20100826_6761MASAI MARA MIGRATION Photo Safari in Kenya

DATES

COST

GUIDES

GENRE

GROUP SIZE

08 to 15 Sept     |     22 to 29 Sept 2018 (8 days)

US$ 6,600 per person sharing

Isak Pretorius + 1

Wildlife, birds and landscape

9 photographers
 
 
 
Kenya

We all know that the Masai Mara is home to the ‘greatest show on earth’. So we decided to run the best photo safari we could muster in the heart of the greatest show.

The Mara River – A place where wildlife meets conflict: in its millions. The migration is a constant dynamic. But at one point during the cycle, a major obstacle stands in the way of the momentum. At first it causes a stutter and a pause, but then the surge comes, and millions of animals cross the Mara River in one of the most spectacular wildlife scenes on earth. We have reserved a small, intimate and private camp in the heart of the action in perhaps the best time of year to see this phenomenon.

 

  • Highlights

    * A CAMP INSIDE THE RESERVE – Our permanent luxury camp is in our private concession in the heart of the action inside the reserve that allows us to photograph in the best light while everyone else is trying to make their way in and out of the reserve gates

    * OFF-ROAD DRIVING – We have off-road privileges that are executed in a responsible way, to get you closer to the wildlife for the perfect photos, while respecting the animals

    * WILDEBEEST CROSSINGS IN FRONT OF CAMP – Our camp, on the edge of the Mara river, is overlooking a popular wildebeest crossing point where you could have the unique experience of being escorted by Masai warriors to photograph the wildebeest crossing on foot

    * LOTS AND LOTS OF ANIMALS – This is Africa’s top destination for lion, cheetah, hyena and wildebeest as far as you can see

    * ALL LEVELS OF PHOTOGRAPHERS WELCOME – We cater for all levels of photographers, from beginners to the experts – everyone will feel welcome

    * SMALL GROUP – Three photographers per vehicle means you have your own row of seats to photograph in all directions

    * THE REAL AFRICAN WILDERNESS – Unfenced with free roaming animals, the Masai Mara is the original safari destination

    * THE COMFORTS OF A LUXURIOUS CAMP – Entim camp offers all the comforts that photographers need

    * MIGRATION TIME – September gives you the best chance of seeing the wildebeest migration while outside of the peak tourist season’s madness

    * IMPROVE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY – The main aim of the safari is to show you great sightings and get you to take great photos

     
    * Request a PDF brochure under “Booking Information”
     
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    What people say

    Our Masai Mara photo safari with C4 Images exceeded our expectations! Isak was a perfect photo guide and Jackson a perfect guide/driver. Both are knowledgeable, enthusiastic and engaging. Together they delivered an experience full of learning, discovery and enjoyment. Our many animal sightings and up-close views of their behavior were amazing, and were the heart of the photo-safari experience. Isak and Jackson seemed to always have new surprises for us! Photo opportunities in abundance! Our C4 safari experience was great from beginning to end, from the 5-Star Serena Nairobi Hotel experience and luxury Entim Private Explorer Camp, to the amazing Masai Mara itself.

    Larry and Carmen Stunkel
     

    My first time on Safari and also first time in Africa. C4 and Kenya left a memorable mark on me and I definitely hope to go back to Africa and I would not hesitate to travel with C4 again. Unforgettable sightings, great tour leaders, impeccable service and amazing food at the camp.

    Johan Siggesson
     

    If you have any doubts about going to the Masai Mara with C4 Safaris – just do it! We enjoyed a fabulous trip with C4 in September 2014 to see the Great Migration in the Mara and were fortunate enough to see three crossings during our stay. We have always booked previously with a UK based travel agent to ensure we had ABTA and ATOL protection. We discovered C4 by chance as we have never seen them advertise in the UK and after careful research, we decided to take a chance and book with C4 as we really liked their itinerary, choice of accomodation and most importantly their professional photographer guides looked very impressive. What a great decision! Everything was superb. Our initial contact email was responded to by Shem Compion himself, the company owner. Minette dealt with the booking process and the lens hire more later very efficiently and always responded quickly to my queries. Once at Nairobi, all of the housekeeping arrangements transfers and stopover hotel etc were excellent. Our small aircraft flight to the Mara was a great experience, our accomodation at the Entim Private Explorer Camp was very good and the food was acceptable. A key point for us was that the camp is inside the national park so we were not constrained by park entrance and closing times. The location, near the Mara river was fantastic and as the camp is unfenced animals can and do come very close to the tents on occasions. Going to bed to the sounds of the African Plains was a magical experience. Our game drives were incredible, our local guide, Anthony, was first class and regulalrly found us great sightings. Our photography guides, Isak and Heinrich were outstanding and both patiently helped us to improve our technique over the course of the trip. We really enjoyed their different personal styles and their company. We were also extremely lucky, the famous wildlife photogrpaher Art Wolfe was in the camp making a documentary and one evening after dinner Art spent over an hour critiquing some of our groups images, providing us with some invaluable feedback and encouragement. In summary, a wonderful trip to a stunning location to see one of nature’s great spectacles. This was our third trip to Africa in the last couple of years and as people warned us, we have definitely been bitten by the bug.

