EXOTIC KENYA TRIBES & WILDLIFE PHOTO TOUR
THIS TRIP IS RUN IN ORGANISED BY PIPER MACKAY. BEN MCRAE IS SOLE LEADER
SOLD OUT- APPLY FOR 2021
DATES FOR 2021 TBA
Africa is a tapestry of ancient cultures, exotic wildlife, dramatic ecosystems, and stunning landscapes, all of which are mesmerizing for the eyes, mind, and soul. Nowhere else on the entire continent of Africa can I offer such a vast mix of exotic tribes and wildlife in the same itinerary!
You will not only visit two of the top wildlife reserves in Kenya, boasting multiple species in vastly unique ecosystems, each residing on the land of the two most iconic tribes in Kenya- the Maasai and Samburu, but you will also have an exclusive experience interacting with the orphan elephants at DWST.
Throughout this life-enriching photographic journey, you will visit different tribal villages at sunrise and sunset; enjoy an intimate evening with the Samburu warriors, experience the beautiful singing and dancing of the Turkana tribe along the shores of Lake Turkana, witness the ancient fishing ways of the El Molo, capture the ornate details of the Rendile warriors, photograph the tribal face painting of the Samburu warriors , and spend an unforgettable afternoon with the Maasai. We have spent many years establishing friendships with the villages and tribes you will be visiting, which is why your visit will be a much more intimate experience, with over-the-top photographic opportunities – much more than the typical commercial tourist experience filled with only some quick photographic snapshots.
We fly to and from most of the location so we may maximize our time in the field.
You will come home with more than just an amazing diverse portfolio of exceptional images from just one African safari; you will have lived through an experience which is so mind-blowing that you will talk about it for decades!
SAMBURU: Filled with large, iconic umbrella acacia trees in a stunning, arid environment, among the rich, red African soil, Samburu Reserve evokes the traditional vision of “I Dream of Africa.” As the wind blows through the stunning doom palms, one instantly knows they are in a magical place which is home to the colorful Samburu Tribe. Roaming through this primal land and unique to this reserve are the mane-less lions, rare and exotic Gravy’s Zebras, red soil–stained red elephants, reticulated giraffes, Oryx and Somali ostriches. In the stillness of what seems like an empty land, one might hear the rustle of a bush as a cheetah or leopard makes himself or herself known.
TRIBES OF NORTHERN KENYA: The Omo River in Ethiopia feeds Lake Turkana. The exotic tribes that live along the Omo Valley continue all the way down through the entire Turkana basin, where they have continued living their traditional lives for decades, if not centuries. Unique to Loiyangalani, a town along Lake Turkana, is where four different tribes live side-by-side; Turkana, Randile, Samburu, and El Molo.
AMBOSELI NATIONAL PARK: At the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro, home to the iconic Maasai tribe, dust devils dance across the vast open plains. A place of big dramatic skies and distant horizons, Amboseli is a fine art wildlife photographer’s dream location. The image of big-tusked elephants or a tower of giraffes set against the backdrop of Mt Kilimanjaro has made it one of Africa’s most iconic locations. It is estimated that over 1,000 elephants and 58 matriarchal families trample over this barren wilderness. Each day the large herds, along with many other species, make their way down to the large swamps in the middle of the reserve. Amboseli is also a birder’s paradise, with over 420 documented species.
Village visits to the Samburu, Maasai, Randille, Turkana and El Molo
Samburu Game Reserve, Amboseli National Park
Exclusive intimate elephant experience
Three private charter flights, with extra weight limits for your photographic equipment
Luxury accommodations in the wildlife reserves
Small group size: limited to only 8 participants
We have roomy, private 9-passenger open-sided 4X4 Land Cruisers with plenty of space for you to spread out with all your gear (2 vehicles in Samburu and Turkana and 3 in Amboseli)
This photographic journey is limited to only 8 participants for a more intimate experience and better group dynamics. Compelling images are created when you can deeply connect with your subjects, which is much more challenging in larger groups.
Ben McRae will be on board to offer his advice and experience in order to get you capturing some stunning portrait images. His wealth of experience will also help you develop your own skills in implementing off camera flash. This trip is dedicated to giving you access to the tribes that call the Turkana home while expanding your photographic skill base. Ben will assist with advising you on your craft between shooting sessions. Then be able to give advice as to how to implement off camera flash in your portfolio.
Day 1 – June 21, 2020
Upon your arrival at the international airport in Nairobi, Kenya, you are met by a member of our ground team and transferred by private vehicle to the historical and tranquil area of Karen. Built in the architecture of the “Out of Africa” era, Macushla house will make you feel as though you are more than a guest, but at home in Africa; the perfect place to unwind after your long journey.
