Tanzania must be one of the most photographer-friendly destinations on the planet. From snow-capped mountain peaks to ‘Big Five’ safaris and dreamy tropical islands, Tanzania is basking in its newfound status of being a seriously hot photographic travel destination.
From the Serengeti plains and steep-sided Ngorongoro Crater to the flamingos of Lake Manyara and giant tuskers of Tarangire to idyllic Zanzibar and traditional Pemba to the wild landscapes of Ruaha, Katavi and Stiegler’s Gorge in the Selous… the list of iconic Tanzanian photographic destinations is almost endless. Mahale Mountains with its habituated chimpanzees and Lake Tanganyika location is another unique photographic destination, while the many mountains and volcanoes – from world-renowned Kilimanjaro to the restless Ol Doinyo Lengai volcano – ensure that this is a country that has photographers salivating at the mere thought of a visit.
Photography is best done from either a private vehicle or at the very least a vehicle of like-minded individuals who won’t move around at critical moments and who are also happy to be out before sunrise and back after dark. Photographic safaris tend to be most successful when you have control over the vehicle and where it goes. A guide who is a photographer him- or herself and who has guided photographers before makes a big difference in terms of positioning the vehicle correctly, getting the light right, and not wanting to head back to the lodge or camp simply because it’s breakfast time. If you can afford it, then it is definitely worth booking a private vehicle – for you (and your fellow photographers) – to ensure that there is no conflict of interests and that you are the master of your own photographic destiny. Things are considerably easier outside of the parks and game reserves where dangerous wildlife and safety are less of an issue, allowing one to explore and photograph on foot and at your own pace.
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12 Days Tanzania Photographic Safari – Arusha, Tarangire, Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro & Serengeti
Day 1: Arrival Kilimanjaro – Arusha
Upon arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport, you will warmly be met by our representative and transfer you to your place of stay in Arusha for dinner and an overnight.
Day 2: Wildlife Photography in Arusha National Park
In the morning after breakfast, with picnic lunch, you will pay a visit to Arusha National Park for game viewing and your first experience on African Wildlife Photography. Arusha National Park is one of the best parks in Tanzania with extremely unbeatable scenic beauties from each angle and a lot of opportunities for game viewing and hiking across the African Wilderness! Here you have a great chance to see both Mt. Kilimanjaro and Meru at the same time, in addition to the breathtaking Momela Lakes and the Ngurdoto Crater. The aerial acrobatics of the rare Black and White Colobus Monkeys will surely leave you agape!Dinner and an overnight stay in Arusha.
Day 3: Arusha – Tarangire, Wildlife Photography in Tarangire
Drive to Tarangire National Park for lunch, in the afternoon game viewing in the Park. Tarangire is the third largest national park in Tanzania and best known for its largest herds of elephants in Africa and one of the most remaining ancient trees in the world with full of amazing stories, the gigantic Baobab Trees! Here you will be able to observe a diversity of wildlife magnetized by the Tarangire River that allows animals to play and lounge around.Dinner and overnight stay in Tarangire.
Day 4: Wildlife Photography in Tarangire National Park
Embark on a full day game drive in Tarangire National Park. The Park is the wilderness experience in its own right! Tarangire is much more wooded than Serengeti with Acacia Trees and mixed woodland dotting the African Savannah of the Park. Herds of up to 300 elephants scratch the dry river bed for underground streams, while the migratory Wildebeests, Zebras, Buffalos, Impalas, Gazelles, Hartebeests and Elands crowds the shrinking lagoons. It is also the one place in Tanzania where dry – country antelopes such as the stately Fringe – eared Oryx and peculiar spiral – horned Lesser Kudus can readily be observed. Dinner and an overnight stay in Tarangire.
