11 Day African Photo Safari for $8,650
February 28 – March 10, 2017Sign up now!
Dave knows what photographers need to get that great shot. I wholeheartedly recommend traveling with Dave Burns.”
This photo safari to East Africa is in Tanzania, famous for its unforgettable wildlife, exotic culture, and breathtaking landscapes. You’ll go to well-known places such as the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater and some lesser-known but equally amazing places such as Tarangire National Park. You’ll visit a local Maasai village and there’s an optional hot-air balloon ride as well.
I designed this safari especially for people who love photography. You will have:
- Lots of photography (of course!): time to immerse yourself in shooting wildlife, discussing it with other avid photographers, and learning/practicing your digital workflow.
- The right location and time of year to ensure your best chances of capturing lots of thrilling wildlife in great light.
- Comfortable vehicles with room to spread out.
- Expert naturalist guides who can help you identify animals and understand their behavior.
- Exclusive access to safe, comfortable lodging in great locations and away from crowds.
The Serengeti is the most famous wildlife region in the world. The name derives from the local Maasai word “Serengit” which means “endless plains” and those plains contain almost 100 species of mammals, over 500 species of birds, and the one-million strong wildebeest migration. Along with the wildebeest, the plains contain large herds of zebra, antelope such as gazelles, and if we’re lucky, we’ll see big cats on the hunt. In the Serengeti, we will stay in a mobile tented camp right in the middle of the action, leaving early in the morning for best light and following the game where we find it. During our five days of game drives in the southern and central Serengeti, we’ll see varied landscape: granite outcroppings called kopjes which frequently have lion photogenically perched and looking for prey, woodlands of acacia overflowing with bird life, and stands of trees that offer our best opportunity to spot leopard.
The Crater is called both Africa’s Garden of Eden and one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. It is the world’s largest intact caldera and is home to up to 20,000 mammals. We’ll stay two nights on the crater rim and descend to the crater floor as early as possible in the morning for the best light. The Crater contains an incredible variety of wildlife that makes it difficult to know where to point your lens. Luckily, the animals are accustomed to vehicles so sometimes they come quite close. The high predator population consists of lions, cheetah, hyena, and jackals and can make for exciting drama. The large herd animals like wildebeest, gazelles, and zebra can lend your images a sense of immense scale and the Crater walls make great backgrounds to photograph large mammals like buffalo, elephant, and endangered black rhino. And if you prefer birds, there are large birds like the Kori Bustard and plentiful cranes, storks, and the flamingos along a soda lake at one side of the Crater floor.
On one of our days, we will stop at a Maasai village. The Maasai are gregarious and welcoming and eager to share how they live. This is a special opportunity to speak with them, learn more about their culture, and photograph the people and their village.
Tarangire National Park
Tarangire is Tanzania’s fifth-largest park and has a huge concentration of elephant, birds, and beautiful landscapes full of ancient baobab trees. There are also plenty of herd animals like zebra and wildebeest and that means predators are around – if we’re alert we may see some big cats. We’ll start our adventure with two nights in the park, allowing us to explore multiple areas.
Hot-Air Balloon Ride (optional)
On one morning in the Serengeti, there is an opportunity to take an optional hot-air balloon ride at sunrise. This is a fantastic chance to view the Serengeti from a unique perspective and experience the early morning sun illuminate the landscape with warm, golden light and long shadows. With luck, you’ll capture images of herds from above as well. After you land, you will have a full English breakfast in the bush including champagne. Although this option is highly recommended, it is not required and those who choose not to go will enjoy a morning game drive.
My experience in Tanzania was absolutely amazing. I highly recommend this trip with Dave Burns.”
Arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport where you will be met and taken to our lodge for dinner with the group and an overnight stay.
After breakfast, our local guides will meet us at the lodge and we’ll depart on safari to Tarangire National Park, a lesser-known but spectacular park for its scenery and wildlife. We’ll have a picnic lunch in the park and spend our afternoon viewing game within the northern part of the park. At sunset we’ll arrive at our lodge within the park for dinner and early bedtime for the full day tomorrow.
We’ll spend a full day in Tarangire NP. We’ll start early to catch the best light and return to the lodge in late morning. During mid-day, we’ll spend time at the lodge, resting, eating a hot lunch, and reviewing the morning’s images. Then we’ll head out mid-afternoon for another game drive during the late afternoon light that is spectacular when it hits the baobab trees in Tarangire. We’ll return to our lodging in the park for a great dinner and well-earned rest.
