11 Days Kenya Wildlife Photo Safari
11 – Days Safari for Wildlife Photographers Wildebeest Migration
For more than a hundred years, Kenya has epitomized the archetypal bespoke African safari!
Think of Africa and one immediately thinks of infinite savannah plains teeming with wildlife, such as those found in the Maasai Mara, or the beauty of the Rift Valley and its magnificent lakes framed by mountains. This country offers some truly life-changing experiences, perfect perhaps for a horse riding safari in Kenya, or a family luxury safari.
It is a country of great diversity and beauty with some of the most welcoming people, but above all,
Kenya offers some of the finest wildlife in Africa, perfect for a luxury safari. Think of the wildebeest migration, one of Africa’s greatest wildlife spectacles documented on television channels by people like David Attenborough, Simon King and Jonathan Scott. Then combine that with some of the most fascinating culture and you have the perfect Kenya adventure safari!
BEST Times for this tour is January- Mid March when the Parks and Reserves are NOT too busy
or July –Oct if the client(s) want to focus on Annual wildebeest Migration with AUG-SEPT being
Peak time for the activity!!!At this time you will Witness Africa’s greatest wildlife phenomenon – the wildebeest migration, which takes place in the finest, richest game viewing region in Kenya in the Masai Mara from the beginning of July through October.
Day 0: Canada /U.S.A /EN-ROUTE
Depart from your home town en route to Nairobi. (International flight ticket not Included in Our price) but a guideline on days of travel (Meals Aloft).
Day 1: Nairobi (July- Oct 2019)
Your safari begins when you arrive in Nairobi where we will be met at the airport and transferred to the Nairobi Boma Inn Hotel for overnight. (Meals Aloft) or Dinner at the Hotel
Days 2-4: Samburu Game Reserve (July- Oct 2019)
After breakfast, we travel to Samburu Game Reserve, located in Kenya’s Northern Frontier District.
We enjoy the magnificent scenery of this region, exploring the area for wildlife characteristically found here. Grevy’s Zebra, Somali Ostrich, Beisa Oryx, Gerenuk, Olive Baboon, Guenther’s Dik-dik and Reticulated Giraffe thrive in this harsh but picturesque landscape. This is the land of the Samburu tribesmen, a pastoral people related to the Masai. The women wear layers of beads inchoker fashion around their necks, and the men are famous for their colorful adornment and high-jumping dances. Morning and afternoon game drives allow ample time to explore this unique area and observe its abundant wildlife. We will spend the next three nights at Samburu Lodge https://wildernesslodges.co.ke/samburu/ . (B,L,D Daily)
OPTIONAL: here is a chance to visit Samburu Cultural Village at USD$30 per person
Day 5-6: Sweetwater’s Game Reserve and Chimpanzee Sanctuary. (July- Oct 2019)
Today after our morning breakfast at Lodge and depart for Sweetwaters Game Reserve arriving in time for lunch. Sweetwater’s is in the slopes of Mt. Kenya and overlooks a floodlit waterhole offering visitors an unforgettable opportunity to view and shoot pictures of animals in their natural habitat.
Optional walking safari escorted by a knowledgeable Ranger. Bird-walks, Camel safaris,Chimpanzee observed from a Boat on the Ewaso Nyiro River which supports other wild game like Elephants, Buffalo, Baboon, Eland, Silver-backed Jackals, Ostrich, Rhino among others. It is only here that you can have a night game drive at extra cost. 25 of the 30 luxurious tents overlook thewater hole and some are built on stilts to offer you a better view. Each luxurious tent comes with en-suite facilities, a patio (verandah) and is set under a thatch roof. A visit to the Chimpanzee sanctuary should not be missed. Here we will spend two nights at Sweetwater’s Tented Camp. http://www.serenahotels.com/serenasweetwaters/default-en.html
Day 7: Lake Naivasha (July- Oct 2019)
Today after an early breakfast, our safari will be destined for Lake Naivasha, the only freshwater lake in the Rift Valley. From the top of the Rift Valley escarpment, you can see the lake sparkling
under the sun thousands of feet below you. The lake is home to a large colony of hippos and it’s also a Mecca for bird watchers and researchers since over 400 different species of birds have been
recorded here. It’s on the beautiful shores of Lake Naivasha that Joy Adamson author of the bestseller book “Born free” lived; her home Elsamere is now a wildlife education and conservation center. The lakes location and wildlife makes it an ideal place for an afternoon boat ride. A visit to the liberating Crescent Island, which is completely undeveloped, wild and free, is one of the few places on earth where you can wander/walk on foot among herds of zebra, wildebeest, gazelle, giraffe and Dik Diks. There are no predators and no fences so it will be quite a liberating and exciting feeling to walk among the wildlife optional at an extra cost.