    Mark and Angela Howard

    Itinerary

    DAY 1   |   08 SEPTEMBER 2018

    * Arrive at Nairobi International Airport
    * Accommodation at Hotel in Nairobi

    DAY 2   |   09 SEPTEMBER 2018

    * Scheduled flight to Masai Mara
    * Afternoon game drive
    * Accommodation in Masai Mara

    DAY 3 – 7   |   10 – 14 SEPTEMBER 2018

    * Morning game drive
    * Afternoon game drive
    * Accommodation in Masai Mara

    DAY 8   |   15 SEPTEMBER 2018

    * Morning game drive
    * Scheduled flight back to Nairobi
    * International flight home

     

    Booking Information

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  • Click on the map to enlarge

    Click on the map to enlarge

    Masai Mara National Reserve

    The Masai Mara, as Africa’s loveliest game reserve is affectionately known, forms the northernmost limit of the greater Serengeti-Mara ecosystem, where an abundance of Africa’s game roams over the seemingly endless grasslands. A year-round destination with a temperate climate and seasons dictated by rainfall, the Mara never fails to deliver, and is a breathtaking setting for wildlife photographers, safari enthusiasts, first-timers and seasoned travellers alike.

    Named in honour of the Masai people who call this corner of Africa home, the Mara is world renowned for its exceptional populations of lion, leopard, cheetah, herds a thousand-strong of buffalo, the rare black rhino and of course the thriving elephants. In approximately July of each year, the Great Migration arrives for an annual four month stay.

    Typically defined by the annual movement of over two million migratory wildebeest – these seasonal wanderers are just one element of the greater Serengeti-Mara ecosystem. Numerous distinct habitat types exist, with soil type and rainfall being the main influences. The ecosystem is driest in the southeast (where the Crater Highlands form a ‘rain-shadow’) and wettest in the northwest.

    South of the Kenyan border, Tanzania’s Serengeti consists of various types of woodland and grassland. It is on the ‘shortgrass
    plains’ – an area of shallow, volcanic soils west of Ngorongoro – that the wildebeest’s story begins. Here, they give birth to young calves every January and February. These plains flush green with highly nutritious grass after the rain, but are grazed flat and dry-out completely by March when the herds trek north. Their destination is the Masai Mara, which is still blanketed with nutritious grass when the rest of the ecosystem has dried out.

    Around July, the rainy season comes to an end and the Mara is carpeted in tall, rippling swathes of seeding grass. To the south, the oceans of Serengeti fodder have been denuded by over a million wildebeest that have been milling around, rutting, mating and feeding since late March and April. They are not alone. Over 200,000 zebra are part of the procession. Slowly but steadily, this tide of herbivores moves north.

    It could be in the last week of July – perhaps sooner or later depending on rainfall patterns – but eventually over half a million of these wildebeest and zebra cross the invisible border that demarcates Kenya from Tanzania, and the Mara from the Serengeti. Like any invasion, there are always frontrunners. Bands of bewildered-looking wildebeest canter in loose columns, wide-eyed and alert to the dangers of awaiting predators. Beyond them, the rising clouds of dust betray the vast herds. Migratory wildebeest may enter through the eastern Mara but the herds that marched north through the Serengeti’s Western Corridor are programmed to overcome one last hurdle: to reach the pastures that will sustain them through the dry season, they must cross the Mara River. No matter how high the river is, or how rapidly it is flowing, the wildebeest are not deterred. To cross, they must withstand the crash-landing of leaping off the embankment, avoid the jaws of crocodiles and lions that wait in ambush, paddle and thrash their way across the river, and finally they must hope that they do not get simply crushed in the commotion. A good many have their journey tragically ended at the crossing points, and in some years, piles of bloated carcasses accumulate to provide an ongoing banquet for crocodiles and vultures. The Great Migration is a clockwise, round-trip journey of around 600km during which an estimated 250,000 wildebeest perish each year. Exhaustion, hunger, injury and predation are the main factors, with newborns within their first year and those older than fifteen being the most vulnerable. As the star of the show, with its shoebox snout, spindly legs and tousled beard, the wildebeest looks a little less than elegant, and appears to have been put together by a committee. In addition to its ungainly appearance, it seems – even at the best of times – to be a somewhat confused and bewildered creature. But like everything else, it is built for a purpose, and that is to consume vast quantities of grass and have enough stamina to cover great distances. Often simply called a gnu (which is a fairly good description of its singular vocal ability), in both of these roles, the wildebeest excels.

    Just a few degrees south of the equator, there are only minor fluctuations in the length of day and temperature over the year. What does vary however, is the rainfall: there are two distinct seasons, the long rains from mid-March through June; and the short rains during the months of November and early December. Clear bright mornings are the norm throughout most of the year, and in season, the rain tends to arrive in the afternoon and evening. Far from being a depressing event, the rain in the Mara is a life force. To be out in the midst of it – on the plains amongst the wildlife – is to be in the middle of nature’s celebration, and the approach of a storm is spectacular, with its darkening sky and accompanying lightning and thunder.

