INDIA'S No.1 ' TRAVEL AND PHOTOGRAPHY' COMPANY

Wonders of the Endless Plains - Wildlife Photography Tour
Ndutu and Serengeti, Tanzania Ndutu and Serengeti, Tanzania Ndutu and Serengeti, Tanzania

Ndutu and Serengeti, Tanzania
7 to 14 March 2017
Bookings Closed: Please note that bookings for this Tour have been closed. Please get in touch with us if you have questions.


TOUR HIGHLIGHTS



  • A seven-night/eight-day Tour to three of Tanzania's best-known wildlife destinations
  • A comprehensive experience of the expansive beauty of the Serengeti Ecosystem
  • An overwhelming variety and population of fauna in the wildebeest calving season
  • Make images teeming with atmosphere and touched by some of the most dramatic natural light anywhere on the planet
  • Glean a world of natural history and photography knowledge through Toehold's exclusive ChaayaaChitra
    ChaayaaChitra: Photography Techniques, Tips, Tricks
    , ChitraTantra
    ChitraTantra: Photo Principles, Reviews, Critique
    , Charchaaloka
    Charchaaloka: Presentations, Lectures, Discussions
    sessions
  • Extensive photography assistance both on and off the field
  • A wealth of natural history, photography post-processing learning with an expert Skipper



This is a Toehold Special Tour

Subjugated by an ever-growing human footprint, few countries can claim to have vast expanses of land where animals in large numbers still roam freely. Tanzania is one of them. And it is 'plainly' spectacular.

So while it is unclear whether you will ever have enough of it, it is certain that in the 'land of the endless plains,' your amazement will be boundless too.

How is it?

Neighbouring Kenya in the north, this East African wildlife refuge hosts one of Earth's largest and most spectacular theatres of Nature - the Serengeti Ecosystem. Together with other natural treasures spanning its length and breadth, it has weathered the ravages of time to remain the wild soul of the African continent. And tapping into its juiciest part at the right time, this fulsome Tour will show you the best side of wild Tanzania.

Spread over 15000km2, Serengeti National Park is the famous venue of one of the planet's epic spectacles  the Great Migration of over 1.5million compulsive white-bearded wildebeest and some 250,000 zebra, who move along the length of the national park and cross borders into Kenya in search of grass that is literally greener on the other side. Notified for protection by the British in 1951, its exceptional density of predator and prey has made it Africa's best wild haven. Composed of savannah grassland, riparian woodland and rocky outcrops called kopjes, the Serengeti embodies the enduring symbol of the African bush.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area includes the Ngorongoro Crater, a large volcanic caldera formed when a giant volcano committed harakiri some three million years ago. Its demise paved the way for a lavish variety of wildlife to thrive in the 2000ft deep, 260km2 pothole that you won't mind taking a ride in and is clearly a paradigm shift from the vehicle-breaking urban variety.

What you will see and photograph:

SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK

January, the calving season, is when miniature wildebeest and zebra emerge into the savannah, marking the midterm of the migration.

This is a good time to be born because the rain has made the grass ripe and succulent. Buoyed, the herds move northwest from Ngorongoro. Intercepting this advance, you will behold the spectacle of a large number of hooves and horns dominating the landscape. Even at its lowest ebb, the scale, the sounds and the unending quest of life make even a Charlie Sheen film seem a bit underwhelming.

Apart from the ungulates, Africa's famed Big Five are an expected draw. Lion prides lie sprawled on the plains while cheetahs go like stink in pursuit of 'fast food'. Coexisting with the cats, elephants drift gracefully, rhinos stand their ground flaunting snout-top spikes of hair, and plucky warthogs  fittingly dubbed the Savannah Express  trot across the frame with their piglets in tow in a single file.

In the more aerodynamic class of creatures, the imperious martial eagle and the strikingly designed bateleur eagle reign supreme over the skies. Down below, the magnificent crowned crane and the unique southern ground hornbill lend themselves beautifully to photographs. As many as five varieties of vulture  the Ruppell's, the griffon, the white-backed, the lappet-faced and the hooded  form a most effective sanitation team as they sweep the savannah clean of leftovers.

But the most precious treasure on the Tour will be unearthed in Seronera Valley, around which a bulk of our safaris will revolve. Harbouring the mercurial leopard in the giant sausage trees on the banks of the river, where a variety of herbivores are attracted for a drink, this is the best place in East Africa to observe and photograph the most elusive of the continent's big cats, and is probably the only place in the world that can hold a candle to the prodigious Masai Mara.

