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Tanzania Migration Photo Safari

9 days with Natural Habitat Adventures   Rating: Deluxe

Itinerary
Click for Dates and Prices
Day 1: Arusha, Tanzania
Arrive in Arusha and transfer to Arusha Coffee Lodge. Photograph flowers in the beautifully landscaped gardens that offer a relaxing respite after our long travels, or relax by the pool or on your private veranda. This evening, we gather for a welcome dinner and orientation from our Expedition Leader, who offers a preview of the incredible photography opportunities ahead. 
 
Days 2–4: East-Central Serengeti—Namiri Plains
The legendary Serengeti derives its name from a Maasai word meaning “endless plains.” We fly to Serengeti National Park, where vistas of yellow savanna stretching to the horizon beneath a bowl of deep blue sky provide iconic images of Africa. Meeting our safari vehicles and drivers, we set out on our first wildlife drive. Each guest has a window seat to take full advantage of the photographic possibilities. Our destination is Namiri Plains, a newly accessible area located in a remote sector of the Serengeti that has previously been off-limits to visitors for two decades. Surveying open grasslands and kopje outcrops, the camp offers fabulous wildlife photography in diverse habitats, particularly of the abundant feline predators that live and hunt in this area. In fact, Namiri means "big cat " in Swahili. 
 
Namiri Plains provides exceptional seclusion: guests are alone on the vast landscape. The isolated location ensures that we experience our natural setting, rather than tourist crowds. Evoking the classic safari atmosphere of an earlier age, just eight spacious canvas tents offer surprising comfort in a very remote setting. Set in the shade of giant acacia trees, the camp offers 360-degree views of wildlife traversing savanna and the river with its perennial vegetation and dense green reed beds that attract birds and smaller animal species. Capture a broad spectrum of photos on wildlife drives or on a walking safari with one of the resident specialist guides. We also have the exclusive opportunity to hear from our Photo Expedition Leaders about zoologists and cheetah researchers working on site. 
 
Days 5-8: Southern Serengeti—Nat Hab's Migration Base Camp–Serengeti
With cameras at the ready, we depart for the southern Serengeti with a wildlife drive en route. The days of heavy canvas hunting camps set for the likes of Roosevelt and Hemingway were nearly over until photographic safaris gained popularity. Nat Hab's Migration Base Camp–Serengeti exudes the ambience of old, with silver-service dinners presented on white linen by candlelight. While home to a profusion of wildlife year-round, there is nothing like the Serengeti during the phenomenon of the Great Migration. We spend three full days amid the sea of mammals, following them in open-topped four-wheel-drive vehicles that offer superb photography access.
 
The vast herds of wildebeest trek annually from Kenya’s Maasai Mara to the southern Serengeti in search of new grass during the short rains, then back again. The wildebeest migrate with thousands of zebra, whose superior vision and hearing serve as an early warning system for predators. We are in the region just as the 3-week birthing season is typically beginning, when the herds are mostly stationary. We'll hope to get photos of infants (though timing on the calf drop is weather-dependent), as well as prey interactions. Predators seek out the most vulnerable members of the herds, and we may behold a lion taking down a sick wildebeest or a cheetah overtaking a newborn. Leopard, hyena and jackal also prey on the migrating herds, while vultures hang in the air, waiting to feast on carrion. While the spectacle is at times grim, its primal drama is a wonder to behold. 
 
Day 9: Arusha or Ngorongoro Extension / Depart 
Today our photo safari concludes, and we depart with a phenomenal slate of memories captured in the images we have collected during the past week. We enjoy breakfast in camp before transferring to the nearest airport. In Arusha, a day room awaits this afternoon before a transfer to Kilimanjaro Airport for evening international departures. Guests continuing on our Ngorongoro Crater extension will bid farewell to fellow travelers in the Serengeti, where they will remain in pursuit of more remarkable wildlife photography adventures.
 
