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13 September 2023 - Photography Travel Tips, Tanzania

How to Choose the Best Tanzania Photo Safaris

With any holiday, you’re probably going to spend some time planning out the best vacation possible, taking into consideration a number of different factors to prevent any unwanted surprises from happening. Even if you decide to go the somewhat simpler route and choose a vacation package, you’ll find yourself in the same position, putting in the hours to figure out which holiday tour is right for you.

For photography tours, which combine a delicious mix of photography and travel, taking your time to choose the right tour is important to ensure that you’re going to have the adventure of a lifetime. A photography tour is a perfect fit for those who wish to venture out to picturesque destinations, receive guidance from professional photographers, and meet others who are like-minded photography enthusiasts.

If you’re interested in traveling to Tanzania, our guide will help you choose the best Tanzania photography safari. Tanzania is the largest country in East Africa, which means that there are a multitude of locations available for you to discover, extending from the North to the South. Because there are endless options for the best photo safaris in Tanzania for you to choose from, let our advice offer you valuable tips to keep in mind as you search for the perfect safari.

Why is Tanzania amazing for photo safaris?

If you’re looking for a premier photo safari destination where you will be guaranteed to see an abundance of wildlife, then Tanzania deserves to be at the forefront of your list. Of course, when people think of Tanzania, most will mention the Serengeti, known for its great migration of wildlife but it shouldn’t be left unsaid that Tanzania’s exquisite wilderness spans from the North to the South. We could make a long list of why Northern Tanzania is a top-tier destination for wildlife enthusiasts. However, discussing the unsung and somewhat overlooked hidden gem of Southern Tanzania makes for a potentially more captivating topic for those who are looking for an exclusive, away-from-the-crowds experience.

Southern Tanzania has a multitude of national parks; pristine wilderness areas that are often only accessible by air. Ruaha and Selous, for example, where much of the wilderness remains unspoiled by the heaps of tourists who choose to visit the more popular parks in the North. Away from the noise, these reserves promise you the experience of a true slice of wilderness in its purest form. For wilderness photography, such a state of calm allows for intimate viewing of wildlife on game drives, which enhances the overall experience one may want when investing in a trip to Africa.

a silhouette photo of two antelopes standing in a field at sunset

Photo Credits: Alan Hewitt

On these Tanzania wildlife safaris, there is no hassle to have to fight off other photographers to get the best shots on your camera. Due to these parks being substantially less busy than the ones in the North, the animals inhabiting Southern Tanzania have fewer interactions with tourists, which makes them more likely to carry on with their natural behaviors. On top of all of this, these reserves have fewer regulations in place for tourists because there is less human traffic within the national parks, so they allow for more activities to take place, such as walking safari tours and boat safaris.

Whether you’re going to the North or the South, both offer a wealth of attractions. If you’re searching for some inspiration on how to choose the best photo safaris in Tanzania, then keep reading, as we’ll offer you some tips and tricks you should keep in mind!

3 Steps to Find the Best Tanzania Photography Safaris

If you’re getting ready to research the best Tanzania photo safaris, there are numerous factors for you to ponder in your decision-making process. To help you in this process, we provide some key factors to consider to ensure you’re choosing the right one for you.

1. Identify What You Want to Photograph

Tanzania is a beautiful country that has a lot to offer photographers. The country prominently preserves a rich diversity of wildlife, which finds a home in its vast and open landscapes.

As such, most photographers who journey to Tanzania prefer to go for the wildlife, as the animals that inhabit the area range from the Big 5 (lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos, and buffalos) to many other breathtaking species such as zebras and hippos. Of course, this does not detract from the possibilities of landscape photography, as you’ll find incredible mountains, open plains, and striking rivers, in the North and the South.

There are many Tanzania wildlife safaris available, but if you’re looking for a safari that prioritizes photography, then it is best to search for Tanzania wildlife photography tours.

2. Decide Which Season Would be Best

As a photographer, one of the most important elements for capturing outstanding photos is the season of the country you’re traveling to. The season not only dictates which subjects you’ll be able to photograph, but also determines the weather conditions you’ll likely encounter. This means, depending on what you want to see and where you would like to go, it is valuable to check if Tanzania wildlife photography tours are available for your preferred season.

