Where I went wrong this year? First, I did not bring enough digital storage for downloading the cards. I download nightly so I can have clean formatted cards for the next day. I carried two 120 GB and one 160 GB digital storage units, the type where one insert the card directly into the unit and the files are transferred automatically. I did run out of storage space 5 days before the safari was over. Fortunately, I had a 500 GB Passport portable hard drive available but no computer. Thanks to the kindness of one of my photo pals, who allowed me to use his notebook, I was able to download my storage units into the 500 GB hard drive. I do not carry a computer to minimize equipment weight and airport inspections. Next time I will take bigger capacity image storage units and maybe a mini computer. I arrived home with 246 GBs of images or 10,734 images; 60-70 % were lost mostly to out focus problems…a Canon tradition.
My second error was not bringing a 500 mm lens. I have carried one in the past but decided to just carry a 100-400 mm IS and 300 mm f2.8 IS with a 1.4X extender to minimize weight. I estimated that a 300 mm with the 1.4X will give me enough reach when used with a full size sensor Canon 5D MKII; this would allow for me to crop without much image quality loss--WRONG. I also used this combination with a 1.6X sensor Canon 50D camera that gave the reach, but the quality of the images I found not to my liking; the colors were harsh and images noisy. The 100-400 mm IS lens is the best compromise since it is easy to handhold and the push-pull zoom is faster than a ring driven zoom. I did also carry a 70-200 f 2.8 which never used and a 24-105 IS used just for a few landscape images.