Map
All This Included
Among the world’s epic wildlife events, few can match Tanzania’s Great Migration. And for nature photographers, there is simply nothing like being in the midst of hundreds of thousands of wildebeest and zebra as they make their annual trek over the Serengeti Plain in pursuit of new grass. Agile predators steal behind, poised to seize the young and the weak that trail the great herds. To truly capture the wonder of the migration in images, it’s essential to witness it from key vantage points that offer close-up views—and the only way to do that is through an exclusive stay in a remotely situated mobile camp like ours!
  • Internal light aircraft flights
  • Accommodations
  • All meals from dinner Day 1 to lunch on final day
  • Non-alcoholic drinks at camps, with meals, and in vehicles
  • House alcoholic beverages in camps
  • Services of NHA Expedition Leader
  • Local guides and camp staff
  • Some gratuities
  • airport transfers on Day 1 and final day
  • Permits and entrance fees
  • All taxes
Highlights
  • A small-group safari to photograph thousands of animals massed on the Serengeti Plains during the height of the Great Migration
  • Our Expedition Leader is an expert naturalist and accomplished photographer, by your side to interpret all you see and help you capture extraordinary images.
  • Enjoy unparalleled seclusion and comfort at Natural Habitat's Migration Base Camp–Serengeti, a private luxury mobile camp stationed for matchless proximity to the herds!
Accommodations
Arusha: Arusha Coffee Lodge
Serengeti National Park: Namiri Plains Camp
Serengeti National Park: Natural Habitat's Migration Base Camp – Serengeti
Pre and Post Add-ons
Extra Day in Arusha - 1 Day / From $595
Arusha is the jumping-off point for safaris to Tanzania’s famous national parks—a lively city with a temperate climate at the foot of Mount Meru.
 
Ngorongoro Crater Extension - 3 Days / During Migration Season, From $2295
Nothing compares to a wildlife drive across the floor of the Ngorongoro Crater, home to Africa's densest concentration of wildlife. From rhinos to lions to pink flamingos, the crater's creatures will delight you.
 
Rwanda Mountain Gorilla Extension - 5 Days / Year-Round, From $3295
A 5-day safari extension to track endangered mountain gorillas. Hike through the rain forest and spend rare moments with a habituated family troop.
 
Uganda Mountain Gorilla Extension - 5 Days / Year-Round, From $2795
A 5-day safari extension to track endangered mountain gorillas in the rain forests of Uganda. A once-in-a-lifetime wildlife encounter!
Notes
  • Group Size Limit: Approximately 12 Travelers.
  • Not Included: Travel to and from start and end point of trip, premium alcoholic beverages, some gratuities, passport and visa fees, optional activities, items of a personal nature (phone calls, souvenirs, etc.), airline baggage fees, airport and departure taxes, optional travel insurance, and required medical evacuation insurance.
  • Mandatory Insurance: Since the areas we travel to on this trip are remote and wild (that's why we go there!), we require medical evacuation insurance for our guests' safety. If you decline the medical evacuation insurance coverage offered by Natural Habitat, we request that you send us documentation of the independent coverage you have selected. We will add the cost of a medical evacuation policy to your tour invoice until you provide our office with proof of coverage including your insurance company's name, contact number and your individual policy number. Thank you for understanding that our policy exists exclusively in the interest of our guests' safety.
  • Physical Requirements: Easy. A safari vehicle frequently offers a bumpy ride. Wildlife drives often involve long hours of sitting and sometimes bouncing around. While we don't consider this strenuous, it can be uncomfortable and may pose a particular type of physical demand on the body. All travelers must be able to climb into and out of raised 4x4 safari trucks. They must also be able to walk to and from the vehicle to our camp accommodations, sometimes walking over uneven ground or on boardwalks. Additionally, while any short walks are considered optional, you will get the most out of your safari experience if you can walk a mile or two over uneven ground without assistance. Days spent on safari can be long, as mornings typically start before daybreak and evening meals are served after sundown. Safari accommodations and vehicles are not climate controlled and, depending on the seasonality, temperatures can range from quite cold to extremely hot so it is critical that travelers come prepared. We recommend that all travelers have an adventurous spirit, as they will often enjoy the closest animal encounters.
  • Please plan to arrive in Arusha, Tanzania by 5 pm on Day 1 in order to attend a 7 pm Welcome Dinner. You are free to depart from Arusha after 5 pm on the final day.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions
For Natural Habitat Adventures terms and conditions, please click here.

* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.