Tanzania is a classic African destination that provides the ultimate African photographic expedition. Nowhere else on the planet does there exist such an incredible volume and diversity of large mammals, while the country also supports over one thousand bird species, many of which are large, bright and colourful, and easy to observe and photograph, and with breath-taking scenery thrown in, this makes a Luxury Safari in Tanzania a bargain, Tanzania must surely rank as one of, if not THE best destination for wildlife photography on earth! Mere mention of the names “Ngorongoro” and “Serengeti” is sure to quicken the pulse of seasoned wildlife photographers and novices alike!

In order to optimize photographic opportunities on our Luxury Safari in Tanzania, we use only comfortable safari vehicles, decked with specially designed pop-up roof hatches, and a maximum capacity of six participants during our Tanzanian tours. This means that each participant on our Luxury Safari in Tanzania is guaranteed to enjoy one-on-one tutoring and an unparalleled photographic experience.

Recommended Tanzania Photographic Safari

9 days / 8 nights

Although Kenya often holds the mantle as the most famous African safari destination, the wildlife and photographic opportunities of neighbouring Tanzania are surely hard to beat.

With some enormous game reserves, varied scenery and spectacular game numbers, Luxury Safaris’ in Tanzania have much to offer the discerning traveller.

ORYX and “Wildlife Photographer of the Year” Greg du Toit have tailor-made this itinerary to visit some of the best and most exclusive photographic gems in Tanzania.

Beginning in Arusha, we make our way to Katavi, a little visited and remote national park that boasts huge dry-season game numbers around its network of rivers and wetlands, and we can be assured of incredible sightings in one of the wildest parks on the planet!

Thereafter, the forested mountains of Mahale beckon, and with it the opportunity to track and photograph the incomparable Chimpanzee!

Again, the Mahale Mountains is a remote area, bordering the cerulean waters of Lake Tanganyika, and we have three full days on our Luxury Safari in Tanzania to photograph chimps and soak up the atmosphere of this unparalleled destination.

Join us on this Luxury Safari adventure to some of the most unspoilt wildlife areas on the African continent!

tanzaniaZebra

Destination Gallery

Tanzania---February--March-I

Highlights

  • Wild, untrammelled Katavi National Park, with its river and wetland network that host huge dry-season concentrations of Elephant, Cape Buffalo and Hippo

  • Good numbers of Lion occur in Katavi, and the possibility to photograph hunts around the shrinking pools of water is very good in the dry season

  • The remote and scenic Mahale Mountains, which lie alongside the stunning, deep blue waters of Lake Tanganyika, the world’s second deepest lake, will appeal to fans of real wilderness

  • Mahale’s forests are home to the Chimpanzee, and this is probably the premier site to photograph these incomparable mammals in untouched wilderness

  • The charming accommodations at Mahale are in a beautiful, unspoiled and romantic setting in tropical vegetation along a white sand beach – the perfect place to relax after trekking for chimps

Suggested luxury safari itinerary to Tanzania

Day 1: September: Arrival in Arusha

After arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport east of Arusha, you will be met by an ORYX representative and transferred to your wonderful hotel on the western side of Arusha (roughly 1 hour depending on traffic in Arusha town).

Something of a stalwart in the Arusha hotel scene, Arusha Coffee Lodge is in a great location on the outskirts of town and close to the main Arusha domestic airport.

Overnight Arusha Coffee Lodge

Day 2: Arusha flight to Katavi National Park

After an early breakfast, we depart to Arusha Airport, conveniently located five minutes away, for our flight to Katavi National Park (08h00 – 12h20), in the far west of Tanzania. Here the Chada Katavi staff will meet us and transfer us to the lodge in time for a delicious lunch.

Luxury Safari in Tanzania

We have three nights in this incredible place that is overrun with game, with frequent camp visitors including Cape Buffalo grazing on the floodplain in front of camp, and Elephant feeding on the fruiting trees in camp.

Overnight Chada Katavi

Days 3 and 4: Katavi National Park

Katavi National Park is somewhere that, even today, few people have been lucky enough to visit. Perhaps because of this, it feels untouched, almost like travelling back in time. The park centers on a series of wide flood plains, blond with waist high grass in the early dry season, and green and flooded like a mini Okavango Delta after the rains. Connecting the main flood plains – Ngolema, Katisunga, Katavi and Chada – is a network of fragile seasonal rivers, and it is these rivers that form the focus of the game viewing for which Katavi is renowned during the dry season. Water rapidly becomes a limited resource in Katavi during the dry season so animals of all kinds are drawn to the Katuma, Kavu and Kapapa Rivers.

