Let’s go see the Great Migration in Kenya with Eagle Eye Safaris…we’ll explore the mighty Rift Valley, enjoy a boat cruise to get up close to birds and wildlife at the water’s edge, meet Maasai warriors and learn about their culture, search for iconic and endangered species such as Rothschild’s Giraffe, Black Rhino, and more. We’ll marvel at the deepest red sunsets you’ve ever seen.
The Crown Jewel of this trip will be the massive herds of millions of wildebeest and zebra as they migrate through the savannah. With luck, we’ll be at the river when the first timid wildebeest leaps into the dangerous water to cross, drawing the teeming herd with him. Karen and Ernest will be with you every step of the way, helping you with your camera settings, suggesting compositions, and teaching you the tricks and techniques we use to create our award-winning photographs.
Won’t you book your spot today, before someone else gets it? We will start and end in Nairobi, Kenya, easily reachable from the US and Europe.
DAY 1 (19 July):
Arrival in Nairobi
You’ll be met at the airport and transferred to the hotel, which is a short drive from the airport. We will meet for dinner and brief on our upcoming safari and the plans for the next day. (accommodations at Zehneria Hotel)
DAY 2 (20 July):
Lake Naivasha and Lake Nakuru National Park
Wake up! We’re leaving Nairobi right after breakfast. It’s a beautiful drive through the Kenyan countryside, on our way to nearby Lake Naivasha.
This is one of the two major fresh water lakes in the mighty Rift Valley of Kenya. The lake also boasts one of the highest altitudes of any Rift Valley lakes. It is a Ramsar Site- a wetland of international importance. It is also an Important Bird Area (IBA) and the local birds will always amaze even a casual birder. Ernest is one of the top bird photographers in Africa, and will help you identify and photograph these species. You’ll definitely add some lifers here, and take home the photos to prove it!
A leisurely boat ride will help us enjoy the beauty of the lake and see the local wildlife and birds. Keep an eye out for the local Nile Hippos! We shall also enjoy watching the local aerial antics of African Fish Eagles as they display over the lake, and if we are lucky, they will dive and catch fish near us. Imagine capturing the moment of splash! Ernest or Karen can help you do that!
Later, we head to Lake Nakuru, arriving at our lodge for lunch. After lunch, you will enjoy relaxing at our comfortable lodge compound as you download your photos of the day. Ernest and Karen will be happy to help you review a few, but be ready for the afternoon game drive! We’ll search for the local carnivores and herbivores. We can expect breath-taking herds of wildebeest, Cape Buffalo, Impala, Gazelle, and Zebra among others. We’ll head back to our lodge in the evening for cocktails and a scrumptious dinner highlighting the local cuisine. (B, L, D; accommodations at Lake Nakuru Lodge)
DAY 3 (21 July):
Lake Nakuru National Park
Today we have a full day in the park, seeking the species we may have missed the previous day. We’ll start with a a morning game drive with our team of experienced guides. We’ll have a midday break to relax or download your photos. Karen and Ernest can help you get started on editing or squeeze in a quick photography lesson to teach you a few new things about the functions of your camera. We’ll head back out on game drive again in the afternoon.
The park is known for the mighty Lake Nakuru, a soda lake at the heart of the great ecosystem. Watch for impala and Thompson’s gazelles. We have a good chance of encountering the rare and endangered Rothschild’s Giraffe. We may see lions, hyenas, leopards, and lots of game animals. This park is also a great sanctuary for rhinos. This is a birdwatcher’s paradise—even if you aren’t a birder, you might start a Life List once you see the colorful and unique species that make their homes here. The landscapes are very rewarding as well, and we will certainly get some of those incredible sunrise and sunset landscape shots if you bring a wide-angle lens. (B, L, D; accommodations at Lake Nakuru Lodge)
DAY 4, 5 AND 6 (22 – 24 July):
Masai Mara National Reserve; Great Migration
We’re starting early with a cruise through the Rift Valley. Then, we’ll enter the Mara, arriving in time for lunch and our afternoon game drive. We’ll watch for wildlife on our way to the Lodge, though—we aren’t wasting a minute!
Have you ever heard of the 8th Wonder of the World? Yes, it’s the Great Migration. Masai Mara National Reserve is the crown jewel of an African Safari experience. Considered the ultimate wildlife haven in Kenya, this reserve has a lot to offer. The Mara is where numerous NatGeo and AfricaGeo documentaries and specials are filmed. From all members of the Big 5 (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, buffalo) to the numerous herbivores grazing the landscape in huge herds, the Mara is indeed amazing. You will spend the next three days learning about this magical destination with Ernest and Karen. We will spend plenty of time on game drives as we track the wildebeest herds, the African Big 5, Big Cats, and much more. Imagine photographing cheetah chasing a gazelle, or lions taking down a wildebeest! Imagine watching the wildebeest and zebra braving the rushing waters and lurking crocodiles of the Mara at one of the narrow crossings, or photographing them packed tightly together with dust swirling around! We will put ourselves in the best positions to experience the magic of the Mara.
Day 5 and 6 will include game drives in the Mara, learning about the ecology of this mighty savannah and the local wildlife. Lunch and rest breaks will be integrated in the days to allow you to enjoy the relaxed savannah atmosphere and the comfort of our Lodge. Time permitting, we can edit a few and view them as a group. We’ll set up for iconic silhouette shots against the blazing African sun at sunset. We’ll enjoy cocktails and African-inspired dinners prepared by our professional chef every evening as we listen to the night sounds of the reserve, then perhaps we’ll try some Milky Way photography before retiring to our comfortable beds for slumber beneath the vast African skies.
