STL Tanzania Photography Workshop, 2020
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.
28 Feb Rivertree Country Inn Arusha 1 Night
29 Feb Njozi Camp- Ndutu Southern Serengeti 5 Nights
5 March Lemala Nanyukie Eastern Serengeti 2 Nights
7 March Lemala Ngorongoro Ngorongoro Crater 2 Nights
Tanzania, south of Kenya on the African continent's Indian Ocean coastline, lays claim to the title Home of the Safari, since the word itself is taken from the Swahili word that means "journey." While Tanzania's Kenyan neighbors may dispute that claim, there is no doubt that Tanzania offers one of the best environments in the world for an enriching wildlife experience. The country's game viewing opportunities are considered by many to be the best in Africa. Its game parks are populated with many of the world's most exotic creatures, including all of the "Big Five." Its lakes are huge and bountiful with fish. Its cities are relaxed and friendly. Yet, to a greater degree than is true of many of its neighbors, this sprawling county, the largest in East Africa, remains untouched by the vacationing hordes.
Arusha; Resting at the foot of Mount Meru, the sprawling city of Arusha is known as the safari capital of northern Tanzania. It serves as an excellent base from which to explore the remarkably scenic surrounding area which includes majestic Mount Kilimanjaro, as well as the Manyara, Tarangire and Ngorongoro National Parks. Arusha is a good spot to take a day or two off from the safari circuit as it features a temperate climate and lush surrounds. Visitors can look forward to exploring the wildlife-abundant Serengeti National Park; the magnificent Arusha National Park; and taking on the challenge of climbing Mount Meru, Africa’s fifth highest mountain.
Southern Serengeti; The Serengeti together with Kenya’s Masai Mara Game Park form Africa’s most famous wildlife park. The image of acacia trees on an endless grass plain epitomises Africa for many, and then add a Masai warrior and some cattle to the picture and the conversation need go no further. The annual wildebeest migration through the Serengeti and the Masai Mara is the largest mass movement of land mammals on the planet – with more than a million animals following the rains. But that is not where the game viewing ends; large prides of lions, elephants and giraffes in grasslands, gazelles and eland to mention but a few.
Eastern Serengeti; The rich acacia-dotted plains of the Eastern Serengeti are home to abundant wildlife. Visitors flock here to view the world-renowned wildebeest migration. Some of the best game-viewing can be enjoyed from Lobo on the eastern edge of the Serengeti National Park along the Grumeti River. Popular activities include: taking a guided walk through the spectacularly scenic terrain of the wild Serengeti, jumping on a hot air balloon safari, picnics in the bush, and learning about Maasai culture and history. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the world famous Gol Kopjes for the best cheetah viewing in Africa.
Ngorongoro Crater; Located in Northern Tanzania, the Ngorongoro Crater is best known for its natural beauty and abundance of diverse wildlife; which makes it one of Africa’s most popular safari destinations. Surrounded by Tanzania’s highlands, this UNESCO-listed crater is said to be the world’s largest intact volcanic caldera. Visitors can look forward to spotting the world-renowned Big Five and a host of other wildlife species including large herds of zebra and wildebeest. It is famed as one of Tanzania’s best tourist attractions offering visitors an array of wonderful activities including excellent bird watching, trekking, wildlife viewing, mountain biking and visiting a local Maasai village. Don’t miss the opportunity to jump on an excursion to the magnificent Olduvai Gorge.
Rivertree Country Inn; Once an old coffee estate, Rivertrees is now a charming country inn nestled in abundant foliage with the Usa River flowing by. Set in the foothills of Mt Meru, conveniently close to Kilimanjaro International Airport and a short drive to Arusha, its location proffers a wealth of natural wonders to explore. Comprising the original Farm House, an elegant River House, luxurious River Cottages and several beautifully appointed Garden Rooms, it also serves delicious garden-fresh cuisine in its stunningly set restaurant. The swimming pool and spa are tailored for relaxation, and friendly personalised service ensures a memorable stay, whether for a one-night stopover or much longer.
