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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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Safari Preparation and What I Pack

I rarely get a chance to pack so early for a safari, but now that I am thinking about it I thought I would use a blog post as my packing list for my next safari in June. I will then use the blog post as a guide when I actually start packing in a week or two. I depart in late May for my back-to-back safaris in the Sabi Sands of South Africa. I will have sole use of Singita Sabi Sands Castleton Camp, which is a very private 6-room camp that will be my base for 16 straight nights. This list may change over time, so check back for any changes. I may get crazy and add my clothing to the list as well.

Camera Bags

 Camera Eqiupment

Camera Stabilization for Safari Vehicle and Video At Camp

Video / Audio Accessories



  • Apple Macbook Pro 13” with 250gb SSD
  • Apple Macbook Pro charger
  • Apple iPad and charger


Cleaning and Repair 

Miscellaneous Items, excluding clothing and toiletries

  • Headlamp
  • AMOD GPS logger
  • Gaffer Tape - I cutt off 1-foot sections, roll each section up and put them in all pockets in my Kiboko bag. These help cover up VR/IS switches and other places where we don’t want a function to be turned on or off.
  • Micro Leatherman
  • USB cables / Firewire cables



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Reader Comments (8)

From your experience, do you have any thoughts about taking a lens longer than 300mm? I'm curious as I'm going for the first time next March and I've been thinking a bit myself about what I should take. Should I take my 500 f4, or my 300 f2.8?
I have both 1.4x and 2x extenders. (shooting with both 1.3x crop and 1.6x crop bodies, but I may add a full frame body before the trip). I'll take 2 bodies one way or the other.

Are you not taking a beanbag, or did you forget to list it? From folks I've talked to who have gone several times, I thought it would be used more than a tripod for shooting from the vehicle.


April 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTim

Andy, Thanks for sharing. I posted some comments on packing last week at my blog, but planned to put together a list of 'other things to bring'. Love the gaffers tape idea. Another small thing I take in the bag for a May trip to SA are a pair of really think (silk) hunters gloves for those pre-sunrise times when I need to work camera buttons, but need a little warmth.

April 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBuddy Eleazer

Hey Andy, Looks like you are leaving the 200-400 behind. Are you concerned that the quality is not up to the d800? When I was in Antarctica Art Morris had a 300mm (canon) with 1.4x and 2x converters and had incredibly sharp images. He was even able to stack them results better than I expected . I have been think along the same lines. What are your thoughts?

I have an d800e on back order :)


April 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSteve Levi

Steve, I am just bringing the 300mm because I want to try something different. I am really liking the more shallow depth of field with medium format, and I want to try to obtain a similar look with the D800. I love my 200-400mm, but I just want to try something different.

April 25, 2012 | Registered CommenterAndy Biggs

Hi Andy;
A few questions: Do you have any problems with two bags to carry both on the plane? Have you ever used a monopod on a safari? Does it work with the 200-400? Have you ever placed any equipment (maybe chargers) in check in bag?

Thanks for the list!

April 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJim

Jim, I never ever have issues with 2 bags. Airlines allow 2 bags to be brought on board, and I don't like loading up 1 bag just to economize when they allow for 2. If I had to put my Macbook Pro, charger, iPad and other travel stuff into my 22L+ I would easily be adding another 10 pounds or more. My 42-year old back doesn't need more weight to be put onto it, so I don't.

I have used a monopod on safari, but only in southern Africa. In Kenya and Tanzania it just doesn't work. Beanbags are king there. And in southern Africa with the wide open vehicles I have found other solutions work better than monopods, but a monopod could work for some people. It just depends.

And I never, ever put photographic equipment in a checked bag. I am too much of a control freak to do that. All cameras and lenses travel with me, and everything else gets checked. I have seen people carry on everything but the kitchen sink, which isn't necessary. Camera chargers and other non essential electronics can be easily checked, though.

April 27, 2012 | Registered CommenterAndy Biggs

Hi Andy, I thought your Safari Rig/Monopod from RRS was the best way to support in the open jeeps in South Africa? What other options work best for a large lens/camera combo for the open jeeps?

Love your blog by the way, I check it almost every day when I can!

April 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBeau

Beau, definitely do a double take up above. I do take the RRS Safari Clamp Kit, as it is the most stable product out there. I do bring a bean bag, as sometimes I sit next to the guide and only a bean bag will work for that shooting position. Thanks for reading!

April 30, 2012 | Registered CommenterAndy Biggs

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