I have five digital SLR bodies and 10 accompanying lenses, ranging from 17mm to 800mm, and six flash guns as well as a load of other gizmos and gadgets such as tripods, lights and hides.
For photographing wildlife my favourite camera body is the 1D Mark 4 and my most used camera lens is the 500F4.
When travelling around weight is always the biggest issue - especially on flights. I usually manage to get a friend or relative to carry a rucksack for me, jammed with gear.
On my latest trip to the Masai Mara I took three camera bodies:
Two 1D Mark 4s and one 7D
24 to 105mm F4
300-800mm F5.6 Sigma Lens
Two 1.4 converters
And 10x40 Swarvovski BinocularsA Wimbly Tripod head and clamps
Camera cleaning equipment and a bean bag!
It is possible to hire camera equipment, some people on our trip used www.lensesforhire. co.uk but when buying I recommend getting the best you can afford. A digital SLR camera body and accompanying lenses are best, I recommend the two leading brands Canon or Nikon.
They have the widest ranges to choose from. Sigma and Tamron will do cheaper lenses to fit canon and Nikon, but over the years I have found Canon and Nikon to be the best quality.If a lens has a huge range of zoom it is usually too good to be true - having said that the 17 - 270 Tamron lens got 93percent in a test in Outdoor Photography magazine. I imagine its value for money would have been a big consideration. I can't comment myself, not having any experience of it.
Don't get caught up in the amount of megapixels, there is more to getting a good photograph than megapixels!
If I were to give any advice on photographing wildlife it would be to use one thing: patience. If you wait long enough, you will get the shot you want!