Kenya Wildlife Safari Photo Workshop

Kenya Wildlife Safari Photo Workshop2021-04-05T15:30:08+00:00
  • Kenya Photo Safari Wildlife Workshops

We will ease into safari mode by staying at the delightful Macushla House in Nairobi. It is in the style of Karen Blixen’s home…the one from Out of Africa! You will feel welcome, and it will seem as if you are at home. On the second day, we relax and get into the groove of the time zone. There are many beautiful birds and playful monkeys to photograph at the hotel. We get things kicked off after lunch with a private visit to the David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage. They do fabulous work rescuing baby elephants and raising them with an eye on returning them to the wild. We will be allowed behind the scenes to watch, photograph, and interact with the babies playing and splashing in their favorite waterhole. If you are fortunate, you might be gifted with a hug from a baby elephant!

Our first destination is the Meru region of Kenya. Brilliant on a magnificent scale, the Meru features luxuriant jungle, coursing rivers, verdant swamp, khaki grasslands, and gaunt termite cathedrals all under the sky’s great blue bowl. Little visited and utterly unspoiled, few places are comparable to the remote and rugged atmosphere found here. A highlight of our safari in Meru will be a visit to the rhino sanctuary. They do great work trying to save the Black Rhinoceros from extinction. With a bit of luck, we’ll make some great photos that are quite difficult to make out of the sanctuary.

Black Rhino Kenya

Black Rhino Kenya

We leave Meru and make our way to Amboseli National Park. Hopefully. the “shy mountain” Kilimanjaro shows her face, and we can see the vast herds of elephants crossing under the watchful eye of “Kili.” Witnessing families of elephants moving together is awe-inspiring, and you will never see such a sight with a more beautiful background. No amount of nature documentaries will prepare you for the image of these creatures as they make their way through the park. We spend three days roaming and photographing Amboseli’s famed elephants and who knows what other amazing sights.

Next up, the Masai Mara National Park. The Mara is a “big cat country” and boasts the highest lions in all of Africa. On a recent safari, we saw 26 lions on the way from the airstrip to the lodge! I’ve been on safaris all over Africa, and I am always surprised at what we see in the Meru Mara. It’s crazy good! We will stay is bound to be a visit to the Rhino Sanctuary two camps in the Mara to cover as much of the park and the conservancy as possible.

Your safari accommodations are in tented camps, with running water for the ensuite toilets and washbasins. The best part is the bucket shower! It takes a minute to get used to that, but a safari is supposed to be an adventure!

Reminds me of my safari in Africa. Somebody forgot the corkscrew, and for several days we had to live on nothing but food and water.

W.C. Fields

The safari camps are located on conservancies that border the parks. These are basically huge parks unto themselves, and as such, they have their own rules that are far less restrictive than the national parks. For example, we can go on night drives, be out of the vehicles, and most of the guides and drivers were born here. Nobody on earth knows the wildlife of this area like your guides. They really make this safari exceptional. Well, and me too!

This Kenya Photo Safari spans a total of thirteen days and twelve nights, with each day acting as a new opportunity to see the world in a way that you never have before. I allow for a total of six clients to keep the experience intimate so that I can focus on each of you. You can focus on creating magical images. Our travel will be carried out on two private safari vehicles. Each of you will have your own row to ensure that you don’t miss anything, have plenty of space, and are more comfortable. Along the way, I will provide you with knowledge about Kenya as a whole and with facts regarding the lives of the animals that we will be viewing and photographing so that you have a better understanding of what you are witnessing. In addition to this, I will act as your personal photography coach to ensure that you leave this experience with photographs that amaze anyone you share them with.

I have designed this Kenya Photo safari to be a unique experience that you will rival any other you may have for the rest of your life. For any questions regarding the safari in Kenya or the process, feel free to contact me. I am always happy to talk about Africa!

“There is a language going on out there – the language of the wild. Roars, snorts, trumpets, squeals, whoops, and chirps have meaning derived over eons of expression…we have yet to become fluent in the language – and music – of the wild.”

