Photographic safari in Tanzania

Tanzania must be one of the most photographer-friendly destinations on the planet. From snow-capped mountain peaks to ‘Big Five’ safaris and dreamy tropical islands, Tanzania is basking in its newfound status of being a seriously hot photographic travel destination.

Ol Doinyo Lengai Volcano has remarkably interesting magma formations

From the Serengeti plains and steep-sided Ngorongoro Crater to the flamingos of Lake Manyara and giant tuskers of Tarangire to idyllic Zanzibar and traditional Pemba to the wild landscapes of Ruaha, Katavi and Stiegler’s Gorge in the Selous… the list of iconic Tanzanian photographic destinations is almost endless. Mahale Mountains with its habituated chimpanzees and Lake Tanganyika location is another unique photographic destination, while the many mountains and volcanoes – from world-renowned Kilimanjaro to the restless Ol Doinyo Lengai volcano – ensure that this is a country that has photographers salivating at the mere thought of a visit.

Flamingos make for amazing photographic subjects

Photography is best done from either a private vehicle or at the very least a vehicle of like-minded individuals who won’t move around at critical moments and who are also happy to be out before sunrise and back after dark. Photographic safaris tend to be most successful when you have control over the vehicle and where it goes. A guide who is a photographer him- or herself and who has guided photographers before makes a big difference in terms of positioning the vehicle correctly, getting the light right, and not wanting to head back to the lodge or camp simply because it’s breakfast time. If you can afford it, then it is definitely worth booking a private vehicle – for you (and your fellow photographers) – to ensure that there is no conflict of interests and that you are the master of your own photographic destiny. Things are considerably easier outside of the parks and game reserves where dangerous wildlife and safety are less of an issue, allowing one to explore and photograph on foot and at your own pace.

Zebra always photograph so well against the backdrop of the African savannah

Dust is a big problem on safari, so travelling with multiple camera bodies attached to different lenses is a good idea, as this negates the need to change lenses enabling dust to get inside the camera. Have plenty of extra memory cards, spare batteries and a solar charger is also a great piece of kit to travel with (because its difficult to try and charge batteries halfway up a volcano).

Ensure your safari guide is aware of any photo opportunities along the route

The time of year you chose for your photographic safari is probably the biggest and toughest decision you will face. On the one hand you have the superb wildlife viewing and Mara River crossings of the late dry season, but this comes with smoky and dusty conditions as well as dull brown and drab grey backgrounds. During the green season when the rejuvenated bush returns to life, there is a profusion of colour, and the clarity after the rains is second to none, but on the flipside wildlife is dispersed and quality sighting can be harder to come by. This is the time of year to concentrate on landscape and bird photography for sure.


Our Recommended Itinerary

9-day Great Wildebeest Migration safari (Luxury)

day 1

Arrival in Tanzania
  • 9-day Great Wildebeest Migration safari (Luxury)
  • 9-day Great Wildebeest Migration safari (Luxury)
  • 9-day Great Wildebeest Migration safari (Luxury)
  • 9-day Great Wildebeest Migration safari (Luxury)
  • 9-day Great Wildebeest Migration safari (Luxury)
  • 9-day Great Wildebeest Migration safari (Luxury)

day 2 to 3

  • 9-day Great Wildebeest Migration safari (Luxury)
  • 9-day Great Wildebeest Migration safari (Luxury)
  • 9-day Great Wildebeest Migration safari (Luxury)
  • 9-day Great Wildebeest Migration safari (Luxury)
  • 9-day Great Wildebeest Migration safari (Luxury)
  • 9-day Great Wildebeest Migration safari (Luxury)

day 4 to 5

World’s most unusual wildlife destination
  • 9-day Great Wildebeest Migration safari (Luxury)
  • 9-day Great Wildebeest Migration safari (Luxury)
  • 9-day Great Wildebeest Migration safari (Luxury)
  • 9-day Great Wildebeest Migration safari (Luxury)
  • 9-day Great Wildebeest Migration safari (Luxury)
  • 9-day Great Wildebeest Migration safari (Luxury)

day 6 to 8

Migration moves around the Serengeti
  • 9-day Great Wildebeest Migration safari (Luxury)
  • 9-day Great Wildebeest Migration safari (Luxury)
  • 9-day Great Wildebeest Migration safari (Luxury)
  • 9-day Great Wildebeest Migration safari (Luxury)
  • 9-day Great Wildebeest Migration safari (Luxury)
  • 9-day Great Wildebeest Migration safari (Luxury)

day 9

A perfect end to a perfect journey!

View Full Itinerary

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Travel advice for Tanzania

The following practical information and travel advice is worth knowing as you look to plan your trip to Tanzania and embark on the safari of a lifetime: Tanzania’s unit of currency is the Tanzanian Shilling, which is necessary for purchasing souvenirs, drinks and food in local shops and restaurants, but all hotels, lodges and other tourist establishments readily accept US Dollars and…

Walking safaris in Tanzania

Who needs the regular safaris that we have become accustomed to when you can have a walking safari? Walking safaris have become a massive hit recently, and this is purely because of the opportunity that tourists have to come closer to the wild and interact more with the animals. For people who choose this option, it is set to become an unforgettable and exhilarating experience walking…

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It is unusual to meet anyone who has been on safari to Tanzania and not explored the northern region. Dominated by the annual wildebeest (and zebra) migration, visitors are blown away by the prolific herds of plains game that also include large numbers of topi, eland and gazelles. Predators are abundant here too with lion and cheetah dominating the sightings, although leopard sightings…

Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater

At 14,763 square kilometres in size, the Serengeti is arguably the finest national park in Africa and offers a wealth of wildlife viewing opportunities. Pretty much every large animal in East Africa can be regularly seen in the national park or wider ecosystem. When you include all the contiguous protected areas, of which Ngorongoro is one of the most noteworthy, the total size of the…

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro

The name Kilimanjaro is a mystery and is thought to mean “Mountain of Light” or “Mountain of Greatness”. No one is quite sure, but what is not under dispute is that Mount Kilimanjaro at 5895 metres (19,336 feet) is the highest peak on the African continent and tallest freestanding mountain on earth: undoubtedly one of the continent’s most magnificent sights rising up in splendid…

Zanzibar and the Indian Ocean islands

From the often-overlooked and largely undeveloped tropical paradise of Pemba Island in the north to the classy utopia of Mafia Island in the south, Tanzania’s tropical east coast islands offer welcome respite at the end of a rewarding safari. Nestled between Pemba and Mafia is Zanzibar with its eclectic mix of white-sand beaches, warm water, nightlife and a powerful cultural history. …

Popular Tanzania Safaris

These popular itineraries can be customised to match your budget and travel dates

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