Thursday, December 09, 2010

Best Birdwatching Binocular 2010

At this time of the year many industries, especially in entertainment and sports like to look back over the year and go over some of the highlights as well as the best in a particular category - The BBC Sports Personality of the Year springs to mind.

So I thought why not do something similar within the field of binoculars and highlight some of the best binoculars in a range of the most common uses, including Best Birdwatching Binocular. Nothing new here as it turns out that with a little research, on of the best on-line retailers of optics already has one.

Why I bring it up is in their choice of the best bird binoculars for 2010:

Pentax 8x43 DCF SP Binoculars
Now don't get me wrong, I think that these are a cracking pair of binoculars and they have a bunch of excellent features including aspherical eyepiece lenses, high-resolution phase-coated roof prisms, scratch-resistant hydrophobic coating on exposed objective and eyepiece lenses and multi-coated optical elements.

Where the lack a little is in one of the most important areas of any really great birding binocular and that is in their field of view. These Pentax binoculars have a field of view of 330ft at 1000 yards (110m at 1000m) or an angle of view of 6.3°, which to be honest in my view is only just above average - really great 8x42 wide angle binoculars like the Swift Audubon binoculars (see below) can have a field of view as wide as 430ft @1000 yards (8.15°)

The winner of the Best Binocular Reviews Best Birding Binocular 2010 was indeed the porro prism version of the Swift 8.5x44 Audubon ED Binoculars that does have a massively wide field of view as well as a host of other great features including BaK-4 Prisms, fully multi-coated optics and extra low dispersion glass (ED) that all add up to produce a very high quality and bright image.

For more take a look at the Best Binocular Reviews Annual Binocular Awards 2010.

Side Note:
For those who are interested the short-list for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2010 is below:
  • Mark Cavendish
  • Tom Daley
  • Jessica Ennis
  • David Haye
  • AP McCoy
  • Graeme McDowell
  • Graeme Swann
  • Phil Taylor
  • Lee Westwood
  • Amy Williams

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Friends of Hwange Trust Screensaver

Working on, I get a lot of requests for me to publish appeals for help for the many charities in Zimbabwe and for the most part, I am happy to do what ever I can to help.

The other day one came in that really struck a cord with me as wildlife and particularly the Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe is close to my heart as it is where I first really got interested in wildlife photography. It is also where after spending a week there with a guide, I for the first time knew that I would really like to become a field guide (safari guide).

That is why I am posting about the Friends of Hwange Trust (FOH), who need your help:

The riends of Hwange Trust is a group of dedicated Zimbabwean conservationists who have taken into their own hands the care of the wild animals and maintenance, particularly water supply, of Zimbabwe’s largest national park.

Since 2005, FOH has been responsible for 10 key northern waterholes in Hwange National Park. These are Kennedy One, Kennedy Two, Makwa, Sinanga, Tshebe Tshebe, Mabuya Mabena, Shumba, Tshompani, Inyantue and Shapi.

Because of the price of diesel (a single borehole engine uses around 500 litres a month) alternative methods of pumping have been explored. Since 2007, five Poldaw windmills have been established at Kennedy One, Shumba, Mabuya Mabena, Shapi and Tshompani waterholes. Whilst the windmills are robust and affordable, their pumping capacities are limited. Their function is to provide a head start for the waterholes so that they are at least as full as possible by the start of the long dry season, thereby reducing diesel requirements for the drier months.

In the dry season (July – November) the pressure for available water increases, especially from elephant. The Lister engines are kept running continuously and the need for diesel is at its maximum.

How you can help
Link South Africa, a company in New Zealand is selling a wildlife screensaver to raise money for The Friends of Hwange Trust.

So please sacrifice a couple of coffees this week, spend 10 Kiwi Dollars downloading our screensaver, and help The Friends of Hwange Trust save many many animal lives in Zimbabwe, while you get to enjoy Zimbabwe’s beautiful wildlife on your computer screen every day!

