Expedition Overview

Expedition Overview

  • Learn how best to work with movement and light as you frame dazzling herds of zebra, lolling lions, and a colorful spectrum of birds.
  • Spend time with the Maasai and enjoy a rare chance to shoot portraits and photograph the traditional way of life of these iconic pastoralists.
  • Explore Olduvai Gorge, site of the National Geographic-sponsored archaeological excavation where Homo habilis was first identified.
  • Head out on safaris, walks, and other activities designed to maximize photographic opportunities.

Itinerary

Itinerary

Set out on a photo safari amid some of East Africa’s most spectacular landscapes and hone your skills while photographing an ever-changing tableau of wildlife. Learn how best to capture movement and light as you frame dazzling herds of zebras, majestic lion prides, and wildebeests on their annual migration across the Serengeti. Spend time with the Maasai and document their traditions in the Ngorongoro Highlands.

Day 1: Arusha, Tanzania

Arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport this evening and transfer to our hotel.

Accommodations:Arusha Coffee Lodge (2020) or Rivertrees Country Inn (2021)
Days 2-3: NGORONGORO CRATER

Get your equipment ready for our first safari in the Ngorongoro Crater, the world’s largest inactive, intact volcanic caldera and home to around 25,000 large animals. Document interactions between predator and prey; zoom in on birdlife from marabou storks to rainbow-hued lovebirds; and test your wildlife photography skills on elephants, rhinos, cheetahs, and more. Return to the crater floor the following morning for a sunrise breakfast and photo safari. Take the afternoon to relax and look over your images. Listen to a talk by our National Geographic photographer, and ready your camera to catch the sunset over the crater this evening.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Daily
Accommodations:Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge
Day 4: NGORONGORO CRATER/SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK

Travel off the beaten path through the Ngorongoro Highlands for a very special opportunity to visit with a Maasai community. With your camera in hand, witness an initiation ritual and learn about this fascinating culture from the village chief and his wives. Capture the spirit of traditional song and dance, and enjoy time to work on portraiture and photographing daily life here. After lunch, drive to the Olduvai Gorge where, on a National Geographic-sponsored expedition in 1960, Louis and Mary Leakey discovered Homo habilis, one of the earliest members of the human genus. Take a private tour of the site and learn about recent finds before continuing on to our lodge in the Southern Serengeti, looking out for lions, cheetahs, and leopards along the way.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations:Lake Masek Tented Camp
Days 5-6: SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK

This morning, enjoy a cup of hot coffee or tea overlooking the Serengeti plains before heading out on a morning safari drive. Alternatively, enjoy an early-morning hot-air balloon safari for a bird’s-eye view of the landscape, followed by breakfast under the shade of an acacia tree in the midst of the vast Serengeti. The next day, embark on an off-track safari in the Ndutu area, in search of resident lion prides, cheetahs, giraffes, and bountiful herds of wildebeest, elephants, and zebras. Watch the Serengeti’s legendary wildlife interact with each other on an afternoon game drive.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Daily
Accommodations:Lake Masek Tented Camp
Days 7-8: Serengeti National Park

Rise early for a morning game drive before flying to the northern Serengeti. With luck, capture the dramatic river crossings of the wildebeest migration. Settle into our accommodation at AndBeyond Grumeti Serengeti Tented Camp, situated in an area known for exceptional year-round resident wildlife and near one of the most famous fording points used by wildebeest crossing the Grumeti River. On morning and afternoon game drives, look out for crocodiles, hippos, and martial eagles. On our last evening, gather for a farewell dinner.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Daily
Accommodations:andBeyond Grumeti Serengeti Tented Camp
Day 9: Serengeti/Arusha/Depart

After a final early morning safari, fly back to Arusha. Relax at our hotel before connecting with your flight home.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodations:Lake Duluti Serena Hotel

Extensions

Extensions

  • On Safari in Tanzania: Rwanda Gorilla Tracking Extension
    6 days from $6,995
On Safari in Tanzania: Rwanda Gorilla Tracking Extension

Post-Trip, 6 Days

Travel to Rwanda on an optional pre- or post-trip extension for an incredible opportunity to encounter endangered mountain gorillas in the wild. From our base just outside Volcanoes National Park, track gorillas and hike to the original site of National Geographic grantee Dian Fossey's Karisoke Research Center.

Day 1: Tanzania/Kigali, Rwanda

Depart Tanzania on a flight to Kigali. Upon arrival, transfer to our hotel and enjoy an evening at leisure.

Accommodations:Kigali Serena Hotel
Day 2: Kigali

Journey into the lush hills that surround Kigali on an excursion that traces Rwanda’s path from despair to hope. We visit a “reconciliation village” supported by the Millennium Villages project, a unique development approach conceived by Columbia University’s Earth Institute and the United Nations Development Project. Here, survivors and perpetrators live side by side in an effort to heal the wounds of the genocide and build a brighter future for Rwanda. Listen to the moving testimonies of both a perpetrator and a survivor, and discuss the challenges—and the promise—of former enemies living as one. Visit the village health center and the primary school, fruits of the Millennium Villages project. This afternoon, travel back to Kigali for dinner at the legendary Hotel des Mille Collines—featured in the movie Hotel Rwanda—where more than a thousand Rwandans found safe haven during the genocide.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations:Virunga Safari Lodge
Day 3: Kigali/Parc National des Volcans

This morning, pay a visit to the Kigali Memorial Centre, where a poignant exhibition recalls Rwanda's mid-1990s genocide and testifies to the country's remarkable resilience. Then, travel north through the beautiful countryside to Parc National des Volcans.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations:Virunga Safari Lodge
Day 4: Parc National des Volcans

Spend the day tracking mountain gorillas in the forested hills of Parc National des Volcans. Follow local guides through thick undergrowth and dangling vines in search of gorilla families. Once we find them, sit among these gentle giants, observing their interactions; listening to their distinctive grumbles; and viewing one of the planet’s most endangered creatures from an awe-inspiring, up-close perspective.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations:Virunga Safari Lodge
Day 5: Parc National des Volcans/Kigali

Trek to the original site of the Karisoke Research Center, where the late Dian Fossey, a National Geographic grantee, carried out mountain gorilla research for 18 years. Or strike out into the lower reaches of the park on the lookout for golden monkeys, a distinct species of primate that can often be found in thick bamboo stands. Or if you prefer, you may enjoy an optional second day of gorilla tracking in Parc National des Volcans for an additional cost. In the afternoon, head back to Kigali.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodations:Virunga Safari Lodge
Day 6: Kigali

After breakfast, transfer to Kigali International Airport for your flight home, arriving the next day.

Meals Included:Breakfast