Tanzania: The Very Best of the Serengeti
February 9 - 18, 2016
February 9, 2016: Legendary Coffee Lodge, Arusha
You'll fly from your home via Amsterdam to Kilimanjaro International Airport. And we drive a short distance to Legendary Coffee Lodge. We'll spend one night here, and next morning, we'll Fly by private charter (no long tedious drives on dusty, bumpy roads!) west, towards Serengeti National Park.
February 10 - 18, 2016: Serengeti National Park
If there is such a thing as the ultimate safari destination, it has to be the Serengeti National Park. There are bigger, wilder, more remote areas in Africa, but the Serengeti speaks to something atavistic, to something in the evolutionary memory. It may be a universal response judging by the gut reaction of Serengeti safari-goers. The great herds, the endless plains, the flat-topped acacias, the gallery forest along the river, all these hark back to our hominid past and our hunting instincts.
At this time of year the entire park is fabulous. In the north the majestic Mara River is home to countless hippos and crocodiles. The scenic central Serengeti has huge skies and a real vastness. In the south there are the vast kopje-studded savannahs near Lake Ndutu, situated in the lee of the brooding volcanic Ngorongoro highlands. Massive herds of wildebeest and zebra congregate on these plains to give birth to the next generation. We will be there at the time that the wildebeest and zebra will be having their young. The wildebeest follow the zebra, who follow the rains, every year they journey many thousands of kilometers, and from December through to the end of May they are generally in the Eastern Serengeti. During June, July and August they move West and North ultimately crossing the border in to Kenya where they feed on the lush grass of the Maasai Mara until November when they start to head south again.
Our time in the Serengeti will be spent at two different areas so that we can experience the park to the fullest.
February 10 - 14: Namiri Plains, Eastern Serengeti
Namiri Plains camp was created for real safari enthusiasts seeking comfort and exclusivity in secluded surroundings, excellent guiding and a deeper, more intense wildlife experience. To minimize the impact on the environment the camp comprises of only eight tents, and we'll have near-exclusive use of the camp with our group. Pitched in the shade of giant acacias, this small and exclusive tented haven offers 360° views of wildlife crossing the surrounding plains and the river area with its perennial vegetation and dense green reed beds that attract birds and smaller wildlife species.
The great migration passes through Namiri Plains from October to May and unleashes spectacular predator sightings during our time there as the resident big cats feast on the passing herds of wildebeest and zebra.
Time spent at Namiri Plains Camp is channeled into game drives and wildlife viewing. Our aim is to get you as close to the thick of the action as possible. Typically we’ll be out early and stay till late morning – then a brief respite in camp, followed by an afternoon game drive until sunset. We have the freedom to go off-road to get you as close as possible to the wildlife. And by close, we mean that it's not unusual for a lion to pass by within just a few feet from you as you photograph! At Namiri, you will be in luxury camp tents, with twin our double bedding, high thread count linens, a sitting area, en-suite facilities with flush toilet, hot and cold water, and shower. Lunch and dinner are in the dining tent or outside of the main lounge area, underneath the shade of a giant acacia tree. Plenty of power in the lounge to keep batteries and laptops fully charged.
At breakfast you will be delighted by iridescent birds, at lunch you may be entertained by a passing group of elephants. As we dine under the stars it is not unusual to hear the sounds of the lions, letting us know that they know we are in their territory! Rest your eyes on a near tree or the distant view. Sights abound, so do sounds. Listen to the murmurs of a million doves greeting the sunrise, a cacophony of guinea fowl as they startle away, the swish of a hawk through the clear air. Hyenas howling, zebras and jackals barking … the rich chorus of the Serengeti rings night and day.
February 14 - 18, 2016: Sayari Camp, Northern Serengeti
From Namiri, we'll again hop on board AirMuench, our private charter and fly to the north of the Serengeti. Located in the remote and exclusive northern Serengeti, Sayari camp is near to the Mara River and the vast Serengeti plains, and is home to staggering amounts of wildlife, great numbers of big cats, giraffe, elephant and buck and an increasing population of rhino. During the Migration season, millions of zebra and wildebeest arrive to share the fertile land with the permanent inhabitants. The combination of a superb location, luxurious facilities and an incredible wildlife experience ensures that Sayari Camp will etch itself into your memory as the standard against which you will forever judge any other safari camp.
Sayari is Swahili for universe or planet, capturing the vast Serengeti plains and endless skies where the camp is situated. The luxury guest tents blend perfectly into the majestic Serengeti landscape. The en-suite bathrooms have flush toilets, a double sink, shower and beautiful giant bathtub with a view. After game drives, enjoy the infinity pool or choose the privacy of your verandah, the warmth of the fire place, or the comfort of the library, bar or lounge to relax. Massages are available upon request! Power for charging batteries and laptops is available in each tent. We have exclusive use of an entire six tent wing of the camp just for our group.
Far from the tourist track, the vast and expansive plains of the Northern Serengeti are one of the best-kept secrets of African Safaris. It is home to lion, leopard, cheetah, elephant, large herds of antelope and many other animals. The stunning Mara River filled with hippos and crocodiles cuts through this land. We’ll feature game drives each morning and afternoon, with plenty of downtime during the midday to offload cards, take a nap, or get some one-on-one instruction. Evenings we'll enjoy the campfire, an amazing meal, followed by critiques and post-processing instruction.
