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About Andy


I am an avid adventurer, conservationist, teacher, and outdoor photographer whose photography celebrates the African landscape and its rich wildlife, people, and culture. My photographic safaris allow my travelers to not only enhance their understanding of photography, lighting, and wildlife, but to develop a life-long admiration for Africa ‘s beauty and culture.

Banana Republic recently used my photographs as the cornerstone of their Urban Safari campaign, and my images were seen in all 750 stores around the globe, as well as in their billboards, catalogs and annual report. I was also the winner of the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year in the ‘Wild Places’ category in 2008 and a highly commended in the ‘Creative Visions of Nature’ category in 2007.

I launched Gura Gear in 2008, in an attempt to deliver lightweight camera bags to the market. I was looking for a lightweight camera bag to hold all of my photographic gear, and there was nothing desirable on the market that suited my needs. After spending 2 years with many prototypes, the Gura Gear Kiboko bag was born. More products are now available on the Gura Gear web site.




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The woes of a lens rental program

For a number of years I had a lens rental business on the side for my safari customers. I would transport either a 400mm f/4 or a 500mm f/4 to and from Africa for my customers, and then would deliver the lens at the beginning of a safari and then I would collect it at the end. Pretty slick deal if you ask me. The challenge was that I found that people were rarely interested in renting my 400mm f/4 DO lens, and always wanted my 500mm f/4. That put me in a bind, as I would often prefer to shoot with my 500mm on my Tanzania safaris. For my Botswana, South Africa and Namibia wildlife safaris I would prefer my 400mm DO, however most of my time spent in Africa until 2008 was done in Tanzania.

At the end of one of my rentals in 2007, I collected my 500mm f/4 lens to take back home with me. As you can see in the photo, there was some major damage to the lens. This is the sticky part, as I didn't inspect the lens until I got back home. After numerous emails with the traveler about the status of the lens, it was apparent to me that she had no interest in either coming clean or taking any responsibility for the damage of the lens. Contractually I was in a bind, as I didn't inspect the lens when I took it back from her. It was a crazy morning, as we were all boarding a bush plane flight and I didn't have the opportunity or time to do it on the spot. GRRRRRRR. Major GRRRRRRRR.

This is the main reason why I discontinued my lens rental program. Yes, I fixed the lens and sold the lens shortly after getting it back from Canon. I then bought another copy of the lens for good mental health.

If you are traveling with me to Africa, I have teamed up with a lens rental provider here in the USA, as well as one in South Africa. Please let me know if you would like this service available to you, and I can get you in touch with the appropriate party.

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Reader Comments (5)


For what it's worth, I can't recommend Paul at highly enough. He runs a first class operation over there and I'm sure would love to work with you on taking care of your customers.

June 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDoug Levy

Hi, I am heading to the Serengeti and can't seem to find any place to rent a Canon lens in Tanzania (ideally Arusha). If you are able to provide me with recommendations / rental partners, that would be great. Thanks.

July 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJayDoubleYou

Unfortunately, I don't know of any lens rental outfits that are based in Tanzania. I would try to find somebody locally.

July 23, 2011 | Registered CommenterAndy Biggs

I am travelling to Botswana in November via J'burg and wish to hire a long nikon lens (200-400 2.8) for a planned safari inthe Okovango Delta. Can anyone advise any companies i can use.

January 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMatthew


I have a relationship with, and they do a great job for all of my safari customers. Here is my own link to them, which often gives a better-than-advertised price:


January 8, 2012 | Registered CommenterAndy Biggs

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