Safari Team Leader

Wildlife photography

Wildlife photography: Tips and Tricks

Whether you’re trying to capture a photo of a cheetah hunting or a flying pigeon in your city, the most important thing is to be prepared and be ready for anything. You have no control over what happens in the wild. You can’t ask a bird to fly a little slower so you capture the shot you want or a lion to roar in front of your camera again because you were not ready the first time.

You have to use what’s around you and have your camera set and ready. You can spend hours without seeing or capturing anything, but once you do… you will witness something incredible!
Wildlife doesn’t ever disappoint us!

Character and Environment

Another thing to remember when photographing wildlife is the old “push/pull.” Animals have personalities, and you want to show that. But you don’t want to be working really tight with long lenses all the time. You need to show their environment too—habitat says a lot. Back off and use wide-angle lenses to give viewers a sense of where the animals live.

One More Thing

When you’re out photographing wildlife, don’t just pay attention to what are called the charismatic mega fauna—the big animals that get most of our attention. Of course we all want good photos of the big guys, but there are many other forms of life around. Some of them are really beautiful, and all of them are interesting. Whenever you’re out there, whether hiking or sitting in your car waiting for something to happen, look around. You’ll be amazed at what you might discover. Photograph that too!

Practice, Practice & Practice

While everyone would like to be clicking Wildebeests on the Serengeti, you really don’t need much to start practicing wildlife photography. Before you go to a safari, make sure you know how to use your camera. Go to the park and practice until you feel confident. Know your settings.


Make sure you pay attention to what’s surrounding your main subject in the frame. Try to have clear and simple background so the viewer can really focus on the bird itself.

When you focus your lens, focus on the eyes of the bird.

Wildlife photography shooting, try to tell a story. Some birds fly. An elephant dig in the mud. Some birds eat fish, some eat seeds and wild dog during their  social hunting (co-operative imperative). You can share all that information with the viewer through your photographs.


Good luck, and Happy Shooting!


Wildlife Photography

Tips for Wildlife Photography Beginners

The first and most important rule of nature photography is respect for the plants, animals and ecosystems you will be photographing. Respect has many aspects, first off you don’t want to disturb the animal and plant life. The upshot of being careful when shooting in nature is that animals behaving naturally are likely to make for better photographs. If you choose to take pictures of animals, no matter how careful you are, you will have to learn how to shoot subjects on the move. Accept this, and train yourself accordingly.

One of the greatest challenges of wildlife photography is the need to take pictures of subjects on the move. If you develop a keen interest, you will soon tire of taking photographs of stationary subjects, as zoom lenses and tele-converters are widely available, and the eagle perched on a branch isn’t as spectacular a shot as it once was.

The first thing you will need to do is make sure you and your camera are as stable as possible to avoid taking blurred photographs. A tripod is probably the best way to guarantee that you are not negatively affecting the shot you are trying to take. If you are holding your camera, hold it as close to your body as you can, this will help stabilize the picture. If you can still get a good view of your subject, lying on the ground is also an excellent way to increase your stability.

If you would like to take photographs about wildlife but want to get experience before you book that expensive trip to the game reserve or take a long drive out into the bush, your backyard is an excellent place to start.

You can set up a feeder on your own property, as long as the feeder looks natural, and you’ve erected it in a spot with good light. You should be able to take photographs of reasonably tame birds from relatively close-up, eliminating the requirement for expensive zoom lenses while you learn.

If you are photographing birds, finding out about their mating and migratory patterns shouldn’t be too difficult and will guarantee better opportunities for photographs.

Blog Post Courtesy:
National Geographic
ORMS Connect
JP Teaches Photo


How Long Do Brakes Last?

There’s nothing more important on a car than properly functioning brakes. It’s a safety issue, and it’s also about confidence: Feeling that your brakes aren’t up to the task of stopping your car is plain unnerving. You don’t need the stress. But how long do brakes last? And when should you replace them? Luckily, there are a few easy ways to know when it’s time to get your brakes checked or replaced.

Why Brake Pads Wear

Disc brakes slow and stop your car by using brake calipers (they’re like large, adjustable clamps) to squeeze brake pads (they look a little like hockey pucks sawed in half) against the brake discs, also known as rotors (Frisbee-sized metal discs). When you push the brake pedal, it causes the calipers to clamp down on the brake pads, which squeeze the rotors, transferring the kinetic energy of your car into thermal energy—heat—via friction. The friction created is what cuts the speed and brings your car to a halt. As the pads rub against the rotors, they both wear down slowly; the black dust you see on the wheels of some cars is the residue from the pad material and steel rotor that has worn off. Brake pads are an integral part of your car’s disc-braking system, and making sure they are in good condition is crucial to your safety.