Click here For more information and to download the screensaver

Related Links


I have been using Evernote for about a week now and it seems that almost every day I find another useful use for it.

What is Evernote?
Well basically you can use Evernote to save your ideas, things you see, and things you like. Then find them all on any computer, phone or device you use, and all For free.

Evernote is a note-taking, idea-saving application that has now been adopted by over 3 million people.

What is cool is that it syncs up your notes with a remote server, so accessing your latest notes on multiple devices is automatic. When you upload images, Evernote will OCR (optical character recognition) them to make them searchable. You can embed files as well, though only PDFs, .txt and images with the free version. The premium service enables a few additional features such as embedding any kind of files and increasing the amount of bandwidth allotted to you per month.

I tend to use it a lot for my to-do lists and it make organising my daily tasks really simple.

I love it - you should try it and no, I'm not getting paid to write this!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Safari-Guy’s Posterous

Just discovered a new blogging platform, called Posterous and it is interesting because to add a new entry all you have to do is email your account and the post gets created for you. Now I know that you have been able to do this on other blogging platforms for a while, but to be honest I never really bothered to set it up. With posterous, it is easier to do it this way than use their fiddly interface.

Anyway foe SEO purposes, I have created a new account, that you may want to check out: Safari-Guy’s Posterous, where I plan to post most safari related stuff.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

New Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100 Camera

Panasonic have just brought out their newest cameras in their Superzoom Lumix FZ series, with the awesome looking Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100 Camera.

I know there are many people out there that may say that I am crazy and that I should not even be considering buying another compact superzoom camera, rather I should get a digital SLR. Yes, I know that the SLR takes better quality photos... but can they also take full HD quality video, and how much do they cost and then there is the added expense of buying a even half decent telephoto lens. Add to this the size difference making a SLR a pain in th but to carry around, I think that for my purposes, a super zoom camera is the way to go.

I think the choice is between the FZ100 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ45 (FZ40), which has also just been announced and is actually the real sucessor to the FZ38 (FZ35), but is a little cheaper than the FZ100.

If you are interested, I have done a bunch of research on it, which you can read on the photo section on my Safari Guide website:

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Busiest Day Ever!

Wow, I may even have to do some stretching for today's couch marathon:

New Zealand v Ireland, 8:35
Australia v England, 11:00
South Africa v France, 13:00
Argentina v Scotland, 19:45

Cricket Twenty20
Zimbabwe v India 12:00

Formula 1 - Canadian Grand Prix
Practice 3 15:00-16:00
Qualifying 18:00

Football- World Cup
1230: South Korea v Greece (Port Elizabeth) - ITV 1
1500: Argentina v Nigeria (Ellis Park, Johannesburg) - BBC One
1930: England v US (Rustenburg) - ITV 1

Monday, May 31, 2010

Indy Car > Formula 1

Well I am not sure that Indy Car racing is better than Formula 1, but one thing that is for sure this accident in the 2010 Indy 500, where Mike Conway has a Huge Airborne Crash into the Catchfence is fairly spectacular!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Flame Lily ( Gloriosa superba )

Gloriosa superba
Common name: Flame Lily
Family: Colchicaceae

The Flame Lily is a wild deciduous perennial, that is the national flower of Zimbabwe. It is a protected plant species, and there is a law prohibiting the picking of them.

Zimbabwe Photography 2010

I have been away in Zimbabwe for a while:

I am very lucky in that every year I go home to Zimbabwe, I usually spend most of the time in the Zambezi valley and mostly on Lake Kariba, where apart from the excellent fishing, I can spend loads of time on my hobby: wildlife photography.

Kariba for me has it all:
Wonderful scenery including some of the best sunrises and sunsets you could ever hope to photograph.
Plenty of mammals and is especially good for elephant photography.
Birds - This is where Kariba really excels, there is a huge variety of mostly water birds, but if you go a little walk, many land species as well.

If you want to see a few of the photos I took on the trip, take a look at my photos of my Zimbabwe trip 2010

Friday, April 23, 2010

RuggaChick - Super14 Rugby Roundup

A babe that knows her rugby. Hell yeah!

