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Posts Tagged 'tech'

Top Gadgets to use on a Safari in Africa

Monday, January 9th, 2012
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If you are lucky enough to be going on a safari in Africa, then you will be sure to encounter some exotic animals and create memories that will last a lifetime. With an endless election of modern gadgets available at affordable prices, you can kit yourself out with some useful gizmos before your trip to really get the most out of your time on that safari tour. Here are just a few of the top gadgets to use on a safari in Africa, giving you the edge when it comes to everything from taking photographs to finding your way across the open plains.

Night Vision Binoculars


Because of the intense heat during the day, some of the most interesting beasts come out to play at night, which makes night vision binoculars one of the most essential safari gadgets on the market, thanks to a combination of functional factors. The main benefit is that you can enjoy optical magnification for added visual clarity at a distance, along with the ability to view objects that are just a few feet away, which means you will be able to pick up animals regardless of your relative position to them.

Some night vision binoculars can operate for up to 30 hours from a single charge. They should also let you see in the dark using the light of the moon and the stars, but in particularly pitch conditions, you can utilise built-in infrared emitters which will let you illuminate whatever you target, without alerting the wildlife to your presence.

Long-lasting Camcorder


If you want to capture the safari action in full motion video, then invest in a durable digital camcorder that utilises solid state storage for convenience and longevity. While there are camcorders out there that shoot better quality footage and have more onboard storage for your clips via tape or hard drive, camcorders that use Flash memory are recommendable for safari goers because of the rugged exterior, durable design and water resistant properties that you can find on offer. The memory is also less susceptible to damage from bumps or jolts.

You can drop some digital camcorders into water and they will come out working perfectly, with a resistance to liquids ranging in depth from a few centimetres right up to 10 feet or more. You can also get units that are dustproof and shockproof which is perfect when you're camping in Africa. Dropping them onto the dry ground while on safari will not hamper its ability to record full HD 1080p video clips, which you can share when you return home.

Digital SLR Camera


For photography fans who want to capture the landscape and its animals in detail while on safari, there will be no other choice than a digital SLR camera. However, SLRs can be expensive and you may be wary of buying a budget option in case your snaps do not live up to expectations. That is why you need to find one that combines value for money with performance to ensure that it is a good choice for cash-conscious travellers. In this category you can expect to encounter models with 10 megapixel sensors and memory card ports offering support for SD cards. You will also want an SLR that features a fairly easy to use set of functions so as not confuse novices, or indeed restrict those with experience.

Handheld GPS


When out on safari in Africa, you will be unsurprised to learn that typical GPS sat nav systems are not going to give you the detail you need to help you with navigation. For this reason, it is worth investing in a gadget that is specifically intended for the great outdoors where paved roads and large settlements are few and far between. There are a number of such GPS gadgets on the market that have plenty of useful features to make them perfect for safari tours that go off the beaten path. You can get GPS gadgets for safari that have ample, full colour touch screen displays and a simple set of interface features that let you make the most of the detailed mapping of many areas of the globe. You can plot routes, check your altitude, use it as a compass and examine the topography via downloadable add-ons.

These handheld gadgets are good for the great outdoors on any continent and should be a boon for safari participants and happy campers who want to take the tour under control. Written by the Travel Supermarket cheap holidays team.

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Tags: gadgets, high-tech, tech, what-to-pack

Pro’s and Con’s of Travelling With a Laptop

Friday, October 21st, 2011
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Like someone who has just walked in on their grandma in the shower, you’re not quite sure what to do. To take your laptop with you? Or to leave it at home with your Xbox and electric shaver? Here’s a couple pro’s and con’s to help you decide whether or not to travel with a laptop… and to help you stop thinking about your grandma in the shower:



1. Storage
It’s the first day of your overland trip and you’ve just spent two hours taking photos of a 3200kg rhino birthing its calf. Your camera’s memory card is full and you still have a week left of exploring. If you're travelling with a laptop, you can simply dump your day’s photos onto your laptop, and start fresh in the morning. As Murphy’s Law would have it, if you’re all out of space on your memory car, a Quagga would come waltzing past you while you’re tracking down for kindling for the campfire... no space on your camera.

2. Stay Connected
Home sick and need to see the smile of a loved one? Skype! Need to check what the outcome of the South Africa vs Australia World Cup rugby match was? Twitter! Need to check what the Daily Crossword is? Geek!

3. Internet Banking
If you’re taking a 7 day trip to Victoria Falls, I’m sure you can pay your gardener before you go. But if you’re on a 40 week Trans Africa overland trip, they’re going to repossess your car if you don’t make the payments. Taking a laptop with you on your overland trip means that you can make payments from the safety of your own computer. Using a shared computer, like one you’d use in a local internet café, isn’t recommended. Why? Because it’s dodgy, that’s why.

4. Joe Blogs
Joe Blogs, Mary Blogs, just about everyone blogs nowadays! Taking your laptop with you means you can keep your travel blog up to date. You can also upload your photos on flickr or check if the weather will be okay for your hot air balloon flight over the Serengeti National Park.

5. Sharing is Caring
You know that picture of the 6.5 metre Black Mamba you just took? Share it! If you have your laptop with you and you have wi-fi access, upload it to flickr, twitter, Facebook and National Geographic… after you’ve changed your underwear of course.



1. Lost not found
Remember that expensive thing you bought that got stolen? Yeah, that sucked. Need I say more?

2.  Keep it Clean
Like that just-paid-for soft serve ice-cream  you’ve just dropped in the sand, a laptop is anything but enjoyable when you have to crunch your way around the keyboard. If you’re anywhere near a beach, dune or strong South Easter, don’t take your laptop out. Getting sand in my laptop? I’d rather chew on a jersey.

3.  Waste of Time
It’s not always that easy to connect to an internet café’s connection with your own computer. The time you spend trying to figure it out could be better spent surfing the web on one of their computers, or, you know, going outside and enjoying the overland esc. you’re meant to be on.

4. Extra Weight
When you’re on an overland trip, the only extra weight it’s okay to carry, is on your butt. Backpacking has you lugging your entire life around on your back. When hiking up a 45 degree sand dune, with that backpack strapped to your back, essentials are your friend, luxuries are not.

To Pack or Not To Pack?

If you do decide to travel with a laptop, remember two things: A: Back up your hard drive before you go. B: Take the right plug adapter with you. If you decide not to travel with a laptop: A: Cool. B: Refer to ‘A’.

Traveller opinions on whether or not to travel with a laptop:

I’ve traveled enough with a full-size laptop (for work) to know that I don’t really need all that weight & functionality. But, I can’t imagine traveling without something to write on, upload photos to, etc etc.” – WanderMomIf you bring your laptop along, you can blog, keep up with friends and family by email, you can call home for free (or very cheap) with Skype and you can work. Who says these are pro’s?” – FetzigI migrate around the world, eating, and hanging out. Up until now I have neglected to take a laptop so I could have the least amount of responsibility. However, I recently decided it would be a good idea to begin blogging, and sharing photos and experiences with friends and others. The decision to bring your laptop on your overland travel is obviously completely yours. If you do bring it with you, make sure you make a back-up before you set off!” – Mark Wiens

Images by:  Thiago Felipe Festa, Danny de Bruyne and Rene Asmussen.

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Tags: laptop, tech, what-to-pack