Boyd Norton


Even though you will be arriving late at night, you will be met at the airport and whisked away for a well-deserved sleep. We will be staying at my favorite lodge in Nairobi, Macushla House. It’s very comfortable and a perfect place to relax and ease into our new time zone. You’ll for sure feel the “Out of Africa” vibe of Macushla House.

About Macushla House

Macushla’s spacious accommodations feature high open beamed ceilings, comfortable bedding, and showers with tremendous pressure and plentiful hot water. Feel free to indulge before your 10 days of bucket showers begins! 

The intimate bar and dining room are flanked by lounges with wood-burning fireplaces. The food at Macushla will leave you in no doubt that you are in a private home and not a hotel. The delicious menu is cooked to order and features fresh food cooked with local and international tastes. T

The terrace and swimming pool area are a great place to unwind, download your images, and share a conversation with your new friends. r

There are some great birds and Vervet Monkeys in the gardens, and you can get some practice in for our safari.


We don’t have any formal activities today, mostly because you probably will fall straight to sleep, and I will already be snoring! If you do have any issues and you need help, just give a knock at the door.

  • Pickup at Nairobi International Airport and transport to the hotel.
  • Lodging
Macushla Gallery

Sleep in as you please today, and have breakfast at your leisure at Macushla House. There will be time to shop for forgotten items, curios and continuing to adjusting to Africa’s rhythms.

Kiss A Giraffe

Kiss A Giraffe

Around 10 am our adventures begin with a trip to Giraffe Manor’s sanctuary. It’s a great place to get some unique images, and if you have a desire to be kissed by a giraffe, that can happen too!

This an excellent chance to ensure that your camera works as expected!

We will have an alfresco lunch (not included) at a beautiful coffee plantation.

Sheldrick Elephant Experience

Sheldrick Elephant Experience

The highlight of the day will no doubt be our trip to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’s Orphanage. The DSWT has been rescuing orphaned elephants for years, and to date, they have saved the lives of more than 150 African Elephants! I have made special arrangements with DWST to go on a private tour. We will walk out into the bush with the handlers as they bring the babies home for the night. Along the way, we will stop and watch the elephants drink and play in a waterhole. This is particularly special as it is for our group only.

We return to Macushla for dinner (not included) and get packed and ready to leave for the bush early tomorrow.

  • Giraffe Experience
  • Baby Elephant Adventure
  • Breakfast
  • Transportation
  • All Admission Fees

Our safari gets underway after breakfast. We’ll head to Nairobi Wilson Airport for our 50-minute flight to the spectacular Meru National Park.
Our base for the next two nights will be Rhino River Camp. It’s a glorious bush camp and has earned 5 stars from Trip Advisor. If you are a fan of the beloved movie Born Free, the rocky outcrop where Elsa was returned to the wild is near our Camp.

On arrival, our guides will meet us at the airstrip, and we will then game drive our way back to our home for the next 3 nights, the Trip Advisor 5 Star Rhino River Camp.

After lunch and a nap, we will head out on our first game drive. You never know what to expect on a game drive, I’ve been on hundreds, and none of them have ever been the same. The one thing I will guarantee is that you’ll be very awe-struck! We’ll photograph until the sunsets and stop to enjoy a sundowner in the bush before we drive back to the lodge and our evening meal.

Our daily routine will be similar for the next two days. I am happy to report that our schedule may be similar, but our experience and sightings will never be the same twice!

About Rhino River Camp

Rhino River Camp is situated in 80 acres of privately owned wilderness bordering Meru National Park. It is the base to explore the extraordinary Meru National Park.

The Camp is made up of seven delightful cottages built from caramel canvas and hardwood. It is set on raised wooden platforms where you can watch the gentle flow of the Kindani River. Your experience at Rhino River Camp will be magical. The Camp has a relaxing yet safari atmosphere.

The Camp relies on solar power for much of our electrical needs, and that is awesome. The downside is that you will not be able to charge devices in your tent but rather in the communal “charging tent.” The bonus is that the tent is also where you can get a Wi-Fi signal!

