Photographic Safari

7 days
from
$8,495 NZD
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Traveller ratings
5 / 5 from 61 reviews >
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Trip code: 
WYX
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures
Activity:
Photography
Min age:
18
Group size:
4–12

Fabulous migration wildlife and great photography on the Kenyan plains

For many who have not travelled to Africa, their impressions are often of acacia dotted plains, hundreds of different bird species and herds of migrating wildebeest and zebra pursued relentlessly by their predators. This safari embodies all of those fantastic images and does it in superb style, a classic safari in a classic destination. When you only have a relatively short time in Kenya it is essential to maximize it in the reserves and not waste time travelling all over the country. Exodus' awarding winning resident photographer Paul Goldstein has his own brand of safari. His mantra is simple, do the time at the coal face and the rewards will follow, so be prepared for early starts, long days and plenty of advice and enthusiasm. Any wilderness fan or photographer will be particularly attracted by this safari.

Highlights

  • Special Photographic Safari guided by Paul Goldstein
  • Comfortable safari at intimate tented camp with walk in tents and en suite facilities
  • Prolific wildlife of the Masai Mara including lion, elephant, hippo, and giraffe
  • Game drives geared towards ensuring good quality and frequent photographic opportunities

Key information

  • 6 nights tented camp
  • Travel is by internal flights; open-topped and open-sided 4-wheel-drive vehicles in the Mara
  • Photographic coaching from Paul Goldstein

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 6 lunches and 6 dinners
  • All accommodation
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
0800 643 997
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Nairobi; morning flight to Masai Mara.

    After clearing customs and immigration at the airport, a shuttle bus will transfer to Wilson Airport on the Western side of the city. Land only passengers will join us here. This is normally during rush hour so expect some traffic. Wilson is a nice airport and there should be time for some refreshments before boarding the 45 minute flight to the Mara. Here we will be picked up by custom built four- wheel drives and transferred to the camp. After being shown to our spacious walk-in, luxurious tents, we take an afternoon game drive with sundowners. This is the first of many game drives in this prolific area.

    Accommodation: Kicheche Tented Camp
    Luxury Tented Camp

    Meals included: Lunch Dinner
  • Days 2-6

    Sharpen your photography skills on the vast plains of the Masai Mara.

    Game drives start right from the camp, as it is not uncommon to have wildlife wandering through at some stages of the day. Drives are very much a moveable feast. Some days, the drives will be long, (13 hours or so although not driving all the time) whilst others are much shorter, depending on the movement of the game and tips from the bush telegraph. Paul and his team will try to make good calls when it comes to viewing but they cannot always get it right. They will however be trying their hardest to ensure that photographic opportunities are frequent, but will not be dashing around ticking off species like other mainstream safari companies. Early, very early, starts are the order of the day, though we normally find some shade for lunch in a beautiful spot and to relax a bit. Unless, that is, we come across a migration crossing or hunting cheetah! These drives are not endurance tests but a full day out on the plains can be quite tiring. They also will involve patience, as a hungry cheetah will often wait many hours before making her move.
    Meal times are a delight under the stars in the evening or in the mess tent in bad weather. During time off you can relax in your tents however, it is the game and scenery that make this area so incredible: huge prides of predators feasting on an abundance of plains game. The camp often has a pride of lion's close-by and their call accompanied by the cackle of the hyena is an occasional nigh time companion. The property is very relaxing for those hours in the middle of the day (when you are there) and the haute cuisine and hot showers are a big bonus, but these luxurious trappings sometimes belie the fact that the camp is right in the heart of the most prolific savannah on earth and this should be respected.
    Accommodation: Kicheche Tented Camp
    Luxury Tented Camp

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 7

    Morning game drive; afternoon flight to Nairobi; depart Nairobi.

    Final game drive followed by brunch then late afternoon flight back to Nairobi.  There will be time for some shopping and there will be dinner in a very nice Nairobi restaurant before heading to the airport.

Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Kenya

Most nationalities do now require a visa for Kenya, including Britons, most EU nationals, Australians, New Zealanders, Americans and Canadians.  At present single entry and transit visas are available online (see below) and soon all visas will have to be obtained online. Alternatively visas are available in advance or on arrival. The Kenyan government are planning for all visas to be obtained online and may stop delivering visas on arrival on short notice. For the latest information please contact your local Kenyan High Commission or Consulate.  
For information about the online application process please visit http://evisa.go.ke/evisa.html.
The cost of the visa is US$50 for a single entry visa and US$100 for an East Africa visa (valid to travel in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda – if the website still says coming soon please check with the Kenyan High Commission) (https://immigration.ecitizen.go.ke/index.php?id=7)
You will need to first register to the ecitizens website (including needing a photo 500px x 500px) before you can start applying.
For the application process itself you will need details of the accommodation used (which we will send you) and itinerary as well as a photo 5.5cm x 5.5cm and a scanned or photographed copy of your passport’s bio/photo page.
If after visiting Kenya you will also travel to Uganda and Rwanda, you may apply for East African Visa that will cover all three countries. This  visa is currently available upon arrival in Nairobi. Please contact the Kenyan High Commission to obtain more information about the combined visa from Kenya.

Vaccinations

Kenya

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A. Malaria prophylaxis is essential and we suggest that you seek advice from your GP or travel health clinic about which malaria tablets to take. Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Eating and Drinking

At Kicheche the food is superb, very tasty and with plenty of choice. Breakfasts will be taken out in the bush and so will lunch on full day drives in the Mara. Kicheche has an excellent reputation for its cuisine.
Typical meals
In the Mara hot drinks are brought to the tents each morning. Freshly baked biscuits and a breakfast consisting of fruit, cakes, bacon, sausage, egg, juice and coffee/tea is taken out on the plains. On return there is a large but healthy brunch (if not doing a full day's drive). Tea and cakes are taken mid afternoon before the game drive. A three-course dinner is taken (weather permitting) by candlelight under the African sky. Vegetarians are well catered for but please inform us before departure of any special dietary requests.

Weather

Kenya straddles the equator so showers can happen at any time of year, however the wettest period is April and May. Due to the altitude of the Masai Mara (1550m) the nighttime temperature is beautiful, cool yet not cold, although mornings can be quite chilly. Daytime temperatures can get as high as 30 degrees but with low humidity. Samburu is hot in the day and warm at night. There can be some light rains at the end of the year, but if anything this is a good thing as it cuts down the dust and brings out the colours. In the wet the roads can become difficult.

Is this trip for you?

Small group fly-in safaris, transfer to open topped and open sided 4-wheel-drive vehicles in the Mara. In the Mara all safaris will stay at one of Kicheche Camps, tented camps located in fantastic wildlife conservancies. For animal lovers, photographers and bird lovers there are many chances of seeing countless game and bird species as well as rare and endangered creatures.

Call for general departures:
0800 643 997
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Luxury Tented Camp

You will spend 6 nights in a luxury tented camp.

Kicheche has en suite tents with solar electricity, running water, hot showers with superb meals taken al fresco. There is also a dining tent in case of rain and laundry facilities.

Single supplement available.

Call for general departures:
0800 643 997
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Experts

Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

Call for general departures:
0800 643 997
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

African sunset

From the volcanic slopes of Kilimanjaro to the highland plateaux of the Simien Mountains, Exodus has cultivated an ar

As the days get longer and brighter, and the morning air begins to lose its bite, we slowly start to see the first sh

  • Reviewed November 2015
    Jackie Freshfield

    The best safari yet!

