Kristi Odom became a wildlife photographer to share the beauty of this planet with as many people as possible, and one of her favorite spots is Tanzania, a place where the sheer scope of wildlife diversity has to be seen to be believed.
From the vast expanse of the Serengeti to the mysterious Ngorongoro Crater, this Tanzanian trip has it all: lions that roam the plans, elephant herds that play together in local watering holes, and a plethora of bird species that populate iconic baobab trees—not to mention zebras and wildebeests.
Every adventurous day is structured to create opportunities for capturing stunning images. With education and individual support from Kristi (who, in addition to being an award-winning wildlife photographer, is also a Nikon Ambassador), each of the eight travelers is given given the time and space to pursue their own unique goals.
We begin our time together at the Arusha Duluti Serena Hotel, where we take a moment to rest and recover from our flights while getting to know each other. Our first day is spent at the Arusha Cultural Heritage Center viewing an array of work by local artists. In the evening, Kristi gives an inspiring presentation on the subject of bringing more emotion to your wildlife photographs.
From Arusha we travel to one of the most spectacular wildlife destinations on the planet: the world-famous Serengeti, home to lions, leopards, elephants, cheetahs, hyenas, hippos, giraffes, and more. During the next couple of days we explore the area in our safari vehicles. In the evenings at the beautiful Serengeti Serena Lodge we take time to enjoy dinner, share our images, and engage in one-on-one sessions from the deck that overlooks the park. (Keep an eye open for the pink and purple lizards that hang out there, and don’t forget to have your macro lens on hand for taking photos in the mornings and evenings!)
Then we are off to Tarangire National Park, known for its bird life, baobab trees, and large families of elephants framed by dramatic landscapes. After taking a drive through the park, we make our way to our hotel, the Tarangire Sopa Lodge, where our nights are set aside for personal critique sessions with Kristi, who offers feedback on increasing the visual impact of your photographs.
From the Serengeti, we head to one of Earth’s most memorable scenic locations: the Ngorongoro Crater, the largest inactive and intact volcanic caldera in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. An estimated 25,000 animals live inside the crater (including the rare black rhino), and being surrounded by wildlife is the perfect way to spend our last day on this African adventure. Our evening winds down when the park closes, and we celebrate our amazing journey together by sharing our images at dinner.
Throughout the trip we stay in luxury lodges with beautiful views, access to wildlife, and sometimes even three-course meals. Each of our open-top 4 x 4 safari vehicles holds a maximum of four students, plus Kristi or another instructor to offer assistance and feedback when you need it.
You are encouraged to keep your camera on you at all times, as the lodges are known to attract animal visitors like giraffes and monkeys. Participants are also given some brief assignments to complete on their laptops—quite often in stunning settings accompanied by a cup of tea or glass of wine.
Tanzania is a place beyond dreams. As you engage in life-changing experiences that strengthen your visual storytelling skills, the sights and sounds of Africa make a lasting imprint on your soul, leaving you a changed person.
This program is open to photographers at all levels who are passionate about travel and improving their image making.
Participants should be in very good health with good stamina and mobility. While the tour itself is not very strenuous, please note that it can involve the following: somewhat long days, a good amount of walking, being in the sun in potentially hot temperatures, long journeys, steep stairs, uneven terrain, early morning wake-ups and other similar scenarios.
Participants should be technically self-sufficient, as this is not a program to learn how to use your gear or editing software. This a photographic tour, not a photography workshop and there isn’t structured classroom time. There are individual and group image review sessions with Kristi, as well as help with photographic ideas and techniques on-location.
Kristi Odom is an internationally acclaimed photographer, Nikon Ambassador associate fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers, and motivational speaker. Her work focuses on connecting people emotionally to animals and the natural world; it has been published in print and online by National Geographic, Forbes, Rolling Stone, Outside Magazine, Nikon, and Microsoft. Kristi teaches photographers to improve their work through advanced camera skills and creating an emotional connection with their subjects. She has received more than 60 accolades from organizations around the world, including two from Nature’s Best Photography, which exhibited her images at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.