Photo safari 3 – The Great migration and Tanzania’s northern circuit


Safari highlights

  •  Unique opportunity to combine wildlife cultural humanitarian photography in one trip
  •  Nicolas Lotsos has traveled extensively in Africa and has been a recipient of multiple international awards. 
  •  Accommodation in some of the best lodges/camps in the northern circuit. All accommodations in the safari trip are  chosen   for the high level of  Services,  security and  facilities
  •  Personal butler for each tent
  •  Three private Land cruisers with 3 rows behind the driver for our exclusive use during the trip guarantees hassle free game viewing.
  •  Best season to visit the Great migration in the southern plains of the Serengeti.
  •  Two different areas in the Serengeti so that we can experience the park to its fullest
  •  Safari is limited to 10 participants, plus two photographers trip leaders.
  •  Unlike ordinary safari tours, we spent time in the sightings in order to accomplish the best photographs possible
  •  Award winning lodge camp being outside of the Serengeti centre allows for off road driving, and walking safaris
  •  Unique opportunity to visit Masai villages and photograph the indigenous inhabitants of the savanna.
  •  A unique opportunity to visit local schools and projects in Karatu and in northern Serengeti mara to interact with local kids and students in order to exchange knowledge   A lifetime experience that is not often offered in the majority of the safari photo tours.  
  • Chartered flight from Serengeti to Kilimanjaro airport (return flight)  for our group only.
  •  Learn about nature conservation from our specialist guides 
  • Experience life in harmony between people, wildlife and nature 

Overview of the trip:

This safari combines unmatched opportunities to discover the stunning wildlife in the breathtaking landscapes of Tanzania, enriched with cultural, educational and photographic touches.  Lodges and locations were all specifically chosen for its position outstanding services, amenities, security and the possibility to view some of the best wildlife in the world.

On arrival we will spend one night in Arusha, then the following morning we will travel across the floor of the Great Rift Valley, stopping at stunning Lake Manyara for lunch. Then we spend two nights at Karatu on the side of Ngorongoro Crater. Next we head out to the Serengeti where we will be based in two camps – first in the south next to Lake Ndutu at Lemala Explorer Ndutu for three nights, where we will witness the great migration of the wildebeest. Then we travel north to the Serengeti Mara for three nights to Sayari Camp on the Mara River. It is a stunning location remote and wild ,  always full with game.  The Serengeti in March is spectacular – great plains, woodlands, kopjes  and lakes – it is diverse, and breathtaking.



Monday March 10, 2014  (Day 1)– Arusha      -       Accommodation: Machweo lodge


Day 1 – overview

We will fly to Kilimanjaro International Airport.  We’ll all meet and greet there and then embark to our land cruisers for a 40min drive to our first lodge – Machweo.   We’ll probably arrive late at night but we have arrange dinner before we retreat to our rooms.  If time permits we will spend some time together getting to know each other and talk about our trip.   Next morning, after breakfast we’ll get our luggage together with lunch mini boxes and travel west towards Lake Manyara

 About Machweo Lodge:

Just outside of Arusha, but away from the chaos and mayhem of the city lies Machweo, a sanctuary of tranquility. Machweo is a hidden gem, a refuge for those who enjoy the finer things in life. Recharge your batteries after your flight or enjoy some pampering before your safari adventure.

Relax in the unrivaled peace and quiet of the lush gardens, take an energizing dive in the pool or treat yourself to a massage while inhaling the fresh Mount Meru air. Sample some of the most delicious food you’ll ever taste surrounded by glorious panoramas.  Expect the kind of treatment you get in the smaller, more exclusive tented camps.


Tuesday March 11, 2014,  (Day 2) - Lake Manyara –  Karatu  -  Accommodation: Gibbs Farm

  Gibbs Farm 89

Day 2 – overview

We will head towards lake Manyara National Park, a 2 hours drive from Arusha. On our way we’ll pass the dry open Maasai steppes, the little truck stop town of Makayuni and the market of Mto Wa Mbu. We will spend most of the day in Lake Manyara National park before we head our way to Karatu and Gibbs farm which will be our base for the next 2 nights.

