Team Leader Safari

off road in mud time during rain

Game Drive in Tanzania

Killing the Land Cruiser seems like a mistake, especially with consumer interest soaring in go-anywhere all-terrain vehicles that can carry canoes, mountain bikes and camping gear.

While Land Rover’s Series and Defender get credit for conquering Africa, Australia and other inhospitable places, the ultra-reliable Land Cruiser has long been the vehicle of choice in extreme terrain. Richard Truett

In East Africa open side safari vehicles are forbidden. Here they use hatch top safari vehicles. These are modified Land cruiser 4×4’s with pop-up roofs that can be closed when travelling long distance. They are most common in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda. They often have charging plugs next to your seat. When there is unexpected rain or you have a long drive on tar road to drive towards the gate, the roof will be closed. Once in the park on safari, the roof will open and you can enjoy an excellent view on wildlife. Hatch tops vehicles also feature a host of creature comforts such as a built-in fridge, high backed seats and wide range radio system to ensure you never get lost in the wild. In addition, drivers are professionally trained according to a strict contingency plan.

Game drive and Night Drives

The word ‘game drive’ can be split into 2 different words: Game and Drive
‘Game’ is generally referred to as ‘animals that are not domesticated and are roaming the plains of Africa. In general we speak about ‘big game’ if we refer to animals like elephants, Cape buffaloes and other larger mammals.
‘Drive’ is referred to as a ‘drive with a vehicle’.
The combination of the words could therefore be described as a ‘drive with a vehicle in/over the plains of Africa in order to view these animals. Over time however, the word became mostly known as a ‘drive with a vehicle in Africa, in order to find (large) game for photographic reasons’.
A game drive you make from your lodge or camp and you will mostly have two game drives a day; one early morning and one late in the afternoon. A game drive can vary in length and distance, depending on preferences of the people in the vehicle and on the animals they encounter on the way.

Game drives leave (very) early in the morning. Never forget that you are on a holiday and that it is no shame to sleep in if you feel like doing so. Not every game drive has the same level of excitement, but you will see, the first time you do sleep in, that leopard will show itself in all its glory (get the point?).
Your afternoon game drive is sometimes extended into an evening game drive. During the dark hours of your drive you may see – with the help of a spotlight – nocturnal animals that you would normally not see during the day.
If you go on a game drive, make sure you carry your camera, binoculars, some reference books (if they are not in the vehicle), your sunglasses and a hat of some kind. In case you come back after dark, don’t forget to take something warm to wear.
During a game drive you will have to possibility to stretch your legs and (maybe) have a drink. Always stay close to the vehicle and tell your guide when you go to the bush room! And do not go by your self
In a lot of National Parks and Game Reserves it is not permitted to go off-road during your game drive. This is to prevent vehicle-damage to the environment. Please don’t force your guide to do so.

Blog courtesy by: Faysal Alao, Tanzanian Travel vlogger.

