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Photographic Safari

Days
7
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$329
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Cost/day $941
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This tour is operated by
Excellent
100 reviews
Starts
Nairobi
+1 Destinations
Masai Mara
Ends
Nairobi
Map

Highlights

  • Spot diverse wildlife in Masai Mara
  • Take amazing safari photos
  • Relax at luxurious campsites
  • Dine under the stars
Age range
18 to 80 year olds
Accommodation
Camping
Max Group Size
12
Transportation
Jeep & 4WD
Travel style
Photography, Safari, Discovery
Start and end in Nairobi! With the photography tour Photographic Safari, you have a 7 day tour package taking you through Nairobi, Kenya and Masai Mara. Photographic Safari is a small group tour that includes accommodation as well as an expert guide, meals, transport.

100 Reviews

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  • Photographic Safari reviewer 1
    Written on October 4, 2013
    5.0 - Excellent

    This is the Masai Mara at its best, a dream trip where you put the time in and hopefully the wildlife rewards you with moments that you will never forget! Forget the concept of time and day and experience and reflect on the endless moments and memories. Take off your watch, turn off your phone and enjoy. What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?Paul achieved my dream of seeing my favourite spotted cats (Leopard and Cheetah) by lunchtime on the 1st full day, but the highlights didn't stop coming all week.  The wildlife highlights go on and on from the majestic Black Rhino, something I never dreamed I might get to see, Elephant in a stormy ski, cute 6 week old Lion cubs playing in the early morning light, the show off Cheetah siblings who walked right past us, hunted endlessly and gave us countless photographic opportunties, the little Carcal who provided so much entertainment,the unforgettable Leopard on granite in early evening light and an encounter with all 4 of Notch's Boys. Oh and the crossings, how could I forget those! Early morning starts are worth it to watch the sunrise over the plans casting a warm golden glow. Equally enjoyable are those sundowners at sunset with perfect round african sun, just make sure there is some tonic with the gin, if thats your choice of tipple!  Life at migration camp was simple, comfortable and perfect, the food was out of this world, just wait till you get to see the cooking facilities at the end of your trip! The water for the bucket showers was always hot, ready and waiting at the end of the day and the laundry fairy was amazing.What did you think of your group leader?It's no secret that what you see with Paul is what you get. He wants the best out of you, he only has 6 full days to get it. If you want the softly softly approach you won't get it here but what you do get is an endlessly entertaining, highly committed and inspirational individual who drives you to experience the moment and hopefully bring home an image or two that you can be proud off. The Kicheche guides, James Joseph and Francis worked hard with Paul all week to deliver unforgettable moments. Their eyes can spot things from such a distance, they understand their environment and as a result you experience the best it has to offer. You know when the "bush telegraph" has come up with something amazing, their driving changes and they get you there, but they also put you in the best position they can and seem to be able to predict with great accuracy what will happen next! My lasting memory from the guides has to be photographic advice from Francis including "As Paul would say Wide Angle, Low Aparture" remark, it has the vehicle in stitches and it still makes me smile 6 weeks later and the bush breakfast in the vehicle on the last morning.....food ended up all over the floor of the vehicle and the coffee just had to go out of the window in the race to get to crossing!Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Know your camera relatively well before you go. You definately need the telephoto lens, I hired mine. If you can afford 2 camera bodies then do it, I didn't and as such when things came close my telephoto was too close and you don't always have time to change the lens. Don't underestimate the amount of memory space you need, particularly is you are practising the slow pan shots, or take a laptop to process your images on.I borrowed my binoculars and didn't use them, I wouldn't take any next time, the guides have a pair and often let you borrow when they spot something in the distance! Pack light, the bush laundry is great!, Next time it will be 2 outfits only and 2 fleeces, I didn't wear anything else. Don't forget the hat, sunglasses and sunscreen!Oh and whatever you do don't forget to pack some winegums for Paul and the guides, our group didn't live that one down all week....we all forgot!Is there anything else you would like to add?Don't think about it, just book it, it is an amazing trip!

  • Photographic Safari reviewer 2
    Written on February 20, 2013
    5.0 - Excellent

    This was my first photographic trip with Paul and my first trip to Kenya in over 20 years.  On the whole it was an excellent holiday and I hope that I'll be back one day soon.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?There are so many.  Being met off the plane and taken straight to see four male lions feeding on a hippo which they'd taken down the previous night.  Seeing Pink Nose, the very chilled leopard who was happy to let us take photos of him.  Following a cheetah and her cubs whilst they played and stalked.  We were lucky enough to see three cheetah kills.  Watching the pygmy kingfishers and trying to get photos of them in flight returning to the branch.  Witnessing two giraffes mating, a process which can apparently go on for days.  The most memorable occasions for me though were the storms, the light just before the downpour and the amazing drives back to camp in torrential rain through mud and washed-away river crossings.  Huge respect to James, Patrick and Charles for their driving skills (as well as their knowledge and animal spotting skills).What did you think of your group leader?This was my first trip with Paul.  I read all the reviews beforehand and was a little afraid!  I'd had my DSLR camera for about 6 months, didn't know how to use it and struggled to remember the relationship between F stop, shutter speed and ISO.  By the end of the week, thanks to Paul, I was confidently changing the settings and getting the exposures mainly correct.  I have a huge respect for someone who works as tirelessly as Paul did to ensure we got the best opportunities.  His own photographs are breath-taking.  Previous courses I'd done presented Photoshop as the answer to getting good photos and were run by an instructor who spent the day in a coffee shop leaving you to fend for yourself.  Paul is the complete opposite and a breath of fresh air in comparison.  He may shout at you for messing up an opportunity but it is in no way personal or bullying.  Get over it!Do you have any advice for potential travellers?The facilities at camp are excellent.  Eco-friendly soap, shampoo and shower gel are provided, as is washing powder (the laundry service doesn't cover smalls).  There are water flasks in the tent for you to take out on game drives.  The game drives are bumpier than any high impact sport though - ladies, come prepared!One of the other people on the trip kindly leant me an L series zoom occasionally and the improvement in photo quality is marked.  Next time I would definitely hire an L series lens.  I would also bring the fastest memory cards I could buy.  Missing the cheetah catch her prey because your card is buffering is frustrating.  I wish I'd turned my camera off and on more frequently to initiate the sensor cleaning process (despite Paul being exasperated at me for turning it off) as there are dust spots on some of my photos.Is there anything else you would like to add?Bush Camp is lovely.  Emma and Darren are the perfect hosts and make you feel at home from the minute you arrive.  James, Patrick and Charles are excellent drivers with a wealth of knowledge and professionalism.  The meals in camp are outstanding, especially considering the fairly simple catering facilities.  Paul might not be everyone's cup of tea but I can understand why his photographic holidays book up really quickly.  I hope to find a space on one of his trips in the near future.  His passion for photography is contagious.

  • Photographic Safari reviewer 3
    Written on January 3, 2013
    3.0 - Average

    The trip was advertised as a wildlife photographic trip.  To me that means ALL wildlife. This trip was mainly about big cats and wilderbeast migration. I had hoped to be able to photograph more of the avian wildlife, and the other animals, but these were rather 'off the agenda'.  I think the trip dossiers should be more specific.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?Seeing some of the large birds of prey.  What did you think of your group leader?Best I don't say really. Not my kind of guy. May be a good photographer, but a bit too bossy. Intolerant. Needs to hone his man management skills.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Go with your own agenda, and try to get part of it incorprated into the tripIs there anything else you would like to add?Yes, the trip details gave a baggage allowance for the trip, particularly the internal flights, which I adhered to. It seems your info is way out of date because other particpants took far more than the stated allowance.  This meant that my trip was somewhat spoiled by having to leave my 'big' lens at home. That was disappointing.