About Lake Manyara

This small park is located deep in the floor of the Great Rift Valley escarpment and hosts a beautiful soda lake from which the park takes its name. A stunning groundwater forest rich in game surrounds the lake creating a wilderness of diverse habitat. This is Lake Manyara National Park one of Tanzania’s remarkable wilderness places.

From the entrance, the road winds through a jungle of ancient mahogany trees with baboon troops, blue monkeys bushbucks, forest hornbills and many more. We will have picnic lunch down by the waterfront in front of pink flamingos pelicans cormorants and storks. Manyara provides the perfect introduction to Tanzania’s birdlife. More than 400 species have been recorded and many of them can be seen in one day.


we will spent a few hours driving through the lush forest trying to spot among other Manyara’s legendary tree-climbing lions and its impressively tusked elephants.  Later and before dusk we will leave the park heading to the town of Karatu where we will have dinner and spend the night at the beautiful coffee plantations of the famous Gibbs farm.

About Gibbs Farm:

Dine room DB

Immerse yourself in the peace and serenity of Gibb’s Farm. Overlooking the centuries-old Great Rift Valley and Ngorongoro Forest, Gibb’s Farm was one of the first guesthouses in Northern Tanzania. Established as a coffee farm in the late 1920s and refurbished as a warm, rustic luxury inn, Gibb’s Farm is a welcome retreat while on safari.

Surround yourself with the rich traditions of East African life, exclusive to Gibb’s Farm, and share an eternal sense of history and community. Generations of local families have helped to create a truly special and authentic experience, based upon East African traditions and hospitality. Gibb’s Farm’s deep and long-standing connection to the community continues to inspire excellence and the farm’s sustainable, renewable practices serve as a model for living in harmony with nature.

During your stay you will often hear the Swahili word “karibu,” expressing the genuine, innate pleasure we take in welcoming our guests—an attribute at the heart of our hospitality.


Wednesday March 12, 2014  (Day 3)  Ngorongoro crater – Karatu  -  Accommodation: Gibbs Farm

Day 3 – overview

We will start out early from Gibbs farm and be entering the Ngorongoro Conservation Area as early as 07.00hrs. We will spend all morning exploring the magnificent Ngorongoro crater. We will have breakfast on the crater and picnic lunch boxes with us for a delicious meal in a beautiful location in the heart of the crater.

About Ngorongoro Crater:

With a diameter of over 20km, Ngorongoro is the world’s largest unflooded caldera and an amazing sight. Created two million years ago by the collapse of an enormous volcano, reckoned to be larger than Kilimanjaro, today the crater contains a microcosm of East Africa, with plains, soda lakes, forests, swamps and springs. Most of the larger mammal species are present, including elephant, black rhino, buffalo, hippo, lion and leopard. Game-viewing here is about as easy as it gets. The crater is a spectacular sight throughout the year and not to be missed.


About Karatu

Karatu is a reasonably large tin-roofed town set in beautiful undulating farmland on the lower slopes to the south of Ngorongoro. The area is uniquely chosen for a number of beautiful farmhouse lodges set in a stunning rural landscapes of coffee plantations and shamba farms.    Most safari guests expect a safari to be all about gameviewing, but actually the experience can be so much broader. This is real ’red road Africa’ … a chance to break from the animals and spend some quality time relaxing and exploring these rural communities.


Full half day game drive at the crater : The crater is a real banker for game.. In the next few hours we will be venturing at the floor of the crater observing the flamingoes on Lake Magadi, large bull elephant in the Gorigor Swamp, the hyena den, the hippo pool, lions,  buffalo and rhino before stopping for a picnic lunch at the Lerai Forest or at the Ngoitokitok Springs  for soaking up the atmosphere of this awesome location.


