Move with the game herds as they migrate across the plains, nurse their young, and stave off predators on our Guided Photo Expeditions, a Tanzania Photo Safari.
This exclusive African photo safari is designed to provide the best of what a Tanzania photo safari has to offer: great plains brimming with legions of Big 5 game, spectacular landscapes, scenery that never seems to end, a welcoming population comprised of diverse ethnic groups and cultures, and luxury accommodations selected for comfort, knowledgeable and friendly staff, great food, and convenience to our locations for photographing animals in the African wild.
This Big 5 game photo safari will bring you into the very center of the game herds as they migrate across the plains, nurse and protect their young, and stave off predators both on land and in water. You’ll also have to opportunity to experience the Tanzanian people on an intimate level in their daily lives, spending a morning with the enthusiastic students and teachers at a local school, hunting and picking berries with members of the Hadzabe tribe, and taking part in the culinary culture of the Maasai.
And, in the spirit of living in the African bush, our accommodations the last four nights will be our own private (luxury) mobile camp conveniently located close to our game drives in the southern Serengeti. As a major highlight of this safari, our mobile camp will be staffed by private chefs, butlers, and tent attendants, all of whom are on call to cater to the needs of guests.
This photo safari is going to be all about photography. Out in the field, we’ll explore different approaches to scene visualization, ground/sky/sea compositions, and how to manage complex highlight and shadow scenes using techniques such as dynamic bracketing, focus stacking, framing, and neutral density filters. Back in the classroom, we’ll spend time developing your post-production workflow – learning when Lightroom is enough and when you need to move your work into Photoshop – using techniques such as luminosity masks to create and solve contrast, color, and blending issues.
Itinerary and General Information
Day 1. We’ll spend our first night at the Mount Meru Game Lodge just outside of Arusha as everyone arrives in Tanzania. Resting at the foot of Mt. Meru – Africa’s fifth highest mountain – Arusha is often referred to as the safari capital of northern Tanzania, and the Lodge provides a small intimate staging point for guests interested in visiting the nearby conservation areas, preparing to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, or launching a safari adventure. We’ll meet back at the Lodge again at the end of our safari as we prepare to depart for our return flights at the airport.
Days 2 & 3. After breakfast, we’ll meet our private guides and drivers (who will travel with us throughout our entire safari) and spend the next two days out on game drives in the Tarangire National Park. After the Serengeti, Tarangire has the greatest concentration of wildlife in Tanzania. Massive herds of elephants (some as large as 500) and migratory wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, impala, hartebeest, and eland roam freely in the park – with predators in close pursuit. The park is also home to the iconic Baoabab trees and giant termite mounds! During these two days, you’ll have tremendous opportunities to photograph the game herds with their calves as they migrate across the plains. Our accommodations both nights will be another small intimate property with ten luxurious safari tents. Perched atop a ridge, each tent has a large veranda from which to enjoy Tarangire’s spectacular sunsets.
Day 4. We’ll then spend a day in the Lake Eyasi region, a remote dry area of desolate beauty. Lake Eyasi is a seasonal shallow salt lake on the floor of the Great Rift Valley at the base of the Serengeti Plateau south of the Serengeti National Park and southwest of Ngorongoro Crater in the Crater Highlands of Tanzania. In the morning, we’ll visit a local school, spending time with the ever-enthusiastic pupils and teachers before driving to the town of Mto wa Mbu for a short walk and local lunch. After lunch, we’ll drive to the shores of Lake Eyasi, a seasonal soda lake. Our accommodations for the night will be the Kisima Ngeda Tented Camp situated on the northeastern shores of Lake Eyasi.
Day 5. We’ll spend the next two days at Karatu, a town in the green hills of Tanzania’s northern highlands. Presided over by the towering Ol Deani Volcano, this small, colorful town serves as a popular overnight stop for visitors exploring the area’s many game parks. This region is home to three groups of traditional tribes – the Datoga, Hadzabe, and Maasai. The pastoralist Datoga people live in traditional mud huts, their women decorated with beautifying facial scarification while young and fierce warriors stand guard over their herds. The traditional Hadzabe, a nomadic tribe hangs on tenaciously to their hunting and gathering lifestyle. We’ll also drive to the Masai village to experience the culinary culture of the Maasai. These unique cultural opportunities will give us a chance to learn about how these tribes live in harmony with the land as well as go hunting and berry picking with them!
Day 6. On the second day at Karatu, we’ll drive to Lake Manyara National Park for an afternoon game drive. While Lake Manyara National Park is small in comparison to some of Tanzania’s other parks, it is the real Cinderella of Tanzanian parks. Often overlooked and underrated, this park was described by Ernest Hemingway as "the loveliest place I have ever seen". The shallow alkaline lake is often covered by resident flamingos. Apart from the lake and the many lions that roam the park, there is an expanse of tropical jungle filled with troops of baboons and other occupants of the rainforest. Large herds of buffalos and zebras wander on the plains and the ever-present jagged peaks of volcanoes stand tall in the distance. Our accommodations at Karatu will be the Acacia Farm Lodge. The Lodge is nestled in an active mixed farm located high on the spectacular Great Rift’s escarpment area with views of the amazing Karatu farmlands and the nearby Ngorongoro forest area.
Days 7 – 10. We’ll spend the final four days of the safari with full days of morning and evening game drives. We’ll spend Day 7 at the Ngorongoro Crater. At almost ten miles across and 1,800 feet deep, it is the largest unflooded and intact volcanic caldera in the world. In addition to being the best place to see rhino on the Northern Circuit, you can look forward to spotting the world-renowned Big Five and a host of other wildlife species, including large herds of zebra and wildebeest.
