Wildebeest Birthing Season Tanzania Photo Safari
Dates: February 2-14, 2019
Fee: $8,795 (includes lodging and ground transportation)
Deposit: $1,500 (balance due by August 2018)
A photo safari in East Africa is often considered an experience of a lifetime! We will visit two of Africa's most iconic locations: the Serengeti and the Ngoro Ngoro Crater. We will also visit Lake Manyara which is considered to be one of the best locations in Tanzania. This itinerary has been designed to cover the very best photographic locations that Tanzania has to offer in February. The Wildebeest migrate throughout the year moving through Tanzania into Kenya and back. In February, close to 2 million wildebeest make their way to the Southern Serengeti where over 300,000 wildebeest are born in the span of a month. This is a time where there is plenty of food for the predators. We expect to see the big 5 and hope to see the big cats in action. This is also a good time to view young cats as the predators time their litters with Wildebeest birthing season.
Our own private 4x4 land cruisers will be used for game drives and taveling to the different locations. Three photographers per vehicle will allow for maximum flexibility for photography in different directions. Each photographer will have a full row to themselves so they can comfortably sit in one seat and keep their camera gear handy next to them. This will also maximise comfort during game drives and moving from one location to the next. A set of experienced driver guides and a head guide with 20 years of experience in the bush has been arranged. For those interested in bird, one of the guides will be an ornithologist.
Lake Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara National Park is known for the flamingos that inhabit the lake. During the wet season they inhabit the edges of the lake in flocks of thousands but they are not so present during the dry season. More than 400 species of birds inhabit the park and many remain throughout the year. Because of this Lake Manyara National Park is a good spot for bird watching. Leopards, lions, cheetahs, elephants, blue monkeys, dik-dik, gazelles, hippopotami, Maasai giraffe, impala, zebras and many more wild animals inhabit this park and many can be seen throughout the year. There is a hippo pond at one end of the park where visitors can get out of their cars and observe from a safe distance. The leopards and lions are both known to lounge in the trees while not hunting for prey.
Ngoro Ngoro Crater
The main feature of the Ngorongoro Conservation Authority is the Ngorongoro Crater, the world's largest inactive, intact and unfilled volcanic caldera. The crater, which formed when a large volcano exploded and collapsed on itself two to three million years ago, is 610 meters (2,000 feet) deep and its floor covers 260 square kilometers (100 square miles). Estimates of the height of the original volcano range from 4,500 to 5,800 meters (14,800 to 19,000 feet) high. The elevation of the crater floor is 1,800 meters (5,900 feet) above sea level. The Crater was voted by Seven Natural Wonders as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa in Arusha, Tanzania in February 2013. Approximately 25,000 large animals, mostly ungulates, live in the crater. Large animals include Elephant, Buffalo, Eland, Cheetah, Lion, and larger antelopes. Black Rhino are still reported in the park but not so often. Serval cats and Jackals and Hyenas are also there.
The Serengeti ecosystem is a geographical region in Africa. It is located mainly in northern Tanzania and extends into south-western Kenya between 1 and 3 degrees south (latitudes) and between 34 and 36 degrees east (longitudes). It spans approximately 30,000 km2 (12,000 sq mi). The Kenyan part of the Serengeti is known as Maasai Mara. The Serengeti hosts the largest terrestrial mammal migration in the world, which helps secure it as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa, one of the ten natural travel wonders of the world. The Serengeti is also renowned for its large lion population and is one of the best places to observe prides in their natural environment. The region contains the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania and several game reserves. The Serengeti is also home to a diversity of grazers, including African buffalo, warthogs, Grant's gazelle, eland, waterbuck, and topi. The Serengeti can support this remarkable variety of grazers only because each species, even those that are closely related, has a different diet. For example, wildebeests prefer to consume shorter grasses, while zebras prefer taller ones. Similarly, dik-diks eat the lowest leaves of a tree, impalas eat the leaves that are higher up, and giraffes eat leaves that are even higher.
Please let us know if you are interested in a 3 day extension to Tarangire National Park. Please note: this extension will only be arraged if there is enough interest.