Early afternoon we will head back down the winding road through the forest to the park gate down to the town of Karatu where we will visit the market and observe life in a typical African town. Before the evening we will retreat to our base for the night, the Gibbs Farm where we can relax at the pool before we served dinner. 


Thursday March 13 to Sunday 16, 2014  (Day 4-7)   –    Accommodation: Lemala Explorer Ndutu 

 lemala explorer lounge

Day 4-7 Overview

Today we will take a break of the incredible wildlife to visit a school andcome closer to the cultures of Tanzania.  In the morning we will visit a school where will meet the students and teachers, and learn firsthand about the successes and challenges of education in rural Tanzania. Donations can be given upon discussions between the photographer leader and the participants prior to travel.   After our visit  we will leave Karatu and head our way to the mother of all the parks the world famous Serengeti. For 3 days we will be on the footsteps of the Great Migration.

 The extraordinary annual Great Migration of wildebeest and other grazing herbivores across the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem is one of the greatest spectacles in the natural world. Over two million herbivores partake in this journey, with about 200 000 zebra and 500 000 Thomson’s gazelle behind the main players… one-and-a-half million wildebeest! And all this under close supervision from the biggest predators. 


About Lemala Explorer

 Lemala  Explorer Ndutu is in perfect position for the wildebeest migration between December and April.  6 luxury tents of  high specification are relocated from the Mara area of Northern Serengeti to this critical Ndutu site between Dec and mid-April, purely to capture the boundless drama that accompanies the migration.

Appointed with large single or king-size beds with warm duvets, wooden flooring with rugs, solar lighting, en-suite bathrooms with a dressing area, flush toilet and a safari shower, all the tents are spacious and very comfortable.

 The mess tent offers separate living and dining areas with a central bar area and is beautifully decorated with  sofas, lights, side cabinets, rugs and chests. In the evening, guests gather around the campfire for sundowners before retiring for dinner under chandeliers hosted by the camp manager. House alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks are included at meal time.

Another major advantage of the area is the ability to do off-road game viewing. Lemala’s open 4×4 vehicles are specially designed with charging units and a large refrigerator so that guests can enjoy full day game drives with great picnic breakfasts and lunches organized by the kitchen as well as chilled refreshments.

Comfortable tents, personal hosting, al-fresco meals, fireside discussions, sundowners, spectacular views, breath-taking sunsets, prime migration viewing and optional walks all add to one of the best under-canvas safari experiences in Tanzania.


 A typical day at the camp, after a quick coffee/tea and small bites will be heading out as early as possible to catch the best opportunity to view wildlife. We will have a mid morning break with coffee /tea and snacks in the open air enjoying the morning light, sounds and beauty. By mid afternoon we head back to camp to relax and have a nice lunch then back again to our evening game drives. A full day game drive can be arranged too, and we can pack our lunch along with us to enjoy the full supreme of nature.


Sunday  March 16  to Wednesday  March 19, 2014 (Days 7-10)  -  Accommodation: Sayari camp 



Day 7-10 Overview

On Day 7 after our morning game drive we’ll fly north to the Serengeti Mara. This northern portion of the Serengeti effectively functions as a private and exclusive MasaiMara.  This time of the year this area has even fewer visitors and very good resident game makes it a real private paradise and a great place to breathe easy at the end of a long safari.

About Sayari Camp:

 Located in the remote and exclusive northern Serengeti, close to the banks of the Mara River, the camp boasts dramatic views out across the wide plains of the northern Serengeti home to staggering wildlife, great numbers of big cats, giraffe, elephant and buck and an increasing population of rhino. And it does it all in remarkable luxury, with 15 tasteful hillside suites to retire to after a day of safari adventure.

En-suite bathrooms, with spacious showers and egg-shaped baths large enough for two, offer similarly impressive Serengeti views. Fine linens and safari-chic décor offset the wilderness that lies just beyond the canvas walls, with king-size beds and private verandas to complete the world-class experience.


At the main camp a peaceful lounge and romantic dining room opens up onto a generous deck where natural rock frames the rim-flow pool overlooking game-rich plains and the distant Mara River.  

