Kenya Wildlife

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Download Trip DetailsImmortalized by countless wildlife films, Kenya needs little introduction. We've designed our Kenya Wildlife Photo Safari to take you to the heart of the region's best photographic locations, flying between Nairobi and some of the more distant parks to ensure spending ample time in the field. We visit some of the most exciting photo locations in the country: the famous Masai Mara Game Reserve, the picturesque Samburu Game Reserve, the alkaline wetlands of Lake Nakuru National Park and the Ol Pejeta Conservancy—the largest black rhino sanctuary in East Africa. We spend extensive time in the Mara and Samburu to get a real "sense of place" and to devote the time necessary to experience the wildlife and create numerous images.
"This trip exceeded my expectations. I was in the same areas in Kenya on a prior tour and this one was orders of magnitude better. Go as soon as you can! "
- F. Leith

The Masai Mara Reserve is arguably the greatest wildlife location in all of Africa. The Mara is the northernmost corner of the Serengeti ecosystem—and is so remarkable that one cannot do justice to it in a brief description. This region is one of the continent's best locations for lions and cheetahs. We spend six days here focusing on the predators and their prey. Birds are always a big part of the Mara experience, as well, and everyone enjoys the brilliance of lilac-breasted rollers and saddle-billed storks, the regal demeanor of the hawks and eagles, and the excitement of a squabbling throng of vultures on a carcass. Our tour is planned for the traditional time of the great migration "crossings" of zebras and wildebeests over the Mara River and the amazing and dramatic interplay between them and the resident Nile crocodiles! Although the timing is extremely unpredictable, we stand a reasonable chance of intercepting this remarkable wildlife phenomenon during our stay.

Zebras drinking from watering hole in KenyaSamburu, located in the arid savannah of northern Kenya, features golden grasslands, acacia woodlands and an imposing escarpment. Well known for its mammals, Samburu is home to soil-stained "red" elephants, rare Grevy's zebras, reticulated giraffes, gerenuk, oryx and dik-diks. Birds are also abundant and include colorful bee-eaters, kingfishers, Somali ostrich and vulturine guinea fowl.

The majestic yellow-barked acacias of Nakuru provide a photogenic backdrop for the common wildlife of the park, including accessible white rhinos and leopards. The open thorn bush, plains and perennial rivers of the Laikipia Plateau are home to the Sweetwaters Game Reserve and the encompassing Ol Pejeta Conservancy, a private reserve with a higher wildlife-to-area ratio than any national park in Kenya.

This Photo Safari is an extraordinary opportunity to photograph East Africa's most unparalleled wildlife locations. With only three participants in each vehicle, a thoughtful leader well experienced in African safaris, fantastic accommodations, and outstanding local guides who fully understand the needs of photographers, our Kenya Wildlife tour is a productive and unforgettable photographic adventure!

Read Jeff Vanuga's TRIP REPORT from our 2013 tour

Tour Itinerary

Day 1

Depart home.

Day 2 (Aug 10)

Arrive in Nairobi, transfer to our comfortable hotel.

Day 3

We fly midmorning, with our camera gear and laptops, to the Masai Mara Game Reserve. The remainder of our luggage is transported by road and arrives just after lunch. After checking into our luxurious tented lodge, lunch and orientation, we have our first late afternoon game drive. (BLD)

Lion cubs playingDays 4–8

At our wonderfully situated luxury lodge we are in the heart of the entire Masai Mara Reserve's wildlife action. Our lodge is located in the reserve's low-density visitation area (we pay a higher daily entry fee to stay here) close to the famous zebra/wildebeest migration crossing points of the Mara River. We photograph elephants, Cape buffalo, Grant's and Thomson's gazelle, impala, topi, zebra, wildebeest and Coke's hartebeest. Giraffe, eland, bushbuck, serval and the big cats—lion, cheetah and leopard—all live permanently within the reserve and are usually easy to see in our area. We capture the range of light from sunrise to sunset and the Mara's many moods. (BLD)

Day 9

We journey overland to Nakuru National Park. The park is a reserve for both black and white rhinos and we should have good opportunities for close-up photography of the whites. East Africa's most dense leopard population dwells here, plus Rothschild's giraffes, Defassa waterbucks, reedbucks, unwary warthogs and Cape buffalo. (BLD)

Days 10–11

Continuing our drive north and east, we reach the Ol Pejeta Conservancy lying between the foothills of the Aberdares Range and snowcapped Mount Kenya. Established in 1988 primarily as a sanctuary for endangered black rhino, it is now home to the "big five"—lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo and elephant. (BLD)

