This photography safari will allow you to enjoy the greatest show in Maasai Mara and learn more about improving your photography. The crossing of millions of animals in Mara River is one of the most spectacular wildlife scenes on earth. The wildebeest migration and sightings of predators and birds will make your camera shutter working overtime.
The maximum participants in the group is 9.
During the safari, you will stay at Nairobi Serena Hotel on the first day, and spend the remaining days at Entim Private Camp. The accommodations are based on two-person shared tents.
Justly famed for its exceptional standards of efficiency, service, and five-star hospitality, the elegantly sophisticated Nairobi Serena Hotel is a member of the Leading Hotels of the World group and is consistently voted as ‘best hotel in Nairobi’ by airlines and international travel magazines alike. Despite its pivotal central location, the Serena Nairobi Hotel remains true to its title and offers an oasis of serenity amidst the bustle of one of Africa’s most vibrant capital cities.
The camp is situated in a forested area looking directly over a wildebeest crossing point on the Mara River. The camp is far removed from other tourist areas and lodges yet still in the heart of the action. The tents are large luxury accommodation, with en-suite bathrooms and flush toilets. There will be a generator with battery banks to charge laptops and batteries. You can also download and edit photographs during the quiet hours of the day or after your day’s safari in the central studio.
The African Photographer's representative will meet you at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO). After that, you will be transferred to the Nairobi Serena Hotel. You will spend the evening in the lush and open surrounds of the Serena Hotel. Isak will make contact with you at the hotel to arrange dinner for the photography group and discuss the logistics of the following morning.
Breakfast is served from 06:30. At 08:00, you will be transferred to Wilson Airport (WIL) in Nairobi. You will depart for the Maasai Mara on the 10:00 scheduled flight and touchdown at Ol-Kiombo Airstrip after a short 1-hour flight. From there, you will be transferred by road to The African Photographer's camp situated in the Mara. In the afternoon, you will embark on your first game drive to sample one of Africa’s greatest ecosystems.
For these five full days, The African Photographer will focus on showing you the best of the Masai Mara and this will include tracking the migration and getting to the heart of the action. You will be taken out each morning in first light. You will ride on Toyota Land Cruiser vehicles with rooftop hatches and large windows from which to photograph. You will have your own row in the vehicle with open windows and hatch, to make sure that you have ample room to photograph from.
Depending on how and where the migration is moving, you might spend the whole days in the reserve taking a picnic lunch along. You will find the best crossing points on the Mara River and spend pleasant hours watching the wildebeest mass on the banks with hungry crocs waiting below. Besides tracking and following the migration, you will search for as many predators as possible, including cheetah, as the great plains are home to these majestic cats.
You will also enjoy unfamiliar sights of general game such as topi standing aloft termite mounds and tiny shy dik-dik’s going about their daily routine. The Mara also houses some of the largest buffalo bulls on the continent and a huge density of raptors. A special for birders, amongst others, is the large and relatively common Rupell’s Griffon.
In the evening, you will spend the time by sitting around the campfire and dining on excellent camp cuisine. As the coals die down, the warm camp beds beckon and everyone retires to bed. The aim of this photo safari is to help you take amazing photographs and improve your own photography, no matter what level of photographer you are. The guides will help you and present a series of photo critiques. There will also be lightroom and other slide show sessions in the evenings.
The topics of the photo presentation are not fixed and will be altered to meet the specific requirements of all clients. These could include: understanding light, understanding composition, tutorials on advanced photo techniques, use of lenses for various effects, post-processing your images in Lightroom or Photoshop, cataloging images, star trail and starscape photography, flash use, and advanced flash use
During the five full days, the daily schedule will remain more or less the same. The times are flexible and might vary slightly depending on the sunrise times, the sightings, and the activities. The schedule is generally of the following:
After a last morning game drive, you will return to the camp for a hearty brunch before departing to the airstrip at 11:00 where you will return to Nairobi. A transfer back to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO) / your hotel concludes the safari. Most of the international flights depart in the early evening and this fits with most connections.
Isak Pretorius is a specialist wildlife photographic guide from South Africa. His discovery of nature’s special moments at a young age shaped his aspirations of today: to showcase the beauty of his continent’s natural wonders in a creative way. His bird and wildlife images have won multiple awards and been celebrated nationally and internationally in many publications. His preferred genre of fine art bird photography is easily recognizable by their authentic style, simplistic design, and technical skill.
This safari will take place in Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya. Maasai Mara, as Africa’s loveliest game reserve is affectionately known, forms the northernmost limit of the greater Serengeti-Mara ecosystem, where an abundance of Africa’s game roams over the seemingly endless grasslands. The Mara never fails to deliver and is a breathtaking setting for wildlife photographers, safari enthusiasts, first-timers, and seasoned travelers alike.