Luxury Safari in Tanzania

Hippo in their thousands cram the remaining pools, crocodiles retire to caves in the mud walls of the river banks, buffalo and elephant are drawn to the rivers to drink. The lion, hyenas and other predators know this. In the late dry season, there are few places that offer such a raw and wild experience as Katavi. The rains usually come mid-November and go through until early June. Katavi then undergoes a complete transformation.

Our Luxury Safari in Tanzania is however timed to coincide with the dry season, where animals are concentrated around the remaining water, and hence photographic opportunities created by these herds of thirsty herds of game and attendant predators are at their maximum!

Nights Chada Katavi

Day 6: Katavi flight to Mahale, transfer via dhow to camp

After game drive and breakfast this morning, you will be transferred back to the airstrip, where after you will fly to Mahale (12h40 – 13h00). Flying in over the northern end of the mountains, we will see nothing for many, many kilometres, and only small villages and local fishermen in dhows dotted along the lake shore. Boarding a dhow, we sail around 1.5 hours to our camp. Greystoke Mahale sits on a pristine, white sandy beach overlooking the turquoise water of Lake Tanganyika in far-flung western Tanzania. The forested slopes of the 8000 ft Mahale Mountains range rise behind and, across the water, one can often see the mountains of the Congo, some 60km away. Lake Tanganyika is a spectacular rift valley lake, and with its crystal clear water it is the longest freshwater lake in the world and the 2nd deepest, containing 17% of the world’s fresh water.

Luxury Safari in Tanzania

We will begin our days at the main mess tent, eating breakfast whilst waiting to hear news of the whereabouts of the chimps. Although our primary focus is of course photographing the chimps, there are many choices in addition to this which include fishing, boat trips down the lake, gentle forest walks or simply a lazy afternoon on the beach.

Days of our Luxury Safari in Tanzania end with sundowners on the rocks of the headland, where drinks are served around the lamp-lit bar whilst the mountains, rising behind camp, disappear into the darkness.

Overnight Greystoke Mahale

Days 7 to 9: Mahale Mountains

In the 1,613km2 of the Mahale Mountains, there are still no roads, and the only access routes through the forest are the game trails, worn into the earth by the passing of generations of forest animals. This, and the fact that the only practical way of reaching camp is by boat, add to the sense of seclusion here. Mahale’s mountain ridge is around 50 km in length and runs across the park from the north-west to the south-east. Its tallest peak, Mt Nkungwe at 2462m, is the highest point on Lake Tanganyika’s shoreline.

Luxury Safari in Tanzania

Mahale is one of the only places left in the world where one can see chimpanzees in the wild, and spend time with a small group – the M group. Roughly 800 Chimpanzees live in the Mahale Mountains, with some 60 individuals forming the M group, which were habituated to human visitors by Japanese researchers from Kyoto University in the 1960’s. On our Luxury Safari in Tanzania we will trek to, and spend time photographing (and simply enjoying!) these remarkable mammals and both mornings of our full days at Mahale.

Nights Greystoke Mahale

Day 9: Greystoke Mahala via dhow to airstrip, flight Kilimanjaro

This morning on our Luxury Safari in Tanzania, we have further time in the marvellous forest, before catching a dhow back to the airstrip and flying to Kilimanjaro International Airport outside Arusha (13h30 – 17h00), where your incredible Luxury Safari in Tanzania unfortunately comes to an end!

An ORYX safari is about enchanting all the senses while participating in the expedition, so that you come away a richer, more enlightened being, and with a stunning collection of African wildlife images to boot! **Please note that you have a dayroom booked for Kia Lodge near Kilimanjaro International Airport to freshen up before your international flights home**

Photo Credits:
(1) Burchell’s Zebra – Greg du Toit (2) Chada Katavi – Nomad Tanzania (3) Male Lion – Greg du Toit (4) Greystoke Mahale – Nomad Tanznia (5) Chimpanzee – Greg du Toit