TOO many vehicles in the Mara, really?

by Piper & filed under Africa, Blog, travel, Wild life.
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I am always curious about a person when I receive an email, or read a comment complaining about too many vehicles in the Mara. I often wonder what their personal motivation is behind discouraging others from coming to one of the most renowned wildlife reserves in the world, a reserve immortalized by countless BBC and National Geographic documentaries and a reserve visited by the top wildlife photographers every year.

The Maasai Mara during the migration is, hands down, the greatest, most exciting, action -packed, wildlife experience in the world. I can’t imagine missing out on experiencing the greatest migration in the world, a mind-blowing event, just because it the busiest time to be in there. It is the ying with yang, the balance of nature, the good with the bad. As I like to say, “if you eat a lot of good food you you put on a few pounds, if you eat less and healthy you loose a few pounds”. There are not many situations in life when you get to have the perfect situation all to yourself. Is that a reason to avoid it all together?

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I try to never forget what made me pick up the camera in the first place; the curiosity and the excitement of a place; more than a photograph, an experience. Don’t get me wrong, I am very serious about my photography, but when I lose the emotion of the experience, it becomes just another job. With that said, “there is a crazy amount of vehicles in the Mara during the Migration and it can be very frustrating, pull your hair out maddening!” This is why I use such an experienced team of drivers who are great at out maneuvering others and getting us into position, as I cannot imagine missing this event. It is called “compromising.”

Like Africa, being in the Mara during the migration is an addiction. This will be my 11th year, witnessing and photographing this unbelievable phenomena! I went down to the Sand River today and saw the first herds crossing over from Tanzania. There were thousands and thousands of wildebeest and zebras. I was so excited you would have thought this was first time I had seen the migration For me, it never gets old. Yes, all of us photographers wish we were the only ones out here, with no other tourists, but that is not the reality. Too many vehicles, bring it on, I will be right in the middle of it all!!

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I agree that dealing with these type situations is not for everyone. If you have no desire to experience and photograph the great migration, in particular the crossing of the Mara River, or you are just completely intolerant of crowds and compromise, then I would say you should definitely stay away from the Mara during the crowed migration season. This does not mean stay away from the Mara completely because the Mara is great during the off-season, which is becoming known as the Big Cat season.

Words are powerful. Don’t give one person’s opinion so much power that it influences you in the wrong direction. Evaluate the information, do your own research, and understand what may be behind their opinion. Ultimately you have to make decisions that fit your goals both photographically and in experience.

Many of you reading this blog have been to the Maasai during the migration, what is your option?

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In 2016, I will be running four safaris to the Maasai Mara; two during the migration season and two during the off season.

Great Migration Safari 2016-

This is for all us passionate, adrenaline rushing, crazy photographers that just want to be in the thick of the action! We will stay in three different location in the Mara during the height of the Migration season. Details-

Kenya Wildlife Safari 2016 –

This is for us photographers that want to experience and photograph the migration, but wish to visit a few other top reserves in Kenya. The Ultimate Classic African Safari is timed during the migration, including 5 nights in the Mara. Details-

Kenya and Tanzania 2016

The best of the best! This is for photographers who wish to experience the migration, but not the madness of the Mara. This safari takes you to the famous Serengeti for the birthing season. Each year around this time, approximately 750,000 wildebeest give birth during a three-week period. This natural phenomenon draws the attention of predators. Then we fly from the Serengeti into the Maasai Mara during the Big Cat season with very few vehicles in the reserve. Details-

Ultimate Big Cat Safari 2016 –

This is for photographers who wish to focus on creating dramatic, award winning images, which is hard to do in the high season. One of the best-kept secrets in Africa, this is the time of year when the crowds are down south in Tanzania with the migration, but the hungry predators remain behind. This allows us to spend quality time with these big cats, virtually undisturbed. Details –

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Safari Life – Extremely addictive

by Piper & filed under Blog.
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Let me start by warning you that going on safari is extremely addictive. I have been in the Maasai Mara for the last three weeks, and I could stay for another three months. Africa is a place that one can rarely visit only once; it gets in your blood. There are numerous articles and blogs from travelers to photographers, speaking of their first safari in Africa, and how once the plane left Africa for home, they dreamed of the day they could return. I have been on safari with many people who have traveled all over the world and most have shared that no other place has affected them as deeply as Africa. For a great majority, it becomes a life-changing experience, which is exactly what happened with me.