    The question is often asked, ‘when is the best time to visit the Mara?’ To be truthful, there is not one correct answer, as safari travellers to the Mara are assured of astonishing and abundant wildlife sightings all year round. For guests wanting to experience the Great Migration and the dramatic crossings of the Mara River, July through September or October are the best months to visit. Others prefer a gentler time with less visitors and enjoy the Mara all by themselves – together with the resident population of game, the numerous resident herds which quite rightly do not deem it necessary to leave this beautiful reserve by embarking on the annual trek to Tanzania.

    All members of Africa’s Big Five – lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and black rhino – are regularly sighted in the Mara, together with hyena, jackal, cheetah and the bat-eared fox, and the Mara River is home to numerous pods of hippo and some of Africa’s largest crocodiles. Great photographic opportunities present themselves with topi standing perched on anthills, Masai giraffe moving gracefully across the plains, and both Grant’s and Thomson’s gazelles grazing peacefully amongst Coke’s hartebeest, impala and herds of lovely eland, the continent’s largest antelope.

    The Mara is also home to more than 470 bird species, including almost 60 raptors. Surely the loveliest of them all has to be the graceful crowned crane, always found in pairs, together with secretary birds, lilac-breasted rollers, long-crested eagles, superb starlings, pygmy falcons and endangered ground hornbills to name just a few. Entim private Camp’s experienced guides will make every effort to deliver a life-changing wildlife adventure for guests, be it for first timers, birding enthusiasts, photographers of all skill levels, or safari devotees whose great joy is just to simply be amongst Africa’s creatures, both great and small.

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    Photographic Destination

    Its simple really – find a camp in the middle of the action, book it exclusively for 8 photographers only with the best camp operator in the business and then have professional photographers personally guide you whilst on safari. Isak Pretorius have had many seasons in the Mara and has mapped his own special places and secret spots which he will share with you while being driven around. The Mara is a very large system and much of the conventional tourist traffic concentrates on a small section of the river. There is so much to see and photograph, and with these knowledgeable professional wildlife photographers as your guides, you will have the best positions available. You will be taken to the far-flung corners of the Masai Mara, you will not only get to experience the migration, but also the beauty, freedom and wilderness of one of Africa’s greatest ecosystems. Each photographer will have their own seat with window and roof hatch, ensuring that everyone has ample room to photograph from. Brackets, braces and clamps can be fixed onto the rails on the vehicles for tripod heads and flash brackets. Everything is designed to aid your photographic enjoyment.

    We have negotiated, in the interest of photographic excellence, a camp right in the heart of the action, in the middle of the Mara.

    * The camp is inside the Masai Mara National Reserve with a view of the main crossing point

    * You are within 5 minutes from the main crossing points and 10 minutes from the other crossing points. Most camps are at least 60 minutes from these central areas.

    * The position of the camp is within the two main rivers – the Talek and Mara rivers, meaning easy and fast access to the most productive game viewing areas.

    * You will be personally guided and driven by professional wildlife photographers who know the Massai Mara eco system exceptionally well.

    * No gate restrictions or racing for the gate during the best hours of light. (All gates close at 18h30, and as most camps are outside the reserve, vehicles must leave the reserve) we are inside the Mara, thus can stay till dark

    * We will have 4 x Land Cruisers game viewing vehicles for our use. There will be 2 photographers per vehicle. Non-photographers can share the same bench as the photographer, or sit in the front seat. Each photographer will have a whole row as well as a roof hatch.

    * We will have the whole camp to ourselves.

    * The camp is a permanent tent camp – tents have flush toilets and running hot water showers

    * There is a battery bank and silent generator for charging batteries and laptops

    Notes:

    * For each safari, we have organised a minibus that will take our cargo luggage from the Nairobi Serena Hotel to the Camp and back again upon return.

    * The entire weight limit for the internal flight is 15kg. This is strictly enforced by SafariLink. We have provided the transport for the cargo luggage for your cargo luggage. It is up to you to ensure you are within the limits for the internal flights. You will be liable for any excess weight.

    * There are bean bags in the camp. These are filled with beans. If you would like to bring your own bag to fill with rice or sand, we will provide rice.

    * For those not arriving from South Africa, we will have separate airport transfers to meet you. All transfers for single arrivals will have your Surname typed on a name board that the driver will hold up.

    * It is very important to get your yellow fever injection and certificate. It should be done no later then 2 weeks before your trip. It is valid for 10 years, so if you have had one done, you should just remember to bring the certificate.

    * On all our safaris we may ask participants to rotate seats in the vehicles, taking it in turn to sit in the more popular seats in the front and the less popular ones in the rear. This requirement applies to everyone. If there is some reason why you can’t take your turn in the back of a vehicle (e.g. a bad back or travel sickness) please inform our office at the time of booking to see if we can accommodate you. We regret that anyone failing to inform us of such limitations before the safari will be expected to rotate seats in the same way as everyone else.

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    Photography and Tutoring

    IDENTIFYING PERSONAL REQUIREMENTS

    As we kick off the workshop, your guides will spend one-on-one time with each participant to identify what level they are at and what areas they would most like to focus on. We will then explore the different components of photography with them as we get different light and travel to various destinations. There is no better learning opportunity than photographing so many world-class wildlife sightings day after day, in the ideal season, under professional guidance. The constant presence of a guide guarantees that your questions are answered immediately and this ensures a fast learning curve. Shooting day after day also ensures that all these lessons are fresh in the mind and are applied until programmed into your subconscious.