In all honesty she's a bit ditzy, but we don't care.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Zimbabwe Dreaming

No words, just music and great photos..

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Make Money on a Travel Blog

I was recently asked by a friend who is going travelling this summer, if they should set up a blog about it to make some money, that will pay for their extended holiday:

My Advice to her is below:

I think writing about your trip is a great idea and yes you can make money from it. I would however cation you if you think it will make you loads of cash quickly.

It is not that it can't, but I do it full time and it is a full time job. It also took me over a year of doing it before I got to the point where I was earning enough so that I could quit my day job and work on it full time.

If however you just want to earn some pocket money - You could easily set up a blog and then add some Google Adsense and Affiliate advertising onto it. This is not to say that in the future you could not earn a living from it, but this summer may be too soon to really make good money from a blog.

Nerdy Nomad: is good for inspiration and plenty of advice as she pays for her travels with her blog

Free Blogging Platforms
Besides, that this blog is hosted on, Google have a good free blog host:

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Build Free Websites

For SEO purposes, I am always on the lookout for "places" to add content on the web, get it ranked and then point it towards my main sites. If these "places" are free, so much the better.

There are a number of sites that offer you the chance to build and Create a free website, some of the better ones include:
Of these, wix is my least favourite as it builds the site in "flash" which looks nice, but is pretty rubbish in regards to getting high rankings on the search engines.

Sunday, January 17, 2010 - The MP3 Downloads Price Comparison Website

These days, there seems to be a price comparison website for just about everything and this morning, I came across another one, it has nothing to do with meerkats and I think what sets it apart, is that it is pretty useful: is a MP3 Downloads Price Comparison Website and yes, by comparing prices you can save money. For example:

Killing In The Name by Rage Against The Machine will cost you:

£0.99 on itunes
£0.89 on
£0.79 on
£0.70 on
£0.67 on Tesco Entertainment

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Simba and the Muntjac Deer

Muntjac Deer

I was lucky enough to spot a pair of Muntjac Deer feeding at the bottom of our garden this morning.

Simba (our cat) also spotted them, braved the snow and stalked right up to them. She got within a meter before they spotted her, had a staring match which Simba eventually lost and then as only cats can do, she walked away as if to say "I didn't really care anyway!"

Pity I could not get any better photos, especially of the Buck, as he has some stunning markings and antlers. But here are a few of the better ones.

Originally from China, they escaped and been released from zoo's and wildlife parks and are now spreading all over the country. The Muntjac is the smallest deer in the UK (about the size of an average dog).

Muntjac Deer

Simba (in the foreground) returning from her Muntjac "hunting" expedition!

Friday, January 01, 2010

Self Drive and Car Hire Namibia

Self Drive Camping and 4x4 car hire in Namibia

The 1st of January 2010! Time for new years resolutions....

I have recently been doing quite a lot of research on Namibia, mostly for my Safari Holiday Guide website. It is a place full of contrasts and not that I think that I will be able to go this year, but going on a self drive camping holiday in Namibia is definitely on my lifetime to-do list.

With it's excellent places to camp like the Etosha National Park and generally a good road system, it is ideal. My hope is I will eventually move back home to Zimbabwe and then be able to drive over from there in my own vehicle.

For overseas visitors, Namibia does have some really good specialist vehicle and car hire companies, that offer 4x4 vehicles fully equipped for camping that are mostly located around Windhoek. And as far as I can ascertain, hiring a car in Namibia is pretty simple and not that much more expensive than what you would expect to pay in Europe. Specialist and 4x4 vehicles are more expensive, but will still be much cheaper than staying at lodges. And even if you don't want to camp Namibia has plenty of really good guest houses and B&B's.

For some inspiration take a look at this excellent trip report, with loads of useful information: Namibia and Botswana 2006.

For more the vehicles take a look at my article on Vehicle Rental & Car Hire Namibia back to deciding what this years resolution is going to be.....