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Your days will start with hot coffee or tea, delivered to your safari tent before the sun rises. As the cool, fresh air fills your lungs, you’ll feel invigorated and rejuvenated, ready for a great day on safari. Excitement builds as you hear the rhythm of the diesel engines of the safari vehicles warming up. All you need to do is grab your gear and jump in. As you pull out of camp, your heart races a little faster, and the hunt begins. Around every corner or past every bush you might find a pride of lions or a herd of elephants storming across the dusty savannas. It is like the ultimate treasure hunt! This morning as I was driving through the tall grasses, I turned a corner and walking down the road, coming straight at me were two female lions with seven cubs. An exciting way to start any day!

This is a place where you completely loose yourself in the excitement of the moment over and over again. There really are no words or images that can explain the feeling of being in such a magical environment, surrounded by exotic wildlife. You will feel like you stepped directly into a wildlife documentary. Where else in the world can you see and photograph lions, leopards, cheetahs, zebras, elephants, hyenas, giraffes, rhinos, jackals, several cats, over ten species of antelope, and more, all in the wild? In the Mara, it is entirely possible to see most of these animals in just one game drive. There is a serenity in completely losing your self in the moment and forgetting about anything else going on in your life; this is a place that one can renew one’s soul.
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As the day becomes warm and the animals become still, you head back to camp. Your safari tent may overlook a river, filled with hippos. Have a plunge pool on the deck overlooking a river where elephants are known to cross, or just be surrounded by nature. A scrumptious lunch is prepared for you and an afternoon of relaxation is on the menu. There is a wonderful complete lack of responsibility as everything is planned and taken care of for you. In the late afternoon, you head back out on safari. On your way back to camp, you may stop under an iconic acacia tree for sundowners, cocktails and appetizers, all while looking over the vast savanna while watching the African sunset.

In the evening, everyone gathers around the campfire, enjoying the starry African sky, talking about all of the unbelievable sightings, experiences of the day, and photography. The camaraderie between safari goers and photographers is as though we have all known each other for years. After dinner, a Maasai watchman escorts you to your luxury Safari tent. There is no better way to experience Africa than by spending a few nights under canvas, camping in the heart of a reserve, listening to the sounds of lions roaring, zebras barking, and hyenas calling as you gently fall asleep.

Although I will not be on a long plane ride home, half way around the world, the ache to return on safari is the same. It is never easy to leave a place this magical. In the last decade, I have never left disappointed and I always witness something new, exciting, and unexpected. Going on a safari is one thing that continues to go beyond my expectations.

Below are images of Little Mara Bush Camp that I called home for past three weeks.   (images curtesy of SunWorld Safaris)

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Living with Lions

by Piper & filed under Africa, Blog, inspiration, travel, Wild life.

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A gentle wind blows across the plains as prides of lions lie in the shade of the acacias, waiting patiently in anticipation. At any moment now, a dust cloud will gather over the horizon, as thousands of wildebeest thunder through the tall grasses of the Maasai Mara; marking the arrival of the Great Migration. During migration season, the Maasai Mara is arguably the greatest wildlife photography experience in the world.

I am currently in the Maasai Mara, at Little Mara Bush Camp, which is my home for the next three weeks. This is a fascinating time to be in the Mara. The grasses are the highest of the year, providing tremendous opportunities to capture artistic and unique photographs. I am slow to click the shutter, as my focus is on creating interesting and powerful images through the use of dramatic lighting, slower shutter speeds, creative exposures and different white balance choices. Each morning starts before sunrise, quickly fading into the heat of the day without seeing another vehicle. It has a feel of a private reserve; the calm before the storm.

I have spent hundreds, if not thousands, of hours photographing in this reserve over the past decade. What’s so different about these three weeks is that I am driving my own Land Rover. I must admit, it takes the experience to entirely new heights. I feel even more connected to the wildlife and this extraordinary place; no longer a visitor, but a feeling of belonging. Over these three weeks, I will be maneuvering over rough roads, crossing through rivers with rocky boulder bottoms, and sliding through the wet swampy black cotton soil, covering as much of the Mara as possible. Some of the most important skills for a wildlife photographer to have are to intimately know a location, understand the animal territories and behavior, and to build strong personal relationships in the area.

