Great Migration Safari 2017

August 25-September 4, 2017

11 Days

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The Maasai Mara, during the migration season, is arguably one of the greatest wildlife photography experiences on the planet. This safari takes the traditional migration photo safari to the next level by offering multiple locations in the Mara, including a location with its own private crossing point where you could watch a crossing from the deck of your tent!

In constant motion, the migration moves throughout many regions of the Mara, including the dense predator areas. From the wide open, game-filled vistas to the remote corners of the reserve and through the big cat territories, covering a total of 580 square miles, you will have the ability to seek out all the action! There may be a cheetah with six cubs in the Talek/Chumvi area, a large pride of lions with new cubs south of the Talek River, a leopard with a cub near Snake River, or a black rhino with a calf in the Mara Triangle. The advantage of staying in multiple locations is that you will not have to drive for an hour to get to a sighting, leave early to race to a gate and miss the best light, pay extra fees to cross into anther area of the Mara, or entirely miss out on the opportunity due to logistics. Each location has been carefully chosen for its known predator territories and dramatic Mara River crossing points. This is the ultimate way to photograph in the renowned Maasai Mara during the migration.

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Each photographer will have their own seat/row in the vehicle with two windows and roof access, ensuring plenty of space and options for using clamps, molar bags, panning plates, and other gear to aid your ability to capture the best images. Our driver guides are all silver rated and have thousands of hours of experience in the Mara. They understand the needs of photographers and the importance of quickly positioning the vehicle for the best light and exceptional photographs.

On this safari, you will be hosted and guided by professional African wildlife and Tribal Photographer Piper Mackay, who has spent the last 12 consecutive migration seasons working in the Mara. She knows the traditional crossing points and where the predators’ territories are. Many of her images from the mara have been printed in articles in major publications, which you can view on this site. Originally from the US, she is now a resident of Kenya and spends much of her time driving her Land Rover through this exotic land. Her passion, eagerness to teach, and outgoing personality ensures her guest an exciting experience.

“My experience in Kenya with Piper was excellent and exceeded my expectations. She knows wildlife and is a skilled photographer and tour leader. In addition, her personal connection with the local tribes is evident in her sincere interactions with the tribe members. She is deeply connected to the people and wildlife of Africa.”  –  Larry Kerr, DVM DACVR

This safari is limited to only eight photographers. This allows for greater freedom, flexibility, group dynamics, and the feeling of a more personal, private safari.

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SAFARI HIGHLIGHTS

  • Three different locations to maximize every photographic opportunity in one of the greatest wildlife destinations in the world
  • This safari is timed to coincide with the greatest migration crossing the Mara River.
  • Luxurious accommodations
  • Staying in a luxury tented camp with our own private crossing point
  • We have private, 9-passenger 4×4 Land Cruisers with only 3 people per vehicle. Every person will have their own row with 2 window seats and roof access available for the best viewing and photographic opportunities.
  • Silver-rated driver guides, all handpicked for their vast experience working with wildlife photographers
  • Extra luggage allowances on flights to accommodate your photographic equipment
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ITINERARY

Day 1: August 25, 2017

Arrive in Nairobi, Kenya. Our ground operator will meet you and transfer you to your beautiful accommodations.

Accommodations: Serena Nairobi

Day 2: August 26, 2017

Today, you will awake in a magical new world with the aroma of Kenyan coffee brewing. We will meet at breakfast for a safari briefing before driving to the local airport for our flight to the Maasai Mara. Excitement builds quickly as you fly over the Mara and begin seeing the wildlife below. Take out your gear, as you never know what we may see driving to camp! We will have enough time to eat lunch and settle in before heading out on our first game drive to begin showing you the best of the Mara.

The Mara bush camp is positioned to blend unobtrusively into the surrounding vegetation and has an authentic safari feel of bygone days. There is no better way to experience Africa than by spending a few nights under canvas listening to zebras barking, hyenas crying, and possibly hearing the roar of a lion off in the distance. In the past few years, leopards have been regularly spotted wandering right though this camp.