Njozi Camp- Ndutu; Njozi Camp is the realisation of any serious wildlife enthusiast’s dream–a small, seasonal tented camp that focuses on flexibility and service for travellers who wish to optimise their game viewing opportunities. Njozi Camp is the first and only camp in Tanzania to employ local wildlife biologist, who share their big cat research with guests! In December 2018 Njozi Camp has been completely re-designed with all new canvas, furnishings and solar system. The camp moves seasonally, as it follows the Great Migration from the legendary Ndutu region of the Southern Serengeti (December through April) to witness the birth of 400,000 calves to the Northern Serengeti (June through October) for the dramatic Mara River crossings.
Njozi is a small and intimate camp with just six guest tents, plus a two bedroom family tent, making it one of the smallest in the Serengeti region. The central area of camp includes a mess tent with lounge and veranda area for relaxed hanging out, as well as the essential campfire area. A unique mobile bar cart travels between these chill areas to keep guests well served. Fantastic meals are included to round out your safari experience.
Lemala Nanyukie; Lemala Nanyukie is located just outside of the Seronera circuit allowing for some private game viewing but in reach of the world famous Seronera area famous for its large concentration of cats and resident wildlife due to its abundance of water in the many rivers. Lemala Nanyukie, has an immense Lounge and bar area that has a variety of inside and outside seating. The inside lounge areas offer lots of discreet hideaways to retreat too. Be it a private space by the fireplace, or big comfortable sofas sharing experiences with fellow travellers – there’s space for all. A fully stocked bar lies just feet away with experienced bar staff to make your favourite tipple and served just as you like it. Vodka Martini - Shaken not stirred!
Lemala Ngorongoro; Lemala Ngorongoro is intimately set in a delightful ancient acacia forest close to the rim of the magnificent Ngorongoro Crater. As it is located next to the quiet Lemala crater access road on the eastern side, a key advantage of staying at Lemala Ngorongoro is the quick and easy drive down on to the crater floor in the morning; Lemala guests usually have an hour's head start over others descending via the far busier Seneto crater access road on the western rim. Game drives from camp may start as early as 6.15am and guests can be down among Ngorongoro’s abundant wildlife on the floor within 10-15 minutes - crucial for photographers who demand the best light conditions. Escorted walks are also available into the forest and along the crater rim with an armed ranger and Maasai guide. Lemala Ngorongoro As it can get cool on the Ngorongoro Crater rim at night, little luxuries like warm winter-weight duvets, hot water bottles and gas heaters ensure a cosy night's sleep.
Day 1; Rivertree Country Inn Arusha
When your airplane lands you will be met by our staff and transferred to your lodge in Arusha. Overnight at Rivertrees Country Inn.
Day 2; Njozi Camp- Ndutu Southern Serengeti
Today we will fly on our private charter plane to the Serengeti, leaving behind the beautiful and lush Arusha area in favor of the wide open plains of the southern Serengeti. This area of the park 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.
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.From our location in the Serengeti, we will be perfectly located to make the best of our wildlife viewing and photography. Optional Hot Air Balloon activity can be planned for the early morning.
Another full day in the Serengeti. 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.
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. Spend more time seeking out wildlife and exploring the Serengeti's rich landscapes. The so- called Big Five and the Great Migration are the most well-known of the Serengeti's offerings, but there is much more to see. Thousands of equally fascinating dramas of a smaller scale play themselves out on these endless plains.
Another full day in the Serengeti. You can choose to spend the morning either on a game drive or consider flying above the Serengeti plains in a hot air balloon. If you choose to take the hot air balloon you won't miss a beat, as the flight over the open savannah gives you a different view of the area, followed by a bush breakfast and then continuing afterwards on a game drive. We will all meet back at camp for lunch and a little time off for relaxation. During our down times, we are always up for reviewing images on laptop screens or having casual conversations about anything and everything related to wildlife photography, Africa or post processing techniques. We will head out for our afternoon game drive after our relaxation time and make our way back to camp as the day turns to night.
Day 7; Lemala Nanyukie Eastern Serengeti
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. Enjoy the journey to your next camp in the eastern Serengeti, as there will be plenty to see along the way. Perhaps you will come across a chase between predator and prey; maybe you will spot a wake of vultures; or maybe you will be lucky enough to find a leopard relaxing high in the limbs of an acacia tree.
