Visionary Wild, LLC • 2200 19th St. NW, Ste 806, Washington, DC 20009

E-mail:    •    Tel: 1-202-558-9596 (9am to 5pm, EST).

Justin Black – Managing Director: 1-202-302-9030 • Email:

Jennifer Woolley – Director of Operations • Email:

We look forward to hearing from you!


Limit 9 spaces | $16,995* Closed
Expedition June 8 - 19, 2015 | View other workshops

Serengeti with Roy Toft and Justin Black

Map via Google

A Dream of Wild Africa

The Serengeti ecosystem supports the largest concentration of animals on the planet! This itinerary puts us in the heart of that living, breathing, moving...... sea of beasts! –Roy Toft

Roy Toft and Justin Black have selected three of the very finest safari destinations in all of Africa – Tanzania's Tarangire and Serengeti National Parks and little-known Grumeti Reserve – to offer a world-class, all-inclusive safari experience that features superb opportunities to capture stunning wildlife behavior, generous and effective photographic instruction, luxury amenities, excellent photographer support, a lack of crowds, and a ton of fun! Roy and Justin are both renowned for the lengths they go to to ensure safari participants have an exceptional experience that exceeds expectations, all within a good-humored atmosphere of camaraderie and mutually supportive exploration and learning. We promise a superb safari experience and a great time had by all.

Itinerary and Locations

June 8, 2015: Upon arrival at Tanzania's Kilimanjaro International Airport, you will be met by our representative who will assist with your private vehicle transfer to Onsea House. Accommodation: Onsea House Private Room – This tranquil boutique hotel works hard to maintain its status as the best luxury bed and breakfast in Arusha.

June 9: Today you will transfer from Onsea House to the Arusha airstrip for your light aircraft flight to Oliver’s Camp. Accommodation: Oliver’s Camp Luxury Tent – A lovely, friendly, remote, and rustic tented camp that has by far the best location at Tarangire, within the best game viewing area in the park.

June 9 – 13: Spend your days exploring all that Tarangire National Park has to offer. Roy, Justin, and our naturalist will lead morning and evening wildlife photography excursions, with time mid-day for image review and critique, and presentations including wildlife photography technique, composition, and digital workflow and processing.

Tanzania’s Tarangire National Park is famous for its tree climbing lions, stout baobab trees, massive elephant herds, and, importantly, a lack of crowds (particularly compared to tourist-mobbed Ngorongoro crater). Our safari coincides with the beginning of the dry season when animal numbers and concentrations are at their peak. The Tarangire River is a trickle when compared with the wet season, but it throbs with wildlife. Herds of up to 300 elephants wallow in the river bed, while migratory wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, impala, gazelle, hartebeest, and eland crowd the shrinking lagoons. It is the greatest concentration of wildlife outside the Serengeti ecosystem proper, and this is the only place in Tanzania where the stately fringe-eared oryx and elegant long-necked gerenuk are regularly observed. Sausage trees in Tarangire are home to leopard, where they are often seen waiting for prey.

Click "read more" below right to continue...

For bird photographers, around 550 bird species have been recorded, the most breeding species in one habitat anywhere in the world! Regularly seen are Bateleur eagles, Lilac-breasted rollers, various Bee eaters, massive Lappet-faced vultures, Kori-bustard (the heaviest flying bird), strutting Ostriches, and groups of Ground hornbills. And then there are the screeching flocks of the dazzling Yellow-collared lovebird, groups of Rufous-tailed weavers, and pairs of Red-and-yellow barbet. All are endemic to the dry savanna of north-central Tanzania.

June 13: We transfer by air aboard a private Cessna Grand Caravan from Oliver’s Camp to Sayari Camp. Accommodation: Sayari Camp Luxury Tent – Situated with views over spectacularly beautiful landscape, and close to the wildlife concentrations of the Mara River, this tented camp offers splendidly stylish luxury.

June 13 – 16: Spend your days exploring all that the Serengeti has to offer! Morning and evening wildlife photography excursions, with time mid-day for image review and critique, and presentations including wildlife photography technique, composition, and digital workflow and processing.

