23rd – 30th August 2018 (7 nights)
All images in the gallery are from the 2017 safari to this area.
How do I signup?
Our group size is a maximum of 12 participants (4 per vehicle). If this exciting safari sounds good and you are thinking of joining this trip, please get in touch with any questions.
Please click on individual tabs below for more detailed information.
Is this Safari for you?
- 7 nights on safari in one of the best areas of the Mara.
- We welcome photographers of ALL levels. This safari will be conducive to learning from one another and include instruction that will suit everyone’s photographic needs.
- We are BIG on photographing in the field. We will spend most of our time and effort on safari/ photographic activities and making images.
- Non-photographer or videographer spouses / travel companions will also enjoy this safari. The wildlife experiences on this trip will appeal to anyone with a love for animals and nature.
- The photo leaders are all experienced naturalists with rich backgrounds in conservation and field guiding and the region’s natural history as well as wildlife will be explored.
- We are visiting this region at the historical peak of the Great Migration and potentially during the wildebeest migration with a chance of seeing river crossings to maximize our photographic opportunities.
- A maximum of 4 photographers per vehicle.
- Three photographic leaders, Grant and Helena Atkinson and Nelis Wolmarans will lead the group, along with the camp guide team.
- The group size is limited to 12 participants and we will make use of 3 vehicles. The photographic leaders will switch between the vehicles.
- Extra luggage allowances to accommodate the special needs of our photographic equipment.
- Classic style safari accommodation with bucket showers at tented camps for an authentic safari experience.
- Camp locations are specifically chosen to maximize photographic opportunities by being as close as possible to the prime wildlife areas.
- This itinerary focuses on up-close and real wildlife experiences from the surroundings of our very comfortable accommodations.
The Itinerary: 23 – 30 August 2018 (7 nights)
Ole Sereni Hotel, Nairobi, Kenya
23 August 2018 (1 night)
Having arrived and been met at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport we will meet up as a group at the Ole Sereni Hotel in Nairobi where you will enjoy a dinner together hosted by a Pangolin team member. This will give you an opportunity to meet the other members of this fantastic photo safari. The Ole Serena hotel is very comfortable and is a short distance from Wilson airport where we will board our internal charter flight to the Mara in the morning. As photographers, we know the importance of having extra luggage allowances on small planes so we have booked extra seats to allow for extra gear per person above the standard 15kg allowance.
On the morning of the 24th of August, we will fly to the Mara.
Mara Bush Camp, Kenya
24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29 August 2018 (6 nights)
Our base in the Masai Mara (which means literally the place of the Masai) is the fantastic Mara Bush Camp. This mobile tented camp has been chosen for its old world charm, spacious en-suite tents, great food as well as its location right in the middle of the conservancy and close to several river crossing sites where the wildebeest and zebra converge to attempt to cross the crocodile infested waters.
The location also is home to plenty of big cats made famous by the brilliant Big Cat Diaries. Animals such as the Marsh Pride of Lions, Bahati the leopard and Malaika the cheetah all call this area home making for spectacular sightings and awesome photography.
We will be using three specially adapted long wheelbase Land Cruisers with plenty of beanbags. This means that each vehicle will have a photo guide onboard on every drive. The guides will then rotate through the vehicles each day so you get to spend time photographing with each of them.
We will spend nearly all our time during the day out in the Mara looking for photo opportunities and find a shady acacia under which to take lunch and enjoy being out in the vast expanse of this unique ecosystem. On one of the days, we have arranged for an excellent and highly accomplished pilot to bring his helicopter to the camp to allow us to get some aerial shots of the vast numbers of animals. Having a helicopter will be hugely productive photographically speaking as we will be able to position ourselves accurately for the shots we want as we will not be subject to strong winds blowing us away from what we want to photograph. We will limit the number of photographers, per one hour flight, to just two plus one of the Pangolin Photo Guide who again will be on hand to offer advice on settings and composition. The one-hour helicopter flight is included in the package.
