Tanzania Photo Tour: Tanzania Safari

Tour Intro


We have planned this safari during this period for a special reason — the Serengeti migration, the greatest wildlife spectacle on earth. Our trip is timed to coincide with the annual migration of thousands of animals through the central & southern corridor, and with luck we will witness the herds as they travel across the region to the Maasai Mara in Kenya. This safari gives you an in-depth view of the natural history of East Africa, with a special emphasis on wildlife and birdlife photography.

Tanzania boasts one of Africa’s highest counts of bird species, with over 1100 recorded. Nearly eighty percent of those birds breed in country and approximately six billion birds migrate through each year. This safari will encompass the prolific birdlife of Arusha, and Tarangire National Parks, the wildlife of the Serengeti, as well as a private interactive visit with the Maasai.

This is Africa as you’ve always imagined it to be: the magic of a Serengeti sunset, the teeming wildlife of Ngorongoro Crater. A safari to Tanzania is a special adventure into the premier game-viewing country of Africa. Tanzania’s great game parks and reserves are unsurpassed anywhere in the world. We’ll see all of the major plains animals, zebras, giraffes, impalas, gazelles, and other herbivores. There will be baboons and monkeys, herds of elephant and buffalo, and some of the most wonderful bird life you will ever see.

Special Features of This Safari
• Game Drives for Photographers and Naturalists
• Early mornings and late afternoons, for the best wildlife photography and light. Long days in the field. Excellent driver-guides who are sensitive to the needs of photo groups.
• A maximum of only 3 or 4 participants per seven passenger stretch vehicle — a real luxury, but essential for photographers. We have instituted this policy to help lower our carbon footprint and for the past five years our participants have been in full support. (The safari vehicles we use are roomy 7 passenger “stretch” 4WD Land Rovers and Land Cruisers, chosen for their ruggedness and reliability.
• Photographic expertise and leadership of Cathy & Gordon Illg.
• Extensive readings and travel information will be supplied when you enroll.
 

Tour Highlights

• Intensive game viewing at Serengeti National Park.
• Only 3 or 4 participants per vehicle (7 passenger stretch Land Cruisers) and limited to 12 participants, to ensure the optimum photographic experience.
• Time to absorb and photograph the wonder of it all. Most safari operator’s rush from place to place, we take our time, watching and waiting for wildlife or just the right light.
Ngorongoro Crater, Serengeti, and Tarangire National Parks.

Tour Itinerary

May 11-12: Home – Amsterdam – Arusha

Board the Delta/KLM flight to Amsterdam, landing May 12. You will have a short layover before continuing to Arusha. On arrival, you will be met at the airport, your Tanzania Visa will be processed, and the group will then be taken to the hotel. LAKE DULUTI SERENA LODGE (dinner)

May 13: Arusha

This morning and through lunch is time for everyone to get over jet lag, enjoy the grounds of the hotel, and rest up at your lodge. After lunch enjoy your first game drive in Arusha National Park. The park is small, but a natural treasure, with views of Mount Meru, Mount Kilimanjaro, a variety of habitats and some unique birding opportunities. The park has a diverse topography that can catch your eyes and heart. Both migratory and resident water birds settle on the lakes, waterbuck and reedbuck are found near water, bushbuck and duikers are easily glimpsed between ancient cedar trees. Black-and-white colobus monkeys and Sykes monkey climb through the trees. Within this wide range of habitats almost 400 species of birds have been recorded in this lush mountain forest. Other species in evidence are the large concentration of giraffe, elephants, hippos, leopards, hyena, zebra, and a wide range of antelope. LAKE DULUTI SERENA LODGE (all meals)

May 14-15: Tarangire National Park

Photo By: Kathy Adams Clark

Photo Location: Lion, Tanzania

Today we drive to Tarangire National Park, with game drives along the way. The next day we will have a full day of game driving and bird sighting in Tarangire National Park. The park remains excellent for elephants, giraffe, and birds. Bird watching is amazing all year round. Three thousand migratory elephants join the existing resident herds, attracted initially by the tall grasses growing after the short rain season. The park is one of the most scenic in Tanzania with huge baobab trees. Besides various species of ostrich, stork, and birds of prey, there are also various species of kingfishers, bee eaters, rollers, hoopoes, hornbills, cuckoos, woodpeckers, shrikes, weavers, flycatchers, and sunbirds. TARANGIRE SOPA LODGE. (all meals)