Day 5: Tarangire – Manyara, Wildlife Photography in Lake Manyara
After breakfast, drive to the foothills of the Ngorongoro Crater Highlands, en route visit Lake Manyara National Park. Lake Manyara NP is a lovely scenic park that offers another unique experience of a Tanzania Safari! The park is also famous for its elephants; a huge number of baboons and due to its varied landscape, the park has an impressive range of other game animals including wildebeest, buffalo, hippo, flamingo, zebra, warthog, waterbuck, dik-dik and impala. Bird – Watching here is very good, especially raptors. Along the way, you will stop and discover the local village of Mto wa Mbu to experience the real African life, the local market and enjoy the exceptional hospitality of the local people. After a home-hosted local lunch, you will drive up across the Great East African Rift Valley to your other beautiful place of stay on the foothills of Ngorongoro at Karatu.
Day 6: Karatu – Ngorongoro Crater
After a leisurely breakfast, you will have a chance to visit Iraqwi People in the area. These are ancient Cushitic people who moved here from the “Horn of Africa” nearly 1’000 years ago and they practice farming in the area. Later during the day, drive up to Ngorongoro Conservation Area for lunch, followed by an afternoon game viewing in the famous Ngorongoro Crater. Afterward, you ascend on the most breathtaking walls of the caldera to your place of stay on the rim of the Crater.
Day 7: Wildlife Photography in Ngorongoro Crater
Rise up early with the sun and descend down into the famous Ngorongoro Crater for game viewing. Ngorongoro Crater is such a unique safari destination, a veritable “Garden of Eden”. With a large concentration of animals and short grasslands, game viewing in the crater, or more appropriately a caldera is excellent as animals are everywhere! The caldera is reputed to contain the highest density of carnivores in the world and the only place in East Africa where one can easily observe the last remaining populations of Black Rhinos in the real natural world. Dinner and overnight stay in Ngorongoro.
Day 8: Ngorongoro – Serengeti
Today you drive to Serengeti National Park for lunch and an afternoon game drive. Serengeti is Tanzania’s most renowned national park and home to the greatest concentrations of large mammals on the planet. The name Serengeti is derived from a Maasai word ‘Siringet’ to mean ‘endless plains’, and these rolling distances of short grass plains provide an exceptional landscape for African Wildlife Photography; your ultimate safari country– this is the highlight of your safari, you are in the total wilderness of Africa with game viewing around you to give you, your very own ‘Out of Africa’ experience! Dinner and overnight stay in Serengeti.
Day 9: Wildlife Photography in the Serengeti
The following day you will have game drives at your leisure and track wildlife in the Mighty Serengeti. Serengeti National Park never disappoints! The location of your accommodation is chosen to ensure you get the best for your African Wildlife Photography. Dinner and overnight stay in the Serengeti.
Day 10: Wildlife Photography in Serengeti National Park
With picnic lunch, game drives in the Serengeti to view and photograph the great migration of animals. In this Park, you will be so amazed by the endless plains of the Serengeti dotted with thousands and thousands of game animals decorating the plains and the woodland pockets in the area! In the wake of all these, follow the predators- Lions, Leopards, Cheetahs, Hyenas, and Jackals, while vultures circle overhead to clean up. It is this migration that many people envisage when they think of the “Wild Africa”. The timing is so perfect to enable you to enjoy the magic of real African wilderness and the beautiful African Sunset at the horizon! Dinner and an overnight stay in the Serengeti.
Day 11: Wildlife Photography in Serengeti National Park
Morning and Afternoon game drive in the Serengeti, exploring more on the last great migration of mammals on the planet. The area is also so rich in terms of the large Carnivore populations this time as these predators celebrate the coming through of the migratory prey animals in their areas! Part of the day, you will be looking for the Big Cats. Incidences of a Cheetah chasing a Gazelle or Lions making a kill and the Great Migration of animals that involves thousands and thousands of Wildebeests and Zebras are just some of the unique sightings you may encounter on safari in Africa. Serengeti National Park has all these for you on your African Photo Safari during your visit! Dinner and an overnight stay in the Serengeti.
Day 12: Fly from Serengeti – Arusha
Today is another wonderful experience, boarding your plane and fly low over the remote wilderness and the scenic volcanic mountains back to Arusha for lunch and a day room. Late afternoon, you will be transferred to Kilimanjaro Airport for your International Flight connections.