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. Go on a wildlife viewing drive in the Serengeti for a full day. Your expert guide will point out wildlife that few others could hope to spot, whether a leopard well-concealed in the trees or a lion deep in the savannah grasses.
Day 9; Lemala Ngorongoro Ngorongoro Crater
We will have a full morning to game drive in the Serengeti. Following lunch we will depart on a 5 hour drive (3 hours of it inside Serengeti National Park) to arrive at Lemala Ngorongoro Camp near the entrance gate to the Crater.
From our ideal camp position we can be among the first to enter the Crater for the magical morning time in this one-of-a-kind wildlife paradise. We have the full day to explore the Crater before returning to Lemala Ngorongoro Camp at the end of the day.
Day 11; End of Itineary (flts home)
This morning we have a leisurely breakfast before departing on a 5 hour drive to our day room at Airport Planet Lodge, where you can relax and prepare for the flight home. Shuttle to Kilimanjaro International Airport in time to check-in for your evening flight home.
The name Tanzania conjures up images of wildebeest stampeding across vast savannah, rain forests teeming with monkeys and birdlife, and great plains brimming with legions of game. All of these natural wonders and more are on offer in this exceptionally diverse African nation. Visitors typically visit Tanzania to partake in at least one of the four well known Tanzanian tourist experiences: a relaxing seaside vacation on the picturesque island paradise of Zanzibar, an underwater tour of some of the world’s most renowned dive sites around the gorgeous Spice Islands, a safari adventure in some of Africa’s most impressive game reserves, or a hiking excursion around Mount Kilimanjaro National Park. Whichever of these incredible holidays you choose, you will undoubtedly be welcomed by some fabulously friendly and peaceful inhabitants who, despite being divided into 120 different ethnic groups and cultures, live in harmony with one another and provide some of the most wonderfully exotic local cuisine you could imagine. With all of this diversity on offer, the most difficult part of your Tanzanian holiday experience is likely to be deciding where to go!
BANKING AND CURRENCY
In Tanzania, the unit of currency is the Tanzanian Shilling, which is divided into 100 Cents. Notes are issued in denominations of 500, 1000, 2000, 5000, and 10000 Shillings. Coins are issued in denominations of 50, 100 and 200 Shillings.
Banks are open from 9:00am to 3:00pm Monday to Friday. Many banks are equipped with 24 hour ATM machines.
Credit cards and travellers checks are not widely accepted in Tanzania. Where they are accepted can high service fees and poor exchange rates be expected. Major foreign currencies - particularly US $ - are accepted in Tanzania and are convertible at banks and bureau de changes in the main towns and tourist areas. If bringing cash in US $, please make sure bank notes are in good condition, with no cuts or damage and are not older than 2004. Most banks offer higher exchange rates for US $ 100 / US $ 50 bank notes compared to US $ 20 / US $ 10 or US $ 5 bank notes.
TRAVEL, TRANSPORT AND GETTING AROUND
If you are visiting a number of parks and reserves in Tanzania, you can either drive or fly between them. Roads in most of the wilderness areas are in poor condition and unmarked, and self-driving is not recommended. Operators will supply you with a driver who doubles as an informal guide; alternatively, you can arrange to fly to your destination and utilize a car and driver supplied by the lodgings. Elsewhere in Tanzania, towns and cities are linked by a steady stream of buses and dala-dalas (minibuses), and in the cities, there is public transport in the way of buses, dala-dalas, taxis, and, in some places, bicycles or tuk-tuks.
Precision Air run regular services, mostly via Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro or Zanzibar, to all main towns and other destinations in East Africa and beyond. All national parks and some of the top-end luxury lodges have airstrips and Coastal Air operates between these and the main airports on the mainland and the islands of Zanzibar, Pemba and Mafia. ZanAir has frequent connections between Zanzibar, Pemba and the mainland.
