TANZANIA PHOTO TOUR
May 11 - 25, 2019
• Intensive game viewing at Serengeti National Park.
• Only 3 or 4 participants per vehicle (7 passenger stretch Land Cruisers) and limited to 12 participants, to ensure the optimum photographic experience.
• Time to absorb and photograph the wonder of it all. Most safari operator’s rush from place to place, we take our time, watching and waiting for wildlife or just the right light.
• Ngorongoro Crater, Serengeti, and Tarangire National Parks.
Board the Delta/KLM flight to Amsterdam, landing May 12. You will have a short layover before continuing to Arusha. On arrival, you will be met at the airport, your Tanzania Visa will be processed, and the group will then be taken to the hotel. Lake Duluti Serena Lodge (dinner).
This morning and through lunch is time for everyone to get over jet lag, enjoy the grounds of the hotel, and rest up at your lodge. After lunch enjoy your first game drive in Arusha National Park. The park is small, but a natural treasure, with views of Mt. Meru, Mt. Kilimanjaro, a variety of habitats and some unique birding opportunities. The park has a diverse topography that can catch your eyes and heart. Both migratory and resident water birds settle on the lakes, waterbuck and reedbuck are found near water, bushbuck and duikers are easily seen between ancient cedar trees. Black and white colobus monkeys and Sykes monkeys climb through those same trees. Within this wide range of habitats almost 400 species of birds have been recorded, but it’s not all birds. Large concentrations of giraffes, elephants, hippos, leopards, hyena, zebra and a wide range of antelope will vie for our attention. Lake Duluti Serena Lodge (all meals)
Today we drive to Tarangire National Park, with game drives along the way. The next day we will have a full day of game drives in the park. This park is excellent for elephants and giraffes. Bird photography is amazing all year round. 3,000 migratory elephants join the existing resident herds, attracted initially by the tall grasses growing after the short rainy season. Tarangire is one of the most scenic parks in Tanzania with huge baobab trees. The birds here can be as exciting as the large animals with ostriches, storks, raptors, kingfishers, bee eaters, rollers, hoopoes, hornbills, cuckoos, woodpeckers, shrikes, weavers, flycatchers and sunbirds. Tarangire Sopa Lodge (all meals)
After breakfast we will depart for Ngorongoro Crater, one of the most famous wildlife viewing areas in the world. We will drive directly to the Crater Sopa Lodge, check in and have lunch. The lodge is constructed of local materials and hidden within the forests of the rim of the crater. It offers a stunning view of the crater, with close proximity to the access road for the descent. We will then descend to the crater floor enjoying the rest of the day there. Flamingos inhabit an alkaline lake in the center of the crater and other bird life, including bustards, storks and ibis is common as well.
The next day we will spend the entire day exploring the crater, leaving early in the morning, well before most tour vehicles depart. We will descend from 7,600 feet above sea level to the floor of the crater some 2,000 feet below. This 102-square mile crater is the largest unfolded, unbroken caldera in the world. Within its perimeter are thousands of wildebeest, black rhino, cheetah, gazelle, giraffes and of course, lions, hyenas and other predators. (Recommended reading: The Innocent Killers by Jane and Hugo Van Lawick-Goodall)
We’ll have a picnic lunch to maximize our time in the field and returning as late as possible in order to get the last golden rays of light. Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge (all meals)
Leave the Sopa Lodge after an early breakfast and drive to the Serengeti stopping along the way to visit a Maasai village. We will spend the rest of the day exploring the southern Serengeti Plains on both sides of the NCA/Serenget border. We are able to game drive in both the Ngorongoro Conseration Area and the Southern Serengeti ecosystem. There are fewer off-road restrictions in the NCA land, and we will take advantage of that. Cats remain in the territory and this is a particularly good area for cheetahs. Lake Ndutu Luxury Lodge (all meals)
After an early breakfast, we will drive through the Gol Kopjes to Same Camp in the Central Serengeti. At this time of year, the wildebeest are usually preparing for the rut giving us great photo opportunities. Massive numbers of animals come together as the males gather and protect their harems. Naturally, the predators will be taking advantage of so much prey in one place.
The herds follow the rains to feed on the new grass. If past years are any indication, we have positioned ourselves to be in the right location at the right time. Sametu Camp (all meals)
Enjoy a leisurely drive out of the Serengeti and through the Crater Highlands to the Retreat at Ngorongoro along the Forest Reserve. This property is dedicated to the celebration of birds. The gardens are designed with plants and trees specifically to attract a large variety of species, and a small lake in the center of the property attracts waterfowl. Arrive in the late afternoon with time to enjoy the forest setting and photograph the birds. The next day the group has the option of a game drive to nearby Lake Manyara National Park or to remain at the lodge. Plantation Lodge (all meals)
Enjoy your last morning on the beautiful grounds of your lodge. After having lunch, return to Arusha for shopping at the African Gallery. Continue directly to Kilimanjaro International Airport to check in for your Delta/KLM return flight. (breakfast, lunch)
May 25: Amsterdam - Home
Run in conjunction with Strabo Tours.
Sign up here: Strabo Photo Tours/Tanzania