Tanzania Photographic Safari

January 11 - 22, 2009

Safari Leader: Andy Biggs

Please see our Safaris and Workshops section for more workshop and safari dates.


About The Photographic Safaris

Looking for a photographic destination of a lifetime? Well this is it! This photographic safari will be conducted in the east African country of Tanzania, home to the Serengeti National Park, the Ngorongoro Crater and Mount Kilimanjaro. It will combine an exciting photography workshop in one of the world's most outstanding wildlife, landscape and cultural locations together with a luxury vacation in fascinating Tanzania.


Tanzania, south of Kenya on the African continent's Indian Ocean coastline, lays claim to the title Home of the Safari, since the word itself is taken from the Swahili word that means "journey." While Tanzania's Kenyan neighbors may dispute that claim, there is no doubt that Tanzania offers one of the best environments in the world for an enriching wildlife experience. The country's game viewing opportunities are considered by many to be the best in Africa. Its game parks are populated with many of the world's most exotic creatures, including all of the "Big Five." Its lakes are huge and bountiful with fish. Its cities are relaxed and friendly. Yet, to a greater degree than is true of many of its neighbors, this sprawling county, the largest in East Africa, remains untouched by the vacationing hordes.


It's About Photography — Lots of it!

This workshop will be very informal and fun. Andy Biggs will be shooting alongside you at all times. We will have discussion and assistance on specialized topics such as, for example, long lens technique, projection flash usage, action shooting, wildlife observation, field craft and east African animal behavior. Advanced techniques will be constantly discussed, demonstrated and put into practice.

This workshop is about shooting. Lots of shooting. There will be no classroom sessions, no lectures, no slide shows, and most importantly, no unnecessary egos. We will all work closely together, sharing our knowledge and experience.

Because of the unique location of this workshop, and the luxury accommodations, this workshop adventure is open to spouses as well as photographers. Even non-photographers will find the locales visited and the wildlife viewing opportunities to be thrilling. The cost for non-photographers is the same as for active participants.

The Schedule

January 11 - Depart home country (applicable for those opting for additional airfare from New York or Boston).

January 12 - Amsterdam to Arusha, Tanzania.

Upon arrival, you are met by our guides and transferred to the Kigongoni Lodge. Kigongoni Lodge is located on an historic 70-acre coffee farm near Arusha, amid natural forest. Sitting on a hilltop with lush gardens, the lodge offers breathtaking views of Mt Kilimanjaro and Mt Meru. Tucked between the trees are eighteen cottages, built in traditional African styles and materials. The rooms, cocktail lounge, and restaurant - all with fireplaces – are furnished in an intimate and comfortable manner, maximizing the site’s unique views and natural features.

January 13 - Arusha to the Ngorongoro Highlands

Depart Arusha after your safari briefing this morning, heading in a southwesterly direction. Soon, the impressive Great Rift Valley Escarpment will come into view – a 2,000 foot high wall that rises up, improbably steep and incredibly tall, out of the flat plains. Take the switchback road up to the top of the escarpment and into the Ngorongoro Highlands. Arrive at Gibbs Farm, with time to freshen up before a scrumptious lunch and a photo workshop this afternoon.

Today you’ll have an opportunity to photograph local Maasai and learn more about their cultural history. Andy will discuss portrait lighting, angles and additional subject content. This is a great opportunity to begin sharing your photos with the group and getting feedback on how to improve your photography skills in a planned setting. You’ll also begin delving into capturing rapid movement on camera today, in preparation for a busy day in the bush tomorrow. Overnight Gibbs Farm.

January 14 - Lake Manyara National Park

Using Gibbs Farm as our base, we will spend a full day visiting Lake Manyara National Park in this incredibly diverse ecosystem. At times large groups of flamingos, storks and waterfowl can be found along the lake. Enjoy a picnic lunch inside the park. Head up to your lodge in the late afternoon to relax, settle in, and enjoy a sundowner cocktail, or stay out photographing the wildlife. Overnight Gibbs Farm.

January 15 - Ngorongoro Crater

After a delicious breakfast you depart for Ngorongoro Crater. Our first glimpse of the Ngorongoro crater floor is nothing short of awe-inspiring. The world’s largest unbroken caldera, the crater is a geologic marvel, and in addition, boasts some of the densest wildlife populations in the world. We will arrive at our luxury camp in time for lunch, and this afternoon, you will take the steep, scenic descent road onto the crater floor. This mini-ecosystem of savanna, forest and small lakes sustains a huge number of non-migratory animals year round. In the evening, you will return to your Nyumba (kiswahili word for home), high on the escarpment wall. At this elevation, temperatures are cool year-round, so be sure to bring a sweater. Take advantage of the roaring fire, sitting in a comfortable chair, admiring the canopy of stars overhead and talking about all the day’s interesting sightings. Overnight Luxury camp.

