Wild Ruaha Photo Safari

Southern Tanzania photo safari: This Wild Ruaha Photo Safari takes you to the ultimate photographic locations within one of Tanzania’s largest and most highly regarded parks. Baobab trees, stars, secret forests, seasonal rivers, buffalo herds, giraffe journeys, big cats and untamed bush country – this is a southern Tanzania photo safari you don’t want to miss.

Scroll down to see a portfolio and watch this fun YouTube video from this Ruaha photo safari.

See the incredible Mahale Mountains Chimpanzee extension at the bottom of the page. Space for only 3 photographers on this southern Tanzania photo safari.

THE WILD RUAHA PHOTO SAFARI EXPERIENCE

Introduction from your host:

Have you noticed that most photographic safaris go to the same places: Ndutu for the wildebeest calving, conservancies of the Masai Mara for predators, Amboseli for tuskers etc. The reason for this is simply that these places offer low-hanging fruit for photographers and while there is nothing wrong with this, it does mean that photographers are all shooting the same locations, at the same times of year, and getting similar photographs. In my personal capacity as both a professional wildlife photographer and an Africa-born specialist, I am more interested in photographic locations that are off-the-beaten track and that offer new, fresh, dynamic imagery with a rawness to them that you only find in real Africa. I am therefore very excited to bring you this new southern Tanzania photo safari offering in the form of a Wild Ruaha Photo Safari…

My photographic love affair with Ruaha began 20 years ago when I lived in a remote corner of the park for two years. During this time, I explored new sections of the park, discovering secret forests and seeing wildlife that had never seen a safari truck. The resident lions, dubbed ‘The Brothers Grimm’, either charged my truck or ran off into the bush. There were few roads in those days and I had to get permission from Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) to put in my own tracks. It was a painstaking (and blister-causing) exercise but eventually I hacked out a series of game drive tracks that allowed me to access the most scenic and wildlife productive areas in a beautiful and remote section of the park. This project resulted in my publishing the very first photographic portfolio on Ruaha National Park in the Africa Geographic magazine.

Fast forward to the present time and these same tracks that I built are now an entrenched game drive circuit and the wildlife, although still very wild, has settled down beautifully. What you now have is a remote corner of the park where no other camps go and a series of game drive tracks that follow ancient riverbeds through scenic forests, dotted with secret springs where prolific numbers of game drink and where lions wait in ambush. As if this is not enough to please any wildlife photographer, Ruaha has more baobab trees than any other park in Africa. In fact, Baobabs are so prolific in Ruaha that you get bonified baobab forests.

For this very special Ruaha photo safari, I have selected two camps that give wildlife photographers access to the very best photographic opportunities within this splendid and vast park. Both camps on this Ruaha photo safari are built on dry riverbeds and being traditional Meru-style canvas camps, they offer you comfort but still the opportunity to immerse yourself in real Africa. The first camp is situated in a place with magnificent baobab-filled valleys and has been carefully chosen to give you access to baobab forests in the golden morning and afternoon light. From this camp you will also have easy to access the Great Ruaha River and since this southern Tanzania photo safari has been time to coincide with the dry season, the river acts as a giant magnet, pulling vast buffalo herds and other wildlife out of the bush. While the photographic opportunities are plentiful in this part of the park, the ultimate shot to get in this area is a leopard lounging in a giant baobab tree.

The second leg of this Ruaha photo safari takes place in a very remote and hidden corner of the park, far from the other camps and tourists. You will spend five glorious nights here and one of those will be spent fly-camping in a secret forest (see the photos in the portfolio further down this page). Another night will be spent photographing a very special baobab tree and the stars. The rest of the time will be spent on remote safari drives following seasonal rivers as they snake their way through beautiful Acacia woodlands. Checking secret springs for elephant wells, buffalo herds drinking and predators lying in wait, this is real and wild Africa. Ruaha is not only one of Africa’s biggest parks, but it is so beautiful that you will fall head over heels in love with it. This is the ultimate southern Tanzania photo safari experience.

 

Book your spot on the Wild Ruaha Photo Safari now by completing the form at the bottom of this page.

Wild Ruaha Photo Safari Details

This is a 9 night (10 day) Wild Ruaha Photo Safari with the exciting option of extending your safari by adding a Mahale Mountains Chimpanzee trekking experience for 4 nights (details at the very end of this page).

