Ultimate Kenya Photo Safari: Wildebeest Migration Season
Dates: August 16 - 27, 2023
Fee: $9,795 (includes lodging and all transportation in Kenya)
Deposit: $2,000 (balance due by April, 2023)
Limit: 8 photographers (spouses or non-photographers are also welcome)
Nikhil will work with knowledgeable local driver/guides to make sure you have a great experience. Every vehicle will have no more than 3 photographers and each photographer will have their own row of seating.
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The Great Migration the most exciting, heart-pounding safari in Africa! It is arguably the greatest wildlife photography experience in the natural world. Each year, between July and October, approximately 1.5 million wildebeest, 400,000 zebras, and 200,000 gazelles migrate through the Mara, chasing the rain and eating the tall grasses as they come from and return to the Serengeti in Tanzania. This is a giant moving feast for the predators, creating one of nature’s most astonishing dramas.
In constant motion, the migration moves throughout many regions of the Mara, from the boarder of Tanzania, through the rich predator areas, near the swamps, and through the thick of the Balanites trees at the bottom of the dramatic Oldoinyo escarpment. From these wide-open game-filled vistas to the remote corners of the reserve, covering 1,510 square kilometers, you will seek vast photographic opportunities against a variety of backgrounds.
Rhinos: Of the big 5, rhinos are the hardest to find. Tucked in the valley between the lofty slopes of Mount Kenya and the peaks of the Aberdare Mountains lies the private Game Reserve, which is internationally recognized as the most successful private Rhino Breeding reserve in Kenya. Besides the world’s largest population of white rhinos and nearly one hundred black rhinos, sightings of up to 40 Rhinos at a time are not uncommon. The wildlife experience is exclusive, with 19,000 acres of conservancy surrounded by 45,000 acres of ranch. Although our focus will be on the Rhinos, the reserve is inhabited by buffalo, zebra giraffe, Oryx, antelope, lion, cheetah, and leopard.
Flamingoes: Lake Bogoria National Reserve national reserve is well known for its presence of flamingoes in the reserve coloring the lake pink which provides for a picturesque sighting along with the hot springs on the lake. Aside from flamingoes, the park is teemed with plenty of birdlife with more than 130 species in the reserve alongside mammals present in the reserve to include the Kudu, buffalo, klipspringer, impala, zebras and if lucky, one may also spot a leopard.
More than a stop over: Framed by stunning yellow acacia trees, Lake Nakuru boasts 450 species of birds and 56 species of mammals. Near to the water’s edge sits a magnificent Euphorbia forest, the largest in Arica. This is also the only place in Kenya where beautiful Rothschild’s giraffe can be found in the wild roaming through the yellow acacia trees. More intriguing is to enter the lush forest in search of the rare tree-climbing lions. Leopards also roam through this forest. Lake Nakuru is a sanctuary for both the white rhino and critically endangered black rhino, Lake Nakuru is one of the best places to see them.
Maasai Mara Game Reserve: The renowned Maasai Mara needs little introduction because it is arguably the greatest wildlife reserve on the planet! The vast, open plains are home to large prides of lions, cheetahs, leopards, elephants, black Rhino, hippos, Maasai giraffes, common zebras, gnu, impala, Thompson’s and grant’s gazelles, topi, hartebeest, black-backed jackals, spotted hyenas and more. It is the best reserve for the big cats, where BBC filmed Big Cat Diaries and where they continue to film regularly. This part of your safari takes place in the heart of Maasai land. Icons of Kenya, the Maasai warriors, once dominated the plains of East Africa
Deluxe Photographic Safari Vehicles
Our vehicles are fully extended Land Cruisers specially designed to give photographers the most flexibility and maximum space. The sides of the Land cruisers are open (no small sliding windows), with custom built in bean bags. Small bean bags are supplied to custom adjust the height. The roof has a special roll back top, so there are no bars holding up a pop-top, which create obstructions of your lens placement. They ensure plenty of space and options for using clamps, molar beanbags, panning plates, and other accessories to aid your ability to capture the best images.
There are only 3 photographers in each vehicle. Every photographer will have their own row. You will not miss a shot trying to photograph over or around another photographer.
Experienced Driver Guides
Our driver guides are silver rated and photographically trained by professional photographers. They understand the needs of photographers and the importance of quickly positioning the vehicle for the best light, composition, and exceptional photographs. They have vast personal networks, through which they receive private information about sightings.