    A fantastic, immersive safari experience that gets you close to the wildlife for some great photographic opportunities, with a five-star luxury camp to enjoy when not out on the Mara plains filling your memory cards. This is not a relaxing holiday, but it is the best way to get close to the incredible wildlife and to take your photography skills to the next level. It’s also lots of fun!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    This is tough but I can narrow it down to three: First night, waiting for sundowners, Paul had tracked a cheetah and anticipated it would climb a Boscia tree. We positioned our vehicles so that the setting sun would be behind the tree and waited. Sure enough the cheetah climbed up and we were able to capture it as a silhouette against a stunning Mara sunset. Cheetah kill: we spent the morning waiting for Malaika and her 3 sub-adult cubs to hunt. They eyed-up some wildebeest in the distance and we positioned the vehicles for the best vantage point, but in so doing, we disturbed a hare that ran off at speed. The cheetahs spotted this ‘amuse bouche’ on legs, made chase and executed a perfect kill right in front of our vehicle. Adrenalin overload! Leopard with cubs: Bahati, a beautiful leopard, moved her 8-week-old cubs to a new den, carrying them one by one in her mouth. A very rare sight, and a privilege to watch. And then there’s the Scotch egg that also deserves mention: voted Top Mara breakfast!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I’ve been on a few trips with Paul and know that he takes no prisoners. My two friends and I were called the ‘Sunshine Variety Club outing’ because we were so slow with our cameras; (which we thought hilarious). So if you’re too slow, or you don’t know how your camera works properly or you are not prepared to take risks with your photography then you may get an earful. However if you want to learn, then Paul will pass on hugely useful tips and advice so that you will never take just a plain old ‘record shot’ again (though of course we amateurs need at least one of those!). Paul is harder on himself than on his guests; if he calls it wrong (admittedly this is rare) or is himself too slow to get the correct lens on (it happens!), then the air will turn blue. His objective is for you to get the great shots, he works hard to make this happen and his good cop/bad cop approach pays dividends in the end. Wallflowers need not apply… But bring a thick skin with you, and throw a few filthy jokes into the mix and you’ll be fine, and what’s more, you’ll go home with a gallery of photographs that you will treasure.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Get to know your camera – not just ‘auto’ but all the other buttons too. Bring the best lens you can, and hire one if the eye-watering prices for new glass are beyond you. You will regret not doing so once you are in situ: lens envy is not good. I had a Canon 7D and a 1D with a 100-400 lens but was v envious of the 500mm lenses. However, I got some great shots once I’d got all the various bells and whistles on my camera sorted – and used the bean bag for stability (they are in all vehicles). Bring a wide lens too as the Mara skies are simply stunning. One of my favourite shots has no animals in it at all. In addition to your usual pro-style camera bag for taking as hand-luggage, bring a softer day pack for using in the vehicles: these will get dusty and need to be crammed under the seat - big camera bags will be too bulky. Bring enough memory cards or a laptop/hard drive to download – you will take many more photographs than you could ever imagine. A laptop/tablet is also useful so you can review your photos at the end of each day; there are plenty of UK plug sockets in the mess tent for recharging but no sockets in the tents which are solar powered (no hairdryers required!). Take note of the luggage weight limit and pack accordingly (though our luggage was not weighed for the internal flight). Ballgowns and tiaras not required as it is v casual in camp. Pack light and take advantage of the awesome laundry system (taken in the morning, washed and ironed by 5pm). Take a fleece for the early mornings as it is cold out before the sun rises, but the heat of the midday sun can be scorchio, so bring sunscreen. I stashed an energy/nutty bar in my day-pack each morning, as there can be a long wait until breakfast if you are on a stake-out!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is an expensive safari, but you get what you pay for. The brilliant guides at the Kicheche camps know every inch of the plains and can spot a big cat from a mile away. The vehicles are especially adapted for photographers and the guides are photographers themselves, so they know how to get you in the right place for the best shots. If you go on a trip with Paul, he will work you hard but your photography will improve and he is committed to finding the best wildlife, whatever it takes. Be prepared for long days, but they pay off. We stayed at Kicheche Bush Camp and were treated like royalty; the staff are fantastic and the food is amazing, but beware the scales when you get home!
  • Reviewed September 2015
    Jacquelyn Turner

    A Baptism of Fire!

