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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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Tanzania Safari Summary

I have been back home from Tanzania for a few weeks, and I needed to finish up some family things before I sat down to reflect on my 3 weeks out on safari. Before I get into the overall summary of my two safaris, I wanted to break down some of the gear that was used on the 2nd safari. I wrote about the gear used on the 1st safari in an earlier blog post, so scroll back through the entries to find out what people used on safari #1.

On my second safari we had mostly Canon shooters, and I think I saw about every Canon camera that has been manufactured in the past 3 or 4 years: 1DsMk3, 1DMk4, 1DMk3, 7D, 5DMk2, 5D and a digital Rebel (I forgot which model). On the Nikon side we had 4 shooters, including myself, and we had D3x, D3, D3s, D700 and D300s cameras. We didn’t have any major malfunctions with regards to cameras, thank God.

On the lens front, we had the Canon 100-400mm, 500mm f/4, 300mm f/2.8 and 70-200mm lenses (a few wide angle lenses as well), and on the Nikon front we had 200-400mm, 500mm f/4, 70-200mm f/2.8 (VRI and II), 28-300mm and 70-300mm lenses. Again, no major issues at all with any of the lenses.

After shooting with Canon and Nikon equipment out on safari for the past 10 years, I have to say that there is no inherent upper hand by either Canon or Nikon, and it really does come down to personal choice. I think if money were no object for me I could talk myself into owning both systems. I switched to Nikon about 2 years ago because of the 200-400mm f/4 lens, but now that Canon will have their own flavor of that lens (with an included 1.4x TC, mind you) I would be happy with either system. I am dying to see when SONY will have their 500mm f/4 lens to market, as it was officially announced in 2010. With all of the factory issues going on in Japan I don’t have a foggy clue when we will see it. My hunch is that I will begin to see more SONY equipment on my safaris when that lens starts to ship to customers, and I have no doubt that they are going to play are larger role in the nature photography market as a whole. If I was SONY for a day, I would really want to get that 500mm lens into the hands of working wildlife photographers before it goes to market (wink wink), as imagery from the field to help support the broader marketing plan would be a good move.

OK, on to my overall feeling from my past two safaris. To sum up the 3 weeks, I have to say that these two safaris were some of my best days spent on safari. Ever. We had 4 kills in 24 hours, we had dramatic light, we had views of the enormous migration, great lions, lion cubs, cheetahs, leopard, calving wildebeest / gazelle / zebra, breathtaking scenery, great guides and accommodations. What made me the happiest was watching the smiles on all of my travelers’ faces throughout each day. I think I identify myself more as a teacher than anything else, because I do live my experiences through the eyes of others.

One of the questions I have a difficult time with is: “which safari destination do you like the most?”. The first thing that I think of is how a mother or father feels about their children, and how each is different in so many ways. I feel like Tanzania is my home, as it was my first safari destination. I also love Botswana for the remote Okavango Delta, South Africa for the Sabi Sands and Tswalu, Namibia for the entire desert wilderness, Kenya for its dense wildebeest herds and Rwanda for its Mountain Gorillas. I love it all, and I cannot wait to get back to Africa in July. And then again in September. And then again in February. And so on, and so on.

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Reader Comments (1)

As one of your travellers on the first leg of this safari, I cannot tell you how happy I am with my images. Just wonderful!

I look forward to travelling with you again next year.

Tell Troy he still owes me that shot he took of me next to the Acacia Tree :)


April 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKeith Andrews

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