AMBOSELI, NAKURU AND MAASAI MARA

It’s the land whence we all came from; It’s the land known for its magnificent biodiversity; It’s the land where beauty and beast thrive side by side; It’s the land where life and death upstage each other on a daily basis. Kenya is a land of many wonders and on this Tour, you will observe, photograph, cherish and relish it all.

 

Prepare to have your breath taken away at the Amboseli National Park which is home to such a large population of elephants that it is also called the “Elephant Park of Africa”. Also being home to the big cat trinity, you and your camera will not be disappointed by the plethora of photo opportunities at this resplendent destination. Marshlands and grasslands.

 

The second leg of your Tour is a visit to Lake Nakuru National Park and promises to be the most surreal experience you could hope for. Surrounded by the Rift Valley soda lake, this forest national park is home to the formidable white rhinos and black rhinos. Nakuru is also renowned for spectacular sightings of the Rothschild’s giraffe. The lush green forest is also home to a number of species of birds such as the African fish eagle, goliath heron, hamerkop and animals such as baboons, warthogs, leopards, lions and more!

 

The last leg of your Tour takes you to Masai Mara – a place that has cemented its beauty and importance in the minds of various wildlife photographers and enthusiasts alike due to its frequent appearance as the back-drop for various wildlife documentaries. Apart from being home to a flourishing population of the big five, Masai Mara is also the hotspot for sightings of leopards, cheetahs, giraffes, antelopes, Thomson’s gazelles and a list of animalia that is never ending!

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • 7 nights and 8 days exploring three best known wildlife destinations in Kenya
  • Only three people in eac 4×4  Land Cruiser
  • Excellent photo opportunities of the big 5. The elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion and leopard
  • Great properties in each destination
  • Expert natural-history and photography guidance by Skipper Sachin Rai

DEPARTURE

Date: May 15th to 22nd

Mentor: Sachin Rai

TOUR ITINERARY

Please note: Since participants of this Tour travel from various destinations in India and abroad, the Tour will commence at Nairobi on 15 May 2020 at around 07:00 a.m. You may either take a flight that reaches Nairobi before that time the same morning, or fly in the previous day and stay overnight in Nairobi (in which case, the cost of accommodation will be additional). Please also note that flight costs are not included in the Tour fee.

We depart from Nairobi at around 7am and drive for around 5 hours to reach Amboseli National park. After a quick introduction session, your photography mentor Sachin will brief you about the park and the next two days to come.

We will depart for our evening safari post lunch. Amboseli is a mix of grasslands and marshlands. Elephants congregate in huge numbers at the onset of monsoon because the marsh lands get filled up with water. We will spend our first evening wanting to photograph families of elephants which will be going back from the marshlands toe the grasslands and at times outside the park to the woodlands to spend the night.

We will leave for our first morning safari at around 6.30am with our packed breakfast. If we are lucky, we should be able to see the mighty Kilimanjaro mountain. Imagine seeing an incredibly large bull elephant against the backdrop of the magnificent mountain. After a few hours of game drive we will go to a vantage point or the lake to have our breakfast. Post breakfast we will continue with our safari till around noon and get back to the property for lunch and a short break.

We will depart again for our evening game drive at around 3.30pm and go around the park looking for anything in good light. Unlike most parks in India, you get ample photography opportunities in most of the parks in Kenya. After a 3.5 hour safari, we will proceed back to our property. A photography session by Sachin will be followed by dinner and we will call it a night.

We depart with our luggage and packed breakfast and do a short last safari in Amboseli. We will aim to shoot some elephants in the morning light before we exit the park and drive to Nakuru. The drive to Nakuru is approximately 7 hours. We will drive all the way back to Nairobi and drive down the great rift valley to go to the forth largest city in Kenya, Nakuru.  We will reach our property for late lunch. After a lunch and a short break, we will proceed for our evening game ride.

Lake Nakuru and its forests are surrounded by the city from all sides, making it a small eden sort of a park. It is one of the finest parks in Kenya to see White rhino, Rothschild’s giraffe, Black rhino and lot of other animals and birds.

After our game drive we will go back to the property and freshen up before meeting for dinner.

We will depart at 6.30am with our packed breakfast and drive around the park to look for subjects to shoot. Nakuru is a great place for bird lovers. Since it is more of a forest, you will get lot of opportunities to make photographs of animals with a green background. There are three prides of lions in Nakuru and all of them are known to climb trees. We could get lucky and get to observe some lions atop a tree. At around noon, we will head back to the property for lunch and rest. There is a lovely bird feed at the property and you can make some great images of birds post lunch.

We will then depart for out evening game drive and look to make more images of both the white and the black rhinos. Evenings are a great time to see leopards as well.

Post safari we get back to the property, freshen up and meet up with your photography mentor, Sachin for one more session which will be followed by dinner.

We leave early morning from Nakuru and drive for around 5 hours to reach one of the 5 gates of Maasai Mara. Our property is bang in the middle of the park and it is around 50km inside the park. We will be driving through the park to reach our property for lunch.

After a lunch and a brief orientation from Sachin, you will then proceed for your first safari in the Mecca of wildlife, Maasai Mara. We will drive through the grasslands to look for opportunities to shoot anything in good light. Maasai Mara is a great place for lions and we will try to see and photograph some in our first safari.

At around 6.30pm we will drive back to our property and meet up with Sachin for another session after you have freshened up. We have an early dinner and call it a night.

Maasai Mara is split into two areas, Greater Mara and Mara Triangle. This day we will spend both the morning and evening safari in the Mara Triangle. This area borders with Tanzania and the park that extends into Tanzania is called Serengeti. We will go to the border and look for the two cheetah brothers who are often seen in that area.

