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Mark from Brookville, NY

May - Namibia, Botswana

 

I've been to Southern Africa twice (both times with Classic Africa, of course) and each time for about three weeks. The first trip was with just my wife, Ellen, and the second adventure was with just our now 26-year-old son, Max ('boys night out').

The upper left corner photo shows the dunes at Sossusvlei (Namibia) and was taken while on an early morning excursion in a hot air balloon. The upper right corner picture was taken at Abu Camp (Botswana) and features "Cathy" and me (Mark)...I'm the one with the slightly smaller nose! The meerkats, lower-right corner, are a real treat at Jack's Camp (Botswana) and are incredibly human friendly these days. When I first encountered them, at Jack's in 2005, they would not get very close to people. By 2007, all had changed. They will climb on to your head if you sit very still and use you as a high point to survey the surrounding landscape and watch for possible predators.

The meerkats are fascinating to watch. You'll end up with lots of great meerkat photos to show your friends. Jack's is one of my favorite camps and I will probably always include it on any future trips to Africa. The lower right corner photo was taken at Mombo Camp (Botswana) and shows three of what eventually turned out to be 21 lions killing a buffalo. Not for the faint of heart, but spectacular to be able to witness.

Having a digital camera that has the ability to take black and white images can make for terrific photos. I heartily recommend bringing a long zoom all-in-one digital camera rather than taking a digital SLR and lots of lenses. SLRs are prone to damage if dust gets on the sensor; and that can easily happen in dusty Africa while changing lenses. Much better, with less anxiety, is having a long-zoom camera that does not have interchangeable lenses. Of course, take extra batteries and, here's a tip, bring lots of smaller digital memory cards (they're inexpensive these days). If you bring one large memory card and it gets damaged, all your photos will be lost. Better to have lots of 2 GB or 4 GB memory cards, just to be safe.

 

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