East Africa Photographic Tour

 Tour Itinerary

Day 1: ARRIVE IN NAIROBI

On arrival at Nairobi we will be met and transferred to our hotel.

Overnight at Southern Sun Mayfair Hotel, Nairobi 

Day 2: NAIROBI – MASAI MARA (B/L/D)

This morning you will be transferred from your hotel to Wilson Airport (Nairobi’s secondary airport) for a flight with Air Kenya to the Masai Mara, departing at 9.15am. On arrival at the Mara we will be met and transferred to Ashnil Mara Camp for lunch and then a mid afternoon game drive.

Masai Mara National Reserve is Kenya’s finest wildlife reserve. Everything about this reserve  is outstanding. The wildlife is abundant and the gentle rolling grasslands ensure that animals are never out of sight. Birds, too, are prolific. Including migrants, well over 450 species have been recorded, among them, 57 species of birds of prey.

Each year, far south in the great vastness of the Serengeti, the wildebeest raise their dignified but quaint heads, sniff the air and, as if by one accord, start the long trek  to  the  Kenya  border and the  Masai  Mara.  After  exhausting  the  grazing  in Tanzania’s northern  Serengeti, a large number of wildebeest and zebra enter the Masai Mara National Reserve around the end of June drawn by the sweet grass raised by the long rains of April and May.  It is estimated that more than half a million wildebeest enter the Masai Mara National Reserve and are joined by another 100,000 from the Loita Hills east of the Masai Mara. Driving in the midst of these great herds is an unimaginable experience. Whilst the eyes feast on the spectacle, the air carries the smells, the dust and the sounds of hundreds of  thousands of animals. There is nowhere else on earth to compare with this wildlife marvel.

Located at the very centre of the famous ‘Mara Triangle’ of the world-renowned Masai Mara National Reserve, Ashnil Mara Camp sits on the 25 million year pre- historic land which spans virtually all stages of life’s evolution and the fossil record. It comprises 30 luxury tents, located within the Maasai Mara National Reserve adjacent to the Mara River, famous for the wildebeest migration. From our base at Ashnil Lodge we will explore the Masai Mara Reserve.

Overnight at Ashnil Mara Camp, Masai Mara, Kenya.

Day 3: MASAI MARA (B/L/D)

Morning and afternoon gameviewing in the Masai Mara. We have our own vehicles so we can spend extended times gameviewing and also take picnic lunches for a  full days viewing.

Overnight at Ashnil Mara Camp, Masai Mara, Kenya.

Day 4: MASAI MARA (B/L/D)

Morning and afternoon gameviewing in the Masai Mara.

Overnight at Ashnil Mara Camp, Masai Mara, Kenya.

Day 5: MASAI MARA (B/L/D)

Today, in addition to undertaking further game drives, will proceed outside the Park to visit some of the Maasai areas which are less frequented by tourists.

Overnight at Ashnil Mara Camp, Masai Mara, Kenya.

Day 6: MASAI MARA – LAKE VICTORIA (B/L/D)

Today we depart from the Masai Mara and travel west through rural Kenya and cross into Tanzania at the Isebania Border Post. We will be undertaking the first part of this journey from the Mara to Migori with Safarilink in a Cessna Caravan departing at 11:30am. (The flight is scheduled for 30 minutes). We will be met at Migori airstrip and then transferred to the border for formalities before we travel south into rural Tanzania.

Tonight we stay on the foreshore of the famous Lake Victoria. This area is one of the more densely populated areas of Tanzania, with numerous fishing villages dotted along the shoreline, which we will explore late afternoon.

Overnight at Serenity on the Lake, Lake Victoria, Tanzania.

Day 7: LAKE VICTORIA – SERENGETI (B/L/D)

We rise early to again visit the local fishing villages.  Mid-morning we depart Lake Victoria and enter the Serengeti National  Park. We will travel through the Western corridor of the Park which runs  alongside  the Grumeti River. Along the way will make numerous stops to seek out the wildlife which converges on the River area at this time of year.

The  Serengeti  is  Tanzania’s  oldest  and  most  popular  national  park,  also  a  world heritage site and was recently proclaimed a 7th world wide wonder, the Serengeti is famed for its annual migration, when some six million hooves pound the open plains, as more than 200,000 zebra and 300,000 Thomson’s gazelle join the wildebeest’s trek for fresh grazing. Yet even when the migration is quiet, the Serengeti offers arguably the most scintillating game-viewing in Africa: great herds of buffalo, smaller groups of elephant and giraffe, and thousands upon thousands of eland, topi, kongoni, impala and Grant’s gazelle.