We'll spend our final three days in the northern Serengeti, one of Africa’s most famous wildlife parks. The image of acacia trees on endless grass plains is the epitome of Africa for many. The annual wildebeest migration and large pride of lions, elephants, giraffes, gazelles, and eland represent the largest mass movement of land mammals on the planet – with more than a million animals following the rains.
In the spirit of living in the African bush, our accommodations the last four nights will be our own private (luxury) mobile camp conveniently located to our game drives in the northern Serengeti. As a major highlight of this safari, our mobile camp will be staffed by private chefs, butlers, and tent attendants, all of whom are on call to cater to the needs of guests.
On the final day, we will take a charter plane back to Arusha in preparation for our return flights that evening. Before your final transport to the airport, you will have time to freshen up in a day room, allowing you to repack and ready yourself for your journey home.
This safari will be an amazing opportunity to experience and photograph the best of Tanzania, in an exclusive small group, led by a world-class professional photographer and safari guides.
African Photo Safari Camp Life – What to expect?
Our accommodations have been selected for comfort, knowledgeable and friendly staff, great food, and convenience to our locations for photographing animals in the African wild. We’ve also placed a major premium on exclusivity. You won't find this workshop in areas where there are dozens of other vehicles at a sighting – you’ll feel like you own the Serengeti and that the animals are there just for you! Typical tented accommodations feature twin beds or queen bed, high thread-count linens, storage for clothing, sitting area, verandah, and en-suite bathrooms with toilets, hot water, and showers.
Our days will start early, before sunrise. After a quick cup of coffee or tea, we’ll be off for our first game drive of the day when the animals are just starting to stir in the best light of the day. We’ll stay out for several hours depending on the sightings. After a mid-drive coffee break, we’ll continue on until mid-to-late morning. We’ll typically have breakfast in the field to maximize our game-viewing and photographing time. Back in camp, we’ll have time for off-loading memory cards, one-on-one instruction, or time to relax. Then, in the mid-to-late afternoon, we’ll head out again for another game drive, chasing the best sightings. After a full day of shooting, it will be time to enjoy a hot shower, share drinks with the group by a campfire, and have dinner.
Food in the camps is superb – you’ll enjoy both foods you are familiar with as well as local specialties. Special dietary needs can be accommodated.
We’ll have the same private guides, drivers, and vehicles throughout our entire safari. Each photographer will have their own "row" in the vehicle (a center aisle in between the two bucket seats by each window) so you'll have plenty of personal space to stow your gear and shoot the action from any angle - both while seated inside the vehicle and when standing through the sky roof.
- The tuition for this eleven-day workshop is $12,095.
- What's Included:
- Double occupancy lodging (single available, just ask)
- All meals during the workshop
- Your ground transportation from/to Kilimanjaro Airport (JRO) upon your arrival & departure in Tanzania
- All transportation during the workshop
- Workshop course materials
- In-the-field photographic guidance and instruction
- Image reviews and post-production classes
- Medical Evacuation Insurance (required)
- What's Not Included:
- Your (air) travel to and from Kilimanjaro Airport (JRO) in Tanzania
- Passport and visa fees
- Travel/Trip Cancellation Insurance (optional, but recommended)
- Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages
- Anything not listed specifically as included
- Your deposit of $4,000 USD will guarantee your spot. The second payment of $5,500 will be due August 1, 2018. The final payment of $2,595 USD will be due not later than October 15, 2018.
- These payments are non-refundable under any circumstances which is why we recommend that you get trip cancellation insurance. All of our other standard Terms and Conditions apply.
- Registrations made 90 days or less prior to the start of the workshop must be paid in full and are subject to the same cancellation policies stated herein.
- Please do not make air travel arrangements until checking with us first. Need special payment arrangements for your deposit? No problem, just contact us.
- You must (1) bring all your own camera equipment, (2) have complete knowledge of how to use your camera equipment, and (3) be reasonably proficient with both Lightroom & Photoshop. With such a full curriculum, we simply won’t have time to teach people how to use their cameras or software programs.
- Participants should be in reasonably good physical condition and able to comfortably walk a mile or more a day on uneven terrain.
- Laptop with both Adobe Lightroom & Photoshop installed & registered with Adobe Cloud
- DSLR or Mirrorless Camera
- Tripod and/or Monopod
- Small beanbag to stabilize your camera in 4x4 vehicles (or something similar highly recommended)
- Camera backpack
- Lens cleaners
- Extra batteries & chargers
- Extra SD & CF cards
- Lenses – a variety of wide angle zoom such as a16-35mm, a mid-range of 24-70mm, an intermediate telephoto of 70-200mm, and a longer telephoto of 400mm; 2x tele-converter (optional)
- 3 point square (UK Type) TYPE G electrical adapter
- External drives/memory cards/storage as necessary
- Filters - polarizers and neutral density (optional)
- Flash units (optional)
- Remote Switch/Controller (optional)
What Makes this African Photo Safari Different?
- We know you have other choices, and yes, you can spend less on another photo safari. Our goals are two-fold:
- To create the best possible experience, with maximum value and minimal hassles, while providing you with the best photographic experience and instruction available.
- To have you depart the workshop having expanded your photographic capabilities with a trove of dynamic images you can proudly display back home.
- Our leaders are experienced and professional English-speaking pros, teachers, and safari guides.
- Our itinerary is designed to bring you the best game viewing in the best locations at the best times of the year. We’ll be in areas that are not overly crowded with many other safari vehicles.
- This safari is a photography workshop, not just a tour. We will work hard, with instruction in the field and in camp. During the evenings, we will feature critiques and post-production instruction, and during the daytime, we’ll offer one-on-one instruction as needed.
- You’ll benefit from our guidance, hours of capture time in the field with an instructor by your side, and classroom instruction as you learn new techniques and strategies for creating dynamic images. We’ll help you take your photography to the next level.