Stretching from northern Tanzania to southwestern Kenya are the plains of the legendary Serengeti. In the native Maasai language, Serengeti aptly means “Endless Plains.”

As host to the largest mammal migration in the world, the Serengeti’s diverse ecosystems are today home to more than just great herds of blue wildebeest. Innumerable gazelle, zebra, and buffalo also graze the grasslands, along with notable numbers of elephant and giraffe. Not far behind the migrating herds are the Serengeti’s predators, most notably African lion but also including leopard, cheetah, jackal, hyaena, aardwolf, and serval cat.

We will be there at the height of the seasonal migrations, with over one million wildebeest on the move, joined by hundreds of thousands of zebra, buffalo, and gazelle. Just a few months before our arrival, the wildebeest will have given birth to over 500,000 new calves.

June 16: Light aircraft transfer from Sayari Camp to Faru Faru Lodge. Accommodation: Faru Faru Lodge Suite – Widely considered to be the best safari lodge in Tanzania, Faru Faru is a modern interpretation of the classic safari accommodation, with intimacy, luxury, and excellent guiding in spades.

June 16 – 19: Spend your days exploring all that the Grumeti Reserve has to offer. Morning and evening wildlife photography excursions, with time mid-day for image review and critique, and presentations including wildlife photography technique, composition, and digital workflow and processing.

Grumeti Reserve is a little-known but exceptional wildlife conservancy that is a contiguous and integral part of the Serengeti-Mara Ecosystem. The reserve was created by the Tanzanian government in 1994 in order to protect the path of the annual wildebeest migration and the indigenous biodiversity of this vast and important ecosystem. In 2002, the not-for-profit Grumeti Community and Wildlife Conservation Fund, in partnership with conservation organizations and community groups, was granted the right to manage and conserve these 350,000 acres for the benefit of Tanzania, Africa and the world, ensuring the long-term sustainability of the reserve through low-impact eco-tourism.

June 19: Light aircraft transfer from Faru Faru Lodge to the Arusha airstrip, followed by a private vehicle transfer to Onsea House. As appropriate, you will transfer from Onsea House to Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) to catch your departing international flights. Accommodation: Onsea House Day Room

Cost: $16,995 per person based on double-occupancy (single supplement: $1,255)

Inclusive of:

  • Generous expert photographic guiding and instruction throughout by Roy Toft and Justin Black
  • All safari excursions featuring custom-built safari vehicles with expert game drivers and a full row dedicated to each photographer
  • Luxury accommodations throughout, carefully selected for optimal location, photographic opportunities, and overall quality of experience
  • All meals and associated beverages (local beer, fine wine, standard cocktails, soft drinks, bottled water)
  • Four group flights within Tanzania (four total), all ground transfers

Not included:

  • International flights
  • Travel insurance (required – we recommend Chartis'
  • Personal items
  • "Top-shelf" brand alcoholic beverages

Payment schedule: A 25% deposit is due with registration. A further 50% is due by October 31st, 2014, and the full balance is payable by March 9th, 2015.

Roy Toft

Roy Toft is one of the world's most highly accomplished wildlife photographers, in addition to being a biologist, natural-history educator, and a Senior Fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers (ILCP). Roy has received top honors in the most prestigious professional competitions in his genre including the London Natural History Museum's Wildlife Photographer of the Year, and Nature's Best. In 2007, Roy won first place and the Gerald Durrel Award for endangered species in the BBC Wildlife Photographer  of the Year competition. He is a well-loved figure among his professional peers, admired as much for his upbeat good humor, an engaging and compassionate personality, and generously collaborative nature as for his immense talent as a photographer.

Roy's photographic career started with getting his first SLR camera as a college graduation present in 1986. Two days later, Roy was in Alaska working as a biologist on a wolf population study for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Over the next ten years, Roy’s day jobs included bird trainer & educator for the San Diego Wild Animal Park, naturalist, elementary school teacher, natural history museum curator and collaborator with National Geographic photographer Michael “Nick” Nichols.

