There’s a lot that goes into making our safari experiences here in India special. It takes a lot of preparation, research about the location, sightings, local travel restrictions, weather conditions, and plenty else. However, we did want to share with you a few useful things that we recommend you have on every safari trip in India, to elevate the experience, enrich your knowledge, and appreciate the forest in such a way, that you keep coming back again and again. So here they are!

Binoculars – Safari Travel Kit: India


Warranty details: 1 year

Eye Relief: 14 mm

Magnification and objective lens: 10×42

Waterproof/fog-proof: yes

Coating: Multicoated lens

Type of Prism: roof prism

Field of View @1000m: 98m

Weight: 618 grams

The Celestron Outland X is a roof-prism binocular is a great addition to your kit. For regular wildlife safaris and birdwatching in India, lugging around the heavier Porro-prism binoculars (Google that!) can become tiresome in the long term. So we recommend that rather than buying a roof prism and then upgrading to a roof prism later, make the smart choice and go for a value-for-money roof prism binocular.

In simple terms, you are using a binocular variety that is lighter, compact, more durable, and easier to grip and use. They will not strain your neck much even during long hours of travel, and most importantly, will also provide you with clear and sharp images even doing a decent job in low-light.

Moreover, with the high magnification and the broad field of view, you can enjoy the tiniest movement of birds. The durable and ergonomic design that Celestron has, increases the life of the binoculars even more. This is the model all of our guests are provided for use on our safari travels. You can even use the model which has 8×42 mentioned in its specification (Magnification and size of the objective lens) if you get it a better price.

Check the latest price of these birding binoculars here:

Celestron 10×42 Outland X Binocular (Black)


Warranty details: 1 year 

Eye Relief: 20 mm

Magnification and objective lens: 8×42

Waterproof/fog-proof: yes 

Coating: Multi-coated 

Type of Prism: Roof prism 

Field of View at 1000 m: 136 m

Weight: 699 gram 

Vanguard is a long-established company and has a name in producing innovative and high-quality products at great value for money. This Vanguard Spirit is available in two magnifications. One is 10×42, whereas the other one is 8×42. Both of these are great (8x has an edge in forest birding (wider view) but the difference is not much, so just go with the magnification that has a better price!). Again because they are roof prims, they are a bit more expensive, and in fact, have an edge in some of the specifications over the Celestron Outland X.

Moreover, they are lightweight and compact because of the roof prism design. So, it will not be an issue to handle it even on long walks. These binoculars are easy to hold and provide a firm grip.

Check the prices between this and the Celestron models and see which one is better, and works for you, you won’t go wrong with either of these models.

You can find the latest price of the Vanguard Spirit XF binoculars here:

Vanguard Spirit XF 8X42 Binocular (Black)

Update (December, 2020): This model seems to be increasingly unavailable in India. Fortunately, a similar model has come in its place, you can check out this one:

Vanguard Veo ED 8420 Binocular

Cameras – Safari Travel Kit: India



Model – Nikon D3500

Type- Single- lens reflex digital camera

Lens kit – AF-P DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR & AF-P DX Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G ED

Sensor: APS-C CMOS Sensor with 24.2 MP

ISO: 100-25600 sensitivity range

Image Processor: Expeed 4 with 11 autofocus points 

Video Resolution: Full HD video with full manual control and selectable frame rates 

Connectivity: Wi-Fi, NFC, and Bluetooth built-in

If you are looking to start wildlife photography and don’t want to break the bank then currently Nikon D3500 is one of the best choices in your safari travel kit. The camera comes with a kit of two lenses. AF-P DX NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G ED VR, a telephoto lens captures highly autofocused objects from far without much fuss giving a stable shot. AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55MM F/3.5-5.6G VR is the standard kit lens, and has versatile use for portrait and landscape images, and even wide-angle wildlife habitat shots.

Having a telephoto lens (70-300mm) is absolutely crucial for wildlife photography as wildlife will rarely venture close, so you need that extra zoom. In fact, maybe a few years later, you may even wish to upgrade the lens to increase reach and focusing speed as you travel more and undertake more safaris. But to start with, this is good enough and can give you professional results. I should know, among my first images that were published in magazines were taken with a similar kit lens!

Check out the price and detailed view of the product here:

Nikon D3500 DX-Format DSLR Two Lens Kit with AF-P DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR & AF-P DX Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G ED (Black) 16 GB Class 10 SD Card and DSLR Bag


Model – Canon EOS 1300D 

Type- Single- lens reflex digital camera

Lens kit 18-55mm & 55-250mm

Sensor: APS-C CMOS Sensor with 18 MP

ISO: 100-6400 sensitivity range

Image Processor:  DIGIC 4+ with 9 autofocus points

Video Resolution: Full HD video with full manual control and selectable frame rates

Connectivity: Wi-Fi, NFC, and Bluetooth built-in

Canon EOS 1300D serves as the best partner if you are a beginner in the field of photography and looking for a handy camera to go for. The camera comes with a kit of two lenses much like the Nikon.

There is not much to choose between Canon and Nikon practically speaking, if you have a brand preference, that’s fine, but my suggestion at this stage just goes with the ones that offer a better price.

Check out the price and a more detailed overview of the product here:

Canon EOS 1300D 18MP Digital SLR Camera (Black) with 18-55 and 55-250mm is II Lens, 16GB Card and Carry Case

Books and Field Guides – Safari Travel Kit: India

Field guide for birds: “Birds of the Indian Subcontinent”

The book “Birds of the Indian Subcontinent” written by Richard Grimmett, Carol Inskipp, and Tim Inskipp covers nearly 1300 species of birds found in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and the Maldives, and is an absolute must-have in your kit if you would like to delve into the world of birds while on safari. The details are concise and practical, the birds’ characteristics, features & identification, calls, habitat as well as color maps of the Indian subcontinent for each species, showcasing its range. All in all considered the Bible for birdwatchers in India.

Check out the price and other details here:

Birds of the Indian Subcontinent: India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and the Maldives

Field guide for mammals: “Indian Mammals”

“Indian Mammals” authored by Vivek Menon, is a very useful and comprehensive guide to the mammals of India with colored photographs and distribution maps and a great addition to your kit for a regular safari goer. It covers the vast diversity of mammal species in India, from tigers, elephants, rhinos, whales, rodents, bats, and many more as you explore different parks on safari in your travel. It provides the details on key identification features, behavior, social strategies, habitat, and distribution. The information here is even more detailed on each species including local names. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more comprehensive field guide for mammals in India!

Check out the price and other details here:

Indian Mammals: A Field Guide

Field guide for trees: “Jungle Trees of Central India”

Jungle trees of central India by Pradip Kishen is the one of most efficient field guides I have come across. Useful for identifying trees in central India (and even many which are found in other parts of India), it gives a detailed view of the characteristics of the trees, classifying them into four major parts: the leaf, the bark, the fruit, and the flower and has a great pictorial representation of over two thousand photographs of the same for a better understanding of each tree and its identifying features.

This is a truly wonderful guide, more than anything it converts foreign, botanical terms into easy layman language along with some great indexation that makes it easy to find the species you are looking for. For trees in India, look no further!

Check out the price and details here: Jungle Trees of Central India: A Field Guide for Tree Spotters

So that’s it! A quick ready reckoner for some of the useful things to take with you on safari and make it a memorable experience. Of course, they are many more things you can add to your safari arsenal, but this is good enough for that first dive! If you have any specific requirements, do let me know in the comments.

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