NOTE: THIS TOUR OPERATED BY RENEE DOYLE PHOTOGRAPHY. PLEASE SEE LINK AT BOTTOM FOR PRICING, TOUR POLICIES AND REGISTRATION
AUGUST 13 - 21, 2021
ABOUT THIS TOUR
An African Safari is a large investment and on this Safari we will have excellent opportunities to photograph the famous big cats of the Masai Mara, amongst the excitement and thrill of hopefully witnessing the great Wildebeest migration, which is without a doubt one of the most exhilarating and emotive wildlife photography experiences for any photographer! It is said that more than 1.5 million Wildebeest make the crossing from and to the Serengeti during the months of July to October, risking their lives in the process as they cross the crocodile infested waters.
There are many wonderful game reserves existing within Kenya but by far my favorites are the Olare Motorogi located within the Mara Conservancy and the Naboisho Conservancy, located adjacent to the Masai Mara National Reserve. The Olare Motorogi is actually the first private Conservancy within the Masai Mara eco-system and with its strict limit on bed numbers offers a unique Safari experience.
Wildlife is plentiful in the 35,000 acres of rolling grasslands, hills, escarpments and Motorogi plains. The Mara Naboisho Conservancy is 50,000 acres. Both conservancies offer generous personal space and freedom. Combine this with a high concentration of wildlife, we are able to obtain exceptional wildlife encounters. Both conservancies strictly monitor the number of tourists in the area and therefore reduce the number of vehicles and human impact on the environment and wildlife.
The Kicheche Camps in both conservancies are second to none. They are hosted by wonderful people who take a great deal of pride in running a friendly, relaxed yet luxurious camp in amongst the wilderness. The camps themselves have 6 amazing tents complete with ensuite and good solar electricity. There is Wi-Fi access in the main tent, and charging outlets are also available in the main common tent as well as in the vehicles and private tents. At the end of a great day out on the plains it is wonderful to return to camp to enjoy a lovely hot ‘bucket’ shower, before being escorted back to the main camp where you can sit by an open fire with a pre-dinner drink. We then move on to enjoy a 3-course gourmet dinner and in the morning, your early morning wake up call comes complete with your order of hot tea or coffee and a biscuit served to you in your private tent.
One of the benefits of being located within the conservancy is having the ability to go off-road for important subjects – like the abundance of big cats. Among the big cats that you more than likely will have an up-close encounter with are Lion, Cheetah, and possibly Leopard along the banks of the river. We will also be on the lookout for the smaller Servals and Caracals. There are of course many other wildlife to witness and enjoy … Giraffe, Zebra, Topi, Wildebeest, Thompson’s and Grant’s Gazelle, Impala, Spotted Hyena, Black-backed Jackal, Elephant, Hippopotamus, a great variety of bird life and much more!
Another benefit of being in the conservancy is the low number of game viewing vehicles. We also have the complete flexibility to stay out all day should we wish giving us the opportunity to enjoy breakfast and picnic lunches out under the shade of a beautiful tree on the plains without having to drive back to camp. Of course, the option to return for a delicious lunch is always there – totally up to the group to decide.
Being only a short drive from the border of the main Mara Reserve allows us to choose which day is potentially the best to witness one of the great crossings. Our guides have a large network throughout the Mara and will be receiving information on any mass groupings of Wildebeest allowing them to make a judgement call on the best opportunities to head to the river. Patience will be required on this day as the Wildebeest can often group up ready to cross only to get spooked and disperse – but staying and having the patience to then be rewarded with witnessing such an emotional moment is worth every minute spent sitting by the river bank.
At the end of each of our days exploring and viewing the abundance of beautiful scenery and amazing wildlife in the Conservancy our excellent Silver rated guide will host a sun-downer out on the wide-open plains … there is nothing quite like enjoying that icy cold beer or glass of wine watching an incredible African sunset!
The camps provide excellent Land Cruiser vehicles specifically with photographers in mind. The sides are open with ledges to support bean bags (supplied) offering maximum viewing area and space. The roof is fitted with a roll back top which has no bars to obstruct your view and bean bags can also be placed on top offering support for your lenses.
This safari is designed with getting quality images in mind, versus quantity and photographers of all skill levels are welcome. Our aim will be to spend as much time as possible out in the field and we will endeavour to witness as much wildlife as possible, but at times it is important to sit and wait for those special moments to unfold and therefore patience is the key. This safari is not designed to simply run around and check off a list – but rather to capture the best images possible in the best light, and at times that will mean waiting and watching an animals behaviour. By doing this you will be rewarded with amazing story-telling images! Most of our time is spent out in the field so there are no formal lectures or slideshows, but I will be available both out in the field and back at camp offering tips, advice, critique and guidance throughout the Safari.