NGORONGORO CONSERVATION AREA

(Optional Extension)

With an estimated 25,000 animals within the crater itself, Ngorongoro hosts almost every individual species of wildlife in East Africa. Clearly, there's a lot cooking in this caldera as you realize that it's much more than merely a game reserve in a giant pothole.

Most notable among the celebrities are the rare black rhino and the cantankerous hippopotamus. Saline lakes fed by shallow streams foster the graceful flamingo. Lion and cheetah allow delightful early-morning and late-evening atmospheric images and bewilderingly large bull elephants, free from competition in the crater, have made this terrain their own, especially once they're past their prime, to the extent that Ngorongoro is referred to as the 'old age retirement home for elephants'  a 'retirement home' that can bring even retired photographers raring back into action!

Important Prerequisite: All participants of the Tour mandatorily need to be vaccinated against yellow fever and polio to be allowed to travel to Africa. Please talk to us for assistance.

PHOTOGRAPHY SKIPPER




WHY GO ON A TOEHOLD PHOTO TOUR?

At Toehold, we are passionate about photography just as you are, which lets us understand your travails and needs perfectly. And we use this insight to specially design our Photography Tours so they give you a toehold to excel at the art and set you up for success.

The Toehold team at your disposal will keep you tuned and geared, so you come in empty-handed but go out with bagful of images and tales of an experience that is better lived than heard.

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TESTIMONIALS BY OUR PREVIOUS TOUR PARTICIPANTS

Photography enthusiasts who were a part of a similar Tour previously said:

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Please click on any thumbnail and use the left and right arrow keys to navigate between photos in the gallery.



Please note:

1. The Tour will begin at Kilimanjaro Airport on 7 March 2017 (6 March 2017 if you opt for the pre-Tour Ngorongoro extension), and end at Kilimanjaro on 14 March. Airfare between your home and Kilimanjaro Airport, and from Arusha to your home is NOT included in the Tour cost, but flight from Serengeti to Arusha is.

2. If you're not opting for the Ngorongoro extension, we recommend you arrive anytime on 6 March 2017 in Kilimanjaro, and stay at a hotel (at extra cost), since the transfer from Kilimanjaro to Ndutu takes about seven hours.

3. If you're opting for the Ngorongoro extension, please see below.

    ONE-NIGHT OPTIONAL PRE-TOUR EXTENSION: NGORONGORO


  •   DAY I    6 March 2017, Monday: Kilimanjaro Airport to Ngorongoro; Overnight in Ngorongoro

    We recommend participants desirous of making the most of their Tanzania experience to opt in for the Ngorongoro extension. If you do, you're required to arrive in Kilimanjaro latest by 2:30 p.m. on 6 March. If you're flying from Bangalore, we recommend the Qatar Airways flight via Doha, arriving in Kilimanjaro at 2:20 p.m. If you're flying from Mumbai, we recommend you fly to Bangalore and take the same flight, since the Kenya Airways flight from Mumbai has a layover in Nairobi of 12 hours, arriving in Kilimanjaro at 9:00 a.m., following which you'll have to wait at the airport until 3:00 p.m.)

  •   DAY II (Extension)/DAY 1 (Core Tour)    7 March 2017, Tuesday: Half-Day Safari in Ngorongoro; Transfer to and Overnight in Ndutu

    Participants on the extension enjoy half a day in the amazing Ngorongoro Crater, looking for rhinos, lions and the famous bull elephants, using the amazing bluish backgrounds in the Crater to make striking images. Meanwhile, participants joining us only for the Core Tour are ferried from Kilimanjaro to Ngorongoro by the time we're done in the Crater, from where we drive together to Ndutu and check in.

    Over dinner, Skipper Sachin Rai will brief the group on what to expect on the rest of the Tour before calling it a day.

  • NDUTU


  •   DAYS 2 TO 4   8 to 10 March 2017, Wednesday to Friday: All-day Safaris and Overnight in Ndutu

    For the next three days, we enjoy all-day safaris in Ndutu, with our lovely camp in the bush acting as our refreshing base on our quest for the best of Tanzanian wildlife, as we fill our memory cells and cards with the many splendours it has to offer. Each morning we hit the safari track at 6:00 a.m., enabling ourselves with such an early start to catch plenty of action during the most active hours of the day, and staying in the park the entire day with packed lunch boxes, we arrive at the lodge for dinner by 7:00 p.m.