That said a hot air balloon flight along the Mara River at dawn is one of the most serene, exhilarating and memorable experiences one can have during the migration so the group will be doing just that one one of the mornings. The flight takes about one hour and lands rather conveniently right next to a magical picnic spot where you will have a hearty champagne brunch cooked for you on the balloon burners! The landing area is in the famous Mara Triangle home to that iconic male lion Scar and we will go in search of him that morning in the vehicles which will join up with us after brunch.
During our time at Mara Bush Camp, we will be doing some group editing sessions in the media tent set up specifically for our photographers and the Pangolin Guides will be available for advice on post production and editing techniques. The camp is fully solar powered, but a generator is on standby to provide power in order to charge all cameras & equipment. There is also limited wi-fi available (this will not be strong enough to update editing programmes on).
The evenings will be spent together discussing the day’s sightings and discussing the plan and objectives of the following day, with photographic presentations on some evenings, before retiring to bed.
30 August 2018
On the final day, we have one last opportunity to explore the surrounding areas before we head back to Wilson Airport on the mid-morning flight. For those connecting to Johannesburg and Dubai you will head straight for your flight. For those heading back to or via Europe your flights leave a little later and we can arrange a room at a local hotel for you to relax and enjoy your last few hours in Kenya.
Air travel and customized extensions to this safari may be arranged through Pangolin as desired. Ask us for further information.
US$6,950 per person sharing
This fee includes all in-country ground and air transportation as well as all accommodation and all meals (except as noted above and in exclusions below).
Please note: We will attempt to adhere to this itinerary as much as possible. However, certain conditions (political, climatic, environmental, cultural, or wildlife migrations) may necessitate changes in the itinerary. We reserve the right to alter any itinerary at any time, if necessary. We will attempt to notify participants of changes as far in advance as possible. Costs incurred by such changes will be the responsibility of the participant.
What is included
- Meet and greet at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi
- 1 night at The Ole Sereni Nairobi (dinner and breakfast included)
- Transfer by road to Wilson Airport
- Return flight from Wilson to The Mara Conservancy
- 6 nights at The Mara Bush Camp (including all meals)
- Unlimited game drives
- Private use of three customised Land Cruisers
- Photo guidance from the Pangolin Guides
- 1-hour helicopter flight over the Mara
- Morning balloon trip along the Mara River
- Editing and post production sessions in camp
- Transfer from Wilson Airport to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport or day hotel
- Park fees
What is NOT included
- International travel (including flight) to Nairobi
- Drinks and meals other than those specified
- Visa fees where applicable
- Gratuities and items of a personal nature
- Day hotel (if required)
- Single room supplement of $600 (if required)
Please read our Safari Code of Ethics and Conduct.
During the safari we will share our workflow and processing techniques on the computer. To make the most of this opportunity you are advised to bring a laptop and card reader as well as enough external storage for these sessions as well as the editing software you are most comfortable with. Grant and Helena both use Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop CC.
Air travel and customized extensions to this safari, including other camps in Tanzania and/or Kenya, gorilla trekking in Rwanda, or other destinations may be arranged, ask us for further information.
Discretionary gratuities for driver guides are recommended at USD $20 to $30 per person per day.
Discretionary gratuities for camp and hotel staff are recommended at USD $10 to $20 per person per day.
Any discretionary gratuities for guides, staff and trip leaders should be paid out in cash.
Our group size is a maximum of 12 participants.
Note also that some of the safari camps will only accept cash for curio purchases.
Although most safari lodges offer complimentary internet access, connections are unreliable and extremely slow.
Normally laundry services are offered but no underwear will be done, although you can do this in your room with laundry soap provided.
Special dietary requirements can be accommodated if sent through beforehand.
Day 2 – 7
On the final day, we have one last opportunity to explore the surrounding areas before we head back to Wilson Airport on the mid-morning flight. For those connecting to Johannesburg and Dubai you will head straight for your flight. For those heading back to or via Europe your flights leave a little later and we will arrange a room at a local hotel for you to relax and enjoy your last few hours in Kenya.