We’re starting in the heart of the incredible Serengeti. Imagine the vast plains and iconic Acacia trees silhouetted against the red African sunset! In addition to predators and prey, we’ll look for endangered Black Rhino, and have a very good chance of spotting some. Thompson’s and Grants Gazelle, Topi, Hartebeest and other ungulates dot the landscape. Elephant herds will graze amidst giraffe. Jackals and hyena will lope around kills, hoping to steal a meal. If we are truly lucky, a caracal or serval will pop up and give us a photo opportunity. This is the Africa you dream about…and Ernest and Karen of Eagle Eye Safaris will be by your side to coach you to get photographs that you never expected.
We’ll also spend quality time in the spectacular Ngorongoro Crater, a UNESCO unspoiled microcosm environment in which iconic wildlife species thrive. We expect to see Black Rhino, Golden Jackals, White-bearded Wildebeest, Lions, Elephants, and more birds than we can count.
We’ll take hundreds of photos, so bring extra memory cards, and time-permitting, we’ll edit and view our photos together. While we are at the Lodges, we will be pampered by local staff, and eat delicious meals prepared by our professional chef. We’ll share cocktails and tell stories about our day around the fire. We will learn about the Maasai culture as we immerse ourselves in an iconic Safari experience. Won’t you join us by booking your spot now? All ages and photography experience levels are welcome.
DAY 1: Arrival Day
We will meet you at Kilimanjaro International Airport and transfer you to the hotel in Arusha. You will have some time to freshen up and rest in your cozy room. We will all meet for dinner and brief on our upcoming safari and the plans for the next day. We will spend the night in Arusha. (overnight Planet Lodge)
DAY 2, 3, AND 4: Serengeti National Park
Wake up! We’re leaving right after breakfast to head straight to the mighty Serengeti. The local baobab trees will illuminate our journey as we cross the semi-arid areas. We should arrive in time for lunch, and then kick off our game drives in the early afternoon. There will be loads of big game and wonderful birds to enjoy here as we transect the park. We’re on the lookout for Leopards, Cheetahs, Black Rhino, Cape Buffalo, assorted Gazelles, Maasai Giraffe, Wildebeest, Zebras, Savannah Elephant and African Lions. Karen and Ernest will help you with your camera settings, composition, and teach you a few fun tricks with your camera. We’ll try to get some portrait shots, landscape shots, action, and some zoom or intentional camera movement shots for a creative take on the wildlife we see.
We’re staying at Tortilis Camp in Africa’s finest wilderness, surrounded by its most incredible wildlife, with its most iconic views. Expect comfort, delicious food, and most of all, a warm welcome.
We have 3 days to enjoy the expansive savannah on both morning and afternoon game drives. We’ll explore every nook and cranny including some of the famous rock outcrops, referred to as Kopjes, where we might find a leopard sunning or a klipspringer high on the rock face. We’ll have plenty of time to track the species we want to see before we head back to the Lodge each evening. After dinner, we’ll try to get in some astrophotography as well. (B, L, D; accommodations at Tortilis Camp)
DAY 5: Serengeti, transfer to Ngorongoro Crater
We will start the day with our game drive in Serengeti. Later, we move to the highlands overlooking the Ngorongoro Crater. The landscapes are incredible! Mammals here include African Lions, Leopards, Golden Jackals, Cape Buffalo, Savannah Elephant, and so much more—it’s an entire ecosystem of its own! Birds to expect here include Golden-winged Sunbird, White-naped Raven, White-headed Barbet and Schalow’s Turaco. Ernest is one of the top bird photographers in Africa, and his expertise shines as we spot lifers for the birders on the trip. Karen will help you frame your wildlife shots, and we’ll practice some tricks that will make your photos pop!