March 3 – 4
After breakfast, we depart the Tarangire area and head to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area where we’ll spend 2 nights. Ngorongoro is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the best locations in the world for viewing wildlife. Wildlife viewing at the crater is great year-round, but just before the wet season when we will be visiting, there will be fewer crowds of tourists. Our safari lodge is perched on the eastern rim of the crater (great sunsets!) and ideally situated at the head of one of the two access roads into the crater. This means that we can take breakfast with us and descend to the crater floor at first light. We’ll spend all day searching for game, breaking only for lunch in a photogenic spot. At the end of the day, we’ll return to our lodging for dinner and a well-earned rest in our beds.
Today, after breakfast, we visit a Maasai village at Mt. Makarot. This is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about this amazing culture and make fascinating portraits. From there, we head to the Serengeti, stopping for lunch at Oldupai Gorge and its small but famous museum founded by Mary Leakey, dedicated to educating visitors about paleoanthropological research and artifacts from the surrounding area. We photograph wildlife as we enter the Serengeti and then finish the day with dinner at our destination: our mobile tented camp near the shores of Lake Ndutu.
March 6 – 7
Ndutu is a short-grass plains area in the southernmost part of the Serengeti and our camp is right in the middle of it. This means we’ll spend more time viewing wildlife and less time driving to it. We’ll spend the next 2 days here leaving by dawn for best light, eating breakfast on the road, then returning to camp mid-day while the sun is high and the animals are resting. After eating lunch and downloading images, we head out again for the late afternoon light. This time of year is calving season for the migratory antelope and wildebeest and our expert guides will bring us to various spots for prime game viewing. At night, we will have a campfire and dinner back at camp and an opportunity to share and discuss our photos with the group.
We also offer an optional, early morning balloon flight over the Serengeti to capture a different perspective of the animals and beautiful landscapes.
March 8 – 9
After breakfast, we leave our camp and photograph more wildlife along the way to our final lodge further north in the Serengeti. We spend two nights here away from any crowds and, although we’ve left the migration herds behind in the South, the area we will be in is full of big cats that don’t migrate. This is a prime area for sighting the elusive leopard!
After breakfast on our last morning, we fly back to Arusha where we have lunch together, do any last-minute shopping, then head back to our lodge where a day room will be available before an evening transfer to Kilimanjaro International Airport for our flights.
The sightings were wonderful. We had many opportunities to take great photographs.”
The price for this trip is $8,650 for double occupancy; the single supplement is $703. Upon signing up, there is a deposit of $500 with the balance due on November 1st. The optional balloon ride is $539 (includes Tanzania’s $40 concession fee, subject to change). The cost is the same for photographers and non-photographers alike. Note that airfare from your home to Tanzania is not included; a typical fare from the U.S. East Coast can be approximately $1,500.
Professionally trained, English-speaking drivers/guides and a professional photographer leader to assist you in the field. All park entry fees, all accommodation and meals as described in the detailed itinerary, airport transfers upon arrival and departure, private safari vehicles with an entire row per photographer, bottled water during game drives, local medical evacuation in case of emergency, safari planning booklet, U.S.-based trip coordinator to help with air reservations and trip preparation questions, and support from tour operator with offices in Arusha, Tanzania.
What’s Not Included?
International airfare to Arusha, Tanzania (JRO) and any airline/airport fees and taxes, additions to this itinerary such as extra days before or after the trip, passport fees, visa fees, immunizations, and travel insurance, tips for guide and lodging staff, laundry, drinks (except bottled water in your safari vehicle), hospital bills and international evacuation in the event of an emergency, and camera and computer equipment.
Terms & Conditions
- I make best efforts to deliver the itinerary described on the Itinerary tab but sometimes circumstances beyond my control require changes. I reserve the right to alter this itinerary at any time if necessary. If I do make changes, I will notify you as soon as possible. Also, items such as park fees and in-country flight costs can sometimes change. If there are additional costs due to the changes, these will be passed on to you.
- In the event the listed accommodations are not available, I will use alternative accommodations.
- Refunds: Up to 90 days before the trip, you can cancel for 50% of your deposit. Between 90 days and 30 days before the trip, you can cancel and receive a refund of 75% of the total trip cost. Within 30 days of the trip, I cannot offer any refunds. I encourage you to purchase trip cancellation insurance in case you need to cancel.