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Masai Mara Signature Great Migration Safari
Our Kenya Great Migration Safari is dubbed the 'world's best wildlife safari' as it is especially timed to coincide with the annual wildebeest migration, which itself has also been called the 'greatest wildlife show on earth'. Seeing the migration crossing the River Mara is as iconic as it gets and this safari offers you the best chance of seeing not just a wildebeest crossing, but a plethora of other iconic African animals. The Masai Mara is the wildlife mecca of the world but many people feel it is too touristy. The reserve is 1500 square kilometers (580 square miles) which means it is big enough to get away from the tourist hordes. It is all a question of location and knowing where to drive. After 13 years of operating in the Masai Mara I know how to offer you an authentic wildlife experience and one that will see you filling your memory card many times over...
This Kenya Photo Safari is timed to coincide with the great wildebeest migration and more specifically with the time of year when the great herds are crossing the Mara River and the crocodiles are hungry. However, this photo safari in Kenya also contains the essence of a classic East African safari offering not only phenomenal wildlife photography but also wild freedom and expansive scenery. As such, non photographing partners will enjoy a sublime safari experience.
Day 1- Overnight Nairobi
After being met at the international airport in Nairobi, you will be transferred to the old colonial suburb of Karen. This leafy-green suburb is where many famous safaris have begun and if time allows you can feed Giraffe at the Karen Giraffe Centre and you can also visit Karen Blixen's old farm house. That evening you will be staying in a charming colonial-style guest house where you will enjoy a hearty dinner and a pre-trip brief from your host and guide, Greg. After a good night's rest and a scrumptious breakfast, you will depart at 8am for the local airport called Wilson.
Day 2, 3, 4, 5 - In the heart of the Masai Mara
After a short 40 minute flight on a scheduled charter you will land on an airstrip in the Masai Mara Game Reserve. From here, you will enjoy a safari drive into the heart of the Masai Mara which is where our camp is located. Arriving at Naibor Camp in time for lunch, you will be escorted to your large Bedouin style safari tent nestled inside a forest on the banks of the famous Talek River.
Naibor Camp is one of the finest safari camp's in Kenya. To see what the accommodation is like you can visit their website here... and watch a YouTube video here...
We will spend 4 nights at Naibor. During the days we will explore the incredible Masai Mara Game Reserve and take in the sights and sounds of the great wildebeest migration. By basing ourselves in the heart of the park, we have no gate times to contend with and we are surrounded by 360 degrees of the best photographic opportunities in Africa. This is no ordinary Masai Mara photo tour as we are able to access all the major wildebeest crossing points quickly and we are also able to access the remoter parts of the reserve, thereby getting away from the other vehicle traffic. With our own vehicle we have maximum freedom and we will seek out unique and thrilling photographic opportunities. We will photograph predators and predator action as well as a plethora of other wildlife. The Masai Mara is the photography mecca of Africa and as such you will feel like you have stepped into a wildlife documentary. Greg knows the Masai Mara intimately and he will take you to the heart of the action. He not only knows where the wildebeests' traditional crossing points are but also where the predators' territories are and he will ensure that you see the best wildlife on offer anywhere in Africa.
Masai Mara hot air balloon safaris can also be arranged on an adhoc basis from Naibor (but not included in the cost of the safari) and the masseuse at Naibor is absolutely excellent.
Day 6, 7, 8, 9 - Masai Mara Conservancy
On Day 6 we will transfer to our next camp which is Kicheche Bush Camp. The transfer takes the form of a safari drive as we pass through the reserve and into the neighbouring conservancy. A straight transfer is about a 1.5 hour drive, so no photography time will be wasted.
Kicheche is a small classic and intimate luxury tented camp that offers large spacious walk in tents which, like Naibor, open along their sides, so they are not hot and stuffy like more traditional tented camps. This camp is situated on the Acacia plains of the Mara and it therefore has a completely different feel to Naibor which is located in a forest along the Talek River. We will enjoy our meals alfresco on the great plains and the food at Kicheche is yummy.
