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A once in a lifetime creative African Experience

By Shirleybeth Newbery

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A Tanzanian trip not to be  forgotten with Artistsonsafari.com

 

Whilst arriving at a National Park we get to see an Elephant crossing our path!



Breathtaking scenes made this a photographers dream

 


Me, spend ten days painting wildlife in Tanzania? – never!  Well that is what I thought until I went on a well planned ten day trip with Artists on Safari, a company who works in association with Nordic Travel who have been based in Tanzania for over fifteen years. A friend told me about Artists on Safari and being a non-artist with limited ability I was apprehensive, and not sure what this type of vacation would bring, “I haven’t drawn a thing since college-what if everyone else is better than me?” However, how glad was I to have made the decision to go!  

From the moment we arrived we were welcomed and introduced over cocktails. Professional artist Gregory Wellman gave an introductory speech and joined the group for dinner (the group consisted of six people which was perfect for lots of one to one tuition).   

Just one of the pictures Greg had demonstrated to us during an art session

  

What a view relaxing in just one of the wonderful lodges

 


After a good night’s sleep in one of the comfortable and wonderful lodges we all got up the next day to begin out adventure. Off to safari in the Arusha National Park with plenty of time for all artists and photographers alike to capture their images.

Hatari Lodge, could you ask for a better relaxing bedroom after a long hot day?

You don't have to worry about any bugs in here, as we never saw any during our wonderful stay

 
 
Wonderful scenery full of giraffes, zebra and buffalo! One girl in the group Lara has wheat intolerance and had been very concerned that the catering may not be up to her expectations. Lara agreed that the food throughout was wonderful and of the highest quality -“equal to any high street restaurant back home in New York,” she said. Lara’s rice bread had proven popular with the group so at the Whistling Thorn camp the cook made us all some to take on safari. The variety of food meant that all people’s tastes were catered for.

 

The artist getting close to sketch

 

A Hippo painted by Gregory during one of the painting animal sessions

 

Each day was packed with wonderful and exciting places to visit and explore. The Ngorongoro Crater was awesome, the most beautiful scenes of wildlife, lions, elephant, rhino, herds of gazelle and a haze of pink flamingoes floating amid green and blue. Gorgeous! Really got the creative juices going and to be so close to draw our subjects.

This was simply amazing to come across a Lion in front of the Lake

 

The image we came to as we arrived at the bottom of the Crater

 


Zebra along the water edge was a great sight for all

 


The Crater at Dusk

 


Gregory Wellman’s attention to detail and positive support enhances your work- even for non-artists like me. I was so pleased with one piece I did that it’s now on the wall in my apartment.

 

A small group of us with the artist in a peaceful place

 

This great scene was taken by one of the group and then painted by Gregory and we each got a printed version. Thanks Greg!

 



Being a small group we soon bonded, making each day even more enjoyable. We had plenty of time to explore each location, looking for the best angles on the wildlife, adapting to changing light and learning so much about the wildlife and habitat from our driver guide.  I will never forget watching elephant and antelope at an evening waterhole, safe in a ‘hide’, filling my memory card with scenes I’m more used to seeing in the National  Geographic back home!

 

Laughing with the Children in the village during our art portrait day

 

I found out that Artists on Safari work with companies who put something back into their communities for the good of the people, the wildlife or the habitat. Projects and foundations linked to them have provided clean water, raised funds for young girls to attend school, and worked to prevent poaching. Whistling Thorn camp supports conservation and the local Maasai community. By the way, this place is based on Maasai land and we spent one day of the trip painting, sketching and photographing in and around the village (trying honey beer and for the brave- Maasai gin!).

 

I really took to this lady who loved posing for us during our portrait sessions, and a big thank you for how she kept so still!

 

Hagai, the guide who drove us to the Whistling Thorn camp and Safari

 


I would recommend this type of vacation to anyone who wants to experience Tanzania with really knowledgeable guides, see plenty of wildlife and be surrounded by some of the most beautiful locations. You could not ask for better accommodation. The great food and excellent service makes this trip a joy, and even though we visited many locations, each day still had its fair share of relaxing downtime, soaking in a bath or staring into the campfire surrounded by the sounds of the African bush. I also returned home with some of the best holiday photos of my life!  Giving my creative side a kick start and exploring Tanzania has left me with so many amazing memories that I will never forget.

 

a wonderful relaxing place on Maasia land and we knew how we were giving back to the community

 

Sitting around this camp fire at night was great with a one or two beers!

 


The Crater at Dusk

***

Contact  [email protected]

                 www.artistsonsafari.com

 

Tel: +44 0 1 884 233585

 

Published on Jul 03, 2012

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