Driving is on the left hand side of the road
FOOD, DRINK AND CUISINE ADVICE
Most camps, lodges or hotels cater specifically to tourists and serve Western-style food, ranging in standard, but generally are excellent. Game lodges tend to offer a daily set menu with a limited selection, so it is advisable to have your tour operator specify in advance if you are a vegetarian or have other specific dietary requirements. First-time visitors to Africa might take note that most game lodges in and around the national parks have isolated locations, and driving within the parks is neither permitted nor advisable after dark, so that there is no realistic alternative to eating at your lodge.
Tap water in Tanzania is generally not safe to drink, and most travellers try to stick to mineral water. Filtered and bottled water can be difficult to find you are travelling outside of main town and so it is advisable to stock up. Most camps, lodges and hotels have bottled water readily available.
CLIMATE AND WEATHER
Just south of the equator, Tanzania is huge and its sheer size means that the climate varies considerably within it. However, generally the main rainy season, or the 'long rains', lasts during about March, April and May. Afternoon tropical downpours are the norm – which are heavier and more predictable beside the coast and on the islands. The humidity is high and daily temperatures reach the low-mid 30°s.
The long dry season lasts throughout June, July, August, September and October is when rainfall is unusual, even on the islands. Temperatures vary hugely with altitude and location, but it's usually a fine, clear sky and sunny weather – it's a great time to visit Tanzania. During November and December there's another rainy season: the 'short rains'. These are much lighter than the main rains and less reliable.
If it has rained during the short rains, then it normally dries up for a few months, January and February, which is Tanzania's 'short dry season', before starting to rain again in earnest in March.
CLOTHING AND DRESS RECOMMENDATIONS
It never gets really cold in Tanzania so lightweight clothing, preferably cotton or linen, is recommended. While on a game viewing safari, avoid brightly coloured clothing, stick to whites, beiges, khakis and browns. There may be long days sitting in safari vehicles, so it is advisable to wear light comfortable clothing such as short sleeved shirts and cotton/linen trousers or shorts. Denim will become too hot and extremely uncomfortable. Walking shoes and socks will be required.
The evenings will be chilly, so long sleeved shirts and trousers should be worn. A sweater may be needed. These will also prevent you being bitten by insects. A hat should be worn at all times outside. The sun may sometimes not feel hot, but it can still easily burn, especially if it is cloudy and overcast.
If visiting Zanzibar or any coastal town don't forget to take a swimsuit, as it is invariably warm. Ladies are recommended to take cotton skirts, blouses and dresses. Sandals are a must for this environment! On the beaches and within the confines of hotels, normal swimwear is acceptable but nudity is not.
As over a third of the population in Tanzania is Muslim, it is therefore not etiquette for ladies to walk around in public displaying their legs and shoulders. Remember to dress modestly as short shorts, miniskirts, vests and tank tops will be frowned upon.
ELECTRICITY AND PLUG STANDARDS
The electricity supply in Tanzania is 220/240 volts at 50Hz. Plugs are 3 point square (UK Type). Adapters are available at major airports.
WORKSHOP FEES, ETC
Workshop Fee: Double Occupancy: Fee $12,495
Single Occupancy: $1895 additional. We must have Advanced Notice to insure single accommodations throughout your stay. Single space is limited!
Fee Includes: All internal flts and transportation from Kilimanjaro International Airport, meals (except day 1). Starting Day 2 all drinks are included...with water, beer, wine, soda, juices, and a large selection of spirits (excluding top shelf alcohol). 11 participants max with 4 vehicles and 3 persons per vehicle.
Not Included: Airfare to/from Kilimanjaro International Airport, gratuities.
Gratuities: We suggest $10-$15 per day per guest for the guide and around $15 per night per guest for the lodge crew which the guest can add to the tip box.
Terms: Initial $3000 non-refundable deposit is required to reserve space, Balance is due in full 120 days prior to the workshop date, unless otherwise noted. If we do not receive the balance on or before the due date, we will try to fill your spot off the waiting list. If your spot is filled, you will lose your deposit only.
Deposit methods accepted; check made payable to Shoot the Light (address below), Pay Pal to email@example.com, and credit card via a phone call to our office.
Please review our Booking and Refund Policy
To sign up contact us at; office 828-891-4082 e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org