Serengeti, Tanzania

Wonders of the Endless Plains

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.

Dates:

6 to 13 March 2018

Skipper:

Sachin Rai

Why go on a Toehold Tour?

Planned to maximise

photo opportunities

Led by ace

photographers

Over 100 years'

collective experience

Hands-on assistance

on and off the field

Image reviews

and presentations

Photography gear

on rent

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, ChitraTantra, Charchaaloka sessions
  • Extensive photography assistance both on and off the field
  • A wealth of natural history, photography post-processing learning with an expert Skipper

How is it?

Savannah grasslands, riparian woodlands and rocky outcrops in which dwell dense populations of preys and predators.

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What you will see and photograph

Big Five - lions, cheetahs, leopards, elephants and rhinos, and numerous glorious birds in the Serengeti, Lake Manyara and Ngorongoro.

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About your Skipper

Sachin Rai

An uncompromising reverence for nature and an unfailing eye for unique perspectives underline Sachin's journey as an ace naturalist and eminent wildlife photographer with over a decade's experience in excellence.

A small note to thank you for the great time I had on the two photo tours to Masai Mara and Rwanda. Your organisation was meticulous, something that many professional tour agencies lack in their approach. I eagerly look forward to more such tours. - Ajith Pai, Mysore
After seeing five different prides of lions, two cheetah hunts, following a leopardess and six days of bliss in the Mara, I can safely say this is one of the best weeks of my life. All I have to say is: just go with Toehold; don't think about it! - Siddharth Reddy, Bangalore
Highly recommend traveling to Africa with Toehold! Great learning for my kids and a very enjoyable experience. - Manjunath H, Bangalore
I never imagined to see such professionalism and personal touch in a young company. My worries were laid to rest the moment I landed in Nairobi. Salute Toehold and thank you for this experience. - Sanjay Sridhar, Chennai

Please note: 1. The Tour will begin at Kilimanjaro Airport on 6 March 2018 (4 March 2018 if you opt for the pre-Tour Manyara-and-Ngorongoro extension), and end at Kilimanjaro on 13 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 Manyara-Ngorongoro extension, we recommend you arrive anytime on 5 March 2018 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 Manyara-Ngorongoro extension, please see below.

TWO-NIGHT OPTIONAL PRE-TOUR EXTENSION: MANYARA AND NGORONGORO

We recommend participants desirous of making the most of their Tanzania experience to opt in for the Manyara and Ngorongoro extension. If you do, you're required to arrive in Kilimanjaro latest by 2:30 p.m. on 3 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 1   4 March 2018, Saturday: Kilimanjaro Airport to Manyara via Arusha; Overnight in Manyara

If you've opted for the extension, you arrive on this day at Kilimanjaro, and are immediately whisked to Manyara via Arusha, a 2.5-hour drive to traverse the 170km distance. After we check in, we're briefed about the extension by the Skipper, before we enjoy a scrumptious dinner and retire for the night.

DAY 2   5 March 2018, Sunday: Half-Day Safari in Manyara; Transfer to and Overnight in Ngorongoro

After an early breakfast at the lodge, we head out for a long safari with packed lunch. Late that afternoon we check out and drive to Ngorongoro Conservancy (a 70kms, 1.5-hour drive), before checking in, dining and retiring for the night.

DAY 3 (Extension)/DAY 1 (Core Tour)   6 March 2018, Tuesday: Transfer to and Overnight in Ndutu

Making do with an extremely early breakfast (at 5:30 a.m.), we descend to the crater looking for rhinos, lions and the famous bull elephants, using the amazing bluish backgrounds in the Crater to make striking images. After a highly fruitful maiden safari in Ngorongoro, we are joined by participants of the Core Tour, and drive to our overnight lodging in Ndutu before calling it a night.

NDUTU

DAYS 2 TO 4   7 to 9 March 2018, 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   10 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   11 and 12 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. All the exciting action will carry over to the camp after safari hours too, with Toehold's exclusive ChaayaaChitra, ChitraTantra, Charchaaloka 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   13 March, Tuesday: Morning Safari and Transfer to Kilimanjaro Airport

After an early breakfast and morning drive, we are transferred to the airstrip, whence we fly to Arusha, arriving there at 11:45 a.m. Upon arrival we're transferred to a local restaurant for lunch, after which we're dropped to the Kilimanjaro International Airport for our flights back home.

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.
Individuals
USD 4,690 *
Couples ††
USD 9,180 *
Toehold Patrons
USD 4,550 *

* 5% GST Extra

Per Person on Twin Share Accommodation

†† Per Couple on Twin Share Accommodation

Toehold Patrons: Customers who have participated in at least three previous Toehold Photo Tours
Optional Two-Night Manyara-Ngorongoro Extension: USD 1050 per person
All drives will be in 4WD safari vehicles perfect for photography, seating four people in a vehicle.
  • 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 Arusha to Kilimanjaro Airport
  • 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
  • USD 1500 booking amount for provisional reservation (non-refundable)
  • 100% before 31 December 2017

  • You may also choose to pay in equal monthly instalments (EMI). Please speak with us for details.
  • USD 1500 on or before 4 January 2018
  • 100% on or after 5 January 2018

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. 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.
  2. Fitness to complete the Tour is the only criterion for participation.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
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