Africa Through The Lens: Tanzania Photographic Safari, September 2013

September 25 - October 4, 2013

Safari Leader: Randy Hanna

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

Tanzania


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

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.


Tanzania


It's About Photography — Lots of it!

This workshop will be very informal and fun. Randy Hanna 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

*Accommodations in parenthesis*

September 24 - Depart home country.


September 25
 - Amsterdam to Arusha, Tanzania. (Mountain Village Lodge)

Connect in Amsterdam with your flight to Kilimanjaro Airport, arriving late this evening. You will be met by Thomson Safaris staff and transferred to your lodge in Arusha.


September 26
 - Arusha to Tarangire National Park (Thomson Tarangire Nyumba)

With Arusha as your starting point, we will head to Tarangire National Park, where diverse wildlife viewing awaits. Once outside the city, you soon cross the Maasai Steppe into the wide open acacia-covered plains. The route moves past settlements and districts that are predominantly inhabited by Maasai.

Arrive at the park in less than two hours. Often overlooked, Tarangire astonishes many with its
massive herds of elephants, distinctive winding riverine landscapes, and swampy floodplains. In the afternoon, we will continue our exploration of the banks of the Tarangire River, where large families of elephant often gather. We will also spend time exploring the baobab-studded plains and the miombo woodlands, where you'll surely find baboon and vervet monkey.


September 27
 - Tarangire National Park (Thomson Tarangire Nyumba)

Spend a full day in Tarangire National Park, exploring its rugged landscapes by vehicle. Bisecting the park, the Tarangire River serves as a major water source for the wildlife of northern Tanzania, and its banks and waterholes attract large concentrations of elephants and zebra, among other species. Safari drives in Tarangire weave back and forth over the river and around its banks and shores, where it is also possible to see lion, leopard, giraffe, gerenuk, reedbuck, and even the rare fringe-eared oryx. Tarangire is also known for its large number of baobab trees which can live to be over 1,000 years old. Tarangire attracts over 550 species of birds and some rarer mammals, such as the African wild dog.


September 28 
- Tarangire National Park to Ngorongoro Conservation Area (Thomson Ngorongoro Nyumba - NMS)

Take a journey from Tarangire to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. You’ll drive across the Great Rift Valley escarpment and wind your way through the Ngorongoro Highlands. The conservation area is a wildlife and cultural preserve that covers 3,200 square miles, of which a mere 102 square miles represent Ngorongoro Crater. Only Maasai are permitted to live within the area’s boundaries, and they are seen throughout the highlands and conservation area wearing bright red and royal blue cloths and tending to their herds of goats and cattle. The crater floor, however, is reserved only for wildlife. At some ten miles in diameter, the crater is the world’s largest intact caldera, and it abounds with one of the highest concentrations of diverse animals imaginable. Immerse yourself in the semi-nomadic culture of the Maasai by visiting a boma, which is a settlement of circular mud-and-dung Maasai homes. Many Maasai still roam the plains of northern Tanzania with their herds of cattle, maintaining their traditions while adapting to new ways of life. Learn more about their extraordinary culture as you tour the boma and take in the scenes of village life. At the end of our day, gather around the campfire to enjoy a brilliant spectacle of stars and a relaxing drink.


September 29
 - Ngorongoro Conservation Area (Thomson Ngorongoro Nyumba - NMS)

We will rise early for our descent into the Ngorongoro Crater, where you will find an abundance of wildlife. Over a full day of wildlife viewing, you might even see rhinoceros. We will spend our entire day in the Ngorongoro Crater Area, a habitat rich in culture and teeming with wildlife. Sometimes there are more than 30,000 animals in and around the crater, including black rhino, cheetah, lion, hyena, eland, and numerous antelope. On the floor of the crater, the alkaline Lake Magadi serves as an important water source, also attracting flamingo flocks during the dry season. Nearby, the small Lerai Forest, with its yellow fever acacia trees, provides shade and shelter for wildlife. You will often see baboons, vervet monkeys, and even elephants in its thicket. Thorny bush, grasslands, hippo pools and a second small lake are also found on the floor. You’ll soon see why Ngorongoro is considered to be among the world’s great wonders.We will rise early for our descent into the Ngorongoro Crater, where you will find an abundance of wildlife. Over a full day of wildlife viewing, you might even see rhinoceros. We will spend our entire day in the Ngorongoro Crater Area, a habitat rich in culture and teeming with wildlife. Sometimes there are more than 30,000 animals in and around the crater, including black rhino, cheetah, lion, hyena, eland, and numerous antelope. On the floor of the crater, the alkaline Lake Magadi serves as an important water source, also attracting flamingo flocks during the dry season. Nearby, the small Lerai Forest, with its yellow fever acacia trees, provides shade and shelter for wildlife. You will often see baboons, vervet monkeys, and even elephants in its thicket. You’ll soon see why Ngorongoro is considered to be among the world’s great wonders.