Typically defined by the annual movement of over two million migratory wildebeest, these seasonal wanderers are just one element of the greater Serengeti-Mara ecosystem. All members of Africa’s Big Five, lions, leopards, elephants, buffalos, and black rhinos, are regularly sighted in the Mara, together with hyenas, jackals, cheetahs, and the bat-eared foxes. The Mara River is home to numerous pods of hippo and some of Africa’s largest crocodiles. Great photographic opportunities present themselves with topi standing perched on anthills, Masai giraffe moving gracefully across the plains, and both Grant’s and Thomson’s gazelles grazing peacefully amongst Coke’s hartebeest, impalas, and herds of lovely eland, the continent’s largest antelope.
The Mara is also home to more than 470 bird species, including almost 60 raptors. Surely the loveliest of them all has to be the graceful crowned crane, always found in pairs, together with secretary birds, lilac-breasted rollers, long-crested eagles, superb starlings, pygmy falcons, and endangered ground hornbills.
During the safari, all meals, drinks, and alcoholic drinks will be served for you. The breakfasts usually consist of cereals and a hot English breakfast. Lunch- es are usually light with a variety of salads and always a meat option. Dinners are traditional English affairs usually with a soup starter and freshly baked camp bread. The main course will usually be a roast of sorts, with vegetables. Dessert is usually a simple affair consisting of fruit or a baked pudding.
While staying at Entim Private Camp, the meals will be prepared in a traditional East African safari style by the camp chef and served in the large Mess Tent or under the stars. Picnic lunches can be taken on longer game drives and you can enjoy al fresco while exploring the vast and diverse area. Early evenings can be enjoyed over sundowner drinks in the discreetly selected spots away from the camp.
Entim Private Camp has a selection of house wines from the famous wineries of South Africa. Bread, cakes, and pastries are all baked in the camp, while fresh produce is flown in regularly. They aim to produce healthy, balanced, and enticing menus and are happy to cater to your individual requirements. If you wish, you can dine privately on your own verandah, while enjoying the personal service of the helpful well-trained staff.
You can also join extra activities such as hot-air balloons trip at an additional cost.
Please book your flights to Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO). Transfer from and to this airport is available upon request. Please send the inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Our Maasai Mara photo safari with The African Photographer exceeded our expectations! Isak was a perfect photo guide and Jackson was a perfect guide / driver. Both are knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and engaging. Together, they delivered an experience full of learning, discovery, and enjoyment. Our many animal sightings and up-close views of their behavior were amazing and were the heart of the photo-safari experience. Isak and Jackson seemed to always have new surprises for us. The photo opportunity was abundant! Our safari experience was great from the beginning to the end, from the 5-star Serena Nairobi Hotel experience and luxury Entim Private Explorer Camp to the amazing Maasai Mara itself."
The African Photographer website, edited
"On my first time doing Safari and also being in Africa, The African Photographer and Kenya left a memorable mark on me. I definitely hope to go back to Africa and I would not hesitate to travel with The African Photographer again. The sightings were unforgettable, the tour leaders were great, the service was impeccable, and the food at the camp was amazing."
The African Photographer website, edited
"If you have any doubts about going to the Maasai Mara with The African Photographer, just do it! We enjoyed a fabulous trip with The African Photographer in September 2014 to see the great migration in the Mara and were fortunate enough to see three crossings during our stay. We have always booked previously with a UK based travel agent to ensure we had ABTA and ATOL protection. We discovered The African Photographer by chance as we have never seen them advertise in the UK and after careful research, we decided to take a chance and book with The African Photographer as we really liked their itinerary, choice of accommodations, and most importantly, their professional photographer guides who looked very impressive. What a great decision! Everything was superb. Minette dealt with the booking process and the lens hire was very efficient and always responded quickly to my queries. Once at Nairobi, all of the housekeeping arrangements, transfers, and stopover hotel were excellent. Our small aircraft flight to the Mara was a great experience. Our accommodation at the Entim Private Explorer Camp was very good and the food was acceptable. A key point for us was that the camp is inside the national park, so we were not constrained by park entrance and closing times. The location, near the Mara river, was fantastic and as the camp is unfenced, animals can and do come very close to the tents on occasions. Going to bed to the sounds of the African Plains was a magical experience. Our game drives were incredible. Our local guide, Anthony, was first class and regularly found great sightings. Our photography guides, Isak and Heinrich, were outstanding and both patiently helped us to improve our technique over the course of the trip. We really enjoyed their different personal styles and their company. We were also extremely lucky, the famous wildlife photographer, Art Wolfe, was in the camp making a documentary and one evening after dinner, Art spent over an hour critiquing some of our group's images, providing us with some invaluable feedback and encouragement. In summary, I had a wonderful trip to a stunning location to see one of nature’s great spectacles. This was our third trip to Africa in the last couple of years and as people warned us, we have definitely been bitten by the bug."
The African Photographer website, edited