Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti Safari

This is a Serengeti photo safari that includes a Ngorongoro Crater photo safari. Combined it is the best Tanzania photo safari you can do.

There is quite simply no place more beautiful anywhere in Africa than the Ngorongoro Crater, it is one of those places that you just have to see at least once in your lifetime. The Serengeti has been voted Africa’s top safari park and features on all Tanzania photography tours but this safari takes you the most special, beautiful and remote corner of the park.

Scroll down to see a portfolio of Ngorongoro Crater pictures.

The Best Tanzania Photo Safari Experience

It has been dubbed the ‘8th natural wonder of the world’ and there is quite simply no place like it on earth. The Ngorongoro Crater is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it is the undisputed Eden of Africa. So why has it taken me all these years to put together a Ngorongoro Crater photo safari? Well, I have visited the crater extensively for the last six years on my Tanzania photo safaris, searching for a way to unlock its photographic potential and finally I have discovered the secret. I now share this secret with you on this small group photography tour so that you can also get awesome and unique photographs in the crater on this Tanzania photography tour.

The Ngorongoro Crater is Africa’s own version of Jurassic Park. Surrounded by 360 degree and 600m (1,968ft) high walls, it is the largest intact and unfilled caldera in the world. At the bottom you find Africa’s most incredible ecosystem where some of the largest elephant bulls roam plus big cats and black rhinoceroses, not to mention an absolute smorgasbord of plains game. It is an ancient timeless place of wonder and is of unspeakable beauty. This is a bucket list item and something everyone who loves Africa just has to see. It is also one of the finest and most unique photographic destinations, one mostly overlooked by photographers when considering a Tanzania photo safari.

This Ngorongoro Crater photo safari leg is specifically designed with wildlife photographers in mind and very carefully timed so that there are moody skies, incredible backgrounds and dramatic light. It is also timed for when there is almost no one else in the Ngorongoro Crater, so you will have the place largely to yourself on this Tanzania photography tour. If you are a photographer who enjoys playing with light and lines, and if you enjoy composing your shot and capturing frames that show an animal in its environment then don’t miss this Ngrongoro Crater photo safari.

It is a great small group photography tour to see predators in action as the crater is jam-packed with predators and prey alike. The chance of seeing predator action is therefore high due to the confined space that the predators and prey live in. Expansive views of forests and green plains await on this Tanzania photography tour.

The 2nd leg of this small group photography tour dovetails beautifully with the Ngorongoro Crater in that you visit a very special part of the Serengeti and where again there is hardly anyone else. Lions on granite outcrops, known as ‘koppies‘, stare out at expansive views that continue forever. The word ‘siringet‘ means ‘vast’ in the language of the Maasai and the Serengeti really needs no introduction. I have been photographing in the Serengeti for the last 10 years extensively and trust me when I tell you that I have found the ultimate corner of this, ‘Africa’s top safari park’. If you want to experience real, wild and expansive Africa then look no further than this Serengeti photo safari.

The accommodation on this Tanzania photo safari is simply incredible and luxurious. What could get better than a camp perched right on the very edge of the Ngorongoro Crater? Or what could be better than staying in a very remote, yet utterly luxurious camp, on the great plains of the Serengeti – all set about with giant Umbrella Acacia trees?

This is the best Tanzania photo safari you can do and one that avoids the tourist bottleneck that takes place every year in February. Keep reading for the full itinerary details of your Tanzania photography tour.

‘Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti Safari’ details

This is a 8 night (9 day) Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti Photo Safari available on a private basis only.

  • Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti
  • The cost and dates of this safari will depend on whether you are traveling alone or in a group, and if you choose to do any of the safari extensions listed at the bottom of this page and can be customized to your unique tastes.
  • Complete the booking enquiry form

Cost will include all accommodation in two perfectly positioned uber-luxurious camps; pre-tour overnight accommodation in Arusha in a small intimate luxury lodge outside of town, meals; laundry; house drinks; park and conservation 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 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.

40% deposit confirms your booking on this small group photography tour.

The Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti Safari Itinerary

Arrival in Arusha

After being met at Kilimanjaro International Airport for the start of your Tanzania photo safari, you will be transferred by road (approximately 90 minutes) to a delightful luxurious boutique lodge on the outskirts of Arusha town. Friendly staff, a large luxurious room with WiFi and excellent cuisine will help you settle into Africa.

