11-Day Tanzania Photographic Safari
11-Day Tanzania Photographic Safari
Tanzania Photographic Safari: Tarangire, Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro Crater & Serengeti
Tanzania offers the ultimate photographic safari, and this itinerary highlights the wonders of the country’s vast landscapes in their natural habitat. Tarangire National Park, Lake Manyara, the Ngorongoro Crater, and the Serengeti offer breathtaking scenery and unforgettable wildlife. You’ll be amazed by massive herds, admire the big cats, and keep seeing the Big Five. So make sure you have your camera with you to capture every moment.
Today you’ll depart on your international flight to Tanzania for the start of your African adventure.
Your guide will meet you at Kilimanjaro International Airport and transfer you to your hotel in Arusha. As you travel through a rural African landscape, take in the fascinating sights from the window. Roadside stalls sell mountains of bananas, and cassava is fried on small barbecues, while colorfully dressed women carry baskets on their heads. Your hotel in Arusha is a quiet place to relax and get ready for your Tanzania safari, which starts tomorrow.
Tarangire’s stunning scenery is an excellent place to begin your safari adventure. The grassy savanna is punctuated by ancient baobab trees, whose distinct shapes appear in most Tarangire photographs. Giant elephant herds, sometimes numbering over 300, wander through the landscape. They stop and play near waterholes, tiny babies taking their first steps and amusing everyone with their antics. The herd’s size and power always leave an impression, but it’s the close encounters that stick with you the most. The great Tarangire River also runs through the park, providing a constant water source for thousands of migrating mammals. The kudu and impala drink freely during the rainy season, but when the river dries up, everyone must dig beneath the parched riverbed. Because of this, the mammals are easy targets for the lions and leopards that live in the park.
Hundreds of different species of birds can be heard screeching from the treetops. The most beautiful lovebirds are yellow-collared lovebirds, while ground hornbills are the most nosy. The heaviest Kori bustards are dwarfed by the hippo pods that wade through Tarangire’s swamps. You’ll see something different on each game drive, from long-necked gerenuks feeding from high branches to the strange sight of fringe-eared oryx. The safari truck is then passed by a herd of raging buffalo, the bushy-haired beasts leaving a trail of dust as they rumble through the brittle grass.
Lake Manyara, nestled in a woodland clearing, offers a new habitat to discover. Thousands of flamingos have descended upon the lake, turning the water a brilliant pink hue. They share the wading area with large hippo pods, which only keep their eyes and snout above the water’s surface. Then one appears, uninhibitedly plodding along the embankment just meters away, to say hello. As you slowly drive through the vast floodplains, you can see elephants walking around, zebras skipping, gazelles standing on tiptoe, and giraffes showing off their elegance.
Leave the lake behind and wind your way through a densely forested area. Baboon troops scurry across the forest floor, leaping over exposed roots and swinging from low branches. An elephant blocks the path around another bend. The truck comes to a halt, and a strange silence pervades the trees. Something else is swinging from an exposed tree branch. It’s a story about a lion. These tree-climbing lions have evolved to hunt in the forest and are only found in Lake Manyara and Tarangire. They hide high in the trees, waiting to pounce on anything ambling below. Leopards thrive in this environment, and seeing one of these majestic cats is a highlight of any safari trip. A raucous soundtrack of wild Africa accompanies the mystical safari through Lake Manyara.
As you drive towards the Ngorongoro Crater, you pass through lush jungle, with baboons watching you from the trees. At the park gate, keep your windows shut because these mischievous primates have a habit of jumping into safari trucks and stealing any edible treats. Your lodge, perched on the crater rim, offers breathtaking views into the crater. Maasai warriors herd their cattle into the crater floor as zebras and elephants pass by at random. You’ll arrive in time for an unforgettable afternoon safari on the crater floor, recently dubbed Africa’s “Garden of Eden.”
Lion prides live in close quarters and are the masters of their domain. They seek shade in the relentless afternoon sun, lounging beneath trees or seeking refuge in the shadow cast by your safari truck. Some prides are starving, so the lionesses are out hunting, slowly approaching a zebra herd that is grazing. Alpha males wait, their brilliant black manes and ferocious teeth on display. Leopards sneak out of the woods looking for a hearty meal. Hyenas and jackals are scurrying through the grass clearings, looking for an easier meal. They pause to look up at the safari truck before scurrying off in the direction of a lame wildebeest. Enjoy a leisurely evening surrounded by the natural sounds of Africa as an encompassing blackness descends on the crater. Elephants rustling in the trees, birds singing, and monkeys and bush babies making their own sounds break up the quiet.
A blanket of mysterious mist rises from the crater floor in the early morning. Elephant bulls, kudu, wildebeest, and your safari truck are all descending the slopes. Big cats returning from a hunt or feeding on a freshly killed carcass are easy to spot now. The question is which unique ecosystem you want to explore first once you’ve entered this dormant volcano. Start with the woodland, which is home to majestic eland and waterbuck. These majestic antelopes are both large and beautiful, and they stand motionless as your camera snaps away. The wheeze-honk of a hippo draws your attention as it plods along a lakeshore, munching on a carpet of fresh grass. The call is returned by another young male, and the two hippos enthusiastically square up to each other.