Camping in a Tent

Things Not to Forget when Camping in a Tent

  • The Tent – This one is pretty much a no brainer. Be sure to set up your tent at home for a trial run before you leave. Double check for rips, broken zippers and missing parts. Be sure the tent poles and stakes are in the bag, along with a small hammer, just in case.
  • Flashlights/Batteries – Arriving at a campsite after dark, happens! We never plan it that way, then again, we don’t plan flat tires or getting lost. Life happens! Flashlights will serve lots of purposes and fresh batteries is a must. This LED   Flashlight comes with the batteries and can take a beating. It’s one of our favorites.
  • First Aid Kit – Accidents can happen no matter if you are at home or out camping. Keeping a well-stocked first aid kit on hand is a great idea. Band-aids, soap, water, tweezers, gauze and hand sanitizer will get you the basics for small wounds or until you can seek medical attention. You have to think like a scout and always be prepared. This first-aid kit we picked up has everything we need and then some.
  • Trash Bags – Obviously you can use trash bags to keep your campsite neat and tidy. They also make good makeshift wraps, keep your bedding and clothing from becoming damp and will hold lots of dirty clothes and shoes on the way home.
  • Sleeping Bag/Bedding – It gets cold at night, even in the middle of summer. Having padding between you and the ground is a must. Stay warm and hopefully dry in a good sleeping bag.
  • Matches/Lighter – You cannot start a campfire without a fire source and camping just isn’t the same if you don’t have the chance to sit around a campfire, make a barbeque and make some real camp food!
  • Duct Tape – Guaranteed you will have a need for duct tape. Keep a roll or two on hand. I am sure you will find something to repair it. It works great to fix not only camping supplies but the car, too. We never leave home without a good roll of tape.
  • Water – There are so many uses for water. Cooking, cleaning and staying hydrated will be a breeze if you bring your own clean water.
  •  Toilet Paper/Flushable Cleansing Cloths – Campground bathrooms can be a scary place. If you are lucky you find a place with flushable toilets. If you’re not so lucky, pit toilets will be your only choice. Supplying your own toilet paper and flushable cleansing cloths is a must.  Cottonelle on-the-go packs fit perfectly in a backpack, purse or pocket.
  • Keeping your Bum clean will prevent uncomfortable days and nights when your all up close and personal in a tent.

Once you set up camp, be sure to enjoy every minute that you can. Before you know it you’ll have to come back to the real world, the downtime will go quickly. RELAX! Have you ever gone on a trip and forgotten to pack something important??

Cycling tour

Cycling tour

Cycling tour in Morogoro, through a city allows you to visit the places in between places, it allows you to experience and become part of the city in a way that other tours or modes of transport do not allow.  Cycling through a city allows you to travel at your own pace, change course or stop and to browse or take photographs when you discover new and interesting places. When you cycle through a city you can interact with the people and the city making you more than a casual observer of the surroundings.

Whether you’re an avid cyclist or a recreational rider, the best way to experience a new place is on a bike. That’s because pedaling is much more immersive than driving—you’ll see, hear, and even smell additional things that you may miss otherwise—and the fact that you’re on two wheels allows you to cover more ground than walking. On top of that, it’s a great way to sneak in exercise while you’re on the road. And, perhaps most importantly, it’s just plain fun.

In the beautiful up and down sceneries of Mount Uluguru make you enjoy and give a taste that will never stop coming again.

Historical site, view point, meet people, markets, enjoy the coconuts juice, University, Apopo for rate explore bombs and visit the railways station

What is your plan during your holiday? Come and bike with us.


Tanzania with wildlife photography

Places around the Tanzania to immerse yourself in wildlife photography

About 44 percent of Tanzania consists of conservation areas, reserves, and national parks. Home to the famous Mt. Kilimanjaro, Zanzibar and the Serengeti. Tanzania offers the quintessential African experience that you don’t want to miss as a photographer. On 6 January 2012,The York Times newspaper awarded Tanzania the 7th position among of 45 top destinations to visit.

What many do not know is that it also ranks as one of the world’s top bird watching spots. Bird photography in Tanzania can be an exciting and rewarding adventure, and we’ll give you some insight into how to make the most out of it.

Tanzania has a wide variety of climates and microclimates. These range from tropical climates near the coast, to the highlands in the north, to the dry, arid plateau area in the center of the country. Each of these climates attracts different species of birds and other wildlife, which leads to the wide variety of species a visitor might see. This variety is what really makes bird photography in Tanzania so exciting and interesting.

Tanzania is one of the premier wildlife viewing destinations in the world and this photographic safari will take you into the very heart of it! We will be amongst the animals, completely accepted as just another part of the landscape.

Imagine experiencing lions lounging in the shade of our vehicle, giraffes grazing on acacia above us, elephants strolling calmly just a few yards from our vehicles. Warthogs, zebras, Cape Buffalo, Hyenas, Jackels – they are all here. This is the trip where wild Africa is within your reach. Each day as we begin our game drive you will be filled with excitement and anticipation as you imagine the wonders that await us!