  • SERENGETI CENTRAL


  •   DAY 5    11 March, Saturday: Transfer to Serengeti Central and Overnight in Serengeti

    After a last early-morning drive in Ndutu, we depart for Serengeti Central, reaching there by 12 noon, whereupon we are transferred to our gorgeous lodge. After a preliminary safari in the evening, we dine and retire in the lodge with colourful dreams of more African wildlife goodness that lies ahead.

  •   DAYS 6 AND 7    12 and 13 March, Sunday and Monday: All-day Safaris and Overnight in Serengeti

    Staying inside the reserve, we enjoy the indescribable luxury of roaming the Serengeti plains for two full days, each day venturing into the field even as the first rays of the sun kiss the grass blades, and returning to our nests as the orange ball of fire hoists itself down the distant horizon.

    While gratifying encounters with lions are virtually engraved in the wall, the spellbinding views of the calving wildebeest are certain to get the image counter ringing. Leopard and cheetah are all but guaranteed attractions, but regaling us will also be all the various local stars depicted in the What you will see and photograph section in the 'Overview' tab. All the exciting action will carry over to the camp after safari hours too, with Toehold's exclusive ChaayaaChitra
    ChaayaaChitra: Photography Techniques, Tips, Tricks
    , ChitraTantra
    ChitraTantra: Photo Principles, Reviews, Critique
    , Charchaaloka
    Charchaaloka: Presentations, Lectures, Discussions
    sessions, making your experience truly well-rounded and comprehensive.

    After every evening's discussion will follow an appetising spread of Indian, Continental and local cuisine, treating your taste buds with the same zeal with which the visuals have treated your eyes through the day. Following a delectable supper, we are lulled into a dreamless sleep by the fascinating sounds of the African bush.

  •   DAY 8    14 March, Tuesday: Morning Safari and Transfer to Kilimanjaro Airport

    After an early breakfast, we fly to Kilimanjaro Airport, whence we take our flights back home all the richer for the fascinating experience in Tanzania's wilderness haven.






Individuals
USD 4,690/-
Exclusive of service tax
Per Person on Twin Share Accommodation
Couples
USD 9,190/-
Exclusive of service tax
Per Couple on Twin Share Accommodation
Patrons
USD 4,550/-
Exclusive of service tax
Per Person on Twin Share Accommodation
Toehold Patrons: Customers who have participated in at least three previous Toehold Photo Tours

Optional Two-Night Ngorongoro Extension: USD 622/-per person

All drives will be in 4WD safari vehicles perfect for photography, seating four people in a vehicle.

Inclusions
  • All safaris in four-wheel-drive safari vehicles, national parks and reserve entrance fees as per the itinerary
  • Accommodation on twin-sharing (unless single occupancy purchased at extra cost), all meals and one-litre mineral water per day for the Tour duration
  • Services of an English-speaking driver-cum-naturalist including meet-and-greet services
  • Charter flight from Serengeti Central to Kilimanjaro Airport
Exclusions
  • All airfare and travel expenses between your home and the destinations
  • Optional Tour to Ngorongoro unless purchased at extra cost in advance
  • Any kind of personal expenses, optional tours or extra meals ordered
  • Insurance, laundry and phone calls
  • Any kind of drinks (alcoholic, mineral, aerated)
  • Visa expenses
  • Vaccination charges
  • All applicable taxes
  • Anything that is not included in the inclusions list
Payment Terms
  • USD 1500/- booking amount for provisional reservation (non-refundable)
  • 100% before 31 December 2016

  • You may also choose to pay in equal monthly instalments (EMI). Please speak with us for details.
Cancellation Fees
  • USD 1500/- on or before 4 January 2017
  • 100% on or after 5 January 2017

Please note: The date of written (email) communication of intent to cancel is the date considered for calculation of the cancellation fees.

Terms and Conditions

  1. Please note: A minimum of seven participants are required for this Tour to go ahead. If the Tour is called off by Toehold, you will receive a full refund of the fee you have paid. If, however, you wish to cancel your booking at any time, Toehold will deduct cancellation fees from your refund as specified on the right.
  2. Participants who have a medical history of blood pressure, heart-related problems or asthma are advised to seek medical advice before enrolling for this Tour.
  3. Fitness to complete the Tour is the only criterion for participation.
  4. Toehold Travel & Photography Pvt Ltd. shall not be responsible for injuries, damages, or losses caused to any traveller in connection with terrorist activities, social or labour unrest, mechanical or construction failures or difficulties, diseases, local laws, climatic conditions, abnormal conditions or developments, or any other actions, omissions, or conditions outside the travel partner's control.
  5. All clients travelling with Toehold Travel & Photography Pvt Ltd. must complete and sign a reservation form and the "Release of Liability, Assumption of Risk & Arbitration Agreement" form.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Who should participate in this Tour?