    SUBJECTS TO BE COVERED

    We will look at the basic technicalities like shutter speed, aperture and focus and how these should be creatively manipulated in certain situations. E.g.to get the right amount of blur in golden grass. Composition is always the most important subject and it is best taught in the sighting, where the learning can be applied instantly. Your guides will always be available to point out how you can improve your composition and give you the technical breakdown behind their chosen advice. As we are presented with different weather and light conditions they will teach you to study the skies and how to make a pre-emptive decision on where to shoot when the light peaks. One of the great aspects of Mashatu is that it is a world dark sky reserve, meaning that we will spend plenty of time shooting at night. Shooting the Milky Way and star trails can be daunting, but we’ll show you how easy it actually is when you’re in the right place.

    PRESENTATIONS AND EDITING

    During the safari we will sit down for an informal presentation on editing or any other subject. The digital darkroom has become a crucial part of photography and the guides will present various techniques using images taken by the participants of the workshop. Your guides have extensive experience with Photoshop, Lightroom, Bridge and Nik Color Efex, but they will also do their best to help with your program of choice.

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    ONE-ON-ONE ATTENTION AND CREATIVE FREEDOM

    The fact that there will only be a maximum of 6 – 8 photographers means that over the course of 8 days, each client will get plenty of assistance, guidance and tutoring from the guides. This also means that there will be far less lenses pointed at the same subjects than on normal workshops. This gives you a better chance to explore your creativity and to shoot the subjects from all angles.

    OUR GOAL

    On every safari we always discuss everything from the most fundamental principles, through to the philosophical and abstract. Whatever it is you would like to learn, were happy to help out. Our goal is to send you home with great images, new knowledge, fond memories and feeling inspired.

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    Isak Pretorius

    Why travel with us

    Our guides are sought-after photographic guides, well known and highly acclaimed in the industry. Their awards and published work in the world’s leading landscape and wildlife publications is a testament to their knowledge, skill and creativity. We believe we are the best in the industry and are continuously looking to improve our skill and workshops.

    The Masai Mara and Entim Private Camp was hand-picked as a world-class photographic destination because of the migration, the specific location in the Reserve, the open terrain, variety of wildlife, birds, and landscapes, and the exclusivity and comforts that photographers enjoy. We know Africa, and we’ve been using Entim Private Camp as a photo safari location since 2008, so we know it well. With our good relationship with the lodge and staff we are able to be at the right places and find the right sightings in the best light for your photography.

    This photo safari was designed to fine tune the typical photo workshop itinerary to create the best product in the market that excels in quality on every level – from the moment you arrive in Nairobi, the quality of the accommodation, the photographic sightings, activities, and a photo workshop schedule that will help to improve your own photography. The goal is to take you to the best spots and get you to take your own great photographs while enjoying the best comfort and hospitality that Kenya has to offer.

    We specializes in wildlife, bird and landscape photography exclusively and this is the biggest differentiator from other workshops. This means we selected the best time of the year and photographic locations to get you the best wildlife, bird and landscape photographs.

    Our guides are at least 6th generation African. Who better to show you the African continent than people who live there? They have explored their home and neighbouring African countires as travellers even before digital photography and workshops became popular, and with a camera have spent more than 10 years chasing the best light in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania and Kenya. Therefore they know the people, the culture and we have developed relationships with the local people that gains them access to special places.

    With a client repeat booking rate of 80% it means they must be doing something right!

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  • To experience a wildebeest river crossing is undoubtedly a natural history highlight and will have your camera shutter working overtime

    To experience a wildebeest river crossing is undoubtedly a natural history highlight and will have your camera shutter working overtime

    There will be plenty of opportunities to photograph wildebeest in a variety of different ways

    There will be plenty of opportunities to photograph wildebeest in a variety of different ways

    Wildebeest running is a great opportunity to try slow motion panning

    Wildebeest running is a great opportunity to try slow motion panning

    he Masai Mara is full of predators: lion, cheetah, leopard, hyena, jackal, bat-eared foxes and serval

    he Masai Mara is full of predators: lion, cheetah, leopard, hyena, jackal, bat-eared foxes and serval

    The Masai Mara is also full of birds and these bird photography opportunities should not be overlooked

    The Masai Mara is also full of birds and these bird photography opportunities should not be overlooked

    The open landscape of the Masai Mara creates unique opportunities to photograph general game without any obstruction

    The open landscape of the Masai Mara creates unique opportunities to photograph general game without any obstruction

    Sunrise over a clear horizon is one of the unique landscape features of the Masai Mara

    Sunrise over a clear horizon is one of the unique landscape features of the Masai Mara

    The afternoon often brings stormy and dramatic weather and during sunset time it’s not uncommon to find animals on the crest of a hill for that typical sunset photo

    The afternoon often brings stormy and dramatic weather and during sunset time it’s not uncommon to find animals on the crest of a hill for that typical sunset photo

    The Masai Mara is “big sky country” where the open landscape makes the skies appear larger than usual

    The Masai Mara is “big sky country” where the open landscape makes the skies appear larger than usual

    During the migration season you’ll see plenty of carcasses where hyenas, jackal and vultures can be photographed

    During the migration season you’ll see plenty of carcasses where hyenas, jackal and vultures can be photographed

