Thank you for visiting! This is a fairly long post—7 pages—so, to help readability, the pages are in chronological sequence of events using the national parks as page divisions. Each page features a photo gallery for that park. You can also access just the photos by clicking on any park gallery in the album below.
Tanzania was the trip of choice for me in 2014 and by any ordinary measure should have resulted in a quick turnaround of photos and blog, but one cannot visit that land without forgetting time. So, after some years of absorbing the trip and pondering what to tell about a place that even now seems mythical, I have set to photos, better than my words will do, my experience of taking in Tanzania.
We looked at many options and finally decided that a tour would provide far less sightseeing and photographic opportunity and went with a company that could provide our own guide—who came with the one all-important luxury—a spacious vehicle! I think this was much better than being with a group, though really it just came down to the idea of maximizing opportunity for still camera shooting and for going at our own pace; and the price was very fair for the amenities we wanted. Some of our most memorable experiences were when we stopped and watched the animals with few other vehicles around because other groups were off chasing wildlife action. Our driver was wonderful and really listened to what we wanted to do, and we had plenty of space for all of our photo gear. The four-wheel drive vehicle allowed us to photograph through a window or we could stand and shoot through the raised roof, balancing our cameras on the bars. Because there were only two of us, we each had an entire aisle to ourselves, making it much easier to photograph action in any direction.Photo left: The Serengeti’s top personal injury law firm, Choosem, Chasem and Chewem, hired us for their official corporate photo. Click for full size in lightbox.
For camera gear, I brought two D-SLR bodies, a 80-400 mm lens, a 500 mm prime lens and a 24-70 mm lens. I bought a camera backpack that met carryon restrictions and did not have any issues going through security. I used a bean bag in the vehicle, which worked well. As most of the time you can’t leave the vehicle, a tripod is of limited use. I also brought a laptop and two external storage drives and downloaded my photos most evenings. I was able to have enough power most places to recharge my laptop and camera batteries, but brought extra camera batteries and plenty of memory. We also brought an inverter to recharge in the vehicle but we rarely needed to use it. If I went again I would bring a portable GPS to track where we went every day and would consider buying enough memory cards so I wouldn’t have to download every night.
We probably packed too much, but there was always staff to carry the bags and we left tips. The food was generally excellent and we often had boxed lunches so that we could stay out all day, and I never had any stomach issues. Because it was overcast most of the trip, we didn’t have harsh mid-day sunlight, and you can find animals throughout the day. We had the suggested immunizations and took anti-malarial medication. We were vigilant in looking for the occasional tse-tse fly that landed in the vehicle, as they are not repelled by bug sprays and can carry bad diseases (hint: don’t bring blue clothing or bags, as they are attracted to blue).
Galleries for each park we visited are arranged in a six-section album below
Click on Read More to access the blog page for that park. Each page features that park’s photo gallery from this album—OR—Click on the image in any album section below to directly enter the gallery for that park, containing full images and descriptions and social sharing links. All photos by Barbara Swanson.
We visited the southern Serengeti Plain in the "springtime" of the wildebeest migration, the calving season of the yearly pattern of herd movement that sees them ahoof for 500 miles round a great elliptically-shaped path.
It is the largest migration in the world, numbering two million animals, including zebra and gazelle. They collectively protect each other as much as practical from the onslaught of the opportunistic predators that follow along.
Read More on Page 5. To enter gallery only, click on image left.