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Wildlife Tours / Trips

Best of Kenya Photo Tour-2016

Ol Pejeta-Lake Naivasha-Masai Mara (8 Days) 
22nd -29th May, 2016  

lionessDestinations

On this safari you will visit three different natural habitat of Kenya. Ol Pejeta conservancy, Lake Naivasha & Masai Mara National Reserve.

1. Dates

All Participants should arrive on 22nd May 2016 at Nairobi. Kindly book your return flight from Nairobi late afternoon of 29th May 2016.

2. Participants

This safari is really for anyone who is serious, either about wildlife and nature photography, or about in-depth, intense and patient animal viewing. One this tour Non-photographer family members can laos join. I had chosen park in such way that we get best opportunity to photograph & observe all most all main species of East Africa. Itinerary is planned in such way that we use only noon time in traveling between parks. Each Vehicle will have KPSGA (Kenya Professional Safari Guides Association) certified guide. 

3. What we’ll see and photograph

This safari trip will take us to some of the best wildlife photography destinations in East Africa. We'll not only photograph the famous big five but whole lot of animals & bird life, which will amaze you for rest of your life.

A. Ol Pejeta Conservancy is private park where Africa’s most iconic species hunt, graze, breed and fight for survival  every day, in an ecosystem that has the highest densities of wildlife in Kenya outside of the Maasai Mara. As the largest black rhino sanctuary in East Africa, Ol Pejeta is home to three of the world’s last remaining five northern white rhino, and a sanctuary for over 105 critically endangered black rhino and Also the only place in Kenya to see chimpanzees. Other vulnerable or endangered species that live here include Elephant, African wild dog, cheetah, Grevy’s zebra and the locally threatened Jackson’s hartebeest.

B. Lake Naivasha is a Second largest freshwater lake, is part of the Great Rift Valley.  An ornithologist’s paradise, the lake is home to 400 species of wonderful birdlife and an abundance of fish and water life. The surrounding landscape is host to a variety of game including giraffe, buffalo, the elusive black faced Colobus monkey and, sizeable population of hippos in the lake.  During boat ride our main focus will be African fish eagle catching fish and getting low level photographs of hippo. 

C. Masai Mara National Reserve, Apart from the spectacle of the annual wildebeest migration, the Masai Mara makes the ideal hunting ground for Kenya's famous ‘big cats' and hosts her largest population of lions. Other predators include cheetah and spotted hyena. Historically teaming with wildlife, the Masai Mara is famous for the large herds of elephant and buffalo that meander its plains; also for the fat pods of hippo that wallow in its mud-brown rivers. Other stars include the distinctive Masai giraffe, plum-coloured topi, Coke's hartebeest, Grant's and Thomson's gazelle, zebra, impala, Kirk's dik-dik, bushbuck, waterbuck and red duiker. The Reserve also boasts plentiful Nile crocodile, monitor lizard, baboon, vervet; blue and red-tailed monkeys, nocturnal bush babies, and tree hyrax. There are over 550 resident and migratory species of birds in the Masai Mara.

4. Accommodation

All our camps located inside the park at prominent location, so that we don’t lose twilight time rushing through entry gates and lose best time of photography in travelling. Each camp is either Luxury / semi-luxury category. With facilities like, open pool, wide spread of food and secure fencing around camp.

In Ol Pejeta Conservancy we will stay at Sweetwaters Tented Camp, it is a sheltered oasis, clustered around a waterhole. Abounding with wildlife, unfettered by the more rigorous strictures of the Kenyan National Parks and designed to offer a charming blend of under canvas ambiance and uncompromising luxury, Sweetwaters Tented Camp has long been the preferred retreat of wilderness and safari lovers alike. 

