“The Mara” minus the crowds …
Exclusive, 10 day Photo Safari in “The Mara”
1 photographer per row of seating
50 lbs of Camera gear & 33 lbs of personal luggage per person
Additionally this safari and workshop offers some of the best lion, leopard & cheetah photography in the world, as well as opportunities to photograph Africa’s “Big Five” which are elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo and rhinoceros (Black and or White). This amazing safari is geared specifically toward the serious photographer and game viewer and we have booked three private game vehicles each with 3 rows of seating and each photographer has an entire row to themselves. (see Disclaimer)
July 25 – August 3 2016
Maasai Mara or “The Mara” as it is known, is a northern extension of Tanzania’s Serengeti, and is responsible for more images of African animals than any other. And with good reason, for it is jammed full of wildlife, and blessed with open terrain that makes game viewing easy. From August to November the park plays host to the northern leg of the famous Serengeti wildebeest migration as well as the countless zebra and other herbivores that accompany them, which many consider to be the world’s greatest wildlife spectacle. There are also few better places in Africa to seek out all three big cat species in a single day, and for those birders among us can expect rich pickings, especially in the riverine forest.
Great Wildebeest Migration:
The Maasai Mara Ecosystem plays host to one of the world’s most spectacular wildlife scenery; the great wildebeest migration. Over 1 million of wildebeests cross the Mara River in the months of June to September to graze and mate on the lush green grasslands of the Masai Mara, before returning to the Serengeti Ngorongoro crater in the middle of October to November.
About the Photographic Safari:
This workshop is informal and will be a lot of fun. Gavin will be shooting alongside you at all times. Gavin will provide discussion and assistance on specialized topics such as long lens technique, action shooting, wildlife observation, panning and African animal behavior. Advanced techniques will be discussed, demonstrated and utilized throughout. This workshop is about shooting … tons of shooting! We will all work together, each sharing our individual knowledge and experience. Due of the unique location of this workshop and the luxury accommodations, this workshop adventure is open to spouses as well as photographers. Non-photographer companions will find the locales visited and the wildlife viewing opportunities stunning.
Each passengers luggage allotment is as follows.
• 33 lbs of personal luggage such as clothing toiletries and so on, which needs to be in a soft sided case.
• 8 lbs of personal carry on luggage such as a purse or small camera bag such as a speedfreak
Serengeti & Maasai Mara Overcrowding:
It is called the Eighth Wonder of the World and is the single wildlife event that can be identifiably defined by two words: The Migration. This massive movement of wildebeest and zebra and accompanying ungulates and predators from the “Serengeti in Tanzania to the sweet red-oat grasslands of Kenya’s Mara plains between June and August is wildlife drama writ large. It is also a noisy, overcrowded and often unedifying gathering of the human species at its worst.
For some years now wildlife enthusiasts have been complaining bitterly about overcrowding in the Mara, and especially during the migration. Stories abound of large numbers of vehicles surrounding small groups of stressed, anxious lions and cheetahs; of 70 or 80 Kombis lining the Mara River, their overexcited occupants yelling at the animals as they cross.For these reasons the Maasai Mara is both the most loved and the most loathed wilderness area in Africa: loved because of its sheer physical beauty and abundance of wildlife; loathed because of the crowds.”Quote from “Telegraph.co.uk”
Information about the Northern Conservancy:
January 1, 2009 A new conservancy in the Maasai Mara Ecosystem was formed, formerly known as the Koyaiki Lemek Conservation Area. The Mara North Conservancy (MNC) is a not-for- profit company. The conservancy is a partnership between eleven member camps and over 800 Maasai landowners to professionally manage and protect the north-western border of the Maasai Mara ecosystem, which represents the heart of the most important wildlife habitat in the world. MNC consists of approximately 30,000 hectares, effectively increasing the size of the Maasai Mara National Reserve by 21%. This area is the key dispersal zone for the annual “Great Migration” and supports an extensive variety of additional species, the most recognizable include lion, cheetah, leopard, buffalo, hyena, elephant, crocodile, wild dog,giraffe, hippopotamus, and over 450 bird species.
