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Guided Photo Safari to Tanzania

Explore Tanzania's world famous national parks with renowned expedition and wildlife photographers Scott and Paula Frier. Scott has been a wildlife photographer for more than 35 years and has guided numerous Wildlife Photo Workshops in Africa. On this intimate trip your game drives will be in a private vehicle with both a photo and naturalist guide giving you plenty of time and opportunity to learn from these incredible photographers.

The trip runs from August 29th through September 10th, you can find the full itinerary below.

Day 1-2: Lake Duluti Serena Hotel, Arusha (Sun, Aug 30 to Mon, Aug 31)

On arrival into JRO you will be met and drive to your hotel, the Serena Duluti. Sleep well, as your adventure begins tomorrow!

The city of Arusha sits in a pleasant, lush valley, divided by the Naura River near the base of 15,000-ft Mt. Meru. This bustling city, the safari capital of Tanzania, is the economic center of an area with a rich agricultural economy, thanks to fertile volcanic soil.

Overnight: Lake Duluti Serena Hotel

Nestled at the foot of the wooded slopes of Mount Meru, this unique hotel stands amid coffee plantations on the shores of tranquil Lake Duluti. Designed to echo the traditional style of the colonial coffee farm, which originally stood on this site, Mountain Village offers a range of tastefully presented cottage-styled rooms set amid extensive landscaped grounds. Standing at the gateway to the famous Tanzanian ‘Northern Safari Circuit', the hotel offers a broad range of attractions, which include: walking, mountain biking, canoeing on the lake, and trips to the nearby Arusha and Mount Meru national parks.

Includes: Bed & Breakfast

Day 2-5: Ngorongoro Serena Lodge, Ngorongoro Crater (Mon, Aug 31 to Thu, Sep 3)

Following breakfast, you will be met by your private guides who you will have for the next 9 nights. Together, depart for Ngorongoro Crater, arriving in time for lunch. Following lunch enjoy the rest of your afternoon at leisure at the property, or you can arrange (and pay direct) with hotel staff or your guides for an additional activity.

Your second and third day at this property will be spent down in the crater, exploring this UNESCO world heritage site and capturing perfect shots. This area is teeming with wildlife and the landscape is unique and stunning. Lunch on these two full days out will be served as a picnic while out on game drive. Return each evening to camp in time for dinner.

Ngorongoro Crater is the largest unbroken caldera in the world. The volcanic cone is believed to have collapsed nearly two million years ago, and while standing, could have been as tall, if not taller, than Mt. Kilimanjaro. The crater (1,800 feet deep and 102 square miles) is a microcosm of East African scenery with abundant wildlife – more than 25,000 larger animals, mostly zebra and wildebeest. This is also the best place in Tanzania to see magnificent black-maned lion and black rhino. A soda lake changes size depending on the rains that are the lifeline of this amazing land. Colorful flamingoes and more than 100 species of birds found here and not in the Serengeti frequent the area. Patience may also reward you with glimpses of leopard, cheetah, hyena, jackal, elephant, warthog, buffalo, impala, buffalo, hartebeest, eland and lots of other antelopes. As you descend into the crater, you may see the local Maasai as they take their cattle down the steep walls of the crater.

Overnight: Ngorongoro Serena Lodge

Perched on the jagged rim of the crater, wreathed in morning mist, camouflaged in river-stone and cloaked in indigenous creepers, the Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge is a triumph of ecological and architectural fusion. Sensitively constructed so as to take nothing from its environment while affording endless vistas over the heat-shimmering reaches of the crater below, the clustered boulder-built buildings of the Lodge hug the crater rim, linked by rope-lashed timber walkways that skirt the buttressed roots of ancient, liana-hung trees. The interior, radiating out from the primeval log fire glowing at the heart of the Lodge, blends the concentrated hush of a game-viewing hide with the ochre, rust and charcoal images of a prehistoric cavern. Lit by flaming wall-lanterns, clad in gigantic volcanic boulders and decorated by the iron spears, bright-beaded robes and intricately carved artifacts of the Maasai, the Lodge is a unique blend of world-class luxury, timeless volcanic splendor and ethnic style.

As for the views, from lilac-streaked sunrise, to indigo star-studded night, the immeasurably ancient Ngorongoro Crater delivers a theatre of vistas, most unchanged since the dawn of time. Strung around the crater rim, each with its own rock-enclosed balcony, the rooms feature brass lamps, embossed leather headboards, wildwood mirrors, Maasai carvings and flamboyant prehistoric wall motifs depicting fleeing giraffes, stylized gazelle and plunging buffalo. Each room draws on a cave-grey, indigo-blue and jasper-red color-scheme, is fully air-conditioned and enjoys uninterrupted views over the Crater's unmatched splendor. At the end of an action-packed day, guests can also follow a gentle nature trail that loops around the Lodge through moss-hung glades and plunging ravines, take a guided walk to the Crater's rim, relax with a herbal massage, or watch as the burning sun sinks behind the mountains from a unique vantage point on the craggy heights of the Crater's rim.