    With so many predators and general game around, the Masai Mara must be the best place to photograph animal interaction

    With so many predators and general game around, the Masai Mara must be the best place to photograph animal interaction

    The open landscape is perfect habitat for cheetah and a good setting to see a kill from any of the predators

    The open landscape is perfect habitat for cheetah and a good setting to see a kill from any of the predators

    From all the big 5 animals that you find in the Masai Mara even the rare black rhino is regularly sighted

    From all the big 5 animals that you find in the Masai Mara even the rare black rhino is regularly sighted

    A visit to a Masai village is on offer during the safari and on the last evening the local Masai warriors at camp will share some of their culture and dancing with us

    A visit to a Masai village is on offer during the safari and on the last evening the local Masai warriors at camp will share some of their culture and dancing with us

    For a different perspective on the migration, a hot air balloon flight is on offer during the safari

    For a different perspective on the migration, a hot air balloon flight is on offer during the safari

    Apart from the wildebeest river crossings, the  Mara river also creates other photographic opportunities

    Apart from the wildebeest river crossings, the Mara river also creates other photographic opportunities

    DAY 1 – Arrival in Nairobi, Kenya

    Arrive in Kenya’s capital of Nairobi. This photo safari starts and ends in Nairobi, so it is your responsibility to arrange your own international flights. If you need help with this please email me at isak@theafricanphotographer.com for a quote and options.

    A representative will meet you at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. A 45-minute road transfer will take you to the African elegance of the Nairobi Serena Hotel. You will spend the evening in the lush and open surrounds of the Serena Hotel. One of Nairobi’s original hotels, this hotel has all the comforts of the past with the convenience of the modern era: The perfect place to relax for the evening. Isak will make contact with you at the hotel to arrange dinner for the photography group and discuss the logistics of the following morning.

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    DAY 2 – Internal Flight to Masai Mara and First Game Drive

    Your heavy cargo luggage should be ready early morning to be transferred from Nairobi to the Masai Mara by road. Isak will confirm those logistics with you at the hotel the previous evening.

    Breakfast is served from 6:30am. At 8am we’ll be transferred to Wilson Airport in Nairobi. We depart for the Masai Mara on the 10am scheduled flight and touchdown at Ol-Kiombo Airstrip after a short 1-hour flight. From there we are transferred by road to our camp situated in the Mara. You will be staying in a classic East African style safari camp consisting of canvas tents, staffed by local Masai. You will have en-suite bathrooms with flush loos, flowing water and hot showers. While traditional, the camp is comfortable with large beds and private verandah’s. In the afternoon we will embark on our first game drive to sample one of Africa’s greatest ecosystems.

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    DAY 3,4,5,6,7 – Morning and Afternoon Game Drives

    For these five full days, we will focus on showing you the best of the Masai Mara and this will include tracking the migration and getting to the heart of the action. You will be taken out each morning in first light. We will have Toyota Land Cruiser vehicles with roof top hatches and large windows from which to photograph. Each client will have their own row in the vehicle with open windows and hatch, ensuring that everyone has ample room to photograph from. Brackets, braces and clamps can be fixed onto the rails on the vehicles for tripod heads and flash brackets. Everything is designed to aid your photographic enjoyment. Depending on how and where the migration is moving, we might spend whole days in the reserve taking a picnic lunch along with us. We will find the best crossing points on the Mara River and spend pleasant hours watching the wildebeest mass on the banks with hungry crocs waiting below. If we are patient enough and fortune favours us, we will witness a wildebeest crossing, arguably the most spectacular wildlife event on the planet. Beside the actual visual spectacle, the noise of the crossing is something that will never be forgotten. Besides tracking and following the migration, we will search for as many predators as possible, including cheetah, as the great plains are home to these majestic cats. You will also enjoy unfamiliar sights of general game such as Topi standing aloft termite mounds and tiny shy dik-dik’s going about their daily routine. The Mara also houses some of the largest buffalo bulls on the continent and a huge density of raptors. A special for birders, amongst others, is the large and relatively common Rupell’s Griffon.

    Our time in the Masai Mara will not just be about the wildlife though. We will take you to seldom-visited parts of the ecosystem and indeed right up to the southern boundary where the Masai Mara and Serengeti adjoin. Here, there is little human traffic, and we will enjoy the peace and quiet of the great plains as well as some private game viewing. This element of our safari is unique as most safari operators concentrate all their efforts on the river but we feel that by combining superb game viewing with a wilderness experience, we will offer our guests the very best of the Masai Mara.

    The evenings will be spent sitting around the campfire and dining on excellent camp cuisine. As the coals die down, the warm camp beds beckon and everyone retires to bed.

    The aim of this photo safari is to help you take amazing photographs and improve your own photography, no matter what level of photographer you are. The C4 photo guides will help you and during the safari will also present a series of photo critiques, Lightroom and other slide show sessions in the evenings. These are always immensly popular and helps our clients gain some insight into the skill levels and experience of our guides- who easily impart their knowlodge to you. Should you have any other specific requirements, you are welcome to ask for your guides expert advice.

