Do you have a passion for wildlife or landscape photography? Would you like to visit a location that has the best of both? Tanzania is that location.
I can personally attest that the animals, while compelling to photograph, are merely just a component to what is arguably one of the most photogenic locations I have ever visited in my guiding career. Nowhere on earth can you find all these apex predators that follow the worlds largest land migration. It has been happening since man has inhabited earth... the Wildebeest Migration. Or time spent together will visit the area where the migration is just after the calving season on the south east corner of the Serengeti. The time a year when all mothers are teaching their young how to survive. Predators teaching young to track prey. Prey teaching youngsters to avoid predators. All amidst stunning landscapes of the famous Ngorongoro and Serengeti.
Prepare to be amazed, prepare to be humbled. This is your chance to witness an area most people will only ever read about and watch on TV wishing they could go.
Dates of the workshop: April 1, 2018 to April 9, 2018
Instructors on the Workshop: Kevin Allen Pepper
Maximum number of attendees: 8 plus one instructor - max 4 people per vehicle (only two spots left now for this amazing experience)
Price of the workshop: $6497USD if paying by check or wire transfer...add 4.0% if paying by credit card or PayPal
Single Supplement Fee: $700 but not applicable at Dunia Camp
Deposit to secure your spot on the workshop: $1500USD and the balance due 90 days prior to your departure date
Not Included: travellers insurance, international airfare, items of personal nature, liquor and beer, visa fees, items not listed as included
Before we get into the workshop details... this is the perfect workshop to bring your spouse because I have set up the workshop to accommodate serious photographers and their non photographic spouse or guest.
I have reserved multiple safari vehicles, one for my guests that want to partake in the daily photographic safari, one vehicle for those that want to do mini safaris and spend time back at the resort, relaxing and pampering themselves.
Day One - You arrive in Arusha at Kilimanjaro International Airport and we get picked up by our guides and taken to River Trees Inn where we will spend the night. The inn is a charming country estate that was once an old coffee farm, and still retains the nostalgic air of a well-loved homestead. Sprawling ten acres of fertile greenery, the grounds are a natural extension of Mt Meru's sloping foothills, and offer a sanctuary for the birds and wildlife indigenous to the area.
Elegantly rustic cottages are dotted along the river and in thickets of tall trees, while lush lawns and birdsong make for a peaceful and picturesque setting. Set in the heart of an area rich in nature reserves, montane forests and vibrant village culture, the scope for exploration is endless.
Stay at River Trees Lodge
Day Two - After breakfast our safari journey begins by a trip to Lake Manyara National Park. Lake Manyara is the perfect location as a soft introduction to your safari. The scenic beauty of this park certainly makes it worth a visit, but its the tree-climbing lions, elephants and thousands of flamingos that will make this quick safari worth the morning safari on our way to Ngorongoro crater.
After our safari we will head towards our accommodation for the next few nights. The Sopa Lodge on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater. Facing the always magnificent sunsets to the west, and located at the highest point on Ngorongoro crater's entire rim, Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge stands well over half a kilometre above the crater floor and offers unparalleled views across this enormous caldera.
Themed around traditionally circular African houses with conical roofs, and decorated with examples of Africa's rich tapestry of artistic traditions by way of rich woodcarvings and sculptures, the lodge harmonizes perfectly with its dramatic surroundings. But the drama does not just stop with the great outdoors: it also flows through the split level interiors of the main building which all offer an unsurpassed generosity of space while somehow managing to combine an almost magically welcoming ambience of both warmth and cosiness.
Stay at Sopa Lodge at Ngorongoro Crater
Day Three - This morning you awake, eat a luxurious breakfast and then head down into the crater floor. Had it not become the world's sixth-largest unbroken caldera, then what is now known as the Ngorongoro crater could have been a towering volcanic mountain, as high as Kilimanjaro.
The crater is the flagship tourism feature for the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. It is a large, unbroken, un-flooded caldera, formed when a giant volcano exploded and collapsed some three million years ago. The Ngorongoro crater sinks to a depth of 610 metres, with a base area covering 260 square kilometres. The height of the original volcano must have ranged between 4,500 to 5,800 metres high. Apart from the main caldera, Ngorongoro also has two other volcanic craters: Olmoti and Empakai, the former famous for its stunning waterfalls, and the latter holding a deep lake and lush, green walls.
On the leeward of the Ngorongoro highlands protrudes the iconic Oldonyo Lengai, an active volcano and Tanzania's third highest peak after Kilimanjaro and Meru. Known to local people as the Mountain of God, Mount Lengai's last major eruption occurred in 2007. At the mountain's foot is Lake Natron, East Africa's major breeding ground for flamingoes.
Todays safari on the floor will allow you to see over 25,000 large animals including 26 black rhinoceros. There are 7,000 wildebeests, 4,000 zebras, 3,000 eland and 3,000 Grant's and Thomson's gazelles. The crater also has the densest known population of lions, numbering 62. Higher up, in the rainforests of the crater rim, are leopards, about 30 large elephants, mountain reedbuck and more than 4,000 buffalos, spotted hyenas, jackals, rare wild dogs, cheetahs, and other felines.
Stay at Sopa Lodge at Ngorongoro Crater
Day Four - Today we move from Ngorongoro and head towards the Serengeti. Our first visit will be the Olduvai Gorge archaeological site, widely regarded as the cradle of mankind and the most important prehistoric site in the world. It is at Olduvai where remains of Zinjanthropus, the world's first humans, were discovered by Dr Louis and Mary Leakey over 50 years ago. The earliest known specimens of the human genus, Homo-habilis, as well as early hominids such as Paranthropus boisei have also been found there. The Olduvai Gorge is a steep-sided ravine in the Great Rift Valley, stretching along eastern Africa. The windswept Olduvai is about thirty miles long, lying within the rain shadow of the Ngorongoro highlands. The gorge is named after oldupaai, the Maasai word for the wild sisal plant.
