A photographic Workshop in Tanzania with
Andy Coleman & Visit Natives
and Andy Coleman present:
Explore fascinating African wildlife and Maasai culture in Tanzania
2 - 9 August 2021
Explore the exciting Maasai culture and stay in a Maasai village. Do bush walks, sing and dance with the Maasai warriors, and visit the world-famous wildlife areas while learning new photographic tips in one of the greatest natural wonders of the planet - Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara National park, and Tarangire National Park.
Watch sunsets and dine every night under the African stars. We camp in the wild bush which is secluded and private, where you can relax and enjoy fantastic African nature. There is nothing that compares to watching majestic wildlife in their natural habitat. And it's even better when you have the best Maasai guides to show you their land and the wild game.
More than a hundred years ago the Maasai ruled over much of East Africa. Their feared warriors were renowned for their bravery. In the past, every Maasai warrior was obliged to kill a lion, as it was symbolically a rite of passage. Even now, the Maasai have a special relationship with their land, the wild animals, and cattle. The Maasai have adopted a revitalized approach to preserve their culture in modern times. Their way of life is deeply rooted in traditions that have been practiced in the same way for hundreds of years. The Ngorongoro Conservation Area spans vast expanses of highland plains, savanna woodlands, and forests, from Serengeti National Park to the Great Rift Valley, with wildlife coexisting alongside semi-nomadic Maasai pastoralists practicing traditional livestock grazing.
During our journey, we stay and sleep in Maasai villages inside the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and Mto Wa Mbu. We have a rare opportunity to experience the authentic and vibrant Maasai way of life while encountering incredible wildlife. We make bush walks with the Maasai warriors where you have a chance to observe wildlife on foot and we make a full-day game drive inside the Ngorongoro Crater. Also, we visit Lake Manyara and Tarangire national parks. You dine every night in the bush under the beautiful African sky full of stars. There is no electricity, no roads, and no voices. Here you can go off-grid and immerse yourself in amazing African nature and fascinating Maasai culture. There is nothing better than camping and experiencing the amazing African nature and wildlife.
DAY 1. Welcome to Tanzania!
Arrive at Kilimanjaro airport and transfer to Ngare Sero Mountain Lodge in Arusha with the rest of our group. This wonderful lodge has been adopted from an early colonial farmhouse built in the early 20th century. Here you can watch the changing colors of the Kilimanjaro glaciers while sipping a welcoming drink on the long colonial verandah. We’ll have dinner together while getting to know each other. After dinner, Andy will give a presentation outlining some of the photography opportunities we will experience over the next week. (D).
DAY 2. Explore the Maasai way of life
Today we observe and participate in the Maasai way of life. After breakfast, our journey with the Maasai starts towards Mto Wa Mbu from where we continue off-road until we reach our Maasai boma (Maasai homestead). The Maasai welcome us to their home with a celebration. In the afternoon we join the Maasai boys and warriors to herd cattle, and observe how Maasai women milk cows and goats. Andy gives insights into learning how to photograph perfectly within this unique environment. After dinner, we gather around the campfire to hear more about Maasai culture and tradition together with Anniina and our Maasai hosts. (B, L, D).
