Technology in Africa? What's too much?

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Technology in Africa? What's too much?

Postby foggybridges » Tue Apr 10, 2012 5:35 pm

Hi all-

I'm going to Africa for 15 days in May, and whenever I tell people what I'm bringing in terms of technology, everyone thinks I'm taking way too much (of course, everyone I've talked to has never been to africa sooo...)

I plan on bringing:
DSLR camera and charger
Point and Shoot Camera and Charger
iPad
iPhone
iTouch
and a charger for the previous three...

too much? I don't want to take my phone, but my parents are insisting...
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Re: Technology in Africa? What's too much?

Postby Zuleika » Tue Apr 10, 2012 6:21 pm

Well I've been to Africa several times and I took a DSLR and 3 lenses, iPhone, iPod and point and shoot camera as a reserve. The only thing I didn't have that you will is the iPad ( jealous!!! Lol) I think you will be fine. Depending on yr tour most of the time is spent on the truck and yr not lugging stuff about except to and from yr tent which is no big deal! However it can get very dusty and poss v wet dependent on time of year so I recommend some ziplock baggies or similar to protect yr stuff
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Re: Technology in Africa? What's too much?

Postby kcupp95 » Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:12 pm

Just curious as to why you're bringing an iPhone and iPod touch (assuming thats what you mean by iTouch) when a iPhone is an iPod touch with phone capabilities. Also curious as to why the two cameras?
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Re: Technology in Africa? What's too much?

Postby onyx007 » Wed Apr 11, 2012 5:04 am

Yes, if you have a IPhone you don't really need your Itouch. And I never had two cameras with me and I travel quite a lot.

So if I were you I would just bring along the following items:

DSLR camera and charger
iPad + iPhone and a charger for them
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Re: Technology in Africa? What's too much?

Postby clairew85 » Wed Apr 11, 2012 5:51 am

I took my iPhone, slr and compact camera. I had my compact on me everywhere in my pocket and the slr was used when appropriate. I liked having the camera on me so could photo anything required.
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Re: Technology in Africa? What's too much?

Postby kateyb » Wed Apr 11, 2012 10:56 am

I just bring with me my SLR, one extra lens, iPad and iPhone. The iTouch is overkill. I used the iPhone to snap some pictures where I wasn't too concerned over quality...especially if we went drinking for the evening and I didn't want to lug my SLR around.
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Re: Technology in Africa? What's too much?

Postby ExplorerWannaBe » Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:17 pm

I took my DSLR, 3 lenses, mini-tripod, point-and-shoot backup camera, spare batteries for all, flash, video camera, tablet PC, MP3 player, Palm Pilot, cell phone (only because my mother insisted) and a solar panel to recharge them all. People were a little aghast until they started coming to me for iPod recharges, copying pictures, etc.
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Re: Technology in Africa? What's too much?

Postby jessiainscough » Thu Apr 12, 2012 6:42 am

When I went to africa I took:
iPod
phone
2 x cameras
+ chargers

Phone barely left the bag for the whole trip (only bought for when I needed to get in contact with parents as they were picking me up), and I took my parents better camera solely for the animals, where my regular point and shoot was not good enough.
If I had an iPad I would have taken it, as it would have been great for watching films on the long journeys on the truck + flights.
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Re: Technology in Africa? What's too much?

Postby foggybridges » Tue Apr 17, 2012 5:56 pm

kcupp95 wrote:Just curious as to why you're bringing an iPhone and iPod touch (assuming thats what you mean by iTouch) when a iPhone is an iPod touch with phone capabilities. Also curious as to why the two cameras?


I was thinking more for battery saving, if I had both my iphone and ipod touch then i could use one while one was charging? (This is of course only an option if my ex actually gives me back my Ipod touch... haha)

Two camera, because I am a photo junkie, I might even bring my moms little camera solely for the panorama setting...

Also- what is the charging 'situation' like on the buses- I heard there are plugs on the bus? I know we're on a 22 person bus, but currently there are only 8 people signed up, so we should have plenty of room!

Thanks so much yall!
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Re: Technology in Africa? What's too much?

Postby kateyb » Tue Apr 17, 2012 10:39 pm

There were two power strips on the bus. From what I remember, one was for when the bus was running and the other one was used when it was stopped. correct me if I am wrong....
There were 13 people in my group and we had no issues at all finding time to charge our electronics. Put your Apple products on airplane mode and your battery will last that much longer, but I am sure you already know that!
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Re: Technology in Africa? What's too much?

Postby sobis01 » Wed Apr 18, 2012 12:54 pm

Did you use a power surge protector? Either on the bus, camp site, or African hotels. Did anyone have issues without using a power surge protector? I'd prefer not packing it but don't want my technology damages due to power surges.
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Re: Technology in Africa? What's too much?

Postby ExplorerWannaBe » Wed Apr 18, 2012 2:45 pm

Taking two cameras -- especially if one is just a small point-and-shoot -- is a good idea. We had a couple people on my trip who had problems with their one-and-only cameras mid-trip. Lucky for one of them, I had my point-and-shoot as a backup and didn't need it so loaned it to her for a couple weeks. Having a point and shoot also gives you the option to use it for close-up shots and leave a long-range lens on the DSLR so you don't miss a good shot while changing lenses.

As far as the power strip goes, each truck we took (Nairobi to Livingstone, Livingstone to Jo'burg) had a power strip (only for use while truck was stopped and hooked to camp power) and there were power strips available at several of the camps. The interior of one truck only had a single 12V DC socket, think the newer truck had a power strip inside the cab but not sure if it was available for use during transit.

I would NOT use a US power surge protector as they are built for US power grid and likely to fry (or worse) when connected to 220V. I had no issues with surges hitting my equipment on my trip.
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Re: Technology in Africa? What's too much?

Postby nikimarcotte » Thu Jun 28, 2012 3:05 pm

don't trust the number of people that appear to be booked because lots of tours overlap...there were only 2 of us booked on ultimate africa for 54 days, but every major city half the people changed and we had a full truck amost the entire time. as for the power strips, depends on the truck you have..the first truck we had was newer and had a power strip where you could charge while driving, but most of our campsites didn't have a truck plug in so you never got to use the other power strip that worked overnight....then we changed trucks part way and ended up on one of the oldest trucks in the fleet and we couldn't charge while driving and we could only plug the truck in at some campsites to charge...however, there were sometimes campsite bars that had outlets you could sit and charge stuff if you had time. we had a definite shortage of charging space with a full truck and lots of people with multiple things needing to be charged...can't count how many times i heard " does anybody have an ipod that ISN'T dead" or " my ipad is dead, does anybody have a book i can borrow" ....this was also contributed to by long driving days, dont' know how many long drives you have, but that sometimes killed all available electronics:) we had a couple of people bring solar chargers, but they didnt' appear to actually do much, so make sure your technology works before you cart it along.
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