Tanzania must be among the top tourist destinations in the world for photographers. With everything from snow-capped mountain peaks to “Big Five” safaris and charming tropical islands, Tanzania is luxuriating in its newly-acquired status as a genuinely hot photography tourism destination.
The Serengeti plains, the steep-sided Ngorongoro Crater, the giant tuskers of Tarangire, the giant flamingos of Lake Manyara, idyllic Zanzibar, traditional Pemba, and the wild landscapes of Ruaha, Katavi, and Stiegler’s Gorge in the Selous are just a few of Tanzania’s most well-known photographic locations. Due to the abundance of mountains and volcanoes in this country, including the famed Kilimanjaro and the restless Ol Doinyo Lengai volcano, photographers drool at the notion of visiting. The Mahale Mountains, home to habituated chimpanzees and Lake Tanganyika, are another standout setting for photography.
The best vantage points for taking photos are either from a private car or, at the very least, from a vehicle of like-minded individuals who won’t move during crucial times and who are content to be outside before dawn and returning after dark. Photographic safaris are often the most effective when you are in charge of the vehicle and the route it takes.
When to embark on your photo safari will be the biggest and most challenging decision you will have to make. On the one hand, the late dry season provides fantastic opportunities for wildlife viewing and Mara River crossings, but it also brings smoky, dusty conditions as well as dull brown and grey backgrounds. On the plus side, wildlife is dispersed and good sightings can frequently be harder to come by. On the other hand, the clarity after the rains and the wealth of color throughout the green season are unrivaled. Unquestionably, this is the ideal time of year to concentrate on landscape and bird photography.