  • Wild Ruaha Photo Safari
  • US$24,012
  • 21 - 30 September 2026
  • Only 2 spaces left
  • * NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT
  • * Cost based on 3 participating photographers.
  • * This tour can be booked any time as a private safari.
  • * Cost based on estimated 2026 rates.
  • * Dates are provisional.
  • Complete the booking enquiry form

Cost for this Wild Ruaha Photo Safari includes all internal flights from Dar es Salaam; meet and greet services; 1 night’s accommodation in Dar es Salaam; 8 nights inside Ruaha National Park and split across two camps in very different parts of the park; all meals; laundry; house drinks; park fees; additional luggage allowance for your flights; private safari truck; photographic tuition and guiding services of professional African wildlife photographer Greg du Toit.

Not included in the cost of this Wild Ruaha Photo Safari are visas you might need; purchases of a personal nature; staff gratuities for camp staff (at your own discretion); personal travel and medical insurance, and your international flights to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

30% deposit confirms your booking on the Wild Ruaha Photo Safari.

Please note: the above cost applies only when 3 photographers are booked.

Your Wild Ruaha Photo Safari Itinerary

Overnight hotel, Dar es Salaam

Upon landing in Dar, you will be met and transferred to your hotel with a view over the Indian Ocean and harbour. There will be WIFI to let your loved ones know that you have arrived safely. Greg will meet you at the hotel and brief you on your upcoming Wild Ruaha Photo Safari adventure. A scrumptious Asian dinner at the hotel restaurant and early to bed to dream about the incredible photos you will soon be taking on your southern Tanzania photo safari. Sweet dreams or as we say in Swahili, Lala Salama.

southern Tanzania photo safari - zebra photo from Ruaha National Park.


Welcome to Ruaha National Park

An early start and 20 minute transfer will take you from your hotel to Dar es Salaam’s domestic departures. A 90 minute flight will see you landing at the Ruaha National Park’s headquarters where your driver guide will be waiting for you. Don’t worry, an extra luggage allowance for your flight has been booked and is included in the cost of your Wild Ruaha Photo Safari. A scenic drive through baobab-filled valleys will take you far away from the main tourist circuit and to a remote riverbed, where the first camp on your Wild Ruaha Photo Safari is located. Right from the start, your photo safari will be wild and free as you begin to take in real Africa. Arriving in camp to a refreshing drink and face towel, you will be briefed by the camp manager. Elephants pretty much have right of way in this camp, and they love the sausage tree fruit above your tent.

The first camp on your Wild Ruaha Photo Safari has been carefully chosen to give you access to the most prolific baobab forests in the park, and indeed in all of Africa. On your first afternoon you will explore these forests where giraffe and elephants are dwarfed by Africa’s iconic and ancient tree giants. Photographing silhouettes as the sun sets behind the escarpment, you will fall hopelessly in love with Africa.

ruaha photo safari - a crocodile in the Great Ruaha River.

Returning to the camp where the glowing embers of the fire echoe the red hues in the west, after a hearty dinner you will turn in for the night. Your Africa abode is a traditional canvas-style safari tent with a grass toilet cubicle (don’t worry you have a flushing loo), and an outside shower to take in all the stars. Built on the banks of a seasonal river and set beneath sausage trees, you are lulled to sleep by feeding elephants, roaring lions and the gentle ‘Prrrrrp’ call of the African Scops Owl on your southern Tanzania photo safari.

Although the camp is a traditional canvas-style camp, charging facilities and other amenities to make sure you are comfortable are available.


The Great Ruaha River and more baobabs

After an early morning coffee/tea delivery to your tent you head off to explore what has been dubbed ‘the connoisseur’s park’ by Africa afficionados.

ruaha photo safari - A Kirk's dik-dik photographed in Ruaha National Park.

This part of the park offers an incredible mosaic of habitats and it feels ancient simply because it is ancient. Baobab trees, hundreds of years old, like a standing army of giants, their thick trunks and curved boughs silhouetted against the blue hues of the twilight. As the safari truck passes through valley upon valley of baobabs your index finger will twitch in excitement as we search for subjects to place within one of Africa’s most enchanting landscapes. With an entire bench in the safari truck to yourself, you don’t need to leave any lenses behind for this southern Tanzania photo safari, which is a good thing because your plethora of photographic subjects range from minute dikdiks to massive herds of eland, journeys of giraffe and parades of elephant, plus a smorgasbord of birdlife. Predators come in all shapes and sizes ranging from wild dog to lion but perhaps the biggest photographic prize of all is capturing a leopard lounging in a baobab. Can you imagine a more wonderful photograph?

With your own professional wildlife photographer in front and a true Africa-born specialist, Greg will direct the guide and show you the best nooks and crannies in this section of the park. You will be on pole position for both the action and light and you will also receive expert tuition pertaining to the composition and camera settings for each scene and subject photographed on your Wild Ruaha Photo Safari.

southern Tanzania photo safari - a photograph of a wild lion in Ruaha National Park.

