I'm listening to some Ladysmith Black Mambazo right now and feeling pretty envious of your pending trip.
We can't quite believe we'll be there ourselves yet. I don't suppose it will feel real until we arrive!
Your comments about the appropriateness of using a flash on wild animals got me to thinking. My wildlife photography is limited to Yellowstone National Park. I've only used a flash one time and never felt the need to use one otherwise. Most of the time, the animals are too far away for almost any flash and there are ethical considerations about having a mega flash go off in the animal's eyes. Still, I've seen others use full flash and the animals don't seem to pay any attention to it.
I'd take whatever flash you already have and use it for photos after your safari outtings, but don't worry about
using it much while you are in the bush. It is not likely to be practical in most situations.
I think a lot seems to depend on how used to humans animals are. In some parks over here, they're quite happy to ignore people. However in areas where they're not forced into close proximity with us getting close is not easy. I've resorted to hiding and waiting, and I can't help but feel a flash would kind of give me away!! In this instance I'm happy to be patient and learn were the animals go and wait for nature to provide the right opportunnity.
In zoo's and suchlike again I prefer not to use flash as call me a little sentimental, but some of these animals have it hard enough without being blinded by flash guns left right and centre.
I guess safari will be different again, the animals are used to people in safari vehicles (out of them I'm sure is a different game entirely) and I don't have the time to be patient...
I suppose I was hoping for a more definitive collective opinion either way. Taking what I can from the replies it seems that during the day in open plains etc where lions, cheetahs and the like are, flash isn't essential. I'm not planning taking any picture whilst it's dark... ::
I'm sure once we've been and things get back to normal I'll be able to revisit external flash for me and perhaps decide to invest. Right now I'm not seeing any compelling reason.
So, thanks all, although feel free to add any more useful opinions!