Great Migration in the Masai Mara, August 2017
Safari Leaders: Andy Biggs, Dean Tatooles, Paul Kirui and Ping Nkukuu.
About The Photographic Safari
In July / August 2017, Andy Biggs and Dean Tatooles will lead a private group of photographers to Kenya's famed Masai Mara. 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.
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.
• 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.
July 29, 2017; (1 Night)
EKA 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.
EKA Hotel is very close to both airport, is well appointed and very secure. On the morning of the 30th, our group will be transferred to Wilson Airport, where we will board our flight to the Masai Mara and our private safari camp..
July 30 - August 6, 2017 (7 nights)
PRIVATE SAFARI CAMP - 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 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.
August 6, 2017
Today we will enjoy an early morning game drive, and upon our return back to camp we will have a liesurely breakfast in time to make it to the airstrip for our 11am flight back to Nairobi Wilson airport. You will be transferred to Jomo Kenyatta International airport in time for your evening flight. If your flight isn't until the late evening, we can easily arrange for a hotel day room for you so you can freshen up, grab a nice dinner and relax until your departure.
The cost of this all-inclusive safari is $9,995 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).
• 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.
• 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 July 29, due to late arrivals (except at breakfast).
• 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 email@example.com.