February 18, 2016: Travel Day - Arusha and Home
After our last game drive and breakfast at Sayari, we will fly over the whole of the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Highlands back, to Arusha. We will have lunch in Arusha town and do some shopping in the early afternoon. Following, we have booked day rooms at KIA Lodge so that you can shower, change and rest up before you fly home. We will transfer you to Kilimanjaro International Airport in time for your check-in and your evening flight to Amsterdam.
Safari Camp Life - What to expect
In short, you’ll feel like you’re in a luxury hotel! We’ve hand picked our camps for comfort, knowledgeable and friendly staff, great food and convenience to our main objective, wildlife. We also place a huge value on isolation and exclusivity. You won't find us in areas where there are dozens of other vehicles at a sighting - rather, you'll feel like you own the Serengeti and the animals are just for you! Typical tented accommodations feature twin beds or queen bed, high thread-count linens, dressers for clothing, sitting area, verandah, and of course en suite bathrooms, with flush toilets, hot water and showers. They are enormous in size, bright, open and airy.
Our days start early, before sunrise. We’ll have a quick coffee or tea, maybe a cookie, and off on our first game drive of the day. The animals are just starting to stir as the day starts, and we want to be there, and in the best light. We’ll stay out for a few to several hours, depending on the sightings. After a mid-drive coffee break, we’ll continue on until mid to late morning. We typically have breakfast in the field, so as to maximize our game-viewing and photographing time. Back in camp, it’s time for offloading cards, one-on-one instruction, or just taking time to relax and do nothing. Read a book, take a walk, or take a nap and recharge. Of course there will be lunch, and then In the mid to late afternoon, we’ll again head out for another game drive, chasing the best sightings. Enjoying your favorite drink while watching / photographing the sunset is a popular activity. Arrive back at camp after sundown, enjoy a hot shower if you like, and then join us by the campfire or in the living area for cocktails followed by dinner.
Food in our camps is superb – you’ll be served foods that you know as well as local specialties – and of course any dietary needs can be accommodated. Soft drinks, house wine, beer and spirits are included, so enjoy!
We’ve arranged for the best safari vehicles to be with us the entire time – custom Land Cruisers which feature ample room for you and your gear, and great visibility. Of course, on-board power for charging, and cold drinks in the fridge. And only one photographer per row of seats (the front seat next to driver guide counts as a row, and we may also have a spotter on board to help us find the best sightings). All of our camps feature daily laundry service (but not on days we travel in between camps). There is electricity centrally located at Namiri for charging laptops and camera batteries. At Sayari, there is power in each tent.
Why a Muench Workshops Safari?
We know you have choices, and yes, you can spend less on another Safari. Our aim is to give you the best possible experience, maximizing your time and minimizing the hassle, while providing the best photographic experience and instruction.
Photography and Safari Guiding: We’ve personally chosen only the best local safari guides for this photographic safari.
Details Matter: Our itinerary is carefully set – to bring you the best game viewing and all that the region offers. We arrange things so that we're in areas that are not over-crowded with many other safari vehicles, and we get off-road so we can get close to the action and our subjects.
Photography Instruction: This is a workshop, not just a tour. We will work hard on this safari, with instruction in-the-field and in camp. Many evenings feature critiques and post-processing instruction after dinner, and during the daytime we offer one-on-one instruction as needed. You’ll come away with a wealth of new knowledge not only on how to create great imagery but how best to process those images in Lightroom and Photoshop.
Years of Experience – Happy Repeat Customers: We’ve been leading, guiding and teaching photographers for a long time – and we have thrilled customers who come back on our workshops again and again to prove it. If you’d like to speak to someone who has been with us on a workshop or safari, just let us know, we’d be happy to arrange a phone call.
- All meals, transportation, lodging and photographic guiding and instruction from the time we meet you at Legendary Coffee Lodge on February 9, 2016 until we drop you back off in Arusha Town on February 18, 2016.
- Photographic guiding and instruction by Marc Muench. Two game drives every day, photography instruction in the field, and critiques most every evening.
- The finest Safari vehicles for the duration of our Safari. Only one guest per row in the vehicles, but do note that the front seat next to the driver counts as a row, and it's possible that we'll have a spotter with us as well in the vehicle, helping us to find the best sightings. On our travel days we may have more than one person per row to/from the air strips.
- Daily laundry service (except on days we travel between camps).
- Soft drinks, bottled water, house wine, beer and spirits.
- Double occupancy accommodations at all camps and lodges. We’ll match you up with a roommate of the same gender if needed and available. If you are single and we cannot pair you up, there may be a single supplement fee. Single Supplement is available, just ask us.
- In case something goes wrong, we have the services of Flying Doctors to provide medical transport to the nearest hospital.
- Satellite phone in case of emergencies, also available for quick "hello" calls home.
What’s Not Included?
- Air transportation from your home to Kilimanjaro International Airport and back.
- Entry Visas ($100 USD for US Citizens, payable at the airport on arrival).
- Single rooming arrangements, if available.
- Premium wines and spirits.
- Any items of a personal nature purchased at camps and lodges.
- Tips for guides and camp staff (typically about $30 per day).
- Anything else not specifically listed in "What's Included" above.
- Any additional fees, taxes or surcharges that may be imposed by the Tanzanian government.
- $6,500 non-refundable deposit to book your place on this safari, due immediately.
- Final $7,495 due on November 1, 2015.
This workshop is sold out.