The Best of the Serengeti: Wildebeest Migration and Calving Season
There are very few wildlife events on the planet that can match the Great Migration in scale. Each year, nearly two million zebras, wildebeest, and other antelope make the journey between Tanzania’s Serengeti and grassy plains to the Northwest. It is an epic journey in search of greener pastures, and one that inevitably draws many of Africa’s most iconic predators.
Kevin Pepper has been leading safaris to this part of Africa for almost a decade—you won’t find a more meticulously researched itinerary. Kevin will be joined by experienced local guides, each well-known to us and versed in the particular needs of photographers. Photography opportunities will be unparalleled—we’ll fly directly into the Serengeti and stay in exclusive camps far from the typical crowds. We’ve also arranged for custom-designed Land Cruisers to give us great vantage on the action. Only one photographer per row in the vehicles means plenty of room to spread out gear and nearly unobstructed views. Expect to see and photograph wildebeest and zebras with their young, predators like lion, leopard and cheetah, and seemingly endless grassy vistas!
Unlike most African safaris, this one is geared exclusively towards improving your photography. There will be plenty of instruction in the field, and our signature image reviews and critiques back at camp. There will also be plenty of time to relax and take in your surroundings in one of the most beautiful destinations on Earth. This safari is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for any wildlife photography enthusiast!
February 8–17, 2021
Itinerary and General Information
About the Wildlife: This workshop offers significant opportunities for photographing wildlife, and while we do our best to maximize our wildlife encounters—based on past experiences, local knowledge, and the current conditions—we need to impress upon you that the wildlife really is wild and that we don’t control it.
February 8, 2021: Arrive to Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) today. You will be met by Kevin or our local team at the airport, then transferred by comfortable minivan to Rivertrees Lodge.
February 9, 2021: Following an early breakfast, we’ll transfer to Arusha airport for our charter flight (1hour) to the Serengeti. You will be treated to stunning views of Tanzania’s highlands and valleys as well as colorful patterns of Masai huts and villages, farms, and wildlife. Upon landing in the Serengeti, we’ll be greeted by our local guides and transferred to our first exclusive camp at Ndutu. While our camp is best known for its superb location during the wildlife migration, there is another pleasure awaiting you—stargazing tents! A portion of each tent boasts a 270-degree view from beneath a meshed net, offering you an outdoor experience while remaining indoors.
February 10–11, 2021: We’ll be departing on morning and afternoon game drives these days. Game drives will cover the Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) and the southern Serengeti, allowing for frequent sightings of big cats, elephant, buffalo, and (fingers crossed!) the elusive African wild dog.
February 12–13, 2021: After a morning drive, we’ll depart for our next camp. Pitched on a major wildebeest migration corridor in the Central Serengeti, this camp offers easy access to the scenic Moru kopjes and superb sightings of big cats and rhino along the forested banks of the Seronera River. Our semi-permanent camp boasts eight spacious tented suites, each with expansive views of game-filled plains from a large private veranda.
February 14–16, 2021: We’ll be in big cat territory these next few days! Cheetah are plentiful here, as are leopard and lion, and viewing opportunities for these species are unrivaled in the Serengeti. Our camp offers exclusivity and privacy—there are no other camps within an hour’s drive—as well as expansive views and decadent comfort.
February 17, 2021: After a last game drive and breakfast, we will fly over the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Highlands back to Arusha. In the early afternoon, we will have the opportunity to do some shopping, and we will also have day rooms booked at KIA Lodge so that you can shower, change, and rest up before your flight home. We will transfer you to Kilimanjaro International Airport in time for your check-in and your evening flight home.
Safari Camp Life - What to expect
We hand-pick our safari camps with an eye towards comfort, knowledgeable and friendly staff, and proximity to outstanding wildlife. We also place huge value on privacy and exclusivity—you won't find us in areas where there are dozens of vehicles at a sighting. Typical accommodation while on safari is in bright, open, and airy tents, each featuring twin beds or a queen bed. The tents are each fitted with high thread-count linens, dressers for clothing, a sitting area, verandah, and of course en-suite bathrooms with flush toilets and hot showers. Centrally-located outlets will be available for charging laptops and camera batteries. All of our camps feature daily laundry service (on days outside of travel days).
The food in our camps is also superb, and generally consists of familiar fare accented by local specialties. Don’t worry though—any dietary needs or restrictions can be accommodated. Soft drinks, house wine, beer, and spirits are always included.
We’ve arranged for the best safari vehicles—custom Land Cruisers. Each will have ample room for you and your gear, and will feature great visibility from open sides. Power will be available for charging batteries en-route, and a fridge holds cold drinks. We will have enough vehicles that only one photographer will be seated per row, allowing for largely unrestricted vantage (the front seat next to the driver-guide does count as a row, and we may also have a spotter on board to help us find the best sightings).
Our days will start early, before sunrise. We’ll have a quick coffee or tea, and maybe a light snack, then we’ll be off on our first game drive of the day. Most animals begin to stir at daybreak, and we want to be there for the best light. We’ll stay out for several hours in the morning, with the exact duration dependent on our sightings, and so we’ll typically have breakfast in the field. Once back in camp, you’ll have some time to offload cards, receive some one-on-one instruction, or just relax. Lunch is in camp at midday, and by late afternoon we’ll head out for another game drive until just after sunset. On arrival back at camp, you’ll be able to enjoy a hot shower before joining the group by the campfire or in the lounge for cocktails and dinner.
What to Bring and How to Prepare for Your Workshop
Please see our How To Prepare For Your Workshop page now for guidelines on workshop prep, gear, and packing. Approximately 90 days before your workshop, you will be sent a PDF with more specific instructions.
Double occupancy lodging (single available, just ask)
All meals and tips during the workshop
All transportation (ground and private air charters)
Photographic guiding and instruction from Kevin Pepper
Image reviews and post-processing instruction
Fun, inspiration, and a great time!
What’s Not Included?
Your transportation to and from Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO), and any lodging before or after the workshop dates (we can assist, just ask). Medical evacuation insurance (required), travel medical and trip cancellation insurance (optional). Alcoholic beverages, items of a personal nature. Anything specifically not mentioned as included.
Your deposit of $4,995 is due at sign up and will hold your space in the workshop. A second payment of $5,000 will be due July 1, 2020. The balance of $6,000 will be due November 1, 2020. All payments are non-refundable and this is why you should have trip cancelation insurance. If you are registering after that date, please make your payment in full. All of our other standard terms and conditions apply.
We know you have choices, and yes, you can spend less on another Safari. Having said that, we aim to maximize your time and minimize your hassle, while providing the very best photographic experience and instruction.
Photography and Safari Guiding: We’ve personally chosen only the best local safari guides for this photographic safari, and your Muench Workshops pro has considerable experience in the region as well.
Details Matter: Our itinerary is carefully designed to bring you the best game viewing experience that the region has to offer, away from the crowds.
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 plenty of experience creating great imagery and processing 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 our repeat clients are the the proof of the quality experience we provide. 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.