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Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti Safari

This photographic safari promises to deliver incredible and unique photographic results and it will leave you in absolute awe of Africa’s beauty. There is quite simply no place more beautiful anywhere in Africa than the Ngorongoro Crater. It’s one of those places that you just have to see at least once in your lifetime. It also happens to be one of the best photographic locations on the continent and photographers who use it as a stopover point to get to the Serengeti only, have largely overlooked the Ngorongoro Crater. This is a totally unique one-of-a-kind photo safari as it focuses specifically on the Ngorongoro Crater as a photographic destination in its own right. We have chosen a time of year when there is hardly anybody else in the crater so you will feel like you have it all to yourself. In just a couple days you will build a portfolio of work that most professional photographers do not have.


Tour
Dates:


This is an 8 night (9 day) Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti Photo Safari with an exciting extension option to Ruaha (details appearing at the bottom of this page).

2019 Tour Date: 9-17 May FULLY BOOKED

2020 Tour Date: 15-23 April Only 2 spaces available out of a total of 3

Email me here now to book your place as we only run one safari per year and there is only space for 3 people.

Tour Price:


2019 tour price: US$17,845 per single photographer. US$15,995 per sharing photographer.

2020 tour price: US$ TBA per single photographer. US$ TBA per sharing photographer.

Cost includes all accommodation; meals; laundry; drinks (excluding premium brands and selected wines); park fees; internal flights; meet and greet service with transfers; an additional luggage allowance; private safari drives with exclusive vehicle use; photographic tuition and the guiding services of professional and African wildlife photographer Greg du Toit.

Not included in the cost are visas; purchases of a personal nature; staff gratuities; personal travel and medical insurance; your international flights and adhoc activities not included on the itinerary.

Reservations for this photographic safari require a deposit of 40% per person of the tour fee. Payment of the balance is due 4 months prior to departure. All deposit and payment details will appear on the booking form which you will receive upon enquiring.






Why this is the safari for you...


- This safari has been timed to coincide with weather that offers diffused moody light. The crater walls offer great backgrounds and as a result, you will spend a solid 12 hours each day when in the crater photographing.

- This is not a big group safari with professional photographic hosts having to move between cars. On this safari there is only one car and the same professional photographer will host and guide you for every safari drive.

- You will receive help, guidance and advice on your camera settings whilst on safari drive.

- This safari has been timed so that the tourist hordes are absent. There will only be a few other cars in the crater and the Serengeti, which means you have the place to yourself.

- The crater has been dubbed the 8th natural wonder of the world and this is a safari that offers breathtaking views and vistas that will quite literally leave you speechless.

- If you are a photographer who enjoys playing with light and lines and giving your photographs mystery and mood, then this is the trip for you as the light is dramatic and so are the backgrounds.

- If you enjoy capturing your subject in its environment then this is definitely the safari for you (see the photos included in the itinerary below).

- There are also few better places to see predators in action than at the bottom of the crater. The steep crater walls keep both predators and prey in close proximity of each other.

- The crater floor is home to some of the biggest elephant tuskers left in Africa. These magnificent beasts roam the floor in peace and quiet as the crater walls guard them from poachers.

- The crater floor is the best place in all of Africa to get photographs of endangered free-ranging black rhinoceros.



- Professional African Wildlife Photographer Greg du Toit will host you every step of the way on this safari. It has taken him six years to discover and unlock the crater’s secrets and now he is ready to share these secrets with you on this one-of-a-kind safari.

- This safari is short yet it offers you a complete and well-rounded portfolio of images that will make the best professional photographers blush.

 - Because the Ngorongoro Crater is the proverbial Garden of Eden, filled with incredible wildlife and offering dramatic light and wonderful backdrops, this safari will see you building and growing your portfolio more than on any other safari in Africa.

-  The Serengeti is famous for its high cheetah and lion numbers and the tourist levels will also be at an all time low at this time of year.

- For those of you who enjoy walking, landscapes, exploring true wilderness and taking galaxy and star trail shots with baobabs, there is an extension to this safari in Ruaha National Park. See details at the end of this itinerary.



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

- Potential predators on offer include cheetah, lion, jackals, bat-eared foxes, caracal, serval, hyena plus many smaller creatures like mongooses.

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

- Not only are you visiting the Serengeti in the low tourist season but this leg of the safari plays out in the most beautiful part of the Serengeti with rocky koppies and vast plains, allowing you to capture unique photographs depicting one of Africa's greatest parks.

- The amount of general plains game like zebra, gazelles, elephant, buffalo, hippo, warthog, eland, kongoni, baboons, monkey, birds (the list goes on and on) are in such abundance on this safari that you will experience and photograph one of the true wildlife meccas of Africa.



Your Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrival in 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.

