Tanzania Photo Tour Safari

Tour Intro

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.

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. It also encompasses a private interactive visit to an amazing school and Maasai Choir.

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.
  • Only three or four 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.
  • Joel Collins returns to Tanzania offering his photographic expertise and leadership.
  • 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 camp, immersing you in the sights and sounds of Africa. Food at all locations is well prepared and delicious.
  • Extensive readings and travel information will be supplied when you enroll.


What We Do

Each day we will focus on a different aspect of photography, constantly challenging ourselves to explore new ways of seeing and expressing our vision. Topics that will be covered are customized for each day depending on the itinerary and the desires of the group. Typical topics of instruction include:

  • Being a better traveler
  • Finding subjects
  • Following the light
  • Creating depth in an image
  • Telling a story
  • Editing your photos
  • Digital enhancement

Please contact Strabo Tours if you have any questions on the program or the photo leader for specific questions about photography.

Tour Highlights

• Intensive game viewing at Serengeti National Park.
• Only 4-5 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 9-10: USA - Amsterdam - Arusha
Maasal - Tanzania

Photo By: Joel Collins

Photo Location: Tanzania

It is necessary to connect with a Delta/KLM flight from Amsterdam to Arusha, Kilimanjaro Airport (JRO), landing May 10. On arrival, you will be met at the airport, assisted through customs, and the group will then be taken to the hotel. OVERNIGHT ARUSHA (dinner)

You will need to obtain a travel visa to Tanzania, instructions for ordering on line will be sent in your the packet of pre-departure materials.

May 11: Arusha
Sunset - Tanzania

Photo By: Joel Collins

Photo Location: Tanzania

Early morning will be to rest or enjoy the lovely grounds of the hotel. Your driver guides will take you later this morning to a school in Arusha where you will have introduction to the school and interaction with the children (or if you wish you can remain at hotel for additional rest). 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 photographic 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. Other species are the large concentration of giraffe, elephants, hippos, leopards, hyena, zebra, and a wide range of antelope. (all meals)

May 12-13: Tarangire National Park
Elephants - Tanzania

Photo By: Joel Collins

Photo Location: Tanzania

Today 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. 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. OVERNIGHT TARANGIRE (all meals)

May 14-15: Ngorongoro Crater

Photo By: Joel Collins

Photo Location: Tanzania

After breakfast depart for Ngorongoro Crater, one of the most famous wildlife viewing areas in the world. Drive directly to your accommodations, check in and have lunch. The lodge constructed of local materials is 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. You will then descend to the crater floor enjoying the rest of the day there. Flamingos inhabit an alkaline lake, the edge of the lake attracts an array of birds including kori bustard, yellow-billed stork, ostrich, and sacred ibis to name just a few.

The next day spend the entire day exploring the crater, leaving early in the morning, well before most tour vehicles depart. 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).

Enjoy a picnic lunch to maximize your time in the field and returning as late as possible in order to get the last golden rays of light. OVERNIGHT CRATER  (all meals)

May 16: Ngorongoro Conservation Area

Photo By: Joel Collins

Photo Location: Tanzania

Depart after an early breakfast, driving to the Serengeti. Spend the rest of the day exploring the southern Serengeti Plains on both sides of the NCA/Serengeti border. Off road game drives are allowed by the government in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, which your driver guides will take advantage of. 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. OVERNIGHT LAKE NDUTU (all meals)

May 17-19: Central Serengeti
Lion Cubs - Tanzania

Photo By: Joel Collins

Photo Location: Tanzania

After an early breakfast 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. 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. Animal 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. OVERNIGHT SERENGETI (all meals)

May 20-21: Crater Highlands
Sunset - Tanzania

Photo By: Joel Collins

Photo Location: Tanzania

Enjoy a leisurely drive out of the Serengeti and through the Crater Highlands to your lovely lodge. This property has been designed with gardens and trees specifically to attract a large variety of bird species. Arrive in the late afternoon with time to enjoy the forest setting and opportunities to photograph 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. OVERNIGHT KARATU (all meals)

