22 Jul
Location
Home
Days adrift.  Click here to see our best and worst experiences so far.
2553
Number of flights.  Click here to go to the itinerary page.
35
Bus, train and taxi rides.  Click here to see all posts relating to transport. (56 posts)
185
Miles walked.  Click here to see all posts relating to walking and trekking. (43 posts)
581
Countries visited.  Click here to see what we think of them. (14 posts)
15
Number of species spotted.  Click here to go to our wildlife page.
1157
Photos taken.  Click here to go to the photo gallery. (88 posts)
13288
Rainy days.  Click here to find posts relating to the weather. (48 posts)
63
Number of times scammed.  Click here to read all about it!  (2 posts)
1
Otters spotted.  Click here to go to our website about otters: amblonyx.com
45
 
...two travellers in search of the world's wildlife

Electronic gizmos

These are all the electronic gadgets we couldn’t do without – we’re not planning a back-to-nature journey! Click on updates to find out how we’re doing with these.

Computer

Obviously we can’t make a blog if we don’t take a laptop. We thought about doing it all via internet cafes – Google certainly provides all the functionality needed to keep documents online. But it seemed likely that most of our free time would be in the evenings, in our hotel rooms. A laptop would also allow us to download photos from the camera daily, and sort them.

The ideal laptop for travel is a netbook. Small (for packing), low cost (less to worry about) and focussed on good connectivity (ideal!), it’s almost as though they were invented for RTW travellers. We settled on a Toshiba NB200, as the manufacturer has got a good reputation for reliability and the spec fit the bill. As we travel, we’ll let you know whether our decision was a good‘un.

Oh, and the tiniest padded netbook case we could find, a Zeroshock III in white. Which got DEET on it the first time we used it. DEET melts polyurethene – take note.

Camera

We’ve got two cameras. The digital SLR (a Nikon D50 that I’ve had for a few years) is simply unavoidable if we’re going to do any serious wildlife photography, with a Nikkor 18-55mm VR lens, a Nikkor 70-300mm VR lens and a 1.4x teleconverter. The problems with trying to use a point-and-shoot camera for wildlife are: 1) the shutter release is never fast enough; even a fraction of a second and the animal will be out of shot, 2) I spend most of my time with the zoom at 300mm and the teleconverter on – that’s the equivalent of x12 on a point-and-shoot just to get the animal a decent size in the frame. The only exception is big game drives in Africa, where you can park next to a lion!

But it’s great to not have to look like a tourist toting a huge camera, so we also have a pocket sized Panasonic Lumix ZX-1 which will fit comfortably into a pocket while we rove around foreign cities. We found a soft underwater camera case with a hard lens plate to go with this camera, which should be useful in torrential rain but is mainly in the hopes of some underwater photography.

The DSLR is the single biggest item we’re packing, so let’s hope the wildlife shows up! We’ll let you know how the cameras work out in action.

Other gadgets

We’re both taking our 3G iPhones, for some useful Apps and emergency internet access (only for emergencies – the price of data-transfer is phenomenal!).

We’re taking a bunch of SD cards. Several 2GB cards, which are cheap and perfect for taking a bunch of photos then downloading. And then a couple of 16GB cards, which is about the most compact form of backup device imaginable.

We also have a teeny, tiny speaker to give us music in our hotel rooms, or in cars, or just on the beach. And a couple of iPods to keep the music in.

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