May 16-17: Ngorongoro Crater

After breakfast we will depart for Ngorongoro Crater, one of the most famous wildlife viewing areas in the world. We will drive directly to the Crater Sopa Lodge, check in and have lunch. The lodge constructed of local materials and hidden within the forests of the rim of the crater. It offers a stunning view of the crater, with close proximity to the access road for the descent. We will then descend to the crater floor enjoying the rest of the day there. Flamingos inhabit an alkaline lake in the center of the crater and other bird life is abundant as well. The lake edge attracts an array of birds including kori bustard, yellow-billed stork, ostrich, and sacred ibis to name just a few.

The next day we will spend the entire day exploring the crater, leaving early in the morning, well before most tour vehicles depart. We will descend from the rim, at about 7,600 feet in elevation, to the floor of the crater some 2,000 feet below. This 102-square-mile crater is the largest unflooded, unbroken caldera in the world. Within its perimeter are thousands of wildebeest, black rhino, cheetah, gazelle, giraffe, and a high density of lions, hyenas, and other predators. (Recommended reading: The Innocent Killers by Jane and Hugo Van Lawick-Goodall).

We’ll have a picnic lunch to maximize our time in the field and returning as late as possible in order to get the last golden rays of light. NGORONGORO SOPA LODGE. (all meals)

May 18: Ngorongoro Conservation Area- Southern Serengeti
Bird - Tanzania

Photo By: Kathy Adams Clark

Photo Location: Tanzania

Leave the Sopa Lodge after an early breakfast and drive to the Serengeti stopping along the way to visit a Maasai village. We will spend the rest of the day exploring the southern Serengeti Plains on both sides of the NCA/Serengeti border. We are able to game drive in both the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and the southern Serengeti eco-system. There are fewer off-road restrictions in the NCA land so we will surely take advantage of that as much as possible. Cats remain in the territory and this is a good area especially for cheetah. Bird life around Lake Ndutu and the Ndutu woodlands and marshes should have a high yield. LAKE NDUTU LUXURY LODGE (all meals)

May 19-21: Central Serengeti

Photo By: Kathy Adams Clark

Photo Location: Wildebeest, Tanzania

After an early breakfast, we will drive through the Gol Kopjes to Sametu Camp in the central Serengeti. At this time of year, the herd usually begins to prepare for the wildebeest rut of May and June. These are some of the most amazing herd sightings as the male and female herds come together for breeding but form massive numbers of harems as the males attempt to collect their breeding group but other males constantly challenge them for breeding rights. As you drive through the savannah there are many new bird species to look for. Our focus for these three days will be on savannah bird species, the large wildebeest herds and the big cats.

The Serengeti is one of the most famous wildlife areas in the world. Although there are no guarantees in the natural world, with any luck we will be able to see huge herds of wildebeest and other plains animals grazing on the savannah. The herds follow the rains and feed on the new grass so what we will actually see depends upon the weather pattern. If past years are any indication, we have positioned ourselves to be in the right location at the right time. SAMETU CAMP (all meals)
 

May 22-23: Crater Highlands

Photo By: Kathy Adams Clark

Photo Location: Olive Baboon, Tanzania

Enjoy a leisurely drive out of the Serengeti and through the Crater Highlands to The Retreat at Ngorongoro along the Forest Reserve. This property is dedicated to the celebration of birds. The gardens are designed with plants and trees specifically to attract a large variety of species and a small lake in the center of the property also attracts waterfowl. Arrive in the late afternoon with time to enjoy the forest setting and opportunities to bird on the property. The next day the group has the option to game drive to nearby Lake Manyara National Park or to remain at your lodge. PLANTATION LODGE (all meals)

May 24: Arusha – Amsterdam

Enjoy your last morning on the beautiful grounds of your lodge. After having lunch, return to Arusha for shopping at the African Gallery. Continue directly to Kilimanjaro International Airport to check in for your Delta/KLM return flight. (breakfast, lunch)

May 25: Amsterdam - Home

Arrive in Amsterdam this morning and have a short layover before connecting with your flight back to Home. (meals on plane)

Photo Leader

Cathy & Gordon Illg
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Cathy & Gordon Illg

Cathy and Gordon Illg are freelance photographers specializing in nature and wildlife photography. For more than twenty years they have been guiding tours to outstanding locations for both scenic and wildlife photography. Their work has appeared in nearly all the major nature publications and prominent travel magazines, as well as earning numerous awards in Nature’s Best International Photographic Competitions. In 2003, they earned second place in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest.