How to Know If Your Brakes Are Worn Out

Disc brakes generally give a few clear indications that it’s time for a brake job. The first is something you can hear: Once brake pads are worn to the point of needing replacement, a thin metal strip in the pads will make a screeching noise or squeal when you apply the brakes. The noise is generally audible when the windows are up, but it may be masked by loud music or other environmental noise. However, not all cars have this feature, which is called a mechanical brake-wear sensor or a brake scraper, so check to see if yours does.

If you hear a scraping or a deeper grinding noise, it could well be that the brake pads have worn down to their metal backing plates and that those plates are being squeezed directly against the steel brake discs. This is dangerous. It reduces your stopping power significantly; your brakes won’t slow the vehicle adequately or possibly not at all if you let this go on for any length of time. This situation will also destroy your brake discs and possibly cause the brake system to fail entirely. Have any squealing or grinding noises checked immediately.

Conduct a Visual Check

A second way to know that it’s time to replace brakes is to visually check them. Look through the wheel spokes. You just might be able to see the outboard brake pad, where it touches the brake disc. If you can see it, make sure there is at least a quarter inch of material on the brake pad. If there is less, you should have the brakes checked; most likely, they’ll need to be replaced. If you can’t see the pad by looking through the spokes, then jack up the car, remove a front wheel, and check for pad wear. Bolt the wheel back on, jack up the rear of the car, remove a rear wheel, and check a rear brake as well. You’ll probably need a trouble light or flashlight to see the pads clearly in the dark fender wells. (If you want to be thorough, check all four brakes.)

What is often a simple pad replacement can turn into a far costlier and more complicated brake job if you find the pads worn and then ignore the situation. As noted above, if the pads have completely worn down, you will soon hear a grinding sound that means the pads’ backing plates are making contact with the brake rotors. If that happens, get ready to pay big bucks; you’ll need to replace chewed-up brake discs.

Other Indicators of Brake Issues

There are other symptoms of brake trouble that don’t involve wear to the brake pads. If your brakes don’t stop as readily as they used to, and if the pedal feels mushy, rather than firm, or slowly sinks toward the floor, there’s likely another problem. This could be water or air in the brake fluid, a fluid leak in the system, or a failing brake master cylinder.

If your car pulls to one side during braking, the brakes may be wearing unevenly, there might be a leak in one of the brake lines, or you might have an issue with your steering or front suspension that’s unrelated to brakes. If you feel a vibration or pulsation in the brake pedal during normal braking, this means your rotors are warped and require truing to smooth them out—or possibly replacement. If you’ve been driving aggressively or using the brakes hard while descending a mountain road, this brake roughness might abate when the brakes cool. If the vibration or pulsing continues, that is another sign they need to be inspected.

Some Brakes Wear Faster

Certain environments and driving situations cause brakes to wear at a faster rate. If you live in a mountainous area such Uluguru, Mbeya, Same-Gonja your brakes may wear quicker than if you lived in the flatlands of the Zanzibar. You’ll want to check your brakes more frequently.

There’s no more important a component on your car than your brakes, and now you know what to look and listen for to ensure they keep working properly. By being proactive in maintaining them, you’ll save you money in the long run, and you’ll stay safe.

Not at all during safari and but also thu your  daily drive,take a precaution.We need to be care full.Have a good time.

4x4 Safari

5 Tips from Look Tanzania 4×4 Safari

Game drive and adventure are tasteful and most memorable experiences ever.It taught that there is no substitute for proper research, planning and preparation before a trip. Despite better communications and much of the infrastructure measurably improved in wildlife in Tanzania, many of the lessons we learned then are still appropriate.

  1. Plan your route

Plan your route carefully and then make adequate provision for contingencies. Four-wheel drive vehicles are notoriously slow, so ensure that your stops are not too far apart and that you allow sufficient time to set up camp in the evenings. Having an itinerary makes it far easier to schedule fuel stops and to know when to top up on water and provisions, but do build in some flexibility for unexpected stops or detours, both of the emergency and exploratory kind.

  1. Travel light

Just as important as planning your route is the decision on what you need to take along for the trip. Most people who have been on a 4×4 safari will tell you that they took far too much with them.. Unless you are travelling way off the beaten track, provisions can generally be procured in most outlying areas. What you do need to consider is the little luxuries that may be harder to find the further you venture away from civilisation. It is probably wise to purchase your favourite beverages, dairy products, good meat, condiments and toiletries, before you leave the last city or big town.

