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Tanzania - Migration & Big Cats Photo Safari - Feb 2018

19-28 February 2018

Safari Leaders: Grant Atkinson and Helena Atkinson


Return to Photo Safaris and Photographic Workshops

In February 2018 Grant and Helena Atkinson will lead a private group of photographers to some of Tanzania’s greatest wildlife areas. We time our safari to coincide with the great wildebeest and zebra migration, at the peak of the calving season, as much as this can be predicted. The areas we visit are rich in predators like lion, cheetah and spotted hyena. We take in the splendor of Ngorongoro Crater and spend some time here making the most of the spectacular scenic backdrop.

This safari represents a fantastic combination of superb wildlife photography experiences, comfortable accommodation and expert guiding. As always, we will spend lots of time out in the field, and you will be with like-minded photographers who are happy to put in the time to get the images. We will be staying in private semi-luxury tented camps and for big parts of the safari, we will have the ability to go off-road (not in environmentally sensitive areas) in order to get the best photographic angles of our subjects.

Wildebeests and zebras, Serengeti, Tanzania - Copyright © Grant Atkinson

Safari Highlights
Eight days on safari in the best areas of southern Tanzania – the Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti.
• We welcome photographers of ALL levels. This safari will be conducive to learning from one another and include instruction that will suit everyone’s photographic needs.
We are BIG on photographing in the field. We will spend most of our time and effort on safari/ photographic activities and making images.
• Non-photographer or videographer spouses / travel companions will also enjoy this safari. The wildlife experiences on this trip will appeal to anyone with a love for animals and nature.
• The photo leaders are all experienced naturalists with rich backgrounds in conservation and field guiding and the region’s natural history as well as wildlife will be explored.
• We are visiting this region at the historical peak of the Great Migration and potentially during the wildebeest calving season (this is rain-dependent) to maximize our photographic opportunities. A maximum of 3 photographers per vehicle, means that there will be plenty of space to have your gear at the ready, and the opportunity to access both sides of the vehicle.
• We have modified safari vehicles, specifically optimized for photographers to help us in getting the best images on our trip. The vehicles have 3 rows of seats within, and there are large openings along the side and top of each Land Cruisers for photographers to work from, with minimal obstruction. Roll-up canvas blinds will provide protection from the elements if and when needed.
• Two photographic leaders, Grant and Helena Atkinson and (possibly) James Weis will lead the group, along with a Tanzanian head guide and guide team.
• We have partnered with Topguides Safaris and as such are assured of a very experienced team with excellent local knowledge and a quality experience.
• The group size is limited to 9 participants and we will make use of 3 vehicles. The photographic leaders will switch between the vehicles.
• With 3 photo leaders and only 9 participants individual attention is assured.
Extra luggage allowances to accommodate the special needs of our photographic equipment (for our one flight from Serengeti back to Arusha).
• Classic style safari accommodation with bucket showers at tented camps for an authentic safari experience.
• Camp locations are specifically chosen to maximize photographic opportunities by being as close as possible to the prime wildlife areas.
• This itinerary focuses on up-close and real wildlife experiences from the surroundings of our very comfortable accommodations.

Wildebeests, Serengeti, Tanzania - Copyright © Grant Atkinson


Here are some key points to help you decide:
1.  We welcome photographers of ALL levels. This safari will be conducive to learning from one another and include instruction that will suit everyone’s photographic needs. No question is off limits, no inquiry too basic.
2.  We are BIG on photographing in the field. We will spend most our time and effort on safari / photographic activities and making images.
3.  Non-photographer or videographer spouses / travel companions will love these safaris. The wildlife experiences on this trip will appeal to anyone with a love for animals and nature.  We have specialist guides leading all safari activities and optional activities (walking, balloon safaris, etc.) are also available subject to camp restrictions.


19-20 February 2018; (1 night)
RIVERTREES COUNTRY INN - Arusha, Tanzania             Jump to Rivertrees

Rivertrees Country Inn in Arusha, TanzaniaOn your arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport, you will be met by our local representative, who will assist you by means of a closed-vehicle road transfer from the airport to our accommodation in Arusha town for the night.

Set in Northern Tanzania just outside the bustling safari town of Arusha, Rivertrees is perfectly situated for exploring this interesting area. The inn is a charming country estate that was once an old coffee farm. Set on ten acres of fertile greenery, the grounds are a natural extension of Mt Meru’s sloping foothills, and offer a sanctuary for birds and some indigenous primates to the area. If you arrive with enough time in hand, there is a chance of spotting two uncommon primate species, the black-and-white colobus monkey and the diadem (blue) monkey, within the lodge grounds. The cottages are nestled along the river and in thickets of tall forest trees.