We’ll stay at the lovely Rhino Lodge, set back from the rim of the crater with views of the untouched high montane forest, with Mount Oldeani dominating the horizon, and Mount Makarot in the distance. Your comfortable en-suite room offers a cozy living space, friendly local staff, and generous African-inspired meals. It’s an amazing welcome to Africa’s most remarkable game park. (B, L, D; accommodations at Rhino Lodge)
DAY 6: Ngorongoro Crater—full day game drive
We will leave our lodge early in the morning and proceed to the iconic Ngorongoro Crater for a day’s adventure. This is a large and scenic crater located at about 2000m above sea level. The crater is about 600m deep and has an amazing view both from the top and inside the crater. The crater is nestled in a pristine natural forest, full of beautiful indigenous trees. It is known as one of the wonders of Africa. Descending down the crater floor takes you through great scenery and you get to experience the local Euphorbia tree varieties. The Ngorongoro Crater offers great photographic opportunities. Herds of wild game are plentiful inside the crater as well as wonderful views of the crater walls. Look out for the local African Lions, Golden Jackals, Black Rhinos, Common Zebras, assorted Gazelles, Nile Hippos and White-bearded Wildebeests, and so much more. We will picnic inside the crater, ascending back to the rim in the late afternoon. If the skies are clear, we’ll see if we can get some great night-sky photos. (B, L, D; accommodations at Rhino Lodge)
DAY 7: Transfer back to Arusha
After breakfast, we’ll stop at the viewing point on top of the crater to have one last look, and learn more about this geological landform at the resource center. Then, it’s time to wave goodbye and head back to Arusha. As a last treat, we’ll enjoy lunch at a local restaurant so we can sample some local delicacies. Later that afternoon, we’ll head to the airport, marking the end to our lovely safari. (B, L)
Price to be determined, 35% refundable deposit required at booking
- Full time access to our 4×4 open-roofed safari Toyota Land Cruiser throughout your trip, max 6 guests per vehicle, with Karen or Ernest providing photography coaching.
- 6 nights full board–meals and accommodations (1 night Arusha – Planet Lodge, 3 nights Serengeti- Tortilis Camp, 2 nights Ngorongoro- Rhino Lodge)
- Sufficient water during the entire trip; and a cooler box in the vehicle to keep cold drinks.
- All National Park entry fees and taxes included (3 nights Serengeti National Park, 3 days Ngorongoro Conservation Area, 1 day Ngorongoro Crater entry)
- Airfare or Travel to/from Arusha
- Travel insurance
- Personal purchases
- Extra hotel nights
- Anything not mentioned as “included.”
Gratuity Guidelines Gratuity Planning (in USD – please check the exchange rate and plan enough cash. ATMs are safe to use in Arusha. There are no ATMs once we leave Arusha on safari, so please plan to have enough cash while on safari)
- Driver: $5-10/day
- Ranger and Tracker: $5-10 each/game drive depending on quality of drive
- Staff at Lodges (staff tip box): $5/day (you may tip individuals directly if they go above & beyond for you)
Photographic Skills Level:
Beginner to pro. Ernest Porter or Karen Blackwood will offer personal attention and coaching to help you get the best photos possible. Non-photographers are welcome! We’ll have a little time in between game drives to offer photography classes and help with Lightroom processing, but please be familiar with your camera; able to set settings such as ISO, f-stop (aperture), and shutter speed in Aperture Priority and Shutter Priority.
Average. We will do a little walking over uneven surfaces.
You may need a Yellow Fever vaccine to enter Tanzania. Tanzania is a malaria area; please consult with your physician prior to travel. You should be up to date on tetanus prior to travel. For more information, see your country’s health/travel website, or the CDC website: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/tanzania
July is dry season and winter in Tanzania. We’ll expect daytime highs to be in the mid-70’s (25*C), and lows in the mid-50’s (13*C).
Tanzania uses Type D & G plugs. You may be able to use an adapter instead of a converter. To be sure, check the label on the appliance. Some appliances never need a converter. If the label states ‘INPUT: 100-240V, 50/60 Hz’ the appliance can be used in all countries in the world. Devices like this include most laptops and phones, most recently produced battery chargers, and many small, electrical gadgets, especially those designed for world travel. Here is an example of an international converter for Tanzania: https://www.amazon.com/customerpicks/Explore-power-adapters-for-tanzania/0c13e9e376a2afa04fa7