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Best of the Serengeti - Photo Safari - Mar 2019

3-12 March 2019

Safari Leaders: Grant Atkinson and Helena Atkinson


Return to Photo Safaris and Photographic Workshops

In March 2019 join Grant and Helena Atkinson and a small group of photographers for a journey through the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and the Serengeti, some of Tanzania’s best wildlife areas. As much as we can predict it, we try to time our safari to coincide with the Great Migration of wildebeests and zebras during the peak of the wildebeest calving season. The areas we visit are rich in predators like lion, cheetah and spotted hyena. This trip also pairs well with our Kenya Big Cats March safari.

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 classic safari tented camps and for some portions of the safari, we will have the ability to drive off-road (not in environmentally sensitive areas) in order to get the best photographic angles of our subjects. All images in the gallery are from the 2018 safari to these destinations. The Ngorongoro Conservation Area was declared a World Heritage Site in 2010. The Serengeti has been a National Park since 1951 and is home to more than a million wildebeest and zebras.

Male - Copyright © Grant Atkinson

Safari Highlights
• Nine days on safari in the best areas of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and the Serengeti.
• We welcome photographers with all levels of experience.
• This safari will be conducive to learning from one another and include instruction that will suit everyone’s photographic needs.
• We focus on photographing in the field. We spend most of our time and effort on photographic activities and getting images.
• Non-photographer or videographer spouses / travel companions will also have fun on this safari. The wildlife places we visit will appeal to anyone with a love for animals and nature.
• The photo leaders are experienced naturalists with rich backgrounds in conservation, field guiding and the region’s natural history and wildlife.
• 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 vehicle 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 will lead the group. We have partnered with Topguides Safaris to guide us at Olakira and Kimondo. We will make use of the lodge guides at Namiri Plains.
• The group size is limited to 6 participants and we will make use of 2 vehicles. The photographic leaders will switch between the vehicles. With 2 photo leaders and only 6 participants we focus on individual attention.
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.

Cheetah - Copyright © Helena 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.


03-04 March 2019; (1 night)
RIVERTREES COUNTRY INN - Arusha, Tanzania              Jump to Rivertrees Country Inn

Rivertrees Country Inn cottage, 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 just outside the bustling safari town of Arusha, Rivertrees Country Inn 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 Mount 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 04 March we will drive to Olakira Camp in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

04-07 March 2019; (3 Nights)
OLAKIRA CAMP - Ndutu Region, Serengeti, Tanzania
            Jump to Olakira Camp

Olakira Camp tent, Ndutu area, TanzaniaWe travel by road from Ngorongoro to our next location, which is Ndutu. Our next camp, Olakira, is located, in the famous and game-rich Ndutu area bordering the Serengeti National Park (officially located just within the southern portion of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area). The road transfer will take us from the highlands around the Ngorongoro Crater through Masai community lands and is of approximately 3-4 hours duration. We will reach Ndutu in time for an afternoon game drive on our first day there. This camp has nine tents.

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. During our stay at Olakira we will traverse the Ngorongoro Conservation Area for our game drives. 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 07 March, we check in to our next camp, Kimondo Migration Camp.

07-09 March 2019; (2 Nights)
KIMONDO MIGRATION CAMP – Southern Serengeti, Tanzania
            Jump to Kimondo Camp

Kimondo Camp lounge tent, Serengeti, TanzaniaOn March 07 we enter the famed Serengeti National Park to spend 3 days photographing the abundant wildlife and potentially the herds of the Great Migration.

The Serengeti, which covers nearly 15,000 sq kms, 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. During this time the wildebeest mothers give birth to their calves in a remarkably synchronized event. We hope to enjoy amazing opportunities to photograph and witness the 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 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 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 charging points for phones, cameras etc in each tent.

09-12 March 2019; (3 Nights)
NAMIRI PLAINS CAMP – Southern Serengeti, Tanzania
            Jump to Namiri Plains Camp

Namiri Plains Camp guest tent, Serengeti, TanzaniaFor twenty years the grasslands of the Eastern Serengeti were closed to tourists to allow the cheetah population to replenish it itself. Today this is big-cat territory, where cheetah roam the area in pursuit of prey, and lion and leopard hunt undistributed.

In 2014, the region reopened with Asilia appointed as its custodian. Guests can enjoy this incredible corner of the Serengeti from the comfort of cool and elegant Namiri Plains. Expansive views, serious comfort, exceptional privacy and unrivaled sightings of apex predators in a region of the Serengeti come together to give you an exclusive and action-packed safari experience on the Serengeti plains.

12 March 2019

After our last morning in the Serengeti (12 March), we will board our charter flight (cost included) back to Arusha where the safari ends.

International flights may be scheduled to depart that evening to home destinations. See note below regarding travel extensions.

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.

Spotted Hyena - Copyright © Grant Atkinson

The cost of the safari is $12,000 per person. 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).
A limited number of single rooms are available; the single supplement cost is $1,500.

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.
• 2 x trip leader (Grant and Helena Atkinson).
• Private safari vehicles throughout the trip.
• Luggage allowance for Serengeti – Arusha air charter (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.
• All meals and drinks at both safari camps (excluding premium drinks).
• Daily laundry at both safari camps (except for underwear).
• All applicable conservancy and national park fees.
• Meet & Assist service on arrival in Arusha.
• Scheduled air charter from Serengeti back to Arusha.

• 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 (laundry is included in the safari camps).
• 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.

• This trip will run with a minimum of 3 participants and a maximum of 6 participants.
• 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.
• During the safari we will share our work flow 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.
• 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.
• Some safari camps will only accept cash for private 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, however we expect to be able to charge camera batteries and computers in the tents.
• Special dietary requirements can be accommodated if sent through beforehand.

Please read our Safari Code of Ethics and Conduct.

Our group size is a minimum of 3 participants and a maximum of 6 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.


Lioness - Copyright © Grant Atkinson

Spotted hyena and wildebeests - Copyright © Grant Atkinson

Wildebeest giving birth - Copyright © Helena Atkinson

Cheetahs - Copyright © Grant Atkinson

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