Going for a photographic safari in Tanzania is one of the best decisions for anyone who loves photographing wild animals in their natural habitat. This country has a vast number of national parks and wildlife reserves that are accessible throughout the year. Spotting wildlife in Tanzania parks is much easier, possibly than in other countries in Africa.
Planning a photographic safari in Tanzania is not something that you can do yourself without knowing some of the important information. Tanzania is famous in the World for conserving its land and natural resources. So planning a photo safari in Tanzania national parks needs a proper understanding of which regulations should be followed, where to go, when to go, which equipment is allowed or not allowed, and much more. If you are not familiar with any of these tips, this Ultimate Guide To Tanzania Photographic Safari will be your best guide before you go.
What is a Photographic Safari?
If you are a photographer, this question is possibly has no need to get any explanation. But if you have never experienced Nature or wildlife photography, then this is what you need to know before starting planning.
A Photographic Safari is that adventurous journey or expedition that involves sighting and searching for wild animals purposely for taking professional photos or footages. A safari itself is all about a trip or journey that involves visiting and observing wild animals, birds, or reptiles in their natural habitat.
A photographic safari is not different from another normal safari unless it is the one that is well organized specifically for travelers who are looking for really taking good pictures.
Rules & Regulations for photo safari in Tanzania
Tanzania is one of the famous countries in the world for conserving its wildlife reserves and natural resources. If you are going for a photographic safari in Tanzania, you should also learn to follow the rules and regulations of king photos in the park. You should not worry about how can you know all the rules, most safari guides know most of these rules. So a driver-guide will be your guide of dos and dont’s when going for a photographic safari in Tanzania.
If you are interested in knowing some of these rules, visit the Tanzania National Parks website, tanzaniaparks.go.tz
Where to go for the best Photographic Safaris
Tanzania has more than four travel circuits, the Northern, Southern, Western, and Eastern Circuits. Each circuit has its unique attraction that is the best for a photographic safari. Below is our best lists of amazing places to go for a photographic safari;
- Serengeti National Park
- Ngorongoro Crater
- Tarangire National Park
- Lake Manyara National Park
- Nyerere National Park
- Katavi National Park
- Ruaha National Park
- Mahale Mountains
- Gombe National Park
- Arusha National Park
- Mount Kilimanjaro
- Mkomazi National Park
- Usambara Mountains National Park
These are some of the places that should be included in your list of places to go. Deciding the best places to go depends on what you want to achieve on your photoshoot project. In order to get your itinerary planned and suit your needs, we recommend consulting your travel specialist to get advice on where could be the best place to go according to your requirements.
Wildlife Photography Equipments & Gears
Packing and selecting the right equipment also would determine the quality of your photos or footage. Most photographer already knows what we are talking about here. If you are not sure what you should pack before you go, these recommended equipment/gear could be your best way to start.
- Two DSLR Cameras
- Lenses (Two or more lenses from 300m+)
- Memory card
- External Hard drive
- Lens cleaning cloth
- Spare batteries for your cameras
- Bean Bag
The above list is not what you should always stick on, feel free to add or remove some items that you think you might not use. But we highly recommend sticking with the two cameras option so you can avoid some unnecessary frustrations when your first camera is not functioning.
Filming using drones, is allowed?
A straight no! Tanzania has strict regulations for filming using drones, especially inside the parks. There is a chance of using your drone under a special permit from the Filming board of Tanzania, Permanent Secretary Ministry of defense, Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA), Conservation Commissioner-Tanzania National Parks. Learn more about drone usage in Tanzania on this link.
Self Drive vs Driver Guide, which is better?
A second option is better. If you want to get an exclusive photographic experience, consider hiring a private photographic guide. Most of the national parks in Tanzania are vast in wildlife and has a number of places to explore. Some are even bigger than the countries of Germany and the Netherlands all combined together!
As when a normal traveler needs a local expert when visiting a tourist attraction which is in another country, this also applies when it comes to photography safaris in Tanzania. Photographing wildlife is not like just picking up your equipment and hit the capture! You will always need a highly experienced safari guide who can lead you toward the best sighting hotspots. A guide knows where to go, parks regulations, when to go, and all other dos and don’ts.
Hiring a professional photography guide will help to save your time as you will concentrate on your experience.
When is the best time?
This depends on you and your travel interests. If you prefer fewer crowds, January, April, May, and June could be a perfect time. If you are not bothered by the crowd, July to October is the best time to go.
If you are about to go for bird photography, September to April would be the best time. At this time the migratory birds will be available in a large flock, this will help you to have a number of photography options.
If your interest is to witness the great migration, then the best time would be between July and November in northern Tanzania and January to march for the calving season.
The best time to visit Tanzania destinations is mostly determined by weather conditions. the above time will apply to almost all national parks and reserves in Tanzania, but make sure you talk with your trip organizer for better advice depending on what you want.
How many days should you spend?
There are no good numbers to tell but depends on the kind of images you are planning to take. As a Tanzania safari specialist, a photographic safari can take between 7 days to 30 days, or even more. In other words, If you are going to visit less than 5 parks/destinations in Northern Tanzania, 7 to 15 days can be a reasonable time to spend on a photographic safari. If you are going to visit more than five parks/destinations, 14 to 30 days would be expected to be added to your itinerary.
Again, in Inorder to have clarity on the exact numbers of days, talk to your safari specialist so you can get it all aligned based on your interests.
Do you want to see how is a sample itinerary for Tanzania Photographic Safari would look like? Below are some of our photographic safari itineraries used by our previous guests. Just take a look to get inspiration.
- 12 Days Tanzania Photographic Safaris
- 11 African Wildlife Photo Safari
- 9 Days Tanzania Photographic Safaris
Like all other African safari tours, these itineraries are not a rigid schedule proposal, they can be customized as much as up to meet your satisfaction.
Ready for Tanzania Photographic Safari?
Are you planning for a photographic safari in Tanzania and you would like expert advice? Feel free to contact us for more personalized advice to meet your interests.