Nature, conservation and education have always been Roy’s passions and since turning to photography full time in 1993, his work has focused on wild animals and their fragile environments. His publications include National Geographic, Smithsonian, Audubon, Discover, Wildlife Conservation, Ranger Rick, and other natural history magazines and publications worldwide. His work is primarily represented by National Geographic Image collection and Getty.

Using photography as a conservation tool has always been important to Roy and in 2005 he became a founding fellow in the prestigious ILCP. Along with making images, Roy has always enjoyed teaching people about nature and photography. His first photo workshop was taught more than a dozen years ago in the Osa peninsula, Costa Rica, and since then Roy has led workshops in Africa, Alaska, Brazil, Papua New Guinea, Japan, and Madagascar.

Roy makes his home in the boulder-covered backcountry of Ramona, Ca. (30 miles north east of San Diego), with his wife Robin and their three Labrador Retrievers (Beau, Summer, and Tundra). Roy enjoys essentially everything active out in nature, including hiking with the dogs, surfing, and mountain biking. His favorite pastime when not traveling for photography is designing and cultivating his extensive garden, inspired by South African flora, including a wide variety of aloes and other exotic plants.


Roy Toft Photo Website

ILCP Fellow Bio

Roy Toft's Youtube Channel, with videos on his photo safaris and packing tips

Blast from the Past: Roy Toft appearance on the Chevy Chase Show (1993) as bird trainer for the San Diego Wild Animal Park


Justin Black

JUSTIN BLACK is a photographer, writer, editor, expedition leader, photo workshops instructor, a Fellow of the International League of Conservation Writers (ILCW), and a former executive director of the International League of Conservation Photographers (ILCP). Since 2011 with Visionary Wild and for ten years at Galen Rowell's Mountain Light Photography, he has created inspiring and effective educational photographic experiences for thousands of passionate photographers. He is widely recognized as one of the world's leading photo workshops organizers.

A professional photographer since 1995 when he signed his first picture agency contract, before founding Visionary Wild he served the ILCP as Executive Director, and for seven years was General Manager and Curator of Mountain Light Gallery.

Justin's photographs have been published by magazines such as National Geographic Adventure, Sierra, Sunset, American Photo, Outdoor Photographer, Rock & Ice, and Nature Conservancy among others. His work has also been published by major news outlets in print and online, and has been used in advertising for brands such as MasterCard, Patagonia, Nikon, and Fujifilm.

Among conservation NGOs that have used his photographs in their campaigns are World Wildlife Fund, Conservation International, The Sierra Club, National Parks Conservation Association, Panthera, Land Trust Alliance, Earth Justice, The Wilderness Society, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, ILCP, and the Wild Foundation.

In 2017, he entered the world of motion pictures as an Executive Producer on the award-winning documentary film, Headhunt Revisited: With Brush, Canvas, and Camera, produced and directed by Michele Westmorland. Justin was invited to serve as a judge for the 2015 and 2017 Nature's Best Photography Africa competitions. He has also been an editor and contributor to numerous award-winning photo book projects, including Galen Rowell: A Retrospective; Freshwater: The Essence of Life; The Wealth of Nature: Ecosystem Services, Biodiversity, and Human Well-Being; Our National Parks: America's Natural Heritage; as well as Flying South: A Pilot's Inner Journey by Barbara Rowell. His limited edition fine prints are available through his portfolio website at

An early career as a travel photographer and image licensing specialist led him to Mountain Light Photography in the San Francisco Bay Area, founded by Galen Rowell – a world-renowned National Geographic photographer, author, and mountaineer – and his wife and business partner, Barbara Cushman Rowell. Beginning in May of 1999, Justin managed marketing of the Rowell image collection, assisted Galen on assignments and in his workshop program, and taught seminars on nature photography. In April 2002, the Rowells invited Justin to relocate with them to California's scenic Owens Valley as Mountain Light's General Manager. Justin eagerly embraced his new responsibility, along with the sublime Eastern Sierra Nevada landscape as his new home.