Rhino River Camp Gallery
About Meru Rhino Sanctuary

The Sheldrick Trust, the same magical humans that began the elephant rescue facility that you just enjoyed, have created a home to help preserve Africa’s Rhinoceros population. MRS is home to both species, the endangered Southern White Rhino and the critically endangered Black Rhino. We will have multiple opportunities to look for rhino within the sanctuary.

1n 1989, Kenya lost the last of its wild rhino population. The 50sq mile (83sq km) sanctuary is now home to about 100 rhinos. The goal is to raise and release rhinos back to their natural range in Kenya and Africa.

About Meru National Park

Brilliant on a magnificent scale, Meru features luxuriant jungle, coursing rivers, verdant swamp, khaki grasslands, and gaunt termite cathedrals all under the sky’s great blue bowl. The 540 sq mile (870sq km) park is little visited and utterly unspoiled. Few places are comparable to the remote and rugged atmosphere found in Meru.

Besides the Big 5 and numerous mammals, the park has 427 recorded species of birds.

Unusual Mammals List for Meru (Coming Soon)
Bird List for Meru Coming Soon)

Meru Gallery
  • Morning Game Drive
  • Evening Game Drive
  • Sundowners
  • All activities
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Wi-Fi usually is available. Remember, we are in the bush and not a city.

After another excellent breakfast, we will finish packing our things and take one last game drive on the way to the airstrip. We say “Kwaheri” to Meru and “Jambo” to the Masai Mara!

By now, you will already know the guides will be waiting for us at the airstrip. We’ll pause for refreshment as the bags get transferred to our vehicles. Make sure to have your cameras ready to photograph something extraordinary as we game drive to the lodge. I have no idea what it might be, and that is one of the things that keeps a safari exciting!

While in the Mara, our schedule will typically be, eat, game drive, eat, nap, game drive, sundowner, download, charge batteries, shower, eat, sleep! Whew, exhausting!

We will have game drives morning and night as we explore the Ol Kinyei and the magnificent Mara. There is so much wildlife here; even the Camp is full of animals, with a Bush Buck living in the Camp and a tree full of birds by the mess tent!

About our Porini Mara Camp

The Eco-Tourism Kenya Gold Rated and Trip Advisor 5 star rated Porini Mara Camp will be home for three nights. The lodge is located in a unique and beautiful setting under yellow-barked Acacia trees along the Laetoli River banks. With only 5 tents, Mara Camp has an exclusive yet friendly feel. Each tent contains comfortable furnishings. Your ensuite facilities include a hot water bucket shower, running water basin, and a flush toilet.

There is no Wi-Fi at Mara Camp, but if you are near the office and sit on the chair with an arm in the air, you MIGHT get cellular service! As I write this, the charging is done in the office tent, but I know they plan a charging tent like we used at Rhino River Camp.

Mara Camp Gallery
About Ol Kinyei Conservancy, Maasai Mara

This 18,700 acre Kenyan wildlife conservancy is on a tract of land belonging to a Maasai community who leased it to Porini to be set aside for wildlife conservation purposes.

Ol Kinyei Conservancy is home to only two small sister camps, so we will never have vehicles with outsiders interfere with our game viewing. Ol Kinyei is renowned for its unspoiled and breathtaking scenery, with diverse terrain offering, on the one hand, open savannah plains and rolling hills on the other. With its abundance of water sources in the form of springs, streams, and rivers, coupled with spectacular views across the Mara plains, it is home to a wide variety of animal species.

The Conservancy is noted for its big cats and especially for their cheetah. There are about 300 species of birds to be found in Ol Kinyei as well.

About the Masai Mara

Maasai Mara, also sometimes spelled Masai Mara and locally known as The Mara, is a large national game reserve in Kenya, contiguous with the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. It is named in honor of the Maasai people, the ancestral inhabitants of the area. They migrated to the region from the Nile Basin.

Maasai Mara is one of the most famous and essential wildlife conservation and wilderness areas in Africa, world-renowned for its exceptional Lion, African Leopard, and Cheetah. Other cats that we MIGHT see, African Wildcat, Serval, Caracal, and Genet. We should have plenty of encounters with a veritable “Noah’s Ark” of wildlife. Did I mention that I love bird photography or that there are almost 500 bird species in the Mara?