I wish to not only improve my own skills as an African wildlife photographer, but to specialize my guiding skills for those joining me on safaris.

Africa truly awakens your soul, as it did mine, on my first safari eleven years ago. I will savor these three weeks and immerse myself fully into every moment. As always, it will be hard to leave, even if only for a short time. I will return in August and September to lead my annual safaris –  Kenya Wildlife Safari and Great Migration Safari, during the height of the migration season. No matter how much time I spend in the Maasai Mara, it is never enough; it never gets old. Most all who have been here would also agree.

You know you are truly alive

when you are living among lions.

Karen Blixen – Out of Africa

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One Life; Dream it, Chase it, Live it.

by Piper & filed under Africa, Blog, goals, travel.

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If I were practical, I would not be a photographer living in Kenya. I have always been a dreamer and a dream chaser. For weeks, I went through the grief between practical and heart racing as I traveled through Kenya and came in and out of Nairobi. Those of you that have traveled with me over the last five years know about my crazy infatuation for Land Rovers. I sat behind the wheel of a Land Cruiser, driving the rough roads of Northern Kenya, but at the end of the day, I was sitting behind a Toyota truck. It was just not the same; no matter what my head told me, my heart never fully agreed. It only took a decade of hard work, adversity, wanting to quit, and a huge investment for me to make my dream of living in Africa happen, so why would I suddenly stop taking risks and start being practical?

Really, I kept an open mind until the end. I said, “Whichever one comes my way is the right one.” Well, on my way back through Nairobi from my first trip to Turkana, I rolled past this Landy. It only took about 30 hours and I had the keys. I guess it was love at first sight, as I had test drove several Landy’s on this lot since mid-December. It only took another four days to get stuck in the black cotton soil, or rather high centered and temporarily delayed, proper. The next day I broke it. These things have now been checked off the list, stuck and broken, and I continue to look for a place to make me a bumper sticker that says, “I would rather be pushing my Landy.”

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I am now in the process of preparing for my photographer in residence in the Maasai Mara, from July 1-21! She has been thoroughly checked by two top mechanics, with great results. I needed new brake pads, a few belts replaced, a small short fixed, and a few bolts tightened. She is now at the famous Schuhmacher’s, Land Rover conversion specialist, to have a hatch put in the roof over the front seats.

I know those of you who are practical, will be thinking, “You should have gotten a Land Cruiser”, but my philosophy of “One Life, Live It”, has allowed me to live my dream completely. At the end of the day, if it all goes south, I could just simplify my life by breathing deeply, throwing my stuff in the back, opening my eyes, and hitting the road for another long adventure down a bumpy dirt road.

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The vision of my African Dream was always in a Land Rover. Dreams don’t chase themselves. I could not justify letting fear and practicality stand between me and the dream; I had to go all the way.

7 things I miss the most about the US

by Piper & filed under Blog, travel.

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I only had about seven weeks to settle into life in Nairobi before I hit the road again, but it was enough to get a taste of real life. Although I have spent 1-3 months a year in Kenya for the past decade, even staying in Karen—an area in Nairobi—with friends for several weeks, living there is still an adjustment. I am currently back in the states leading my Spirit-N-Light workshop, speaking at three events, and taking care of some things that did not get done prior to my departure.

Several people have commented they are surprised I am back so soon, and I laugh because some of those same individuals keep asking me when my 2016 safari schedule will be listed. Most of my schedule is planned out a year in advance. Therefore, when I moved to Kenya, I already had events scheduled in the US, bringing me back a few months after my arrival. Currently, I am planning to visit the states twice a year: once in spring and once in autumn. The idea was to flip where I spend my time, spending the majority of it in Africa and only a few months in the US.

When I return to Kenya in April, I will post what I love about living in Kenya. If you would like to receive this post by email, subscribe here.

1.Family, friends, and my cat.