Lunch will be served at the tranquil Lake Naivasha Country Club, In the afternoon enjoy an unforgettable and memorable boat ride among colonies of hippos and birds, Later enjoy your dinner prepared from the freshest lakeside produce and ingredients. You can also play pool (Snooker), go
for a swim or gather around and enjoy the roaring and warming log fire in the guests lounge until 11:30pm. Dinner and overnight at Lake Naivasha Country Club (BLD).http://sunafricahotels.com/portfolio/lake-naivasha-country-club-accommodation/
Day 8-10: Lake Nakuru-Masai Mara (July- Oct 2019)
Today our safari expedition will take us to the jewel of Kenya’s parks, the world famous Masai Mara Game (Wildlife) Reserve. This is Kenya’s number one park and is always on every tourist’s “Must see list”. Full of life with various types of animals and birds, Masai Mara crown’s the climax of every safari in Kenya. Its rolling grasslands and acacia savannah have time and again been captured on film with the movie “Out Of Africa” being the most famous. Masai Mara is home to the “Big Five”(Elephant, Buffalo, Lion, Leopard and Rhino) and over 450 bird species. Apart from the big five, the Masai Mara is most famous for the spectacular annual migration of over a million wildebeest, zebra, gazelle etc from the Serengeti in northern Tanzania crossing the Mara River into Kenya in search of fresh feeding grounds, which takes place in late July or August. During this crossing, hundreds of animals are swept away by the first moving Mara River and others are killed by the ferocious African Crocodiles. This crossing gives true meaning to the phrase “Survival of the fittest”.
We will be staying in the heart of Masia Mara at Matira Bush Camphttp://matirasafari.com/main-camp/?lang=en.Here we will also spend 4 nights at either of the above camps. All meals and overnight at one location (BLD)
Day 11–Nairobi /Fly (July- Oct 2019)
Today morning after breakfast we will drive back to Nairobi 6hrs drive but of course there is an
optional to fly back Nairobi and thereafter you will be transferred to the Airport for your international connection for a safe journey home. (BL)
Pricing: $ and $ optional for flying back from Masia Mara to Nairobi (instead of 6 hours riding back in the regular program).
POST or PRE- TOUR EXTENSION
3Days/2Nights – AMBOSELI
Day 01: NAIROBI – AMBOSELI
After an early morning breakfast, your safari begins with a pleasant drive heading south from the capital city (Nairobi) to Amboseli National Park. At an altitude of about 1200m – 1400m and Beautifully situated beneath the foot of Africa’s highest mountain Mt. Kilimanjaro (5895m), the park is well renowned for its huge herds of elephants and various types of other Savannah wildlife such as Giraffes, Bushbuck’s, Kudu, Warthog’s, Zebra’s and over 425 species of birds recorded here. The snowcapped peak of Kilimanjaro rising above white clouds dominates every aspect of Amboseli and forms a backdrop to an impressive display of wildlife attracted to this location by swamps and springs fed by underground rivers from Kilimanjaro’s melting snow. With an airstrip at Empusel Gate, the park is also home to the Masai people, those tall, brave, and proud nomads who live in close harmony with the environment and the wildlife that surrounds them. Amboseli was the location around which such famous writers like Sir Ernest Hemingway and Robert Ruark tailored their stories of big game hunting in the wilds of Africa
Enjoy a game (Wildlife) drive en-route, as we arrive in time for your lunch at the OL-TUKAI LODGE, situated deep in the heart of the world famous Amboseli National Park. The lodge is camouflaged in a forest of fever trees, yellow barked acacia trees, palms and well designed cottage style accommodations, which spread out on either side of the main lodge. Each room offers a breathtaking view of the magnificent Mt. Kilimanjaro and the surrounding wetlands. Ol-Tukai lodge blends perfectly well into the African savannah and it will bring out your natural instincts. You can go for a dive in the Acacia tree shaded swimming pool, or for those of you reading enthusiasts, you can read the day away in the well-stocked library with a relaxing view of Mt. Kilimanjaro. After your afternoon game drive you can spend some time in the open-air bar, which is open until the last guest retires, so if you’re the “night owl type” this is the perfect opportunity for you to stay up all night Dinner & overnight at OL-TUKAI LODGE (LD).
