Birds of Kenya Photo Safari - Samburu, Bogoria, Nakuru and Maasai Mara - Nov/Dec 2021
US$ 12,000 Sharing
US$ 13,000 Single
US$ 3,000 Deposit
SKILL LEVEL: You need to be comfortable with your camera skills as no technical tuition is offered on this safari
RECOMMENDED FOCAL LENGTH: A 400mm lens on a crop sensor or a full-frame sensor with a Teleconverter (1.4)
This 15-day photo safari has been designed specifically for the Bird Photographer in mind. The Itinerary includes four of Kenya's most famous and photographically productive bird reserves —Samburu, Lake Bogoria, Lake Nakuru and the Maasai Mara.
Late November and early December are fantastic months in Kenya as the reserves are quieter with fewer tourists. It is also the season when a lot of migrant birds return to Kenya so the already impressive local bird count is boosted even further. Kenya's bird count is over 1000 species.
The aim of this photo safari is to gather an impressive collection of photographs that show the diversity of Kenya's Birdlife. All four locations on the safari will offer fantastic opportunities in very different habitats, and therefore an excellent variety of species.
This photo safari will be led by my good friend and excellent bird guide and photographer, Mamai. Mamai has been guiding in Kenya for 15 years and has led many photographic trips with me. He knows the birds, he knows the reserves and he knows what photographers want.
The safari begins in Nairobi with a 1-night stopover.
You will then head north by road, crossing the equator and pass 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 see only in Samburu. These include the Golden Breasted Starling, Vulturine Guineafowl, Somali Ostrich, White-Headed Mousebird, D'Arnauds Barbet, Somali Bee-eater, Golden Pipit and the Rosy Patched Bushshrike. It is also a great destination for mammals which you will also take time to photograph. These include the Grevy's Zebra, Reticulated Giraffe, Beisa Oryx, and the long-necked Gerenuk. Elephant are abundant, and Lion and Leopard are often seen along the banks of the magnificent Ewaso Nyiro River, which rises far to the west in the foothills of the Aberdare Mountains. You spend 4 nights at Samburu.
You continue by road to Lake Bogoria. Established in 1973, Lake Bogoria National Reserve is an alkaline Lake and supports big numbers of Lesser Flamingos as well as a good number of common waterbirds such as Herons, Grebes, Lapwings and the enormous Marabou Stork. Enjoy two nights at Lake Bogoria with early morning and afternoon photography visits to the Lake.
You 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. Flamingo numbers are down at Lake Nakuru due to a rise in the water level, but it is still a fantastic place to pick up many other bird species. Other common waterbirds include Pelicans, Cormorants, Grebes, Ducks, Stilts and Herons. Your 2-night stay at Lake Nakuru will offer a variety of photo opportunities. You spend 2 nights at Lake Nakuru.
Your final road trip of the safari takes you past Lake Naivasha and Narok and into the Great Rift Valley. You will reach your destination, the famous Maasai Mara Reserve, in time for a late lunch. Stay for 5 nights in the middle of the reserve which conveniently allows you to explore the many streams, rivers, grasslands and thickets in the reserve where you will find an abundance of birds and mammals.
This safari offers an incredible diversity of birds, mammals, reptiles, landscapes, great weather, quiet reserves, and a true feeling of adventure.
Most famous for its excellent Lion and Cheetah photography, the Masai Mara Reserve has an amazing abundance of birdlife. You will be on the lookout for Vultures (5 species), Tawny, Bateleur, Fish and Snake Eagles, Saddle-billed Storks, Grey Crowned Cranes, Lilac Breasted Rollers, Ox-peckers, Mousebirds, Bushshrikes and more, the list of over 500 is very impressive and is one of the best locations to photograph birds in the world.
After a final morning game drive, you will depart by plane back to Nairobi. A day room awaits you in a Nairobi hotel so that you can freshen up before your international flight departs in the evening.
This is an exclusive small-group photo safari with a maximum of 3 participants in 1 private safari vehicle. Each participant will have access to BOTH sides of the safari vehicle as well as through the open roof. You will have plenty of space for equipment.
The focus of the tour is on the Birds of Kenya and you will spend most of your time trying to improve on existing shots and capture new species of birds. There will also be time to photograph the mammals, but the priority will be to photograph the birds.
My good friend and fellow safari guide, Mamai will lead the tour.
Our trip was awesome....made so, in large part, by WILD4. The wildlife at Kruger was terrific. But, it was your teamwork in the field, your uncanny ability to spot wildlife and your willingness to accommodate our EVERY need that made the trip a resounding success. Stu...you are an extremely knowledgeable guide and a superb photographer. You even taught this old dog some new tricks. Justyna...you made a huge contribution to this trip, with your role as super admin guru and Ann, your wonderful meals were a pleasure to enjoy every evening. We could not have asked for a more talented, thoughtful and gracious group of folks to spend our vacation in South Africa with. We wish you the very best success in your endeavor. Please let us know how we can help to market Wild4 to folks who share our love for wildlife and photography.
Rob & Annarie Schallenberger, USA
I found Wild4 through an article in Popular Photography magazine about how to choose a photo safari. They were one of five recommended in the article. After checking them all out, I saw that Stu and Wild4 offered the kind of experience that I wanted: 1) Small groups of dedicated photographers 2) Variety in wildlife viewing 3) Tuition on photography and wildlife behavior 4) Good communication and organisation. I can say that Wild4 met and exceeded all expectations on all points (and then some). 1) We used one vehicle for three photographers. Stu is a trained photographer himself, so his goal was always to get us into the best position with the best light. Having only three on the tour meant plenty of room for equipment and the ability to shoot from either side of the vehicle when surrounded by a herd of elephants! It also gave us the flexibility to be patient and wait for the shot. 2) The three places we visited each provided a unique experience and wonderful variety in scenery and wildlife viewing. 3) Stu's tuition was excellent. It was there if we needed it but never pushed. Tips, reminders, anecdotes on wildlife behavior. All given with patience and good humor. 4) From the first email, the communication was timely & clear. Justyna was a joy to work with and handled the back-office part of the tour seamlessly. It can't be as easy as she makes it seem. Wild4 didn't provide the wildlife or the spectacular sunsets that we experienced, but they put us in position to enjoy and capture a little piece of it in our cameras and in our memories. Our Safari was amazing and I would not have changed a thing...well, maybe I would have eaten a little less. If you're looking for a Photo Safari, there is nothing to consider. Just go ahead and contact Wild4 Photographic Safaris. You will not be sorry.
Doug Croft, USA