I have traveled excessively for the past two decades, more for my fashion career than my photography career. I am used to being away from my family, friends, and pets for half of the year, but living halfway around the world from them is a quite a different experience. After several long days in front of the computer, I can’t just hop on my bike, or into my car, and meet up with friends and family. Skype is great, but it is not the same.

As for my cat, she is living a very spoiled life with my parents, but I miss having her with me. I have a greater appreciation for my wonderful family and friends than ever before.

2. Familiarity

I miss the ease of familiarity in everyday life: banking, the market, the freedom of hopping in my jeep and knowing where I am going. All the things I did in everyday life without having to give them any thought. For the first few weeks, just going to market was like being a deer in the headlights. I recognized very few of the brands; from seasonings to soap, it was all unknown and I had no idea what to choose. I laughed at myself for being so naive about to how big of an adjustment these types of everyday tasks would be in the beginning.

3. Trader Joe’s and ground turkey

I am a single woman who prefers to spend her time doing many things in life other than preparing a meal. Trader Joe’s made this task simple, tasty, and healthy. T.J.; please come to Nairobi. Subway is already here. The one item I have not found is ground turkey. It is one of the only meats I usually eat, so I miss it.

4. Coffee and my American size cup!

Yes, many of you are thinking that Kenya is known for its great coffee. I, however, have gone through about 6 brands and I still have not found one that suits me. I even have a friend whose family owns a plantation. I will be stocking up while I am here. I also miss my big American size coffee cup, as I can’t seem to find one in Kenya. That goes back to the to idea of familiarity, of just not knowing where to go yet. So, I will be bringing my cup with me for now. Few things give me more pleasure in life on a day-to-day basis,than a big cup of fresh coffee and a hot shower.

5. American TV

There are evenings when I just want to plop down on a comfortable couch, put my feet up, and zone out while watching a favorite program. I can’t stream through Hulu or Netflix, but I have discovered I can buy TV on iTunes. Since I don’t watch much TV, this is working for me at the moment, but I miss the ease of just flipping through several cannels of quality programing. I have the NatGeo channel and CNN, but that is about it. Oh, BTW, I also don’t have a couch yet, but it is on the list. LOL.

6. The beach

In southern California, I lived a few blocks from the beach. Everyday, after sitting in front of the computer for many hours, I would either bike or walk along the ocean. This pulled me away from the stress of life and allowed me to be a part of the calmness of the moment where my creativity easily flows. I now live in a beautiful, garden-type setting, where I take daily walks, but it’s not the same. I still miss the beach.

7. Photography events

I was fortunate to live in a city that had many incredible photography events. I love socializing in person and the inspiration it can bring. I miss being able to hop into my car and visit the Annenberg Space of Photography lecture series, the G2 gallery, and local photography club events. Make sure to take advantage of these types of events in your own back yard.

Experience the Extraordinary

by Piper & filed under Africa, Blog, inspiration, passion, travel, Wild life.

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

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It is the adventures and experiences that create the excitement that feeds one’s soul. When life starts to feel mundane, it is time to take an adventure; grab your friends, book a flight, head into nature, climb a mountain, dream about the future, feel the freedom, and experience something that makes your heart race. Take more than an epic journey; experience an odyssey in the fullest sense of the word. A single decision can be the defining moment, which changes the direction of one’s path in life. This is what happened to me a decade ago. Making that sudden decision to go to Africa taught me to jump out there, live boldly, and experience the extraordinary.

Although my camera is the drive behind seeking adventure and capturing compelling stories, it is the incredible experiences that stay with me long after the click of shutter. Last year was no exception. I had the opportunity to spend up close and personal time with the young orphaned elephants that were being reintroduced to the wild. We were invited for an exclusive stay at two of the David Sheldrick properties near and in West Tsavo.

Each morning we awoke at sunrise to go down to the stockade for the elephants’ morning feeding, before they headed out into the wild accompanied by their keepers. Midmorning we would join them again for their noon feeding. They would then head to a small water hole where they would interact with the wild elephants that had also come in for a drink. It was fascinating to watch. Both the orphans and the wild elephants would then wander down to a larger water hole for a mud bath. We could lay right beside their water hole, photograph them, play with them, or even get a personal dusting from them! We were able to interact with them, one on one, for several hours.