They are more than just skilled photographers and instructors; they are also Certified International Tour Managers, which ensures that traveling companions will have a great time, regardless of where they are traveling and what they are doing. The job is particularly fulfilling when it involves bringing guests face to face with the great outdoors and the creatures that call it home.

If you are already an accomplished photographer, they will get you to the good locations, at the right times, and set you free. However, if you want help, they will provide as much instruction as you want. On most tours instructional presentations are provided, and participants are always encouraged to bring a sample of their work for a helpful, friendly critique or just to share with the group.

It was an amazing trip and the uniqueness of the Galapagos Islands certainly added to that. Everyone did a great job!!

S. Hon

Pricing and Details

US Dollars based upon minimum of 10 paying participants. There is a small group surcharge of $500 if 6-9 paying participants. All our program prices are based on double occupancy unless noted in exceptions.

Single rooms are subject to availability. We try to accommodate travelers who request single accommodations, as well as travelers who are looking for a roommate. If a single room is requested, or if we are unable to find a suitable roommate, you will be required to pay the supplement.

Testimonials

I want to tell you what a wonderful experience last week was for me.  I thoroughly enjoyed the trip and I feel I really learned a lot.  I can see a progression in my pictures of getting better as the days went by...Thanks for all your help and the time you spent with us.

KH

Cathy & Gordon are great tour leaders because they are uniquely qualified in nature and in photography.  I highly recommend taking one of their tours IF you want to learn a lot and get some fine images for your collection.  They really spent time with those of us on the tour to be sure we got the images we wanted.  In my opinion, you can't lose by taking one of the Adventure tours." 

LP

Additional Notes

Your Tour Leaders

Cathy and Gordon Illg are freelance photographers specializing in nature and outdoor recreation. For more than twenty years they have been searching outstanding locations for both scenic and wildlife photography. Their work has appeared in nearly all the major nature publications and prominent travel magazines, as well as earning numerous awards in Nature’s Best International Photographic Competitions. In 2003, they earned second place in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest, and one of their participants also won an award in that contest with a photo taken on one of their tours.

They are more than just skilled photographers and instructors; they are also Certified International Tour Managers, which ensures that traveling companions will have a great time, regardless of where they are traveling and what they are doing. The job is particularly fulfilling when it involves bringing guests face to face with the great outdoors and the creatures that call it home.

If you are already an accomplished photographer, they will get you to the good locations, at the right times, and set you free. However, if you want help, they will provide as much instruction as you want. On most tours instructional presentations are provided, and participants are always encouraged to bring a sample of their work for a helpful, friendly critique or just to share with the group.

Terms and Conditions

Unless otherwise noted, this information applies to all tours.

Airfare

Contact Strabo Tours if you would like rates on International Airfare. Please note on your trip application form if you would like us to assist you with your airfare needs, a charge is added for this service. If making your own arrangements, it is important to discuss flight times with Strabo Tours before booking any airline tickets. This will avoid you having to pay airline cancellation penalties. Please contact Strabo Tours for destination airfare estimates, specific flight time arrivals, and departures.

The land cost includes:
  • Group transportation for tour events in the tour van.
  • Accommodations based on two people sharing a room, singles are assigned on a first come, first served basis.
  • Services of driver, English speaking cultural guide (if applicable) and photographic leader, during the tour.
  • Meals as listed in itinerary (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner).
  • Park entrance fees, day tours and excursions as shown in the itinerary.
  • Extensive pre-departure information and services.
The land cost does not include:

Domestic or International air fare; other airfare if noted in exceptions; air fare tax; airport departure tax; airport transfers; additional transfers or accommodations that may be required by those not traveling with the group; excess baggage charges; meals not included in itinerary; activities taken on your own; passport/visa expenses; personal medical or travel insurance; any expenses of a personal nature, such as room service, laundry, beverages not included with meals, medical expenses, photographic equipment, any activities not specified in tour itinerary or listed as optional, or any items not listed in what is included; fuel surcharges; exchange rate surcharges; upon the completion of your trip, modest gratuities to the local guides and the drivers are customary; tips for meals not included in itinerary.