After thoroughly photographing the wildlife within the baobabs, you will make a turn onto the floodplain of the Great Ruaha River, where ample plains and riparian bush make this a fine location for a photo safari. A stop to stretch legs along the way before more baobab forest and river meandering on your return to camp for lunch (only once the light is thoroughly burnt off of course). There will then be time to download your cards and take a rest, looking over the riverbed and wild bush from your personal verandah, before meeting for afternoon tea. Heading out on the evening safari drive, you explore the hidden valleys in the golden afternoon light searching for subjects within the baobab forests and riparian vegetation. Your itinerary has been carefully curated and the camp selected out of all the camps in the park for its remote location and proximity to what are arguably the most spectacular baobab forests in all of Africa. In the afternoon, the light just gets better and better, with a fiery red sky and giant baobab’s silhouetted, this really is a photographer’s playground – the possibilities are endless.

Returning to camp just as it gets dark, another delightful dinner and hot alfresco shower await. Time to quickly download cards before drifting off to la-la land. The good news is that you wake, only to do it all over again.


Things get even wilder

After a last safari drive at your first camp on this Wild Ruaha Photo Safari, it’s time to pack your clothes – no need to pack your camera gear though as you take a scenic safari drive along the river to your next camp.

This is no ordinary camp; it is the best kept secret of Ruaha National Park. Your new home is made from canvas and wood, and also superbly positioned on another scenic seasonal river. After settling into your new home and placing your computer and spare batteries on charge, then letting your loved ones know you are still alive via the camp’s WIFI, you head out on an afternoon safari drive as the 2nd leg of your Wild Ruaha Photo Safari kicks off.


Four full days exploring secret forests and remote springs

This leg of your Wild Ruaha Photo Safari will see you exploring and photographing off-the-beaten track, where Acacia forests, dust, springs, sandy rivers and wildlife all mix, making for spectacular and enchanting photographs. The stage is always set here and with thick forests, dramatic light, large buffalo herds, giraffe journeys, drying river pools, predators lying in wait – it’s lights, camera, action. Scroll down to see the kind of photographic opportunities that await on this Wild Ruaha Photo Safari.

Being able to place your subjects in thoroughly wild environments makes this one of Africa’s most sought-after and secret photographic destinations. After living in this area for two years, Greg knows it intimately, he knows the forest’s secrets and where the animals drink and predators wait. This is wild Africa and your photographs will have both an edge and a mystery to them. To make the absolute most of this experience a night of fly-camping in a secluded part of the forest will give you early morning access otherwise impossible. What could be better than spending a night camping in one of the wildest corners of one of Africa’s wildest parks? What could be better than rays of streaming light illuminating dust and hundreds of buffalo as they journey through an Acacia forest, on their way to a natural spring? After experiencing this you will identify with the words of the late Dr Ian Player who once said, ‘Now I know what wild Africa is.’

ruaha photo safari - a photo of a baobab tree and the full moon.

Your days during this leg of your Wild Ruaha Photo Safari will be split in two, with both a morning and an afternoon safari drive, and you will hardly see another safari truck. Special permission has also been obtained to stay out late to photograph a particularly characterful baobab tree with the stars. Spending time with a tree that could be over 1000 years old, all set beneath and starry African sky, you will once again lose your heart to Africa. Please remember to bring your tripod and a wide-angle lens.


With full memory cards you depart

southern Tanzania photo safari - a green season safari to Ruaha National Park.

By this time, not only are your memory cards full on your camera but your mind is full of memories of a wild Africa you never knew you always longed for. You will have enjoyed a southern Tanzania photo safari experience, par excellence, in an ancient land of mystery and beauty. You will have tasted real Africa and when you leave, all you will be thinking about is your return. A 90 minute flight back to Dar es Salaam will conclude your Wild Ruaha Photo Safari.

The good news is that if you are not ready to leave Africa, you don’t have to. There is a VERY special 4-night Mahale Mountains Chimpanzee extension you can add to this Wild Ruaha Photo Safari, and it offers the same utterly enchanting, remote and wild atmosphere (more details at the very end of this page).

See the Wild Ruaha Photo Safari portfolio below and click on any image to enlarge.

Photographic possibilities on this Wild Ruaha photo safari

Why this Wild Ruaha Photo Safari is the safari for you…

Ruaha photo safari - lion portrait– This southern Tanzania photo safari gives you the FULL Ruaha photo safari experience by basing you at two different camps, each on opposite sides of the park. You will photograph the Acacia forests, hidden baobab valleys, seasonal rivers, accompanying wildlife, and have access to the Great Ruaha River throughout. If you going to do one Ruaha photo safari, then this is the one to do.