January 16 - Ngorongoro Crater

Day of wildlife viewing in Ngorongoro Crater. Rise early and head depart for the crater floor at 6am. Enjoy a morning of wildlife viewing in the world’s most concentrated mammalian habitat. You may see lion, cheetah, flamingo, warthog or hippo, to name just a few, all with the 10 mile wide caldera. Overnight on the crater rim.

January 17 - Serengeti National Park

After breakfast, you depart for the Serengeti. Along the way you will pass picturesque Maasai bomas and see the local Maasai in their bright red robes walking or tending their flocks as they do every day. En route, you will stop at Olduvai Gorge, where several generations of the Leakey family have toiled for decades, making important archeological discoveries in relation to the origins of “man.” The museum may be small, but the collection is a fascinating mix of fossils, bones and historical information. From there, the sprawling landscape of the Serengeti begins to unfurl before you. It is impressive in its size, but also in the variety and number of species it protects. From the comfort of your Nyumba, you will enjoy your first night in this extraordinary wilderness.

January 18 - Serengeti National Park

You may choose to view these vast plains from above by taking an optional balloon safari early this morning (advance reservations required). You have more time to explore the Serengeti, watching closely for the elusive cheetah, the graceful Thomson’s gazelle or the tiny dik-dik, an antelope barely two feet tall. There are countless other unique and fascinating sights for you to see. Overnight private luxury camp.

January 19 - Serengeti National Park

You have another full day to journey far and wide in this immense park, allowing your guide’s unerring instincts to lead the way. An infinite number of dramas play themselves out on these endless plains: predators stalk prey, animals eat, scavenge and graze, mothers nurture their young, birds hover and soar overhead, young animals frolic as older animals keep a watchful eye on these vulnerable little one. In short, it is a story of survival of the fittest and the Serengeti is one of the few places where you can still see “the world as it was in the beginning.” Overnight private luxury camp.

January 20 - Serengeti National Park

Spanning nearly 6,000 square miles, the Serengeti has even more to offer you today. With your skilled guides at the helm, the game viewing promises to be interesting on this last day of your adventure. Enjoy your last glimpses of this beautiful, wild place, and be sure to savor your final safari moments away from the hectic, noisy, modern world. As always, the attentive Nyumba staff is at your service, making sure you are comfortable and that all your needs are taken care of. This last night in Tanzania, relish every moment as you are lulled to sleep by the sounds of the Serengeti. Overnight private luxury camp.

January 21 - Serengeti National Park to Arusha to Amsterdam

After a final morning of game viewing in the Serengeti, fly back to Arusha for a farewell lunch. You’ll have a chance to pick up a few last minute souvenirs if you’d like. You’ll head off to your day rooms, which are provided so you can prepare for the final journey home. Grab a shower, rest, or take a swim before you are transferred to Kilimanjaro International Airport for your departing flight.

January 22 - Arrive Amsterdam and connect to your final destination.


The Cost

The cost of this all-inclusive trip is U.S. $8,790 per person (but not inclusive of airfare to Arusha, Tanzania). The same rate applies for each participant regardless of whether they are doing photography and participating in the workshop, or not. This fee includes all in-country ground and air transportation as well as hotel accommodation (double occupancy) and all meals. The non refundable deposit for this trip is $1200. Optional hot air balloon is $450 per person.

Accommodations are two person to a room. If you will be traveling alone and would like a private room there will be a supplementary charge of $1200.

For an additional fee you can choose to have the both the safari *and* your flight from New York or Boston booked for you. We encourage this service if you are departing from North America, as we will all be able to arrive in Tanzania on the same flight at the same time. It is our experience that this service eliminates many scheduling headaches, and the cost is at or slightly below the average market rate for such a flight.

Please note: We will attempt to adhere to this itinerary as much as possible. However, certain conditions (political, climatic, environmental, cultural, or wildlife migrations) may necessitate changes in the itinerary. We reserves the right to alter any itinerary at any time, if necessary. We will attempt to notify participants of changes as far in advance as possible. Costs incurred by such changes will be the responsibility of the participant.

What's Included?

- All Game Park fees
- All accommodations, based on double occupancy
- All meals inclusive of restaurant staff tips
- Services of guides and drivers
- Land transportation in safari Land Rovers. Each of the three rear seat passengers has a complete seat to themselves, including access to windows on both sides of the vehicle and empty seats for photographic equipment.
- Airport transfers to and from hotels
- Internal airfare from Serengeti to Arusha
- Bottled water at all times
- $30 Tanzanian Airport departure tax, if KLM / NW ticket purchased through us.

What is Not Included?

- Additional tips for staff such as guides and camp staff
- Fees for passport, visas, immunizations, and insurance
- Hot air balloon flight of $475
- Alcoholic beverages while on safari
- Laundry, phone and other items of a personal nature
- Cost of hospitalization and evacuation if necessary

What Do I Do Next?

Our groups are small, so space is limited. If this exciting trip has your name on it; if you're excited by the thought of becoming a member of this trip, then now is the time to register. Remember, there will be limited space available for this workshop. When they're spoken for, that's it. If you have any questions before registering, send us an e-mail with any inquiries to info@andybiggs.com.