South Africa Pre-departure planning 2

Weight of camera equipment Because I’m trying for some saleable shots, the emphasis on photography, while always present on any of our trips, has taken the first chair position on this trip. We will be spending our first ten days driving from the Cape Town Airport along the Garden Route and ending up in Knysna.

From there we take a plane to White River and then on to Inyati, our first safari camp, in Sabi Sands. Then by small private plane to Tswalu, on the edge of the Kalahari in the Western Cape and finally back to Cape Town for our last 5 days. In all we will be away for 4 weeks, and prospectively that does not seem as if it will be enough.

I mention the small plane, because coupled with our focus on photography, that has proven to be our significant constraining factor. Our flight to Tswalu limits us each to 18 kilos. We can probably get our clothes and daily living luggage down to 13 kilos each which leaves 5 kilos each for camera equipment. That’s the problem; because of the kind of shooting we are planning to do, here’s the equipment list:

  • Canon 5D II and Canon 7D (need two bodies because it would be an awfully expensive trip if I did not have a backup camera in the event of camera failure);
  • Canon 16-35mm f/28; Canon 24-105mm f/4; Canon 70-200mm f/2.8;
  • Canon 300mm f/2.8 (I expect and have been told that a 300mm might not be long enough but with a 1.4 extender on a 7D I can get the field-of-view of a 672mm lens with the loss of 1 stop. BTW this lens alone weighs 2.5 kilos.);
  • Leica M9;
  • Leica 35mm f/2;
  • Leica 50mm f/2;
  • Leica 90mm f/3.4 (for street shooting and unobtrusive people shots when a massive great Canon and big lens just won’t cut it);
  • Slik tripod with a RRS BH-40 ball head, pano rails and a Wimberley Sidekick;
  • Macbook Air and 2 Western Digital 1T drives;
  • iPad and iTouch;
  • Virginia’s 2 Lumix’s, a Z150 and a Z35;
  • All the assorted cables, plugs, batteries, chargers, filters and gear that is needed so the rest of the stuff can work.


The total of all camera/electronic gear is about 18 kilos, which is my carry-on as it’s not wise to check camera and technology equipment. So at this stage, we are 7 or 8 kilos over; more work needed!

South Africa - Off at Last

South Africa Pre-departure planning