Four months later, Galen and Barbara perished in the crash of a chartered plane, leaving behind a tremendous creative and visionary vacuum. Justin went to work, building on the impressive Rowell legacy to reinvigorate Mountain Light by establishing a seasonal series of guest photographer exhibitions, expanding the image collection, and relaunching the highly acclaimed photo workshop program through collaboration with Galen's leading professional peers, including Frans Lanting, Pat O'Hara, Jack Dykinga, John Shaw, David Muench, and Jeff Foott. In May 2008, Justin's successful efforts were recognized by both Sunset and American Photo magazines, as each magazine featured editorial recommendations of his workshop program at Mountain Light.

After ten years with Mountain Light, Justin was recruited to take over the position of Executive Director of ILCP, a non-profit association of the best photographers worldwide working in the field of environmental and cultural conservation. At ILCP, Justin oversaw an explosion of productivity in expeditions, publishing, multimedia production, and the achievement of successful conservation outcomes. He contributed photographic coverage to ILCP's Rapid Assessment Visual Expeditions (RAVE) program, including Flathead Valley (Canada, 2009), Yucatán (Mexico, 2009), and Chesapeake (USA, 2010), as well as a solo project for The Nature Conservancy, documenting the Dragon Run wetland on Virginia's Middle Peninsula. One of Justin's photographs from the Flathead River project appeared as a section opener in the Vancouver Sun newspaper – the first time the threatened watershed received significant coverage in that nationally important media outlet.  The photograph was later selected by the United States Senate for display in the U.S. Capitol Building, as Canada and the USA reached an agreement to protect the Flathead.

Justin left his position at ILCP in late 2010 to establish Visionary Wild, building on his successful leadership of the Mountain Light workshop program and applying expertise gained at ILCP to provide superlative workshops and expeditions for passionate photographers seeking to advance to the next level of creativity, quality, purpose, and meaning in their work. His own work continues to evolve in new directions, driven by the ongoing search for extraordinary qualities in our world's dynamic landscapes.

Justin lives in Washington, DC, with his brilliant wife, Lena, and their children Philippe and Alexandra.

Justin Black's limited editions portfolio

Justin's Outdoor Photographer Profile

Bringing focus and meaning to your photography

The Top 40 Nature Photos Project

Justin's Conservation Photography Projects


Justin’s Camera Bag

After using an array of 4x5, medium format, and 35mm film cameras in the first two decades of his career, Justin fully embraced digital cameras in 2010. His current gear includes Nikon DSLRs and Fujifilm mirrorless systems.


Fujifilm Medium Format Mirrorless:

GFX 50S camera

23mm f/4 GF Fujinon

32-64 f/4 GF Fujinon

120mm f/4 GF Fujinon


Nikon DSLR:

Nikon D810 cameras (x2)

24mm f/3.5 PC-E tilt-shift Nikkor

45mm f/2.8 PC-E tilt-shift Nikkor

85mm f/2.8 PC-E tilt-shift Nikkor

24mm f/1.4 Sigma Art

35mm f/1.4 Sigma Art

50mm f/1.4 Sigma Art

85mm f/1.8 G AF-S ED Nikkor

200mm f/4 AF-D Micro-Nikkor

500mm f/4 AF-S Nikkor

18-35mm f/3.5-4.5 G AF-S ED Nikkor

24-70mm f/2.8 G AF-S ED Nikkor

70-200mm f/4.0 G AF-S ED VR Nikkor

200-400mm f/4.0 G AF-S ED VR Nikkor

Nikon TC-14EII teleconverter

Nikon TC-20EIII teleconverter

Nikon SB-900 flash

Nikon SB-700 flash

Assorted Nikon TTL flash cables


Fujifilm APS-C Mirrorless:

X-Pro2 Cameras (x2)

14mm f/2.8 XF Fujinon

23mm f/2 XF Fujinon

35mm f/1.4 XF Fujinon

50mm f/2 XF Fujinon

18-55mm f/2.8-4 XF Fujinon

55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 XF Fujinon


Filters and Light Modifiers

Nikon Circular Polarizer II

Singh-Ray Vari-ND

Tiffen WW IRND neutral density filters

Photoflex reflectors and diffusers

Lumiquest soft boxes

Rogue Flashbender

Rosco gels



Really Right Stuff TVC-24L with leveling base and Really Right Stuff BH-55 ballhead or Arca-Swiss D4 geared head

