The Great Calving Season of Tanzania - Feb 24 - Mar 6, 2015

About This Photographic Safari

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. 

It's About Photography — Lots of it!

This workshop will be very informal and fun. Randy Hanna will be shooting alongside you througout the safari. We will have discussion and assistance on specialized topics such as, long lens technique, 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 mandatory classroom sessions, lectures, 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

Wednesday (2/24/16): Depart US

Thursday (2/25/16):  Arrive this evening into Arusha where you will be warmly welcomed and transferred to your lodge at Rivertrees Country Inn.

Friday (2/26/16):  Drive from Arusha to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, first crossing the Maasai Steppe and the Great Rift Valley Escarpment, and then winding up into the fertile 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; they are seen throughout the highlands and conservation area wearing bright red and royal blue cloths and tending 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.

Enjoy the eco-friendly comforts at your camp this evening. Set on the crater rim, the campsite offers stunning views of Ngorongoro and the surrounding highlands. 

Saturday (2/27/16):  Spend a day in Ngorongoro Crater, 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.

Spend a second night at your campsite on the crater rim.

Sunday (2/28/16): 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, and then continue your way over the scrublands. 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.

Overnight at the southern Serengeti campsite.

Monday (2/29/16): 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. 

Overnight at the southern Serengeti campsite.

Tuesday (3/1/16): What is the story behind the Big Five? It actually has nothing to do with the size of the animals. In the 1800s, colonial trophy hunters named buffalo, rhino, elephant, lion, and leopard as the most difficult animals to hunt on foot. Thus, they were named the Big Five. Years later, tourism companies adopted the term and the list became the so-called five must-see animals while on safari. While it is possible to spot all the listed animals on your trip, leopard and rhino sometimes prove difficult to track down as they are both solitary, reclusive species. Ultimately, however, wildlife viewing in the Serengeti will be nothing short of amazing.

Overnight at the southern Serengeti campsite.

Wednesday (3/2/16): The most social of the big cats, lions live in groups called prides, comprised mostly of females and cubs and only 1-2 adult males. Typically prides have 6-12 lions, but can sometimes have more than 30 members. Superior hunters, lionesses inherit the same territories as their mothers while young males roam until they drive out old males from other prides to take over leadership. As lionesses hunt in groups and often at night, you are more likely to see prides as they languidly stretch out in the brush, underneath an acacia tree, or in the shade of a large rock formation. Particularly in the Serengeti, males who reside around savannahs and plains develop large dark manes as they grow older. The lion’s roar, a familiar sound in the Serengeti at night, can be heard from over five miles away.

Your group will enjoy an exclusive camp in the Ndutu area of the Serengeti.

Thursday (3/3/16): 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. 

Enjoy a second night at an exclusive camp in the Ndutu area of the Serengeti.

Friday (3/4/16): Big herds and big cats. That is what has made the Serengeti famous worldwide. Wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, and an array of antelope live and travel in large groups, or what are called herds. The herds can swell to hundreds of thousands at select times throughout the year as some of the animals migrate to new lands to get water and food. Lions also live in groups, which are called prides, and generally range from 6-12 animals. But some prides can have as many as 40 lions. Both cheetahs and leopards live completely solitary lives once grown. Both have orange-yellowish coats and black spots, but cheetahs are smaller than leopards and have distinguishing dark lines running from their eyes to their jaws. Cheetahs usually reside around open plains while leopards stick to wooded areas, where they can bring their prey into the branches for safe keeping.

Spend your third and final evening at an exclusive camp in the Ndutu area of the Serengeti.

Saturday (3/5/16): Enjoy your last views of the Serengeti before flying to Arusha, where you will catch your departing flight. Have a farewell lunch with your group, and freshen up at your dayroom in Arusha before your group transfer to the airport.

Sunday (3/6/16): Arrive home

Pricing: $8,990 Adult based on double occupancy.  A supplement of $1,500 is available for single accommodations.

For Reservations:  Contact Andrew at Thomson Safaris 800-235-0289.

Included:
•Accommodations Based on Double Occupancy
•Meals as Noted in Itinerary, Inclusive of Restaurant Staff Tips
•Complimentary Bottled Drinking Water Throughout Your Safari
•All Park Fees
•Complete Preparation Materials Including Helpful Tips, Packing List, Trip Expectations, Tipping Guidelines, Etc.
•Access to a Personal Safari Consultant by Phone or Email, Five Days a Week
•Full-Color, 120-Page Safari Journal
•Services of Thomson Safaris Drivers and Guides
•Safari Briefings Throughout Your Trip
•Services of Thomson Nyumba Staff Including Chef and Wait Staff
•Special Tanzanian Dinner at Ngorongoro Crater
•Tech Tent at Thomson Nyumbas for charging electronics until 9pm each night
•Keep Fit Kit at Each Nyumba Camp
•Land Transportation in a Customized, 4-Wheel Drive Land Rover Defender
•Unlimited Mileage in Thomson Vehicles
•Guaranteed Window Seating in Thomson Vehicles
•Maximum of 3 Travelers per Land Rover
•Scenic Internal Flight(s) as Noted in Itinerary
•Special 50lb baggage weight limit for internal flight
•Guided Walks with a Naturalist, When Available
•Village, School and Cultural Visits as Noted in Itinerary
•Airport Transfers as Noted in Itinerary
•Baggage Handling
•Farewell Lunch
•Services of a Professional Photographer

Not Included:
•International Round-Trip Flight to Tanzania
•Airline-Imposed Fuel Surcharges
•Airline-Imposed Seat Assignment and Checked Baggage Fees
•Fees for Passport, Visa, or Immunizations
•Meals and Expenses en Route to Tanzania
•Cost of Hospitalization or Evacuation
•Beer, Wine, Spirits, and Soft Drinks
•Laundry, Phone, Internet and Items of a Personal Nature
•Tips for Guides, Drivers, and Camp Staff