The best time to visit Tanzania for wildlife is during the dry season, which runs from June to October, when sunny and clear skies are the norm. This ensures optimal wildlife photography, as animals will be easily visible in these conditions. The Northern parks are generally good to visit all-year round, especially during the seasonal migration period, although bear in mind that the parks draw large crowds during this time. The South of Tanzania is best to visit during the dry season, when a harmony of animals congregates towards water sources.

3. Establish How Much You’re Willing to Spend

As with any vacation, your budget will likely have a key influence on the experience you select. When researching the best photo safaris in Tanzania, the cost of the safari will probably be one of the first things you check.

It is important to choose the best Tanzania photo safari that fits within what you’re willing to spend. When determining whether the price is worth your holiday, keep in mind what the price includes. While some tours might cost more, they may include accommodation, activities, and meals. If you’re someone who isn’t fond of planning out every single detail, then it’s best to go on a tour that encompasses everything for your convenience.

landscape photo of a barn in Tanzania

4 Characteristics of the Best Tanzania Photo Safaris

Seeing the number of different options for Tanzania wildlife photography tours can be a bit overwhelming when making your final decision, especially if you don’t know what to look out for. After narrowing down what type of photo tour fits within your interests, there are a few characteristics that you might want to consider in order to justify that your investment in time and money is rewarded with a fulfilling experience.

As photo tours are different from your average safari for tourists, they should be specifically designed for optimal photography. The best Tanzania photo safaris are tailored to your role as a photographer. Here we offer you different characteristics that could influence your photography tour experience and are applicable to both Tanzania and broader contexts.

1. Professional photographer tour guide

The best Tanzania photography safaris should have a professional photographer travel alongside you for the duration of the tour. Having an expert photographer is an important component of your experience, as they are there to help you develop your own skills as a photographer. Whether you’re new to photography or have been in the game for a while, these photographers should be able to offer you a valuable learning experience.

leopard climbing in the trunk of the tree

Photo Credits: Alan Hewitt

2. Group size

An important characteristic to check is the number of people that a tour allows. This is crucial for wildlife photography, as you don’t want to be elbow-to-elbow with other photographers trying to get that perfect angle of a lioness feeding!

The best photo safaris in Tanzania will have an intimate group setting, so make sure to look for the ratio of guest to instructor to be certain that you’ll receive personalized attention from your guide.

3. Multiple Locations

Tanzania has a variety of game reserves for one to visit to witness their spectrum of wildlife, and these parks all offer very unique and different experiences! Whether you go to the North or the South, your tour should take you to multiple destinations to have an enriching experience. You don’t want to reminisce and think that you’ve missed out on any opportunities you could have had.

4. Accommodation

If the tours you’ve searched for are all-inclusive, make sure to check where the accommodations they provide are located. If photography tours have accommodations located outside national reserves, you’re more limited to photographing wildlife solely during game drives.

The best Tanzania photo safaris will have accommodation within the game reserves, allowing for wildlife viewing at all hours. This means that you’ll be able to encounter animals passing right by your doorstep, which is definitely a memorable experience to have.

The Best Tanzania Photo Tour

Are you ready to go on the photographic journey of a lifetime? Then come join us on our Tanzania Photo Safari, where we take you to the hidden corners of Southern Tanzania, away from the crowds and into the true wilderness.

a woman relaxing on a porch on a safari

Our photography tour visits three destinations, all with a different flavor! We want to offer you a true safari experience that delivers a blend of activities that aren’t just limited to game drives. You’ll be flying to different locations to ensure you’ll have the opportunity to photograph a profusion of wildlife. And no need to stress! Our safari package is all-inclusive, so you can spare yourself from the tedious hassle of planning. We want to provide you with the best, so expect your photography tour to be nothing short of luxurious. From glamorous lodges to boat cruises, we’ve got you covered.

Why Choose Penda’s Tanzania Photo Safari?

Penda Photo Tours has been in the photo tourism industry for a while now, so you can bet we know how to organize the best trips possible for photographers. We place your experience at the forefront of our trips. This means that, in addition to photography opportunities, we commit to providing you an adventurous and enjoyable journey!

  • Small group of max. 6 people to ensure personalized attention
  • Open to all levels of photographers
  • All-inclusive, except for flights to and from Tanzania
  • A professional photographer will be there alongside you on your journey
  • Go on game drives, walking safaris, and a boat cruise!

Enquire Now to Join us in Tanzania!


This blog was written by Nicole Kim.

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