The restaurant on the premises serves tasty and wholesome meals and the best of the region’s locally grown coffees. A trip into town or other activities can be arranged if you would like, so coming a day earlier is a possibility.

On the morning of the 20th of February, we will drive to the Sanctuary Ngorongoro Crater Camp near the Ngorongoro crater.

20-22 February 2018; (2 Nights)
            Jump to Ngorongoro Crater Camp

Sanctuary Ngorongoro Crater Camp, TanzaniaOur drive to the Crater will take us through some typical Tanzanian country-side and is about a three to four hours drive, which will include a lunch stop.

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) offers one of the richest wildlife viewing experiences on the African continent. Part of the Serengeti ecosystem, the region covers 8,292km (square) and encompasses expansive short-grass plains on the southern border of the Serengeti National Park as well as the dramatic Ngorongoro Highlands region, with its enormous calderas and spectacular vistas. The NCA is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that takes its name from the Ngorongoro Crater, the worlds largest inactive, intact and unfilled volcanic caldera, formed two to three million years ago. Approximately 25,000 large animals live in the natural enclosure formed by the 300km (square) crater, whilst the greater conservancy surroundings are home to wildebeest and zebra migratory movements in the wet season. It was recently voted one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa. The beautiful, incredibly game-rich Ngorongoro Crater is the main feature of the region, and is an iconic natural wonder of the world. The enclosed caldera is an ecosystem in itself within the greater Serengeti: the mineral-rich floor of the spectacular bowl is largely flat and covered in nutritious grasses, providing a paradise for herbivores and predators alike.

Our accommodation for 2 nights in the NCA will be at the Sanctuary Ngorongoro Crater Camp. The camp is situated along the Ngorongoro Crater rim valley, close to the access road leading down into the crater, giving our guests unrivaled access. The camp offers ten classic safari tents – each with its own en-suite bathroom and indoor safari (bucket) shower, with personal tent attendant filling your bucket shower to the perfect temperature whenever required from the outside. The tents also feature hairdryers and plug points and a small sitting area in front of each of the tents where early morning coffee and biscuits can be enjoyed before starting the day of incredible game viewing. The main common areas include a dining area, bar area and lounge area as well as comfortable sofas placed in specially-selected locations around the camp.

On the 21st of February, we will rise early and head down into the Crater to photograph and observe the plentiful wildlife and the beautiful landscapes within.

Early on the morning of 22nd of February, we will depart in our vehicles for the wildlife-rich plains of the Serengeti National Park.

22-25 February 2018; (3 Nights)
OLAKIRA CAMP - Ndutu/Serengeti, Tanzania
            Jump to Olakira Camp

Olakira Camp - Serengeti region, TanzaniaWe travel by road from Ngorongoro to our next location, which is Ndutu in the southern Serengeti. The road transfer will take us from the highlands around the Crater through Maasai community lands and will take us 3-4 hours. We will reach Ndutu in time for an afternoon game drive.

The Ndutu area has some varied and interesting habitats, from the open, short-grass plains to the acacia woodland that flourishes along the edges of the waterways and their marshes, that are very conducive to good wildlife photography.

Olakira camp has nine tents and during our stay we will traverse both the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, and the southern Serengeti. This area is well known for good sightings of lion, sometimes cheetah, as well as many other species like giraffe, buffalo, and other herbivores. The grassy plains here are also a vital part of the wildebeest’s route, and provide them with the nutrition they need for their journey.

After our morning game outing on the 25th of February we drive and check in to our next camp, Kimondo Migration Camp.

25-28 February 2018; (3 Nights)
KIMONDO MIGRATION CAMP - Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
            Jump to Kimondo Camp

Kimondo Camp - Serengeti, TanzaniaOn the 25th, we enter the famed Serengeti National Park to spend three days photographing the abundant wildlife and potentially the herds of the Great Migration.

The Serengeti, which covers nearly 15,000 square kilometers, is arguably one of the greatest wildlife experiences on the planet. As winter eases into summer, the migratory herds are situated in the southern Serengeti and this is where we will be based. It is on these grassy plains that the huge herds of wildebeest that have wandered for hundreds of kilometers have a chance to graze, rest and calve. Here the wildebeest mothers give birth to their calves in a remarkably synchronized event. We hope to enjoy amazing opportunities to photograph and witness this spectacle, along with the local carnivore guild that includes spotted hyena, lion, cheetah, black-backed and golden jackals. While leopards do occur in the Serengeti, we do not expect to find them very often and prefer to focus our time on other species. Bird life is also prolific in the region and is further enriched by many migrant species at this time.

