2019 Tanzania Wildlife Photo Tour: Serengeti, Ngorongoro and More

February 9 - 20, 2019

Explore Tanzania's famed northern safari circuit, including the opens plains of the Serengeti and the intense diversity of Ngorongoro Crater.

Cheetah
The cheetah is one of our main wildlife targets on this tour.
Max will take you on an exploratory adventure through some of northern Tanzania's most famous parks and conservation areas, home to the Big Five and loads of other wildlife, including the endless plains of Serengeti National Park. The Serengeti was recently named the best wildlife park in all of Africa, based on expert reviews. You can anticipate an adventure full of wildlife encounters—some at amazingly close range—while we are led by local guides and drivers who know the best hot spots for wildlife viewing.

This is a photo adventure, emphasizing exploration and photography in the field rather than classwork. Max will be there to shoot alongside you and help provide optional instruction and tips on photography. This photo tour is a great fit for anyone from amateurs to professionals. Whether you're a newcomer to the African safari experience, or are simply looking for an affordable safari experience with some excellent wildlife photo ops, this tour is perfect for you. This tour is limited to eight guests, which should make for a more intimate experience than your typical large safari group tour.

To get an idea of some of the wildlife we might see during the trip, check out the photo gallery. If you would like to inquire about a customized tour or extension, read more here.

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Tour Dates and Activities

February 9: Depart for Tanzania*
If you live in the Western Hemisphere or possibly Europe, this will likely be your departure date. The important thing is to arrive in Tanzania on February 10th!

February 10: Arrive in Tanzania
Arrive at Tanzania's Kilimanjaro International Airport. A shuttle will take you to our hotel in Arusha, where you can settle in and prepare for our first safari experience the next morning.

February 11: Arusha National Park
Arusha NP is a small park that doesn't get much publicity compared to its larger, more famous neighbors, but it offers us a couple of unique opportunities. This will be our only chance to participate in a walking safari. We will go on foot with an armed ranger to photograph wildlife such as giraffe, buffalo and other herbivores, as well as various birds. Arusha is also home to the black and white colobus monkey, a handsome primate not found in the other parks we'll be visiting. We'll return to our Arusha hotel for one more night before departing on the next leg of the journey.

Long-crested eagle
The Long-crested eagle is one of many cool birds species we may see.
February 12: Depart for Ngorongoro Crater, Afternoon Crater Exploration
The famous Ngorongoro Crater is next on the itinerary. This World Heritage site is a small volcanic crater that is home to bountiful wildlife. In its confines we may see lion, leopard and even the elusive serval cat. Some of the few remaining "tusker" elephants roam here, and it's one of the last bastions of the endangered black rhinoceros.

We will depart Arusha in the morning to drive to the crater. We'll settle in at midday at our lodge before heading out for our first crater game drive in the afternoon.

February 13: Morning Crater Exploration, Depart for Serengeti
We will enter the crater first thing in the morning, while animals are most active and the larger tourist groups are still asleep, in hopes of finding more cool wildlife to photograph. Because we're traveling in the rainy season, there's a good chance the floor of the crater will be green and vibrant, offering a different feel from the dusty, beige African landscapes one is used to seeing. Following our morning drive, we'll pack up and hit the road toward the Serengeti.

February 14 - 18: Serengeti and Ndutu
The main portion of our trip will be spent in Serengeti National Park and Ndutu Conservation Area. The word "serengeti" means "endless plain" in the Maasai language, and you'll soon see why. We'll explore the vast, rolling savanna that is home to a startling amount of wildlife. Our stay will be concentrated in the southern part of the large park, where the wildebeest will be returning to give birth to their calves. The calving happens in a short amount of time, coordinated in order to ensure the survival of the species due to the abundance of predators that are active here. This may be the best time of year to witness African predator activity, including lions, leopards, cheetahs, and possibly the endangered African wild dog. We are more likely to witness active hunts at this time of year.