  1. Modify your vehicle  

Experience taught that while you may go a long way in a standard 4×4, your safari will be a lot more enjoyable if your vehicle is fitted with the appropriate accessories.

First is the addition of a long-range fuel tank; safer and far more convenient than the option of carrying jerry cans on those long trips. The same goes for a fitted water tank; so much more suitable than plastic bottles and the water tastes better as well.  A sturdy aluminium roof rack will provide a solid platform for your folding tents, enabling you to comfortably sleep in a more secure environment.

A high-lift jack and a shovel can be secured outside the vehicle, as can one or two brackets to hold your gas bottles. As a precaution for travel on dusty roads, we have fitted snorkels to our 4×4 vehicle.  An air compressor, concealed in the engine compartment, will be invaluable when you need to inflate your tyres. Added bush/crash bars to vehicles as well as spotlights for driving, with a small rear fitted lamp for use in the camp. Installed dual battery systems in vehicle advisable.

Other items that we would recommend you to carry in a vehicle include a good quality GPS system. For our 4×4 vehicles, we have the Garmin Montana 600 GPS loaded with Tracks 4 Africa maps. Based on experience a fire-extinguisher is an absolute necessity, as is a comprehensive first-aid kit.

Finally, a good set of tools and recovery equipment is a must have. For those really challenging trips we would recommend adding a winch to the vehicle.

  1. Prepare your vehicle

Before you depart on your 4×4 safari, make sure that your vehicle has been adequately prepared for the journey you have planned. Aside from the obvious, like ensuring that your vehicle has been serviced, tyre pressures checked and fuel and water tanks filled, it is also advisable to test all of the accessories to ensure that they function correctly. Turn on the fridge/freezer unit, check that the air-compressor is working, fill the gas bottle/s, lock or fasten all of the loose items outside of the vehicle. Finally, make sure that all necessary moveable accessories have been stored in the vehicle, i.e. recovery gear, toolbox, etc.

  1. Know your equipment

It is a futile and highly frustrating exercise to arrive in the bush with equipment that you are unfamiliar with. For a start, make sure that you know how to rig and dismantle your tent, roof-top or otherwise. It may be a simple thing, If you’re fairly new to the game, be sure to learn how to operate a four-wheel drive vehicle, when to use high and low range and how to drive in thick sand. Other techniques to master include the use of a high-lift jack. For example, it is particularly important to stay well clear when you lower it in order to avoid being injured.

Navigation and Communication

Navigation and Communication devices used in the Land Cruiser.

Many questions have been asked about which communication devices and navigation gadgets we use during our video adventure trips. For short range communications I use 2 UHF radios (477 MHz) both with safari company channels.

conduct off-road tag along tours so having the entire convoy on one channel and another channel for direct uninterrupted communications between the Lead vehicle and Tail End Charlie (the last vehicle in the convoy).

That said even during other trips and general travel I tend to leave one radio on channel 40 which is the trucker and road-worker channel to get alerts of what’s up ahead.

If you get a HF radio be sure to keep all the antenna wires well away from the engine bay and other electrical items as it really doesn’t take much to interfere with the radio signal. This is the reason why I have moved the radio antenna to the roof


Overgrown Vegetation on Bush

Overgrown tracks generally mean one thing, no one else has been down this track for some time.

This is where the 4WD will really get pinstriped (scratched and scraped). Once you have pinstriped your vehicle more than 10 times you will find that you stop worrying about it too much and just enjoy the fact that no one else has been where you are right now for some time.

Scratching your vehicle is a major reason why a lot of people just don’t take their 4WD’s off road. To go off road you need to get over the fact that you will pinstripe the 4×4 at some stage, it’s all worth it. A real 4 wheel drive is pinstriped. A sparkling clean scar free 4 wheel drive is just a SUV or soccer mum’s vehicle.

When driving through overgrown tracks you can minimize scratching and damage by sticking to the side that has the freshest vegetation (if there is a choice at all). Fold the mirrors in as they might go missing on those real dense tracks.

Get out and chop off the thicker vegetation, sometimes there will be branches too, these would be wise to cut off as you’re not out there to get pinstriped you’re out there to get to where you want with the least pin striping possible.

If you have taken the wrong turn down  a really bad overgrown track it can be near impossible to turn around and even worse reversing as it’s near impossible to see anything at all. Also the mirrors will be in danger of snapping off while reversing.


4×4 Wheel and Tyre Packages

No matter how you use your 4X4 vehicle have a range of tyre and wheel packages to improve the look and handling of your Off-Roader.

