Kenya is a nature photographer's paradise. There is nothing quite as exciting as capturing the most magnificent animals in their natural habitat.
This photo tour is different from most others to Kenya. We will be staying in only one national park -- the Masai Mara -- for three reasons. First, this is the best national park in Kenya for game viewing and photography. You'll see everything: the big cats, elephants, giraffe, rhinos, cape buffalo, stunning birds, and much more. Second, travel time between several parks is eliminated, and that saves two full days of shooting! instead of traveling, you'll have four additional game drives. And third, fewer flights and transfers means a lower cost. In the Masai Mara, we stay in two different camps to take advantage of a variety of landscapes and wildlife encounters.
Every day, we go out for the best lighting for nature and wildlife photography. Each vehicle will have only three photographers, and this gives everyone enough room to shoot comfortably. Regarding equipment, contact Jim and discuss with him what lenses you need for the trip. Depending on what you already have, he will advise you what you should bring to Kenya for the best possible results.
This photo tour is timed to coincide with the wildebeest migration. Huge numbers of herbivores bring lots of predators, and this is considered peak season for East African game viewing. There is a chance we'll see the wildebeest crossing the Mara River as well. One thing is certain, though, and that is that you'll be overwhelmed by the numbers and diversity of wildlife at this time of year.
You will need a visa to enter Kenya. This is obtainable online at the Kenya embassy website.
PLEASE NOTE: Jim must have a confirmed rooming list for this photo tour by December 1,2018 due to the increased demand for accommodations. If you want to join him for this incredible safari, please don't put it off.
DAY 1, Thursday. Aug. 1. Depart from the U.S. (or elsewhere) for the international flight to Nairobi, Kenya (airport code NBO).
DAY 2, Friday. Aug. 2. Upon arrival in Nairobi, you'll be met by a local representative and transferred to the Nairobi Serena Hotel (5 star). You have time to catch up on your sleep from the long international flight, and we meet this evening for a group dinner at 7 pm. Overnight Nairobi Serena Hotel.
DAYS 3 - 6, Saturday - Tuesday, Aug. 3 -6. After breakfast, we depart by road for the Olare Motorogi Conservancy on the edge of the Masai Mara. We check into Porini Mara Camp in time for lunch, a short rest, and then an afternoon game drive. The guest tents are very spacious and have private verandahs along the length of the tent, providing a secluded and quiet place for you to relax and enjoy the beauty of the African wilderness. Each tent has en-suite bathrooms with flush toilets and hot showers.
This conservancy is 33,000 acres of outstanding natural beauty and ecological importance, and it ensures a true wilderness experience with one of the lowest tourist densities in the Mara region. This area is renowned for its stunning concentration of wildlife. The Porini Mara camp is situated outside the boundary of the Masai Mara National Reserve which means the normal regulations limiting vehicles to the road don't apply here. We can get as close to the animals as we want. In addition, we can go on night drives to see and photograph the nocturnal activities of predators and prey. This is prohibited in the National Reserve. We use a bright spotlight for illumination, and some of the most compelling and exciting experiences of the photo tour will be enjoyed during these nights. Overnight Porini Mara Camp.
DAYS 7 - 10, Wednesday to Saturday, August 7 - 10. Following breakfast, we transfer to Entim Mara Camp. This is situated within the Masai Mara Reserve and is more upscale, but we will now be subject to the governmental regulations of the park (i.e. no night drives and staying on the roads). Wildlife photography will still be awesome, of course, and both areas of the Mara will offer wonderful experiences and amazing pictures. This is the time of the great migration of wildebeest, zebras, and other herbivores, and hopefully we will witness this spectacular event. There are several places where the crossing takes place, and this gives us more opportunities to photograph one of nature's outstanding spectacles.
DAY 11, Sunday, August 11. After breakfast, we drive back to Nairobi and arrive to check in at the Eka Hotel for a day room. We have lunch, and then per each person's schedule, you'll be transferred to the airport in the late afternoon or evening for the international flight home, satisfied in knowing that you've taken some of the best pictures of your life. How could you not in such an incredible place?
TOUR COST: $10,350
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: $1170
TOUR PRICE INCLUDES: All lodging per the itinerary, transfers to Masai Mara (both camps) and back to Nairobi as well as to and from the airport, all meals in the Porini and Entim Camp lodges, mineral water, soft drinks, house wines, beers, gin & tonic, park and conservancy fees, sundowners, guided walks, one lunch and one dinner in Nairobi, all game drives, photo instruction, model fees for Masai, and luggage handling in the camps.
NOT INCLUDED: International airfare, visa, vaccinations, tipping safari drivers, items of a personal nature.
For the best wildlife photography, you will need a lens at least 400mm in length, although 500mm or longer is better. Jim always carries to Africa a 1.4x and a 2x teleconverter to boost the focal length of his long lens.
You should also have a flash, a macro lens, and a wide angle. A tripod isn't essential since most photography will be done from vehicles. A good sandbag is important to steady your telephoto lens in the vehicle.
Drop Jim a note and ask him what he recommends for you given the equipment you already have. His direct email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Four months prior to departure, you'll receive a color eBooklet with a complete list of recommended photo gear as well as all the information you'll need for the trip.