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Big Cats Of The Serengeti Photo Safari


There is no place more iconic of Africa than the Serengeti. It is a vast place of endless horizons filled with plains game and predators and it is a photographer's paradise. For this exclusive safari we cater for just 6 photographers and we have two professional photographers hosting the safari. This means that you will be hosted by a professional photographer (of which I am one) for every single safari drive. We have our own exclusive mobile camp located in a hidden valley and close to all the action, but also far enough away to explore more of the Serengeti National Park and to be away from the congested area around Lake Ndutu. This safari is timed to coincide with the migration's calving season and a time when predators take central stage...



Tour Dates:
The Big Cats Of The Serengeti Photo Safari is 7 day (6 night) photo safari with space for only 6 photographers. Our first night is spent in Arusha and we then spend 5 nights in our own exclusively booked safari camp in a hidden valley inside the Serengeti. If you would like to extend your stay we offer a pre-trip extension to Mahale National Park to trek chimpanzees (more details at the end of this itinerary).


2018 Tour Dates:

4-10 March  Only 4 spaces left out of a total of 6


Tour Price:
2018 tour price:

US$12, 000 per photographer. Non-photographing partners pay only US$6, 500
(Photographing couples are not a regular occurrence so please email for a discounted costing)

The above rates include all accommodation; meals; drinks (excluding premium brands); transfers; private safari drives with exclusive vehicle use; park fees; scheduled charter flights in Tanzania; photographic tuition and the guiding services of professional African wildlife photographers.

Not included in the cost are visas; purchases of a personal nature; staff gratuities; personal travel insurance; your international flights and any adhoc activities not listed on the itinerary like hot-air balloon flights.

30% deposit confirms your booking.

 

Why this is the trip for you...

- The great wildebeest migration is one of the last large mammal migrations left on planet earth. What's more, is that the entire migration drops its calves all within a three week period and your safari is timed to coincide with this calving season. To see the great herds and calves grazing on the plains of the Serengeti is quite simply an experience of a lifetime.

- There is a maximum of only 6 photographers allowed on this trip, split into two vehicles and with two professional photographic leaders. This means that there are only three photographers per safari truck and that for every single safari drive you take, you will benefit by having a professional wildlife photographer on-board.

- Predator action on this safari is possibly unrivaled anywhere in the world. It is the best place in Africa to see cheetahs hunt and the resident pride of lions kills every 24 hours during this time of year. This is simply one of the best places in Africa for predation.

- Due to the large number of placentas left by the calving wildebeest, the birds of prey on this safari offer exceptional photographic opportunities. Vultures and eagles abound, making this time of year in the Serengeti one of the best places in Africa for raptor photography.

- When photographing predator action, one needs to really know and to be familiar with one's camera. We will customize your auto focus settings so that you can track a cheetah running at full speed on the plains. We will also give you settings to create motion blur images.

- The Serengeti is one of the biggest parks in Africa and we are based far away from the heavy tourist traffic in a secluded corner of the park, where we are able to venture off the beaten track and photograph with freedom and exclusivity. This safari, unlike most, offers you the chance to be inside the actual Serengeti National Park but still to get off the beaten track and away from other vehicles. It took years to find a location that offers this as most safaris are based around Lake Ndutu, which is not only outside the park but has exceptionally heavy tourist traffic.

- With no more than 3 photographers on your safari vehicle, you will receive one-on-one tuition from a professional wildlife photographer.

- Photographers of all levels are welcome and you will receive expert tuition based on your level of experience.

- The vehicles that we use for this safari are open on the sides. With only 3 photographers on the vehicle you can shoot out of both sides and having an open vehicle means that you can shoot at a lower angle. Almost all other safari trucks in the Serengeti are closed with small windows that require you to compromise your angle of shooting with photographers needing to shoot out of the top of the vehicle. See the vehicle here.

- We offer a pre-trip extension to the Mahale Mountains of Tanzania to trek chimpanzees. This 4 night extension dove-tails perfectly with the Serengeti tour and offers a wonderful way to recover from jet-lag as we only trek in the mornings. Mahale is by far the most comfortable place in Africa to photograph our closest living relatives.





Your 2018 Itinerary:

Day 1 - Overnight Arusha


After being met at Kilimanjaro International Airport you will be transferred by road (approximately 90 minutes) to a delightful coffee farm on the outskirts of the town. A hearty meal and a comfortable bed awaits you at Legendary Lodge which is a luxurious boutique lodge. There is WiFi so that you can let your loved ones know that you have arrived safely. We all meet at breakfast the next morning at 7am all ready, packed and checked out. At 8am we take a short 10 minute transfer to Arusha airport to catch our scheduled flight to the Serengeti South airstrip.

Day 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 - Serengeti National Park

Once landing in the Serengeti (approximately a 45 minute flight), you will enjoy a 30 minute drive to our very own exclusive mobile camp. See a list of camp eminities here. We are located inside the Serengeti National Park and it is so remote that it is like photographing in a private concession. We are able to venture off the beaten track and often we are able follow the cheetahs as they hunt. There is a resident pride of lion in the area and they eat at least once every 24 hours during this, a feasting time for the predators.




