From Mafia to Ruaha

$TBC per person
14 Days
4 - 6


Few countries offer the diversity of wildlife, both on-land and underwater, that Tanzania does. The photographic opportunities offered diving in Tanzania are nothing short of spectacular. With incredible reefs, exciting wide angle & macro photography opportunities and colorful marine life. November and December offers the additional excitement of swimming with majestic Whale sharks, and this is followed by thrilling photo safari adventures in Ruaha National Park - where lions and elephants abound - and landscapes that are utterly phenomenal. All this combined to bring you a magical experience of a lifetime!
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There aren't many destinations in Africa that can rival Tanzania’s diversity of wildlife and landscapes. From the classic Savannah destinations of the Serengeti, Ruaha and Nyerere, to the coral reefs of Pemba and Mafia Island. a Tanzanian safari delivers one exhilarating experience after another. This Tour can been precisely planned around the perfect time to swim with the Whale sharks as they visit the Mafia Archipelago in search of food. Curated to offer the best times to experience the underwater fauna, we give you the best chance to return home, with not only unforgettable experiences, but some incredible imagery too. The waters surrounding Mafia Island offer an extraordinary variety of marine diversity, with over 400 species of fish, 5 species of marine turtle and 48 species of coral. The crystal clear waters offer the perfect place to experience some unforgettable diving in Tanzania. From there we are whisked off deep into the African bushveld, where few people venture. The 21000 sq km Ruaha National Park is home to the largest populations of Elephant in Tanzania, with vast herds of buffalo, and many a predator following in their tracks. We settle in one of Ruaha’s most elegant lodges which boasts spectacular views of the surrounding landscape. This provides the opportunity to capture the lush landscape as the bush teems with new life after the first rains of the season.

What's included

Departure Location
Dar es Salaam
Return Location
Dar es Salaam
Price includes
  • 3 meals daily daily, plus early morning tea
  • Accommodation on a sharing basis
  • Airport transfers
  • All domestic fights
  • All park and conservation fees
  • Assistance with photographic and post processing on a casual basis
  • Overweight on domestic flight for uw camera gear
  • Two dives a day (possible third)
  • Two game drives a day, or options for game walks
Price does not include
  • Any additional meals other than stated
  • Dive Insurance
  • Extra activities not mentioned
  • International Flights (if not part of Tour)
  • Items of personal nature
  • Staff/Guide gratuities
  • Travel insurance
  • Travel visas

Diving in Tanzania

Mafia Island

The Name “Mafia” is possibly derived from the Arabic “morfiyeh”, meaning “group” or “archipelago”. To date, it  has managed to avoid the invasion of mass tourism, unlike Zanzibar. This is what makes Mafia Island even more appealing. Fewer people means quieter dive sites, and this means a more rewarding experience diving in Tanzania.

This experience includes tracking the migrating Whale sharks, who tend to congregate in the warm waters around the Archipelago. The season runs from October to March, and reaches its peak in December. We’ll be swimming with these magnificent gentle giants, creating memories to last a lifetime and capturing breathtaking images offered by very few places around the world.

In between swimming with Whale sharks, we’ll explore the incredible reefs of  Chole Bay, a Marine Reserve, that harbours more than  400 species of fish, and offers some amazing wide angle and macro photo opportunities. Not only are there reef dives, but also a bit of muck diving to reveal interesting little critters who make their homes in the silt.

Island Style

Diving in Tanzania provides you with the opportunity to explore the underwater Island treasures as well as the chance to fully explore all the islands have to offer during our surface times.

During our stay on Mafia Island, accommodation is at one of the island’s most exclusive Eco-Lodges, where you’ll enjoy delicious cuisine, a laid-back atmosphere that instantly induces relaxation, and one which is seamlessly integrated with its natural environment.

Conveniently located on the shores of Chole Bay, it is close to our dive shop, and offers the perfect base for our diving and photo expeditions. Because we will be diving with one of Tanzania’s leading diving companies, they will ensure we are taken to the perfect areas to enjoy the best  photography and diving in Tanzania,on offer. This means at least 2 dives are planned daily, although they are all tide dependent, ensuring you get the very best opportunities under water, and enjoy all the Islands have to offer.