Includes: All meals daily and scheduled game activities.

Day 5-8: Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge, Central Serengeti (Thu, Sep 3 to Sun, Sep 6)

Following breakfast, you will depart for central Serengeti National Park arriving in time for lunch at Serengeti Serena Lodge. Following lunch, depart for an afternoon game drive returning as the sun sets. Your next two days here will be spent on morning and afternoon game drives, returning to the lodge as the sun sets. You can expect excellent animals viewing in this area year round.

Serengeti National Park (3,646,500 acres) is the jewel in the crown of Tanzania’s protected areas with over 3 million large mammals roaming its plains. The Serengeti has come to symbolize paradise to all, including the local Maasai, for whom it is Siringitu - "the place where the land moves on forever." Today, the Serengeti National Park, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, and the Maasai Mara Game Reserve across the border in Kenya, protect the greatest and most varied collection of terrestrial wildlife on earth, and one of the last great migratory systems still intact.

Overnight: Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge

Set high on the saddle of a tree-clad ridge, commanding panoramic views across the Serengeti, this lodge is the ultimate fusion of traditional African architecture and world-class style. Winner of numerous awards from the world travel press, it is perhaps the finest venue the Serengeti has to offer. A series of traditional domed ‘rondavels' are widely spaced throughout the grounds, which are cooled by groves of acacia trees and watered by sparkling streams. On the very edge of the ridge is a ‘vanishing horizon' pool, which looks out over the ‘endless plains' after which the Serengeti is named.

Includes: All meals daily and scheduled game activities.

Day 8-11: Sayari Camp, Northern Serengeti (Sun, Sep 6 to Wed, Sep 9)

Following breakfast, depart for Kogatende in the northern Serengeti, arriving at Sayari in time for lunch. Following lunch, depart for an afternoon game drive, returning as the sun dips beneath the horizon. Your next two days at this luxury tented camp will be spent out on morning and afternoon game drives, returning to the camp as the sun sets. Enjoy your last nights in Africa in style at this beautiful camp! And if you are lucky, this is where you will get a glimpse of the great wildebeest migration.

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. From July through to October the Migration is in the Northern Serengeti and this is where many of the most famous scenes of the Migration occur with almost daily crossings of the Mara River. But that is not where the game viewing ends; large prides of lions, elephants and giraffes, gazelles and eland to mention a few, may be found in this area. The landscape is unique as well in its undulating hills and rock kopjes, which stud the landscape and offer perfect hiding spots for the local leopard population.

Overnight: Sayari Camp

The new Sayari Camp features a stylish, amazingly comfortable camp experience whilst retaining the focus on the essence of a great safari: intimacy, excellent guiding, a personalized service, top food and a sensational game viewing experience on the banks of the Mara River. Sayari Camp’s very spacious 15 luxury tents are split into 2 wings - one with 9 and one with 6 tents - all of which are raised on wooden platforms to offer a spacious and extremely comfortable stay. Both wings have their own lounge and dining areas, to retain the intimacy of a small scale camp.

The tents are very spacious and equipped with contemporary, comfortable furniture. The en suite bathroom has flush toilet, shower, double stone hand basins, as well as a free standing bath. The veranda in each guest tent offers panoramic views over the Serengeti. The camp’s central area consists of a large, comfortable lounge with an ‘all day’ bar service, rock swimming pool and fire place as well as two ‘chill out’ areas under canvas slightly away from the main lounge to give a quiet area to read a book or bird watch.

The Sayari Camp Crew make sure that you are well cared for, with delectable meals that are based on European cuisine with African elements. The camp's naturalist guides offer a wealth of knowledge on the wonderful surrounding land and its inhabitants. The camp was chosen as one of the "Special Places" in Africa by Africa Geographic.

Includes: All meals and local drinks, laundry, scheduled game activities.

Day 11: Departure (Wed, September 9)

Following breakfast, you will be transferred through to Kogatende airstrip for onward flight arrangements to Arusha where you will have access to a day room at the Serena Duluti (3 x doubles- no meals included). Upon check out at 6:00 pm, you will be taken to the international airport at Kilimanjaro in time to connect with your onward flight arrangements home.

Price

$8895 (Double Occupancy) from Arusha, Tanzania. Includes: hotel accommodations, meals, ground transportation, flights within Tanzania, guides, park fees, airport transfers. Not Included: gratuities, Visas, Meals on Arrival and Departure in Arusha, All drinks (inc, bottled water), travel and personal accident insurance (required). A deposit is required to book your place.

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Marcia Gordon