Day 02: AMBOSELI
A dawn game drive will be the perfect time for photographing the humbling and magnificent Mt. Kilimanjaro the highest peak in Africa. We return to the lodge for breakfast and some R&R “rest and relaxation”, sunbathing, swimming or for those of you reading enthusiasts, you can read the day away in the well-stocked library with a relaxing view of Mt. Kilimanjaro, before heading out for an afternoon game drive. All meals and overnight at OL-TUKAI LODGE (BLD).
Day 03: AMBOSELI – NAIROBI
Soon after breakfast with a game drive en-route, we depart Ol-Tukai and Amboseli National Park, and head back to “The City Under The Sun” (Nairobi). Lunch at your own arrangement as well as the rest of the afternoon (B).
OPTIONAL ACTIVITY While in Nairobi
David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is a small flexible charity, established in memory of David Sheldrick, famous Naturalist and founder Warden of Kenya’s giant Tsavo East National Park in which he served from 1948 until 1976. Since its inception in 1977 the Trust has played an extremely significant and important role in Kenya’s conservation effort. Six Trustees assisted by an Advisory Committee of practical Naturalists with a lifetime experience of African conditions oversee and direct the operations of the Trust. The orphan elephants and rhinos are just some of the many wildlife commitments they are involved in. The Trust does not solicit funds and relies entirely on donations from our caring and compassionate friends and clients who visit the center on daily basis.
To date the Trust has successfully hand-raised over 150 infant elephants and has accomplished its long-term conservation priority by effectively reintegrating orphans back into the wild herds of Tsavo, claiming many healthy wild-born calves from former-orphaned elephants raised in their care. The success of their Orphans’ Projects is due to the assistance of many organizations and individuals but particularly to the support of the Trust’s Fostering Program. If you wish, you can foster one or more of the elephant orphans from as little as 0nly USD$50 per Orphan per year and you will be updated on a monthly newsletter of the Orphan you support. https://www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org/asp/orphans.asp
AT Giraffe Centre, http://giraffecenter.org/ this is a rare opportunity of literary coming face to face with Africa’s tallest animal – the giraffe or even getting a kiss from the giraffe. Feed Daisy, the famous Rothschild giraffe and her family and learn about the success story of the once endangered Rothschild Giraffe. Entrance fee contributes to other conservation projects in Kenya.
WHAT TO EXPECT
- AN ITINERARY DESIGNED FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS
Early mornings and late afternoons for the best light and wildlife activity. Long days in the field.
Excellent driver-guides who are sensitive to the needs of photographic groups. Time out of the vehicles, and great photographic opportunities with plenty of time for you to explore on your own.
- LAND TRANSPORTATION
Travel will be by Land Cruiser 4×4, equipped with Open roof hatches (360°) or Pop-up roof top for
game viewing. For the main expedition and the Mara extension we recommend a maximum of only
three to Four guests in a vehicle, guaranteeing you plenty of space, something essential for
photographers. Most of the safari vehicles that we use are long wheel base four-wheel-drive Land Cruisers.
- ACCOMMODATIONS AND FOOD
You will stay in the best-tented camps, lodges and hotels possible. We much prefer tented camps wherever possible, as they offer the convenience of a lodge, but give you the feel of camping. Your tent is canvas, but has a thatched roof, a concrete floor with rugs and has electricity. The beds are very comfortable. Each tent has private facilities en-suite with cold and hot running water and flush toilets.
- GUIDES ANDSTAFF
You will be accompanied by professional driver-guides, who know the best locations for wildlife and have experience with serious photographers. Tented camps and lodges have their own permanent staffs.
- FITNESS AND HEALTH
The safari is not strenuous, and anyone who is reasonably fit and in good health should be able to participate. You, will, however, have long international flights and will be spending many hours in a vehicle on game drives. Land travel will sometimes be over very bumpy and dusty roads. The maximum altitude you will reach on this safari is about 8,200 feet above sea level.