    Be prepared to hit the ground running and to keep going - Everything you may have read about his trips is true. Paul and the fantastic Kicheche guides work really hard to get you in the right place at the right time - leaving camp in the dark to be in the Mara when the sun comes up backlighting a cheetah and her four cubs, or watching the most amazing river crossings that even the National Geographic would be envious of. Even if, like me, you are a complete novice you will get lots of helpful advice. Just when you think you will practice photographing a bee eater in flight (thinking Paul is far enough away not to notice) the radio will crackle from three vehicles away and you will be told your shutter speed is too slow! But at the end of the day you will learn a lot and come home with some photographs you will be proud of and want to go again. This was my first trip with Paul and I have already booked another one - although I will have to try and master slow panning before then!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The river crossings were phenomenal especially watching a leopard stalking along under the river bank to take an unfortunate wildebeest. Watching a two month old elephant with no control over its legs or trunk running about and ending upside down with all four legs in the air. Just about everything else - lions and cubs, cheetah and cubs, leopard and sub adults ...

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Paul lives up to his reputation and works really hard to help you get the most out of the trip. His enthusiasm and energy is legendary and he is not joking about 14 hour game drives (although they never seemed that long!).

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for lots of helpful advice and take an ipad or laptop as he likes to have a look at what you are doing. He uploads his photographs after each game drive - take a look at them and see how to really get the best shots.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    On top of everything else you get to stay in a fabulous camp with terrific staff and top guides.
  • Reviewed July 2015
    Mark Ellison

    This ain't your usual safari...

    Where do I begin... if your objective is to come home with some gorgeous photographs of truly wild animals in one of the finest wilderness areas on the planet, this is the trip for you. But be under no illusion, it's hard work. If you're looking forward to your nutmeg pancakes (Paul's breakfast insult of choice, it seems!) before a leisurely morning, look elsewhere. If you want to be in the right place, right time, this is it. Lion cubs a-plenty, cheetah family at play - and on the hunt, a close encounter with a leopard, this had it all. And when we were back at camp, we couldn't have been in greater luxury.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Many, many moments, but it has to be having a leopard walking directly towards me before sitting down right next to our back wheel. I don't think I breathed for about 5 minutes. Lion cub calling for it's mother, cheetah chase and kill...

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Paul Goldstein. Crikey. I'm not sure there's anyone quite like him. I've never met a more hard working, enthusiastic and passionate photographer. The times when it's your turn in a vehicle with him are hard work, and you can feel drained at the end of it but he'll stop at nothing to get in the right place. You'll be shouted at and put under pressure but the trick is to cut through all that to what's important. Watch what he's doing, how he's lining up shots, ask him what he's trying to do etc and learn from being in his presence.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Mainly practical stuff here I think. Firstly, cameras - know yours inside out before you go. Understand how to fluidly change settings and how that affects exposure, focus etc. Be ready to quickly change lenses. Paul seems to have an ability to think a number of photos in advance and it can be hard to keep up, but it's great if can try. And if you've not got a big white lens - hire one. Unless of course you're a Nikon shooter, in which case good luck with Paul! If you're taking a big camera bag with all your kit in, take a small shoulder bag or similar. With 3 or 4 people per vehicle and lots of big lenses, there's not a lot of space to move big bags around. Decant what you need for a drive (batteries, cards, sun cream, water, smaller lenses etc) into a little bag and leave your big bag in your tent. Laundry - go light. Daily laundry service, so you literally only need 2 or 3 changes. Take warm fleece for mornings but it gets hot in the day - shorts, sandals etc are the way to go. Luggage - don't stress over the weight limit. This may of course change, but for me, I was about 5-7 kilos over and both international and internal flights - never checked, no problems.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is a very expensive trip, so think carefully if it's for you, and read the reviews on here. If you're passionate about wildlife photography, and want the best opportunities to get amazing pictures with the best guides in the Mara, with a camp site that'll do 5-star meals every night and look after your every need, this is it. But it's not for the timid!
  • Reviewed July 2015
    Robert Ordidge