Serengeti National Park:

This famous park is a World Heritage Site and is Tanzania’s oldest. With the amount of apex predators present in this territory such as cheetah, lions, and leopards, this is a prime spot for big cat-obsessed wildlife photographers. Wake up to incredible morning outings on the savanna, catching herds of wildebeest, zebra, giraffe, eland, impala, topi and more in the morning hours.

Spend your days searching for the legendary Big Five as well as the plains’ numerous smaller scale dramas. The landscape in the park ranges from grassland plains to savannas, forest and woodlands. The park is located in the northern part of Tanzania and extends to the border between Tanzania and Kenya.

The northern Serengeti is raw, wild and less-visited than other areas. It’s arguably the best location for viewing vast herds during the dry season months of September and October. The Great Migration is a perpetual, year-round journey featuring over 200,000 zebras and over one million wildebeest. With luck, you may witness one of Africa’s most intense wildlife phenomena, a crossing at the Mara River

The park contains well over 500 native species. There are a number of endangered species in the park, particularly several types of hawks, eagles and kites (family Accipitridae). The open grassland areas of the park also support species like ostriches, bustards, larches and raptors.

Ngorongoro Conservation Area

The Area is features mostly plains landscape. It also contains Ngorongoro Crater – the largest inactive volcanic caldera in the world. Because the Conservation Area contains evidence of the earliest hominid life forms, it is often referred to as the Garden of Eden.

The park contains nearly 300 native species of birds. Herons, egrets and bitterns (family Ardeidae) as well as hawks, eagles and kites (family Accipitridae) are among the most common bird species in the Conservation Area.

The crater is home to large herds of grazing Wildebeest, Zebras, and Impala. It is also home to large herds of Cape Buffalo and huge prides of Lions that feed on them.

Tarangire National Park. Known as the elephant park, you will experience large herds of elephants moving freely through the land. Tarangire is also a great place to experience the beautiful birds of Africa. From Lilac-breasted Rollers, Bee Eaters, and Hoopoe, to Eagles, Hawks, and Bustards, this park is alive with birdlife. This is also a great place for leopards.

Selous Game Reserve, Southern Tanzania

Selous Game Reserve, at more than 50,000 km2 (larger in size than Costa Rica and comprising fully 5% of Tanzania’s total land area), is Africa’s largest wildlife reserve.  It is named for Englishman Frederick Courtney Selous, one of the original “Great White Hunters,” venerated in their day but seen differently today for the destruction they wrought.  The reserve boasts huge expanses of unspoiled wilderness with few tourists, but also lower densities of wildlife than in the northern parks.

Still, the Selous has the largest elephant population in Tanzania, large numbers of the rare black rhino, and the elusive wild African hunting dog, among the whole panoply of African mammals and bird life.  The Rufiji River, which divides the northern Selous – reserved for photo safaris, from the southern sector – the preserve of trophy hunters, is dense with crocodiles and hippos.  The reserve uniquely offers boat safaris on the Rufiji and extended walking safaris throughout its northern sector.

Ruaha National Park,

Despite recent incremental growth in tourism, Ruaha has remained essentially unchanged for centuries.  As Tanzania’s second largest national park Ruaha is one part of a more massive ecosystem that includes the Rungwa and Kisigo Game Reserves, as well as several other protected areas.  It is home to high concentrations of elephant, as well as large herds of buffalo, kudu, Grant’s gazelle, wild dogs, ostrich, cheetah, roan and sable antelopes and more than 500 types of birds.

The terrain is varied, with wild fig trees, baobab forests, and gorges of glowing orange sandstone. The parks main feature is the Ruaha River with its swirling rapids and deep pools inhabited by crocodiles and hippos.  If making the trip to Ruaha, one should stay for several days, allowing time to explore deeply into the park and to soak in the enormity of it all.

where do you plan to go around  Tanzania in your next Photography Safari?


Things to Avoid in Nature Photography

Can images really show the beauty of wild animals or the colors of an African sunset? Exceptional photographs give you a glimpse of nature. But even these excellent images don’t show all that’s out there. We can simply try our best.