Accommodation: Macushla House
Day 2 – June 22, 2020
Today, you will awaken to exotic birdcalls in a captivating new world with the aroma of Kenyan coffee brewing. After a scrumptious breakfast and a briefing, we spend the day in the most beautiful historical area of Nairobi getting into the rhythm of Africa with a visit to Kazuri beads, the Karen Blixen Museum, and the DWST. Here we will have an exclusive private visit with the orphaned baby elephants, as well as a visit to the Giraffe center – a rescue center for the Rothschild giraffes.
Accommodation: Macushla House
Day 3 – June 23, 2020
After an early breakfast, we will head to Wilson private Airport and catch our private charter to the Samburu game reserve.
Our luxury tented camp sits along the Ewaso Nyiro River. The friendly, traditional Samburu tribe staff will greet us and provide us with a full briefing about the camp and the area. As the name implies, the elephants stroll through the camp and in between the luxury tents. During midday, relax in the private plunge pool, on the deck of your tent, with a cold drink, and let the wildlife come to you. In the early afternoon, we will head out on our first game drive to explore this spectacular reserve.
Accommodations: luxury tents, Elephant Bedroom Camp
Day 4 & 5 – June 24&25, 2020
We will spend the next two days on safari, driving through this stunning African landscape seeking out the leopards, Grevy’s zebras, reticulated giraffes, gerenuk, Oryx, common waterbuck, kudu, the unique mane-less lions, and the “red” elephants. The elephants exhibit a special red color from rolling in the mud of the river and dusting themselves with the rich, red soil, making for extraordinary images in golden light.
We will also spend an incredible evening, on the top of the hills, with the warriors of the Samburu Tribe. Originally part of the Maasai tribe when they first came down the Nile River, the Samburu split off when the Maasai continued their journey south to Tanzania. The Samburu name means the butterfly people; they not only flew off from their original tribe, but they became more colorful in their traditional dress. This will be a very special evening where you will not only have the opportunity to create extraordinary images but also have a unique experience that few others will ever have.
Accommodations: luxury tents, Elephant Bedroom Camp
Day 6 – June 26, 2020
We will visit one of my favorite Samburu villages at sunrise, creating a great opportunity to silhouette the warriors against the dramatic African landscape. You will have time in the village to enjoy a more intimate experience, where you will also be able to photograph their daily life and create some beautiful portraits.
We will return to our luxury camp for breakfast and then head out on a stunning drive through the Northern Kenyan landscape to Lake Turkana; the largest desert lake in the world. Known as the Jade Sea, your first glimpse of Lake Turkana is breathtaking. The Turkana Basin is one of the richest tribal regions in Africa. You will feel as though you have been transported back to an authentic Africa of bygone days. In the remote lakeside town of Loiyangalani, four tribes live side-by-side: Randille, Turkana, Samburu, and El Molo.
After checking into our simple lodge, we will head out to the shores of the lake to visit the El Molo, the smallest tribe in Africa. They are keen fishermen and crocodile hunters. The women are decorated with beautiful beadwork and are masters of weaving.
Accommodations: Malabo Resort
Day 7 – June 27, 2020
We will rise before dawn and drive out to one of the more nomadic and authentic Turkana villages. In this village, it will seem as though time has stood still and the progress of the modern world has not yet reached this area. In the evening, we will meet my Turkana friends for dancing and beautiful portraits at sunset along the shores of the lake.
Accommodations: Malabo Resort
Day 8 – June 28, 2020
We will rise early for a special visit and sunrise shoot with the Rendilie tribe. After breakfast, we will drive to the private airstrip to board our private charter aircraft to Amboseli National Park.
As we arrive in Amboseli, take a moment to catch your breath in this magical environment as we drive across the open plains to our beautiful Lodge. During lunch, we will relax and share stories of our amazing adventure as the wildlife roams freely in the background. After lunch, continue to relax around the pool with a cold drink or browse through all of the stunning images you have captured during the past week.
We will head out on our first game drive in the early afternoon.
Accommodations –Amboseli Serena Lodge
Day 9 &10 – June 29-30, 2020
We will spend the next two days out on safari, in this incredible ecosystem that lies at the foothills of Kilimanjaro. In the morning, the herds of Elephants, Zebras, and Wildebeests slowly begin to come down from the foothills. Then, they cross the plains of Amboseli on their way to the marshes which are centrally located in the national park. The bird life along all the marshes and wetlands is superb.
We will also spend an incredible evening at a traditional Maasai manyatta; the iconic tribe of Kenya. The big African rains should have just passed, bringing about plentiful grasslands. This means that the warriors, with their authentic long braided ocher hair and decorated bodies, will be in the village and not in faraway lands with their livestock. The Maasai in the Amboseli area are unique because the men mark their high cheeks with a circular tattoo scarring. We will have an evening of dancing, feasting, capturing stunning portraits and learning about their struggles of living in harmony with and protecting the wildlife.
