Should I pack a tripod?
What kind of landscape or nature photographer leaves home without a tripod? Although you should definitely take some kind of support with you, it’s unlikely you’ll use it very much while out in national parks and game reserves because you’re likely to be inside a vehicle most of the time.
Does that sound restrictive? In lots of ways it is. Drivers are often busy plotting where to go next, and how to extract their vehicle from a traffic jam, and setting one up inside a vehicle is either impossible or just impractical.
So, instead of packing a regular tripod, consider taking a malleable tripod like the Joby GorillaPod SLR-Zoom or Shoot Flexible Sponge Tripod Stand for DSLR, which you can attach to the safety bars along safari vehicles, or at least use them to stabilise your camera. A monopod may also be used where a tripod wouldn’t be realistic.
Also pack a wired or wireless camera remote shutter release, which you can use to help you reduce judder and camera shake when taking shots with the zoom full extended. Every little helps.