By avoiding these mistakes I transformed the outcome of my photos.

Bad Backgrounds

Calm yourself.

I know you’re excited about the subject of your photograph. But the subject is surrounded with other features.

If you don’t take them into account you’ll regret it.

A busy background can attract attention. Whoever views the image may not even notice what you want him or her to see.

Make sure branches and grass don’t steal attention away from your subject. Because of positioning it may seem as if a branch is growing out of a lion’s ear. That’s not what you want people to focus on. Adjust your position or distance so your background complements the rest of the image.


If you don’t have patience yet animals will help you discover it.

Wildlife models follow their own schedules and minds. You can’t tell them what to do.

Patience links with expectation. If you think you’ll capture the perfect image you’ll often be disappointed. The greatest photographers know it takes time.

You may have to camp out if you really want an exceptional photograph. Pitch your tent and wait for:

  • The perfect sunset
  • The animal feeding a baby
  • The animal being killed
  • The bird flying at an angle that gives you a great shot

Are you prepared for this much effort?

Lack of Respect

Humans have a responsibility to look after nature. Not all of us take up that responsibility.

As a photographer who uses natural spaces you should respect your outdoor office. Make sure you don’t leave residue such as litter or other garbage.

Your choices determine whether others can enjoy the same beauty in future.

A Tiny Subject

It’s tough to approach a wild animal – they are easily spooked. Because of this, many wildlife photos have more wilderness than wildlife, with the animal becoming a tiny speck in its environment. This can be effective in some situations, but for the most part you want the animal to be large enough in the frame to see the detail in its eyes. This is where a good telephoto lens can really help you out. Using a long focal length (over 200mm) will allow you to keep your distance while still filling the frame.

The Missed Moment

We’ve all been there. You see the perfect shot, frame it, and hit the shutter. But by the time the camera focuses and the exposure is made, the animal has moved and all you end up with is the second after the perfect shot.

There are two ways to avoid this heartbreak:


This is a skill that can only come with practice and a keen eye. If you can learn to see when the perfect moment is about to happen, rather than when it is happening, you can hit the shutter right before the peak moment and cause the camera to snap at just the right time.

Continuous Shooting

When animals are in motion, you’ll get the best chance at a good result by using continuous shooting mode (also called “drive mode” or “burst mode”). With this, you can take several images per second and choose the most successful.

Higher-end DSLRs and mirrorless cameras will have a much faster maximum shooting speed, but no matter which camera you have, there are a few things that will help get the highest continuous shooting rate.

Animal Attack!

We don’t call it “wildlife” for nothing – the biggest mistake you can make is accidentally getting mauled. Animals are not adjusted to polite society, and can be pretty rough customers if you catch them at the wrong time, or in the wrong way. They spend most of their waking lives foraging for food, and a spat over a meal can turn ugly, fast. Never get in the way of lunch, unless you want to take its place.

Don’t approach a wild animal directly, and if they see you, avoid looking them in the eye. This is usually a sign of aggression. If you need to get closer, keep low and move in a broad zig-zag pattern to avoid frightening the animal.

Be aware of when mating season (or “rutting season”) is for the type of animal you’ll be photographing. Male mammals are full of testosterone at this time of year, and can be aggressive, violent, and very dangerous. Avoid photographing at these times. Similarly, find out when animals are likely to be giving birth and raising their young. We all know how risky it can be to get in between a mama bear and her cubs. Whenever you’re dealing with wildlife, always remember that any creature can be dangerous when provoked, and it’s very important to treat animals and their habitat with the utmost care and respect.

Blurry Image

Blur comes in many forms. Your entire image could be blurry due to camera shake; a problem which is magnified by the longer focal lengths needed for wildlife photography.

In landscape photography, using a tripod is a good technique to prevent camera shake, but a tripod is not as practical when photographing wildlife. Wildlife photography requires a more active shooting style – you’ll be moving around constantly – so unless you are using a lens that is too big to hold comfortably, forget the tripod. Also, because the animals are always in motion, you’ll need a fast shutter speed anyway. That leads me to the first method to combat camera shake blur: using a very fast shutter speed.