    During the next five full days the daily schedule will remain more or less the same. The times are flexible and might vary slightly depending on the sunrise times, the sightings and our activities (e.g. we might decide to stay out longer if wildebeest are congregating at the river’s edge and the likelihood of seeing a river crossing is high). Generally we follow this schedule:

     
    05:30 Wake-up and meet for coffee and a small meal

    06:15 Game drive

    09:30 Breakfast in the bush

    10:00 Game drive

    11:30 Return to camp for rest and own time (depending on what we see and the likelihood of seeing a wildebeest river crossing, this might be later)

    13:00 Lunch, followed by rest and own time

    15:30 Meet for high tea

    16:00 Game drive

    19:00 Return to camp

    19:15 Photo presentation and client photo feedback (not compulsory)

    20:00 Dinner and then retire to bed for another day of more great photography

     
    The topics of the photo presentation are not fixed and will be altered to meet the specific requirements of all the clients. These could include the following:

    * Understanding light

    * Understanding composition

    * Tutorials on advanced photo techniques

    * Use of lenses for various effects

    * Post processing your images in Lightroom or Photoshop

    * Cataloguing images

    * Startrail and starscape photography

    * Flash use and advanced flash use

    During the photo presentations there will be a chance for clients to bring their own photos for feedback and critique by the guides. Typically three photos from each guests per session are enough to not only see what different photos we all got from the same sightings but the feedback the critique on your photos is one of the best ways to improve your own photography.

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    DAY 8 – Last Game Drive and Departure

    After a last morning game drive, we return to camp for a hearty brunch before departing to the airstrip at 11:00 where we return to Nairobi. A transfer back to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport/your hotel concludes the safari. Most of the international flights depart in the early evening and this fits with most connections. This is unfortunately the end of the safari and another special package from Isak Pretorius.

    Isak Pretorius look forward to hosting you in the Mara for the greatest wildlife show on the planet.

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    What you can expect to photograph on this photo safari

    * Close quarter photography of Predators such as lion, cheetah and leopard.

    * Excellent, open sightings and photography of very relaxed elephants

    * Dry riverbeds breaking up the landscape. Elephants and other animals are often found drinking in these riverbeds.

    * General game is relaxed and easy to photograph

    * Beautiful plains areas interspersed with rocky kopjes.

    * A marsh area, when wet attracts all manner of waterfowl.

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    The concept

    Aimed at beginner/intermediate as well as advanced photographers, this safari brings likeminded people together to enjoy nature and learn more about improving their photography. Isak Pretorius will be your host over the week. He is an award winning photographer who will share his knowledge of wildlife photography on drives and during talks at camp.

    There will be 4 x private vehicles for photographers: usually two photographers and 1 guide per vehicle on every other game drive. Non-photographers are allowed to join on the photographic vehicle if numbers allow – if not, non-photographing partners will be on their own vehicle with a ranger. On all our safaris and workshops we may ask participants to rotate seats in the vehicles, taking it in turn to sit in the more popular seats in the front and the less popular ones in the rear. This requirement applies to everyone. If there is some reason why you can’t take your turn in the back of a vehicle (e.g. a bad back or travel sickness) please inform our office at the time of booking to see if we can accommodate you. We regret that anyone failing to inform us of such limitations before the safari will be expected to rotate seats in the same way as everyone else.

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    Entim Private Camp

    We have negotiated a private bush camp right near very close to Entim camp. The camp is situated in a forested area looking directly over a wildebeest crossing point on the Mara River. The camp is far removed from other tourist areas and lodges yet still in the heart of the action. The tents are large luxury accommodation, with en-suite bathrooms and flush toilets. This is the classic Hemingway styled safari and no luxury is spared, yet you are as far removed from any tourism, just as Hemingway was. With your own view of the Mara River, there is no better place to be in the Masai Mara. Meals, prepared in traditional East African safari style by the camp chef, are taken in the large Mess Tent or under the stars. There will be a generator with battery bank to charge laptops and batteries. A central Studio tent will be the area from which to download and edit photographs during the quiet hours of the day or after your day’s safari.

     

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    Picnic lunches can be taken on longer game drives and enjoyed al fresco, while out exploring this vast and diverse area. Early evenings can be enjoyed over sundowner drinks in discreetly selected spots away from camp; or after a game drive and hot shower, around the campfire. The dining area offers a more intimate setting for our delicious home-cooked meals. We have a selection of house wines from the famous wineries of South Africa. Bread, cakes and pastries are all baked in camp, while fresh produce is flown in regularly. We aim to produce healthy, balanced and enticing menus, and are happy to cater to your individual requirements. If you wish you can dine privately on your own verandah, whilst enjoying the personal service of our helpful, well-trained staff.

     

     

    Nairobi Serena Hotel

    Justly famed for its exceptional standards of efficiency, service and five-star hospitality, the elegantly sophisticated Nairobi Serena is a member of the Leading Hotels of the World group and is consistently voted ‘Best Hotel in Nairobi’ by airlines
    and international travel magazines alike. Despite its pivotal central location, the Serena Nairobi hotel remains true to its title and offers an oasis of serenity amidst the bustle of one of Africa’s most vibrant capital cities.