In the evening we were able to greet them again as they came in from the wild to spend the night in the safety of the stockade. The orphans will decide for themselves when it is time to stay in the wild, as one evening they just don’t come home, so to speak. It has now been placed in the top 10 experiences I have had in Africa.

More amazing than the experience itself was witnessing the incredible dedication of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and the keepers who dedicate their lives to help save these amazing animals. I have supported this organization for many years, including donating proceeds of my exhibit “Wild on Earth” that was held at the G2 Gallery in 2013, to the organization. They continue to show the world that we can make a difference. Because someone cared enough to take action, these orphans now have a chance to live a full life in the wild. You can learn more about this amazing organization and the work they do by visiting their website.

This year, I am excited to be able to take 4-5 photographers with me, for an exclusive visit and up-close personal encounter with these gentle giants. Proceeds from our visit will go back to the DWST. Here are the details. Below are a few of the images from our visit.

Vuria, who I adopted, coming from the water hole with the wild elephants

Vuria, who I adopted, coming from the water hole with the wild elephants

 

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Ex-orphan at the mud hole

 

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Elephants playing at the mud hole

 

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Orphans coming to their favorite dust bath spot.

 

moments before I was dusted with the rich red soil

moments before I was dusted with the rich red soil

 

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Dusting

 

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Let it fly.

 

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Done and Dusted

 

A keeper walking the elephants home in the evening.

A keeper walking the elephants home in the evening.

 

Playing with Vuria

Playing with Vuria

Join us this year for an extraordinary experience!

Free Falling; Stay Calm & Come to the Mara!

by Piper & filed under Blog.
Captured with the iPhone 4 just before returning to Mara Bush Camp

Captured with the iPhone 4 just before returning to Mara Bush Camp

It is hard to believe I have been living in Kenya for a month already! I have traveled here so often over the past decade that I think it feels more like another visit than actually living here.

From the moment my feet hit the rich red African soil on May 24th, 2004, I longed to live here for at least one year of my life; an experience I needed to have in my lifetime. It has taken me more than 10 years to achieve this, with great sacrifice, hard lessons, and a failed attempt four years ago. When I landed and walked through the front door with my 7 suitcases and boxes, I expected to feel right at home; jump up and down and shout, “I did it, I am living my dream!” Instead, what happened was panic, “OMG, what have I done!?” My instinct was to run, get back on a plane and head home.

Free falling; when you take the final jump to live your dream, put everything on the line, and risk it all, it can be exhilarating yet terrifying. I imagine it would be much like the first time you jump out of an airplane and parachuted down.

I was in a strange place – knew only a handful of people, had no car (still don’t), no TV, Internet was installed but not working, and I had no furniture except for a bed. The next few weeks I was more in a state of panic than joyful bliss. I will always be so grateful to Sunworld Safaris, who embraced me like family, helped me get around Nairobi, showed immense kindness and got me out to the Mara for New Year’s Eve. They knew that what I needed was go to the Mara.

It was incredible to be in the Mara during the off-season (non-migration time) and on New Year’s Eve! With the exception of a few small groups of photographers and locals celebrating the holiday, it was virtually empty; a photographer’s dream. I could spend hours with Malika (a famous cheetah) and her four cubs or work from the Land Cruiser while sitting across from the Rekeero pride, which were of coarse sleeping. Now, I felt at home, and my office was in nature. The best part was when Air Kenya landed on the dirt airstrip, just minutes from bush camp and picked me up. The flight back to Nairobi was a mere 45 minutes, my driver was outside waiting for me, and in 20 minutes I was home.

This is exactly why I moved to Kenya! To have more time to photograph, experience and capture the stories that move me. I have now been back in Nairobi for just over a week, working harder than ever, planning some exciting photographic adventures for 2016. Many of you have been asking about trips in 2016 and I should start listing them in the next few weeks. I am heading to Samburu for a few days, before heading to India on January 26, with Deborah Sandidge and a great group of photographers.

May you all have the courage to pursue your own dreams!

