Tanzania High School Photography Workshop

Renowned for its incredible wildlife, timeless pastoral cultures, and stunning landscapes, Tanzania offers endless photographic inspiration. Set out on safari with a National Geographic photographer to frame majestic lion prides, herds of elephants and zebras, elusive cheetahs and rhinos, and much more. Capture images of everyday life in an agricultural village, spend time with Maasai elders, and document conservation initiatives with researchers in the field.

July 1 - 14, 2019
Airfare is not included. We have arranged a round-trip group flight between New York and Arusha.

Trip Highlights

  • Embark on a photo safari and delve into the art of wildlife photography alongside a National Geographic photographer.
  • Visit a Maasai boma to capture images of a vibrant welcome ceremony and village life.
  • Document wildlife conservation in action at the Noloholo Environmental Center, run by National Geographic grantees Laly Lichtenfeld and Charles Trout.
  • Celebrate your photographic journey with a pop-up show of your work at a gallery in Arusha.


The workshop begins in an agricultural village nestled between Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru, where we will spend time getting to know each other and community members. Working in small groups with our photo instructors and National Geographic photographer, practice techniques for shooting under the bright equatorial light. Capture the motion of a vibrant welcome ceremony, and take portraits of villagers you meet throughout your stay. Learn the art of landscape photography on an excursion to a coffee farm, or while hiking the base of Mount Meru.

Our photo safari begins with a special invitation to the Noloholo Environmental Center, run by National Geographic grantees Laly Lichtenfeld and Charles Trout. Learn about lion conservation efforts, run in partnership with local Maasai communities, and document current projects during an excursion into the field with the program’s biologists. Then set off through the Oldonyo Sambu wilderness, zooming in on herds of gazelles, long- legged giraffes, and other animals that dot the savanna. Visit a traditional Maasai boma, photographing warriors dressed in brightly colored shukas as they welcome our group with festive drumming, singing, and jumping contests. Shoot the tangled tree walls that keep predators from village livestock, and learn about the complex relationships between people and wildlife in Tanzania’s pastoral regions.

Next, travel into the heart of Tarangire National Park. From the safety of our safari vehicles, take close-ups of elephants, cheetahs, hyenas, and more. Descend into the famed Ngorongoro Crater, where volcanic slopes shelter more than 25,000 animals. Capture the sun rising above the crater wall, and zoom in on flocks of flamingos, bathing hippos, large herds of zebras, prancing antelope, elusive rhinos, and lions resting up for the nighttime hunt. In the evenings, we’ll cook dinner around an open fire and listen to talks given by our National Geographic photographer.

Return to Arusha, where we’ll review and edit our work from the safari, and prepare for pop-up gallery show that features each student’s best photographs from the workshop.

Our photo workshops are for students in grades 9-12. Students learn important photography lessons in the classroom and apply them in some of the world’s most photogenic places. Then, together with their fellow travelers, they work to organize, curate, and install a pop-up gallery show featuring each student’s original images. Students shoot alongside a team of highly-qualified photography instructors—college graduates with extensive experience in the field, who love working with students. A National Geographic photographer also joins the entire program, inspiring students with their work, and helping students build their own skills. Photo Workshops generally have 25-30 participants, and the student-to-photo-instructor ratio is usually between six and eight to one and never more than nine to one.
In the village we sleep in dormitory-style accommodations, and sleeping areas are separated by gender. We sleep in tented camps while on safari and stay at a family-run eco-lodge in Arusha. Classrooms are equipped with digital projectors so we can share and critique our work.

Brent Stirton, Photojournalist

Meet Our Expert

South African photographer Brent Stirton spends most of his time working on long-term investigative projects for National Geographic magazine, and is committed to issues related to wildlife and conservation, global health, diminishing cultures, sustainability, and the environment. He has shot 20 stories for National Geographic magazine, including recent stories on human-lion conflict, elephant poaching, and the rhino horn trade. Brent appeared in National Geographic's documentary Virunga National Park in Conflict, which won the Emmy for Best Documentary Feature. In Botswana, Brent has covered bush pilots in the Okavango Delta, and indigenous bushmen communities. Brent has been recognized by the United Nations for his work on the environment and in the field of HIV/AIDS. His work has received 9 World Press Photo awards, and has been published in many respected international titles including Vanity Fair, Time, The New York Times Magazine, GEO, and Le Monde. Brent will join for the entire workshop.

Sample Daily Schedule

This sample daily schedule will give you a sense of a typical day on our Photography Workshop. Our schedule will also remain flexible throughout the program so that we can take advantage of photographic opportunities as they arise.

8:00 AM – 9:00 AM — Breakfast: Eat breakfast together with your group at our accommodations.

9:00 AM – 11:00 AM — Photo Review and Selection: Photo instructors and our National Geographic photographer work with each student to select the best photos from the previous day’s shoot.

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM — Group Critique: Photo instructors and our National Geographic photographer lead a group critique and discussion of each student’s top images.

12:00 PM – 2:00 PM — Lunch and Free Time: Eat lunch together as a group and then take some time to relax before heading out on your afternoon assignments.

2:00 PM – 6:00 PM — Assignment Work in the Field: Break into smaller teams, shooting in the field in agricultural villages and throughout Tanzania’s national parks.

6:00 PM – 8:00 PM — Dinner and Evening Meeting: All students and instructors will meet back on campus for an evening meeting and dinner. There will also be time to upload photos from the day to your computers.

8:00 PM – 10:00 PM — Evening Activity: Head out on the town together for an evening show or attend a talk by our National Geographic photographer.