    The Nairobi Serena Hotel offers a number of dining experiences, and a selection of bars, coffee shops and café areas, both inside and out. Thehotel also features a dedicated resident’s lounge: The Bambara Lounge, which offers a café service,
    newspapers and private seating throughout the day. Or try our restaurant in Nairobi, the Mandhari, renowned for the excellence of its seasonally inspired menu and extensive wine cellars. An internationally-themed buffet breakfast and lunch are served in the Moroccan-styled Café Maghreb, which also features a table d’hôte dinner menu and 24-hour brasserie service.

     

  • Costs

    US$ 6,600 per person sharing

    * US$ 1,100 per single supplement
    * 30% deposit confirms your place

     
    THE ABOVE COSTS INCLUDE:

    * Pickup and transport for the entire Safari and drop off at your destination.
    * Internal flights to and from the Masai Mara
    * Entrance and accommodation (2 persons per tent) to the reserve
    * All park fees
    * All meals, drinks and alcoholic drinks
    * Personally guided drives by a professional wildlife photographer
    * Game activities
    * The services of our guides

     
    COSTS DO NOT INCLUDE:

    * Gratuities to staff and guides
    * Drinks
    * Extra activities not included – i.e. hot air balloons
    * Personal expenses
    * Travel insurance
    * Travel visas

     
    * Terms and conditions are clearly described in the PDF brochure under “Booking Information”

    Booking Information

    Name:

    Email:

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  • Camera Equipment

    * Camera bodies
    * Lenses
    * Tele-converters
    * Body and lens caps
    * Plastic zip lock bags
    * Filters (UV, Polariser and graduated)
    * Batteries
    * Battery chargers
    * Camera bag
    * Binoculars
    * Digital card wallet
    * Cable ties
    * Flash-gun
    * Batteries for flash gun
    * Big Blower brush
    * Sensor cleaning fluid
    * Laptop/External hard drive
    * Power for external hard drive
    * Power adaptors
    * Camera manuals
    * Tripod
    * Tripod head and quick release plate
    * Lens cleaning cloth/s
    * Camera vest
    * Digital memory cards

    * You don’t need to own the latest cameras and the longest lenses! Email me at isak@theafricanphotographer.com to enquire about rental options.

    Travel documents

    * Passport
    * ID Documents
    * Flight ticket/s
    * Itinerary

    Accommodation and travel

    * Foreign exchange
    * Credit card/s
    * Cash

    Personal items and clothing

    * Hat
    * Sunscreen (one low factor and one higher factor SPF)
    * Sunglasses
    * Cotton shirts
    * Warm top/s
    * Wind breaker/rain jacket
    * “Inners” thin light gloves to wear on cool early mornings

     

  • What should I know about vehicle etiquette?

    On all our safaris we may ask participants to rotate seats in the vehicles, taking it in turn to sit in the more popular seats in the front and the less popular ones in the rear. This requirement applies to everyone. If there is some reason why you can’t take your turn in the back of a vehicle (e.g. a bad back or travel sickness) please inform our office at the time of booking to see if we can accommodate you. We regret that anyone failing to inform us of such limitations before the safari will be expected to rotate seats in the same way as everyone else.

     
    There is also other vehicle etiquette that we would like to ask you to adhere to. We give these guidelines to ensure a positive experience for all when on safari:

    * Please keep noise levels low at an animal sighting. This allows people to enjoy the setting and listen to sounds that the animals may be making. Often these alert us to some behaviour and allows us to anticipate any action that may occur.

    * If you are seated in the front of the vehicle, please have consideration for the people behind you. A pre-arranged chat at the start of the safari is an excellent way to work out how you will be photographing and working around each other. It provides a positive working environment and allows everyone to photograph happily in the vehicle.

    * When photographing, keep movement to a minimum. If you are going to shift places, then alert the others and do so as swiftly and directly as possible.

    * Please do not do anything to effect the behaviour of the animals.

    * Your driver/ranger has to adhere to certain rules and etiquette at sightings that you may not be aware of. This may mean you cannot stop exactly where you would like. Please bear this in mind at sightings, especially when there are other vehicles from other camps around.

    What technical equipment or requirements do I need for the workshops?

    For workshops a Digital SLR camera is recommended, with at least a 200mm lens to capture wildlife im- ages. A laptop for downloading is also helpful, although we can download image if necessary. On a Photo safari, two DSLR camera bodies and lenses are advised. The type of lenses you take depend entirely on the destination. We will advise according to each safari should you need advise.

    Are there any extras I need to bring on a trip?

    Most of our safaris are all inclusive and we offer advice as to what to bring along. This is due to the differ- ent seasons and conditions of each safari. C4 Photo Safaris will always advise if you will be traveling in a Malaria area. If the safari is not all-inclusive, it will be clearly stated.

    Why do you choose such specific destinations for the Safaris and Workshops?

    Each destination is hand picked by us for the beauty and photographic potential it holds. C4 Photo Safaris only travel to destinations that offer the best of what we are looking to photograph. If we know an area holds excellent wildlife, we will take safaris there. There are many factors to consider- Seasonal variation can have a large impact on wildlife movements, animal and bird migrations, localalised animal movements etc. We of course take all this into consideration, ensuring that our safaris are going to the best locations at the best times.

    Is there any cell phone reception in the areas?

    In most game reserves and wild areas there is no cell/mobile phone reception.

    How safe am I in the game reserves in Africa?