The spectacle of predator versus prey dominates Tanzania’s greatest park. Golden- maned lion prides feast on the abundance of plain grazers. Solitary leopards haunt the acacia trees lining the Seronera River, while a high density of cheetahs prowls the southeastern plains. Almost uniquely, all three African jackal species occur here, alongside the spotted hyena and a host of more elusive small predators, ranging from the insectivorous aardwolf to the beautiful serval cat.

The central area the Park is known as the Seronera area, and during this dry time of the year wildlife converge on this area. We will spend we will spend the afternoon seeking out game in this area, which is also well-known for its resident lion prides.

Overnight at Seronera Sopa Lodge, Serengeti, Tanzania.

Day 8: SERENGETI – NGORONGORO CRATER (B/L/D)

This morning we will undertake further game viewing in the Seronera area. After lunch we will leave the Serengeti Plains, and visit the Olduvai Gorge. Olduvai Gorge is where remains of early man were discovered by Louis Leakey. The museum is fascinating, and a resident specialist gives an interesting talk on this area in the past and present.

We have now entered the Ngorongoro Conservation area. Ngorongoro Crater is the largest unbroken caldera in the world. The crater (610 metres deep and 260 km squared) is a microcosm of East African scenery and game. Here are 25,000 larger animals within the crater itself, mostly zebra and wildebeest.

Ngorongoro is possibly the only place to see black rhino in Tanzania as well as prides of lion that include the magnificent black-maned males. There are lots of colourful flamingos and a variety of other water birds around the soda lake on the crater floor. More than a 100 species of bird not found in the Serengeti have been found in the crater. Other game includes: leopard, cheetah, hyena, elephants, warthog, impala, buffalo, hartebeest, eland and lots of other members of the antelope family.

Our stay at the crater will be at the Sopa Lodge, which is perched on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater at 2375 metres (7800’).   The lodge is spacious, offering luxury appointed rooms that command a majestic view of the crater.   Open fireplaces are features of the bar, lounge and dining room. The lodge offers a bracing “high altitude” swimming pool.

Overnight at Sopa Lodge, Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania.

Day 9: NGORONGORO CRATER (B/L/D)

This morning we descend into the Ngorongoro Crater. To avoid  congestion in the crater, a six hour permit is issued to all vehicles – during that time we will experience the vast array of wildlife concentrated into this wonderland and we shall have lunch next to a freshwater lake where hippos watch our every move.

After leaving the crater we return to our lodge’s viewpoint of the crater highlands.

Overnight at Sopa Lodge, Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania.

Day 10: NGORONGORO CRATER – TARANGIRE (B/L/D)

This morning we depart Sopa Lodge, initially heading North of the crater to visit the Empakai Crater, a stunningly beautiful and smaller volcanic crater.

After visiting the Empakai we head South from Ngorongoro to Tarangire National Park.

Tarangire lies to the south of the large open grass plains of southern Maasailand and is  the  best-kept  secret  on  the  northern  safari  circuit  of  Tanzania.  It  offers wonderful panoramas of wide savannah grasslands dotted with open acacia woodland studded with large Baobab trees. The density of game is second only to the crowded Ngorongoro Crater.

While Serengeti’s animal migration has attained fame, for many tourists, little is known of Tarangire annual migration. The difference with Serengeti is that, in the Serengeti  animals  migrate  away  from  the  park  during  the  dry  season  (June  to October). The opposite happens in Tarangire, animals migrate from Maasai Steppe to the park during the dry season. They come in search for water, which is provided by Tarangire River, and predators migrate in search for preys. During this period the park has the largest concentration of animals in any park in the northern Tanzania.

The most spectacular aspect of this “migration” is that it includes the largest number of elephant anywhere in Africa. While there is some debate as to the actual number of elephant that move during this period, current estimates agree that around 5,000 are involved, while one research group believes that it could actually be approaching 10,000 animals. (One of our previous groups has observed over 1,000 elephants in a continuous progression through a valley in Tarangire. This is not to be seen anywhere else on the African continent – elephant herds usually number less than 30)

Hidden among the kopjes, lies Tarangire Sopa Lodge, surrounded by ancient baobab trees. With water constantly available in the area, the greenery is lush providing a wonderful contrast to the burnt ground.