Intimate, stylish and elegant, it’s no surprise that this luxury Serengeti lodge is regularly voted one of the top safari escapes on the planet.


Our days start early, before sunrise. We’ll have a quick coffee or tea, very light bite, and off on our morning game drive of the day. The animals are just starting to stir as the day starts, and we want to be there, and in the best light. We’ll stay out for a couple to several hours, depending on the sightings. After a mid-drive coffee break, we’ll continue on until mid to late morning. Back in camp, it’s time for offloading cards, one-on-one instruction, or just taking time to relax and do nothing. Read a book, take a walk, or take a nap and recharge. In the afternoon, we’ll again head out for another game drive, chasing the best sightings.  A cocktail while watching / photographing the sunset is a popular activity. We arrive back at camp after sundown, enjoy a hot shower if you like, and then join us by the campfire or in the living area for cocktails followed by dinner.

One of the days we will  visit Machochwe Secondary School which serves 400 children between the ages of 14 and 18 years old. to  There will meet the students and teachers, and learn firsthand about the successes and challenges of education in rural Tanzania. Donations can be given upon discussions between the photographer leader and the participants prior to travel.

Wednesday March 19, 2014 – Day 10  -  Last day in Sayari  and late departure

We will have our last game drive in the serengeti mara ecosystem before we return to the lodge to have breakfast relax by the pool, prepare our luggage and at the afternoon (depending on our return flight)  depart for Kilimanjaro airport . In order to avoid the routine 4 stops flight of 11.00 am back to Arusha that also requires a 40 min drive to kilimanjaro airport,  we have chartered a flight only for our group that will depart on our chosen schedule time and will fly us directly to Kilimanjaro airport. This is rarely offered in any safari trip but it will make a difference in ending your magnificent trip with style and comfort.

Depart aprx at  16.00 (exact time will be announced)

We will be in Kilimanjaro  airport at 18.00 pm 


Talking about photography :    This photo safari trip is for photographers of all levels, inexperienced and experienced alike. We also welcome non-photographing companions too. This photo trip will appeal to anyone with a love for animals, nature and human cultures.  This is not an official workshop with lectures, slideshows etc. It is us talking about photography everyday but without strict schedules. We will have  time for photography talks on and in between our game drives. We will review photos and provide any help needed from equipment and technique advices, to composition, light   and visualization of the picture all the way to specific tips and advices for post processing and presentation. 


The cost of  $. 6.950 USD (or 6.550 usd with early bird discount)  includes

 Greeting and pick up at Kilimanjaro Airport

Transports from and to the  Airports

One night stay, dinner and breakfast  at Machweo lodge  in Arusha

All overland transportation in 3 land cruisers or similar

All flights except international

Two nights accommodation all inclusive at Gibbs Farm

Three nights accommodation all inclusive at Lemala Explorer Camp 

Three nights accommodation all inclusive at Saayari Camp 

Local alcoholic beverages coffees, refreshment drinks at both camps

3 private 4X4 safari vehicles and guides for game drives

 walking safaris wherever is permitted.

 park fees for all days 

All Laundry at Lemala and Sayari camps


 Not Included

International flights

Tanzania visa ($50)

Tips and gratuities for camp staff and guides

The price is per person sharing a room. A single supplement option is available at extra cost per night.

Masai village visits requires a fee of 20-40 usd per person. This money support the Masai community.


Payments – Bookings

All payments and bookings for the safari are made through Africa Travel Resource (ATR)  an ATOL bonded tour operator based in UK.  ATR is one of the UK’s premier African tour operators. (

To reserve a place on this safari please email me at   [email protected] or Jay Hanson at   and we will give you instructions as well as the booking form.

 Information required from ATR 

Cancellation Policy and Other Terms and Conditions


Health information :

 Check the vaccines and medicines list and visit your doctor (ideally, 4-6 weeks) before your trip to get vaccines or medicines you may need. 


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