The +30,000 Ha conservation area, lying on the northern boundary of the Maasai Mara National Reserve, is rich with wildlife and includes sites such as the world famous “Leopard Gorge.” This land formerly belonged to two Group Ranches and was subdivided into individual, private titles in 2002. Uncoordinated land-use decisions are severely impacting the ecosystem and its wildlife. Mass tourism, human population growth, lack of planning, poor infrastructure, growing numbers of livestock, introduction of agriculture, and charcoaling are just some of the issues facing the area. These issues are being addressed through innovative solutions created by the founding member camps and the Maasai landowners.
To form the conservancy MNC leased land from individual Maasai landowners. This income is fixed and does not fluctuate based on the number of visitors. The idea of guaranteeing a fixed amount marks the first time that these Maasai landowners have received direct, predictable and transparent income from wildlife, allowing community members to plan for the future. Together, MNC and the Maasai are implementing sound land management policies, including managed grazing, holistic management practices, low volume and low impact tourism, and community land-use plans. Professional wildlife management is equally as important as securing the land. Brian Heath, Seiya Ltd. has been appointed as Mara North Conservancy wildlife and land area manger. Mr. Heath is a well known, international conservationist and has worked for more than 40 years within the conservation community. Mr. Heath and Seiya also manage the Mara Conservancy in Transmara, a neighboring conservancy. This allows holistic management of a much larger ecosystem.
The aim is to create a best practice, world-class conservancy with long-term commitments to the environment, wildlife, and local communities. Mara North Conservancy’s mission goals are:
1. Professional land and wildlife management 2. Direct and transparent revenue distribution to the Maasai landowners 3. Fund raising and endorsing corporate social investment for the betterment of the local communities 4. Low-density tourism and vehicle numbers to minimize environmental impact 5. Promotion of strong eco-tourism practices and use of environmentally friendly technologies 6. Stewardship of the environment for future generations
In Mara North guests are able to enjoy early morning game drives, afternoon game drives, full day game drives and thrilling night drives. Game drives are conducted in custom built 4×4s for the ultimate wildlife experience. Game walks with armed guides are arranged for those who wish to experience the magnitude of the Mara savannah on foot. Bush breakfasts, lunches or dinners are arranged in beautiful and carefully selected areas. (Night drives, walking safaris and bush dinners are not allowed in the Maasai Mara National Reserve.)
• Private air charters between Nairobi and Maasai Mara.
• 9 morning & 9 afternoon safaris
• 1 photographer per row of seating (partners spouses and assistants share photographers row)
• Knowledgeable and passionate safari guides in open Land Rovers will assist us in locating the wildlife we seek.
• This safari offers spectacular game viewing and photographic opportunities in one of the finest luxury safari settings in Africa.
• Private accommodation on a per person sharing basis
• Breakfast, lunch and dinner prepared by an executive chef
• Accommodation in amazing luxury tents overlooking the Mara River
• 3 private safari vehicles and all private safari activities.
• One row per photographer on the game drive vehicles.
• Private round-trip charter flights from Nairobi to Maasai Mara.
• Roundtrip road transfers between Nairobi Airport and Wilson Airport (where the charter flies out of)
• Roundtrip road transfers from Maasai Mara airstrip to the camp.
• All meals and non-alcoholic drinks, plus beer and selected house wines
• Masai Mara National Game Reserve, Mara Triangle & Mara North Conservancy Fees
• Tourism Levies, and game reserve fees.
• All clients are enrolled in the Flying Doctors program as part of this package.
What’s Not Included:
• Airfare and transportation between your departure point and Nairobi International airport.
• All gratuities.
• Visas (if applicable)
• Travel Insurance.
• Personal purchases (including curios, spirit liquors, telephone calls etc.)
