Tanzania – Wildebeest Calving & Predator Photo Safari II 2025
02 Feb 2025 – 11 Feb 2025
ORYX Photo Tours are proud to present a photo safari to both the Kusini and Lamai area of the Serengeti.
The Kusini area, being located within the borders of Serengeti National Park in an area that combines rivercourses, plains, woodlands and a few kopjes, is a hotspot for predators.
The remote Lamai region is nestled in the northern region of the Serengeti National Park, a World Heritage Site, and offers striking topography scenery and excellent wildlife photographic opportunities.
This Serengeti photo safari will emulate an “Out of Africa” experience and potentially holds breath-taking scenes and action packed moments for photographers and nature enthusiasts alike.
Why this Photo Safari is for You
No Single Supplement fee.
Wildebeest Caving Season, Cheetah, Leopard, Lion, Serval, Hyena, Black-backed Jackal, Cape Buffalo, Elephant, Topi, Nile Crocodile, Hippo, Wildebeest, Plains Zebra
Day 1: Arrival in Arusha and transfer to accommodation
After arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO), and having taken care of passport control and collected luggage, you will be met outside the arrivals hall exit by an ORYX representative and driven to our accommodations. Arusha (+/- 60 minutes).
At dinner you will be met by ORYX photo tour leader Penny Robartes, who will be your host and photographic leader for the duration of this incredible safari. Dinner tonight will be the perfect opportunity for a more formal introduction to Penny and the rest of the group. Penny will discuss in detail the upcoming Serengeti photo safari, answering any questions and providing insight into this amazing part of Africa!
Day 2: Scheduled flight from Arusha Airport to Kusini, Serengeti
Today you depart Rivertrees Country Inn, driving approximately 1 hour to Arusha Airport (ARK) before flying to the Serengeti. Our camp is located west of Ndutu in Serengeti National Park.Towering Flat crown Acacia trees stand over the mess tent and many of the guest tents, giving the camp a quintessentially East African “safari” character.Post lunch and a rest, we will depart on an afternoon game drive and start exploring the general area that will serve as our base for the last four nights of the safari.
Days 3 to 5: Kusini area, Serengeti NP.
There is little permanent water in the southern Serengeti and this, combined with a fairly regular rainfall pattern over the ecosystem as a whole has resulted in the incredible Great Migration where up to two million large ungulates move through the Serengeti ecosystem (in a stylistically clockwise pattern) between the expansive Serengeti area in Tanzania and smaller Maasai Mara area in southern Kenya.
Our visit is timed so as to provide us with the best opportunity to bear witness to the unbelievable numbers of Wildebeest and Plains Zebra in the southern Serengeti – an unrivalled and primeval wonder of the natural world!
The incredible concentration of Wildebeest calves (and sometimes Zebra foals) is a sight to behold, and in addition attracts large numbers of predators who take full advantage of this protein boost!
Although Spotted Hyaena and Lion frequently pirate Cheetah kills (Leopards do sometimes as well), it is the Lion that serves as the greatest threat to Cheetah, and account for a significant number of Cheetah cub deaths. Consequently, Cheetah try their best to avoid Lion and often frequent areas that lower Lion numbers in order to minimize contact with their significantly larger cousins.
Working the Acacia woodlands, we may encounter Leopard, of which there are good numbers in the area, and as always, Spotted Hyaena are regularly seen.
Raptors are common and vultures are particularly prominent, with the abundant protein in the form of carrion meaning that some huge aggregations of these scavengers can be seen together. Witnessing large numbers of vultures together is indicative of the mammalian biomass of the Serengeti, however it has also become a privilege as vulture populations have been decimated throughout Asia and in many parts of Africa due to poisoning.This rich ecosystem is also home to a myriad of smaller predators, with Black-backed Jackal being a virtual certainty. We also have chances to encounter Golden Jackal (which is in fact an African species of wolf!), Bat-eared Fox, the impossibly long-legged Serval and even Caracal.
Our routine will be simple: rising predawn, enjoying a cup of steaming coffee or tea, and getting out into the field so that we are able to maximise our time photographing in the soft, golden light around dawn. We have the flexibility to have breakfast in the field (the packed breakfasts are superb!) or return to camp if desired.
During the harsh light associated with the midday hours, we will have time in camp to relax, catch forty winks and of course to edit and review photographs during dedicated post-processing sessions. Later in the afternoon, we will head out to photograph the splendours of the Serengeti again!
Day 6: AM game drive Kusini, Serengeti NP. Fly to Serengeti, Lamai. PM game drive
After a final morning game drive, exploring the open plains of the Kusini area, Serengeti National Park, and at a time to be adviced, we will fly to the Lamai Wedge, Serengeti National Park.
Your routing will take you over the vast Serengeti, passing close to the Mara River before touching down at Lamai Airstrip which is located north of the river. Make sure to watch out for pods of Hippo and huge Nile Crocodiles basking as you come in to land! Your local guide will be waiting for you at the airstrip and after loading up gear, you will drive to camp (about 60 minutes’ drive). As you will be driving through the park, it will be a good idea to have a camera ready just in case you encounter something of interest en-route to camp. After settling in and enjoying lunch, you will embark on afternoon game drive.
Days 7 to 9: AM & PM game drive Lamai Serengeti NP
Lamai’s short grass plains are flanked by taller grass areas that are sprinkled with attractive Balanites trees and hillocks covered in thickets while in the distance, the Isuria Escarpment provides a beautiful backdrop. A famed feature of the Maasai Mara, this escarpment flanks the Mara and Lamai areas, and it is not far over the border into Kenya where some of the celebrated scenes in Sydney Pollack’s film “Out of Africa” were filmed. Back to the plains of Lamai – they are home to a lot of resident game including Thomson’s Gazelle, Wildebeest, Plains Zebra, Topi, Cape Buffalo and Eland. It is an excellent area for Lion, and Cheetah can often be seen on the plains as well.
Serval stalk rodent and insect prey in the longer grass areas, and although there are Leopard about, they are usually shy (better seen across the river on the Kogatende side). Spotted Hyaena is common, and the rich grasslands are home to a plethora of birds.
Your safari vehicle is an open game drive vehicle, which provides excellent visibility and allows for great photographic opportunities due to its open side and roof (bean bags come standard).
A selection of snacks and drinks can be found on the vehicle, and one of the delightful features of safari here is a bush breakfast – freshly baked savoury snacks, muesli, eggs and of course coffee and tea enjoyed in a scenic setting in the wilds of Africa! Lunches are typically back at camp, where you can expect wholesome, high quality meals using fresh ingredients and lots of delicious vegetables!
In the evenings, the camp fire is the perfect place to catch up with other guests over a refreshing beverage and discuss your days’ adventures as the sounds of the African night drift through the woodland surrounding camp.Again our routine will be simple: rising predawn, enjoying a cup of steaming coffee or tea, and getting out into the field so that we are able to maximise our time photographing in the soft, golden light around dawn. We have the flexibility to have breakfast in the field (the packed breakfasts are superb!) or return to camp if desired.