The camp has a special photographers’ tent where we will all gather to download, back up, and work on post-processing. Participants always comment on how much they love the camaraderie among other talented photographers. Learning from each other as well as the leader is a huge added value, as everyone brings different perspectives, knowledge, and skills. Throughout the safari, we will discuss all photograph topics, such as marketing, fine art prints, websites, and how to present your images to the market you are targeting. The goal is not only to capture a solid, diverse portfolio of images but also to give you ideas and inspiration to market them.

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Days 3-5: August 27-29, 2017

You will enjoy four days in the Talak area, one of the richest predator areas of the Mara. We will focus on big cats, including the Marsh pride, made famous by the BBC series Big Cat Diary; the Double Cross pride; and the Rekero pride, which is quickly becoming as powerful as the Marsh pride. This and the surrounding areas are also know for cheetahs and leopards, but we will probably see elephants, hippos, Massai giraffes, common zebras, gnu, impalas, Thompson’s and Grant’s gazelles, topi, hartebeest, black-backed jackals, spotted hyenas, and more, as the Mara is one of the lushest reserves in Africa. On past safaris, we have photographed black rhino in this area.

Our ground operator has a large fleet of vehicles, which will be scattered throughout the area. Our drivers will be in private communication with each other, giving us many eyes and ears across the entire Mara. We are close to the river; if we get word that the wildebeest are gathering, we will race off in hopes of capturing a large crossing.

Accommodations: Mara Bush Camp

Days 6-7: August 30-31, 2017

After our early morning game drive and breakfast, we will game drive across the savanna, crossing over the Mara River on the way to our next accommodation. Location! Location! Location! Our lodge sits high up on the hill, overlooking the vast plains and Mara River between two of the main crossing points. We will go out on our regular early morning game drive, but if it becomes quiet as the light becomes harsh, we can return to the lodge for lunch while still keeping a close eye on what is happening around the banks of the Mara River. You can sit in a lounge chair in front of the pool with a cold drink and watch the great herds of wildebeest and zebra gathering as they approach the river. At a moment’s notice, we can hop in the Land Cruisers and race down to the river! If we are not already down at the river, waiting in anticipation of a crossing, we will go out on our regular afternoon game drive.

Accommodations: Mara Serena

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Connochaetes taurinus, Great migration wildebeest crossing the Mara River, Kenya

Connochaetes taurinus, Great migration wildebeest crossing the Mara River, Kenya

Days 8-10: September 1-3, 2017

After our early morning game drive and breakfast, we will drive down to our last tented camp in the heart of the Mara, which sits right along the Mara River overlooking one of the crossing points. This is our own private crossing point! We can sit in the lounge tent while watching the herds gather. With cameras in hand, we can walk down to the edge of the river and photograph the crossing at eye level! No other vehicles or tourists may enter this area; only the guests staying in this camp are allowed.

We are now in the part of the Mara where the great herds first cross over from Tanzania. During this time, these vast plains could be filled with the migration and all the superb predator action it brings. We will thoroughly cover this area right up to the southern boundary where you can look across to Tanzania. You will soon understand why the Maasai Mara is the wildlife mecca of the world.

Accommodations: Entim Camp

Day 11: September 4, 2017

We will rise early for one last amazing game drive. We will fly out from a dirt airstrip in the Mara directly into Wilson Airport in Nairobi. You will be transported to the Ole Sereni, which sits along Nairobi National Park, where you will have dayrooms. You will be able to enjoy a leisurely afternoon around the pool, have lunch overlooking the park, rest, and be able to clean up before you flight back home later in the evening.

Day room: Ole Sereni

Why this safari is for you…..

We welcome photographers of ALL levels who are serious about wildlife and nature photography. This safari is timed during the great migration and focused on producing quality images. During this safari, we will see a vast variety of exotic wildlife; however, some special subjects may require spending some time watching their behavior and waiting for those special moments. This is when patience pays off, rewarding you with extraordinary photographs. We will not rush to every subject as fast as we can, taking a few snaps, and then racing off to the next location, just to check off a list. We will focus on award winning extraordinary image!