    Photographic Safari Masai Mara June 2015

    This photographic safari was lead by Paul Goldstein who is a well known and highly rated wildlife photographer. The Masai Mara is a very special area in Kenya to go to in order to photograph wildlife in their own environment. The days start before daylight and end after darkness descends.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    On this trip there were many such moments from following a family of lions. watching a cheetah and family of four adolescent cubs servive against hyenas and other scavengers and a magnificant male leopard hunting. More relaxing times were spent with a herd elephants. The most important point to remember is that things change rapidly, no two days were the same and you do not know what is round the corner. Even the changing weather gave opportunities to photograph some really moody skies and sunsets.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Paul Goldstein will not be everyones cup of tea, but no one can deny his enthusiasm and drive in order to get you to where the the animals are and to give you every chance to observe and photograph them.There is time in the evenings to evaluate and discuss each others photos and to learn from each other. He and his drivers seem to instinctively know where to start looking and can "read" the signs.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The days are long and sometimes tiring, spending time in 4x4's over rough terrain. . This was my second trip and I would go again. To get the most out of this trip you do need to know how your camera works and how to change the settings quickly for often you have to be instinctive. Long lenses will be needed so consider hiring if you lenses are not powerful enough.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Accomodation and food were first class. Every one at the camp went out of their way to look after us and even learned everones name on the first day. Everything went smoothly to plan and we all got on well with each other.
  • Reviewed July 2015
    Andrew Barnes

    Non Stop Photographic Safari - Awesome Expeirience

    This was not my first trip with Paul but my first safari and it was absolutely brilliant, the Mara North camp is ideally located in the conservancy, it was clean, comfortable, great food, the service was second to none and the guides never let us down finding the animals - including all the cats up trees! Their knowledge of the animals and the conservancy and Mara Reserve are unbelievable,

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    So much happened - Cheetahs hunting, baby elephants fooling around, a lioness stuck up a tree, but it has to be watching a Leopard hunting & then failing to grab its evening warthog meal

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Paul - watch, follow and learn - he will always get you to the best locations, never stops trying to find more, gives 100% ,leads from the front, and of course very direct with his comments/advice, always look at his pics at the end of the day when he shows them and learn - they are pretty damn good ! He is always great entertainment, if there is down time be prepared for a quiz or two, and some jokes !!!!!!!! Essential you take a laptop on his trips as he likes to see and critique your images, I didn't on this trip - a big mistake as I was 'politely' reminded on several occasions ! Also went out his way one morning at 4:00am to take us 'Milky Way' Gazing, even found a lioness wandering around as well at that time ! Oh, and of course be prepared for a bit of slow panning :-)

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for long days - you can spend up to 10hrs a day in the Land Cruisers on game drives , it's non stop, Travel Light - I took loads of t-shirts I never used due to daily washing service, Essential Camera Gear - telephoto (400-500mm) & wide angle lens Tripod for Star/Milky Way Pics - no tripods in Land Cruisers Label battery chargers as power points all in one spot in the lounge tent - saves confusion between Canon users

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you enjoy wildlife photography - there is no better location, leader, camp/accommodation, guides, or camp staff, get on and book it !
  • Reviewed July 2015
    Emmanuelle Rolland

    Astonishing safari at Mara Camp

    Staying at Kicheche Mara Camp in Mara North Conservancy with stunning views, delicious food and formidable staff, this safari didn't disappoint with wide range of photographic opportunities from unbelievable skies to amazing wildlife. Size of group was larger than Bush Camp but very well managed, and being with like-minded people, I had a great laugh on game drives and in the camp.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Difficult to say as we were lucky to have no fallow time, each day was different but equally astounding. My favourite moment was when our vehicle were the first to find a cheetah and her 4 juvenile cubs all bundled up in the morning sunlight, their eyes were glinting and they all looked stunning. Seeing the Milky-Way early morning was also a magical moment. Amazing leopard sighting in the open and failed warthog chase, lioness up a tree, 1 day old lion cub hiding in the bushes, hunting cheetah and ensuing steal from the hyenas, thunderstorm on one side and fiery sunset on the other, playful tiny elephant calf, I could go on and on...

