Tailor Made Tanzania
Currently available as a tailor made photographic safari
Flexible Tailor Made Tanzania itineraries available to suit your group's interests
Tour leader: Trai Anfield - wildlife photographer, film maker and presenter of BBC Radio 4's The Living World
Tailor Made Tanzania - Suggested Highlights
Serengeti - predators and migration crossings of the Mara River
Ndutu - migration calving season - experience the full circle of life!
Lake Eyasi - encounter the last hunter-gatherer tribe in Tanzania
Ngorongoro Crater - one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa
Empakaai Crater - breathtaking hikes inside a perfect crater with flamingos on the lake
Tarangire - the Land of Two Giants
Rubondo Island - chimpanzees and chilled island vibes
Experienced photographic tutor Trai Anfield
Best expert guides in each National Park
Excellent full board accomodation
Our journey through the heart of Northern Tanzania begins in cosmopolitan Arusha. Here we spend our first night in a lodge with its own 'zonkies', experiencing our first taste of Tanzanian hospitality ...and of course the finest coffee from the local plantations!
From here its easy to nip into Arusha National Park to stretch our legs after our international flights.
Here we may also take the time to visit a community workshop to support local people with disabilities who produce beautiful jewellery, artworks and homeware in glass, fabric and other traditional and recycled media...or visit a community organic coffee farm, an experience each step of the picking and roasting process to make our own blend - both wonderful opportunities to get our souvenir shopping done early!!!
IN CALVING SEASON
From Arusha we will head straight to Ndutu, in the southern sector of the Serengeti/ Ngorongoro Conservation Area - an region of lush sweet grass and tranquility where the herd of half a million wildebeest comes to give birth. But don't be fooled into thinking it's all peace and harmony here - predators are no respectors of the wonders of new life: they just see an easy meal! This means there is an unparalleled level of action to photograph as lion, leopard and cheetah all make the most of the buffet on regular hunts. After all, they often give birth themselves around this time and have many tiny mouths to feed ...and what photographer can resist lion, leopard or cheetah cubs!
Then we may head on to Tarangire, Lake Eyasi, Nogorongoro, Empakaai and more northern reaches of the Serengeti, as set out below, though please note: migration crossings do not take place in the north at this time of year - the herd is here!
IN CROSSING SEASON
From Arusha we head to Tarangire. Famed for it's two giants - elephant and baobab trees - Tarangire is not only blessed with plentiful wildlife, but landscapes that will make your photographs really stand out. Dry season is the best time to visit Tarangire, when the river (after which it is named) attracts huge herds of elephant and plains game, plus the predators that naturally follow them.
Speaking of which, another unusual feature of Tarangire is its tree-climbing lions: so lithe on the ground, these cats are much more ungainly in the trees, balancing precariously in the branches, with full stomachs hanging down like hammocks as they snooze through the hottest part of the day - definitely different in terms of lion photography!
And not to be forgotten in Tarangire are the birds - a staggering 550 species have been recorded here, making it birding heaven!
All of this, with the backdrop of those enormous "Trees of Life" makes Tarangire a wonderful all-round dry season reserve for photography.
For thousands of years the nomadic hunter-gatherer Hadza tribe has moved endlessly round the shores of this sacred lake. Join the men of the tribe on a (strenuous!) hunting expedition or the women on a less physically intense foraging trip for roots, fruits, berries and medicinal plants. The elegant women of the Datoga tribe share their daily life too. Authentic, educational and unforgettable experiences that also bring wonderful opportunities for candid cultural photography.
Next on our suggested itinerary is the globally famous Ngorongoro Crater. This icon of the wildlife world is unlike anywhere else on earth: it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979, and more recently was voted one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa. Views over the crater from our accommodation up on the rim are spectacular, and wildlife thrives in its sheltered heart.
This area is also our best opportunity to encounter and photograph the rarest member of Africa's Big Five - the black rhino, although there will also be possibilities in the Serengeti later on. This is an area where they are protected successfully and when they venture out from the bushes onto the plains these are optimum conditions for photography.
There are plenty of cats here too, with serval and lion seen often, occasional cheetah and leopard, and caracal sometimes spotted too.
Interestingly giraffe are found around the crater, but not present inside; it is speculated that the sides are too steep for them to walk down.
Moving on to our next destination, Tanzania's most well-known National Park needs no introduction: the Serengeti is widely regarded as the pinnacle of wildlife viewing in Africa. This is where countless images of tens of thousands of wildebeest crossing the Mara River originate, and this age-old spectacle is every bit as exhilarating now as it has been throughout time. Amidst the excitement there are many chances to try more creative photographic tequniques such a slow exposures and also videography. Thanks to guest Jim Gerhardt for sharing his video of a river crossing below.
And where there is prey there are predators!
Lion, cheetah and leopard concentrate around the huge herds of zebra, wildebeest and gazelles, watching for the weakest and waiting to pounce. Action and photographic opportunities come thick and fast on the plains, while massive crocodiles lurk to snatch the unwary in the river itself.
Scavengers such as hyena and vultures don't just do a great job cleaning up after those messy cats, they often provide great photographic moments in their own right too.
The landscape of the Serengeti is also very pretty, with rocky kjopies a perfect setting for photographing lions and leopards as they relax after their hunts.
And if you're an active safari guest, there's much more to do in the Serengeti: for a truly authentic experience we may choose to walk and camp with the Maasai, learning to stalk - and avoid! - large mammals on foot; making fire in traditional ways; and camping out in true wilderness along the way. Our walking safari camps are fully serviced with the same style, service and incredible food, and our romantic bell tents are erected ahead of our arrival at each carefully chosen camping site, so all you have to do is choose your sundowner.
Any great safari needs a great finale, which can often include a restful few days on a beach. But if wildlife's your passion here's a suggestion that will fit the bill for both wildlife photography and chilled out shoreline vibes: Rubondo Island lies in the balmy waters of Lake Victoria, and offers a brilliant alternative to Zanzibar or mainland coast resorts for your final few days. True, you can't swim from the shore here, as there are hippos and crocs galore, but our luxury lodge has a beautiful pool, a laid back beach bar and campfire in the evenings and some really cool boat safaris by day, where you'll find monster crocs, gorgeous birds and even otters amongst the gentle waves. Dozens of black kites make themselves at home in the trees around the lodge, and sand bathe on the beach right outside your cottage.
The other big attraction here is chimpanzees: the island is a haven for rescued chimps, which are slowly being habituated to visitors. You can take part in the habituation process by taking a guided trek to find them amidst the island's forests. It can be strenuous, but experiencing the sounds of rival families competing for food and territory is electrifying, and the prize for persistence in following them can be an image to remember.
Rubondo is the prefect end point for your Tanzania tour - you'll head home refreshed and exhilarated from your safari!
Departures and Costs
This itinerary is currently available as a tailor made photographic safari
Our quoted rates will include:
All photographic tuition, all entrance fees to the included National Parks, excellent accommodations with meals except where noted, bottled drinking water, all Tanzania transfers, 4x4 safari vehicle with knowledgeable driver/guide.
Our quoted rates will exclude:
International flights, visa, personal insurances, tips.