  • Morning and Afternoon Game Drives
  • Optional Guided Walks – Ask me for details.
  • Optional Hot Air Balloon Excursion – Ask me for details.
  • Games drives and walks
  • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  • Sundowner Drinks

Today, we move Camp via a game drive to the Olare Moroogi Conservancy and the wondrous Porini Lion Camp (Trip Advisor – 5 Stars). Lion Camp would get 10 stars from me! It’s superb!

I have certainly seen a lot on the hundreds of game drives I have experienced, but I’ve been blown away by the game viewing at this Camp. Two safaris ago, we saw 24 lions in the first hour of the first game drive! This will no doubt be the highlight of this Kenya Safari!

The tastefully furnished tents feature solar-powered lighting, ensuite facilities (with hot shower and flush toilet), and a private verandah.

Our active safari life; sleep, eat, game drive, eat, rest, game drive, drink, eat, and sleep continues at Lion Camp!

About Porini Lion Camp

Porini Lion Camp is situated in a unique and stunning setting on the seasonal Ntiakatiak River banks within the Olare Motorogi Conservancy. This vast area borders the Masai Mara National Reserve. It is home to an abundance of animals, including Mara’s great Big Cats. There is always excellent game viewing within the Conservancy due to its purely natural state. The Porini Lion Camp – with just ten tents – ensures guests have a genuine “away from it all” experience deep in the African bush.

This is the wildest Camp we will use on safari. We will go over specific safety briefs often. Still, just so you know now, there might be large animals, including elephants, lions, leopards, buffalos, and hippos IN CAMP. You will be perfectly safe in your tent, so no need to panic and enjoy the animals’ serenade as you drift off to sleep….with one eye open!

Lion Camp Gallery

About Olare Motorogi Conservancy

The Olare Motorogi Conservancy (comprised of the former Olare Orok Conservancy and Motorogi Conservancy) is 33000 acres of outstanding natural beauty and ecological importance.

The Conservancy ensures an authentic wilderness experience with one of the lowest tourist densities in the Mara region. The only safari vehicles on the land are the few 4x4s related to the handful of small camps within this vast area. There is a rich and diverse wildlife population with good numbers of predators and herbivores. The area boasts one of the highest concentrations of big cats in Africa and over 300 bird species, including 50 different raptor species.

  • Morning and Afternoon Game Drives
  • Optional Guided Walk
  • Games drives and walks
  • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  • Sundowner Drinks

Sadly, it’s our final game drive as we wind our way through the Conservancy (cameras out) on the way to the airstrip.

Upon arrival at Nairobi Wilson airport, collect your bag and exit the airport building. A driver from Gamewatchers Safaris will be waiting to meet you in the parking area and will provide a transfer to Four Points by Sheraton hotel. Check in to your room and relax or enjoy the ROOFTOP POOL, which overlooks Nairobi National Park. We’ll be back later today when it’s time to take you to Nairobi Int’l airport to check-in for your onward flight. (Please schedule your onward flight to depart at 5 pm or later). (Check out of Sheraton is by 9 pm).

Note: camp managers or guides may change the daily activities or daily scheduled activities.
Note: “delayed departure” options with a later flight back from the camps still require checkout of your tent at the standard time.

Included Activities
  • Breakfast
  • Morning Game Drive
  • Flight to Nairobi International Airport – NBO
  • Transportation to Sheraton Airport Hotel
  • Transportation to NBO
Included in the Kenya Safari

Well, you get me and at the price of this safari that is quite a bargain! I will help you with your photography, and of course, we’ll spend time together looking at images and all of that sort of thing. I’ll make sure that your cameras are set up correctly and can answer all of your photography questions.

At Macushla House: Breakfast daily

At Rhino River and Porini camps: all meals & drinks (bottled water, soft drinks, beer, wine, and gin & tonic), sundowners at scenic spots for sunsets, walks with Maasai warriors (optional but included), off-road driving advantages, exclusive wildlife viewing opportunities, day AND night time game drives in private 4×4 safari vehicles, and park fees included.