In landscape photography, you normally use a shutter speed that is at least 1/focal length of your lens. But usually that isn’t going to be fast enough when photographing wildlife because the animals are always in motion (even when they appear to be standing still). To avoid disappointment, you’ll need to use a much faster shutter speed to freeze both your own motion and the motion of the animal. Here is my rule of thumb when photographing wildlife: if the animal appears to be still, use a shutter speed of 1/500th of a second. If the animal is moving, you’ll have to adjust the shutter speed based on how fast they are moving. I suggest a minimum of 1/1,000th of a second, or faster if the animal is moving faster.

Lack of Knowledge

Professional photographers study their subjects. It’s the only way to showcase the best features. This applies to children, food and buildings.

If you want exceptional wildlife photographs you must know what’s coming.

Animal behavior is unpredictable but you can learn traits and general features:

  • Which animals love sun bathing?
  • What time of the day do animals feed?
  • What trees attract the most birds?

These answers tell you where and when to sit & wait—yes patience—for the perfect shot.

This may also save your life. If you’re not accustomed to working with wildlife you may take too many risks. Wild animals’ unpredictability may result in dangerous situations.

Do you know:

  • What a safe distance is
  • How animals act when they’re frustrated
  • What they will do to protect their young

Make sure your lack of knowledge doesn’t bring harm to you or others.

All the best to the African wildlife.

what mistake you experience on wildlife photography?

blog Courtesy by: John Stuart and  Anne McKinnell

Wildlife Photography

Ten Tips to Get Started in Wildlife Photography

1. Know your subject.

Understanding Wildlife Photography behavior is key to being a good wildlife photographer, especially when your subjects are wildlife. Research and observation will give you a greater chance of capturing an interesting moment than just walking by and snapping a photo.

2. Know your gear

Don’t be discouraged by not having the most professional photography equipment. The best camera is the one you have with you. When you know the pros and cons of your gear you’ll be able to take advantage of what is possible with what you have, and be prepared when the moment arises.

3. Get up early

The best light for outdoor photography occurs an hour after sunrise, and an hour before sunset. In my experience the best time to have wildlife encounters is early morning.

4. Go Prone

Low to the ground is usually a great angle to photograph wildlife. Try laying down, or other angles that might seem awkward at the time. You will be impressed with the difference it makes.

5. Be Patient

One of the things I love about photography is the instant gratification I get from an awesome shot. Wildlife takes a little more time to get that shot. Take the time to follow tip 1 and observe your subjects behavior to be ready. Frustration can get the best of you if you miss a perfect moment, brush it off and remind yourself you’re getting better as a photographer because of it.

6. Find your style

Rather than just framing your subject within the photo, try shooting wider and closer and see what style you prefer. Although I can’t always get as close as I’d like without owning a massive 600mm lens, I prefer close shots; especially of insects and flowers.

7. Be Considerate

Setting up a shot is one thing – but being cruel to the wildlife you are admiring is another. Using playback (playing a bird call) to attract subjects is generally frowned upon and in my opinion makes photography less enjoyable. Have lines drawn in the sand for what you’re willing to do for the perfect shot and stick to it. For me I will move small subjects like insects or amphibians, to a nearby location (like a rock or leaf) but I will never put them in danger or handle them excessively.

8. Plan your shot

If you want to capture a moment in a unique way – be prepared with the right settings. I’ve been caught off guard when I wanted to capture the movement of a frog jumping with a slow shutter but it leaped before I expected, and my camera was still set to a fast shutter speed. Know what you want to capture before it happens.

9. Enjoy Yourself

Don’t forget to enjoy your time in nature. I bring my camera everywhere but sometimes I’m out and just want to take it in without a lens in front of me. Don’t feel bad that you’re missing out; any experience in nature will make you a better wildlife photographer.

10. Get Inspired

Visit Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibit to see some amazing wildlife photography from around the world.