We will be based at Kicheche for 4 nights and the photography here is especially exciting. We have our own private concession to explore and not only are we away from other vehicle traffic but the predator photography inside the conservancy is nothing short of spectacular. Again, there are no gate times to adhere to, nor are there long traveling distances as our camp is in the middle of the predator action. We can go off-road in the concession and excellent predator sightings are guaranteed.
Although we are based inside a private conservancy we can still access all the traditional wildebeest crossing points without needing to drive through a gate to get to the crossing action. For a photographer, Kicheche really does offer the best of both worlds in that we can access the migration action if we want to, but we can also enjoy awesome predator action in a private concession.
We will again have exclusive use of a vehicle and Kicheche caters especially for photographers so the vehicles have beanbag platforms.
Sitting close to the campfire at night, you will enjoy the starry African night and once safely escorted to your tent by your Maasai watchman, you will be lulled asleep to the sounds of the African night, including roaring lion and herein lies the beauty of canvas, you can actually hear and enjoy the night sounds (as opposed to an air conditioned lodge).
See www.kicheche.com for more information on your camp.
Day 9 - Depart home or continue on with an extension...
A half-hour safari drive takes us to the airstrip and a short 45 minute schedule charter will take us from the Masai Mara back to Nairobi, where transfers are pre-arranged to either drop you back at the international airport or to take you back to your guest house in Karen. In this event, you will overnight and let the safari sink in, before being transferred the next day to the airport for your onward flight home.
*3 day 'great elephant herds of Mount Kilimanjaro' extension - Amboseli National Park: A 45 minute flight will take you into the heart of an exclusive private conservancy in Amboseli National Park. Here you have full access to the national park but more importantly you will enjoy our own private conservancy away from the minibus tourist vehicles. Inside the conservancy you will enjoy exclusivity and total freedom as you go about your photography. Our aim on this extension of your Kenya private safari is to photograph beautiful herds of elephants and giraffes with Mount Kili in the background. Of course you will also track down predators and you will enjoy exceptional landscape opportunities. Our camp is situated at the base of Mount Kilmanjaro and sipping your 'beverage of choice' in the bar, you will enjoy the finest view of Mount Kilimanjaro of any safari camp in Africa. Our camp is Italian owned and organic produce is freshly grown on the lodge grounds. The cuisine has a distinctly Italian flare and this, combined with the view from the camp, means that you will enjoy the finest traditional safari experience, as only Kenya can offer. An Amboseli photo safari is the perfect end to your safari as the vista is incredible and so are the photographic opportunities. See www.tortillas.com for more information about the camp.
*4 day Rwanda gorilla extension: If you are still not ready for your adventure to end, then we can easily arrange a Gorilla trekking extension. Rwanda is just an hour flight away from Nairobi and we will take you to the very place where Diane Fossey did her research. You will need a minimum of 4 extra days to do this extension. This extension is booked per request only.
*6 day Laikipia extension: One of the best kept secrets in Kenya is the thriving wild dog population in Laikipia. This extension takes you to what is quite possible the best place in Africa to spend time with wild dogs. Laikipia is situated in the highlands of Kenya and this wild bush country, when combined with the great plains, makes this a truly remarkable safari. This extension is booked on private request only. Laikipia is also an excellent location for rhino, cheetah, Grevy's Zebra, Reticulated Giraffe and Gerenuk. This extension can be extended to include a Samburu cultural experience as well as a helicopter flip over the flamingoes of Lake Bagoria.
To receive a complete itinerary and costing, simply email me here and mention your preference of extensions...
Eighth-generation African and professional wildlife photographer Greg du Toit will lead you on this remarkable expedition (read guest testimonials here). Greg has been following the migration for 13 consecutive years now and he has been highly commended in the prestigious BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year awards, for an image of a wildebeest crossing, that he captured in the Masai Mara back in 2009. More recently, he was commissioned by National Geographic Channel during their 'Great Migrations' series in the Masai Mara. Having resided in southern Kenya for two years he captured unique imagery of free-ranging lion by sitting inside a waterhole. This story received worldwide media coverage including a BBC Worldwide Media Service interview. On this photographic safari he will provide expert photographic tuition at your level of experience and he will also bring fundamental geographical and animal behavioural knowledge to the table, thereby ensuring that you obtain your dream images.
Still got questions you want answered, see my safari FAQ page here...
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