Tanzania Safari with Boyd Norton

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 corridor, and with luck we will witness the herds as they travel across the region to the Masai Mara in Kenya.
 

Tour Highlights

• Intensive game viewing at Serengeti National Park during migration time.
• Only 4 participants per vehicle (7 passenger stretch Land Cruisers) and the trip is limited to 12 participants, to ensure the optimum photographic experience.
• Time to absorb and photograph the wonder of it all. Most safari operators rush from place to place. We take our time, watching and waiting for wildlife or just the right light.
• Extended exploration of Ngorongoro Crater and a chance to meet and photograph the Maasai.
• Visit to Olduvai Gorge and the Zinjanthropus site.
Boyd’s intimate knowledge of all these areas will assure you the best photographic opportunities.

Tour Itinerary

February 16-17: USA – Amsterdam – Arusha

Photo By: Boyd Norton

Photo Location: Land Cruiser, Serengeti

Board your flight (Delta/KLM) from home to Amsterdam. You will have a short layover before continuing to Arusha. (JRO airport code) On arrival, you will be met at the airport, your Visa issued, and taken to the hotel. Overnight MOUNT MERU HOTEL or SIMILAR (meals on plane)

February 18-19: Ngorongoro Crater

Photo By: Boyd Norton

Photo Location: Rhino, Tanzania

After breakfast we will depart for Ngorongoro Crater, one of the most famous wildlife viewing areas in the world. The accommodations will be at the LION’S PAW CAMP. This camp is nestled in a lovely flat-topped acacia forest and offers close proximity to the access road for the descent. After lunch we will enjoy an afternoon game drive in the crater. 

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 for the first game drive. This 102-square-mile crater is the world’s largest, unflooded, unbroken caldera. 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). Flamingos inhabit an alkaline lake in the center of the crater, and other bird life is abundant.

We’ll have a picnic lunch, maximizing the time there, and returning as late as possible in order to get the last golden rays of light. Overnight LION’S PAW CAMP. (all meals)

* Special feature: Visit to a Maasai boma. Please note that we usually make a donation from each of us of $20 for the people of this boma. Also, we bring pencils and notebooks from home for the school children of the boma.
 

February 20-25: Serengeti

Photo By: Boyd Norton

Photo Location: Lions in tree, Tanzania

From Ngorongoro we’ll drive to the Serengeti. We will spend the first three evenings at Sametu Tented Camp. Situated at the heart of the Serengeti National Park, the camp resides at the eastern edge of the infamous Seronera Valley, which is often referred to at the 'predator capital of Africa'. Due to its location near the banks of a spring-fed river, the Ngarenyuki River, as
well as its proximity to the Sametu Marsh, Sametu Camp provides spectacular opportunities for game viewing of year round resident animal populations including a super pride of lions, the famous Sametu Lion Pride.
The next three evenings will be at another tented camp in the Southern Serengeti – The Woodlands. Nestled in a pristine area west of Lake Ndutu where the waters meet the woodland habitat, lies The Woodlands Camp. This site was selected for its seclusion from the crowds and dust of the Lake Ndutu area and is a common route for wildebeests travelling between the Moru Kopjes and southern plains. The southern Serengeti is at its peak be- tween December and May. It is at this time of the year that the huge wildebeest herds seek the short-grass plains as they begin to mass for the wildebeest calving and then actually drop their calves usually between January and early March.
Both camps offer spacious sleeping quarters, en suite bathrooms with flush toilets as well as running water and 24 hour electricity. OF SPECIAL IMPORTANCE TO PHOTOGRAPHERS, each tent is equipped with electrical outlets. This allows you to re-charge batteries, back up your picture files and review and edit pictures – all in the privacy of your own tent.
The Serengeti is one of the most famous wildlife areas in the world. The park’s 5,700 square miles are part of the 9,600-square-mile Mara-Serengeti ecosystem, home to incredible herds of wildebeest and other grazing animals. This vast area consists of treeless central plains, savannah dotted with acacias and granite outcroppings called kopjes, and riparian bush and forest in the north. We have timed the trip to coincide with the great Serengeti migration. Although there are never 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.

The immediate area offers arguably the best year round wildlife viewing in the entire park due to dense resident populations of large game including: lion, leopard, cheetah, elephant, giraffe, hippo, buffalo and several species of antelope. When the great wildebeest and zebra migration thunders through twice a year, game viewing is unbeatable. Overnight three evenings SAMETU TENTED CAMP, three evenings at THE WOODLANDS.   (all meals)
 

February 26: Serengeti - Karatu

Photo By: Boyd Norton

Photo Location: Tanzania

We will say farewell to the Serengeti plains and drive back past Ngoronogoro via Olduvai Gorge, the world-renowned site of discoveries of early hominids made by archaeologists Mary and Louis Leakey.

* Special Feature: Boyd has friends on staff at the Olduvai Museum. If they are available, one of them will accompany us to the Zinjanthropus Site (site of Mary Leakey’s discovery of the first hominid skull -1.9 million years old), and give a short talk about the fascinating discoveries here.