Serengeti photo safari

*For those of you wanting to come in a day or two early to relax and recover from jet lag, this lodge is the perfect place to do it. We can arrange a day trip for you to visit Arusha National Park which is a most beautiful park and excellent for primates (including colobus monkey) and general game like giraffe and buffalo.

Ngorongoro Crater photo safari commences

We meet at breakfast for our exciting drive up to the lip of the Ngorongoro Crater. With no internal flight to worry about on this Tanzania photography tour, you can bring all your equipment! A 500mm focal length, or similar, is perfect for the crater but also bring your wide-angles. This is no ordinary Tanzania photo safari, you are going to get unique and inspirational shots that will make even seasoned professional wildlife photographers blush, so pack it all! It’s not just about location on this Ngorongor Crater photo safari but also about timing. You will be visiting the crater at a time of year when few others do and when the weather is moody and the light spectacular. This is a small group photography tour that will yield photographs different to anything you have captured before. Can you imagine having the Ngorongoro Crater almost all to yourself? The crater’s floor is a photographer’s playground and this is the only photo safari designed around making the Ngorongoro Crater a destination in its own right. Most Tanzania photography tours only offer the crater as a stopover point and this is a tragedy.

ngorongoro crater safari

On this day transfer by road 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 4 hours.

Your lodge is one of the finest in Africa but more importantly it gives good and quick access into the crater. After a scrumptious dinner, you turn in for a well-deserved night’s rest. Sleeping right on the edge of the Ngorongoro Crater you might have a buffalo walk under your room or you might hear lions roar. The selected lodges on this safari are luxurious, making this an ideal safari for non-photographing partners to join. The high altitude chill on your Ngorongoro Crater photo safari is kept at bay with a log fire in your room and a Victorian bath overlooking the crater.

Sweet dreams or ‘Lala Salama’ as we say in Swahili!

Ngorongoro Crater Photo Safari full days

Your day begins in the best possible way as you are woken with a steaming cup of coffee or tea brought to you in bed. We depart camp each morning at 06h00, 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. With our lodge having been carefully selected on this Ngorongoro Crater photo safari to allow us quick access into the crater, we will be down at the bottom for sunrise.

For successful wildlife photography one needs not only 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 on this Tanzania photography tour. The steep crater walls offer magnificent green and blue hued backgrounds that eliminate the usual dynamic range issues, and which allow you to create breathtakingly beautiful fine art imagery.

ngorongoro crater photo safari - an elephant in flowers

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 on this Ngorongoro photo safari 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 Tanzania photo safari is not restricted to just the golden hours. As such we will stay out all day every day, photographing throughout the day and capturing mood filled images with gorgeous diffused light. The thundershowers bounce around the crater offering incredible vistas and rainbows, making this the ultimate outdoor studio for any wildlife photographer.

We will break for breakfast and lunch on the crater floor and the picnic site is also one of the best 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.

lion cubs photographed on a ngorongoro crater photo safari

For 2 full days you will photograph the Ngorongoro Crater, filled with all its incredible creatures and vistas. The crater offers forests, flower-dotted-plains and green rolling hills. It is ‘God’s garden’ and it offers the best chance of photographing large elephant bull Tuskers and  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, often with 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. See a gallery of Ngorongoro Crater pictures further down the page.

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 solid photography. You will wake only to do it all again the following day! 2 full days in the crater 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 but because of the light, angle, mood and subject material, in just 2 days you will build an incredible photographic portfolio. Where else can you be guaranteed a photographic portfolio in just 2 days?

This is the only and first Tanzania photo safari to make the crater a real focus (as opposed to just blowing through on route to the Serengeti) and it’s the first specialised small group photography tour to visit the crater in the off-peak season. This means that it will yield photo results that are unique and different.

ngorongoro crater photo safari - lion cubs

* Whether you are a seasoned photographer or just starting out, this Ngorongoro Crater photo safari will elevate your imagery and portfolio to a whole new level.

