Photography in the Sabi Sands is excellent as long as you are well prepared to capture one of the regions highlights; the leopard.
Leopards aside, there is an incredible range of habitat types as well as wildlife species that occur in this part of South Africa. I have already looked at lens choices for the Pilanesberg National Park and the Masai Mara, but photography in the Sabi Sands is very different for a number of reasons.
Apart from the fact that the game here is very relaxed as a result of many years of habituation with game drive vehicles, the biggest difference here is that guests will always be on an open game drive vehicle accompanied by a guide and tracker. The guides in this part of the world are allowed to venture off road and stop in the best position possible in order to view and photograph the animals. Just how close does one get? Well the video footage and stills in the video below were all taken from an iPhone.
Before I get stuck into my thoughts on lens choices for photography in the Sabi Sands, I thought I would call on Keith Connelley, a photographer and guide who has worked in the Sabi Sands, to share his thoughts (Check out his work on Facebook and 500Px).
As Keith mentions, given the fact that guide are allowed to venture off road here you will more often than not be very close to your subject, making anything over a 300mm prime lens a bit too much glass on occasion. Night drives are a standard part of the daily activities here (unlike certain region of Botswana for example) and one will appreciate a large aperture of 2.8 when shooting in these circumstances. I find the 70-200mm 2.8 lenses to be in a class of their own when it comes to photographing subjects at night – provided you adjust your camera settings accordingly!
Richard and Janet share similar sentiment with us on Facebook when we asked for your opinions and thoughts on the topic:
What Would I Take?
Sticking with my theory of generating ‘The Dream Team” and “The Real Deal” for each destination I would suggest the following:
The Real Deal
- Canon 100-400mm f5.6-6.3
- Nikon 80-400mm f4.5-5.6
- Sigma 150-500mm f5.6-6.3
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