Great Migration in the Masai Mara with the Dream Team of Guides, August 2016

August 23-31, 2016

Safari Leaders:
 Andy Biggs, Grant Atkinson, Jackson Ole Looseyia, Paul Kirui and Ping Nkukuu.

 

Please see our Safaris and Workshops section for more workshop and safari dates.

 

Mountain Gorilla


About The Photographic Safari


In August 2016, Andy Biggs and Grant Aktinson will lead a private group of photographers to Kenya's famed Masai Mara. Come and avoid the crowds by staying in the Mara Triangle area with very few vehicles. We have selected the Masai Mara at this time of year to coincide with the Great Migration as it moves through the Game Reserve and surrounding private conservancies. The annual movement of wildebeest and other grazing herbivores across the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem is one of the greatest spectacles in the natural world. This safari combines some of Africa's finest wildlife photography experiences, superb location, and expert guiding. If you have ever wanted to be in the best location and have the best opportunities for lions, cheetahs and hyenas hunting their prey, this is the safari for you. These types of photographs take an enormous time out in the field, and you will be with like-minded photographers who are willing to put their time in to get the photos. We will have sole use of a Hemingway-style camp, ensuring the schedule of the camp is there to meet our needs as photographers.

The Dream Team of Guiding

Lalashe Guides Co-op

This safari will have the best of the best guides in Kenya, possibly in all of Africa. While on safari, your guides are the most important factor in the quality of your experience. We have assembled the team of teams: Jackson Ole Looseyia, Paul Kirui and Johnson Ping'ua Ole Nkukuu (Ping). In addition to these amazing guides, Andy Biggs and Grant Atkinson will be guiding and teaching photography as well, rounding out a team of five guides to ensure that you will have a rich safari experience.

Guide Biographies

Jackson Ole Looseyia

Jackson earned fame as a presenter on the Big Cat Diaries. He also guided for the filming of Disney’s African Cats, Planet Earth, Human Planet, and a number of other wildlife productions. He was named one of Conde Nast’s 15 Safari Guide Legends and features on virtually any “who’s who” of safari guide lists.

Raised in the Mara, Jackson’s mother is a Maasai and his father a Ndorobo (hunter-gatherer people). Jackson comes from a long line of master hunters and trackers, and was trained by his father who was a poacher-turned-head ranger for the Southern Mara. Jackson is known for his hard core game viewing and you can believe each day with him will be planned to maximize the prolific wildlife viewing in the area.

Jackson was the first Maasai guide to become a major safari entrepreneur, owning safari properties through a partnership with the Beaton family on the famed Rekero Camp, followed by the Nomadic Encounter Mobile Camp and Bush Houses. Following the sale of those businesses Jackson started his own business as a freelance guide.

Paul Kirui

Paul is among the most accomplished guides in all of Africa. Paul was just the second guide in Kenya to achieve Gold Level Status. Paul is Chairman of the Kenya Professional Safari Guides Association and was named one of Conde Nast’s 15 Safari Guide Legends.

Paul is well known from his outstanding work guiding film crews for their productions. Since 2006 Paul has worked with the BBC Natural History unit as a consultant for the leopard filming crew during the Big Cat Week and Big Cat Live programs. He also guided film crews for the BBC’s documentary, “The Truth About Lions” in 2009 and Disney Nature during the filming of “African Cats” in ‘09/’10.

In addition to guiding, Paul conducts research on vultures in the Masai Mara in association with the National Museum and the Peregrine Fund. He is also assisting with training and developing a guide grading system in Rwanda. Paul is hired to conduct guide training programs throughout East Africa.

There’s no doubt Masai Mara is Paul’s home, and he knows it as well as anyone, but he also has great experience guiding in all regions of Kenya, Northern Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda. Guiding and wildlife photography are Paul’s passions and he is always keen to share these magical places with his guests. 

Johnson Ping'ua Ole Nkukuu (Ping)

Ping is an extraordinary guide and was named one of Condé Nast’s Best 25 Safari Guides for all of Africa. He posseses an innate ability to predict animal behavior, making him legendary for getting to the perfect position when predators are hunting or other action events.

Ping is a Maasai, and time spent with him is excellent for cultural learning. Ping was always interested in the wildlife and environment around him when he was young. His early days in guiding included a long stint guiding for CC Africa, which had an outstanding training program, including time spent training in South Africa. Training has remained important to Ping and in 2014 he traveled to South Africa to become a certified Level 3 walking guide. Ping’s reputation took off working as the head guide at Mara Plains Camp. In large measure to his guiding Mara Plains became widely recognized as the top safari camp experience.

A unique opportunity arose when Ping was recruited to work at the Atlanta Zoo, followed by helping Disney create and open their Animal Kingdom park in Florida. This allowed Ping to increase his knowledge of cultures from around the world, which he credits to making him a better guide. 

Safari Highlights

• Game drives in the Mara Triangle (where our camp is located). Unlike other parts of the Masai Mara, this area is home to only a few private camps and very few lodges, so we will not experience the larger crowds present inside the Mara Game Reserve.
• Only 1 photographer per row of seats in each vehicle, allowing for ample space to both take photographs as well as store your gear and move around.
• Private camp with only us as photographers as guests, so the staff only needs to think about our needs.
• Extra luggage allowances to accommodate the special needs of our photographic equipment. The Nairobi-Mara flights will allow for an average of 30-35kg (66 to 77lbs) per person.
• This itinerary focuses on up-close and real wildlife experiences

Is This Safari For You?