Serengeti photo safari commences

You enjoy a breathtakingly beautiful and scenic drive down the crater highlands and onto the vast and endless plains of what has been voted Africa’s top safari park. The Serengeti really needs no introduction and for this one-of-a-kind safari I have selected one of the remotest safari camps in the park, one that is located in the most scenic part of the Serengeti. Your camp is located right away from the usual photo tourist traps and in a part of the Serengeti that is so beautiful that it defies description. Umbrella-shaped Acacia trees, rocky outcrops, hidden valleys and 360 degree views of endless plains are the order of the day on this special Serengeti photo safari.

serengeti photo safari - zebra foals

You will enjoy 8 awesome safari drives in this very splendid corner of the Serengeti. With one of the highest concentrations of predators in all of Africa, the plains offer up exhilarating wildlife photography. With beautiful ‘koppies‘ dotted around this pocket of the Serengeti, the theme and mood of the photography that you did on the Ngorongoro Crater leg will continue. Your photographs will speak of a timeless and expansive Africa, and nothing will say this more than a large male lion sitting on top of a rocky ‘koppie‘ with the wind blowing through his mane and surrounded by the ample grass plains. The Serengeti is one of Africa’s wildlife meccas and it is the ultimate home to both cheetah and lions. Your memory cards will fill up fast on this Serengeti photo safari, so bring extra!

serengeti photo safari - lion cub

*Our camp in the Serengeti (which is a big secret and hence no links to it) was initially chosen for its superb location but recently it was completely rebuilt and lucky for you, it is now the most luxurious camp located within the Serengeti National Park. Your room is large and spacious, with plenty of space to download and edit, and recharge your cameras. The friendly staff will simply blow you away!

Return to Arusha

On this last day of your Serengeti photo safari, a safari drive into the heart of the park will see you taking a short 40 minute flight back to Arusha for your onward travel home. A day room can be booked for you upon request. If there is time, we will enjoy one last meal together at a restaurant in a leafy suburb of Arusha.

serengeti photo safari - bird

This is the end of the scheduled ‘Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti Safari’, but booking an extension will ensure you capture even more on safari in Africa. Try the Ruaha National Park, known as the ‘connoisseurs park‘ if you into baobabs and walking in wild bush country, more details on this safari extension at the end of this page. If you want to continue with excellent wildlife photography we can continue to the opposite side of the Serengeti where we will photograph in a private concession. This will then undoubtedly be the ‘best Serengeti photo safari’.

See the Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti safari portfolio below and click on any image to enlarge.

Special note on packing for this unique safari:

Weather: Due to the high altitude of the Ngorongoro Crater photo safari leg, we will experience some cold and wet conditions so please bring warm clothes like trousers, fleeces, jacket and a beanie. Gloves are not needed unless you are sensitive to the cold. A good waterproof outer shell (gortex or equivalent) is recommended. Layered clothing is the way to go as of course we will have beautiful weather too. Please bring a raincoat for your camera so that you can stick it out and shoot like a pro on your Tananzia photo safari. See here for a simple and effective raincoat that is light and easy to pack.

Camera support: I suggest that you bring a monopod with a good ball or gimbal head if you have a heavy lens. Tripods are optional but not needed. See my African wildlife photography safari FAQ for more on equipment.

Your photographic possibilities on this small group photography tour

Why the Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti Signature Safari is the safari for you…

– This Tanzania photo safari has been timed to coincide with weather that offers sublime moody light. The crater walls offer great backgrounds and as a result of these two combined factors, you will spend a solid 12 hours each day in the crater photographing.

– This is a small group photography tour to ensure you will receive expert tuition that larger group safaris cannot offer.

– You will receive help, guidance and advice on your camera settings whilst on safari drive on this Tanzania photography tour.

– This Tanzania photo safari has been timed so that the tourist masses are absent. There will only be a few other cars in the crater and in the Serengeti, which means you have two of Africa’s most famous icons largely to yourself.

– The crater has been dubbed the 8th natural wonder of the world and the Serengeti has been dubbed ‘Africa’s top safari park’. This is a Tanzania photography tour 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 if you like photographs filled with mystery and mood, then this is the Tanzania photo safari for you! The light is dramatic and so are the backgrounds.

– If you enjoy capturing your subject in its environment then this is definitely the Tanzania photography tour for you! (Relook at your photographic possibilities above)

– There are also few better places on a Tanzania photo safari to see predators in action than at the bottom of the Ngorongoro Crater. The steep crater walls keep both predators and prey in close proximity to 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. Because this is a small group photography tour, you will spend as long as you like with these giants and photograph to your heart’s content.

