Tanzania Photo Experience:
Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Ndarakwai
May 12-23, 2013
A year and a half ago, during a day inside Ngorongoro Crater, we came across a meadow that seemed right out of a Camille Pissarro painting. Instead of pedestrians walking a Parisian boulevard, at least fifty pairs of African crowned cranes were taking a dignified stroll around the grass. Surreal turned bizarre when a hyena charged an ostrich, sending the cranes into flight. It was a moment that propelled other moments. There were cheetahs in the shade, which sent the water buffaloes on the move. With the background sounds of wildebeests grunting and monkeys fighting amongst themselves, we watched the rhythmic gate of giraffe necks advancing through the acacias, we spotted a hippo out of water, and to our comic surprise, watched lions walk towards us and take a nap under the shade of our vehicles. Roll the visual dice in Tanzania, and you will not be let down.
There was the moment, far out from Ndutu on the Serengeti plains, at sunset, with the sky positioning itself to drop a curtain of yellow behind black storm clouds, when a lone elephant walked into our end-of-day view.
And back at our base at Ndarakwai, we were celebrated guests at the local school, and were serenaded by the sweet songs of the children. As guests at the nearby Maasai village, we experienced the dark reality inside a Maasai home, a small fire dancing shadows against the earthen home, and we watched as children brought goats back inside the village walls at sunset. Back in our own tent cabins, canvas walls rolled up, listening to the wind blowing through the leaves, watching a monkey troupe swing between the trees, waiting for the sweet voice announcing that your shower was ready, you realized this was bliss. A perfect immersion into Africa.
|Back to our trip . . . after three nights at Ndarakwai we flew a chartered plane into the Serengeti, and spent four nights based at Ndutu Lodge. Peter's crew was ready to meet us, with no more than three people to a stretched safari vehicle, giving everyone the ability to move side to side as wildlife showed up. Our days were long and rich as we ventured off road in search of anything and everything that caught our eye. Cheetahs in pursuit, elephants on the move to a watering hole, and lions finishing off the remains of a zebra. Each day was different, and each day was exceptional.
From the Serengeti we drove to the Ngorongoro Crater, with a lunch stop at Olduvai Gorge, site of remarkable discoveries about early humans. Our two nights at the Crater were at Serena Lodge, perched on the edge of this breathtaking UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Crater encompasses 3,200 square miles, and is home to about 25,000 large mammals. In addition to the animals we saw in the Serengeti, we saw black rhinoceros and hippopotamus. After a full day in the crater, and a second night at the luxurious Serena, we took a late morning flight back to Ndarakwai. Without hesitation, we all felt like we were coming home. Back in our tent cabins, with the cool breezes running through the trees, a cup of tea on the porch, and a couple monkey teenagers swinging and chasing each other through the forest canopy, life was perfect. Our days at Ndarakwai were rich with night game drives, re-visits to the Maasai, and a memorable afternoon with two orphaned elephants.
All these experiences are built into our adventure this May. May is a great time to be in Tanzania. Our days are warm, and the nights are cool. The tail end of the migration is likely to be moving through the Serengeti, but the onslaught of visitors will be gone. And the landscape is beautiful.
I have included a summary of our upcoming itinerary at the bottom of this page.
|HERE ARE THE DETAILS:
Prerequisites: This experience is open to all photographers, spouses, friends and artists with an adventurous spirit willing to embrace the photographic focus of the experience.
Travel: Our adventure starts with being met at the Kilimanjaro Airport (JRO) on the evening of May 12. The Ndarakwai crew will meet our group at the airport and transport us to Ndarakwai Ranch, approximately 1-1/2 hours, for a late dinner and celebration of the beginning of our experience.
It has been most common for participants to fly from the U.S. or Canada to Amsterdam, and then fly down to Kilimanjaro. KLM and Delta are partners, and you may find the best pricing by booking the entire flight together. There is one KLM flight on May 12 from Amsterdam to JRO, and upon confirmation of the experience you will be contacted to buy your ticket.
but if you would like to participate in image reviews, you will need to bring a laptop, software, and flash drive so you may select images and transfer them to the workshop computer for projection. In short, you would need to be proficient and self-sufficient in the digital workflow.
Costs: $8,925.00 per person, double occupancy. For single occupancy, add $822.00. What is included in the fee: Eleven nights lodging, all meals from dinner May 12 through lunch May 23 (wine, beer, and drinks at Ndarakwai are included), guides, drivers, internal ground and air transportation, park entrance fees, permits, and all tips. International travel to and from Kilimanjaro airport, drinks at Ndutu Lodge and Serena Lodge, and items of a personal nature are not included. Each night's lodging at Ndarakwai includes a donation to The Kilimanjaro Conservancy, a non-profit organization whose goal is to maintain conservation efforts and community projects.
Confirmation Date . . . You will receive an e-mail by January 7th giving the experience a final confirmation.
To hold a place, 1.) Send me an e-mail or give a call and request that I hold a space for you and that I send you a registration form. 2.) I will send the registration form via e-mail, and will hold your space for one week while waiting for your form and deposit to arrive in the mail or by e-mail.
|Photographic Logistics: On several occasions we will have the chance to look at images made during the adventure. To participate in these sessions you must have a working knowledge of the digital workflow, including the ability to download your images to your laptop, make selections, re-name and re-size the selections, move them to a folder, and put them on a jump drive to move to the workshop laptop for projection. There will be no formal digital workflow instruction during the adventure, but there will be short sessions to inspire creative image-making and reenforce foundational ideas. There will also be a chance to show your images from home. If you decide to not bring a laptop, and pass on looking at images made in Tanzania, you are welcome to bring prints to share, or images on a flash drive that could then be transferred to the workshop laptop for projection.
I will send out a list of equipment you might consider bringing.
Evening pickup from Kilimanjaro Airport to shuttle to Ndarakwai Ranch
Cocktails, dinner and welcome celebration
Welcome orientation from Peter Jones
Morning and afternoon photo safaris on Ndarakwai's 11,000 acres
Another full day at Ndarawkai
Visits to the nearby Maasai Village, the local rural school, and the orphaned elephants will be offered during our Ndarakwai stays at the beginning and end of the experience.
May 15 through May 18
Chartered flight to Ndutu Lodge in the Serengeti.
For three and a half days we will be crisscrossing the open plains, the acacia forests, and inland waterways enjoying the enormous diversity of species. These are precious days.
Drive to UNESCO World Heritage Ngorongoro Crater, with a lunch stop and tour at Olduvai Gorge. Evening at Serena Lodge.
All day in Ngorongoro Crater. 25,000 large mammals, and all day to see what we can find.
Evening at Serena Lodge.
Late morning chartered flight back to Ndarakwai.
For the next two days we settle back into "home" and continue enjoying all the possibilities of photo drives, school and Maasai visits, and night drives.
Full day at Ndarakwai
Afternoon shuttle back to Kilimanjaro Airport.
All photographs made in Tanzania
© Eddie Soloway. All Rights Reserved.