Lake Victoria

Western and Lake Victoria Circuit

Famous for containing some of the last remaining wild chimpanzees in Africa, the Mahale Mountains National Park was gazetted in 1985, covers an area of 1 613 km² and is located about 128 km south of Kigoma town on the eastern shore of Lake Tanganyika. The western boundary of the park protects an adjacent 1.6 km wide strip of Lake Tanganyika’s waters.

The land in and around Mahale is the traditional homeland of the Watongwe and Waholoholo tribes. Japanese primate researchers began exploring along the shore of Lake Tanganyika, south of Kigoma as early as 1961. In 1965, the researchers established their first

camp, ‘Kansyana’, in Mahale and began habituating chimpanzees.

The terrain is mostly rugged and hilly, and is dominated by the Mahale Mountains chain that runs from the northwest to the southeast across the park. The highest peak (Mount Nkungwe) rises to 2 462 m above sea level.

Mahale offers a number of outstanding attractions for visitors, from tracking wild habituated chimpanzees, to mountain climbing, snorkeling, fishing, kayaking and relaxing on deserted, pristine, white, sandy beaches.

  • Walking safaris in the beautiful, lowland forest allow close encounters with a vast array of birds and animals, including a group of habituated chimpanzees. The opportunity to track chimps in their natural habitat is Mahale’s foremost tourist attraction.
  • An ascent of the highest peak in the Mahale Mountains ridge, Mt. Nkungwe, is one of the most spectacular activities available to tourists. It takes 2-3 days to reach the summit, and the best time for climbing is during the dry season (May – October). Whilst camping on the mountain at night, it is often possible to see the spectacle of ‘fishing fire’, as the kerosene lamps carried by small fishing boats light up across the Lake.
  • Lake Tanganyika contains more than 250 species of fish found nowhere else on Earth, many of which can be viewed by snorkeling in the shallows along Mahale’s shoreline.
  • Long walking trips can be arranged for viewing big game such as lion, elephant, hippo, buffalo, giraffe and leopard. These safaris may require up to 7 days.
  • Sport fishing on the fresh waters of Lake Tanganyika is possible under special licenses available to visitors.
  • Cultural tourism activities entailing visits to the nearby villages can also be arranged. Kigoma town and the historical town Ujiji are worth a detour. Kigoma is the capital of the Kigoma District and the economic center of the region. Ujiji is a historical town dating back to the days of German colonial rule in Tanganyika. In the 19th century, Dr. Livingstone traveled to Ujiji in a bid to stop the slave trade.
  • Other tourist destinations in western Tanzania that can complement a visit to Mahale Mountains National Park include Gombe Stream and Katavi National Parks, lying north and south of Mahale respectively.

Rubondo Island National Park

The Rubondo Island National Park is situated in the south western corner of Lake Victoria in Tanzania. It is Tanzania’s only park on Lake Victoria and attracts only a small number of visitors mainly bird enthusiasts and fisherman.

The island measures 28km in length and 4 km in width and consists of a partially submerged rift of volcanically formed hills with volcanic soil. The landscape consists mainly evergreen and semi-deciduous forest with patches of grassland. There are two distinct habitats – to the west is the papyrus swamps  lined  with  date  palms  and  to  the  east  are

rocky to the east are rocky areas and sandy beaches. The wildlife is quite diverse and includes hippos, otters, bushbucks, chimpanzees, Genet, colobus and dik dik; but the main attraction is the birdlife.

The island boasts nearly 430 recorded species including huge numbers of storks, bee-eaters, flycatchers, kingfishers, ibises, cormorants and the one of the highest concentrations of fish eagles in the world. Due to its geographical location it also attracts a large number of migrant birds. The forests are a wonderful display of butterflies fluttering about a seasonal display of orchids, coral trees and fireball lilies.

The island is best explored by boat or on a walking safari with an expert guide.

Lake Victoria

Lake Victoria is Tanzania’s largest lake, the largest tropical lake in the world, and the second widest fresh water lake in the world in terms of surface area. Being relatively shallow for its size, Lake Victoria ranks as the seventh largest freshwater lake by volume. It is the source of the longest branch of the River Nile, the White Nile. It is a biological hotspot with great biodiversity.

The lake lies within an elevated plateau in the western part of Africa’s Great Rift Valley. The lake has a shoreline of 2,138 miles and has more than 3,000 islands, many of which are inhabited. These islands include the Sese Islands in Uganda,  a  large  group  of islands in the northwest  of the lake that are becoming a popular destination for tourists.

Lake Victoria is relatively young with its current basin formed only 400,000 years ago. The lake’s shallowness, limited river inflow, and large surface area relative to its volume make it vulnerable to climate changes. Core samplings taken from its bottom show that Lake Victoria has dried up completely three times since it formed. These drying cycles are probably related to past ice ages, which are times when precipitation declined globally. The lake last dried out 17,300 years ago, and filled again beginning 14,700 years ago.