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Like him or not, you can't deny that Paul works hard to give you loads of photographic opportunities. Along with all the experienced guides positioning the vehicles to perfection, he will make sure that you are at the right place at the right time and he always delivers. Don't be afraid to ask questions or show him your photos, you will get a strong opinion but you will learn. I also appreciated the extra effort to wake up even earlier to photograph the stars and to accommodate the large group.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Travel light (free laundry and excellent beauty products) but bring as many lenses as you can, for Nikon 80-400mm gives you great flexibility and a wide angle. Take a fleece and a light wind/waterproof jacket. Swap tips and advices with other people. Also find out what they like to see/photograph so you can pair up in the vehicles accordingly. Take a laptop and an external hard drive to save your photos and process them at the same time on Lightroom. Know basic photography and your camera, make sure you have the correct settings and the correct lens when you approach a sighting. If you're not ready, you can easily miss the moment. Take your eye off the viewfinder and take it all in, enjoy the surroundings. Engage with your guide, they are all very friendly and know the Mara inside out.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This trip is not for the fainthearted, be prepared for early mornings and long days, but the rewards are immense. If you love wildlife and photography, there’s no better place. Whether at Mara Camp or Bush Camp, you’ll be extremely well looked after at Kicheche. I’ve caught the bug and hope to go back soon.
  • Reviewed July 2015
    James Treharne

    Photographic Safari Massai Mara

    An excellent holiday. The team worked tirelessly to give us the maximum opportunities to see the animals and their understanding of what photographers want was amazing. The food was first class and the tented accommodation was a revelation to me. Very comfortable and the staff made every effort to ensure our comfort. I am delighted with some of the photographs I have taken.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the animals in their natural habitat , being positioned in the best positions to photograph them. The camp and the food were much better that I had expected.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Paul, though unconventional, has taught me a lot about wildlife photography. He worked really hard to ensure that we got inspirational photographs. His photographic work and encouragement was excellent.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Try to get a kit list for what photographic gear you need to take ,i.e. which lenses. Be prepared to take the minimum of clothes and use the laundry service. Take shoes which are easily removed for use in the vehicles.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    There is not a lot of time available for the photo clinic but it would be helpful if the camp could provide a laptop and a card reader, so that clients could download photos themselves. Paul's advice could then be given on a full size photo rather than on the camera screen.
  • Reviewed July 2015
    Robert Ordidge

    Photographic Safari Kenya 22-30th June 2015

    A special photographic trip to the Masai Mara led by Paul Goldstein.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Really difficult to pick out one moment as there were so many. Every day brought new and different experiences from following a pride of lions with many cubs, the plight of a cheetah with four juvenile cubs trying to compete with hyenas for food, and spending time with a wonderful leopard climbing up a tree and a clumsy lioness trying to get down from one.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Paul Goldstein is a recognised wildlife photographer and is a passionate and driven leader. There is no time to hang about when he is leading. He simply gets you to where the photographic opportunities are most likely to be and this is no mean achievement given the nature of wildlife. He expects a lot of himself and those that go on his trips. He is not everyones cup of tea but if you want to see and learn then you will be in for a treat.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You must understand the basics of photography and be able to adapt and quickly alter camera settings in order to get the most out of this trip. The days are long, five am till seven pm, and by the end of the trip you will be tired but very happy. This is not a trip for beginners in wildlife photography as events change so quickly and you have to be ready and prepared to change settings in order to get the best out of this trip. This is an expensive holiday and to get the most out of it you will need good gear. Any doubts hire a couple of big lenses

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The Mara is the place to be if you have a passion for photographing animals and birds. The camping facilities were of a very high standard especially the food. All in all just a wonderful experience and a place to return too.
  • Reviewed July 2015
    Dan Heap

