Kenya Wildlife Safari Photo WorkshopJeff Wendorff2021-04-05T15:30:08+00:00
Arrive in Nairobi on January 30, 2022
Depart Nairobi on February 11, 2022
Nairobi Kenya – Meru, Maasai Mara
$8852 – Double Occupancy
$9973 – Single Occupancy
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
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.
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.”
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.
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
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
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.
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)
Morning Game Drive
Evening Game Drive
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.