Office in Nature - captured on the iPhone 4 - in the Maasai Mara

Office in Nature – captured on the iPhone 4 – in the Maasai Mara

 

Office in Nature - captured on the iphone4 - at Mara Bush Camp

Office in Nature – captured on the iphone4 – at Mara Bush Camp

 

office in Nature - captured on the iPhone 4 - at the house in Nairobi

office in Nature – captured on the iPhone 4 – at the house in Nairobi

National Geographic Traveler- Feature Article

by Piper & filed under Blog.
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In all the excitement of the “80 days in Africa”, coming back to the US for a few weeks to pack up, teaching  my Spirit-N-Light workshop, and then relocating to Kenya, I forgot to share some very exciting news!!!  Several months ago I woke up to an email from National Geographic Traveler Poland, yes, I said, “ Poland!”  They wanted to publish some of my work on the Tribes of the Omo Valley, and interview me for an article. The email stated their writer would be in contact shortly as they were on a tight deadline.   The interview was done over Skype in the next few days. The article, was an 8-page, lead in story in their September issue; 50 best places to travel.

Here is a link to see the article. Yes, it is in Polish and I am sure they would have sent the English translation, but I just have not had the time to request it. National Geographic Traveler sent several copies of the magazine to my home in the US and it was very exciting to this article in print, when I arrived home from my “80 days in Africa.”

The Omo Valley is one of the most culturally rich tribal regions in the world. Inspired by their environment of wild trees, exotic flowers and lush vegetation these tribes use the clay soil of bright yellows, startling whites and rich earth-reds to pair each other’s bodies and make bold decisions about their outfits. In essance  becoming a  awaking body of art; known as a living museum to anthropologist.  Modernization is coming into this area quickly and change is happening rapidly.

If you would like to travel to this region, please see the two exciting tours I am offering to this region in 2015.

Tribes of the Omo Valley Tour

Best of the Omo Valley Tour 

 

Arriving in Kenya

by Piper & filed under Africa, Blog, passion.

 

View from my veranda

View from my veranda

Last Wednesday, December 10th, 2014, I boarded the plane to Kenya, with 7 bags in tow.  This time it was not for a visit, but to relocate to Karen Nairobi, in Kenya.  As I passed through immigration, I was greeted with a smile and told next time I should be in the residency line, this one was for visitors; I smiled back. I was excited to see all 7 bags, traveling around the carousel, within about 5 minutes of clearing immigration. The customs agent asked me a few questions and then waved me through.  Alex, from Sunworld Safaris was there to greet me with a warm African smile. As aways, Sunworld rolled out the red carpet for me.

It was well after 10:00 PM or 22:00 when I arrived, “home.” Too excited to sleep, I began to unpack. First was the unwrapping of my 30” cinema Apple screen. It had arrived in great condition, but I held my breath as I pushed the on button. I was more than thrilled to see the wave of Mavericks light up the screen. As I began to pull out some of the treasures from my southern California home, I knew I had made the right choices. In those last few hours, sitting on the floor of my loft, I decided to take the items that gave me daily comfort and that could not be replaced because most of them were hand made; exotic tapestries, bedding, throw pillows, candle holders, pottery platters, drapery, and a few books (made by clients or myself).

I think I slept most of the first few days. I was so exhausted, not only by this move, but from an exhilarating 6 months of travel; mostly throughout East Africa. Although, this is a very exciting time, it is also one not without anxiety. I am now living half way around the world from friends and family. I have very little in my house, not even a plate. The internet I had installed, while I was in the US, is not working yet, as I suspect would be the case. There are moments of panic, “What was I thinking?” Then there are the moments of being reminded as I glance through the incredible imagery I am selecting for a special project. There were so many reasons for this move, but one of the main reasons, is to have more time for my work in wildlife, conservation, and culture throughout East Africa, Ethiopia, parts of South Africa and Namibia.

Africa is a magical place that is changing quickly. Being here now is important. The incredible wildlife that has roamed this continent for hundreds of years, is being poached at the highest rates in history, with no end in sight, yet. We will keep the hope. The beautiful tribes, that have lived nomadically off the land for hundreds of years, are modernizing. Experiencing this special corner of our world now, is a privilege that most future generations will not have the opportunity to experience, except through media. Think about placing a trip to Africa to the top of your bucket list; experience the magic and create beautiful imagery of one of the most exotic places on our planet.

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Africa; Moving to Kenya, Living the Dream

by Piper & filed under Africa, Blog, inspiration, passion, travel.