Here are some key points to help you decide:

1. We welcome photographers of ALL levels. This safari will be conducive to learning from one another and offer an experience that will suit everyone’s photographic needs.
2. We are BIG on photographing in the field. We will spend most our time and effort on safari / photographic activities and making images.
3. Non-photographer or videographer spouses / travel companions will love this safari. The wildlife experiences on this trip will appeal to anyone with a love for animals and nature.


The Schedule


August 23-24, 2016; (1 Night)
OLE SERENI HOTEL - Nairobi, Kenya

On your arrival in Nairobi, you will be met by our local representative, who will assist you across the terminal and to check in at the hotel.

Ole-Sereni Hotel is very close to both airport, is well appointed and very secure. The hotel offers guest 134 exquisitely furnished, air-conditioned rooms and suites spread over three floors. Guests will have the opportunity to relax and unwind at the Roof top heated swimming pool that overlooks the park, the Gymnasium and Aerobics Room or the Sports Lounge. One could also enjoy special therapies and treatments at the Massage Centre. The Sauna & Steam Facility and Unisex Salon are other places guests can visit to pamper themselves. WiFi internet is included during your stay at Ole-Sereni.

On the morning of the 24th, our group will be transferred to Wilson Airport, where we will board our flight to the Masai Mara and our private safari camp..

Kenya


August 24-31, 2016 (7 nights)

PRIVATE SAFARI CAMP - Mara Triangle, Masai Mara

We will have sole use of our private camp for 7 straight nights! Drawing on the safari of yesteryear, our camp is a classic 'Hemingway' style camp that keeps you connected to the bush at all times. Personal service and wonderfully prepared meals are a welcome part of the camp experience and are on par with other permanent luxury camps in the area.

The eight custom-designed tents open to an indoor/outdoor living space at ground level. High ceilings, careful design and tasteful decor create a place that, while humble, befits royalty. The private veranda, dressing area and en-suite facilities provide ample space to unpack, unwind and soak in the magic of this special spot on the river’s edge.

We will have exclusive use of the camp as well as all four vehicles at our disposal day and night. Since we have the entire camp at our disposal, there are no set camp schedules or meal times. Plans are tailored around the whims of the day, and as the wildlife dictates.

Typically we rise just before dawn, have a quick bite, and head out at first light to see what has happened overnight. We look for tracks and signs of nocturnal activity, perhaps heading in the direction of the lion calls and hyena laughs we heard from bed. The big cats are usually quite active in the early hours. As the sun begins to rise in the sky, and the heat mounts, we head back to our mid-day resting post for a brunch and a bit of a siesta. Or, if guests prefer, it’s a lovely time sit quietly and bird on the river. Our guides will introduce you to the abundant bird life and can help you identify trees and local plant species, or sharpen our wildlife tracking skills. Quite often we have hunting cheetahs near camp, and we often choose to have lunch brought out to us while we sit and watch for drama to unfold. This is the magic of the Mara Triangle; to have many photographic opportunities close by and to enjoy the experience of taking photographs in one of Africa's best locations.

In the afternoon, as the sun wanes, we are off again in search of wildlife. It’s a time to savor the African sunset with refreshing sundowner drinks and snacks before continuing our drive as nocturnal animals become more active with dusk. A hearty dinner awaits us back at camp whenever its time to return. We share stories of the day around the campfire and under the stars. So goes another blissful day in Africa.


Mountain Gorilla


August 31, 2016

Today we will catch our flight back to Wilson Airport in Nairobi. On arrival, we will be met by our representatives and will have some day rooms at our disposal at the Ole Sereni Hotel (to be arranged, depending on your flight time back home), near the airport to shower and get ready for our international flights back home. International flights may be scheduled to depart that evening to home destinations. See note below regarding travel extensions.

The Cost

The cost of this all-inclusive safari is $10,995 per person. This fee includes all in-country ground and air transportation as well as hotel accommodation (double occupancy) and all meals (except as noted above and in exclusions below). 


What's Included?

• Accommodation on a shared basis (single rooms in Nairobi).
• Private safari vehicles 
• Luggage allowance Mara: 75 pounds.
• All safari activities and transfers to/from the airports and the hotels.
• Daily laundry.
• Mara Triangle / Masai Mara Game Reserve fees.
• Meet & Assist service on arrival in Nairobi.
• All meals and drinks at camp.
• Round trip private air charter.
• The current Tourism Levies and all relevant Value Added Tax or Government Sales Tax .
• One row per guest on game drive vehicles (note that the front seat next to the driver is also counted as a row for this purpose).

What is Not Included?
• International airfare and/or other transportation between your home and Nairobi.
• Dinner / Drinks in Nairobi on August 23, due to late arrivals (except at breakfast).
• Visas
• Travel Insurance
• Personal purchases (including curios, spirit liquors, telephone calls etc.)
• Gratuities for guides and hotel staff (assume $25-40 per day)
• Pre- and post- safari tours and meals or accommodation before or after the safari

What Do I Do Next?
Our group size is limited and we expect that this trip will fill up. If this exciting trip has your name on it; if you're excited by the thought of becoming a member of this trip, then now is the time to register. Remember, there will be limited space available for this workshop. When they're spoken for, that's it. If you have any questions before registering, send us an e-mail with any inquiries to info@andybiggs.com.