Day 2 - Transfer to Ngorongoro Crater

We meet at breakfast for our drive up to the Ngorongoro Crater. With no internal flight to worry about you can bring all your equipment. A 500mm focal length, or there about, is perfect for the crater but also bring your macro lenses and your wide-angles. This is no ordinary photo safari, you are going to get unique and inspirational shots that will make even seasoned professional wildlife photographers blush so pack it all! Its not just about location but also about timing. You will be visiting the crater at a time of year when no one else does and at a time of year when the weather is moody and the light spectacular. As a result this trip will yield photographs different to anything you have captured before. Imagine having the Ngorongoro Crater all to yourself!

See a gallery
here...



We will road transfer through the Great Rift Valley and into the beautiful Ngorongoro Highlands. This incredibly scenic drive will take you to the very edge of the crater before circumnavigating the rim to your luxurious lodgings where you will enjoy what is quite possibly the finest 'out of Africa' view in all of Africa. The drive from Arusha to the crater will take about 3 hours excluding the time at the gate where we purchase tickets to the Ngorogoro Conservation Area. See your lodge here.

After a scrumptious dinner, you will turn in for a well-deserved night's rest. Sleeping right on the edge of the crater you might have a buffalo walk through the camp or you might hear lions roar. All the wildlife is free ranging and you will experience as authentic a safari as Hemingway did. Our lodge is super luxurious making this an ideal safari for non-photographing partners. The high altitude chill is kept at bay with a log fire in your room.

Sweet dreams or Lala Salama as we say in Swahili!



Day 3 & 4 – Ngorongoro Crater!

Your day begins with the finest traditional safari experience. There is no need for alarm clocks, you will be woken with a steaming cup of coffee or tea and biscuits, plus fruit if you so desire, brought to you in bed. We depart camp each morning at 05h50, in the dark. We will wind our way along the rim and then down the decent road and to the crater floor where we will capture sublimely moody and mysterious images.

For successful wildlife photography one needs great subjects but also great angles and backgrounds. There is no off road driving allowed in the crater which means that we are not, like on so many other safaris, parked on top of our subjects. This means that our angles are superior and that we can compose our subjects within our frames. But wait, there is more: Not only do we have better angles and room for composition but we have perfect backgrounds throughout the day. The steep crater walls offer magnificent green and blue backgrounds that eliminate the usual dynamic range issues and which allow you to create breathtakingly beautiful fine art imagery. But wait, there is even more: The word photography is Greek in origin, meaning to ‘paint with light’. It really is all about light and as the saying goes ‘amateurs worry about equipment, professionals worry about money and masters worry about light’. The high altitude combined with the time of year that you will be in the crater, means that there will be swirling mists, thundershowers and moody skies throughout the day. This means that photography on this Ngorongoro photo safari is not restricted to golden hours. As such we will stay out all day everyday photographing throughout the day and capturing mood filled images with gorgeous diffused light. The thundershowers bounce around the crater offering incredible vistas and images, making this the ultimate outdoor studio for any wildlife photographer.




Only closed vehicles are allowed in the crater for safety reasons but our vehicle is especially designed for photographers allowing us to shoot out the side.

We will break for breakfast and lunch on the crater floor and the picnic sight is also one of the best photographic locations in the crater for photography. You will be able to photograph hippo at eye-level to your heart’s content and you will be able to get inflight shots of the extremely elegant Grey Crowned Cranes. Zebras come down to drink in close proximity of our picnic spot too.



For 2 full days you will photograph the crater filled with all its incredible creatures and vistas. The crater offers forests, plains and green rolling hills. It is God’s own game reserve and it offers the best chance of photographing large elephant bulls, colloquially called 'tuskers', as well as free-ranging black rhino. For those of you who love all of Africa’s creatures, the general game on the crater floor is excellent with warthogs and large herds of zebra being the order of the day. There are resident lion prides (who often have cubs) and loads of smaller interesting creatures too, like golden jackals, mongooses and caracals. For those of you who enjoy birds, the crater offers incredible birdlife with water birds, eagles and a plethora of others. There are lots of macro opportunities as at this time of year the crater bursts forth with life, including fields of wild flowers.




With full memory cards, you will depart the crater each evening at 6pm, which is the latest that we can stay as there is a strict 'gate closing time' for all visitors. The scenic drive back up the wall and along the rim to your camp will leave you spellbound at Africa’s exceptional beauty and the incredible bounty of wildlife that you will have experienced each day.

Back in camp, a delicious gourmet dinner awaits, after which you turn in exhausted from the creative energy expelled during the 12 hours of photography. You will wake only to do it all again the following day! You will spend 2 full days in the crater, which is a total of 24 hours of safari driving and photography. The crater is only 19km or 12 miles in diameter, so after 2 full days, you will have captured its bounty and driven every road a few times over but because of the light, angle, mood and subject material, in just 2 days you will build an incredible photographic portfolio that will really stand out. This is the only and first photo safari to make the crater its focus and it's the first specialised photo safari to visit the crater in the off-peak season. This means that it will yield photo results that are unique and different. Whether you are a seasoned photographer or just starting out, this safari will elevate your imagery and portfolio to a new level.

Continue reading the Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti Photo Safari itinerary on PAGE 2...

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