The accommodations for the evening are on an old coffee farm with its beautiful gardens and exceptional rooms. You will immediately notice the care and attention that went into creating this lodge. Overnight PLANTATION LODGE. (all meals)

February 27: Arusha – Amsterdam
Giraffe Tanzania

Photo By: Boyd Norton

Photo Location: Serengeti Tanzania

This morning we will drive back to Arusha. We will have time for shopping at the Cultural Heritage Center, the very best place to purchase the rare precious stone, Tanzanite, of the finest quality available. The rest of the afternoon is free to relax, or re-pack in our dayrooms at MOUNT MERU HOTEL or SIMILAR. We will have a farewell dinner before departing for the airport in the evening. (all meals)

February 28: Amsterdam – USA

Photo By: Boyd Norton

Photo Location: Cheetah, Tanzania

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

Photo Leader

Boyd Norton
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Boyd Norton

Boyd Norton is the recipient of the Sierra Club’s prestigious Ansel Adams Award for Conservation Photography. In addition, Outdoor Photography magazine in Great Britain has listed him as “One of the 40 most influential nature photographers from around the globe.”

Over the past 31 years he has made more than 55 trips to Africa, mostly leading photo safaris, but also on magazine and book assignments. He is the author and photographer of 17 acclaimed books, five which are on African subjects. The African Elephant: Last Days of Eden, was praised by famed anthropologist and conservationist Richard Leakey. One of his recent books, Serengeti: The Eternal Beginning, has drawn praise from Jane Goodall, Richard Engel (Chief foreign correspondent for NBC news), and actor Ed Begley, Jr. It was one of three finalists in the 2012 annual Colorado Book Awards.

His most recent book (February, 2016) is Conservation Photography Handbook: How to Save the World One Photo at a Time and it has become a best-seller.

He has led a successful battle to save the Serengeti ecosystem from a destructive commercial highway, starting the Facebook page STOP THE SERENGETI HIGHWAY, which has almost 80,000 followers. He is co-founder and co-director of Serengeti Watch, a 501(c)3 non-profit designed to offer long term protection to Serengeti. In recognition of this dedication to protecting the Serengeti and its wildlife, Boyd was invited to present a Serengeti program at the 10th World Wilderness Congress in Salamanca, Spain in October, 2013.

In total, he has spent almost 1000 days in the Serengeti and Ngorongoro ecosystems. He has many Maasai friends who help add new photo dimensions to trips. Also, we have special friends at Olduvai and we have access to the Zinjanthropus Site. With all his travels to this region, Boyd takes us to untrammeled places in Serengeti where few go and where the photo opportunities are tremendous.

Besides all this, Boyd conducts regular photography workshops for Strabo International and leads tours around the world. Boyd is a pioneer in nature photography workshops, running his first one in Idaho in 1973. He is a popular trip leader and participants return with memorable stories, great photographs, and rave reviews.

Before departure, each registered participant in this tour will receive a Safari Journal containing important photography and travel information.

Boyd was the key to the total success of this trip. His many years of travel there and the contacts he has, made it so very special. This was not your typical tour of Africa. I cannot say enough about Boyd - his knowledge of the country, his very pleasant personality, his contacts, his relationship with Unique Safaris and their staff, and on and on. You won't find anyone better. I truly hope to travel with him again in the future. (He has, five more times.)

B. Kocsi

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

“The trip to Tanzania went far beyond our already high expectations!  Each day was filled with wonder and excitement – we lost track of time and moved into a world beyond imagining.  You were super hosts and made our visit even more special – something we will always remember!!”

M.S. Colorado

"Boyd was the key to the total success of this trip. His many years of travel there and the contacts he has, made it so very special. This was not your typical tour of Africa. I cannot say enough about Boyd - his knowledge of the country, his very pleasant personality, his contacts, his relationship with Unique Safaris and their staff, and on and on. You won't find anyone better. I truly hope to travel with him again in the future." (He has, five more times.) 

W.K. Colorado

"Boyd Norton: He is a great group leader, especially for Tanzania. He knows the area and the people so well that makes everything smooth. …. Boyd also arranges to leave early each morning to catch the best light for photography, which is great for me."

S.M. California

“The trip with Boyd far out distanced my highest expectations and hopes.  I found the safari not only rewarding in the way of wildlife photography, (jaw dropping at every turn), I also felt it was an incredibly enriching cultural experience.  Boyd knew Tanzanians everywhere we went
and is obviously loved and respected in his adopted country.  I will cherish the memories and photos for the rest of my life.” 

C.H. Maine

Additional Notes

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 four participants per seven passenger stretch vehicle — a real luxury, but essential for photographers. The safari vehicles we use are roomy 7 passenger “stretch” 4WD Land Rovers and Land Cruisers, chosen for their ruggedness and reliability. To assure maximum space and mobility, we may rotate and adjust vehicle assignments from time to time during the trip.)

• Photographic expertise and leadership of Boyd Norton. Boyd has made more than 50 trips to Africa and spent hundreds of days exploring out of the way locations in Serengeti country. Four of Boyd’s fourteen acclaimed books are on African subjects. He’ll show you his secret places for the best landscapes and wildlife.

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

Accommodations will be a combination of modern, deluxe lodges and permanent tented camps with 24-hour electricity, and en-suite bathrooms. Each tent is equipped with its own bathroom, tables, chairs, and comfortable beds with mattresses, sheets, pillows, and blankets. There is also a verandah attached to each tent with chairs to enjoy the great outdoors. 

Food & Drink

Food at all locations is well prepared and delicious. There will be picnic lunches some days while on safari to maximize time photographing wildlife.

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