DAY 3. The Lake Manyara National Park
After our bush breakfast, we have a game drive inside the Lake Manyara National Park. Ernest Hemingway called this lake ‘the most beautiful lake in all Africa.’ We will spend the day photographing the wildlife in their natural habitat; Andy will be giving tips on creating images that bring out the essence of the animals and their environment. The Lake Manyara national park features a ground-water forest, acacia woodland, and hot springs called Maji Moto. The park is well known for its unusual tree-climbing lions and large herds of elephant herds it was established to protect. The park is also home to hippos, baboons, giraffes, zebra, wildebeest, and is particularly suitable for bird watching, such as pink flamingo, with over 380 species recorded. We have a picnic lunch in the park. We drive back to our Maasai village for dinner and overnight. On a perfect evening before the sunset, Andy gives instructions on how to take portraits in natural lighting. After dinner, we enjoy watching Maasai warriors dancing and hearing storytelling at a campfire. Maasai warriors tell about their warrior lifestyle, and Anniina gives anthropological insights about the East African Age-Set Systems. (B, picnic L, D)
DAY 4. Tarangire National Park
After an early breakfast, we head to the Tarangire National Park. Tarangire National Park has the largest elephant population in Tanzania and the second-largest elephant population in Africa. It is a real gem in Tanzania’s northern safari circuit with fewer tourists, but with a great number and diversity of its wildlife. Here you may see herds of up to 300 elephants roaming between huge Baobab trees. And the best news of Tarangire is that they have one of the highest elephant population growth rates and the lowest poaching rates in Africa. You may also see wildebeest, zebra, giraffe, buffalo, Thompson's gazelle, kudu, eland, leopard, and cheetah. The landscape is a photographers dream, due to the high number of scenic baobab trees and its extensive marshlands that turn swathes of the reserve. Andy gives insights into the technical and creative side of photographing animals in nature to get extraordinary wildlife shots. We enjoy a picnic lunch in the park, and then we return to our Maasai boma for dinner and overnight. (B, picnic L, D)
DAY 5. Walking safari
After breakfast, we’ll head to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. We spend a full day with the Maasai exploring their unique culture. An authentic safari experience is to completely immerse oneself in the wilderness on foot. We follow Maasai warriors with whom we make a safe bush walk to observe many animals on foot such as herds of gnu and zebras. No vehicles are involved, so walking safari with Maasai warriors guarantees a genuinely authentic and once-in-a-lifetime experience. In the afternoon, we visit and sleep overnight in the Maasai warriors bush camp. We watch warriors dancing and singing while enjoying our Maasai barbecue. Andy teaches you how to best capture the wonderful moments you're experiencing. We sleep in tents in the wild African bush. (B, L, barbecue D)
DAY 6. The Ngorongoro Crater
Today we go inside the Ngorongoro Crater that is the world’s largest intact caldera from a long-extinct volcano. Ngorongoro is home to about 26,000 wild creatures who live within the safety of the caldera walls. You can observe elephants, black rhinoceroses, leopards, buffalo, zebras, warthogs, gnu (wildebeests), Grant’s and Thomson’s gazelles, and the densest population of lions in the world. Andy will guide us in the ‘best practices’ for photographing wildlife. We’ll have a Champagne picnic lunch by the Hippo pool. After the game drive, we return to the Maasai warriors bush camp where we have a special guest in the evening. The Maasai laiboni, a respected Maasai spiritual leader and medicine man, comes to greet us. He gives insights into Maasai natural healing, indigenous wisdom, and ancient traditions. (B, picnic L, D)
DAY 7. Karatu
After breakfast, we say goodbye to our Maasai hosts. We drive to Karatu where we sleep in a Marera Valley lodge with full-board. You can have a warm shower, relax by the pool, and read a book at your private verandah. Andy will be available for one on one reviews of the images you took on the trip. Dinner together. (B, L, D).
DAY 8. Kilimanjaro Airport
Enjoy your lazy morning in the Lodge. After lunch, transfer back to Kilimanjaro airport for your flight departures. We arrive at the airport around 4 pm. You can book an evening flight or extend your stay in Arusha. (B, L).
Anniina is a founder of Visit Natives. Anniina has an MA in African studies from the University of Helsinki, and she had lived one year among the Maasai when she conducted her anthropological fieldwork in Tanzania. Anniina has researched Maasai women's bridewealth system and marriage transactions. Her other research topics have included children's mother-tongue based education. Anniina has extensive experience in African cultures and languages, and she also works as a Swahili interpreter for Congolese refugees. She'll be our interpreter, and she gives cultural insights into the Maasai. Anniina has escorted many ethnographic expeditions with Visit Natives in Tanzania and Norway.
Photographer Andrew Coleman has traveled around the globe in search of amazing wildlife and landscapes. He has contributed to National Geographic Traveler and the National Geographic website, as well as other publications, and is represented in the National Geographic Image Collection. Andrew has an insatiable appetite to be in the wild and, through his images, attempts to capture the extraordinary beauty of the natural world. Over the course of his career, he has traveled, camera in hand, to some of the world’s most remarkable places, including 20+ trips to photography wildlife in sub-Saharan Africa. He has joined National Geographic Expeditions from Yellowstone National Park to the Galápagos, and from Borneo to the Arctic and Antarctica, and also runs workshops around the world.