September 30
 - Ngorongoro Conservation Area to Serengeti National Park (Thomson Serengeti Nyumba)

Depart the cool, grassy Ngorongoro Conservation Area and later arrive on the great Serengeti plains for a different but just as spectacular wildlife viewing experience. You will pass one of the world's greatest prehistoric archeological sites, called Olduvai Gorge where we will stop for a brief lecture and a change to visit the museum. Olduvai Gorge is a deep ravine and site of fossilized remains of animals and hominids that date as far back as two million years. Following our stop, we continue our way over the scrublands and begin our climb to Naabi Hill. The wooded knolls around Naabi Hill Gate mark the Serengeti’s official entrance, which then drops into the park’s signature wide-open plains. Like no other, this stretch embodies the meaning of the word “Serengeti,” which derives from the Maasai “Siringet” and has been artistically translated as “the land that flows on forever”. Serengeti National Park covers 6,000 square miles of pristine land and offers not only expansive vistas but the largest migration of mammals on earth, including 1.5 million wildebeest.

October 1, 2 3
 - Serengeti National Park (Thomson Serengeti Nyumba)

The Serengeti, Tanzania's second largest national park, covers nearly 6,000 square miles of grassland plains, savannah, kopjes, hills, woodlands, and riverine forests. The Grumeti, Mbalageti, and Mara River systems serve as critical water sources and are often excellent sites for wildlife viewing. Beyond the heralded migration of wildebeest and zebra, the Serengeti is best known for its big predators, including cheetah and leopard, as well as large prides of lions and clans of hyenas. Other commonly seen animals include gazelle, buffalo, giraffe, topi, hartebeest, ostrich, and jackal, but it is the full diversity of wildlife and habitats that you will truly find amazing. The greater Serengeti ecosystem actually covers the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, the Maasai Mara in Kenya, and numerous surrounding wildlife-protected lands that combine for a total of almost 17,000 square miles, which is larger than the states of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island all together.

Most of us know about the “Great Migration” from nature programs that capture some of the most thrilling moments on film. Often misunderstood, the migration is a perpetual, year-round process
involving over one million wildebeest and 200,000 zebra who roam the plains quietly, in search of food and water. While some antelope and hyena may follow the herds, other animals remain in their territories or have separate migratory patterns. The migration’s most dramatic moments often occur when large numbers of wildebeest and zebra make river crossings, during which they must elude predators in a desperate fight for survival. There is no telling exactly when these highly dramatic movements will occur, but all safari-goers are sure to see plenty of wildebeest and zebra while in Tanzania.

From our locations in the central and northern Serengeti, we will be perfectly located to make the best of our wildlife viewing and photography.


October 4
 - Serengeti National Park and flight to Arusha and homeward bound

Enjoy your last views of the Serengeti before flying to Arusha, where you will catch your departing flight. A shopping mainstay in Arusha, the Cultural Heritage Center attracts many travelers each year with its abundance of wooden carvings, artifacts, apparel, and crafts. The center also has Tanzanite and other gemstones for sale. While the center caters mostly to tourists, they also have wonderful cultural displays and a separate wing that displays some of the finest African
art in Tanzania. We will have a special farewell lunch at the Shangaa River House before moving on to our day room at Mount Meru Hotel prior to the flight home later in the evening.

 

Tanzania
 

The Cost

The cost of this all-inclusive trip is U.S. $7,999 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 $900.

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 $1100.

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 park entry fees
- Accommodations based on double occupancy
- Meals as per the above itinerary, inclusive of restaurant staff tips
- Services of Thomson Safaris staff throughout
- Services of a Senior Thomson Safaris Naturalist Guide
- Safari briefings throughout your trip
- Complimentary bottled drinking water
- Village and cultural visits
- Services of Thomson Safaris Nyumbas
- Scenic flight from the Serengeti to Arusha including special 50lb baggage weight limit
- Farewell lunch
- Airport transfers for group
- Baggage handling
- Tech Tent at Thomson Nyumbas for charging electronics until 9pm each night
- Tanzania airport departure taxes if your international airfare is arranged by Thomson Safaris
- A personal pre-trip consultant, five days a week, by phone or email
- Complete preparation materials including helpful tips, packing list, trip expectations, tipping guidelines and much more
- Complimentary full-color, 120+ page Safari Journal
- Wildlife viewing drives in a specially customized 4-wheel drive Land Rover with no more than 3 guests per stretch Land Rover Defender

What is Not Included?

- Fees for passport, visas, immunizations and insurance
- Meals and expenses en route to Tanzania
- Any NW/KLM imposed fees for making seat assignments
- NW/KLM variable fuel surcharge is subject to change
- Tips for staff such as guides and Nyumba staff
- Soft drinks, beer, wine and spirits
- 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.