All domestic airfare is included.

Not Included in the Kenya Safari

Your only expenses will be airfare to Nairobi, gratuities and any items you may decide to buy. And no you can’t buy one of the baby elephants!

Shooting options on safari

Shooting options on safari

There is no such thing as enough glass for birds, but for the mammals, you can live with a 400mm equivalent. There may be times when we will be much closer than you imagine, especially in the conservancies, consider bringing a mid-level zoom too.

Leopard Up Close

Leopard Up Close

Taking 2 camera bodies is good insurance in case something awful happens!

It’s almost impossible to list everything that you’ll need, so just get in touch, and we can talk about what you have and what you might need.

I wrote this blog post about what to pack for safari.

My Safari Kit

I take my Sigma 150-600 that I use on a full frame camera, and I bring a 70-200. I also carry a crop sensor body for a bit more reach and the Sony RX-100 (24-70mm) for landscapes.

US Citizens Traveling To Kenya*


Valid at time of entry and your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your planned date of departure from Kenya.

Two blank passport pages are required.

Visa Requirements

Kenyan Immigration has instituted a strict visa policy whereby all visitors are strongly encouraged to obtain visas by using an online system, though Kenyan Visas are also available upon arrival at international ports of entry including Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

Vaccination Recommendations

Proof of Yellow Fever vaccination is required. Please consult with your physician if you have any health concerns or questions.

Arrival and Departure Airport

Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NB0) is the international airport in Kenya

Arrival Process

When you arrive, you will take a bus from the plane to the arrivals area, where you’ll go through immigration. If you bought the E-Visa, you will see the three lines that are cleverly marked E-Visa. Look at the lines closely and see how many people are working at each station, some have 1 and some have two attendants, the line with two workers does go faster. 🙂

You do need a visa for entry into Nairobi. As of today, it costs $50. As I said before it is possible to buy your Kenya Visa in advance, in my experience, it is usually faster to buy it in person at the airport. Here is the link, if you would prefer purchasing your Visa in advance.

Once you are through there, you will go and get your checked baggage and then leave the baggage area and go outside to find your driver from Gamewatchers. When you exit the baggage area, follow the ramp to the end ignoring the people that you will see before the rock-walled ramp ends. Just say no thank you to anyone that asks if you want a taxi. When you are clear of the ramp, you will see a line of people with signs on your right. One of them will have your name. Just say Jambo or hello, introducing yourself and he’ll take you to the hotel for a great nights sleep. Easy Peasy!

The driver will also give you a Gamewatchers package that has valuable information included, not just promo stuff. Your driver will also tell you what time to expect your pick up the next morning.

US Currency

You will need cash for things like souvenirs, incidentals, gratuities, etc. US dollars are widely accepted, however, be aware it needs to be new money! Please note that due to the number of fake notes in circulation, no US currency printed before 2003 is accepted in Kenya and, in fact, your safest bet is to carry currency printed after 2006. Your money also should be clean, they will often refuse bills that are torn or even creased. The safest thing is to go to your bank and ask for uncirculated currency. This sometimes requires advance notice for your bank branch to place an order.

Trip Insurance

On big trips like this, I cannot stress enough how important it is to have trip insurance. I always use trip insurance for my travels. It’s so much easier and with so many more benefits when you compare it with your insurance. I’ve found the costs to be reasonable given the benefits. I use Travel Guard when I travel and even though; I’ve not had a claim they were helpful and easy to deal with on the phone.

*Information for US citizens travel to Kenya was obtained from the US Department of State and was valid as of October 2017. If you are going to Kenya from another country, please check with your embassy to check the travel requirements for your country.

All of the bookings for the safari are being handled by my partner in Africa. When you are ready to register just message me with the button at the bottom of the page, and I will walk you through the process.


My safari partner Gamewatchers will handle all payment and as such Gamewatchers’s Terms and Conditions apply.

