Little-known Photo Safari Tour offered at Busch Gardens

You won’t find it listed on Busch Gardens Tampa’s website, but a few times a year guests can go behind the scenes and into the savanna on an exclusive tour to capture some great wildlife photography.

The Photo Safari tour allows both professional photographers and novices to go on a custom three and a half hour tour for the opportunity to get some amazing photos. It helps if you have a good zoom on your camera, but you’ll still be able to get many great shots without one. But if you don’t have a long lens, be prepared for camera envy. Many guests on each tour bring professional equipment.

The best way to describe this tour is through a series of photographs, of course …

The tour starts backstage where the guests and guides board an open back safari truck.

Up first is a drive through the Serengeti Plain. The driver starts off on the dirt roads, but they’ll pull off the path often to allow the guests to get the best shots. Of course, they have to stop when the animals cross their paths.

Even the train has to stop for the animals when they occasionally get in the way. The train passing offers some unique photos.

Rain or shine, the guides are ready.

The guides lead the tour based on the guests feedback. Our group really wanted to get a shot of this elusive animal, so the guides kept circling his pack until we could all get a great photo of him.

Making our way across the Serengeti, we had opportunities to get photos of zebra, antelope and other African wildlife. Next we stopped to get some great photos of giraffes.

Some extreme close-ups could be taken with or without a zoom once the guides started feeding the giraffes. All of the guests were also given the opportunity to feed them.

After the Serengeti portion of the tour was done, we exited the trucks and headed on foot to the lions. This area is viewable by all guests in the park but those on tour were allowed to stand a bit closer.

The guides also threw food to the lions, allowing the Photo Safari guests the opportunity to get some great action photos.

The male lion enjoys his meatball.

Regular park guests view the hippos under water. But our tour group was able to photograph the trainers feeding the hippos from above.

Our tour’s last stop was to photograph the gorillas.

A trainer threw fruits out to the apes while the group took photos.

A gorilla enjoys a piece of fruit.

The cost is $99.95 per person (must be at least 10 years old) and space is limited. Park admission is not required. Refreshments are included. To book a spot, contact Busch Gardens at [email protected] or call 888-800-5447.


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