Our days in the Serengeti start with a cup of coffee or tea delivered to your tent before sunrise and we depart camp at 6am (sunrise is only at 06h40 but we take our photography seriously). Each day, we will venture onto the great plains where we will enjoy exceptional predator photography. Standing on the short grass plains and gazing over one of the world's last remaining mammal migrations is also an experience of a lifetime. We will enjoy exceptional predator viewing and this is possibly the best place in Africa for predator action. Full memory cards are what we aim for on this safari and apart from action, the area also offers brilliant animal landscapes and motion blur opportunities. Both the camp we are based at and the time of year have been carefully selected to coincide with the calving season of the great migration. During this time calves gambol about the great plains and this truly is one of the great wildlife spectacles of Africa. I have been following the migration for over a decade now and each year is different in terms of where and exactly when the wildebeest calve, but we have carefully selected the time of year, so as to not be too early. Our camp is inside the Serengeti National Park and we can explore far and wide into the park where the feeling of expansive freedom is tangible.

We will take a packed breakfast out with us so that we do not need to return back to camp in a hurry. In the middle of the day, when the light is harsh, we will break for lunch in camp and there will be a chance for you to receive photographic tuition on any photographic topic you require help with. Our afternoon safari drives depart at 15h45 and we normally arrive back to camp in the dark, where there is a wonderful campfire, under silhouetted Umbrella Acacia trees, and a gin and tonic waiting for you. A scrumptious dinner will see you turn in and a night of wild animal sounds will get you all excited for the day to follow.





Your 5 nights spent in the Serengeti will be a time of photographic indulgence during which you will enjoy what is arguably the finest predator action photography in all of Africa. The calving wildebeest attract an incredible amount of raptors and you will also enjoy some of the finest 'bird of prey' photography on offer across the continent. Lying in your tent, it is not uncommon to hear the migration bellowing outside, punctuated by the distant groans of the resident pride of lion.

Day 7 - Flight home

On our way to the airstrip we enjoy one last safari drive to bid farewell to the great plains and to capture our last award winning images. A scheduled flight will take you from the Serengeti back to Arusha, where you will be transferred to Kilimanjaro International Airport, for your connecting flight home. Depending on the time of your flight, a day room can be booked upon request.




Your Guide:

Award winning wildlife photographer Greg du Toit will lead you on this remarkable expedition. Greg was based permanently in Tanzania for two years (2006-2007) and he has been photographing the great migration for the last 14 consecutive years now. He was invited to perform a solo exhibit for National Geographic in London and his exhibit titled 'Africa' was a sell out. A majority of the artwork for this exhibit was photographed in the Serengeti. He has also placed in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year six times and in 2014, with an image captured in the Serengeti (click here). Not only will Greg be interpreting the regionís wildlife for you, but he will also provide valuable photographic tuition to ensure that you obtain your dream images. For guest reviews click here...

Summary: When you sign up for the Big Cats Of The Serengeti you are signing up for a journey onto the great plains of Africa and to one of the last great mammal migrations in the world. You will not only enjoy incredible predator photographic opportunities but you will enjoy a wilderness experience, away from the cluttered tourist areas. Offering freedom and exclusivity, this is a safari not to be missed. The pre-trip extension (details below) allows you to easily trek and photograph wild chimpanzees in the most relaxed and comfortable way possible anywhere in Africa.

To book this once in a lifetime African Photographic Safari contact Greg
here...

'I have traveled several times to Africa, but my recent trip with Greg to Mahale and the Serengeti has been a never-to-be-forgotten experience. Greg's photo workshop was amazing. I feel much more comfortable with my camera now. The greatest wisdom I carried away from Greg is this: I am the photographer not the camera, I can be in control and not depend on the camera's interpretation of what I see. His tips and advice put me on the right track to being in control. Beyond the camera, Greg's passion for the natural and his immense knowledge of the Serengeti from the predators to the birdlife, and to the smallest flower in that never-ending expanse, gave me a privileged glimpse into the heart of Africa. Thank you Greg.'
Punam Anand Kumar  (India)

Still got questions? See my safari FAQ page here...


This is the end of the scheduled tour.

Mahale Chimpanzee Pre-trip Extension



For those of you not ready to end your safari we offer a pre-trip extension to the Mahale Mountains of Tanzania. The dates for this extension will therefore be from 28 Feb - 5 March whereby you will then link up with the Serengeti Tour. This extension is a great idea as it will allow you time to recover form jet-lag as the chimpanzee trekking takes place in the morning and it is also not an early start. You can also familiarize yourself with your camera so that you are ready for the Serengeti predator action. The chimps are usually low down and close to camp at this time of year so only a moderate fitness level is required. We have our own guide and escorts so you can take your time and if need be you can wait and rest, and then have your own chimp viewing. Fitness is therefore not a per-requisite. The camp is rustic but super comfortable and the location of the camp is simply breathtaking. To get a feel for this pre-trip extension click here

Cost: US$ 11, 875 per person (US$9, 500 per person sharing)

Enjoy this bird's-eye view of the location of our camp by clicking here

Contact me here to book your place!

Back to my upcoming Africa photo safari page here...

All images and text copyright Greg du Toit 2017












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