    C4 Photo Safaris only operate with lodges and reserves that use the best rangers. They ensure your safety whilst on safari and use very strict procedures when dealing with dangerous animals. Each lodge has a safety briefing on arrival which, if adhered to, makes your stay very safe.

    What insurance/coverage do I need?

    Your normal travel insurance covers you for safaris in Africa. C4 Photo Safaris are comprehensively in- sured for medical emergencies on safaris.

    For Malaria, which tablets should I take, if any?

    C4 Photo Safaris are not allowed to prescribe medical advice to clients. We will advise if the area visited is in a malaria area. You will need to consult with your local GP for medical advise on Malaria and prevention.

    What about allergies?

    Most safari camps are able to handle food allergies but not with the degree of skill that five star hotels do. The best way to handle an intolerance, is to simply avoid eating that particu- lar food as the menus in camp are quite diverse. If you have a more uncommon allergy, like being allergic to eggs, and you know of a solution (like a powder substitute), then bring it along on sa- fari. If you have a deadly allergy, then be sure to travel with your own medication and request in camp that that ingredient be removed from the kitchen and the store. As a side note, it is helpful to remember that many safari camps have to fly produce in or truck it in, over hundreds of miles. Furthermore, the camps, although impressive looking, actually have minimal infrastructure behind the scenes. If you assist the camp in managing your allergy, it will be a great help.

    What about medicine, diseases and vaccinations?

    Please check in with your local travel clinic or doctor for advice. From my experience, a yellow fever and hepatitis vaccination is a must, while the plethora of others are optional. Our safaris are conducted in low risk malarial areas but for your own peace of mind, we recommend that you take a prophylactic. In areas where you get tsetse flies in East Afri- ca, humans are not the primary disease carries, and contracting Tryps is very rare. There is nothing you can do about these flies except to dress appropriately (keep reading) and to apply mosie-guard. None of our current safari destinations carry significant amounts of tsetsi flies. The camps do have medicine kits and there is always an evacuation plan.

    We do however find it practical to always travel through Africa with the following items:
    * Immodium (keep this handy when traveling)
    * Buscopan (for tummy cramps)
    * Pain killers (that contain par- acetamol and a muscle relaxant)
    * Antihistamine cream and tablets for any allergic reactions
    * Melatonin to help speedy recovery from jetlag
    * Any medicine or ointments that you would normally take at home
    * Mosquito repellant
    * A product called Mosie-guard for areas where Tsetsi Flies occur (manufactured in the UK and Deet does not work)
    * Tweezers for any thorns or splinters
    * Re-hydrants sachets (very important)
    * Disinfectant or antibiotic cream (just for nicks, cuts or grazes)
    * Plasters (to cover nicks, cuts or grazes)

    Can I drink water and eat fresh produce on safari?

    We advise that you only drink bottled water, which is always available in camps. Avoid ice as this is often made from local water which although is generally safe to drink, your foreign tummies might disagree! It is safe to eat fresh produce.

    What about food on safari?

    Both East and much of Southern Africa was a British colony and as such, you can expect that type of cuisine. The breakfasts usually consist of cereals and a hot English breakfast. Lunch- es are usually light with a variety of salads and always a meat option. Dinners are traditional English affairs usually with a soup starter and freshly baked camp bread. The main course will usually be a roast of sorts, with vegetables. Dessert is usually a simple affair consisting of fruit or a baked pudding. You will not go hungry! (A side note to mention is that between meals there are often not snacks readily available and breakfast is often only later in the morning. You might want to bring a few snacks or energy bars if you have a problem keeping your sugar levels up.)

    Any luggage restrictions?

    The reality is that on any scheduled charters in Africa, there will be luggage restrictions. Short of charter- ing your own flight (which we can do), our advice is to bring only the essential camera equipment. Having too much equipment can actually hinder your photography. Also, you can get washing done in camp and with a fairly moderate to hot climate, you can afford to pack light. In short, bring fewer clothes so that you can bring more camera gear! Depending on the safari you book, we will be able to advise you on exact weight restrictions.

    What amount of spending money should I bring along?

    Our safaris cover all travel, food and accommodation costs (unless otherwise stated). This means that spending money can be kept to souvenirs, curios and books. This normally amounts to USD 10 per person per day.

    Commercial representation and wildlife photography consulting

    C4 Photo Safaris has the full capacity to plan and run commercial photo shoots for professional clients. We are able to supply you with the best guides in the wildlife photography industry as well as organize and run all your ground handling logistics for the shoot. Our knowledge of African travel logistics combined with our specialized knowledge of wildlife and the best places to photograph them, places us in the perfect position to plan and run your commer- cial shoot. Please contact Shem with your request. Additionally we can supply photographers for the shoot where they would work under the production name. On all safaris with C4 Photo Safaris, our guides have the right to take photographs. Their goal is to get you into the right position and tutor you into getting the best photograph. Once they have done so, they have full rights to take their own photographs. The rights of the guides and all of their images remains with the individual guide who took the photographs. No other person has any rights over the photographs taken by a guide representing C4 Photo Safaris.

  • Click on the icons to get a glimpse of the photos you could be taking, the accommodation that you can expect, and what life on a Masai Mara Migration Photo Safari is like