Days 12–14

Baboons in KenyaOur next destinations are the Samburu and Buffalo Springs Game Reserves. A sizable population of elephants, plus Grevy's zebra, reticulated giraffe, gerenuk, Somali ostrich, impala, common waterbuck, dik-dik, vervet monkey, hyrax, baboon and oryx are our photo subjects. The elephants exhibit a special red color at Samburu from rolling in the reddish mud of the Ewaso Ngiro River. Our impressive permanent tented camp at river's edge is a relaxing base for our morning and afternoon game drives to a wide variety of habitats—open plains with Mount Kenya in the distance, narrow lush valleys filled with birds, and towering cliffs where baboons seek refuge at night from prowling leopards. (BLD)

Day 15 (Sep 23)

We fly back to Nairobi this morning, have a dayroom at our airport hotel for relaxing and showering, and depart in late evening for home. (BL)

Day 16

Arrive home.

 

We were blown away by the sheer number of animals—captured the big five by the end of our second day in the Mara.
—B. & B. Ludwig

An exceptional tour and experience! Incredible access to the animals. The driver/guides were highly experienced and knowledgeable. Every detail of the tour was perfect. Exceeded our highest expectations.
—D. McMillan

 
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Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris Enrollment Information

Kenya Wildlife

Aug 09, 2020 - Aug 24, 2020


1. REGISTRATION
A deposit and completed and signed Registration Form are required to reserve a place for you on a Joseph Van Os Photo Safari.

2. PAYMENTS, CANCELLATIONS AND REFUNDS

All prices are quoted in US dollars and all payments must be paid in US dollars. For deposits only, we accept Visa or MasterCard. Final payment of the trip fee must be paid by check or bank transfer. Trip deposits are non-refundable.

A deposit of $850 per person is required. Full payment of the trip fee is due 150 days prior to departure date. We must receive written notice of your cancellation, at which time cancellation fees in the following amounts apply:

If Written Cancellation is Received:
122 days or prior:
121 to 91 days prior:
90 or fewer days:
Cancellation Fee:
100% of deposit
50% of entire trip fee
100% of entire trip fee


No partial refunds are made for unused portions or services of a trip for any reason whatsoever. Trips are sold as a package only. This policy also applies to tour extensions and independent travel arrangements. Cancellation fees are not transferable.

3. TRIP INSURANCE
Protect your travel investment and purchase a trip insurance policy that includes emergency evacuation coverage. A trip insurance brochure will be sent with your enrollment confirmation.

4. HEALTH CONSIDERATIONS
Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris are within the capabilities of average people in good health. Some of these trips require the capability of walking for several miles over uneven trails, stepping from a small boat to a wave-washed rocky beach, flying in small planes and helicopters, and occasionally hiking at high elevations—all while carrying an assortment of camera equipment. If you have concerns about your own capabilities and/or fitness as it relates to a trip, please inquire with our office before reserving a space. By forwarding a signed Registration Form and trip deposit, you certify that you do not knowingly have any physical or other conditions of disability that would create a risk for you or other trip participants and you agree to inform our office in writing if changes in your health occur any time prior to the tour. We reserve the right to request a doctor's statement of good health. The company's or trip leader's judgment shall provide the ultimate determination of an individual's ability to embark upon or to continue a trip. Once a trip has been confirmed, medical circumstances will not be considered as exceptions to our cancellation policy. We assume no responsibility for medical care or for special dietary requirements. “Meatless” meals are normally available at most locations. Due to the remote nature of many photo locations, and the growing diversity of today’s dietary trends, participants requiring special food items are encouraged to bring their own.

Tour members are asked to refrain from smoking with or near the group.

5. CONTACT SCHEDULE
Participants will receive three emails before the trip departs: 1. Initial Tour Information sheet confirms the deposit and provides pre-departure information. 2. Invoice/Practical Information provides clothing and photo gear recommendations, climate data, applicable health advisories and reading list. Visa information will also be included (if applicable). 3. Final Tour Information includes arrival instructions, itinerary revisions (if any), hotel addresses, trip telephone contact information and participant list. We provide the trip leader's telephone number(s) and/or e-mail address with final documents so you can inquire about special photographic questions you may have regarding your trip. We welcome your calls or e-mail messages to info@photosafaris.com.

6. PHOTO SAFARI COSTS
Information supplied upon enrollment describes the specific costs that are included in your trip fee. Generally these costs include lodging in double room occupancy, all meals (specified in the itinerary as BLD denoting breakfast, lunch or dinner), ground transportation during the trip in vans or small busses, air transportation as specified, meal and baggage tipping, and guide services provided by the trip leaders. Not included are airfare or other transportation from your home to the trip staging location, airport departure taxes, insurance, alcoholic beverages and bar expenses (plus bottled water and soft drink expenses on international tours outside of North America), tips and gratuities to local guides abroad, phone calls, passport or visa expenses, laundry or items of a personal nature. Gratuities to Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris trip leaders are optional and always appreciated. Rates are based on group tariffs; if the trip does not have sufficient registration, a small party supplement may be charged.