– The crater floor is the best place in all of Africa to get photographs of endangered free-ranging black rhinoceros, making this the ultimate Tanzania photography tour.

– Professional African wildlife photographer Greg du Toit will host you every step of the way on this safari. Not only has he placed in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition with an image taken on a Serengeti photo safari but he has spent the last six years exploring and discovering a way to unlock the crater’s secrets. He is ready to share these secrets with you now on this one-of-a-kind small group photography tour.

– This Tanzania photography tour offers you a complete and well-rounded portfolio of images that will make even the best professional photographers turn bright green in envy.

– Because the Ngorongoro Crater is Africa’s Eden, filled with incredible wildlife, and because of the crater walls form a pleasing 360 degree backdrop, this small group photography tour will see you building and growing your portfolio more than any other wildlife photo 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. This is the best Serengeti photo safari you can do!

– Photographers of all levels are welcome and you will receive expert tuition based on your level of experience on this small group photography tour.

– Potential predators on offer on this Tanzania photo safari include cheetah, lion, leopard, golden 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 your camera. Greg has published a book titled ‘Getting It Right In Camera’ and he will customise your auto focus settings so that you can track a cheetah running at full speed on the plains.

– Not only does this Serengeti photo safari take place 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 small group photography tour that you will experience and photograph one of the true wildlife meccas of Africa.

– For those of you who enjoy walking, exploring true wilderness and taking galaxy and star trail shots with baobabs, there is an extension to this safari in Ruaha National Park.

– Or if you would like to extend your Serengeti photo safari, we can transfer to the other end of the park and continue photographing in a private concession.

– Both lodges chosen for this small group photography tour have been chosen for their excellent location and proximity to meet your photographic objectives. Both are two of the finest most luxurious safari establishments in Tanzania, making this an excellent safari to bring your partner on.

– The last point as to why this is the small group photography tour is for you, is simply because it will not only elevate your photographic portfolio to new heights, but it will make you fall in love with Africa all over again. If you are only going to ever do one photo safari to Africa then do this one because it shows you Africa’s most beautiful wildlife filled vistas, and far away from the tourist hordes.

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

Ruaha Extension

For those of you wanting to lengthen your trip, we offer a very exciting extension to this Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti photo safari. This extension is booked on an adhoc bespoke basis and for exact details and a separate costing, please enquire when booking the main tour.

Ruaha National Park is known as the ‘connoisseurs park‘ and for good reason. Ruaha offers pure unadulterated wild bush country. You will enjoy a mobile safari that will see you experiencing and seeing parts of Ruaha that few people ever get to see. A walking safari and mobile camping experience is what this extension is all about. Ruaha is regarded as one of Africa’s wildest bush parks and it therefore makes sense to visit it in April/May which is also the low tourist season. Ruaha has exceptional baobab trees, perfect for star trails. For this extension we have special permission to walk in Ruaha during the green season. This is as wild and as real as Africa gets. This extension is aimed at those who enjoy walking, landscapes and a sense of wild adventure as opposed to a more conventional big game photographic experience. This Ruaha extension is booked on a private request basis only, so please enquire to receive a costing and bespoke itinerary. The great thing about Ruaha is that it receives its rain from Dec through to March so unlike the rest of East Africa, April/May are dry months. I was privileged enough to do a portfolio for Africa Geographic magazine titled ‘Beneath the Radar‘. It was a 22 month project and I was based in Ruaha.

*Because this extension runs at a time of year when all camps are closed for the season, we need to book our own exclusive mobile camp. Ruaha is also on the other end of the country, in super remote bush country. For these reasons, the cost of this very special extension is high. The cost will of course come down if you are a group as we have the whole camp to ourselves.

Guest Testimonials

'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 direction 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. See you on the predator tour!'

Punam Anand Kumar (India)
'Many thanks for a wonderful trip to Tanzania, it could not have been better. It was as if we had the crater and the plains all to ourselves, with all their wonders in most splendid view, along with great lodgings too. I thought your passion for what you do shone through magnificently, it inspired me. Fantastic to see you wielding your camera so expertly accompanied with your brilliant and timely suggestions as to what the best shot might be. The company was great, your colourful stories, excellent guiding, your encyclopaedic wildlife and photography knowledge, which rounded things off perfectly.'

Gavin Erasmus (Hong Kong)