Fitness and Health

The majority of trips are not strenuous (see exceptions below for particular destinations) and anyone who is reasonably fit should be able to take part in most of the activities. You may experience general fatigue due to the long flights and the change in time zones. You will need to be sufficiently agile to climb in and out of the tour van and be able to carry and manage your own equipment. We will frequently hike trails ranging from easy to moderate. Some hotels do not have elevators or air conditioners.

If you have any special needs or any physical condition that you feel might prevent you from fully participating, please contact Strabo Tours with your concerns (607-756-8676).

You should also be aware that medical services or facilities might not be readily available during all or part of your trip. This could include emergency medical care, presence of physicians, or adequate medication.

Exceptions:

The following destinations require more physical activity. Bhutan, China, Patagonia, Peru, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, New Zealand, Scotland, Domestic tours. On the African Safari you will spend many hours in a vehicle on game drives, land travel will sometimes be over very bumpy and dusty roads. Galapagos Cruise accommodations are in upper and lower berths (bunk beds) only.

The following destinations require more physical activity. Bhutan, China, Patagonia, Peru, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, New Zealand, Scotland, Domestic tours. On the African Safari you will spend many hours in a vehicle on game drives, land travel will sometimes be over very bumpy and dusty roads. Galapagos Cruise accommodations are in upper and lower berths (bunk beds) only.

Deposits, Cancellations AND Refunds

A deposit of $750 ($500 on domestic tours) per person is required. Specific tours may require an additional deposit due to accommodation bookings or transportation requirements. If applicable these will be noted on your invoice. Payment in full is required when bookings are made less than 120 days before the departure date. Space is subject to cancellation by Strabo if payment is not received when due.

If a passenger wishes to cancel they must send notification in writing to: Strabo International Tour, Co., P.O. Box 580, Dryden, NY 13053; fax 208-545-4119. At the time we receive your notification, the following per person charges apply:

  • 91 days or more before departure: $300 cancellation fee ($150 fee on domestic tours), plus Strabo’ costs, as well as fees that are charged by the suppliers providing the services included in your tour, and/or the airlines providing the air transportation.
  • 61-90 days before departure: $500 ($250 on domestic tours) minimum cancellation fee, plus Strabo’ costs, as well as fees that are charged by the suppliers providing the services included in your tour, and/or the airlines providing the air transportation. Fees may range from 25% to 100% of tour costs.
  • 60 days or less before departure or anytime after departure: NO REFUND.

Refunds for services that are voluntarily not used by you cannot be made.

Insurance

Each participant must be covered by medical insurance that is valid overseas.

We strongly urge you to evaluate your risk and to take out insurance on your trip. It is vital for you to realize that if you experience a delay or find it necessary to cancel or cut short your trip for any reason, you will lose part or the entire sum you’ve invested in it (see the section “Deposits, Cancellations and Refunds” in the trip brochure).

Travel insurance helps to minimize the risk of monetary losses you would incur in the event of a delay of your departure due to weather, airline strike, missed connection, etc., your inability to travel for reasons such as illness, injury, unforeseen financial complications and other personal circumstances, or if you were required to cut your trip short for medical or any other reasons.

There are restrictions and limitations on any insurance program. For this reason, please read carefully the enclosed pamphlet, which outlines their program of trip cancellation, baggage, and medical insurance. Trained agents are available to answer your questions, so don’t hesitate to call the toll free number in their brochure. It is to your advantage to apply for insurance at the earliest possible time, so don’t delay in making a decision.

Subject to Change

Itineraries have been carefully constructed to assure participants the best each destination has to offer; however, should events arise that are beyond our control, activities and hotel arrangements are subject to change without notice. The itineraries summarize typical areas you will explore. Since there is no possible way to visit all of them, your guides will plan each day considering the interests of the group and the weather at hand. Be assured that we will make substitutions that are as similar in quality and interest as possible.

Photo Release

Strabo International Tour Company, Inc. reserves the right and permission to use photographs of individuals on tour for use in promotional and publicity purposes. We also reserve the right to use clients photographs for promotional and publicity purposes, when submitted to Strabo International Tour Company, Inc.

Accommodations

The Ngorongoro and Serengeti accommodations will be modern, deluxe lodges that are in harmony with their environment and are constructed of local materials. You will also stay in a luxury tented camps, immersing you in the sights and sounds of Africa. 

Food & Drink

Food at all locations is well prepared and delicious.

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