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Power outages in camps @ Masai Mara, Amboseli and Nakuru

Dubai, United Arab...
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Power outages in camps @ Masai Mara, Amboseli and Nakuru

I have been reading a thread on camera and lenses to use during the game drives and realized how important it is to carry extra batteries and SD cards.

I will be carrying plenty of AA batteries which go in my camera, will also be carrying rechargeable AA batteries which need about 10 hours to charge fully.

I can come back to camp by night and put them for charge before I take them out next morning.

But we have power in camps whole night? I have read a lot about electricity being available only for few hours.

Edinburgh, United...
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1. Re: Power outages in camps @ Masai Mara, Amboseli and Nakuru

Hi Varadj- this really depends on which camp you're staying in. Most camps will have generators, but not all of them have them on 24hrs as it can disturb the guests. Plus many of the more "bush" style camps operate off inverters and won't have charge points in the room, rather having one communal charging point where you can recharge your batteries during the day. My advice would be to bring a spare set of batteries so you can leave them to charge in camp while you are out on game drives.

Alexandra Matts- Travel Director- Extraordinary Africa

Staffordshire
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2. Re: Power outages in camps @ Masai Mara, Amboseli and Nakuru

Take a surge protector plug with you just in case there is a power failure

Dubai, United Arab...
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3. Re: Power outages in camps @ Masai Mara, Amboseli and Nakuru

Thanks to both of you for your inputs.. Yes will do as you both suggested..

Cheers

Michigan
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4. Re: Power outages in camps @ Masai Mara, Amboseli and Nakuru

I had one of those chargers that took that long and replaced it with a charger that would charge 4 AA batteries in 15 minutes. You do need to check to see on the charger if it is capable of handling the 220 current. I use a surge protector as well as I travel with a laptop, but if your charger is only capable of handling 110 electricity, you will need a converter. Otherwise you will likely 'toast' your charger (which won't be good on safari). And you definitely want the flat 3 pin plug.

Laurena

nyc
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5. Re: Power outages in camps @ Masai Mara, Amboseli and Nakuru

Do be sure your charger is 'dual voltage' which most today are, but I learned the hard way (some years ago) not reading the very tiny print and found I only had a 110V and blew it first nt.

Managed with 3/sets of precharged batteries to get thru my trip, but for certain have at least 3/sets of batteries (AA, even rechargeables, are cheap compared to Lithium), have them all charged prior departure and then once in Kenya, charge 1/set during the day (though some camps do turn off power mid-day). Have 1/set in camera and the other 1/set to bring along with in case the set in camera goes out. And if your charger has the attachment to recharge in vehicle, be sure to take it and then you can recharge while on game drive.

Full charge takes 10/hrs... ugh! Time for a new charger me thinks.

Michigan
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6. Re: Power outages in camps @ Masai Mara, Amboseli and Nakuru

I've had a few varieties of rechargeable AA batteries, all about the same price. But the ones that have been the best are Eneloop batteries by Sanyo. They come charged in the packaged (and seriously, I did not have to charge them before the first use). One pair lasted me through an entire trip (taking edited 16 minutes of video) and were still good when I got home. A 4 pack from B&H Photo (in the US but I'm guessing you can get them other places) was $11.95. They come in larger packages also. I just ordered another set. They sold a charger that came with a set of the batteries, but my 15 minute Energizer charger worked just fine. HOWEVER, that 15 minute charger will not take 220 so I do not take it with me and just carry enough batteries.

Laurena

Hanover
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7. Re: Power outages in camps @ Masai Mara, Amboseli and Nakuru

Do you think having two batteries that recharge are enough? I figured I could take them both. My camera seems to be pretty good at holding a charge too.

Michigan
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8. Re: Power outages in camps @ Masai Mara, Amboseli and Nakuru

Laura

I would say that depends on your photography style.... since the original poster was talking about AA batteries, I carry a small point and shoot that uses AA batteries. The only reason I carry this camera is because I use it for video and the occasional shot of a meal, or a spur of the moment shot. Video will go through batteries fairly fast which is why I like the Eneloop brand. What I carry to take the majority of my photos with, are 2 dslr camera batteries. These take a lithium batteries, which hold charges pretty well. I do however, carry 4 batteries with me, as well as 2 battery chargers (in case of failure). On the other hand, during a 2.5-3 week trip, I typically take 6,000-8,000 photos. So to be on the safe side, I want the extra batteries. I would always have at least 2. And there is the occasional time that some camps don't have plugs in your room but they usually then have a "charging station". I'm guessing that your "two batteries that recharge" are probably lithium, so that may be fine for you. But if you plan on taking a fair amount of video, you may want an extra.

Hanover
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9. Re: Power outages in camps @ Masai Mara, Amboseli and Nakuru

Yes they are for a DSLR camera. I have a small point and shoot to use for little things as well. I also have two batteries for it. I don't use regular batteries. All are recharge type. I take tons of pics. I took over 2500 in LA a few weeks ago and was only there 5 days. I'm sure I will take close to 10,000 in Kenya for 3 weeks! I have 9 cards to take already. Just wasn't sure if I should go out and get a 3rd battery for the DSLR camera. I won't have electric in my tent, but there will be a central charging area and I was told there is charging station in the jeep too.

Michigan
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10. Re: Power outages in camps @ Masai Mara, Amboseli and Nakuru

Hi Laura

I have not personally used the charging in the vehicles. I know many do, but I've not felt comfortable with it. Sounds like you are like me with the photos. Personally, I'd take a 3rd battery to be on the safe side. A couple of other things I do, and you may as well, particularly if using a charging station at a lodge. I have marked my batteries with their purchase date on them so I know which are newest. Also helps to identify yours from another person who might have the same type. Also, for each card I carry, I have them in their small plastic cases and I use a mailing label on each case for identification. Once, while at a camp, I found someone's card on the ground in a case, but not labeled. I turned it into the main desk, but of course, they had no way of knowing who it belonged to. I hope the owner recovered it. I also while on safari, and especially on longer ones of 3 weeks, sent the time on my camera to the location I'm staying in. Because with so many images, elephants on one day, can look like elephants on the next day - if that is important to you. Makes it way easier for sorting photos, especially with multiple cameras. Lots of cards are great. I too travel with many because even though I back them up to my Netbook, I still do not erase any images until I return home.

Laurena

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