Our accommodation here for three nights is Kimondo Migration Camp, which is not too far from Olakira. Kimondo is a mobile safari camp that tracks the seasonal migration and is located in the lush southern Serengeti grasslands in the height of summer. Kimondo has just eight tents, each with a focus on traditional safari style and comfort. There are no charging points in the rooms.

28 February 2018

After our last morning in the Serengeti (February 28), we will board our charter flight (cost included) back to Arusha where the safari ends.

NOTE:  Air travel and customized extensions to this safari, including other camps in Kenya and/or Tanzania, gorilla trekking in Rwanda, or other destinations may be arranged through Eyes on Africa as desired.  Ask us for further information.

Buffalos, Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania - Copyright © Grant Atkinson

The cost of this all-inclusive safari is dependent on the number of guests that travel, as follows:
• 6 Adults + 2 x Tour Leaders + 2 x Vehicles = $11,900 per person; Single Supplement (dependent on availability of rooms) = $1,900.
• 9 Adults + 3 x Tour Leaders + 3 x Vehicles = $11,000 per person; Single Supplement (dependent on availability of rooms) = $1,900.

This fee includes all in-country ground and air transportation as well as hotel accommodation (double occupancy) and all meals (except as noted above and in exclusions below).

Please note: We will attempt to adhere to this itinerary as much as possible. However, certain conditions (political, climatic, environmental, cultural, or wildlife migrations) may necessitate changes in the itinerary. We reserves the right to alter any itinerary at any time, if necessary. We will attempt to notify participants of changes as far in advance as possible. Costs incurred by such changes will be the responsibility of the participant.

• Accommodation on a shared basis, however should you want single accommodation on the safari, please get in touch and inquire if this is possible;
• 2x or 3x Trip leader (Grant and Helena Atkinson, and possibly James Weis) - depends on number of participants;
• Private safari vehicles throughout trip;
• Luggage allowance for Serengeti – Arusha air charters (extra freight seats have been arranged): 70-75 pounds per person in total;
• All safari activities and transfers to/from the airports and the hotels.

• International airfare and / or other transportation between your home and Kilimanjaro Airport, Tanzania;
• Dinner / drinks in Arusha on Day 1, due to the late arrivals (except at breakfast);
• Discretionary gratuities for hotel staff in Arusha and safari camps;
• Discretionary gratuities for driver guides (who will be with us throughout our trip);
• Laundry or extras in Arusha;
• Visas, travel insurance, personal purchases (including curios, special spirit liquors, telephone calls, etc);
• Optional pre- / post safari tours and meals or accommodation before or after the safari.

• During the safari we will share our workflow and processing techniques on the computer. To make the most of this opportunity you are advised to bring a laptop and card reader as well as enough external storage for these sessions as well as the editing software you are most comfortable with. Grant and Helena both use Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop CC.
• Air travel and customized extensions to this safari, including other camps in Tanzania and/or Kenya, gorilla trekking in Rwanda, or other destinations may be arranged through Eyes on Africa as desired. Ask us for further information.
• Discretionary gratuities for driver guides are recommended at USD $25 to $30 per person per day.
• Discretionary gratuities for camp and hotel staff are recommended at USD $15 to $25 per person per day.
• Any discretionary gratuities for guides, staff and trip leaders should be paid out in cash.
• Our group size is a maximum of 9 participants.
• Note also that some of the safari camps will only accept cash for curio purchases.
• Although most safari lodges offer complimentary internet access, connections are unreliable and extremely slow.
• Tropical rain showers can occur this time of year and you should bring rain gear both for yourself and your camera equipment.
• Laundry services are offered but no underwear will be done, although you can do this in your room with laundry soap provided.
• At some facilities charging of batteries can only be done in the main area.
• Lower temperatures can be expected at the Ngorongoro crater than elsewhere on the trip.
• Special dietary requirements can be accommodated if sent through beforehand.

Please read our Safari Code of Ethics and Conduct.

Our group size is a maximum of 9 participants and we expect that this trip will fill up. If this exciting safari sounds good and you're excited by the thought of joining on this trip, then now is the time to register. Remember, there will be limited space available for this trip and when the spots are spoken for, that's it. If you have any questions before registering, send an e-mail with any inquiries to adele@eyesonafrica.net or simply call us (800-457-9575) and ask to speak to Adele.


Buffalos, Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania - Copyright © Grant Atkinson

Crowned Cranes, Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania - Copyright © Grant Atkinson

Cheetah, Serengeti, Tanzania - Copyright © Grant Atkinson

Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania - Copyright © Grant Atkinson

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