Ngorongoro feels like a wildlife documentary due to the abundance of wildlife. In no other part of Africa can you see such variety and abundance in a single game drive. Like all of your game drives on this vacation, you’ll be accompanied by a knowledgeable guide who knows where each of the mammals prefers to hang out. A large 4×4 vehicle with a pop-up roof gives you a higher vantage point and unobstructed views of the scenery. The truck is sometimes filled with excited chatter and amazed looks. When a black rhino calf ambles slowly towards the safari truck before stopping to stare, everyone stops and watches in silence. The calf is accompanied by its mother, who is kicking up dust in an assured display of strength. With only 5,000 black rhinos left in the wild, getting up close and personal with one of these critically endangered animals will leave a lasting impression.
The landscape flattens out as you leave Ngorongoro behind, and the breathtaking views begin. Grass extends beyond the horizon in every direction, occasionally punctuated by the silhouette of a giraffe neck or an elephant herd. This is land that extends forever to the local Maasai, and it’s difficult to disagree as you get your first taste of the world’s most famous national park. Thousands of Thompson’s gazelles are feeding on the grass, keeping an eye out for predators nearby. The plains are dotted with massive wildebeest herds, which cover the grass in a swirl of dust and four hooves. They’re joined by Zebra, whose black and white elegance never fails to bring a smile, no matter how many times you’ve seen them on your vacation. The Great Wildebeest Migration takes place in the Serengeti, and during this time, the herds multiply and combine, often traveling in groups of tens of thousands.
Before heading to the plains, you’ll stop at Olduvai Gorge, a remarkable archaeological site where prehistoric man’s fossils have been discovered. Gazing out onto a land that holds the secrets to man’s evolution is both eerie and poignant. Your comfortable lodge will immerse you in the Serengeti’s animal world at all times. There are no humans allowed here, and the life and death interactions of wild animals take place right in front of your eyes. Even though there is a lot of wildlife in the Serengeti, its vast beauty is often what people remember most.
The Serengeti is home to two million mammals, and the sick, young, and lame provide easy pickings for all of Africa’s big cats. From kopjes (rocky outcroppings) where prides rest, lions survey their kingdom and decide what should be on the dinner menu. Cheetahs sprint across the plains at breakneck speeds, leaving a dusty trail in their wake. A kill can happen in a matter of seconds. When you’re watching a herd of wildebeests and a leopard pounces from its camouflaged hiding place, it can appear out of nowhere. At other times, the fearful gazelle anticipates trouble but is unable to pinpoint the source. You can see the hunter and the prey, and the scene is accompanied by silence as the cat approaches. The safari truck gasps as the zebra pounces, but the zebra gets away… this time.
Your guide will take you to the best wildlife viewing spots in the Serengeti throughout your stay. They will try to track the Great Migration and give you front-row seats to the incredible herds of wildebeest that cover the plains depending on the time of year. There are unique sights throughout the park, and your guides will tailor each game drive to your preferences. Enjoy a picnic next to a hippo-filled pool while watching the interactions between the pods. Approach kopjes with scenes that resemble something from The Lion King. Weave through rutted trails, passing buffalo and hartebeest with their ferocious horns. Every day, you’ll go on a game drive in the morning and late afternoon. The plains are quiet in the early afternoon heat, with animals resting in any available shade. In the afternoon, you can take it easy at the lodge before heading back out into the wild to get your adrenaline going again.
After a sumptuous breakfast, fly from the small airstrip to Arusha to see the Serengeti from above. From here, you’ll be taken to a lodge for a relaxing afternoon of reminiscing about the previous eleven days. Freshen up and take advantage of the lodge’s amenities before heading to the airport for your international flight home.
It is possible to add to this itinerary if you wish to visit additional East African locations. Excursions into Kenya, relaxing on tropical Zanzibar Island, or arriving during the spectacular Great Wildebeest Migration are all popular choices.
- Full board (breakfast, lunch & dinner) accommodation while on safari
- All game drives viewing in a custom built 4×4 Safari Land
- All park and entrance fees
- Transportation with 4×4 vehicles with viewing roofs
- Professional English speaking driver/guide during the safari.
- Ngorongoro Crater car supplement fee
- Current Government taxes and levies
- 24-Hour support during the safari from our office in Arusha.
- Internal or International flights
- Transfers to and from the airport
- Entry visa to Tanzania.
- Travel and health insurance
- Gratuities to your guide, hotel staff, and porters
- Meals, drinks, and excursions not described in the itinerary
- Any other items of a personal nature, laundry, telephone and postage
Item of personal Nature.
Have Any Question?
Do not hesitate to give us a call. We are an African safari expert team and we are happy to talk to you.