Number of Photographers / non-Photographers:
We limit each safari to a small group of photographers and their spouse / companions, however each vehicle will be limited to 3 photographers. Non-photographer companions / assistants / spouses will share the photographer’s row of seating
Day 1 – On arrival at Maasai Mara airstrip, we will be greeted by lodge personnel and transferred to camp. With 10 days of game viewing, we will have ample opportunity to focus on the resident predators as well as the migration of the wildebeest and Zebra at Maasai Mara, especially its host of lion and leopard and cheetah. Expect daily sightings of predators, general game and birds of prey, – plus due to the length of our stay, we get to fully explore the area and choose each days plan. Day 10 – After the morning game drive, guests will return to the airstrip, catch the charter back to Nairobi, where the safari comes to an end.
The safari is based in the beautiful Mara North Conservancy. This conservancy forms the vital northwestern zone within the Masai Mara Ecosystem and borders the Masai Mara National Game Reserve to the south.
More importantly, the Mara North Conservancy is a key dispersal area of the great wildebeest migration and offers a very important habitat area for a unique concentration of African wild animals, birds, rich vegetation and open savannah.
The Camp consists of 22 large luxury canvas tents – each set on a beautiful wooden platform with a spacious verandah. On the cushion daybed one can enjoy an afternoon siesta, taking in the wonderful surroundings
Each tent is en-suite and furnished with a large comfortable bed, Persian rugs and a cozy armchair giving you the ultimate in camping luxury. The private bathroom has a flush toilet, twin wash hand basins and a romantic outside shower with amazing view to the sky. Water is heated using solar panels to avoid any use of firewood and thus conserving the Mara Woodlands. Electricity is provided in all tents 24 hours a day by extended solar panel system and battery storing bank.
Tents can be configured for either double or twin occupancy, where under prior arrangement a 3rd and even 4th bed can be added for children below the age of 12. Our family unit consists of two tents with a shared veranda.
All tents are placed with undisturbed view along the Mara River giving unique and private game viewing to the Oloololo Escarpment and its rich wildlife.
Guests will enjoy sublime cuisine prepared by an executive chef. We focus on freshly produced meals in wonderful surroundings – complimenting the friendly and attentive service, all of which is included. * Please make us aware of any food allergies and or special dietary requirements
Deposit is required at time of booking to reserve your spot on safari.
Please contact Gavin at (916) 759-0776 or via the contact page to discuss availability
So … what’s next:
Our groups are kept to a maximum of 9 photographers, thus space is very limited. If this spectacular photo safari piques your interest, then register now.
Remember, there is limited space for this safari and when it’s filled – that’s it!
If you have any questions prior to registering, please contact us, or to discuss this in person, call Gavin at 916 759-0776
Refund and Cancellation Policy:
If you must cancel your reservation, Images in Africa Safaris will assess a cancellation charge to cover loss of nonrefundable advance payments we have made on your behalf to ground operators and government agencies, communication expenses, and the loss of time that may permit resale of your space. Exceptions to our cancellation policy cannot be made for any reason, including weather, terrorism, civil unrest, or personal emergencies. There is no refund for arriving late or leaving a trip early. No refunds will be given for unused hotel rooms, meals, or sightseeing trips for any reason whatsoever. Percentage charges are calculated on total trip cost. The following cancellation charges will apply:
All deposits are fully refundable up to 90 days from the date of the reservation, unless the reservation is made within 6 months of the safari commencement date. If the reservation is made less than 6 months of the safari commencement date, then the following refund policy will apply: After 90 days from the date of the reservation, 50% of the deposit is refundable up to 6 months prior to the safari commencement date. Within 6 months of the safari commencement date, and up to 90 days prior the safari commencement date, 100% of the deposit is forfeited but all other funds are refundable. There are no refunds for no shows or cancellations made within 90 days of the safari commencement date.
We recommend obtaining trip cancellation/ interruption and baggage loss insurance which is available from various providers. This coverage may offset cancellation charges in the event of illness before or during the trip and/or if you need to cancel for work reasons depending on the coverage provided by the plan.
- We cannot guarantee that you will view and experience the great migration, as wildlife behavior patterns are unpredictable, however the dates selected and the region selected will provide the best opportunity to view and experience the migration phenomenon.
- Spouse, partners, assistants share the photographers row of seating.
For additional information you may want to read through the FAQ page