MAASAI MARA PHOTO TOUR IN KENYA, AFRICA 

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Join us for an 8-day African Photo Safari exploring the wildlife of the savannas in the Maasai Mara National Reserve, which boasts the highest concentration of megafauna in the world.  The Maasai Mara won the title of Africa's Leading National Park in the World Travel Awards 2017. 

This is an exclusive guided 6-person tour, with American wildlife photographer Amy Shutt as your wildlife photography mentor.  Our tour features two vehicles headed by professional and highly skilled Maasai driver guide and photographer Sammy Kaleku with only three clients per safari vehicle.

We specialize in hands-on guidance with a mentor-to-client ratio of 1:6.

The Maasai Mara is home to some of the most charismatic megafauna in existence. Our 12 game drives will explore the savannas with the goal of beautifully photographing and observing the animals that call the Maasai Mara home:  African Lions, Elephant, Cape Buffalo, Maasai Giraffe, Hippo, Zebra, Impala, Topis, Leopard, Thompson's Gazelle, Black Rhino,  Bat-eared Foxes, Black-backed Jackal, Spotted Hyenas, Martial Eagle, Crowned Crane and much more.

Our tour is open to photographers of ALL LEVELS.  


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Working Itinerary March 2 to March 9, 2019:

Day 1:

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On Saturday March 2, 2019 a driver will be waiting for you upon your arrival at Jomo Kenyatta International in Nairobi, Kenya. You will proceed to Hemingways  Nairobi, a luxury 5-star boutique hotel. This 45-suite boutique hotel elevates the standard of luxury for travellers in the region. Beautiful in its symmetry and flooded with natural light, this plantation-style property is airy and spacious.

Here you will meet up with Amy and the rest of the photo safari group. We will get acquainted and enjoy the beautiful environment while we prepare with Amy for photographing the wildlife that we will encounter in the coming days. Amy will do her best to help you capture images that you are happy with and that go beyond the basics and set themselves apart.  Amy has years of experience educating and guiding in wildlife photography and looks forward to helping you meet your photographic goals. 

Day 2: 

Sunday morning we will take a short 45 minute flight to the Maasai Mara.  Upon arrival you will meet our lead driver guide, Sammy Kaleku (see below for his bio) and our second driver guide.  We spend the late morning at our tented camp, located in the heart of the Maasai Mara National reserve on the banks of the Olare Orok River and a short distance from both the Maasai and Talek Rivers. After lunch and a instructional session with Amy and her co-leader we will head out on our first afternoon drive.  

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Days 3 - 7: 

Each day we will rise early, have our morning coffee and tea, then head out on our morning game drive.  We will enjoy a picnic breakfast on the plains as we break in late morning.  We return to our tented campsite in the late morning or early afternoon and enjoy some downtime to rest, have lunch, and work on your photographic instruction and portfolio reviews.  We head out in late afternoon to catch the best light for photography during our afternoon drive, returning at sunset.  Upon return we will have time to rest before dinner and drinks in the quiet serene ambiance of our Maasai Mara campsite.  

Day 8: 

After a morning drive we will have our last breakfast from our campsite before heading out on our short flight back to Nairobi, where you will catch your international flight out of Jomo Kenyatta International airport.  Day rooms are available at the time of booking, should you like to have somewhere to rest and relax until your late flight out. Be sure to ask Ruth at Pearson's about this option. 


Maasai Mara Photo Gallery: 

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ACCOMODATIONS:

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Our accommodations in the Maasai Mara boast one of the most spectacular locations in the reserve.

Mara Bush Camp- Private Wing is located on the banks of the seasonal Olare Orok River.

It overlooks a large hippo pool with a population of over 40 hippos at any given time. The small camp of only 12 luxury tents caters to the needs of small photographic groups who are desiring the quiet and privacy needed for optimal work and relaxation.

It is only a 5 minute drive away from the Ol Kiombo Airstrip, where you will arrive from Nairobi. 

 

THE TENTS:

With only 12 luxury tents on wooden platforms, Mara Bush Camp - Private Wing offers the desired exclusivity for guests who are looking for maximum privacy. Tents are well spaced out to offer maximum privacy to our esteemed guests and are designed with great attention to detail, providing all amenities found in a hotel room, yet with an eco-friendly approach. 

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Mahogany furniture and luxurious soft furnishings give it the desired comfort of a luxury camp with a 'bush feeling'.  Each bedroom is furnished with a double (king size) and single bed, a writing desk and chair, wardrobe & chest.  There are two family tents on site, as well.

Your private wooden verandah with a sofas / deck chairs overlooking the river offering a view of the hippos below and the little forest across. Private verandah overlooking the river & hippos below.

 All bathrooms are partitioned through soft furnishings and offer a vanity unit & double sinks, hot / cold running water (heated by solar power) & shower featuring a relaxing rainfall shower-head, as well as a flush toilet.

THE BAR Lounge and PHOTO TENTS:

The bar and lounge offers an array of classic cocktails.

You will find a charging station for your camera batteries and laptops in the exclusive Photo Lounge.  We will also hold our photo reviews and tutorials in this area.

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OBSERVATION DECK:

The afternoon can be wonderfully relaxing on the observation deck. While sipping your cocktail, you can watch the hippos in the "Hippo Pool". In addition to cozy seating, there are of course plenty of sun protected seats and a small bar, to quench the thirst with a cool drink on a hot afternoon. 

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THE FOOD:

Mara Bush Camp - Private Wing offers freshly prepared meals which include buffet lunches & plated food for dinner. Delicious desserts by their pastry Chef "Obi" are served at lunch & dinner time. Enjoy al fresco meals when weather allows, or in the elegantly furnished dining tent.

They can cater to those with dietary restrictions such as vegetarian, gluten free, as well any other food allergies. Kindly let us have these dietary requests at the time of booking. Mara Bush Camp - Private Wing uses organically grown vegetables / eggs for all of their meals.

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RECOMMENDED EQUIPMENT:

If you do not own any of the equipment below you can rent from several rental facilities.  Amy uses and recommends Lens Pro To Go.

Lens Pro To Go sponsors our tours by offering our guests a special discount on rentals.  Email Amy to receive the discount code upon booking

Please mail Amy if you are unsure if your gear will work for this tour or you need specific advice on what to bring or rent: amyshutt@gmail.com and she''ll let you know! 

  • DSLR or mirrorless camera 
  • Long lens (something that extends to at least 300 to 600mm) 
  • a 1.4TC and or a 2.0TC
  • A shorter long lens, like a 70-200mm
  • A wide angle lens for landscapes
  • Enough SD cards to accommodate your shooting frequency

PRICING AND BOOKING DETAILS:

  • Tour price is $5850* per person (double/twin sharing) . 
  • A single supplement is available for $900* extra.
  • Non-refundable deposit of $1200 secures your place
  • The remaining balance is due on December 1, 2018. 
  • Once you've contacted us to sign up we will give you further instructions on paying your deposit through our licensed travel agent Pearson's Travel in the USA.  
  • Once you've contacted our agent Ruth at Pearson's, you will receive a booking form with terms and conditions before paying your deposit. 
  • By booking through Pearson's Travel your money is secure and protected.

*The price of $5850 is for one person sharing a room with another client.  If you would prefer to have your own hotel room and your own tent, please ask for the single supplement ($900), otherwise you will be paired with another client of the same sex.

 

TRAVEL INSURANCE: SIMPLE & FLEXIBLE

You can buy and claim online, even after you've left home. Travel insurance from WorldNomads.com is available to people from 140 countries. It’s designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.

Amy loves World Nomads travel insurance!


WHAT'S INCLUDED IN THE PRICE?

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  • Airport transfers, all transfers between locations, internal flights
  • Generous 40 kg weight limit for you and your photo gear on internal flights
  • 5-star hotel stay in Nairobi for 1 night upon arrival and breakfast.
  • Luxury-tented accommodations with all meals in the Maasai Mara
  • Bottled drinking water
  • 4x4 custom built safari vehicle
  • One full row of seats for you and your gear in safari vehicle
  • One professional photography mentor 
  • Knowledgeable and experienced professional Maasai driver/guides
  • Entrance fees to the Maasai Mara Reserve
  • 12 game drives

What photography mentoring is included in the price?

  • A professional wildlife photographer as your mentor for the week
  • Online seminar on Photographing Wildlife and an option for a personal Basic Camera Instruction seminar if needed before trip commences, so you are fully prepared for the very first game drive.
  • Professional photography mentoring as needed outside of game drives
  • Photography portfolio reviews to help you hone in on your natural abilities and focus, allowing you to create a cohesive body of work for the week
  • Post-processing demos upon request
  • See our guide bios on Amy Shutt and Sammy Kaleku below! 

Not included:

  • International flights
  • Kenya Visa ($50 USD)
  • All optional activities
  • Insurances
  • Meals not mentioned and beverages
  • Tips and personal expenses such as laundry and communication

READY TO BOOK OR HAVE A QUESTION? 

Fill out the form below or email Amy at amyshutt@gmail.com 

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ABOUT your photography mentors and Guides

 

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AMY SHUTT

Amy Shutt specializes in nature and wildlife photography with a focus on documentary and conservation photography.  Amy also leads wildlife photography classes and workshops throughout the the Americas, Africa, and Iceland.

She is the Director of The Canid Project, a newly formed 501c3 non-profit that focuses on using photography and narrative as creative tools to educate on the world's wild canids.  Her interest in foxes and coyotes, background in wildlife rehabilitation, and curiosity about the human and wild animal relationships in our world, brought her to start this project. She hopes to educate and inspire through all of her photographic endeavors. 

Amy's work has been published in books and magazines and her work has been highly honored by the Nature's Best Windland Smith Rice International competition. 

amyshutt.com


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SAMMY KALEKU

Sammy is our lead driver and guide on our Maasai Mara tour.  He is a proud Maasai who began working as a driver and guide at camps in the Mara nearly a decade ago. In the past nine years he has honed these skills and has become one of the most sought after driver guides in the Mara. Sammy has an innate talent for wildlife spotting, as well a naturally good eye for photography, especially in terms of light and safari vehicle placement.  He strategically positions his vehicle in the optimal spot insuring that our clients will get some of the best photographs for any given situation.  Sammy is highly ethical in his wildlife photography and guiding approaches, which works in sync with our own philosophy on wildlife photography. We are lucky to have him as part of our team.  Sammy Kaleku Photography