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Expedition Details

 

Set out on a photo safari amid some of East Africa’s most spectacular landscapes and hone your skills while photographing an ever-changing tableau of wildlife. Learn how best to capture movement and light as you frame dazzling herds of zebras, majestic lion prides, and wildebeests on their annual migration across the Serengeti. Spend time with the Maasai and document their traditions in the Ngorongoro Highlands.

Trip Highlights

  • Learn how best to work with movement and light as you frame dazzling herds of zebra, lolling lions, and a colorful spectrum of birds.
  • Spend time with the Maasai in their village and enjoy a rare chance to shoot portraits and photograph the traditional way of life of these iconic pastoralists.
  • Head out on safaris, walks, and other activities designed to maximize photographic opportunities.
  • Go on a photo shoot at a coffee plantation, and fill your lens with scenes of lush fields, bright coffee beans, and local culture.

Itinerary - 9 Days

Day 1 — Arusha, Tanzania

Arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport this evening and transfer to our hotel.
Arusha Coffee Lodge

Day 2 — Arusha/Lake Manyara National Park

Drive to Lake Manyara National Park, famous for its elephants, hippos, giraffes, flamingos, and tree-climbing lions. Get your equipment ready for our first safari this afternoon, and train your lens on giraffes or Cape buffalo against the stunning mountains of the Rift Valley.
Plantation Lodge (B,L,D)

Day 3 — Lake Manyara National Park

Rise early for a morning game drive, heading to the shores of Lake Manyara to photograph the numerous bird species and other wildlife that congregate here. Visit a coffee plantation this afternoon, and document the coffee production process and the culture of the local people.
Plantation Lodge (B,L,D)

Day 4 — Ngorongoro Crater

Travel into the Ngorongoro Highlands after breakfast for a very special opportunity to visit with a Maasai community off the beaten path. With your camera in hand, pay a visit to a school, witness an initiation ritual, and learn about this fascinating culture from the village chief and his wives. Capture the spirit of traditional song and dance, and enjoy time to work on portraiture and photographing daily life with these proud people. After lunch, descend 2,000 feet to the base of the Ngorongoro Crater, where volcanic slopes shelter almost 25,000 animals. Document the interactions of predator and prey; zoom in on birdlife from marabou storks to rainbow-hued lovebirds; and test your wildlife photography skills on elephants, rhinos, cheetahs, and more.
Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge (B,L,D)

Day 5 — Ngorongoro Crater

Return to the crater floor at sunrise for breakfast and a morning photo safari. Take the afternoon to relax and, look over your images. Listen to a talk by our National Geographic photographer, and ready your camera to catch the sun set over the crater this evening.
Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge (B,L,D)

Day 6 — Olduvai Gorge/Serengeti National Park

Drive to the Olduvai Gorge where, on a National Geographic-sponsored expedition in 1960, Louis and Mary Leakey discovered Homo habilis, one of the earliest members of the human genus. Take a private tour of the site and learn about recent finds before continuing west to Serengeti National Park. This afternoon, drive to our lodge in the central Serengeti, looking for lions, cheetahs, and leopards along the way.
Serengeti Sopa Lodge (B,L,D)

Days 7 & 8 — Serengeti National Park

Rise early for a morning game drive before flying to the northern Serengeti, and with luck, witness the dramatic river crossings of the wildebeest migration. Great herds of wildebeests and zebras eye predators warily as crocodile snouts break the surface of the Mara River. Stay at Sayari Camp, a member of the National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World collection, and on morning and afternoon game drives, take in the region’s spectacular array of wildlife. On our last evening, gather for a candlelit farewell dinner in the bush.
Sayari Camp (B,L,D daily)

Day 9 — Serengeti/Arusha/Depart.

After a final early morning safari, fly back to Arusha. Relax at our hotel before connecting with your flight home.
Lake Duluti Serena Hotel or Rivertrees Country Inn (B, L)

Optional Extensions

Related Trips

National Geographic Expert

Jonathan Irish

Jonathan IrishDuring his eight years on the National Geographic staff, photographer Jonathan Irish launched and directed the National Geographic Adventures program. He specializes in documenting adventure lifestyles, landscapes, and cultures abroad. Jonathan has photographed on all seven continents, and has shot a variety of assignments in Antarctica, Patagonia, and beyond. His photography has appeared in National Geographic and The New York Times, on BBC, CNN, and elsewhere. For the 2016 centennial of the U.S. National Park Service, Jonathan took a year-long road trip with an Airstream visiting and photographing all 59 of America’s national parks.

Jonathan will join the following departure:

Sep 17 - 25, 2017

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Dates

2017
  • Aug 20 - 28, 2017 (waitlist only)
  • Sep 17 - 25, 2017
2018
  • Mar 04 - 12, 2018 ALT
  • Aug 19 - 27, 2018
  • Sep 19 - 27, 2018

ALT indicates a departure that has a slightly different itinerary than the one shown on this page. Click the ALT icon to see the day-to-day itinerary.

*The March departures follow a slightly modified itinerary to provide travelers with the best opportunity to witness the wildebeest migration.

Expedition Cost

August - September 2017

$9,895

March 2018

$9,695

August - September 2018

Prices are per person, double occupancy. For a single room, add $2,700.

International airfare to/from Arusha and airfare within Tanzania is not included in the expedition cost. The group flight within Tanzania is $425 to $775 (subject to change), depending on the departure date.

In order to optimize photographic opportunities and allow for better access to our National Geographic photographer, these departures are limited to 16 travelers.

Featured Traveler Photo