Photographing Wild Animals in Botswana
I am a Botswana based wildlife photographer conducting specialist photographic safaris. As a wildlife photographer I get to spend many days in the wild spaces of Southern Africa photographing landscapes and animals. When Tamron approached me to get images using their new 150 – 600 mm lens, I was thrilled by the opportunity. At the time, we were stationed on the Chobe River in northern Botswana working with a film crew from NHK Japan working on a documentary on the interactions between African Buffalo and Lions.
The range of the 150 – 600 mm lens is of course ideal for wildlife photography as conditions of each encounter can mean that you are some distance from your subject. My first impression after taking a few test images was that I was impressed with the clarity of the lens. Even fully extended to 600mm showed no loss of clarity provided that the lens was stabilized on tri-pod or beanbag.
One of the most important elements in a lens is the glass manufacturing and Tamron has delivered here. Another wonderful feature is its compactness and weight – I couldn’t believe how light the lens is, and this makes transporting on airlines less of a hassle.
The next destination was Mombo camp in the Okavango Delta. Most travelers in northern Botswana are transferred to remote camps by light aircraft. Again, restrictions on weight allowance on board the craft are extremely limited and here the compactness and light weightiness of the Tamron lens proved to be an absolute bonus. It is easily transported in these conditions. Mombo boasts high concentrations of wildlife and is a favored camp for photographers. Our three nights there were filled with viewings of many species and the highlights were a male Leopard sighting on a termite mound, Fish Eagles – the delta is huge wetland and Elephants.
The range of the Tamron 150 – 600mm lens is an important one for three reasons. One, it allows for photographers to frame up and compose excellent portraits of wildlife and secondly, it is great for bird photography and lastly, retracting to 150mm allows the photographer to compose with the animal in its environment.