DAY 1 - We begin with an overnight stay at Ole Sereni Hotel, Nairobi. Meeting in the lobby at 6:30pm to enjoy a welcome dinner, we will get to know each other and discuss the week ahead. Our flight is early the next morning and therefore the overnight stay is a necessary and welcome relief after your long-haul journey. (Dinner included – alcoholic beverages at participants cost)
DAY 2 - Our adventure begins as we head to Wilson Airport early this morning to board our Bush Plane for our short 1 hour flight to our home for the next four nights – Kicheche Bush Camp. We have purchased extra seats to allow for our camera equipment, but keep a camera handy as you never know what we will encounter enroute to camp!
After a short orientation and safety talk we settle into our tents before joining our hosts for the first of many gourmet meals. After lunch we depart to enjoy our first game drive and see what the Mara has to offer us. We finish our magical Safari by relaxing with a sun-downer on the open Mara Plains before heading back to camp. Once back in camp and after a refreshing hot ‘bucket’ shower, we will meet around the camp fire with pre-dinner cocktails before adjourning to the restaurant tent for a wonderful 3 course dinner.
DAY 3, DAY 4 and DAY 5 - We will enjoy a further 3 full days at this outstanding camp. A typical day will begin at around 6am. Our Guide/Driver will be constantly in touch with other drivers in the different reserves and will update us on possibilities of the best sightings available. Together we will make our decisions and each day will offer endless enjoyment and create ever lasting memories. We will be out scouting for wildlife to capture them in the best possible light before breakfast, and after our early morning game drive will enjoy our breakfast out on the plains, complete with table and chairs. Each day we will be able to decide whether to stay out for the entire day – with picnic lunch and refreshments – or we can return to camp for a cooked lunch, some down time or photo critique and Photoshop sessions. After afternoon tea we will head back out to once again find the wildlife and capture them in the best possible light. Our game drive would never be complete without the traditional sundowner out on the plains where we can reminisce on what we have seen during the day.
On one of these days we will head into the main Masai Mara Game Reserve to sit by the river to witness the Great Wildebeest Migration – also known as the World Cup of Wildlife!. The Masai Mara And the Serengeti National Park together form what no other reserve or park in Africa can. It is an exhilarating and quite often emotional experience and one that must be experienced at least once in a lifetime. Our silver guide will be monitoring the movements of the Wildebeest and advise us to which would be the optimum day to head to the river in hopes of witnessing the migration. It is a day of patience. Quite often the Wildebeest will group and head to the Mara river only to become spooked and disperse. A good book, hat, sunscreen and patience may be required on this day …. And then again, a crossing could occur within our first half hour on the river bank.
During the evenings, if the skies co-operate, we may even attempt some astro-photography.
DAY 6 - After an early morning game drive and breakfast, we will leave the beautiful Bush Camp and make our way via a short road trip to our new home for the next 2 nights – Kicheche Valley Camp. Both camps are very similar and you will feel right at home immediately. There will be plenty of game viewing again today! The Valley camp is located on the Eastern side of the 50,000 hectare Mara Naboisho conservancy. The camp itself is in a beautifully secluded valley dotted with the symbolic Acacia tree.
DAY 7 - Today is another full day of game view driving, dining and soaking up the atmosphere of being in a truly spectacular part of the world!
DAY 8 - We will enjoy one last early morning game viewing drive this morning and savour our last ‘Mara plains’ breakfast Safari style before making our way back to camp. Sadly, it is time to pack. We will have time to relax over lunch before boarding our mid-afternoon flight back to Nairobi. Tonight, we will share a farewell dinner together at the Ole Sereni hotel before saying our farewells. I am sure that we will have many memories to talk about and share and we look forward to seeing all your amazing images upon returning to our respective homes. Overnight at the Ole Sereni hotel.
DAY 9 - Due to many different flights by participants it is up to you to make your own arrangements back to Nairobi aiport. Either we or the hotel will be able to assist you with this. If there are several of you flying at around the same time we can co-ordinate these arrangements as well.
PRICING AND REGISTRATION INFORMATION
This tour is operated by Renee Doyle Photography. Please go to the following link for pricing, tour policies and registration details: