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: Arrival in Nairobi
DAY 2: Lake Naivasha and Lake Nakuru National Park
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: Lake Nakuru National Park
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: Masai Mara National Reserve; Great Migration
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: Game drive and transfer back to Nairobi, dinner at Carnivore Restaurant
- 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
- Personal purchases
- 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.
- Driver: $5-10/day
- 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)
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.
Average. We will do a little walking over uneven surfaces.
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
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.
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