The Serengeti Plain of East Africa – More Amazing Vistas and Wildlife than You Can Photograph in a Lifetime
The Serengeti is the pulse of Africa – thundering, growling and trumpeting a natural wildness that can only be found in this one place. Endless in space and endless in time, the Serengeti may be the most important natural environment on Earth. It preserves a habitat in which the world’s greatest migration of land mammals occurs and where early hominids lived and roamed, learning the survival skills that would drive the evolution of modern humans.
The Tarangire National Park in Tanzania lies in the southern portion of the Serengeti Plain. With more then 1,000 square miles of preserve, the park is home to enormous herds of elephants, and lions that climb and lounge in the branches of sausage trees to escape the heat and sight prey. Take notice of abandoned termite mounds where you may see families of dwarf mongoose.
During the dry season, with just scattered pools of water remaining in the Tarangire River, virtually every species of mammal, bird and reptile must visit there daily, as it is the only source of water. Waiting for you and your camera is an amazing palette of wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, impala, gazelle, eland, and, of course, elephants. With so many prey animals congregating around these scarce water resources, you can be sure the predators are nearby. Lions, cheetahs, leopards, hyenas and others may also appear at the water’s edge for a drink.
The Serengeti Plain stretches north across parts of Tanzania and Kenya, with 5,700 square miles of it designated as Serengeti National Park. Here is the grand stage of the great migration, as it has since time immemorial. The sound of more than 6 million hooves striking the plain overwhelms the psyche of every visitor, and the sight of more than a million wildebeest, 200,000 zebras and 300,000 Thomson’s gazelles simple boggles the mind. Scattered across the plain are also herds of elephants and water buffalo; stately, striding giraffe; and thousands of eland, topi, kongoni, impala and Grant’s gazelle.
June is wildebeest calving season, when more than 500,000 newborns must learn not only how to stand and walk almost immediately, but also run with their mothers to remain safe from predators and imprint the route of the migration on their brain. The cycle of life the Serengeti migration represents would be incomplete without a full accompaniment of ravenous lion prides, fleet-footed cheetahs, secretive leopards and the spotted hyena always ready to steal a kill or finish the remains the cats leave behind.
A visit to the Serengeti with your camera will fully immerse you in a wildlife photography wonderland and is an experience that is sure to change your life.
Despite the large number of tourists, the Serengeti Plain must be part of your photographic journey; however, the relatively unknown Grumeti Reserves in northeastern Tanzania and on the western edge of the Serengeti National Park is where you will have unparalleled access to the same grand migration, but without the crowds. The Tanzania government first established the reserve during 1994, so wildebeests’ natural path of migration would not be blocked or interrupted. During 2006, Singita, a private company, was asked to manage the Reserves and create low-impact tourism opportunities, which help to support the conservation of the diverse habitats and wildlife.
If such an once-in-a-lifetime journey kindles your imagination, fires your passion for photography and drives your desire for adventure, then you must be 1 of just 9 photographers to join the Visionary Wild Serengeti Expedition, June 8–19, 2015.
Your hosts will be Justin Black and Roy Toft. As co-founder of Visionary Wild, Justin is world-renown for both his photography and his careful attention to creating photography expeditions and workshops in the most exciting and subject-rich places in the world. As on most of Visionary Wild’s trips, you will receive one-on-one guidance in developing your eye and capturing exceptional imagery, and also taken to seldom-visited locations well off the tourist path.
Roy Toft is one of the world’s elite wildlife photographers and his connection to the natural world goes beyond photography. He is also a biologist, natural history educator and a Senior Fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers. His images have been published in National Geographic, Audubon, Discover and other magazines and he has earned the accolades of his profession and peers with numerous awards. Just as important as on an expedition of this kind, Roy has a personality and humor that keeps everything loose and he will also generously give of himself to help you achieve your finest photographic accomplishments.
You’ll spend most days of the Visionary Wild Serengeti Expedition in morning and evening photo sessions. The hot midday is reserved for presentations and discussions about the best techniques for photographing wildlife and understanding their behavior as well as digital workflow and critique sessions.
This little excursion may be called an expedition, but your accommodations include some of the most luxurious, natural and eco-friendly safari camps in Africa. You’ll be served excellent cuisine and fine wines and enjoy the unique pleasure of African campfire camaraderie under an extraordinary canopy of the star-lit universe. There is simply no comparison to falling asleep to the sounds of the African plains – distant thunder from the sky and the throat of a bull elephant, the muffled roar of a male lion and the myriad of sounds from all the other mammals and bird life.
If there is any Visionary Wild expedition or workshop you must attend, then the Serengeti Expedition, June 8–19, 2015, is it. This expedition is limited to just 9 guests; so, to reserve your space, you must sign up as quickly as possible. A sellout is guaranteed.
You’ll find more details, including itinerary and cost, at visionarywild.com/workshops/Serengeti/.
Photo copyright VisionaryWild.com