The deposit for this workshop is 25% per person. The deposit can be paid by PayPal, Credit Card, or Wire Transfer.

The balance of the workshop tuition will be due December 1, 2021 (60 days prior) and unlike the deposit, there is a 3% convenience fee to pay via PayPal or Credit Card. There is no surcharge to pay your balance by Wire Transfer.

Cancellation Policy

Please note the cancellations policy is different than the standard Wildlife Workshops policy.

Cancellation Charges: Our cancellation charges are determined by the fact that once we have booked with hotels and safari camps/lodges and with local airlines, they will charge us a cancellation fee if we cancel a booking. We try to keep such charges to a minimum and they are as follows, as a percentage of the total invoice charges: (Gorilla trek permits are non-refundable)

· Bookings cancelled or amended from time of booking up to 120 days before commencement of the safari incur a 25% cancellation charge.

· Cancellation or amendment less than 120 days and up to 60 days prior to commencement of the safari: 35% cancellation charge.

· Cancellation or amendment less than 60 days but up to 30 days prior to commencement of the safari 50% refund, 50% cancellation charge.

· Cancellation or amendment less than 30 days but up to 15 days prior to commencement of the safari: 25% refund, 75% cancellation charge.

· Cancellation or amendment less than 15 days or more than 3 days prior to commencement of the safari: 10% refund and 90% cancellation charge.

· Cancellation or amendment 3 days or less before commencement of the safari – nil refund, 100% cancellation charge.

· Please note that any refunds due to you in the event of cancellation can be credited only to the original card used for making the initial payment.

Credit card payments: Please note that your payment will show as a charge from I&M Bank, LTD (on behalf of Gamewatchers Safaris). Gamewatchers does not charge credit card processing fees on the deposit even for international transactions however your credit card company may have fees for international transactions. A 3% credit card fee will only be charged if a credit card is used for final payment, and only on the balance. This reimburses us for the fee we are charged by the credit card company. If you would prefer, we can also accept direct bank wire transactions instead in which case you can avoid any charges your own credit card company may impose.

I’ve been very passively advising my clients to purchase travel insurance for a while, but lately, it seems like there have been multiple people having travel issues. Some have lost their deposits and sometimes even the cost of the entire trip!

Based on my client’s experience, I cannot stress more strongly how crucial it is to purchase travel insurance. Like I said before, and here it comes again, there is never a way to predict what is going to happen when you are booking trips months and years into the future.

You can read more about my thoughts about the importance of travel insurance in this blog post.

Please at least check out what insurance will cost with a free quote and of course you can also book your vital travel insurance.

Get Your Travel Insurance Quote

“Nothing but breathing the air of Africa, and actually walking through it, can communicate the indescribable sensations.”

William Burchell, 19th Century Explorer

Registration Information

This awesome 13 day private safari is $9973 (Single Occupancy) $8852 (Double Occupancy).

If you are a solo traveler, I will do everything I can to assist you in finding a suitable person to share your lodging. If we cannot find a person for you to share accommodations, the single supplement will be applied.

The deposit for this workshop is 25% per person.

The balance of the workshop tuition will be due December 1,  2021 (60 days prior)

Have a Question?

Send me a message and I’ll get you the answers that you need.

This button is like a “genie”, ask and I’ll answer!

Register Now

You are going to join a very experienced group leader, you are going to create great images, you are going to leave a better photographer than when you arrived and we’ll have some laughs along the way! You Will Be Amazed!

Registration is not automated for the Kenya trip, so message me and I’ll get you registered.

I’m Ready to Safari, SIGN ME UP!

Would You Like to Customize this Trip?

Dreaming of going on safari by yourself or with your choice of friends and or family? Maybe you would like to invite your camera club on a private safari designed the way you want to travel and what you want to photograph. All birds, OK, Landscapes are your thing, OK! Pick your location someplace between Antarctica and the Arctic and I’ll do the rest. I did a workshop in India for the tigers for a month with 1 client. At the other extreme I led a group of 125 on a Galapagos Cruise and over 200 for a Florida adventure. I am sure that I can make your dream trip a reality!

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