Tanzania is located in east Africa and is referred to as one of the best safari destinations when it comes to photo safaris. The plains, wildlife and birds that are found in the Tanzania plus the green pasture all fused into one will create that beautiful scenery that you need to take as many photos as you can. A photo safari can be carried out all year round irrelevant of the season because each season comes with different activities.
Tanzania experiences two seasons that is the dry season and the rainy season. The dry season which is experienced between the month of June to October and this is the best time for tourists who love game drives, a walk along the beaches in Zanzibar and hiking up the several Mountains that are found in Tanzania. Enjoy a photo safari in the dry season as you drive through the different national Parks with a clear view of the animals. The rainy season is experienced between the months of November to April. The rainy season comes with the calving of many animals and it is the best time for a photo safari for birders because during this time, migratory birds fly into the country joining the indigenous birds.
A photo safari is like any other safari but the difference is that on a photo safari, the main focus is on the camera. Therefore in simple terms a photo safari is where people take on adventure journeys and get to explore the wildlife through the lens. A photo safari will be carried out in an open roof van so that you get to see and take the best photos of the wildlife in Tanzania, sometimes you will need to walk, hike to your destination and sometimes hide in bushes so that you get that clear shot.
What to expect on a photo safari in Tanzania
A photo safari is always highly priced and this is due to the fact that there are always few people on a photo safari as compared to a game drive safari. Irrespective of the pricing for the safari, you will definitely have a good time transferring from one place to another. You need to however prepare be prepared for the dust during the dry season and the rains during the rainy season so come with some protective gear for the cameras.
You do not really need to be a professional photographer in order to engage in the safari because you will be provided with a professional photographer who will take you through the ropes on how to use the camera and other equipment that are used for photography.
Cameras that you can use while on a photo safari to Tanzania
When you start planning for a photo, one of the few things that comes to your mind is the type of camera that you will use while on your safari. Although it is not a must to have the latest camera for your trip, it is only fair that you look for a decent camera that will keep your memories fresh for the people back home. Below is a list of the cameras that you can use while on your photo safari.
- Fujifilm X-T3
Weather proof, APS-C mirrorless, exceptional color and a 26.1MP
- Nikon D7500
Weather proof, DSLR and a 20.1MP
- Sony Alpha a6000
24.3MP, interchangeable lenses, APS-C mirrorless
So in case you want to be prepared for a photo safari, you will need a mirrorless camera, a bean bag for carrying your cameras, waterproof camera, extra batteries and a telephoto zoom lens.
Different photo safari destinations in Tanzania
As we plan our photo safari to Tanzania, you need to know that there are several destinations that you can go to while in Tanzania and some of the best photo destinations that you can try out have been listed below.
Photo safari in the Tanzanian Southern Circuit
The southern circuit Tanzania is found along the southern border of Tanzania near Dar es Salaam. The parks that are found in the southern circuit are extremely calm and this might be due to the fact that they are located in a remote area, get a few visitors and are expensive to get to. The parks that are found in the southern circuit Tanzania include Mikumi National park, Selous Game Reserve, Ruaha National park, kitulo National Park and Udzungwa National Park. There are a lot of activities that can be carried out here and a photo safari is one of them. Due to the fact that they receive few visitors, there is a lot of untouched beauty that you will get to see behind the lens.
Photo safari in Mikumi National Park
Mikumi national Park was established in 1964 and a notable Park in the southern Circuit Tanzania. It is bordered by the Udzungwa and Uluguru Mountains and it is known for having few visitors per year making it the perfect destination for tourists who do not like crowds. The photo safari in Mikumi will start early in the morning and expect to see animals like Zebras, warthogs, wildebeests, hippos, waterbucks, lions, elands, crocodiles and elephants.
