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Addo: Game Drives

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atsmith
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Addo: Game Drives

Unread postby atsmith » Tue Oct 20, 2009 10:45 am

Hello all

My wife and I are coming to Addo in late January and are thinking of staying at Addo main camp. Obviously the main reason to come here is to see the wildlife and I just wondered what the organised game drives are like? On the site it says numbers are from 2 to 70 - 70 seems like an awful lot of people! Could anyone tell me what is the average no. of people on these drives?

Many thanks

A

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PJL
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Re: Addo Game Drives

Unread postby PJL » Tue Oct 20, 2009 12:05 pm

Hi atsmith, and welcome to the forums :thumbs_up:

I've been to Addo quite a few times, but only once went on one of the organised drives - the main reason being to see nocturnal animals that you don't normally get to see whilst driving yourself around in the daytime.

Certainly there wasn't anything like 70 people going on the drive... I think we only had about 8 of us or less. Also, if I remember rightly, the vehicles only take about 10 to 15 people max... so if 70 people book for organised drives, they'll be taking lots of vehicles rather than cramming everyone into one truck!

Hope that helps

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Re: Addo Game Drives

Unread postby Bush Baptist » Tue Oct 20, 2009 1:58 pm

Game drive vehicles take from 9 to about 20 when full depending on the vehicle.
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Re: Addo Game Drives

Unread postby Munchkin » Tue Oct 20, 2009 3:54 pm

Welcome atsmith.
Just a tip.... we went on a Sunset Drive 31 Dec 2007 - and boy did it get cold later that evening. We were prepared though.
Rather have a jacket / top in case you need it, than find yourself freezing halfway into the drive.
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Re: Addo Game Drives

Unread postby MarilizeB » Tue Oct 20, 2009 4:22 pm

The Game Drives are amazing !! I would def. recommend a sunset drive and a night drive. !!

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JDW
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Re: Addo Game Drives

Unread postby JDW » Tue Oct 20, 2009 8:29 pm

A
The sunset, night and dawn game drives are certainly worthwhile.
They also give you an insight to the park for when you use your own vehicle.
On both occasions we have visited Addo we have done the game drives. We are visiting Addo again next year and guess what ......... adsolutely right!!
Additionally they provide employment for local people in an area of high unemployment.
Enjoy your trip
Kind regards
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Re: Addo Game Drives

Unread postby MarilizeB » Sat Nov 28, 2009 8:05 pm

If you take any game drives ask for Rian !!! You will not regret it !! !! :D

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Addo Game Drives & Photography

Unread postby gslabbert5119 » Wed Dec 09, 2009 3:24 pm

As all are probably aware by now I am going to be at Addo for a few days in February and need suggestions as to which game drives to do for a photography shoot

I am currently booked on the "SUNRISE" game drive, I would like to know whether I should book the "SUNDOWNER" drive which begins at 18:00, or if I should book the "NIGHT" drive which begins at 20:00.

My camera equipment is a Canon 40D and I have the following lenses, (all Sigma EF) 18-50mm f/2.8, 50-150mm f2.8, 150mm F/2.8 macro and a 50mm-500mm f/4-F/6.3 (This lens is no good in low light) and a Canon 580EX II flash fitted with a flash director, I suspect that the flash will be of little use to me as I suspect that the animals will be too far away for the flash to be effective.
Also the moon phase and cloud cover will play a roll, can anyone also tell me what the moon phase is on the night February 4th 2010.

Information, suggestions and advice would be most welcomed, particularly photographers.

Gavin
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Re: Addo Game Drives & Photography

Unread postby PJL » Wed Dec 09, 2009 8:19 pm

If I were you, I would go on the night drive. Not from a photographic perspective, but because there are some nocturnal animals that you stand a much better chance of seeing.

Photography on a night drive is certainly a challenge! But it can be done with a bit of trial and error :wink: . Your flash could help to some degree, but personally I don't use mine unless there's an animal very close to the vehicle. On the game drives at Addo, the guide has a powerful spotlight and it is often sufficient light to get a decent shot like this one of a duiker...