May 22: Arusha-Amsterdam

Photo By: Joel Collins

Photo Location: Tanzania

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 flight home. (breakfast, lunch)

May 23: Amsterdam-Home
Leopard - Tanzania

Photo By: Joel Collins

Photo Location: Tanzania

We arrive in Amsterdam this morning and have a short layover before connecting with the flight back home. (meals on plane)

Photo Leader

Joel Collins
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Joel Collins

Joel is a professional photographer with a life long passion for international travel. His love of travel started at age three when his family moved to Europe. He spent the next several years traveling across Europe and North Africa, learning to love living out of a suitcase. The enthusiasm of that young world traveler is still alive in him today. Now he explores the globe with camera in hand, looking forward to each new adventure as an opportunity to capture another glimpse of the world.

Joel approaches travel photography with an emphasis on cultural sensitivity and respect. He has a patient approach, often trying to blend in with the local population and getting to know someone before taking their photo. Joel approaches instruction in the same way. He takes the time to learn about each student, working with them to conquer technical issues so they can better cultivate their own style and refine their unique vision of the world.

We could not have had better local guides. All very informative, friendly, candid and incredibly knowledgeable. Loved all three of them. Joel prepared extensively for this trip and it showed, from his background knowledge of where we were going to his recommendations on how to best capture a certain scene. His graciousness with the local people we encountered set good examples, both for setting up optimum portrait opportunities and for being an excellent diplomat for the US. He did a good job leading the critiques as well.


Pricing and Details

US Dollars based upon minimum of 8 paying participants. There is a small group surcharge of $400 if 6-7 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.


Joel is a natural instructor and "cultural ambassador". My photography has improved tremendously due to his instruction and encouragement. Prior to his trips, I was hesitant to approach people for their photos, but he shows us how to study a scene, be friendly, and ask permission to work with people, with wonderful portraits as the result! Now I can approach just about anyone with my camera and a smile and have a great experience where everyone is comfortable. Joel is always available to work one-on-one with us to address any areas of interest, such as challenging lighting situations, or varying our depth of field for the desired effects. And his critiques are fun and so helpful, challenging us to take chances with awesome results. He's an exceptional photographic leader. 

K.  Hornsby

Joel was a fabulous leader!! He was patient, friendly, and spent huge amounts of his time answering questions and educating. I would definitely go on another trip with him.

L Rose

You could ask Joel anything about photography such as use of your camera, software, or workflows, he would thoughtfully and respectfully give you his opinion and advice. On top of that people just naturally gravitate to him, you couldn’t walk down a street without children following him like the pied piper. I learned a lot of lessons from him that trip, not just about photography, but how to approach life in general. I would be honored to travel with him again.

E. Phillips

Additional Notes

Your Photo Tour Leader

Joel Collins is pleased to customize instruction for tour participants, evaluating their level of photography and needs, prior to and during the trip. Providing hands-on lessons in the field or receding into the background allowing members to photograph in their own style. There will be three presentations during the trip, the first being instructional and motivational, and the next two will be gentle critiques of your best photos taken during the trip.

He believes that travel can change the world. It works slowly, one person at a time, changing the traveler in subtle ways. The strange gradually becomes familiar. Fear is replaced with understanding. Travel is transformation. The ultimate goal of his photography and instruction is to inspire the journey to begin.

Joel has traveled the world since a young child and captured it with his camera. The enthusiasm of that young world traveler is still alive in him today. He looks forward to each new destination because it offers a new view of this beautiful planet. Travel to Southeast Asia with Joel, photographing the historic temples, colorful markets, and warm people. Please visit www.joelcollins.com for more examples of his travel photography.

Terms and Conditions

Unless otherwise noted, this information applies to all tours.


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.


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.


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.


All lodge and camp accommodations based upon two people sharing a room. Single rooms may be available at a supplementary cost.


Food & Drink

All meals while on safari are included, with some picnic lunches. Soft drinks and bottled water included at camps and in vehicles.

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