Accommodations –Amboseli Serena Lodge
Day 11 – July 1, 2020
We will head out for one last magical game drive in this surreal setting. After a scrumptious breakfast back at the lodge, we will check out, game drive across the park and drive back to Nairobi. In Nairobi, you will be taken to the four points hotel, conveniently located at the airport, where you will have dayrooms. You can enjoy a leisurely afternoon reflecting back on the amazing experience you had on the expedition, take a nap, enjoy a delicious meal, relax at the rooftop pool and bar, and have time to clean up before your flight back home later in the evening. In the evening, you will be transported to the international airport to catch your flights home.
Day rooms: Four Points
IS THIS TRIP FOR YOU?
This photographic safari is for anyone who wants to experience and photograph Kenya’s most exotic tribes and wildlife. This itinerary is designed to give you incredible opportunities to produce high quality images of extraordinary subjects so we will be rising very early in the morning for the best light. This safari mixes luxury camps in pristine wildlife reserves with a remote tribal area where the accommodations are basic. This itinerary was created for photographers of ALL levels.
If you have not had much experience photographing tribes or indigenous cultures this is the perfect introductory trip for you. Some experience working with basic fill flash is recommended but Ben is on hand to assist you with implementing this style of shooting into your workflow.
During our wildlife safaris we will see a variety of exotic wildlife, however some special subjects may require spending time watching their behavior and waiting for those special moments. This is when patience pays off, rewarding you with extraordinary photographs. We will spend a great deal of time and effort in the field—unless it is quiet and the light is too harsh—and we will return to our camp/lodge for the midday break. This means there may be several mornings and some lunches that will involve box meals that we take with us, rather than eating at camp or the lodge. We will be back at our camp/lodge for a nice dinner and drinks around the fire every night.
Since this itinerary is built to spend most of our time in the field, this is not a formal workshop. There will not be any planned lectures, slide shows, or formal instruction, but Ben is there to assist you throughout the entire trip. He is generous with his time and instruction and available for questions on any and all photographic topics including business questions on marketing, branding, and creating a niche. When there is an afternoon break, he will be happy to review your images, portfolios, or give an impromptu slide show or talk. This is largely why the group sizes are kept small: so that he can assist you when needed and spend quality time with you in an amazing location.
Piper Mackay Photography is dedicated to helping the people and wildlife that have inspired us and enriched our lives. We donate a small supply of food to each village we visit. We are mindful to select items that will have sustainability in the harsh environments where they live and are items the women use daily to feed their families such as cooking oil, ugali, maze, beans, etc We build strong relationships with these local communities to ensure our visit generates meaningful contributions to the local economies, especially those helping to protect wildlife, and to ensure a unique cultural exchange for both host and guest.
The price of this unique cultural and wildlife photographic adventure based on double occupancy (two people sharing one room) is $9,595.00.
The price of this unique cultural and wildlife photographic adventure based on single occupancy (one person in a private room) is $10,690.00
Single supplement is $1,095..00 ” if available”. Single accommodations are limited.
If a solo guest wishes to share a room, we will do our best to match them with another guest of the same gender. If we cannot match a solo guest with another guest of the same gender, then the single supplement of USD$1,095.00 will be charged.
***The cost of this safari is based on a minimum of 7-8 participants. If there are less than 7 participants a small supplement fee of $595.00 will apply. There is 6 participant minimum.
A USD $2,500.00 Non-refundable deposit is due at the time of registration to secure your spot. We highly recommend purchasing travel insurance that will refund your deposit if have to cancel your trip.
USD $2,500.00 non-refundable deposit to confirm your place on this safari
2nd payment of USD $3,000.00 is due August 1, 2019
Final payment/Balance is due Feb 20, 2020
We highly recommend trip and cancellation insurance
Village visits to the Samburu, Maasai, Turkana, El molo
Entrance fees and game drives in Samburu Game Reserve and Amboseli National Park
Private charters to Samburu and from Lake Turkana
Gratuities for all local guides, camp/lodge staff, porters, and security escorts.
All airport transfers on arrival/departure
Transportation and exclusive use of custom safari built 4-wheel drive Landcruiser vehicles,
All meals, except on arrival and departure days.
All accommodations as stated in the itinerary
What’s Not Included:
Personal purchases (such as curious, spirit liquors, telephone calls, internet, laundry…)
Gratuities for the main driver/guides
Optional extra activities and photo excursions
Pre- and post-safari tours
Meals or accommodation before or after the safari
International flights to and from the African Continent
REGISTRATION AND DEPOSIT
If you are excited to join this photographic adventure now is the time to secure your spot as these 8 spots will go quickly! Use the buttons below to fill out your online e-registration form and to make your deposit. We must receive both your completed registration form and your deposit/s to confirm your spot.
Registration form – Please complete all the required fields. At the end of the form you will be asked to confirm your email address, which will complete the registration. A copy of your registration will be emailed to you and to Piper Mackay Photo Safaris.
Deposit– Use the button below to make your deposit. You do not need to have a Paypal account to use this payment service. You may make more than one deposit at a time by changing the quantity on the purchase details.