Overnight Tarangire Sopa Lodge, Tarangire National Park, Tanzania.

Day 11: TARANGIRE (B/L/D)

Game viewing in Tarangire National Park

Overnight Tarangire Sopa Lodge, Tarangire National Park, Tanzania.

Day 12: TARANGIRE (B/L/D)

Game viewing in Tarangire National Park

Overnight Tarangire Sopa Lodge, Tarangire National Park, Tanzania.

Day 13: TARANGIRE – ARUSHA (B/L)

One our final morning of safari, we say goodbye to Tarangire an travel north to Arusha where the safari concludes.


OPTIONAL EXTENSION TOUR

Day 13: TARANGIRE – ZANZIBAR (B/L)

This morning we depart from Tarangire and travel North to Arusha, where we board a flight for the island of Zanzibar. On arrival in Zanzibar we shall be met and transferred to our hotel.

Zanzibar was first settled some 3000-4000 years ago, and was once the seat of government for faraway Oman. Persian descended Parsee’s from India moved here while it was under British rule. In the mid 1800’s it was the world’s largest exporter of cloves, while at the same time around 20,000 slaves were sold from the island each year. From this complex and chequered history this island now is a combination of cultures, historical vagaries and still a leading spice centre.

It may not have a particularly romantic name, but Stone Town is the old city and cultural heart of Zanzibar, and little changed in the last 200 years. It is a place of winding alleys, bustling bazaars, mosques and grand Arab houses whose original owners vied with each other over the extravagance of their dwellings. This one-upmanship is particularly reflected in the brass-studded, carved, wooden doors – there are more than 500 different examples of this handiwork. There will be opportunities to witness the busy port and the charming “dhows” which still work here, and then to turn around and enter the labyrinth of streets that Stone Town is. Discover cathedrals, mosques and temples alongside traders offering wares from all over the world.

We will be staying at Maru Maru, a converted traditional home originally built in 1916, which is ideally located in the centre of the Stone Town area.

This evening we walk down to the Forodhani Gardens.  The gardens are a popular evening location for locals and tourists alike, where they gather in the popular street market in the main square to have dinner eating Swahili or Zanzibari cuisine such as grilled seafood, samosas, cassava and sweet potatoes.  We will enjoy a late afternoon photo shoot through the market and harbour areas and end our evening savouring the local food before heading back to our hotel.

Overnight at Maru Maru, Stone Town, Zanzibar

Day 14: ZANZIBAR (B)

Enjoy an early morning photo walk to watch the streets of Stone Town come alive with traders and stall holders. There is something special about wandering the streets of a foreign town and watching how their world awakens each day.

Mid-morning we will be taken by private cat to Jimbiani Village on the south east coast of Zanzibar. Our visit will include meeting and photographing some of the villagers in  controlled portrait sessions as well as a visit to a local school, seaweed farmers and a visit to see local handicrafts being made.  Our goal here is to craft some wonderful images of the coastal villagers and their day to day life.

Upon returning to Stone Town, you’re free to relax or go out and explore the town further.  Dinner will be at a rooftop restaurant where we will want the sun setting over the ocean.

Overnight at Maru Maru, Stone Town, Zanzibar

Day 15: ZANZIBAR (B)

After breakfast we head to the Darajani Bazaar, a heaving, lively marketplace that sells everything from live chickens to mobile phones. This is no tourist market but a vibrant, real world market and a wonderful opportunity to photograph locals going about their daily life.

A special photo session will be arranged for the afternoon, which will be advised at a later time. 

We enjoy our last night on Zanzibar at Mtoni Palace.  Built for Sultan Seyyid Said in 1828, Mtoni is the oldest palace on Zanzibar. It was home to sultan’s only legitimate wife, many secondary wives and hundreds of children. Located overlooking the sea, the palace was a beautiful building with a balconied exterior, a large garden courtyard complete with peacocks and gazelles, an observation turret and a mosque. Now only an artful ruin remains with grand, roofless halls and arabesque arches framing glimpses of tropical foliage and an azure sea. Tonight we are guided on a tour of  the palace ruins before dining in the ruins themselves whilst entertained by local dancers and musicians.