Photo safari in Selous Game Reserve
Selous Game Reserve is the largest National Park in Tanzania. Located in the Southern Circuit, the Reserve is a home to quite a large number of animals and over 400 bird species. It is divided into two parts that is the Northern and southern part and although both of them are good for game drives, photo safaris are mainly done in the Northern part of the Reserve. Bird species that you will be able to see through the lens especially in the morning include the African fish eagle, African spoonbill, bee-eater, spur winged lapwings, white headed vultures and many more others. The animals that you will see while on your photo safari include kudus, antelopes, zebras, hippos, lions, hartebeests, giraffes, wildebeests, buffalos and Impalas.
Photo safari in Udzungwa National Park
If this is your first safari to Tanzania, the Udzungwa Park is the first place you should visit for your photo safari. The Park has beautiful scenery which is created by the vegetation which ranges from grasslands to woodlands, rain forests and not forgetting the animals that live within the Park. The park is a home to two endemic primates which you will not see anywhere else in the world and these are the Iringa red colobus and the Sanje Mangebay. Walk to the Wasungwa tribe that still live on the Mountain slopes and get to learn more about their culture but before you take photos with the locals, first ask for permission as it is considered polite.
Tanzania Photo Safari in the Northern Circuit
The Northern circuit is the most visited part of Tanzania with National parks like Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro conservation area, Lake Manyara National Park and the Tarangire National Park.
Photo safari to Ngorongoro conservation area
A home to a UNESCO heritage sites the Ngorongoro crater, this is the perfect destination for a photo safari. The Ngorongoro crater was formed from a collapsed volcano and at the moment it is a home to hundreds of animals and over 450 bird species. As you descend into the crater, the wildlife that you will be able to take pictures of include elephants, lions, gazelles, spotted hyenas, black jackals, wildebeests, elands, buffalos, hippos, zebras and antelopes to mention but a few. The bird species that are found in Ngorongoro crater include Tawny eagles, Kori bustards, ostriches, Augur bustards, black kites and Crowned cranes to mention but a few. You also get to drive to the Olduvai Gorge where the fossils of the first humans were discovered by archeologists.
Photo safari in Serengeti National Park
Best known for the annual wildebeest migration, Serengeti National Park is one of the most sought after Parks in the Northern Circuit Tanzania. Central Serengeti which is also known as Seronera is the most visited because of the large concentration of animals that are mostly seen along the Seronera River trying to cool off the heat in the dry season. The Park is also a home to over 500 bird species like the Egyptian geese, kori bustard, crowned cranes and these are best seen during the rainy season which runs from November to April. The animals that you should expect to see include zebras, elephants, black rhinos, leopards, elephants, wildebeests, buffalos, hippos, lions, hyenas, elands, antelopes, warthogs and many more others. Travel to Serengeti and capture the wildebeest migration all the way from Serengeti to the Masai Mara which is in Kenya.
Photo safari in Tarangire
Tarangire National Park is a home to about 1000 elephants the largest herd in the country. The Park can be visited all throughout the year that is during the dry season (July to October), you get to see animals like elephants, Oryx, leopards, stripped hyenas, elephants, cheetahs, lions, wildebeests, leopards, impalas, warthogs ostriches and giraffes. During the rainy season (November to April), many bird species including migratory can be seen while on a drive through the Park.
Photo safari in Lake Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara National Park is part of the Northern circuit Tanzania and a perfect place for tourists to take on a photo safari especially if you love aqua animals and birds. The park is always green all year round and this is because of the underground water that keeps it fresh even during the dry season. The lush green vegetation is the perfect place for you to take a photo safari while in Tanzania.
Masai Cultural Photo Safari
The Masai villages are the best place for tourists to have their photo safaris. These live in tiny villages which are headed by a chief and the homesteads are known as Bomas. You get to spend the whole day with the locals engaging in their day to day activities like tracking of animals, hunting, cooking, taking care of the children, singing and dancing and late on share a meal with them. This is one of the ways that you can learn about their culture and with the help of your tour guide, ask permission form the chief so that you can take a many photos as you want.