Located on the plains of Mount Kenya, the camp features thirty-nine luxury tents, each with its own private veranda overlooking the water hole. The central Rhino Restaurant is housed in the former manager's house of this once colonial farm, and offers both regional and international cuisine. Also within the house is the Kashoggi Bar and lounge, which centres on a blazing log fire. The Waterhole Bar, built in the style of a game-viewing hide, overlooks the waterhole and offers unrivalled wildlife-watching

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In Lake Naivasha we'll stay at Lake Naivasha Sopa Lodge. Situated on the southern shores of Lake Naivasha, Naivasha Sopa Lodge is an impressive property with a dramatic backdrop. The lodge has a total of 84 rooms all with a panoramic view of the lodge environs and the lake. Luxuriously appointed rooms feature spacious sunken lounges, while upper floor rooms have their own private balcony on which to relax, sunbathe, or view game. All rooms are en-suite. The guest amenities in the rooms include complimentary bottled water and the bathroom amenities include a hairdryer, fresh linen daily, and evening turn-down service.  In addition, the lodge has a swimming pool, a Pizza and Grill restaurant, and a poolside snack bar.

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In Masai Mara NR we'll stay at Ashnil Mara Camp , A relatively new tented camp, offers 30 luxury tents, while being located in the Maasai Mara National Reserve and close to the Mara River famous for the wildebeest migration.

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5. Transportation

Safari vehicles will be 4x4 Land Cruisers appositely modified for wildlife photography, with opening roof hatches wide side windows for comfortable photography and will carry loads of bean bags.

6.  Tour Leader

Yashpal Rathore, a Naturalist and National & International award winning nature photographer, this will be his 6th  visit to Kenya. He is certified Naturalist and trained Volunteer from Karnataka forest department. He has an intimate knowledge of animal behaviour & Nature photography. He will assist you pre-tour preparation and on field tips and advice, to make best out of available situation so you get memorable photographs.We will have pre-tour workshops, couple of month before tour. So that you learn and practise required field tips to make most out of the photo opportunity arises during course of tour.  

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 7. Detailed Program 

Day

Date

Program 

1

22/05/2016

On your arrival at Nairobi International Airport , Meet your guide and 15-20 min drive to Nearby Airport hotel for overnight stay. 

2

23/05/2016

We will start Early with Breakfast, and drive to our first destination “Ol Pejeta conservancy”, we will have quick stopover at Equator mark for a group photo. About 3hr we will reach our camp Sweetwaters. Just unload our luggage and we will off to first game drive. Return to camp for Lunch. Then again off to afternoon safari drive. Night at Sweetwater Camp

3

24/05/2016

Full day at Ol Pejeta, morning half we will visit to the Chimpanzee Sanctuary; one of it’s only kind in Kenya, founded by world famous Jane Goodall. You have the chance to touch “Baraka” the rhino and visit the Sanctuary’s education center. Post lunch safari drive to see some of most critically endangered species this park has to offer.  Night at Camp. We will also have option of night safari.

4

25/05/2016

We will take a last early morning game drive before departing (after late breakfast) for Lake Naivasha, driving via the scenic Nyahururu escarpment with a short stopover at famous Thomson’s Falls.  Drive of 3- 3.5hr we will reach to Sopa Lodge at time for Lunch. Post lunch we will explore lake surrounding, looking for birds, Columbus monkeys & Hippos. Dinner and overnight at Naivasha Sopa Lodge

5

26/05/2016

After early breakfast we will go for boat safari in lake Naivasha, we will get chance to watch African fish Eagle diving to catch fish and lots of other bird life. After boat ride we will drive to our final destination, Masai Mara the world renowned and diverse Game Reserve. We will reach Ashnil Camp around Lunch. After Lunch, Depart for your first afternoon game drive to explore bush, steppe and fantastic game sightings. Overnight at Ashnil Mara Camp.

6

27/05/2016

Enjoy full days in the Masai Mara with unlimited game drives as per your convenience. The Mara boasts of the highest concentration of animals in the whole of Africa and is home to the famous Big Cats and “Big Five”. Overnight at Ashnil Mara Camp 

7

28/05/2016

Enjoy full days in the Masai Mara with unlimited game drives as per your convenience. The Mara boasts of the highest concentration of animals in the whole of Africa and is home to the famous Big Cats and “Big Five”. Overnight at Ashnil Mara Camp 

8

29/06/2014

Morning Game drive, After late breakfast departs and drive back to Nairobi. Last minute shopping.Transfer to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to board your onward flight. For return journey I will suggest Kenya Airways flight no: 204, which depart Nairobi around 10pm. 