Ruaha National Park

The pristine and untouched Ruaha National Park is the largest National Park in Tanzania. And is one of Tanzania’s best kept secrets. The great Ruaha River, winds it’s way through the spectacularly beautiful National Park. As a result, it provides the lifeblood to well over 10 000 elephants, 30 000 buffalo and 20 000 zebra. And this attracts large predator populations, including lion and leopard.

We’ll be based at one of the most elegant and sophisticated lodges in the Ruaha. Because it offers sweeping views of the surrounding landscape, it is the perfect place from which to explore. With two game drives each day, the option to enjoy walking safaris, and the possibility for night drives. As a result, this tour offers a treasure trove of photographic opportunities. And so, the use of a private vehicle means we can work with the best light hours to our advantage to capture some truly evocative images.

Because we’re arriving in the green season, it provides us with the possibility to witness behavioral activities not seen at other times of the year. Water is the lifeblood of the Africa bush, and with the first rains falling after a lengthy dry season, the bush comes alive. Migrant birds re-appear,  juveniles are born and the life cycle begins anew. This also means increased predator activity, and the possibility of seeing incredible predator-prey interactions.


November 2023

  • Day 1
  • Day 2 - 7
  • Day 8
  • Day 9 - 13
  • Day 14
Day 1

Dar es Salaam to Mafia Island

Arrival in Dar es Salaam. Depending on time of arrival, we'll meet at domestic departures prior to our flight to Mafia Island at 15h30. Or, if arrival is much earlier in the day, we'll transfer to our hotel, where a day room will be organised for a shower and change before catching our flight to Mafia Island.

It's a short 30 minute flight to Mafia Island. We will then be transferred to our accommodation on the island, and get settled in.

Day 2 - 7

Diving around Mafia Island

Between shore/boat diving in Chole Bay, swimming with Whale sharks, and picking our own excursions, we will have plenty of time to explore the waters around Mafia Island. From wide angle to macro photo opportunities, it is all available within a quick boat ride from the dive center.

Day 8

Mafia to Dar es Salaam

The morning will be spent on Mafia Island as there's 1 flight out of Mafia Island a day, which departs at 17h30. We'll spend the evening relaxing at our hotel located alongside the warm Indian Ocean on the Swahili coast in Dar es Salaam.

We'll have  an early wake-up to fly to the pristine Ruaha National Park the following morning.

Day 9 - 13

Dar es Salaam to Ruaha National Park

It is the magnificent green season in the Ruaha! With new life bursting forth after the first rains have fallen. It's a time for celebration, where the African bush comes alive after a long, dry winter. Rivers start to fill, and juvenile animals make their appearance. This is a wonderful time to be in the bush, with plenty of activity around. There are 2 game drives scheduled each day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. These provide the best times to capture excellent wildlife photos, with plenty of time to download and discuss what we photographed on the drives. 

Day 14

Ruaha to Dar es Salaam

Our flight back to Dar es Salaam leaves at 09h30. We arrive in Dar at approximately 11h30 and say farewell. After an exhilarating trip filled with incredible experiences and adventure, beautiful images and new friendships you'll be left with happy memories that last a lifetime.

More about this tour

Photography Tours

This trip has been designed with photography in mind, no matter your level of experience, your equipment, or your level of computer knowledge. We've catered for all levels on this trip, with dive boats and game drive vehicles.

Although there will be no formal “training or classes”, I'm a professional photographer and I'll be on hand to discuss , go through your images, and assist where required. Whether it's on the boat, or you need help with camera preparation, and after our shoot with an informal chat around your images. We can also assist with your Lightroom or other editing software questions during these discussions

However, we do appreciate that some guests prefer to see with their eyes, and not through the lens of a camera. Whether you travel with or without a camera this trip has something for everyone. Be it the shot of a lifetime or coming eye to eye with a predator at a hide, you'll leave this trip with fantastic images and memories to last a lifetime.

If you have any questions regarding our yours, please get in touch!

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From Mafia to Ruaha

$TBC per person
14 Days
4 - 6

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