It is Official: Kenya African Wildlife Photography Trip

A few months ago we booked another trip to Africa.

It has been something we have wanted to do again since our first life-changing visit in October of 2012.

This time we are heading to the Maasai Mara region of Kenya, for some incredible wildlife encounters on an eight-day private photographic safari.

We are again going into the wilderness with our friend and guide Mario Moreno.

Also a few months ago, I bought a 400mm f/2.8 lens for wildlife photography - actually, for this trip.  On the last trip, I took my 300/2.8, which was comfortably accommodated by my Lowepro Mini Trekker AW backpack.

Unfortunately, the 400/2.8 is a much larger lens, and the Mini Trekker AW cannot accommodate it.  Well, it can (barely), but there is insufficient room for everything else I need.

In researching camera bags, I had two criteria:

  1. it had to accommodate the gear I need and want to take; and
  2. it had to be airline cabin-friendly.

I was pointed in the direction of the Lowepro Vertex 200 AW, and looked into this bag.  When I contacted Lowepro to enquire into whether it would accommodate a 400/2.8, I was told it would not.

Fortunately, that answer was wrong, as it very comfortably accommodates such a lens.

Today I headed into town with the lens and tried it out.  It was a perfect bag for my needs.

I brought it home and packed it with the gear I am taking to Kenya:

  1. Canon EOS 5D Mark II;
  2. Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM;
  3. Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM;
  4. Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS USM;
  5. Canon Extender EF 1.4x II; and
  6. Canon Extender EF 2x II.

It all fits!

My 17" MacBook Pro even fits into the laptop compartment, albeit somewhat snugly.  This means I will only need one bag, whereas last time I had a camera backpack and a laptop bag, which is not ideal when travelling internationally.

I am very pleased with the Lowepro Vertex 200 AW.  The build quality is excellent, as indeed it is with all Lowepro bags/cases I have owned; and the padding and straps in the waist area really make the fully-packed bag seem much lighter.

Here is a photo of the bag, packed with the bulk of the gear I am taking to Kenya:

Image: Lowepro Vertex 200 AW Packed for Africa

Lowepro Vertex 200 AW Packed for Africa

This bag will certainly make travelling internationally with bulky and heavy camera gear a much more pleasant experience.  It will also serve me well locally and on domestic trips, as since having the 400/2.8, I have not had a suitable method of carrying it.

I cannot wait for the Kenya trip, and to being in the wilderness for some incredible wildlife experiences.

Published on Saturday, 8th November, 2014.

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