Kenya’s Green Season - Samburu & Maasai Mara Photo Safari - December 2023
US$ TBC Sharing
US$ TBC Single
US$ 3,000 Deposit
PHOTOGRAPHIC SAFARI LOCATION: Kenya
PLACES VISITED: Samburu & Maasai Mara
PHOTO SKILL LEVEL: Any level from beginner to advanced.
TOUR LEADER/HOST: Mamai Karesi
November and December are known as Kenya’s GREEN SEASON, and the characteristic fresh flush of new growth is linked to the short rains that fall at this time of the year. The dry season is now over and both the environment and the wildlife breathe a huge sigh of relief, food and water are now plentiful. The colour pallet is also distinctly unique at this time of year and your photos will take on a variety of fresh green tones. Mornings tend to be clear and bright with powerful and dramatic thunderstorms building up in the afternoons.
Your 13-day photo safari will begin in Nairobi, where a member of our photo safari team will meet you at the airport. After a 1-night stopover, you will be collected at 07:00 am by one of our local Kenyan Safari guides in one of our specially modified photographic safari vehicles. The road journey takes you through Kenya’s agricultural heartland and further north past Mount Kenya. You will reach Samburu Reserve in time for a late lunch. A small tented camp situated on the banks of the Ewaso Nyiro River will be your home for the next four nights.
Samburu Reserve is a photographers paradise and has an amazing diversity of wildlife only found in this area of Kenya. You will spend your photographic game drives in search of this unique wildlife which may include Reticulated Giraffe, Gerenuk, Grevy's Zebra, Desert Warthog, Somali Ostrich, Beisa Oryx, Vulturine Guineafowl as well as Lion, Leopard and Cheetah. There is a very good road network in Samburu which allows you to thoroughly explore this game-rich area without having to travel very far. The beautiful Ewaso Nyiro River and surrounding hills and mountains offer great photographic opportunities to capture some stunning landscapes.
After a short morning photo game drive on your final day in Samburu, you will board a light aircraft and fly via Nairobi to the Maasai Mara. You will be met at the airstrip in the Mara and transferred to your second tented camp, right on the Mara River, in the heart of the main Mara Reserve. Gentle rolling hills, open savanna grassland, woodland thickets, and the famous Mara River are some of the scenic highlights you will encounter in the Maasai Mara Reserve. Covering 1500 square kilometres (560 square miles), this is an amazing location to enjoy a photo safari in the heart of authentic Africa.
The Maasai Mara ranks as one of the best places to photograph Africa's BIG CATS - Lion, Leopard & Cheetah. It is also home to an abundance of other mammals and birds. Your small tented camp on the banks of the Mara River will be your home for the next seven nights, and from this centrally located base, you will spend many hours observing and photographing the amazing wildlife found here.
This small group photo-specific safari allows for a great amount of flexibility in the field. Packed breakfasts will be taken every day and enjoyed either at sightings or under a typical African Picnic Tree. This enables you to spend maximum time out in the field and the freedom to let the wildlife and the situations you find them to dictate the daily pace.
On your final morning in the Mara, you will enjoy a short game drive and then fly back to Nairobi where you will be able to freshen up in a day room before your evening transfer to the airport.
This is an exclusive small-group photography safari with a maximum of 3 participants in 1 private vehicle. Each participant will have plenty of space for camera equipment and guaranteed access to both sides of the photo safari vehicle.
Mamai Karesi will lead this photo tour.
Join us on this exciting photographic journey to two of Kenya’s most famous reserves during the spectacular GREEN SEASON.
There is a good chance to see and photograph the following animals:
Lion, Leopard, Cheetah, Elephant, Cape Buffalo, Reticulated Giraffe, Beisa Oryx, Gerenuk, Grevy's Zebra, White Bearded Wildebeest, Black Rhino, Spotted Hyena, Hippo, Jackal, Plains Zebra, Thompson's Gazelle, Grant's Gazelle, Olive Baboon, Vervet Monkey, 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
We recently travelled to South Africa for a safari led by Wild 4 African Photographic Safaris. To put things simply, we were completely blown away. I had been on safari before, and had expectations that I thought were reasonable, but Wild 4 completely exceeded those expectations in so many ways. First of all, Justyna handled all of our travel and trip details with exceptional professionalism and always responded to even our most basic questions quickly and in a very detailed manner. Once we had arrived in South Africa, we were met by our guide Stu Porter, who I cannot say enough good things about. He is so organised and cordial. Stu was spotting things that we couldn’t believe that he was spotting, which almost always led to an amazing wildlife experience that we never saw coming. His knowledge and understanding of the wildlife and ecosystem was outstanding, and he went to great lengths to insure that we had the best chance of capturing a great photo, without compromising the rules of the park or the integrity of the animals and ecology within it. His understanding and respect for the wildlife and surroundings made the trip so much more than just a “drive around and look at whatever we see” kind of experience. I know that you can never predict what kind of experience you will have when you go out into the wild, and often it’s up to nature to decide what events you will be a part of, but in all honesty, I can’t imagine a better guide than Stu Porter. We will be doing our future trips to Africa with Wild 4, and cannot recommend them highly enough. Thank you so much for what a lot of people call “the trip of a lifetime”, although we feel that this is only the beginning of many trips of a lifetime. Thank you, Wild 4!!
James Smith, USA