Are these photo workshops or photo tours?
These are photo tours. Instead of a workshop’s classroom environment with predetermined lessons and exercises, you’ll shoot in the field every day. Each day’s agenda can change dynamically according to weather or wildlife. Eager to ask questions and learn? You can take advantage of informal talks about composition or digital processing or ask for a private critique. Or just rest and relax in your room instead. The choice is up to you.
What are the vehicles like?
The vehicles are Land Rovers or Land Cruisers: reliable and rugged yet still very comfortable inside. There is cold, bottled water during our game drives and a pop-top roof for shade from the sun and 360-degree views of the wildlife. You’ll have your own complete row with plenty of room for you and your gear, and of course, the driver has a radio/phone for any emergencies, help locating game, etc.
What is the lodging like?
Over the course of the trip, we stay in different types of lodging. In all of the lodging, there is great food, comfortable beds with all linens, private toilet/bathroom facilities, and power to charge your electronics. All of the facilities provide laundry services for a nominal fee. The lodging types are:
Luxury, mobile tented camps. Think Out of Africa. These are very large canvas tents but don’t mistake this for camping. They each have bedroom furniture and an en-suite bathroom and plenty of room to stand-up and walk around. There’s a dining tent as well as a bar tent to relax and share stories with your trip mates. These camps are mobile so they can relocate to stay close to the wildlife as it moves throughout the year. They’re a bit of luxury in the middle of a remote, wild place and you’ll drift off to sleep hearing distant calls of lion or baboon.
Permanent tented camps. These camps have more enduring structures than mobile tented camps. Your tent has canvas walls but is built on a permanent foundation. Each has comfortable bedroom furniture, an en-suite bathroom, and a patio area with a view. The camp’s facilities typically include a beautiful dining room and bar area with a thatched roof and stunning views.
Safari lodges. Here, you’ll have a room in a larger building instead of a tent. These properties have extensive facilities and amenities but I choose properties with a local feel rather than something like a Western hotel you can see anywhere.
Is there somewhere to charge batteries?
Yes. I have made arrangements so that each night you can charge batteries, laptops, and anything else you need.
What can I expect to see and photograph?
You’ll see lots of beautiful landscapes and local people but most of our time is spent photographing wildlife. You can expect to see abundant wildlife: the season, the locations, and the local guides I use ensure the best chances for getting close and with great light. It’s important to remember though that the animals are truly wild and I can’t make guarantees about which animals we will see.
How long do we shoot each day?
If the light is good and the wildlife cooperates, we might stay out all day. We can linger at one site for hours if the subject matter is worthwhile and everyone is excited. On a typical, non-travel day, you can expect to spend about 8 hours shooting.
I am a beginner photographer. Is this tour for me?
Yes! I welcome all levels of photographers and I am there to help, answer questions, and provide friendly advice. There may be some other photographers who are serious about their pastime. Some might even be semi-pro or pro and there may be some big cameras and lenses but it’s a friendly and welcoming environment.
Will I be traveling with experienced guides?
Yes. Hoopoe Safaris is the partner I have chosen to help with everything from pre-trip logistics to local lodging, expert guides, and on-the-ground support. Both companies have over 30 years of experience running tours in Tanzania and are tightly knit into the local community. Hoopoe Safaris has thousands of happy clients around the world. Check out my Partner page for more information and links to their website.
Will I get photography instruction?
Yes, if you want it. While there are no formal lectures or curriculum, you will receive input, review, and informal instruction from a professional photographer. And if you don’t want it, that’s fine too.
How many people are in the group?
The groups range from 4 – 12 people. Keeping the group small ensures the best experience for everyone.
Can non-photographer spouses come along?
Yes. Non-photographer spouses can have a great time on the tour, but they should be aware that the tour is 100% focused on photography. When we’re not tracking game in the vehicle, we’re typically talking about each others’ work, recharging our batteries (literally!), or planning our next outing. If you’re not sure your non-photographer spouse would be up for the adventure, call me to discuss expectations.