  • Photographic Safari reviewer 4
    Written on January 3, 2013
    5.0 - Excellent

    I have always dreamed that I would go to Kenya and the Mara "one day", and to be very honest this trip more than fulfilled my dreams and I feel loathed to book any other kind of African safari other than this one as I fear it could never match up. It feels like we saw and experienced much more than people will do in a lifetime of safaris. I am officially addicted to this trip and so wanting to book another.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?The feeling of anticipation of what the day might bring as you climb into the vehicles while it is still dark but the stars and moon are shining bright. That sense of relief when the cheetah that you have been watching for 14 hours over 3 days finally makes that all important kill for her and her two hungry cubs.  Being told that there is only a 25% chance of seeing a leopard to be presented with a beautiful female with 3 stunning young ones, and spending precious time with them as they are not bothered by you at all. The breath stopping moment when three 2/3 week old cheetah cubs look straight down your camera lens before going back to snuggle with their wonderfully attentive mother. Very young lion cubs feeding from mum then yawning with all the effort it takes to be so young.  A stand off by "teenage" lions against grumpy buffalo. Wildebeest in the red sunrise going to cross the river. A welcome sun-downer as the sun sets while celebrating another amazing day. Watching the lightening making the night sky like daylight whilst sitting around the warming camp fire. A male lion in the early morning golden sunlight surveying his kingdom. Seeing the breath of the lions in the morning sun. Looking down from the vehicle to see a lioness or a cheetah looking straight back up at you only a few feet away.What did you think of your group leader?Paul is a force of nature....end of.  With an endless supply of crude (but very funny) jokes, he may shout and accuse you of "mincing" but that is just because he wants you to be in the right place at the right time for "that shot". His enthusiasm and that of the guides (The wonderful James, Patrick and Charles) is priceless.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Only take "brand name" sweets for Paul and the guides or go on the black list!! Take plenty of memory cards, a spare battery, there are great charging facilities at camp so don't worry about adaptors. Dress in layers, it can be very chilly in the mornings and the evenings but you will soon be shedding clothes when the sun comes up. Take a hat and plenty of sun protection. If you have room take two camera bodies, as it is so much easier than trying to swap lenses when you are hurtling along or the beautiful cats are so close the vehicle. Be prepared for early starts (4.30-5.00am) and be prepared to be patient as you might be waiting for that moment for a while but the rewards are just pure gold. Is there anything else you would like to add?Book this trip!

  • Photographic Safari reviewer 5
    Written on December 17, 2012
    5.0 - Excellent

    I can not imagine a safari where I would be given better opportunities for photography.  From dawn till dusk we were presented with all those things photographers want most: best light, ideal landscape shots, unhurried time to make the most of special opportunities with cheetah and leopards. And then the excellent camp with its brilliant accomadation and food. What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?The reward of finally capturing a kill from a perfectly positioned vehicle, after spending hours following the hungry cheetah, till finally the chase was on.  No other safari I have been on has included that sense of determination and focus. What did you think of your group leader?No one could have worked harder to give us the best  chance of getting the best photos we were capable of.Again and again we were presented with the great lighting and vehicles well positioned for photographs.Personally, Pauls totally obvious passion for wanting us (and himself) to get the best possible shots is the reason I hope to go on many more such photographic  trips.  Against all these  positives -the need to wear a tin hat now and then,  is a tiny price that is well worth paying.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Take the best kit you can, and high factor sun block.  Going a bit out of season has some distinct advantages.Often there were no other vehicles .  Go and listen to one of Pauls presentations and that will give you a good idea of the safari.Is there anything else you would like to add?This was a genuinly exciting holiday and I will certainly plan to repeat it.  

  • Photographic Safari reviewer 6
    Written on December 16, 2012
    5.0 - Excellent

