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ORYX Gear List

Thank you for joining us on an ORYX Photo Tour.

You’re going to have an amazing time and come home with wonderful memories, and perhaps even more importantly, memory cards stuffed full of the best photos possible.

Our expert guides will be right there with you on every step of your photographic journey, making sure that you are always in the best position for the perfect shot; and should you need it, be the guiding hand that helps you with camera settings and photographic techniques.

We at ORYX are always delighted to answer any questions you might have ahead of your tour, be it about packing, recommended camera gear, or simply providing you with exciting details about what lies ahead.

But in the meantime, here’s some general advice to help you get ready for our upcoming adventure together.

By ORYX Senior Photo Tour Leader, Dale Morris

So, how fit do I need to be?

Okavango delta elephant photography
Pantanal boat photo tours

You won’t need a course of performance enhancing drugs, a personal fitness trainer, or even a membership at your local gym when you decide to sign up to an ORYX trip.

It’s true, we do specialize in tours to some the most remote, most untouched, wild and rugged places on earth, but you won’t need a six pack or any prior experience in order to safely enjoy everything on offer. A basic level of fitness and physical self-reliance will typically be enough.

Be it a burning desert, an Icey tundra, or a steamy tropical jungle, ORYX has years of know-how in taking the ‘extreme’ out of extreme environments.

We’ll look after you, and all you’ll need to do is enjoy yourself, be awed by the sights and experiences, and take lots and lots of photos.

What clothing should I pack?

We do everything we can to make you comfortable, but we cannot take the cold out of the polar regions or the heat from a tropical sun ray (nor would we want to). But we can make sure you have the right information ahead of time so that you can gear yourself up appropriately.

Email ORYX with an inquiry on any of our available tours, and we’ll send you a specific itinerary and detailed list of suggested gear to bring.

But here are a few essentials for almost any trip:

–  A spare pair of lightweight comfortable footwear for when you are not out taking photos

–  Spare pair of sunglasses and spectacles

–  Temperature appropriate head gear

–  Temperature appropriate clothing including a wind proof outer shell if your destination is cold (as well as gloves and a scarf)

–  A good photo vest with lots of deep pockets. These are great for “smuggling’ excess hand luggage through check in desks

–  Sturdy, comfortable and waterproof boots

–  Sunblock and bug repellent

Namibia safari

There are also other non-camera related items that we recommend you bring, no matter where your destination may be:

–  Water proof dry sacks. These are great for protecting your gear from wet weather and   dust whilst we are out in the field. Look for something big enough that you can cover your camera with its largest lens still attached.

–  A head lamp. Not only great for finding that memory card you lost under the bed, but also essential for any night time photography activities we may undertake. They’re also great for illuminating photo subjects.

–  Spare batteries: Don’t forget to pack these in your hand luggage and not your hold luggage.

Taking photos

It’s always a good idea to be familiar with your photographic gear before any trip, but we at ORYX know very well that modern cameras and modern photography can sometimes be confusing: – perhaps even overwhelming.

That’s why we pride ourselves on offering our guests expert advice and assistance on a casual and practical, one-to-one, basis.

Should you need it, we will help you familiarize yourself with all of your camera’s settings. You will learn to master composition and exposure; and you will discover all sorts of tricks of the trade such as slow shutter speeds, macro photography, high speed tracking, flash, and night time photography (to name but a few).

And what’s more, our groups are always small and personal, and there will always be time for us to be with you as an individual. We offer photo editing, workflow and review sessions to ensure that what you are visualising and creating out in the field is being optimised and relayed in your images.

Our guides are amongst the best photographers in the world, but during an ORYX tour you won’t find them in the best positions vying for the best spots in order to take the best photographs. Instead, you can rely on them to get YOU into the best locations and situations so that YOU will be the one who comes home with the gold.

We are always excited to share our expertise and knowledge with you and nothing makes us prouder than when our guests create amazing photos.

Danakil Depression

What Photo gear should I bring?

That’s a tricky question, because every destination, every tour, every situation, can be unique. A macro lens won’t serve you so well on a vehicle based African safari: but it would be a must on a jungle trip where things like insects, frogs, and flowers are on the menu.

Every trip has its own considerations, but there are a few items you should have in your kit bag, no matter where we’re going.

–  At least 2 camera bodies. This lessens the need to swap lenses in the field which can result in dust getting on the sensor. A 2nd body is also insurance against malfunction of your primary camera

–  Plenty of spare memory cards and camera batteries. Bring more than one charger if you can

–  Lens cleaning kit

–  Power and plug adapters along with spare charging cables

– A laptop computer for reviewing, editing and showing off your pictures to the rest of the group, as well as an external hard drive for backing up your photos

–  A tripod? Maybe. Maybe not! These days, modern cameras and lenses are very forgiving of high iso values; and carrying a tripod around can sometimes be real pain in the butt. We will recommend on a trip by trip bases if we feel a tripod is essential or perhaps something best left at home. If our focus is on landscapes however, a tripod is a must

–  A small daypack/backpack for your gear. If your tour requires walking, a comfortable weather proof bag is essential. Better still, get yourself a small backpack style camera bag for added protection and ease of access to your gear

–  A digital version of your camera manual

And what about lenses and stuff?

Roughly based on tour locations and priority photographic subjects, we have broken down our lens kit and gear recommendations for three broad categories: Wildlife, Culture and Landscape.

It’s always great to have enough lens types to cover all possibilities in any given destination, so bring as much variety in focal range as you can.  But sometimes there just isn’t enough space in your bag for everything.

Check out our gear list below and make sure you have at least the essential recommendations for your upcoming trip.

Africa safari

TELEPHOTO of no less than 400mm (500mm or above if you’re really keen on bird photography). It’s always nice to have a fixed focal prime lens, but if you don’t have one, there are many great zoom lenses available in the shops with focal ranges of between 150-500mm (or even longer). The most commonly used and arguably the most versatile zoom range is 200-400mm.

Essential for WILDLIFE



Zoom or fixed starting at around 14mm with a near lens focusing range. As well as being great for landscapes, these sorts of lenses are great for getting up close and personal to your subject whilst still including the environment in your photo.




Most of them double as a portrait lens too. These are great for locations where small subjects are or interest. Think treefrogs in Borneo, or chameleons in Madagascar.




Something like a 35mm, 50mm or zoom with a range between 24-70mm or 24-105mm.

Essential for CULTURE



70-200mm range, or thereabouts. These lenses can be great for street and culture photography, and also for wildlife encounters where the subject is at a fairly close distance.



FLASH with a remote trigger so that the flash can be fired whilst off the camera.

Essential for CULTURE and macro WILDLIFE


POLARIZING FILTER is very useful for cancelling out reflections, especially on the surface of water.

Essential for LANDSCAPE



Essential for LANDSCAPE

omo valley
Mongolia Kazakh

The above Gear List are suggestions for photographic and general gear and this does not mean that you now need to update or purchase new camera gear. Our Photo Tours are tailored for beginner to professional photographers alike, so before you feel that you cannot join an ORYX Photo Tour because you don’t have the camera and lenses noted above, send us an email and we will walk through everything with you!

No matter what your question is, big or small, all you need do is send us an email, or send us your mobile number for us to call you on the phone if you would prefer, and we’ll be right there ready to help.

It is time to live your dreams, and we are here to make that happen.


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