Photo safari in Arusha National Park
Arusha National Park is one of the least visited National Parks in Tanzania and this is because unlike other National Parks, it does not have a lot of wildlife. The flora which is found in the Park gives off beautiful scenery which makes it the best place to have a photo safari. Be ready with your camera to take photos of the various trees, plants and flowers that are found in the National Park. It is also a home to the Meru Mountain and various bird species some of which include the African fish skimmer, the African kingfisher, pink flamingo and the cormorants. A few animals that live within the park include elephants although they are rare, warthogs, zebra, bushbucks, reedbuck buffalos and zebras.
9 days photo safari in Tanzania
Tanzania safari Cost $9,995
Duration 9 days
Group size maximum of 2 people per vehicle
Destination Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro crater, Serengeti National Park, Arusha.
The safari will include the following:
- Transportation to all the destinations
- Meals throughout the day
- An experienced and professional photographer
- A driver guide
The safari will not include the following:
- Air flight ticket
- Extra accommodation for when the safari comes to an end
Day 1: Transfer to Arusha
You will be picked from Kilimanjaro International Airport and transferred to Arusha where you will be booked into a hotel and a tour guide will give you details on what you should expect and the different destinations that you will be going to while on a photo safari in Tanzania. Dinner will be served and an overnight spent at the hotel.
Day 2: Arusha to Lake Manyara National Park
Our first photo safari destination will be Lake Manyara National Park. Lake Manyara is famously known for the tree climbing lions, flamingos found at Lake Manyara, hippos, buffalos and giraffes. We will drive through the National Park with our cameras ready to take as many photos as we can of all the animals. All the meals that is breakfast, lunch and dinner will be provided and we will spend an overnight at the lodge.
Day 3: Lake Manyara National Park
Day 3 will be spent exploring Lake Manyara National Park. A drive along the Lake Manyara shores will give you a chance to take as many photos of both animals and birds that live within the Park and then after lunch, we will drive to the plantation and take as many photos as you can and then continue to the village to meet the locals and also take photos with them as we engage in their day to day activities. Later in the evening, enjoy the sunset as you enjoy dinner and spend an overnight at the lodge.
Day 4: Lake Manyara to Ngorongoro
After breakfast, we will drive to Ngorongoro specifically to meet the Masai people who live close by. The tour guide will help with asking permission from the chief so that you are allowed to take photos of the locals while in their community. After permission is granted, we will document everything that the locals do from cooking, traditional dances and songs, ritual initiation ceremonies and after that have lunch with the locals. In the afternoon, we will descend into the crater where we will find over 2000 animals and 400 birds some of which include flamingos, black rhinos, cheetahs, elephants, lions and many more others. Dinner will be served and you get to spend the night at the campsite.
Day 5: Ngorongoro crater
Breakfast will be served very early in the morning and we will return to the crater to have more fun taking as many photos as we can of the different animals and birds that have made the crater their home. Lunch will be served at one of the picnic sites in the Park and then resume with the drive. Later in the evening, train your camera to capture the best sunset you will ever get to see while in the wild.
Day 6: Ngorongoro to Serengeti
We will leave for Serengeti from Ngorongoro after breakfast. On our way to Serengeti, we will make stop over at the Olduvai Gorge where you get to go back in time as you visit the place where archeologists found fossils that are believed to belong to the first humans. You are allowed to take as many photos as you need and thereafter we will continue with our drive to Serengeti National Park. We will drive through central Serengeti where the largest concentration of animals. We will retire for the evening at the camp and dinner will be served by the chef.
Day 7&8: Serengeti National Park
We are going to spend day 7&8 exploring central Serengeti also known as Seronera. Many animals can be found along the Seronera River trying to cool off the heat. Some of the animals that we will see include zebras, antelopes, wildebeests, giraffes, hippos, lions, buffalos and hyenas among others. If we are lucky, we might also be able to catch the great wildebeest migration which starts in Serengeti to the Masai Mara which is found in Kenya. On the 8th day, we will have dinner around a campfire in a safe bush and then camp out in the Serengeti plains.
Day 9: Serengeti to Arusha
After breakfast and an early morning drive in Serengeti, we will have a packed lunch as we head back to Arusha where you will connect with your flight back home at the Kilimanjaro international Airport and this will be the end of our 9 days photo safari in Tanzania.