If you want to visit a local Masai village for a unique cultural experience, we can arrange an optional midday side trip. (B, L, D; accommodations at Sentrim Lodge)
DAY 7 (25 July):
Game drive and transfer back to Nairobi, dinner at Carnivore Restaurant
We’ll start with an early morning game drive before breakfast. We’ll return to the Lodge after searching for a few last epic sightings and say our goodbyes to the staff. They’ve taken great care of us, and feel like family now, don’t they? We’ll then embark on our drive back to Nairobi. Dinner will be at the world-famous Carnivore Restaurant, where we’ll sample some local delicacies and barbecues. Later that evening, we head to the airport marking the end to our lovely safari.
End of Safari
This safari tags perfectly with Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater Safari in Tanzania, 11 – 17 July 2023 and our Gorilla and Chimpanzee Trek, 27 July – 2 August 2023 . Ask about our double-booking discount!
Highlight mammals and others: Wildebeest migration, zebra, lion, leopard, cheetah, elephant, rhino, buffalo, serval, caracal, jackal, hippo, Rothschild’s giraffe, Thompson’s Gazelle, Eland, Kudu, Topi and more
Highlight birds: Great White Pelican, Common Ostrich, Lesser Flamingo, Greater Flamingo, African Fish Eagle, Secretary Bird, Lappet-faced Vulture, Grey Kestrel, Temminck’s Courser, Kori Bustard, Rufous- tailed Weaver, Grey-capped Social Weaver, Southern Ground Hornbill, Bare-faced Go-away- bird, Schalow’s Turaco, Rosy-breasted Longclaw, Grey-crested Helmet Shrike, Red-necked Spurfowl, Red-winged Francolin, Usambiro Barbet, Sooty Chat, Wattled Plover, Rufous-bellied Heron, Saddle-billed Stork, Magpie Shrike
Habitats covered: Savannah, Wetlands
Photographic opportunities: Excellent, especially with Ernest or Karen by your side, personally coaching you!
Special moments: The Great Migration, the Rift Valley, African Big 5, Boat Ride, time with Masai Warriors, incredible photographic opportunities and coaching from Ernest and Karen of Eagle Eye Safaris
Full time access to Eagle Eye Safaris’ Ernest and Karen in 4×4 open-roofed Toyota LandCruiser Safari vehicles throughout the trip
Professional drivers and rangers
6 nights full board accommodations, including meals as noted
Bottled water during the entire trip; cooler box in the vehicle to keep drinks cold
Boat ride on Lake Naivasha
Entrance fees, conservation fees for all reserves and parks
All the fun you can handle!
Travel to/from Nairobi before/after safari
Optional Masai village visit
Anything not mentioned as “included.”
For those arriving in Nairobi a day early or staying a day late, we can arrange a tour of the Dave Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and Karen Blixen (Out of Africa) museum. DSWT provides a haven for orphaned rhino and elephants, with the aim to release them back into the wild when they are old enough to have the best chance at survival. You can “adopt” an orphaned elephant and help support the effort at the world-renowned Trust. See www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org for more details. Learn more about Karen Blixen here and definitely see the movie or read the book, “Out of Africa,” before coming to Kenya. It will add a special meaning to your safari.
Please email us with questions at info@EagleEyeSafaris.com
Double Occupancy: 4 600 USD
Single Occupancy: 5 000 USD
2nd Payment: 35% – 180 days prior to Safari
Final Payment: 30% – 90 days prior to Safari
1-6 Clients: Karen Blackwood
7-12 Clients: Karen Blackwood and Ernest Porter
* Photographic Skills Level:
Beginner to pro. Ernest Porter or Karen Blackwood will offer personal attention and coaching to help you get the best photos possible. Non-photographers are welcome! We’ll have a little time in between game drives to offer photography classes and help with Lightroom processing, but please be familiar with your camera; able to set settings such as ISO, f-stop (aperture), and shutter speed in Aperture Priority and Shutter Priority. You’ll definitely want a good zoom lens for this trip, and a wide-angle for landscape shots.
* Fitness Level:
Average. We will do a little walking over uneven surfaces.
* Health Considerations:
You may need a Yellow Fever vaccine to enter Kenya. Tanzania is a malaria area; please consult with your physician prior to travel. You should be up to date on tetanus prior to travel. For more information, see your country’s health/travel website, or the CDC website: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/kenya
* Expected Weather/Temperatures:
July weather is moderate in Kenya. We’ll expect daytime highs to be in the mid-70’s (24*C), and lows in the low-50’s (10*C). The wildebeest follow the rains, and we’ll expect showers on this trip. Don’t let that deter you—weather shots are very dramatic, especially over the vast plains of the Mara! Bring a good rain jacket and layers, and you’ll be fine.
* Electric Adapter:
Kenya uses Type G plugs. You may be able to use an adapter instead of a converter. To be sure, check the label on the appliance. Some appliances never need a converter. If the label states ‘INPUT: 100-240V, 50/60 Hz’ the appliance can be used in all countries in the world. Devices like this include most laptops and phones, most recently produced battery chargers, and many small, electrical gadgets, especially those designed for world travel. Here is an example of an international converter for Kenya: https://www.amazon.com/Power-Plug-Adapter-International-SublimeWare/dp/B01N59M473
* Gratuity Planning (in USD – please check the exchange rate and plan enough cash. ATMs are safe to use in Nairobi. There are few ATMs once we leave Nairobi on safari, so please plan to have enough cash while on safari):
Ranger and Tracker: $5-10 each/game drive depending on quality of drive
Staff at Lodges (staff tip box): $5/day (you may tip individuals directly if they go above & beyond for you)
Safari in Style! Be sure to order one of our fun images on an Eagle Eye Safaris T-shirt and hoodie prior to this trip by clicking HERE.