Image

Here's my method of taking such a photo :cam:

Firstly take a bean bag along to rest your camera on - this will allow you to use a slower shutter speed if the animal is staying still. On your camera, set the ISO expansion on (custom function 1.3) which will allow you to bump the ISO up to 3200 if necessary. As you'll probably be working with high ISO levels, turn on the high ISO noise reduction (custom function 2.2).

I found from experience that the camera metering wasn't accurate for this type of lighting (even spot metering), and so I simply set my camera into full manual mode, opened the aperture as much as possible (f2.8 in this case) and worked on different shutter speeds until I was happy with the exposure level. Obviously there's not always time to get things exactly right, but you'd be surprised by how quickly you learn what shutter speed might be required based on how bright the animal looks!

Your 50-150mm lens will probably be your best bet for this type of photography, but there's no harm bringing along the 50-500mm just in case. Moon and/or cloud cover really won't make much of a difference to you photos at night time - the moon simply doesn't provide enough light to be helpful even though we can see things better when it's shining brightly.

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Re: Addo Game Drives & Photography

Unread postby gslabbert5119 » Wed Dec 09, 2009 10:26 pm

Thanks for the info, pretty much 99% of the time I am in either manual mode or Aperture Priority, the other 1% is in shutter priority. I had forgotten about the guides using spot lights, thanks for the reminder, and I have to agree that it should be sufficient light to get a decent shot, maybe not National Geo quality but probably good enough to be published.

For your night photos are you using auto WB or custom, and are you shooting in RAW (which is what I will be doing)

As far as game drives go, I was leaning towards the night drive to see nocturnal animals, though I probably would see different animals on the morning drive and the sunset drive, they would in all likelihood mostly be the types that move mostly during the day.

BTW: I looked through your shots on your site, really good work, what glass do you use ?

Thanks for the help
Gavin
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Let your hopes and spirits soar high and free and far.
Believe in the impossible, then work and try to do

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Re: Addo Game Drives & Photography

Unread postby PJL » Thu Dec 10, 2009 12:30 pm

Hi Gavin,

Generally I use auto white balance - and shooting in RAW allows a few things to be altered later if needed. I often shoot in RAW & Jpeg simply for quick access to the jpeg files (you might have seen I've done a couple of live trip reports whilst in Addo, so for speed and simplicity of image processing I just grab the jpeg files.... but at least the RAW ones are available for later).

Most of my latest shots from Addo are taken using a Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 - sometimes with a 2x teleconverter attached. I'm upgrading a fair bit of stuff at the moment, so will be selling them shortly. If you're interested you can PM me. :wink:

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Re: Addo Game Drives & Photography

Unread postby DuQues » Thu Dec 10, 2009 12:55 pm

Gavin, either take the macro or the 50-150 and flash + extender.
You will most likely be on a vehicle with several other people. Which means that you can't control the movements of the people, so a beanbag or such is not really practical.

Don't expect award winning photos, just enjoy the drive and snap a few photos.
And yes, I would take the nightdrive instead of the sunset one.
Arriving currently: The photos from our trip! Overhere! :yaya:

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Re: Addo Game Drives & Photography

Unread postby gslabbert5119 » Thu Dec 10, 2009 7:22 pm

Thanks guys, for any that are interested I am in a airplane flying from Atlanta to Sacramento and am testing Delta's inflight wireless network connection.

Pretty good so far ?

Gavin
Choose a wish, find a dream, pick a wishing star:
Let your hopes and spirits soar high and free and far.
Believe in the impossible, then work and try to do

-- For only those who dare to dream can make a dream come true --

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Re: Addo Game Drives & Photography

Unread postby JDW » Thu Dec 10, 2009 9:22 pm

Gavin
Thats clever
Its all done with mirrors
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norev
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Addo: Game drives

Unread postby norev » Fri Dec 18, 2009 12:31 am

Now that I ve booked accomodation,I need advice about the game drives...should I book them at different times??or should we concentrate on the sunrise and sundowner with 1 night one?I appreciate your help


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