The itienerary below is primarily to give you and idea of the logistics and transfer days/times. For location info and details of possible photographic opportunities, please read the section above.
Day 1 (February 2) - Depart USA for Tanzania
Depart on KLM flight from the US.
Day 2 (February 3) - Kilimanjaro internationa airport to Arusha
After landing at Kilimanjaro international in the evening, you will be picked up and transferred to Arusha where we will stay overnight at the African Tulip.
Day 3 (February 4) - Arusha to Lake Manyara
After breakfast we head to Lake Manyara entering the park in time for lunch. We will check in and have a some down time before heading out for our first game drive. We get to explore the parks scenery, birds and mammals with hopes of catching a glimpse of the famous tree climbing lions. Overnight at Lake Manyara Serena Safari Lodge.
Day 4 (February 5) - Lake Manyara to Ngoro Ngoro Crater
We will start with an early game drive at Lake Manyara, returning to the lodge for lunch. After lunch we depart the lodge and head towards Ngoro Ngoro Crater eventually checking into the Ngoro Ngoro Sopa lodge. Although we will be travelling from one park to another there will still be many photo opportunities so please do keep your cameras ready. We will get to the lodge in time to check in and explore the surroundings, hopefully getting some shots of the crater (weather permitting). Dinner followed by overnight at the Ngoro Ngoro Sopa lodge.
Day 5 and 6 (February 6-7) - Ngoro Ngoro Crater
An early/short breakfast will be had on both days by all to assure us being one of the first into the crater. We must really stick to this plan as it will enable us to get photos in better light. Days will be long and we will bring boxed lunches with us. After and extended morning game drive we will have lunch by the lake, as it is the only place in the crater where people are allowed out of their cars and use the washrooms. Be ready for many different kinds of photographic opportunities including Elephants, plains game, big cats, birds and more. We will eventually start making our way back out of the crater getting back to the lodge at about 4.30 – 5.00 p.m. in time to freshen up and have an early dinner. Both of the days in the crater will be long. It is advisable to wear layers as mornings will be cold and days become warmer. Having a beanie is sometimes not a bad idea in Africa. Overnight at the Ngoro Ngoro Sopa lodge.
Day 7-11 (February 8-12) - Serengeti
We will leave our accommodation in Ngoro Ngoro after breakfast and head towards the Serengeti. We have chosen two tented camps in the Serengeti that will be home base during our time there. Both are located in excellent parts of the park giving us a greater chance to see a variety of wildlife, birthing and predation. Once again it is advisable to dress in layers as morning do get chilly followed by warm afternoons. On a typical day in Serengeti we will wake up at 5.30 a.m. followed by quick breakfast. On some occasions we will also take our picnic breakfast on the game drive. We will eventually get back at about mid-day followed by lunch, an afternoon nap or time for one to go through their shots. Then we will head out on an afternoon game drive at roughly 4 p.m. getting back to the camp before it gets dark. Overnight in our tented camps.
Day 12 (February 13) - Flight back to Arusha and road transfer to Kilimanjaro
Our last sunrise game drive in the Serengeti will be followed by brunch and our game drive/transfer to the airstrip for our charter flight back to Arusha and connecting road transfer to Kilimanjaro International. We will have plenty of time for an early dinner before being transfered to Kilimanjaro airport for our evening flights back home.
Day 13 (February 14) - arrive in USA
- All lodging (based on double occupancy; single supplement is $1000*)
- Ground transportation and air transfer from Serengeti to Arusha
- Services of expereinced guides and drivers
- Water during game drives
- All meals at the lodges/camps
- All necessary permits and park fees
- All in the field instruction
- Comprehensive and detailed information packet including logistics details, packing and equipment lists, and more
Itinerary Does Not Include:
- Airfare to Tanzania
- Travel insurance
- Extra activities not specified in the itinerary
- Any drinks with meals
- Tips for guides/drivers and hotel staff
*Single supplement may be required if we cannot pair you with a roommate; we will inform you of the rooming arrangements as the trip fills.
||A $1,500 deposit is required for registration. The balance amount should be paid by check. This is done to keep the fees down and pass on the benefit to you.
Please contact Nikhil if you have any questions.
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