Gitzo 1028 with RRS BH-25 ballhead


Photo Packs

MindShift Backlight 36L

MindShift Backlight 26L

Mindshift FirstLight 30L

MindShift Rotation 180 Pro

Mindshift Rotation 180 Horizon

Mindshift Rotation 180 Panorama

ThinkTank Airport Addicted V2.0

ThinkTank Urban Disguise 50 V2.0



  • We've selected exceptional parks and reserves that enable us to provide the best possible overall photo safari experience, from density and accessibility of fauna, to effective conservation management, to quality of accommodations and cuisine, to lack of crowds.
  • World-class wildlife photography guiding and instruction by Roy Toft, Justin Black, and expert naturalists at our camps and lodges.
  • Experienced leaders put you in the right place at the right time to capture peak-action animal behavior in the best light
  • Morning and evening photo excursions by safari vehicle (one photographer per row), daily from our lodges at Tarangire, Serengeti, and Grumeti.
  • Mid-day instruction on wildlife photography techniques, composition, digital workflow, and image processing.
  • June is one of the best months to see the wildebeest migration in Tanzania – animals concentrate around waterholes and rivers and the vegetation is less dense.
  • Weather is quite comfortable and mostly sunny with little chance of rain. Few mosquitoes minimize malaria risk.

Accommodations & Travel

  • Faru Faru Lodge – Grumeti Reserve – Widely considered to be the best safari lodge in Tanzania, Faru Faru is a modern interpretation of the classic safari accommodation, with intimacy, luxury, and excellent guiding in spades.
  • Sayari Camp – Serengeti National Park – Situated with views over spectacularly beautiful landscape, and close to the wildlife concentrations of the Mara River, this tented camp offers splendidly stylish luxury.
  • Oliver's Camp – Tarangire National Park – This lovely, friendly, remote, and rustic tented camp has by far the best location at Tarangire, within the best game viewing area in the park.
  • Onsea House – Arusha – This tranquil boutique hotel works hard to maintain its status as the best luxury bed and breakfast in Arusha.



airplane iconcar iconweather icon
A visa is required for entry to Tanzania. Fly into Tanzania's Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO), to be met for ground transfer by private vehicle to Onsea House, our guesthouse for the first night. Four light aircraft flights within Tanzania are included. All ground transfers, transportation, and excursions using customized 4WD photo-safari vehicles are included. This is the dry season, so rain is unlikely and temperatures are comfortable. Expect a mix of sunny and partly cloudy conditions. Elevations range from 3,000ft to 7,000ft. Plan for afternoon highs around 80ºF, and early morning lows down to 50ºF.


Client feedback on prior safaris:

Dear Roy, after more than 15 photo safaris to various parts of Africa, I have to say that these past two trips with you have far exceeded all of my previous trips, and all of my expec­ta­tions, on all levels. I can’t wait to go on another trip with you. Thanks for the incredible expe­ri­ences.

–Steve M.

The Africa trip was one of the best I have been on. I learned so much. The facilities were top-notch, vehicles and boats were specially equipped for photographers, and to top it off the dining was excellent! Thank you for putting together an interesting, educational, and fun trip for all of us. I have recommended this trip so I hope you will continue to offer it.

–Ruth K., 2013 Visionary Wild safari participant

I highly recommend Visionary Wild for any serious photographer who wants to upgrade skills while having fun in an enriched environment with others who share that same passion. Justin's attention to detail and ongoing support both in the planning stages and during the expedition was wonderful and fairly unique.

–Kathy C., 2013 Visionary Wild safari participant
Over the years I have been fortunate to pursue my passion for wildlife photography in North, Central and South America and sharing the experiance with others on my return.   However, this safari has without question taken my interest in wildlife photography to a whole new level...

...My sincere thanks for a journey I will never forget!

–David C., 2013 Visionary Wild safari participant