Extra Weight Allowance
We have arranged extra weight allowance on your internal flight so your gear and luggage can remain with you. This is a big trip, and anything could happen when transferring gear and luggage by ground transfer or worse, having to leave some gear behind.
The itinerary below is primarily to give you an idea of the logistics and transfer days/times. For location info and details of possible photographic opportunities, please read the section above.
Please note: all game drives usually last 2-3 hours. Some of our morning game drives will be extended. During those game drives we may choose to take a picnic breakfast and eat in the field and return in time for lunch. We reserve the right to make changes to the itinerary if necessary.
We will be glamping througout our trip. The camps we will stay at have been hand picked for their proximity to wildlife and to make sure we have all the luxuries of a regular hotel/lodge even though our rooms will be tented. Glamping! The names of the camps have deliberately not been listed as we would like to keep them exclusive for our photography tours.
Day 1 (Aug 16, 2023):
Upon arrival at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, you will be met by the hotel representative and transferred to your hotel for overnight stay. Overnight in Nairobi.
Day 2 (Aug 17, 2023):
Early breakfast at the hotel and thereafter, you will be picked up by your guides at 0730hrs and depart for your journey to the private rhino game reserve, arriving at the lodge in time for lunch. After settling in for a bit we will head out for an afternoon game drive to photograph rhinos and more!
Day 3 (Aug 18, 2023):
We continue our stay at the private reserve. Morning and afternoon game drives are scheduled. While the rhinos will be our target species, be prepared to photograph buffalo, zebra giraffe, Oryx, antelope, lion, cheetah, and leopard.
Day 4 (Aug 19, 2023):
After our morning game drive, we drive to Lake Bogoria with packed lunches. After checking into the lodge at Lake Bogoria we will head out for an afternoon game drive.
Day 5 (Aug 20, 2023):
We continue our stay at Lake Bogoria with morning and afternoon game drives to photograph large numbers of Flamingoes. These huge flocks of birds offer unique photographic opportunities. A sight to see (and photograph) for sure!
Day 6 (Aug 21, 2023):
After our morning game drive we drive to Lake Nakuru arriving in time for lunch at the lodge. After some down time after lunch we head out for the afternoon game drive. Amongst a host of species, we will look for the Rothschild’s giraffe, rhinos and enjoy the yellow acacia trees as well.
Day 7 (Aug 22, 2023):
After the morning game drive and Lake Nakuru
we will depart for the Maasai Mara with packed lunches. On arrival at our camp we will have some time to freshen up. Later in the afternoon we will head out for your first game drive in the Mara.
Day 8-11 (Aug 23-26, 2023):
Our camp is located close to several wildebeest river crossing points. This will allow us the best opportunities to witness and photograph this unique event! The days spent in the Mara will contitute a variety of photographic oppostunities. Morning and afternoon game drives will take advantage of the oppotunities available at the time. You can expect to see lions, cheetahs, leopards, elephants, hippos, Maasai giraffes, common zebras, gnu, impala, Thompson’s and grant’s gazelles, topi, hartebeest, black-backed jackals, spotted hyenas and more
Day 12 (Aug 27, 2023):
After the game drive on our last morning in the Mara, we will come back to the camp, collect our luggage and be transfered to the airstrip for our flight back to Nairobi departing at 11am. Upon arrival in Nairobi, we will be picked up and stop at a restaurant for lunch. If there is time after lunch, we can stop by for some souvenir shopping. After which we will be transferred to the international airport for outbound departure.
- All lodging (based on double occupancy; single supplement $900*)
- Ground transportation and flight from the Mara to Nairobi
- Services of experienced guides and drivers
- Water during game drives
- All meals at the lodges/camps
- All necessary permits and park fees
- All in field guiding and photography instruction
- Comprehensive and detailed information packet including logistics details, packing and equipment lists, and more.
Itinerary Does Not Include:
- Airfare to Nairobi, Kenya
- Visa (if required)
- Travel/medical insurance - insuremytrip.com
- Optional activities not specified in the itinerary
- Personal shopping
- Drinks with meals
- Tips for guides/drivers and hotel staff
- Covid Testing (if needed)
*Single supplement may be required if we cannot pair you with a roommate; we will inform you of the rooming arrangements as the trip fills.
A deposit of $2,000 is required for registration as we need to pay the lodges/camps in advance to hold the rooms. The balance amount should be paid by check by April 2023. This is done to keep the fees down and pass on the benefit to you.
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