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Relocating to Nairobi, Kenya

I suppose this post is a tad over due, or perhaps a long time in coming; it took more than a decade. If you follow my post through my social media sites, than this news will not be a surprise. In less than three weeks, I will be boarding a flight to Kenya, but this time I will be settling into a wonderful compound in Karen, Nairobi, making it my new home base.

During my “80 Days in Africa,” running back to back safaris and tours, I actually found a few hours to rent a place in Karen Nairobi, open a bank account, purchase a few major appliances, get them installed, have Internet installed, and obtain my residency permit.

I am now currently in the US, looking around my loft and wondering when Santa is sending his elves to pack up all my belongings.

I actually do not have a lot of “Stuff”, as I rid myself of 80% of what I owned about 4 years ago, when making my first attempt to follow this dream. That attempt was part of personal project, which I am still working on, but things did not fall into place the way I had hoped. It is what inspired me to start this blog, in June 2010, with the first entry, “a journey is about to begin.”

 

80 Days in Africa –update

The 80+ days in Africa was amazing, going by in a flash. It was incredible to meet and spend time with so many talented photographers; making new lifetime friendships. Although I was optimistic to post throughout the journey, lack of Internet and time, prevailed once again. I was quite faithful to post to my social media sites and it is a great way to view my latest images. Following me on these platforms is easy, just click the social media buttons in the side bar to the right; at the top.

During this crazy time, I am also editing through all the wonderful memories. I am  putting together a collection of images to share through a complimentary ebook titled,  “80 Days in Africa”, More than a Photograph, an Experience. We are shooting for a holiday delivery.

Fist announcements will be made through my eNews and blog. You can sign up, under subscribe in the right side bar, to receive this announcement through your personal email.

 

Safari, Tours, and workshop update

SAVE THE DATES !

Many of you have emailed me over the past few months regarding my safaris and tours for 2015. Due to my heavy travels and relocation, I am a little behind, but I will be listing the below tours in the next few weeks. I keep my safaris and tour groups small, for a more intimate experience and better group dynamics. Therefore, these trips usually fill quickly. If you are interested in a trip, please save the dates and be sure to add your name to the trip interest list. People on the list receive the itinerary in advance and have first opportunity to sign up for the safari or tour. Most trips fill from these list before they go live on the website.

 

NEW!

White Horses of the Camargue, in France! July 2015

The spirit-N-Light workshops have become a wonderful success. In celebration of this, I have teamed up with Laurie Rubin and Patrice Aguilar, who is a renowned, experienced photographer in France, to lead a Camargue horse workshop. This workshop is being offered through Muench Workshops.

It was announced last week and is filling quickly! Learn more here 

Camargue Horses

NEW!

Amazing KenyaSeptember 2015

Great Migration, Amboseli, an Intimate Elephant Experience, and the Iconic Maasai –This is a unique, semi-private, safari that will have a maximum only 5-6 participants. This safari is an extraordinary opportunity to photograph Kenya’s most phenomenal wildlife during the migration; exotic tribes, the herds of marching elephants, and personally interacting with the young elephants that are being reintroduced to the wild, through the DSWT. During this exclusive experience you will have the rare opportunity to capture stunning images from unique perspective.

This trip will probably fill by invitation, but if you are interested, please contact me directly at info@PiperMackayPhotography.com 

Africa-Safari-Elephant-Photo

Tribes of the Omo –October 2015

You may preview a sample itinerary here  If you are interested, please add your name to the interest list at the bottom of the itinerary.

Omo-Valley-photo-tour-Eth10T2M1179

Gelada Baboons Extension. – October 2015

This incredible experience is offered exclusively as an extension to either the Tribes of the Omo or the Best of the Omo. You will have an incredible intimate experience with these exotic baboons, found only in the simian mountains, Ethiopia; it rivals the experience of the Mountain Gorilla’s. Last year, two of my images of the Gelada Baboons made the finals for BBC wildlife photographer of the year.

Gelada-Baboons-Photo-tour

Best of the Omo –October 2015

You may preview a sample itinerary here. If you are interested, please add your name to the interest list at the bottom of the itinerary.

Suri-Surma-Tribe-photo-tour