We will spend most of our time and effort in the field unless it is quiet and the light is too harsh; we return to our camp/lodge for the midday break. If the herds are lining up and it looks like there could be a large crossing, we may sit by the river for several hours and be in the field most of the day. We will rise before sunrise each day to be in position for the best early morning light. Most mornings, we will bring a picnic breakfast with us so that we do not have to miss any opportunities by having to go back to camp for breakfast. There may be some days when we take a box lunch with us if we anticipate being at the river waiting for a large crossing. We will be back at camp for a nice dinner and drinks around the fire every night.

Since this itinerary is built to spend most of our time in the field, this is not a formal workshop. There will not be any planned lectures, slide shows, or formal instruction, but Nathaniel will give photographic advice throughout the safari. He is there to assist you and is available for any questions on any and all photographic topics, including business questions on marketing, branding, and creating a niche. When there is an afternoon break, he will be happy to review your images, portfolios, or give an impromptu slide show or talk. This is largely why the group sizes are kept small, so that he can assist you when you need help and spend quality time with you in an amazing location.

The Price

The price of this incredible African safari is $9,995.00. This price is based on double occupancy.

Single supplement is $1,250.00 “if available.” Single accommodations are limited.

 

There is only one spot open for single accommodation so the single supplement will apply

This trip is less than 6 months from the departure, therefore A USD $5,000.00 Non-refundable deposit is due at the time of registration to secure your spot. You may purchase travel insurance that will refund your deposit if you have to cancel your trip. Travelguard.com is excellent.

Payment Terms

  • USD $1,500.00 non-refundable deposit to confirm your place on this safari
  • 2nd payment of USD $3,500.00 is due January 25, 2017
  • Final payment/balance is due May 25, 2017
  • We highly recommend trip and cancellation insurance

Price Includes:

  • In-country flights from Amboseli to the Mara and from the Maasai Mara to Nairobi
  • Airport transfers
  • Accommodations on shared basis
  • Guaranteed row and window seat in private 4×4 Land cruisers
  • All National Parks fees, Game Reserves entrance fees, and taxes
  • All meals, starting with breakfast on August 26th up to breakfast on September 4
  • Evacuation insurance to a Nairobi hospital (transport only – Cost of hospitalization NOT included)
  • Visit with the iconic Maasai Tribe
  • professional photographic guide

What’s Not Included:

  • Visas
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal purchases (such as curios, spirit liquors, telephone calls, internet, laundry…)
  • Gratuities for the guides, staff at accommodations, and airport transfers ($25 -$30 per day)
  • Optional extra activities (balloon rides, walking safaris, etc.)
  • Pre- and post-safari tours
  • Meals and accommodations before or after the safari
  • International flights to and from the African continent

How do I register for this safari? 

If you are excited to join this unique Migration safari, then now is the time to register. To secure your spot, both the registration form and the non–refundable deposit must be completed. Use the link and button below to access the e-registration form and to make your deposit. Once the safari is full, you may add your name to the waitlist.

REGISTRATION

Click THIS LINK to access the e-registration form. At the end of the form you will be asked to confirm you email. Once you have confirmed your email, a copy of your registration will be emailed to you and our agent.

DEPOSIT

Use the button below to make your deposit. You do not need to have a Paypal account to use this payment service.




What follows is an incredible SAFARI EXTENSION to Rwanda to trek with the mountain gorillas , for those who want to make this the ULTIMATE MIGRATION SAFARI

Join the incredible SAFARI EXTENSION to have an unforgettable, close-up encounter with the critically endangered mountain gorillas in Rwanda. Walking alongside these gentle giants is exhilarating and unlike any other experience in the world. The mountain gorillas are rare, critically endangered, and found only in a few small areas of protected forest; photographing them is incredibly special. Only 80 people, 10 groups of 8, are allowed to trek with the gorillas in Rwanda per day. The permits are in high demand and sell out quickly. Details