    This was hands down one of the best trips I have ever taken - guided or not. Paul and our three Kicheche Camp guides (James, Patrick and Charles) definitely put us through our paces - 4:30am starts, 14 hour days in the land rover and some serious miles on that road, but we were delighted. We probably managed to see more of what the Mara has to offer in that one week than most people see in a lifetime (and all in amazing, gold, sunrise/sunset light). The whole team was super dedicated to making the absolute most of every hour, and were extremely knowledgeable about the area and its animals and completely understanding of the need for just the right angle on that back-lit cheetah. Meanwhile, Kennedy, Abe and the team back at camp made sure that when we returned bruised, battered, and exhilirated, there was always a hot shower and a cold Stoney to welcome us. I cannot imagine doing the Mara in any other other way or with any other tour - as can be attested by the fact that all our most memorable sights (10 day old cheetah cubs, leopard with 3 cubs, cheetah taking down an impala) were pretty much witnessed only by our three vehicles. Truly amazing!What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?First glimple of the leopard and her cubs at 6:48am after a 4:30am wake up. We didn't think we had a particularly great shot at finding them (Paul put it at 25%) and yet somehow there they were - ready to be photographed just as a the sun came up.What did you think of your group leader?As everyone will tell you, Paul is quite the character and being picked to be one of the three in his car on a game drive was probably one of the more daunting aspects of the trip. But he's incredibly passionate about the Mara and photography (also cricket, cycling and the Shawshank Redemption) and very committed to giving you as much (or as little) help and tips with your photography as you want.  He also goes completely out of his way to make sure you have an amazing trip so you always feel amazingly well taken care of, even though he's not afraid to push the group through some pretty grueling days.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?If you don't have excellent gear going on this trip, rent some. You will see some pretty incredible things, but you're not coming back with much if you don't have a very good telephoto lens - while the occassional lioness does walk 2 feet away from the land rover, most of the action is a sizable distance away.Is there anything else you would like to add?My mother started the week not knowing what ISO was and ended the week with a new-found passion for photography and a complete love of the Mara - I'd say that's a pretty impressive result.

  • Photographic Safari reviewer 7
    Written on December 11, 2012
    5.0 - Excellent

    Great sightings of wildlife in general and the big african cats in particular - based at the wonderful Kicheche Bush Camp.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?We spent a long time observing a female cheetah (plus cubs) waiting for her to chase prey. Our patience was rewarded when she chased down a big female impala.Seeing and photographing three different families of cheetahs and a beautiful leopard female (with no less than three cubs) were experiences well above my expectation.What did you think of your group leader?Unique (in my experience) in getting you to the right places to maximise photographic opportunities.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Go to see one of Paul Goldstein's slide lectures - advertised on the Exodus website.Is there anything else you would like to add?Kicheche Bush Camp is the best safari camp I have stayed at - the staff, food and guiding are all top class.

  • Photographic Safari reviewer 8
    Written on December 11, 2012
    5.0 - Excellent

    Memories of 7 days/6 nights spent in Kenya will keep me going through the dark cold days of the British winter.Magical starry skies at night and the warmth of the sun by day...and of course the wildlife.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?There were so may that it's difficult to pick on one. Seeing a very hungry cheetah  with 2 cubs make a successful kill . Watching a beautiful lioness move her two tiny 3 week old cubs  by picking them up in her mouth. Spending precious time with a leopard who had 3 cubs..and our 3 vehicles were the only ones there...on two out of two occasions!!! Serval cats , mother and kitten, giving us time in perfect morning sunshine. Giraffes aginst a dark stormy sky. Lions and buffalo "arguing" over who should remain in the area.What did you think of your group leader?There was nothing new. We have travelled with Paul many times before. As always, he worked very hard to ensure that we had the best experience..and we did!! There were times!!!...but then we all have those. Would we travel with him again...yes.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Make sure you take adequate sun protection. In December , early mornings are cold but the sun soon warms everything up. Drink plenty of water. Be aware that although the UK allows you to take a penknife out with blades less than 6cm, Kenya will take it off you on your return..the voice of experience!!Is there anything else you would like to add?Don't just think of doing this trip...book it!!..and at any time of year. The accommodation is first class, the drivers/guides are amazing and the whole experience will change your life for ever..like me you will be hooked!!