9

30/05/2016

Morning arrive to Mumbai

8. Tour Cost

Tour cost per person                                                        USD 2150
Couple                                                        USD 4200
Child below 3yrs, accommodation in Parents room FREE
Children between 3- 12yrs, accommodation in Parents room      50% of adult charges 
Children between 12-15yrs, accommodation in Parents room 75% of adult charges 

The rate includes:

· Accommodation on full board for 7 nights. 
· Seat on 4x4 stretched Land Cruiser with 3 rows (9 seater); 
· Unlimited game drives and transfers/drop off in Nairobi;
· Park entry fees for all parks ;
· Guiding service by KPSGA certified silver rated, english speaking Guide.

The rate does not include:
· Drinks and other extras in the lodges;
· International flights to Nairobi; 
· Entry visa in Kenya (50 USD p/person);
· Any other item not expressly mentioned above.

Deposit of 25% of the total cost of the safari will be required upon booking. The due balance will be 1 months before departure date.

Visit East Africa PHOTO GALLERY  from previous trip Photographs.

Our suggestion on International flight:

Mumbai to Nairobi: Sun 22 May, Kenya Airways KQ-211 (5h 45m, non-stop)

22 May, 16:50 Mumbai (BOM) Terminal 2 ;  22 May, 20:05 Nairobi (NBO) Terminal 1C      

Nairobi to Mumbai: Sun 29 May, Kenya Airways KQ-204 (6h 10m, non-stop)

29 May, 22:40 Nairobi (NBO) Terminal 1A ; 30 May, 07:20 Mumbai (BOM) Terminal 2   

Testimonials


Spent a week with Yashpal rathore in Masai mara to witness the annual wildebeest migration in yr 2013. This was my first visit to the Mara, I opted for Yashpal as our mentor to see the Mara as he sees it. We stayed near the junction of the Talek and the Olare orok rivers right in the heart of the Mara in a small camp, comfortable and right in the heart of the action.

We were a group of four and Yashpal accompanied us to the safari and we driven by Simon, our Masai Guide. Usually the safaris were full day, every moment spend on safari was worthwhile, light was fantastic, wildlife was in abundance and Yashpal and Simon could be relied upon to place the vehicle in anticipation of a likely photo-opportunity.

I would have no hesitation to recommend Yashpal as a mentor for anybody planning to visit MARA, his organization Nature glimpses can be relied upon to give the highest level of customization possible in the most reasonable price. Yashpals planning and co-ordination with the local guides and camp managers was perfect and we were specially looked after, including a special Indian meal right in the heart of MARA under a starlit sky with the constant snorting of the Hippos in the pool below.

Dipanker Mazumdar (Architect), New Delhi  


I would like to take this opportunity & chance to thank Mr Yashpal Rathore, for such an amazing experience we had in Kaziranga last week ( Feb 2014). Everything was planned to minute detail and all the logistics were perfect. Timing was superb & we could easily record 40+ photographable species in birds & off course innumerable photo opportunities for mammals. Yashpal is a no nonsense guy, knowing him from last 2 years, I have understood that he organizes things only for serious nature photographers. I can vouch for the economics of the whole trip which was very reasonable....Cheers

Dr Eash Hoskote, Bangalore


I had my first tiger safari to Tadoba Tiger reserve with my friend last June 2013. We had awesome sighting and thanks Yashpal for great experience.

Madhusudan , Bangalore


We have been to Kenya on "Predators & Great migration 2013" trip to Kenya with Yashpal Rathore, what a memorable trip it was. Selection of camp and guide was excellent.  We wish to join him again next year. 

Anand Sachdeva (Architect) , New Delhi


I like travelling with you, as your trips are well planned and economical. I am Looking forward for next Kaziranga trip in Feb 2014.

S. R. Gopalan, Bangalore