10:14 , December 13, 2011
Posted in: Africa 2012, Blog

Kenya Safari #1 2012

Our Kenya photo safaris in 2011 were very successful, and we arrange a new safari to Kenya 23 – 30 November. For this safari we depart a little later than the peak tourist season so we’ll get more rest and more opportunities to photograph what we want. We will also extend the safari with two nights in Samburu. This way we will experience more variety and photographic opportunities.

We will begin in Samburu, which is a relatively dry area, yet it’s full of life. We have timed our safari for the end of the short rainy season, which will provide many exciting scenarios. From our camp near the main river it is a short distance most mornings to photograph birds and animals. Samburu is known for its dense population of leopards, as well as Oryx, Grevy zebra, Gerenuk, and many beautiful birds. On our test safari at almost the same time in 2010, there were Oryx rut, which offered some superb photography opportunities. Many photographers say Samburu is their favourite park, and we think this is a very nice start to our safari.

Most of the wildebeest have left Masai Mara by this time and are back in Tanzania, so we won’t be rushing to photograph the wildebeest river crossings. However, we will enjoy and photograph the other exciting wildlife and hopefully beautiful sunrises and sunsets in Masai Mara. The camp is located in an area with few other tourists, but with many great photo opportunities for photographers. During the 10 days on safari in this area in September 2011, we saw and photographed six different Leopards, many Lions and Cheetahs, in addition to three Caracals and one Serval.

 

Roaring Lion (Panthera Leo) in Masai Mara, Kenya (Ole Jørgen Liodden)
Male Lion in Masai Mara. Copyright © Ole Jørgen Liodden / Naturfokus.

 

This photo safari will be led by a professional nature photographer (Ole Jørgen Liodden) who will assist with your photographic challenges and lead this trip in order to maximize your photo opportunities. All in all, the conditions are set for some magical days in Africa!

 

Inside one of our tents in Masai Mara. Copyright © Ole Jørgen Liodden / Naturfokus.

 

About our Camps

Our camp in Masai Mara is situated in a private conservation area just north of the border of the reserve. There are no fences or visible markers on the boundary between the reserve and the conservation area, as they share the same landscape with lots of wildlife on both sides. The camp is perfect for photo safaris because of the greater flexibility and photo opportunities. The camp has 10 tents for the guests and one bigger tent for dining and social gatherings. The tents are spacious with separate section for bathroom with toilet and safari showers (20 litres at a time). There is power (solar panels) in all the tents, but no power outlets. During the day you can charge laptops in a “office” tent when a generator is in operation. The camp is located at 1560 meters above sea level, and the expected daytime temperature is 20-30 C and 5-10 C at night. We have 3 open Land Rovers with great guides. The camp provides a good European standard, and the food is safe and tasty.

Our Camp in Samburu is strategically located down by the river, with short distances to great photo subjects. The standard is high, and there are two-man (Twin) tents. The camp is surrounded by fences and have a dining tent, and also a souvenir shop. The climate in Samburu is generally a bit drier and warmer than in the Masai Mara, but in November / December it may still be some showers. Alcoholic beverages is not included in Samburu.

 

Security

Our security is a top priority during the safari and will be maintained by the guides and guards. On game drives, we use open safari vehicles, without windows, but this is not dangerous when it comes to predators. We will, however be cautious around rhinos and buffalos, which can be unpredictable. In the camps there is a maximum of 100 meters to walk from the tents to the dining area or to the vehicles, and guards will follow you when it is dark (Masai Mara). The guards are constantly on duty in the camps so you can relax and feel safe. In order to have proper security during the safari, it is important that you, as a participant, respect the rules and regulations of the guides, guards and the tour leader. In some cases we will give you the opportunity to step out of the safari vehicle (Masai Mara) to take pictures at ground level or to shoot landscapes with a tripod. The guides in consultation with the tour leader decide when it is safe to do this, so it is not possible to leave the vehicle whenever you want. Inside the Masai Mara reserve nad Samburu you are not allowed to leave the vehicle!

 

Vaccinations

There are few mosquitoes and insects in Samburu and Masai Mara, but you should take your malaria tablets (Malarone for example). We also recommend you to contact your local doctor or travel clinic so that you have the necessary vaccinations prior to your travel.

 

Photographer inside one of our safari vehicles. Copyright © Ole Jørgen Liodden / Naturfokus.

 

Some questions and answers

Q: Do all the 3 safari vehicles need to stick together all the time?
A: On transport stages it can be best to drive together as a group, but we have no strict policy of staying together all the time. By spreading out with 3 safari vehicles, we can cover a larger area, finding more photographic opportunities and not crowding each other. In some cases, all three vehicles might be together during a photo shoot. We will have radio contact between the groups and decide what makes the most sense to do from situation to situation.

 

Q: I am very interested in birds. Is this trip something for me?
A: Both yes and no. As nature photographers we are always interested in seeing and photographing birds. But, the mammals and the light conditions will be the primary focus during this safari, so we  won’t be stopping for every bird we see. The guides are very knowledgeable about birds so you will see many during the safari.

 

Q: I am a very ambitious photographer and want special treatment on this safari. Is this possible?
A: All participants on the safari will have equal opportunities, and ALL are given priority! If you want special treatment, you must hire your own safari vehicle and a separate arrangement independent of our safari.

 

Q: Does this safari require good health and a lot of walking?
A: No, there is not much walking, beyond what you do inside the airport terminals and inside the camp area. You must provide information about any health related problems prior to booking, so we are aware of it.

 

Q: The trip cost more than cheap tours I’ve seen online, why?
A: Naturfokus arranges only high quality safaris and expeditions. We have chosen the camps with the best locations, at the best time of year, with 3 open Land Rovers (rather than a closed Toyota Hiace), skilled guides and all inclusive. You will also be flown directly into Samburu and Masai Mara, with TRIPPLE weight baggage allowance (45 kg) included, to name a few.

 

Q: Is it possible to rent a single room?
A: Yes, it is possible (not 100% sure of the tents), but at extra cost.

 

If you have further questions, please contact us by email: post@naturfokus.no or tel: +47 32126770 / +47 93451070

 

Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) in Masai Mara, Kenya (Ole Jørgen Liodden)
Cheetah photographed 10 minutes drive away from our camp in Masai Mara, in great light. We don’t need to rush back to our camp before sunset! Copyright © Ole Jørgen Liodden / Naturfokus.

 

Welcome to exciting and memorable days on safari in Africa!

This post is also available in: Norwegian Bokmål

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