As usual, we will carry our packed breakfast in the morning and we will have it under a picnic tree in the middle of the grasslands. It is quite an incredible experience to sit on the grass and enjoy your meal while animals would be walking at a distance from us. We will proceed back to the property for lunch and depart again at around 3.30pm for the evening safari.

Mara is known for the opportunities to create silhouettes and this evening, we will try our best to look for areas where we could possibly create unique silhouette pictures. The vast grasslands will offer umpteen photo opportunities and we will go back to our properties with our memory cards filled to the brim.

This day, we will intend to do a full day safari. We will carry packed breakfast and lunch both and spend the entire day in the park. We will drive to the other area of the reserve which is called Greater Mara and look for opportunities to photograph cheetahs. Cheetahs hunt during the day and we could try out luck with that if we find one.

There are lots of properties inside the park and we could drive into any lodge to use their common washroom if need be.

We will try and focus on making good images of all the subjects that we haven’t had the opportunity to make better images earlier. We will watch our last sunset in the magical grasslands of Maasai Mara before we proceed back to our property.

We will meet up for a final get-together before dinner and Sachin will help you process some images from the tour.

Participants who want to do a short 2 hour safari will leave at 6.30am and come back to the property to load their luggages and depart for the airport. While others will get up late and have hot breakfast at the property before departing at 8.30am.

It takes five and half hours to reach Nairobi and an hour more to reach the airport. We would recommend you take the flight post 8pm so that you have ample time to reach the airport

COST AND TERMS

USD 3290

Individual

Per Person on Twin Share Accommodation

USD 6280

Couples

Per Person on Twin Share Accommodation

USD 3090

Patron

Per Person on Twin Share Accommodation

All prices above are excluding taxes. 5% GST would be applicable.

Patrons: Guests who have travelled with us on at least three photography tours.

Foreign nationals please contact us at contact@sachinrai.com for a quote.

  • Twin-sharing accommodation in comfortable lodges for 7 nights
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All road transfers within Kenya as per the Tour itinerary
  • Services of a photography mentor
  • Services of a naturalist guide/driver
  • Safari permits and guide fees
  • Any airfare to or within Kenya
  • Any kind of personal expenses or optional tours, extra meals and beverages ordered
  • Insurance, laundry and phone calls
  • Bottled water, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages
  • Vaccination, visa and insurance expenses
  • Optional balloon ride – USD 450-500 per person
  • Optional tour to a Maasai village – USD 30 per person
  • Optional boat ride in lake Naivasha – USD 60 per person
  • All applicable taxes
  • Anything that is not listed under ‘inclusions’
  • 15% of the Tour fee as booking amount (non-refundable)
  • 50% of the Tour fee before 1 January 2020
  • 75% of the Tour fee before 1 February 2020
  • 100% of the Tour fee before 1 March 2020

All figures per person.

Payments can be made in staggered instalments as long as the above schedule is adhered to. Please talk to us for more details.

  • 15% of the Tour fee on or before 10 January 2020
  • 50% of the Tour fee between 11 January and 10 February 2020
  • 75% of the Tour fee between 11 February and 10 March 2020
  • 100% of the Tour fee on or after 11 March 2020

All figures per person.

Please note: The date of written (email) communication of intent to cancel is the date considered for calculation of the cancellation fees.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Anybody above the age of 18 (unless accompanied by an adult) and interested in nature and wildlife photography will enjoy this Tour thoroughly.

Of course! This Tour is meant for newbies as well as experienced photographers. Beginners will get all the advantages of learning on and off the field from the photography mentors. In fact if you are a fresher, you should jump on this great photography learning opportunity and sign up right away!

Since guests of our Tours travel from different parts of the world as per their preferences, it is convenient for the Tour to start from the destination. We will however provide the assistance you need in arranging your pick up and drop.

Yes, May is a month when it rains in Kenya. But these are short showers for an hour in the afternoon (when we are usually in the property) and then for a few hours in the night. In anyways, it would not hamper our sightings at all. Infact the lush green grass helps make amazing images.

The group size will be 9 participants plus the photography mentor. We will be using three land cruisers for this. Each land cruiser will have not more than 3 participants so that each one of you will have a window for yourself. The mentor will sit in the front, next to the driver/guide.

Yes, you have to take Yellow Fever vaccination atleast 15 days before your travel date to Kenya. This vaccination is valid for 10 years. Ensure you get a yellow card stating you have taken the vaccination. Indian government wants you to take Polio vaccination atleast a month before you travel to Kenya. This has to be taken from a municipal hospital or an authorised centre from where you will get a letter stating you have taken the oral polio drops.

The photography opportunities on this tour are immense. We would recommend a 300mm to 500mm lens for birds and mammals that will be at a distance. A mid range lens like a 100-400 or an 80-400 or 2–500 would be ideal too. If you are using a prime lens then a 70-200 kind of a lens will be very handy as you will say lions close by. A wide angle is a must because you can make some great habitat or scape shots.

Absolutely yes! We will be happy to customise this tour for you based on your preferred dates. Kindly write to us and tell us your preferred time of travel and we shall get back to you with a tentative itinerary and quote. This tour can be with or without a photography guide.

BOOK YOUR TOUR

    Dates don’t work for you?

    In case these dates do not work for you and you would wish to travel on your own at your own convenience dates, then do write to us.

    We will customise a tour for you on your preferred dates. This can be with or without a photography guide. We would ensure you have the best drivers, guides and will also suggest properties based on your preference.

    We have close to two decades of experience in the wildlife travel sector and will be able to guide you based on our own experience.