* Services of Nature’s Wonderland Safaris, for complete pre-departure information, a checklist of what to bring, bird and mammal checklists.
* Accommodations in the finest lodges and tented camps, all with en suite facilities
* Full board accommodation whilst on safari.
* Meal plan as described, B=Breakfast, L=Lunch and D=Dinner.
* 4 X 4 Land Cruiser- maximum of 4 guests per vehicle.
* All meals; tea; coffee; bottled water while on game drives
* All transfers (when arriving/departing on the group flights), hotel, lodge and tented camp service charges, taxes and national park fees. Transfer fee when not arriving on group flights will be an additional $50 per vehicle that sits up to six persons.
* Membership in the Flying Doctors program
* Round-trip International air fare.
* All land and air transportation within Kenya as specified in the itinerary (where mentioned)
* Passport and visa fees; tips to drivers, guides and camp staff.
* Items of a personal nature, such as laundry, phone calls, beverages etc.
TRAVEL DOCUMENTS: A six months valid passport beyond your anticipated date of return Home is required. A visa is required to enter Kenya or any other East Africa Country which can be obtained upon arrival or can be applied on line at the E-Citizen Portal @ https://immigration.ecitizen.go.ke/index.php?id=5 or http://evisa.go.ke/evisa.html – currently $50. Per each of East African Countries you wish to visit.
GROUP SIZE: The main expedition is priced on # guests. If guest numbers require an additional
vehicle to accommodate only one or two guests in a vehicle, a surcharge may apply.
Singles are limited to $$ per program and are not guaranteed. (see above)
FINAL PAYMENT: Final Payment is due 60 days prior to departure.
CANCELLATION TERMS: If you need to cancel your booking, you must inform us immediately
via email and we will confirm the cancellation. Based on the date that we receive your cancellation
notice, the following cancellation fees will apply per person:
90 days or more prior to the first day of the tour: The deposit or $500, whichever is less.
-Between 60 and 89 days prior to the first day of the tour: The deposit.
-Between 45 and 59 days prior to the first day of the tour: 50% of the tour cost.
-Less than 45 days prior to the first day of the tour: 100% of the tour cost.
-Please note that bank charges are deducted from the refund you receive.
CANCELLATIONS BY Nature’s Wonderland Safaris
At time of printing, we have never had to cancel anyone’s reservation. We will try to run a tour even
if few people have signed up, and sometimes at a loss to us. However, for some tours we simply cannot operate them without a certain minimum number of bookings, and if we fail to reach that number we will be forced to cancel the tour. If this should happen, you will receive a full refund of any payment made as well as a 10% discount on your next Birding or Wildlife Photography tour. We will also pay any bank fees incurred in refunding your money.
If circumstances beyond our control force us to cancel a tour, in whole or in part, such as natural disaster, civil unrest, or war, then we will attempt to refund as much of the tour fee as possible. However, we cannot guarantee a full refund.
HEALTH REQUIREMENTS: Precautions against malaria, Hepatitis A, and Tetanus are highly recommended. Yellow Fever is REQUIRED if entering Kenya from an infected area. Please consult your physician, public health/travel clinic, or Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta or Home area for more information.
CLIMATE: Kenya’s climate is ideal, with temperatures averaging 70 to 90 F by day, and rarely below 55 F in the evening. If traveling from June to September temperatures could range between 40 and 80 F.
INSURANCE: We strongly recommend and advice that every traveler should have a sound health as well as travel Insurance and health insurance while taking any safari. Although we can be able to arrange that with the AAR Healthy Service (Flying Doctors in East Africa), in case of any Healthy Emergence problem that may occur at an extra cost upon what the safari may be quoted.
- Although Tipping is NOT A must in Kenya it is advisable to do so, based on services given and below are the guidelines:
- Hotel Porters and Waiters: 1-5 USD$ per person
- Tour Driver/Guides: 10-20 USD$ per person per day
- Hot Air Balloon Ride at US$450 per person
- A Visit to the Maasai Cultural Village Homes at US$30 per person.
- Day 12 of the itinerary is optional for those who want a rest after safari before flying back home.