Since I started my job in South Africa as field guide, wildlife photographer and photography teacher I always envisioned my own – photography oriented – game viewing vehicle.
This weekend I bought a used Land Rover Defender 130 (TD5) from a friend in Durban. He – being an engineer and very handy with that sort of thing – is now working on the conversion of the vehicle into my very own photography game viewer. It will take a bit of time to change the Landi to have all the features I want and I am looking forward to start using it in January or February next year.
The vehicle will lose its roof and all the windows except the windscreen, which will be hinged to be able to lower it when driving on the reserve. It will feature two seat rows behind the driver’s (first) row for a maximum of five passengers. The second row will have three comfortable and slightly raised seats. But the really special feature is going to be the third row. It will have only two high-backed seats with lots of room in front of them. In this space photographers can slide off their seats and take pictures over the sides of the vehicle (close to eye level). It will feature special canvas-covered mats on the vehicle floor for comfortable shooting positions and custom made bean-bags will be provided for the ideal camera placement.
There will be spotlight sockets in all rows as well as on the specially fitted tracker seat up-front. Behind the third row a storage compartment will have room for all necessary game drive gear. Each of the two photographer’s seats in the back will also have a turn-able and height-adjustable bean bag support. An Apple iPad will be available in each row (with many special applications available to the guests including Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, eGuide to African Mammals, a TrackID application and a map of Thanda).
I am looking forward to using the Landi for my own photography work, for teaching wildlife photography and to drive photography enthusiasts and professional photographers on Thanda Safari.
PS: I am searching for a snappy name for my new photography Landi. Please let me know if you have a good idea!