Tanzania Photo Safari
with Rick Sammon and Ian Plant
October 1-10, 2023
Tanzania Photo Safari
Maximum number of guests: 13
FULL; registration is closed
$3000 deposit required at booking
October 1-10, 2023
Email Ian at email@example.com to register.
Join world-renowned photo pros Rick Sammon and Ian Plant in Tanzania for a once-in-a-lifetime photo adventure! Spend 10 days in Tanzania photographing its amazing wildlife and scenery. Our October 2023 photo tour is limited to 13 guests, with a maximum of three guests per safari vehicle. Watch the video below to get a taste of what this incredible photo adventure will be like!
This isn't just a photo tour. Instead, think of this as a comprehensive photo learning retreat. Rick and Ian are top photo pros and experienced photo educators. They'll be providing plenty of helpful advice throughout the tour, and working hard to ensure everyone is in the right place at the right time to make artistic wildlife photos. When the group isn't out shooting, Rick and Ian will organize photo critique and image processing sessions.
Tanzania is a top wildlife photography destination, famous for its abundant wildlife. Millions of wildebeest and zebra cover the plains, and the wide availability of prey draws an abundance of predators, including lions, leopards, and cheetahs. Our job is to help you get great photos like these!
Msami Country Inn, Dolly Wildlife Estates, Arusha
Arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport likely on Delta/KLM in the early evening. Meet and greet by Unique Safaris and transfer to the Msami Country Inn located in the Dolly Wildlife Estates east of Arusha town. MCI is a 30-acre property with gardens designed to attract birdlife and 10 spacious rooms in the main house. There is a swimming pool, Spa, coffee farm and they feature farm-to-table cuisine.
After an early breakfast (breakfast can be served as early as 05:30 for those groups that want to begin the drive to Tarangire NP as early as 06:00. It is approximately 2.5 hours to Tarangire passing through traditional Maasai land along the way. Check in at the park gate and game drive to Mpingo Ridge for a hot lunch and afternoon game drive. Mpingo Ridge has perhaps the most stunning view of any property in Tarangire sitting atop an escarpment with views of the entire western half of Tarangire NP.
This is a wonderful time to be in Tarangire which hosts a migration of elephants and other mammals as the only reliable source of water in this vast area. Tarangire has approximately 3,500 resident elephants and during the dry season months of June, July, Aug, Sep and Oct another 3,000 migratory elephants move into the park for water in the Tarangire River and surrounding wetlands. Elephants come from as far away as the Serengeti and Amboseli in Kenya based on the matriarch’s knowledge of ancient migratory routes. Even the hippos from nearby Lake Manyara often migrate into the Tarangire NP for the Silale and Gursi Swamps or wetlands. You can enjoy a full game drive or return to the lodge for hot lunch and afternoon game drive when the sun is more favorable for photography and the cooler afternoon sparks more activity from the big cats. Enjoy a night drive this evening.
Lions Paw Camp
Enjoy one last game drive as you travel from Tarangire to Ngorongoro Crater (approximately 3 hours) enjoying a scenic drive though colorful villages and up the western escarpment of the Great Rift Valley. Check in at the main park gate and drive along the eastern rim to arrive at Lions Paw Camp for hot lunch and to remove luggage from the vehicles. Then drive down to the Crater floor for an afternoon game drive. Lions Paw is a mere 10 minutes to the Crater floor allowing us to be the first vehicle down and the last vehicle back up to the rim.
Lions Paw Camp
Full day down in the Crater with a buffet lunch (cold) served near the famous Fig Tree on the Crater floor. We have arranged a special interaction with the Maasai this evening. Warriors and women will come to the camp to answer questions about their culture as well as demonstrate some of their song and dance.
Cut down through the Crater one last time for a shorter but early morning game drive as you travel across the Crater to the western rim ascent road. Mornings are ideal with the cooler weather and being able to catch some of the lion kills that occurred during the night and just before dawn. Often lions will be relaxing on the Crater descent road from the eastern rim to avoid the chill of the morning dew on the grass. It is vital to be one of the very first vehicles on the Crater floor to have fantastic light and far less congestion in this small but diverse habitat. Continue up the westerns accent road and drive to the Serengeti, stopping along the way to visit Olduvai Gorge, the site of Louis and Mary Leakey’s famous archeological discoveries. Continue to the main park gate in the Serengeti to check in and then game drive to Sametu Camp in the east-central Serengeti. Enjoy a Sundowner tonight as Sametu Camp is perfectly placed looking to the western horizon.
