Safaris can be and usually are a dry and dusty place. If you’re not careful when handling your DSLR on safari then things can go wrong very quickly.

One of the first things to be sure of is getting yourself equipped with a good adventure style camera bag. I have a LowePro Fastpack 200. It has plenty of protection and has quick access when you are in a hurry to snap an opportunity photo.

While on Safari in the Serengeti a colleague experienced some serious dirt and dust not only on the lens but also on the sensor of her DSLR. It turned out the investment of a small lens cleaning pack prior to my African trip became priceless.

DSLR Cleaning equipment. Lens Cleaner, Dust Brush, Lens Tissue, Cotton Buds and Lens Filters.

DSLR Cleaning equipment. Lens Cleaner, Dust Brush, Lens Tissue, Cotton Buds and Lens Filters for extra protection for the lens.

We pulled up in the Serengeti surrounded by the migrating herds of Wildebeest and Zebra, and I dismantled her DSLR and attempted to clean the lens and sensor.

Dirt or dust on the sensor of your DSLR can be tricky to clean, and is usually best done by professionals in a controlled environment, but as you can imagine there is not a lot of options in the middle of the Serengeti.

So after a nerve racking 30 minutes using lens cleaning fluid, Inca lens cleaning tissue and cotton buds I managed to get a clear result and we continued on our journey in the Serengeti.

If it wasn’t for the small price of a cleaning kit, all of my colleagues African Safari photos would have come out in splotches.

Dirty Lens Result

The result of a dirty lens or sensor

The image above is a sample of what can happen when you have dirt or dust on the lens or sensor of your camera.

A Clean Result

A clean result

While this particular example is easy to adjust in post you’re not going to be this lucky all the time. So always keep that small package of cleaning gear handy, you will never regret it. If you’re not equipped to handle dust and dirt then you need to be.