    This Tour is open to everybody of a minimum age of 18 (unless accompanied by a guardian), and anybody enthusiastic about wildlife and/or photography will enjoy it. Apart from interest, fitness, a valid passport and yellow-fever and polio vaccination cards, there are no other requirements.
  • I am a newbie in wildlife photography. Am I eligible?

    Absolutely! This Tour is meant for fledgling as well as experienced wildlife photographers. Beginners get all the advantages of learning on and off the field from Toehold's eminent Skippers. If you are a newbie, you should jump on this terrific learning opportunity and sign up right away! However, in order to make the most of the Tour photographically, we recommend that you be familiar with at least the basics of DSLR photography. If you're not, please consider joining an Art and Science of Photography Workshop before the Tour.
  • Is vaccination against yellow fever and polio mandatory?

    Yes; the vaccination is mandatory in many countries including India. Once you sign up we'll be happy to advise you on how to get one.
  • Is an earlier vaccination card valid?

    Yellow fever vaccination is valid for a period of 10 years from the date of administration, but polio vaccination is valid for only a year. Please check your vaccination card to verify validity. Please note that the vaccination must be valid as on the date of your return to your country after the Tour.
  • How many participants will share a safari vehicle on this Tour?

    Our Tanzania Photography Tour is designed to provide you the best balance between unimpeded photography and your budgetary needs, seating four in each 4WD vehicle. The vehicle has three rows at the back (excluding the driver row), which means plenty of free space.
  • How different are your Photo Tours from ordinary tours?

    Unlike travel agents who plan your holiday from a remote destination to places they sometimes haven't even experienced themselves, Photo Tours offer a comprehensive toehold to experience a place through the guidance of a professional photographer. The common ingredients in all our Photo Tours are fun and a lot of learning and knowledge sharing. Besides, most of our Tour participants are photography enthusiasts, which keeps the group in harmony and helps in making your experience focused.
  • How sure are you about photographing wildlife on this Tour?

    Considering the meticulous attention to timing we pay while scheduling Tour and the local expertise we leverage, we believe that it would be extremely unfortunate if our sightings and photography were unsatisfactory. Also, the exhaustive itinerary should offer ample opportunities for a productive time. However, since we will be in an uncontrolled environment, we stop just short of claiming that sightings are guaranteed.
  • What equipment do you suggest on this Tour?

    A wide-angle or normal zoom is a staple for landscape and general photography. For birds and mammals, a focal length of at least 300mm is usually necessary. An additional 100mm often proves very effective especially for birds, and longer focal lengths are particularly welcome on full frame cameras.
  • I do not have appropriate equipment. What do I do?

    If you do not have appropriate equipment, there is no need to fret. Toehold offers an exhaustive array of cameras and lenses for hire, so you can always hire what you need. What's better, you enjoy a 10% discount on all equipment hired on our Photo Tours! Click here to see what we offer.



© - All Text, Photographs, Videos and Narrations are properties of Toehold Travel & Photography Private Limited.




LOCALE

Ndutu and Serengeti, Tanzania

QUICK INFO

  • Date: 7 to 14 March 2017

  • Tour Cost

    Individuals:
    USD 4,690/-
    Per person exclusive of service tax

    Couples:
    USD 9,380 9,190/-
    Per couple exclusive of service tax

    Patrons:
    USD 4,550/-
    Per person exclusive of service tax




    Optional Ngorongoro Extension:
    USD 622/-
    Per person exclusive of service tax

    All fares exclude transport between your home and Kilimanjaro Airport.

  • Skipper: Sachin Rai

INCONVENIENT DATES?

If you are unable to make it on these dates, get in touch with us to help you plan an exclusive custom tour to Africa season.

DISCOUNTS ON RENTALS

Did you know? Photography enthusiasts joining this Tour and every other Toehold Photography Tour are eligible for a nett discount of 10% on all equipment rentals. Talk to us to avail of this offer!

PHOTOGRAPHY CONTEST

PAYMENT OPTIONS

We accept all major credit and debit cards.

UPCOMING EVENTS

ART AND SCIENCE OF PHOTOGRAPHY
DIGITAL POST PROCESSING
PHOTOGRAPHY TOURS
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KIDS CAMPS & WORKSHOPS