Millions of years ago, the site comprised of a large lake, the shores of which were covered with successive deposits of volcanic ash. Some 500,000 years ago seismic forces diverted a nearby stream, which began to cut down into the sediments, revealing the seven main layers in the walls of the gorge. Based on fossil evidence found at the Olduvai Gorge, it is believed that various hominid species have been occupying the crater continuously for the past three million years of Ngorongoro's existence. Native hunter and gatherers who initially lived in the vicinity were replaced by pastoralists a few thousand years ago.
After your visit to the cradle of life, we head on to visit a Massai tribe in their village. The masaii are a Nilotic ethnic group inhabiting southern Kenya and northern Tanzania. They are among the best known local populations due to their residence near the many game parks of the African Great Lakes, and their distinctive customs and dress. Our visit will allow you to photograph the tribe in their village. My last visit we photographed young adults throwing spears, school kids at school and different people from the tribe going about their daily lives.
We will even let you partake in Adumu, the traditional Masai jumping dance. For the performance of Adumu, Masai men form a circle, one of them enters inside it and they jump. As high as possible, as smooth as possible, as elegant as possible. Their bodies should stay a narrow pose and their feet should not touch the ground. The higher the jump is, stronger the guy is and, by all means, more of respect, admiration and desire he gets from women. So, obviously, Masai jumping dance dance is also a competitive dance. The highest jump can even be 80 centimeters high! Adumu literally means to jump and down in a dance.
From our time with the Masai we head towards the Serengeti. The wildebeest come here during the rains, December through May. They calve on the plains in February, they gallop through the woodlands, they swim across the lake. This is the time of year when the resident animals converge around Ndutu's waterholes and marshes - elephants, giraffes, impalas, every kind of cat, a profusion of birds.. no matter the season, there's always lots to see
For the next two nights we are staying at one of my favourite lodges, Ndutu. Ndutu Safari Lodge is situated in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in the southern Serengeti eco-system. The Lodge nestles unobtrusively under a canopy of giant acacias with views towards Lake Ndutu. The lodge offers a superb base in which to explore the range of habitats that lie within easy reach. Swamps, woodland, soda lakes and the world famous Serengeti short grass plains make Ndutu Safari Lodge one of the best places to watch wildlife.
Ndutu Safari Lodge consists of 34 stone cottages that extend from the central, open-sided bar, lounge and dining room. Each room has its own verandah that faces Lake Ndutu. All rooms have en-suite facilities. The cottages are made from local materials and offer comfortable accommodation.
Stay at Ndutu Lodge
Day Five - This is what you're come to Tanzania looking for ... Shaded by majestic acacia trees, the are of Ndutu Safari Lodge offers peace and tranquillity away from the hustle and bustle of modern life.
Together we will spend some time together on safari, relax and unwind. Relax to the rhythm of an African day as a myriad of bird calls herald the rising sun. Enjoy our resident wildlife, go for a game drive and explore the range of habitats that lie within easy reach... but it will be the wildebeest that we will be after.
In the evening, sip a cool drink at the bar followed by a four course dinner.
Don't expect five stars at Ndutu; but from the campfire you will see millions.
Stay at Ndutu Lodge
Day Six to Day Eight - Tucked in the Moru Kopjes in the southern Serengeti, this secluded camp offers impressive game viewing and dazzling sunrises
A short drive from the Naabi Hill gate in the southern Serengeti, Dunia Tented Camp is perfectly placed to explore the southern stretches of the National Park. The Ndutu area, Moru Kopjes, southern plains and Central Serengeti valley are all easily reachable, but the secluded setting of the camp means you escape the high season crowds and discover an area of the park that others rarely touch upon. The location is second to none and boasts bush views that stretch out endlessly from your tent door, to reveal some of the Serengeti's most breathtaking vistas.
Pitched on a major wildebeest migration corridor in the Central Serengeti, Dunia Camp offers easy access to the scenic Moru Kopjes and superb sightings of the big cats, leopard and rhino that roam the forests on the fringes of the Seronera River.
Dunia is a tranquil semi-permanent camp with just eight spacious tented suites, each with expansive views of the pristine wilderness and game-filled plains from a large private veranda. Attention to every detail is balanced by a graceful simplicity in harmony with the serene location. Enjoy an exclusive Serengeti safari with superb sightings of resident game and migration viewing twice a year, and round it all off with a sunrise hot-air balloon flight.
Stay at Dunia Camp
Day Nine - All good things must come to an end and today we start our journey home. Today we travel from our lodge to the regional airstrip and take a regional flight back to Kilimanjaro International Airport. For those that need, we rented some day rooms at the KIA lodge right by the airport. You can stop by the lodge, shower and relax inside the Lodge and get taken to the airport when you need to prepare for your flight home... or your personal extension to the beaches of Zanzibar. If that extension is something you would be interested in, please ask and my friend, Mefi, the woman that owns my preferred African tour company would be happy to facilitate for you.
Safari Extension - I also have a safari extension. I will be doing a three extension to Cat Central... For those that stay for the extension we start on day nine after we drop people off at the regional airport. From Dunia we drive to Namiri Plains. An area known as cat central. We remain in the Namiri Plains for nights of the 9th, 10th and 11th. On day 12 we will take a regional flight back to Arusha. If there is a long wait for your flights home, we have day rooms set aside for you at the KIA Lodge by the airport.. (all transfers arranged). B
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