Look Tanzania safaris  will take you for bird watching and fishing  more over meet wasukuma the most famous on traditional dance around  Lake Victoria.

Historical Town

Bagamoyo Historical Town

Bagamoyo Historical Town is a small Tanzanian coastal place bordering the Indian Ocean to the west. Dar es salaam, Tanzania’s major city, is about 45km to the south of Bagamoyo.

Important historical places as the ancient slave market, Kaole archeological site, the old Arab fort are found in Bagamoyo. Bagamoyo was once a thriving trade center at the time of slave and ivory trade, when Dar es Salaam was an insignificant village.

However, the abolition brought about its decline; today Bagamoyo is a sleepy town. Fishing is an important economic activity for the people of Bagamoyo. Tourism is also important to the economy of Bagamoyo; many visitors came here to explore the ancient historical sites that serve as a testimony to Bagamoyo’s glorious past. Many modern hotels have been built in Bagamoyo sea side to cater for the increasing number of visitors.

The Bagamoyo beach is an ideal place for relaxation after a wildlife safari or climb of Kilimanjaro. The serene and picturesque surroundings coupled with the cool gentile afternoon breeze assure a relaxing moment in time.

Traditional Dhow builders, historical ruins, sleepy white washed fishing villages, boat trips. Day trips to Sadaani National Park.

Diving and Snorkeling

Diving and Snorkeling – Coastal Zone

In snorkeling, you stay on the surface, looking down through a mask and breathing through a snorkel.Some evidence suggests that snorkeling may have originated in Crete some 5,000 years ago as sea sponge farmers used hollowed out reeds to submerge and retrieve natural sponge for use in trade and commerce.

A great range of options for beginners, intermediate and advanced divers

When taken in comparison with some of the world’s best dive spots, such as Sipadan in Malaysia, or the Blue hole, Tanzania may not rank all that highly but this is to do it a disservice in our view. For many that are looking just to have a few scenic dives during their beach stay the island of Zanzibar will definitely tick the spot and, for those looking to “drop in” on something a little larger or spend a bit more time in the water then the islands of Mafia and Pemba, to the north and south of Zanzibar, will certainly suit and…if you are looking for somewhere a little special…then northern Mozambique is a short flight away.

Zanzibar Island Diving

As mentioned in our intro paragraph above, Zanzibar is not really somewhere that we tend to recommend to clients who would like to do anything more than a few dives as, with limited inner reef, there is not a whole load of different options. This being said though, please see our review of a few of the major dive areas below:

Mnemba Island – a great dive destination for those that are starting out as this small atoll has a  shallow wall dive down to around 18 meters with a sandy bottom. The coral cover here is very acceptable and, with some of the island’s best garden reefs, it is also possible to combine with an afternoon of snorkelling easily enough.

Kizimkazi Reef – arguably the only really good dive location on the island is right down in the south, right next to Unguja Lodge. This area is part of an inner reef system that runs out to the barrier reef which, as you are south facing, is not as deep or as complete as along the southern edges of the island. While the property doesn’t really have any beach to speak of, this is certainly a good contender for those that would like Zanzibar and some diving.

Off Stone Town – another interesting area to dive is off the western side of the island. While not reef diving as such, this inner channel, between Zanzibar and the mainland, has plenty of sunken wrecks to go and have a look at. As this is channel diving, there is slightly more current to contend with.

Recommended Properties: Mnemba Lodge, Unguja Lodge, Ras Nungwi, Echo Beach Hotel

Mafia Island Diving

This small and sleepy island to the south of Zanzibar has long been held as one of the two locations.That really does offer good diving and would provide a keen and experienced diver plenty to do over the course of a week.

Mafia Island Marine Park

The first of Tanzania’s official marine protection zones, created in 1996, Mafia Island Marine Park is starting to show signs that it is benefiting from the respite from the dynamite fishing that is commonplace amongst local fishermen. As such, it is now the best area for diving on the island and offers a whole range of different dives from cave diving, wall diving, bouldering and drifts.

As the reef for most of the first dives is the outer barrier, Mafia is not the ideal spot for those that are keen on snorkelling.

Recommended Properties: Ras Mbisi, Kinasi Lodge, Pole Pole, Chole Mjini

Pemba Island Diving

As with Mafia Island, Pemba Island, to the north of Zanzibar, is definitely one of the locations to head to if you are a keen diver. Usually known more for the larger fish shoals and pelagics that tend to come in here, it will, again, give a medium to advanced diver plenty to keep occupied for a week or so.