We always include the central Serengeti during the dry season months because big cats, especially lions, are more actively searching for food even during the daytime. The huge herds of wildebeest and zebra are still in the northern Serengeti and although there is resident prey year-round in the central Serengeti, it is clearly not as abundant forcing cats to hunt day and night. Often the available prey are either smaller gazelles (which means they have to constantly hunt to get enough food) or the larger more dangerous residents such as elephants, giraffe and hippo. These larger prey animals sometimes require the entire herd to work together to bring them down and the hunting strategies can be fascinating to watch unfold.
NW Serengeti- Mara River
Game drive from the central Serengeti to the NW Serengeti by the Mara River. This is a long day of driving on some pretty rough roads but it is game drive all the way. The big herds are still crossing back and forth over the Mara River and at this time of the year even the 30% of the herd that ventured further north to the Maasai Mara in Kenya are now re-joining the rest of the herd in the Serengeti. River crossings can be massive and this is one of the last meals for the Nile crocodile until the herds return next July. Resident wildlife is stunning with large herds of cape buffalo, eland and elephant that enjoy the higher elevation and cooler temperatures of the northern Serengeti. There are resident black rhino and occasionally a pack of wild dogs might be seen.
NW Serengeti-Mara River
Full day of game drives in the NW Serengeti. Enjoy a private bush dinner under the stars on your last night in the Serengeti.
Msami Country Inn dayroom and meals
We have priced for a charter flight to take you from the Kogatende airstrip in NW Serengeti and fly directly to the private airstrip at Dolly Wildlife Estates. So you can enjoy a last early morning game drive in the Serengeti before your charter flight. The flight can leave as late at 11:00 am and will allow extra luggage weight for your camera equipment. Transfer from the Dolly airstrip to MCI for hot lunch and dinner before you transfer to Kilimanjaro for your return flights. You can relax at MCI enjoying the swimming pool, gardens, perhaps plan a massage or time to unwind in the wet or dry sauna. There is a gift shop at MCI for any souvenir purchases you might want to make before leaving Tanzania.
What's included and what's not
Double occupancy lodging (single supplement available for $2000)
All meals and accommodations from dinner upon arrival to dinner upon departure
All park, camp and concession fees including the mandatory VAT
All local travel including transfers and one private charter flight (Kogatende-Dholly airstrip)
All game drives with a private vehicle/guide and unlimited daily mileage with no more than 3 per vehicle
All excursions listed in the itinerary including 1 night drive at Mpingo Ridge; 3 Crater Tours; an excursion to Olduvai Gorge; private interaction with Maasai at Lions Paw Camp; a Sundowner at Sametu Camp; and a bush dinner at River Camp.
Bottled water, soft drinks and snacks in the vehicle on all game drives
Bottled water and soft drinks at all properties in the bush except in Arusha
Alcoholic beverages at Mpingo Ridge in Tarangire NP
Porterage at all accommodations
Complimentary Wi-Fi at all properties (please note that internet connection is sometimes unreliable)
Membership in AMREF Flying Doctors (emergency medical evacuation to Nairobi Hospital if needed)
Beans to fill camera bags
Two filled saddle-bag bean bags to shoot from the windows
Price DOES NOT include:
International air, Tanzania visa or travel insurance
Tips/gratuities for guide and accommodation staff
Items of a personal nature such as laundry; alcoholic beverages at Karibu Camps and any beverages in Arusha
Any costs associated with flight delays or cancellations
Any new tariffs imposed by the government prior to your arrival
Covid testing in the Serengeti if it is still required in 2023
VIP Lounge Arrival Service to expedite Immigration and Covid testing if the process is still time consuming in 2023 (this is an optional add-on)
A deposit of $3000 is required to secure your spot on this workshop.
A further payment of $3000 is required by July 1, 2022.
Another payment of $3000 is required by October 1, 2022.
The remainder will be collected by March 1, 2023.
Deposits and payments are non-refundable. If you cancel, a partial or full refund of the tour cost (minus a $300 administrative fee) might be available as long as we are able to find a replacement. We try not to be punitive about cancellations (like some photo tour companies); just contact us and we’ll do our best to work it out!
We strongly encourage you to purchase comprehensive travel insurance including trip cancellation to ensure you are protected if a last minute emergency comes up and you have to cancel.