– This Ruaha photo safari offers wonderful continuity: both camps are comfortable and more traditional in style, with all the necessary amenities, they keep you connected to the wild through the skillful use of canvas and wood. The first camp is situated in a remote location that gives you the ultimate access to baobab forests and Great Ruaha River frontage. You then move to an even remoter part of the park where still in a tented camp, you are situated close to ‘the secret forest’. From this base you will access incredible Acacia forest scenes and springs, teaming with buffalo herds and giraffe journeys. Add dust, then light, and what you have is a photographer’s dream (see photos above).

– This safari is hosted by an Africa-born specialist: Greg has spent the 2 years living permanently, exploring and photographing inside Ruaha National Park. He knows the area intimately, where the best baobabs are to photograph, which routes to take in the morning and evening to maximise wildlife encounters and photo opportunities. Most importantly he knows how to work ‘the secret forest’ photographically, how to position, frame and compose. With Greg as your host, you not only have a professional wildlife photographer, but you have an African safari guide with extensive experience in Ruaha National Park.

– This southern Tanzania photo safari maximises your time spent photographing. Once you land in Ruaha, you will not pack your camera away once, until you fly out of the park at the very end of the safari. The transfer between camps is done by safari truck so you will not waste time in airports, traveling, packing and unpacking, on your Ruaha photo safari.

– With only 3 photographers in the safari truck you have ample space to unpack your gear on the seat next to you, and you can shoot out both the left and the right on your Ruaha photo safari.

– This Ruaha photo safari has been carefully curated to offer you a true wilderness bush experience. Ruaha has been dubbed ‘the connoisseur’s park’ and on this Ruaha photo safari you avoid the crowds and access the most rugged and scenic parts of this exceptional park.

southern Tanzania photo safari - lion drinking out a remote pool in Ruaha National Park, Tanzania.– Off-road driving is not allowed in the park but you will access such remote parts on this Ruaha photo safari, that you will indeed venture off the track to work the light and angles.

– You will receive expert personal tuition that larger group safaris cannot offer. This is a true small group safari with space for only 3 photographers on this Ruaha photo safari.

– With our own private safari truck on this Ruaha photo safari, you will spend quality time at each sighting, as long as you like.

– This Ruaha photo safari offers a feast of unique photo opportunities and as such we cannot expect you to leave any of your equipment at home on this southern Tanzania photo safari. We have booked an extra luggage seat for both your flights on this safari.

– On this Wild Ruaha Photo Safari you will receive help, guidance, and advice on camera settings when and where it matters most – in the field, so that you can go home with that award winning shot.

– Your photographic host on this Ruaha photo safari is the author of a book titled ‘Getting it right in camera’ and if that title describes exactly what you want to do, then this is the photo safari for you. With a complete photo workshop on his laptop, you can request lessons from Greg on any and every aspect of wildlife photography.

– Ruaha National Park is one of the best places in Africa to photograph buffalo herds, giraffe journeys and lions, plus other incredible wildlife. But what makes it one of the finest photographic locations on the continent is the setting it provides, endless baboab-filled valleys, seasonal rivers, springs and hidden forests.

– This Ruaha photo safari has been timed for the dry season when the buffalo herds are drawn to the remaining water pools and predators lie in wait. Timing is everything in Africa and this safari is timed to give you the best Ruaha photo experience possible, including the moon phase (there is an exceptional and ancient baobab that you will photograph under the night sky).

– Besides the excellent photo opportunities, this Ruaha photo safari allows you to experience one of Africa’s biggest and wildest ecosystems. The park offers what is arguable the finest bush-country in all of Africa, famous for its understated rugged beauty and incredible light – especially the purple hues in the late evening.

– Photographers of all levels are welcome on this Ruaha photo safari – you will receive expert tuition based on your level of experience throughout this southern Tanzania photo safari.

– By adding the Mahale Mountains Chimpanzee 4-night extension to your Ruaha photo safari, you will add a completely different dimension to your southern Tanzania photo safari experience. You will enjoy the same calibre wilderness experience but in a completely different setting. Your camp is located on the shores of the sparkling Lake Tanganyika and you will have exclusive access to the our closest living relatives, the chimpanzees (details below).

* Still got questions? See the FAQ I wrote about African photographic safaris.

