Best of Kenya Photo Tour - Samburu, Lake Nakuru & Maasai Mara - Oct/Nov 2023
US$ TBC Sharing
US$ TBC Single
US$ 3,000 Deposit
PLACES VISITED: Samburu National Reserve / Lake Nakuru National Park / Maasai Mara
PHOTOGRAPHIC SKILL LEVEL: Any level from beginner to advanced
TOUR LEADER/HOST: Mamai Karesi
This 14-day photo safari includes three of Kenya's most famous and photographically productive reserves, Samburu, Lake Nakuru and the Maasai Mara.
This time of year is the build-up to the short rains. The days are generally clear in the mornings, building up to some heavy thunderstorms in the afternoon. The reserves are a lot quieter at this time of year, with fewer tourists and vehicles.
The photo safari begins in Nairobi where you will be met by our safari representative at the airport and transferred to a Nairobi hotel for an overnight stay.
At 06:30 the following morning you will meet for breakfast. Your vehicles and guides will collect you at around 07:00, after which you will begin your 6hr road trip north, crossing the equator and passing Mount Kenya on your way to the "jewel of the arid north"—Samburu Reserve. The reserve is home to a number of special species that you will only encounter in Samburu. These include the Grevy's Zebra, Reticulated Giraffe, Beisa Oryx, and the long-necked Gerenuk. Elephants are abundant, and Lion and Leopard are often seen along the banks of the beautiful Ewaso Nyiro River, which rises far to the west in the foothills of the Aberdare Mountains.
The photo safari will continue by road to Lake Nakuru. Established in 1961, Lake Nakuru National Park offers a wide variety of both mammal and waterbird species, notably White and Black Rhino, Rothschild Giraffe, and large herds of Cape Buffalo. Some of the common waterbirds include Flamingos, Pelicans, Cormorants, Grebes, Ducks, Stilts and Herons. The 2-night stay at Lake Nakuru will offer a variety of photographic opportunities and is a convenient place to stopover between Samburu and the Maasai Mara.
Your final road trip of the photo tour takes you past Lake Naivasha and the town of Narok, after which you drive into the Great Rift Valley. You will reach the famous Maasai Mara Reserve, in time for a late lunch. Your stay in the Mara will be spent at a small tented camp in the heart of the reserve allowing easy access to all areas of this amazing reserve as you seek out its abundant wildlife.
This photo safari offers an incredible diversity of animal species, landscapes, great weather, quiet reserves, and a true feeling of adventure. You might even be lucky to see some late river crossings of Wildebeest and Zebra as they head back towards Tanzania on the annual Great Migration.
Lion and Cheetah photography is especially good in the Maasai Mara.
After a final morning photo game drive in the Mara, you will fly back to Nairobi and enjoy the comfort of a dayroom before you depart that evening for the airport.
This is an exclusive small-group photographic tour with a maximum of 6 participants in 3 private vehicles (2 participants per vehicle). You will have plenty of space for equipment and guaranteed access to both sides of the safari vehicle.
There will be a good chance to see and photograph the following animals:
Lion, Leopard, Cheetah, Elephant, Cape Buffalo, Reticulated Giraffe, Rothschild Giraffe, Maasai Giraffe, Beisa Oryx, Gerenuk, Grevy's Zebra, Hippo, Black Rhino, White Rhino, Spotted Hyena, Jackal, Plains Zebra, Wildebeest, Thompson's Gazelle, Grant's Gazelle, Olive Baboon, Vervet Monkey, Coke's Hartebeest, Topi, Waterbuck, and an excellent variety of birdlife.
Shopping for a travel adventure on the Web is somewhat risky, but when I wanted to go on an African photo safari, I really had no choice. I looked around and finally picked Wild4 Photographic Safaris for one reason: the vehicle. It was obvious that this was an outfit that understood photographic details and the needs of serious wildlife photographers. With a capacity for 10 passengers, the vehicle takes just three photographers. The three photographers' benches feature platforms to steady big lenses on both sides of the vehicle, and loads of storage space and pockets for lenses, bodies, accessories, binoculars, field guides, water, etc. I can not imagine a better platform for photography in the bush veldt. What is not as obvious in the on-line description is that the vehicle comes equipped with Stu Porter, the Wild4 owner and guide. Stu, who bears a striking resemblance to movie actor Matt Damon, is a deceptively shy young man with an encyclopaedic knowledge of Kruger National Park, its animals, geography, geology, climate, seasons, and, of course, rules. He also has the eyes of an eagle and is the best leopard spotter in South Africa. Stu's knowledge and patience are seemingly infinite, and he somehow manages to be aware both of his passengers' needs and everything around us. He does everything humanly possible to give you the opportunity to get the best shot. And if you need more than just the opportunity, he can instruct even the most seasoned photographer on technique. Stu grew up next to Kruger National Park, and his mother (who does the meal preparation for the safari) started taking him there as soon as he was old enough. He has been accumulating his knowledge of the park and its animals all his life, and that comes in very handy when you need to know something about animal behavior. In short, Wild4 Photographic Safaris is all about the vehicle, with spacious seats, shooting platforms and Stu Porter as standard equipment. You can't do better. Thank you, Stu!
George Cathcart, USA
This was our second trip with Stu and our first in Tanzania, the sightings exceeded all our expectations including a selection of births, deaths, and marriages with a variety of wildlife. One of many highlights was seeing 22 lions drinking at a stream in the Ngorongoro crater . The accommodation was once again first class, even the tented camps. Stu, together with our African guides James and Jeremiah managed to always have the vehicle in exactly the right position for the best pictures. Can't wait to go again.
John & Lorraine Carnemolla, Australia