Overnight at Maru Maru, Stone Town, Zanzibar

Day 16: ZANZIBAR – DAR ES SALAAM (B)

A quick stroll before breakfast sees us return to the streets of Stone Town for one last time to savour the exotic streets and capture some final images of the town waking.  Late morning we shall transfer to the airport for ourr flight from Zanzibar across the channel to the neighbouring city of Dar es Salaam where the optional extension tour will conclude.


Conditions

Tour arrangements are being made through Wildlife Safari Consultants.

The cost of this tour is made up of two components:

* Tour Cost

  • Main Tour – Early-bird discounted price of US $9295 per person twin share until 31 May 2017.  Full price is US $9795 per person twin share.
  • The price of the optional Zanzibar extension tour is US $1695 per person twin share.

A very limited number of single rooms are available and a supplement will apply to persons not sharing a room.

In the event where only 7 or less people book, a small group surcharge of US $500 will apply to cover the additional cost of having one person less in each of the two safari vehicles.

Any variations in fees will be passed on in full to participants, and any unused services are non-refundable.

** International Airfare

Our partner Wildlife Safari Consultants are more than happy to assist you in booking of flights.

A deposit is required to secure booking and a cancellation penalty will apply.

All participants are required to take out comprehensive travel insurance as a condition of the tour. The travel insurance should cover you for medical costs associated with hospitalisation, emergency travel and repatriation back to Australia. Proof of adequate insurance is required as a condition of the tour. It is also advisable to make relevant arrangements for your insurance to cover your luggage and camera equipment.


If you’re interested in joining this tour, please contact us for further details.

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Kenya and Tanzania are destinations without equal when it comes to wildlife safaris and photography. From the world renowned Masai Mara and Serengeti National Park, to the world’s largest intact caldera in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and the Elephant Migration of Tarangire National Park, this tour has been designed to offer an extraordinary opportunity to photograph East Africa’s most unparalleled wildlife.

The tour has also been scheduled to make the most of the Wildebeest Migration, regarded by many as the greatest show on earth, however travel is not only about wildlife, it is also about people and culture. We also take some time to explore the vibrant culture at Lake Victoria.

For those who wish to extend their tour a few days, there is the option of travelling to the island paradise of Zanzibar, where we wander the winding alleys, see grand mosques and churches, have a close encounter with endangered Zanzibar red colobus monkeys and embark on a fascinating spice tour.

So why not pack your camera bag and join us on this remarkable photographic journey through East Africa?


Highlights

  • Masai Mara – see the spectacle of around one million wildebeests and nearly as many zebra, as they migrate across the African plains.  Considered the most spectacular mammal migration on earth, we will be amongst the think of it in Kenya’s best park, plus we visit the local Masai.
  • Visit the fishing tribes of Lake Victoria.
  • Traverse the amazing Serengeti Plains of Tanzania, spending time at Seronera – the hotspot for big game action at this time of the year.
  • Descend into the volcano crater of Ngorongoro – a wildlife wonderland.
  • Witness the migration of elephants into Tarangire National Park.
  • To top it off we have the option of finishing in Zanzibar – spices, slaves and legends……

Details

  • Duration: East Africa Tour – 13 days
    Zanzibar extension – 3 days
  • Departure: East Africa Tour – 13 August 2017
    Zanzibar Extension Tour – 25 August 2017
  • Price: East Africa Tour – Early-bird discounted price of  US $9295* per person twin share until 31 May 2017.  Full price is US $9795* per person twin share.
    Zanzibar Extension Tour – US $1695*
  • There will be a minimum of 6 people and maximum of 14 people on this tour, with 4 photographers per 8 seat 4WD safari vehicle.
  • International airfare is not included in the tour price.**
  • There will be an additional surcharge for anyone requiring a single room *

Included

  • The complete tour as per the itinerary
  • Two professional photographic tour leaders
  • Experienced local drivers/guides
  • All domestic airfares as per itinerary
  • All domestic airport and airline taxes & charges
  • Meals as specified (B/L/D)

Not included

  • International economy airfares, inclusive of taxes and charges.**
  • Visa fees are not included, but expected to be no more than $150 for Australian Passports.
  • Travel Insurance
  • Any expenses of a personal nature (such as laundry, phone calls, personal tipping etc.)
  • Any meals other than those specified
  • Any drinks (alcoholic or non-alcoholic)
  • Optional tours and activities in Zanzibar

Images taken from past tour


Download program in PDF format here.

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Download e-brochure in PDF format here.

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More tour images can be seen here.

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