I had to pinch myself. Many times. My top of the bucket list moment had arrived and I still couldn’t believe it. Face to face with an angry elephant telling our safari truck to get lost, in no uncertain terms, was a moment I’ll treasure forever. And breaking down in the Klaserie reserve in the Greater Kruger National Park with a broken prop shaft awaiting rescue as dusk closed in, being served sundowners in hostile territory, another stand out. Or walking through a lion prides’ patch of the Kruger with two armed rangers in the dawn light, nervously aware I was a tasty trespasser for who knew what, was unforgettable. Our self drive safari in the Kruger Park and our three day private safari in Gomo Gomo Game Lodge in the Klaserie lived up to every expectation, and then some.
This safari was why I had bought a Tamron 100-400mm f/4.5-6.3 VC USD lens, featured in my last post when I weighed it up against much more expensive options from Canon. This post is to show some photos of the safari and the performance I got from the lens. I was really pleased with it and consider it a bargain.
Mostly I shot at ISO 400 and above to get a faster shutter speed and to hit the lens’ various sweet spots, between f8 and f11. The wider open apertures were also very good and sharp. Any photos which were unsharp were due to mistakes on my part, rushing the shot, having too slow a shutter speed etc.
I found that bumping around in the back of a safari vehicle and trying to focus challenging, even when we had come to a stop to watch animals, as you never know who else in the vehicle is going to move around and make it rock. Doing the self drive part of the safari was easier as I could pick the moment, turn off the engine, and rest the lens on the window frame. I had bought Tamron’s expensive tripod collar imagining my tripod would be a necessity on such an expedition. I didn’t use it once, hand holding being a much faster, easier option.
I hope you like the photos. I regret not seeing a male lion or a kill, but I am now hooked on safaris. Botswana looks pretty awesome . . .
Nyeti, our tracker at Gomo Gomo Game Lodge
3 thoughts on “Kruger & Klaserie Safari”
Enjoyed that Mark. The trip sounded superb. I’ve always fancied visiting Botswana. Must catch up soon
I have enjoyed viewing your photographs, I am due to go on my first Safari next year and currently considering which lens to purchase. You have had theTamron 100-400 for some time now do you still rate it and how as it stood the test of time. Also did you ever wish that you had the extra reach of the 150-600 lens. My only reservation about this lens is some of the reviews that relate to focusing issues although your photographs are beautifully sharp.
John T (UK)
Sorry this is SO late, you’ve probably been and gone. I always wish I had more length on my lenses. I have since bought the Canon EOSR at 30MP which enables good cropping. That helps.