 6 sets underwear
  • Belt
TOILETRIES & MEDICINE
  • Malaria prophylaxis
  • Prescription drugs (also bring the generic names for these drugs, good idea to pack 2 separate lots)
  • Motion sickness pills
  • Insect repellant (containing DEET for mosquitos)
  • Sun Screen (SPF 15 or higher)
  • Lip Balm
  • Shampoo/Conditioner
  • Deodorant
  • Toothpaste / Toothbrush(es)
  • Dental Floss
  • Hair Brush / Comb
  • Electric / Hand Razor
  • Emery Boards
  • Tweezers
  • Hand Lotion
  • Fem. Hygiene Supplies

Wear sunscreens and cover up during the hottest time of day - between 11H00 and 15H00.

Other Supplies
  • Sunglasses / Case
  • Prescription glasses (and a spare pair)
  • Flashlight (small with extra batteries)
  • Batteries (for electronic equipment)
  • Converter plug set if needed (the electricity supply is 220 Volt, 50 Hz). Sockets are usually 3 pin and are of the square variety.
  • Alarm clock
  • Money pouch
  • Pocket Knife
  • Binoculars (very important, one per person)
  • Day pack
  • Favourite road snacks
  • Books / Magazines / Journal
  • Small Sewing Kit
  • Small Scissors
  • Pen/paper

 

PHOTOGRAPHY EQUIPMENT & BINOCULARS

As a basic guide we suggest that each person have their own camera, a 35mm or 5+ mega pixel digital camera. Interchangeable lenses are recommended, with a normal lens and a telephoto of at least 200 mm, although a 400 mm or more is preferable for close-ups and for photographing birds. Other lenses e.g. wide angle, macro etc., may be brought. Cumbersome flash units and tripods are not generally recommended. Try to ensure that at least one member of the party has a video camera.

Film: With long focal length lenses, we suggest that you choose a film speed of 400 ASA. In the early mornings and late afternoons and in other low light conditions, you may wish to have some ASA/ISO 200, 400, or even faster film (bring some rolls of 1000 ASA for late evening and poor light conditions), but for good daylight conditions ASA/ISO 50 and 100 speed film is fine. Be sure to bring adequate quantities of film with you as it is more expensive here and you may not be able to find the film you normally use. For still photography, we suggest that you allow one or two rolls of 36-exposure film per day, per camera. For video cameras you should expect to shoot about 30 minutes of tape per day. You should bring several spare batteries for all your photographic equipment, especially video cameras. You should also carry a charger for the video batteries and a lead to operate the video from the vehicle cigar lighter when required.

Bring camera and lens cleaning equipment for the dust (a blower brush and a soft chamois cloth work well). Another useful item is a small compressed air canister to blow dust off your equipment.

It is strongly recommended that each person has his/her own pair of binoculars. These need not be of an expensive make, but on safari they are essential for seeing birds and animals in the distance. The ideal size is 7 x 42. Bird watchers will want to bring a Spotting Scope.

Please make sure that you are thoroughly familiar with all your equipment before starting your safari. If the equipment is new, please give yourself time to shoot at least one roll of film and have it developed before departure.

  • Camera (with extra batteries)
  • Camera Bag
  • Telephoto Lenses (200 -400 mm)
  • Lens Cleaning Equip.
  • Film (double the amount you think you need)
  • Extra Camera Batteries
  • Lead Bag for Film
  • Battery Charger (12V or 220A for video cameras)
  • Beanbag
  • Zip Lock Bags
  • A notebook or journal to record your day's adventures while they are still fresh in your mind!

Photography Tips
  1. When taking close-up shots with a long lens set the aperture at f8 and focus on the animal's eyes. This ensures most of the face will be in focus.
  2. Have your camera set up, so you prepared for those fleeting moments. A good place to keep it is at f8, servo mode with aperture priority.
  3. Bracket your shots. For example, when taking photos of an elephant, take one portrait shot, another with the environment in view, then another shot with close-up detail, such as mouth and tusk.
  4. Use low contrast film when the sun is bright and high contrast film when it's cloudy or dull.
  5. Vary shots in vertical and horizontal modes.
  6. When the animal is moving you will need a shutter speed of at least 1/125, unless you are using a panning technique. Birds in flight require speeds of 1/500 or more.
  7. If you have time, do not take a photo at the earliest opportunity. Look out for background and foreground distractions, which seem to appear out of nowhere.
  8. A lens of 300mm in focal length is the minimum for mammal photography. If your interest is in taking photos of birds then 500mm is a good starting point.
  9. Try not to centre all your shots, leave room for the animal to walk into. Otherwise, all your photographs will appear static.
  10. If you are on a safari, don't take all your photos from the roof hatch of the van. Better photos can be had when you make use of the windows. Photographs taken at the animal's eye-level will appear more dramatic.
RECOMMENDED READING
HISTORICAL
Safari - A Chronical of Adventure - Bartle Bull
Blue Nile - Alan Moorehead
White Nile - Alan Moorehead
White Man's Country - Lord Delamere & the Making of Kenya Vol I and II - Elspeth Huxley
Facing Mt. Kenya - Jomo Kenyatta
Lunatic Express -Charles Miller
Scramble for Africa - Thomas Pakenham
NOVELS & AUTOBIOGRAPHIES
West with the Night - Beryl Markham
Straight on Till Morning- (Beryl Markham) - Mary Lovell
Flame Trees of Thika - Elspeth Huxley
White Mischief - James Fox
Out of Africa - Karen Blixen
Snows of Kilimanjaro - E. Hemmingway
Life of My Choice - Wilfred Thesiger
Weep Not Child - Ngugi Wa Thiongo
My Pride and Joy - George Adamson
I Dreamed of Africa - Kuki Gallman
GENERAL / POLITICAL

Nine Faces of Kenya - Elspeth Huxley
Natural Connections - Dr. David Western

ANIMALS & BIRDS

Behaviour Guide To African Mammals - R.D. Estes

Birds of Kenya - Zimmerman, Turner & Pearson

The Safari Companion - R.D. Estes

Tracks and Signs of Southern & Eastern African Wildlife - C. And T. Stuart

Almost Human - Shirley Strum (baboons)
Elephant Memories - Cynthia Moss (elephants)

GLOSSY
Serengeti - Mitsuaki Iwago
An African Experience - Simon Combes
Visions of a Nomad - Wilfred Thesiger
Vanishing Africa - Mirella Ricciardi
End of the Game - Peter Beard
Africa Adorned - Angela Fisher
African Ark - Angela Fisher
Safari Style - Tim Beddow
 
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info@oserosafaris.com