Bat-eared foxes
Bat-eared foxes are one of the less common mammals we may see.
Optional Hot Air Balloon Ride: The Serengeti presents a unique opportunity to see the plains from the air. Guests have the option of booking a hot air balloon ride one morning. And of course, we'll take pictures from the air! Those who opt not to participate in the balloon ride will go on a morning game drive instead.

The neighboring Ndutu Conservation Area is an extension of the Serengeti, but because it's not on national park land, we have an opportunity to drive "off road" to get closer views of the wildlife. It offers a unique opportunity to achieve photo angles and land some close encounters not possible elsewhere on this trip.

There's much more to see other than just big cats on this trip. From the many large mammals that call the African plain home to smaller creatures such as the adorable bat-eared fox, we'll keep an eye out for just about everything! During the wet season, there's more bird activity as well, so we'll have a chance to photograph many of the colorful and unique avian species that call east Africa home at this time of year.

February 19: Ndutu and Depart for Karatu
Following one last morning drive in Ndutu, we will depart for Karatu.

February 20: Lake Manyara National Part, Depart for Arusha and Flights Home
We will enjoy one last bonus game drive in Lake Manyara National Park, home of tree-climbing lions! After this final excursion we will leave for Arusha, where we will arrive and have day use of a hotel before departing for the airport and catching evening flights home.

Our "Target Species" in Tanzania Include:
  • African Lion
  • African Leopard
  • Cheetah
  • African Wild Dog (rare)
  • Bat-Eared fox
  • African Elephant
  • White and Black Rhinoceros
  • Hippopotamus
  • Masai Giraffe
  • Cape Buffalo
  • Various Antelope Species: Gazelle, Topi, Dik Dik, Kudu(rare) and more
  • Dozens of Bird Species: Ostrich, Kingfishers, Eagles, Owls and more
  • Various Smaller Critters: Monkeys, Mongooses, Squirrels and more

Tour Prices

  • $9250US per person, based on double occupancy.
  • $906 single supplement

The 2019 Tanzania tour is limited to a maximum of 8 participants. If you are interested in a trip extension or private tour, please contact us. Also see more about private tours and extensions here.

Reserve Your Spot!

Tour Prices Include:

  • Private accommodation (based on double occupancy) in camps, lodges and hotels during the tour
  • Transportation and guiding inside Arusha NP, Ngorongoro Crater, Serengeti NP and Ndutu Conservation Area
  • Transfers to/from Kilimanjaro International Airport on group shuttle at the beginning and end of the trip (if you cannot make the group shuttle, you will have to pay for private shuttle transportation)
  • Arusha National Park walking safari cost
  • All meals during our stay in the parks and reserves
  • Photo advice and guidance from Max (optional)
  • All taxes and fees

Tour Prices DO NOT Include:

  • Beverages (soft drinks/alcohol)
  • Airfare and other transportation to and from Tanzania.
  • Private shuttle transportation from the airport, should you miss the group shuttle
  • Optional hot air balloon ride in Serengeti, mentioned above.
  • Tanzania Visa/Passport fees
  • Laundry
  • Travel/Health insurance
  • Gratuities for guides and drivers.

Please Note:

  • The itinerary listed above is subject to change, due to unpredictable weather, availability in camps and lodges or other factors.
  • A non-refundable deposit of 25% is due upon booking. An additional payment of 25% is due six months prior to the start of the tour. The remainder is due 75 days prior to commencement of the tour.
  • In the case of cancellations made prior to 75 days out, any payments minus the 25% non-refundable deposit will be returned, unless your spot in a full tour is filled by other travelers (in which case your full deposit will be returned). Within 75 days NO refunds will be offered. (We advise purchasing travel cancellation insurance for this reason.)
  • Payments may be made via check or personal Paypal payment. If you wish to use a credit card, please add 3% to the total fee. We must wait for checks to clear before considering tour slots reserved or filled.
  • We reserve to change the price of this tour if a new government-imposed tax or park fees are increased or implemented.
  • We reserve the right to cancel the tour for any reason, including but not limited to a lack of participants. In such a case, your full deposit will be refunded. However, we are not responsible for any additional expenses incurred.