  • Photographic Safari reviewer 9
    Written on November 6, 2012
    5.0 - Excellent

    Anthropomorphic anecdotes from Hammond and Bradbury? Thankfully not; this safari is strictly for the adults.  If you have a penchant for predatory pussies or a fervent feline fetish this is the trip for you.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?It was a long shot and if Paul secretly thought he'd made a bad call he didn't show it. Nightjars winged across the bonnet of the Land Cruiser like falling Sycamores, whilst Scrub Hares stared bedazzled into the headlights. To say that we saw a rosetted male feline walking nonchalantly through the grassy plains before we'd had breakfast would just be smug. To say that we saw a leopardess with three small dappled cubs post muesli, well! that's just indescribable.Permit me one more inspirational indulgence. Preceded by the nights rain, the early morning mist; lions emerge, their breaths condensing in a saffron hue.What did you think of your group leader?The lion may well be the King of the African plains but Paul is most certainly Kicheche's King of the "Profanisaurus Rex". Do you have any advice for potential travellers?The Mara offers some of the best predator viewing in Africa but don't ignore the "not so sexy" species. Take every opportunity to look at as many different species as possible and not just through a lens.Is there anything else you would like to add?Lastly, a big thank you to the stars of the show who gave us drama, sex, intrigue and violence. They performed unaided, unscripted and more importantly they performed LIVE, (well, most of them did).If the puerile witterings of Planet Earth left you cold, don't despair. Take the opportunity to experience the Mara for yourself. If that's not possible may I suggest that you don't visit the BBC's "Miracles of Nature" but you join Exodus's very own miracle of nature, Mr Paul Goldstein for an evening of repartee and photographic prowess at Mara Watch 2012.

  • Photographic Safari reviewer 10
    Written on October 31, 2012
    5.0 - Excellent

    An outstanding trip, amazing bush camp, stunning scenery, masses of wildlife, great staff, out of this world guides...perfect!What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?Seeing a female leopard with her 3 cubs....so very rare, and I feel so privileged to have seen this.  Simply stunning!What did you think of your group leader?Paul Goldstein has bounds of energy, and works very hard to ensure that everyone gets some stunning photos.  He is direct, critical and takes no prisoners,  but you do end up with some stunning photos.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Take plenty of memory cards...you will need them, along with a back up device.  Travel light, as the camp laundry is excellent.Is there anything else you would like to add?You may need to go on an exercise kick on your return...the food is great and plenty of it ;-)

Itinerary

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  1. Introduction
  1. Day 1: Start Nairobi; morning flight to Masai Mara.
  2. Day 2-7: Sharpen your photography skills on the vast plains of the Masai Mara.
  3. Day 8: Morning game drive; afternoon flight to Nairobi; depart Nairobi.

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  • Meals

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  • James12th May 2018
    I was able to sort through the various trips until I found a couple I wanted to take. After I booked I misjudged the travel time between when one tour ended and when I had to get to the next one (I didn't realize there were no evening flights where I was). TourRadar was great in connecting me with the tour operator and they were in turn great with helping me change the itinerary so I could do both trips without any extra hassle.

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Typhoid
Recommended for Kenya. Ideally 2 weeks before travel.
Hepatitis A
Recommended for Kenya. Ideally 2 weeks before travel.
Cholera
Recommended for Kenya. Ideally 2 weeks before travel.
Tuberculosis
Recommended for Kenya. Ideally 3 months before travel.
Hepatitis B
Recommended for Kenya. Ideally 2 months before travel.
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Recommended for Kenya. Ideally 1 month before travel.
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Recommended for Kenya. Ideally 3 weeks before travel.
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Recommended for Kenya. Ideally 10 days before travel.

Policies

Location
Start and end in Nairobi.
Hold my space
TourRadar can request Exodus Travels to hold spaces for you for up to 48 hours without any credit card details.
Deposit
TourRadar only requires a deposit of 20% to confirm this Exodus Travels booking. The remaining balance is then payable 60 days prior to the departure date. For any tour departing before 22 December 2018 the full payment of $6,585 is necessary.
Cancellation policy
No additional cancellation fees! You can cancel the tour up to 60 days prior to the departure date and you will not need to pay the full amount of $6585 for Photographic Safari, but the deposit of 20% is non-refundable.
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The following cards are accepted for Exodus Travels tours: Visa - Master Card - American Express

Destinations

Covering a total distance of approx 196 km.
  • Nairobi (Kenya)
  • 98 km
  • Masai Mara (Kenya)
  • 98 km
  • Nairobi (Kenya)

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