    This is a safari on the next level from any other

    There’s so many positives to say about this safari. We stayed at Kicheche Mara camp, and it was a stunning well maintained camp with spectacular views. The food was phenomenal, and the atmosphere around the camp was great - partly down to our group, but also down to the way the camp was set up. The wildlife was spectacular. I’ve done 4 safaris, and whilst the Classic Tanzania safari was very good, this one is completely next level. The aim of identifying one target for the day, then staying with them all day is the future. We sat with Cheetahs on hunts 3 times, we saw a Leopard on a hunt once, we saw Lions with cubs playing almost every day, we saw Cheetah cubs playing 2 days and we had amazing sunsets and thunderstorms that contributed amazing sights and photography opportunities. In Summary, I will be booking to go on this trip again next year I suspect.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing a Cheetah run at full pace. Been an aim for me on all previous safaris and this one delivered it - 3 times. As well as that, we were in the prime position for each of the bursts. What an amazing sight - I’m still lost for words.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Quality. You’re time in the vehicle with Paul is hard work, I’m not going to lie. A constant stream of instructions with the sloe desire of getting you a phenomenal photo mean that you’re often under pressure. At times you do need a strength in personality to believe in what you’re doing, and marry it with some of the instructions. However, if you want to be in position to get the very best photos in Africa, then Paul delivers every time. There’s plenty of laughs, plenty of chance to have discussions, and plenty of chance to get a view on your photos - a strong view on whats good and what can be improved is sure to follow. Everything you’ll read in the other reviews is correct - if you take comments to heart, if you hold grudges, if you don’t want to have times when you’re under pressure to get the best photos - then take the advice on board.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don’t worry too much about weight limits within reason. My hand luggage was weighed at Heathrow (Too heavy had to repack) but after that it wasn’t weighed at all. Take the equipment you feel you need to take the best photos. Take a small tripod for shooting the Milky Way - just don’t take it in the vehicle. Using big lenses requires flexibility - you often have to cram into small areas to get good shots (I’m 6ft 3 and a big build - this was at times tough to do) so consider taking a smaller lens - maybe the 100-400 Mk II. Take a good wide angle lens - it’s vital, and a good polariser too. The laundry in camp is brilliant - it was easy to survive on 1 change of clothes - be warned though - it’s very cold at 5am in the morning - a wind proof jacket was very useful. Take a small laptop to edit your photos on - this allows you to get the best out of Paul’s Clinic - and ask questions - they’re only opinions at the end of the day, some will help you get better, others you’ll disagree with and discard.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just get involved. Every exodus group I have been in has been great. Stand up on the back seats (no shoes) help the guides to spot things, swap lenses with other people in your car. This is the best safari I have ever done - it’s difficult to imagine any other group has the quality of guides that Kicheche do. They are usually the first people to an interesting sighting, they have fantastic eyes, but also have great information links. Just a phenomenal holiday.
  • Reviewed January 2015
    Oliver Oliver

    Superb safari, beyond expectations

    Run out of superlatives to describe this trip. A plethora of fantastic sightings, Bush Camp is a wonderful place to stay and Paul's coaching really helped me to get some great shots

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing a cheetah, cubs in tow, make a kill (and defend said kill from a hyena) on the transfer to the camp from the airstrip was very special. Honourable mentions to the lioness carrying her very young cubs, and watching a leopard hunting

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Paul's enthusiasm is infectious, and his determination to find (and make the most of) opportunities to take excellent photos is what sets this trip apart from a normal safari. Very entertaining and knowledgeable, and he will challenge you to really improve your photography rather than just take safe "souvenir" shots. Caution advised for those who are easily offended, and/or those unwilling to put in the hours behind the lens

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Travel light - the camp laundry service is included and works very efficiently. Bring a decent length lens - 300mm equivalent or more, and a computer/tablet so you can review your best shots with Paul

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