4 night Mahale Mountains Chimpanzee extension

The Mahale Mountains of Tanzania are home to the largest wild population of chimpanzees in the world. Less commercial, more pristine and exclusive than even Kibale in Uganda, Mahale offers the ultimate place to do a chimpanzee photo safari:

You have your own guide and trackers, so you can take your time on this great ape photo safari and if you do not want to hold the group up, you can wait and rest, and then have your own private chimpanzee viewing. This highly exclusive chimpanzee experience is regarded among African aficionados as one of the finest safari destinations, and tops the list of any professional photo safari guide. Your camp has the most spectacular safari setting of any camp in Africa. To get a feel for this extension watch this YouTube video.

A great ape photo safari is very challenging from a photography perspective as the forest is dark, with bright highlights breaking through. That is why you have a professional wildlife photographer on hand and Greg has trekked chimpanzees in Mahale for over a decade. On this special great ape photo safari you will enjoy three chimpanzee treks.

Please mention when booking on the form below, if you are interested in adding this extension to your Wild Ruaha Photo Safari.

*With the Mahale Mountains Chimpanzee extension, your Tanzania photo safari is now an epic 13 night itinerary. Extend it and make it a 16 night odyssey by adding 3 nights in Nyerere National Park (aka Selous) as a pre-trip extension. This makes great logistical sense and if you add all these extensions together what you have is a truly bespoke best of southern Tanzania photo safari.

Guest Testimonials

'Hey Greg, It took three days to download and organize my 5412 files! You blew me away with your kindness, graciousness, and expertise. Okay, so now I am bit and I can't wait to go back. The wild is the only thing that makes sense and I understand what motivates you. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for introducing me to your world and for sharing your experience, strength, and hope for the future of conservation.'

Nell Dickerson (USA)
'Greg, thanks so much for the outstanding private safari in the Okavango Delta. The itinerary that you developed gave us a terrific mix of magical Delta experiences, with fine camps and excellent local guides. The most important ingredient in this terrific experience, however, was you. On the photographic front, we were inspired by your commitment to artistic creativity and excellence, as well as ethical practices, in the capturing of wildlife images and greatly appreciated your graciously shared world class photographic expertise. We were delighted to find that you are also a knowledgeable naturalist, with wide-ranging expertise and engaging stories (and a voluminous reference library on your phone!) about both the fauna and the flora of Africa. We were encouraged by your commitment to conservation! We look forward eagerly to joining you in the Masai Mara next year and in the South Rift Valley!'

Mark and Bonnie Overgaard (USA)
'Since our very first contact, Greg gave me lots of advices about safari destinations and about photography. He always answered my hundreds mail (sorry Greg 😉 ) helping me to find and book the best travel for shooting hippos and to buy some photographic stuffs I have never seen before. I have known a man who really loves Africa and wildlife and most important, who knows lot of things about Africa and wildlife, but at the same time you can talk to him as you talk to one of your friend. I dont write about his knowledge of photo gears and technique as it would be superfluous. I can only say that my skill level is increased by several steps. His advices during safaris were, in my opinion, the best part of my entire time spent in Kenya. During my time spent in the bush, I really feel myself like a photographer, not like a tourist. Thank you, thank you so much!'

Nicola Cappelletti (Italy)
To Greg, Thank you for giving us such a wonderful safari in Amboseli and the Masai Mara, and for letting us see Africa through your eyes. We were enamoured by your extraordinary life and your total love of Africa and the bush. Thank you for all your amazing stories of your adventures and the weird and wonderful people you have met (there's nowt so queer as folk!). As a token of our appreciation we hope you will enjoy this book by a fellow great photographer. We hope our paths will cross again.

Flemming and Sonia (Scotland)
Greg, your presence on our safari made the whole experience five-star. Thank you for sharing your vast knowledge of the land, animals, birds, and history. Outside of safari time I loved listening to your stories and funny sense of humour. Thank you again for a trip of a lifetime.

Geraldine (Houston, Texas)
'Good morning Greg. I trust you got home safely. Thanks for being such an incomparable guide and company. See you in February, if not before (maybe October).'

Stephen and Eric Cheek (UK)
'It was such a privilege to spend a week with Greg. On all levels he is a joy to spend time in the bush with. Its really apparent through his passion, knowledge and talent why he was The Wildlife Photographer of the Year. We had some amazing sightings. From following mating leopards for 5 hours on my birthday to packs of wild dogs, cheetahs, and 19 different leopards. Oh, and two snakes! And of course, spending some time with Claire was very special to us.'

Deborah Keener Brown (USA)
'Dear Greg, the training and experience with you has been even better than we expected. You bring out the best of Africa as you teach us each day to appreciate the animals and capture the best moments with pictures. You are patient and professional and we look forward to another journey with you. Best to you, Bob 'the camera caddy' and Jacquie.'

Bob and Jacquie Paul (USA)