I haven’t been on an African safari before (we are going Sept 2013), but I have been reading around re: cameras/lenses.
If you are a Canon digital SLR user, the Canon 100-400 f4.5-5.6L IS USM seems to be a popular safari lens, especially on a crop-sensor body like the Canon 7D (effectively a 160-640mm lens on a full frame body). The IS (image stabilisation) is handy as you are unlikely to be using a tripod, although bean bags can be used on the roof of the mini-vans. The reasonably wide zoom range of the 100-400 should cover most distance shots, although I will be taking a second camara body (600D) with a 10-22mm lens to capture wider shots. (The second body is also as a backup should the 7D pack up).
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