Single accommodations are available for a supplemental cost in many locations; see the pre-departure trip information or call our office for details. You will be charged the single supplement fee if you desire single accommodations or if you wish to have a roommate, but one is not available. In some remote locations, clients with single rooms are infrequently compelled to share a room due to circumstances beyond our control. In such cases, appropriate per diem refunds will be made reflecting the direct cost of the single room at the facility where clients are required to share. There is no additional single supplement fee on ship-based cruises, if you request a roommate and one is not available.

Cost increases may occur unexpectedly due to rising costs of airfares, ground transport, fuel surcharges, accommodations and currency fluctuations, among others. Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris, Inc. may be compelled to amend prices, and we reserve the right to do so without prior notice. An increase in trip prices shall not be sufficient grounds for any refund of funds paid for the trip other than as determined by the terms of our cancellation policy.

7. LOGISTICS
Whenever possible, our trip participants are lodged in comfortable, modern hotels. We select among the best available accommodations, but refrain from extravagance. Some interesting photographic destinations are far removed from modern amenities, however, and where necessary we will be accommodated in rustic country inns, cabins or tented camps.

Meals are always a special part of our trips for the camaraderie they engender and the opportunity they provide to try new foods from different areas. Depending on the trip and specific locale, participants order restaurant meals from the full menu or, less frequently, table d'hôte. Some trips include picnic lunches in the field. Fruit juice for breakfast and coffee or tea are included with the meals. Soft drinks are included with meals on tours within North America. Participants are responsible for their own bar tab (including bottled water, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages on tours outside of North America) at restaurant lunches and dinners.

Our itineraries are intended as examples only. Participants should allow for flexibility due to changes in weather, natural history or cultural events, or other logistical arrangements deemed necessary by Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris, Inc. or our leaders.

The second tour leader (and any subsequent additional leaders) listed for each trip on the website will be added as the group size warrants. If only one space remains on a trip, and logistics permit, we accept two persons traveling together, even if it exceeds the trip maximum.

8. RESPONSIBILITY
Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris, Inc. and/or their Agents act only as agents for the passenger in regard to travel including, but not limited to, sightseeing, meals, lodging, transportation, and all other services whether by railroad, motorcar, motor coach, boat, ship or aircraft and they assume no liability for injury, damage, loss, accident, delay or irregularity which may be occasioned either by reason of defect in any vehicle or for any reason whatsoever, or through the acts or default of any company or person engaged in conveying the passenger or in carrying out the arrangements of the trip.

They can accept no responsibility for losses or additional expenses due to delay or changes in air or other services, sickness, weather, strike, war, volcanic eruption, terrorist acts, political unrest, quarantine or other causes. All such losses or expenses will have to be borne by the passenger, as trip fees provide for arrangements only for the times and locations stated. Baggage is at the owner's risk entirely.

The right is reserved to 1) substitute hotels of similar category for those indicated and to make any changes in the itinerary or transport where deemed necessary, or caused by changes in air schedules or equipment substitution; 2) cancel any trip prior to departure, in which case full refund of the paid trip funds will be given, but Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris, Inc. is not responsible for any other trip preparation expenses such as penalized or non-refundable air tickets, visa fees and medical related expenses; 3) substitute trip leader(s) for the leader(s) originally specified, in which case the substitution is not a basis for participant cancellation or refund other than provided by our normal cancellation policy; or 4) accept or retain any person as a member of any trip.

Trip prices are based on tariffs and exchange rates in effect at the time of publication and are subject to adjustment in the event of any change therein.

A Registration Form including the Release and Assumption of Risk section must be signed by each participant prior to the commencement of the trip. Participation by any trip member will be declined in the absence of the signed Registration Form including the Release and Assumption of Risk section, with no trip fee refund. No modification to the Registration Form including the Release and Assumption of Risk section will be accepted.

Should Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris, Inc., or anyone acting on their behalf be required to incur attorney's fees and costs to enforce this agreement, the enrolling trip participant(s) agree(s) to indemnify and hold them harmless for all such fees and costs. In the event a lawsuit is filed, the enrolling participant(s) agree(s) to do so solely in the County of Lewis in the State of Washington. Certain ship owners require the use of pre-printed ticket forms that limit the ship owner's and operator's liability. When such tickets are used, the passenger is bound by the terms of these tickets with respect to the passenger's legal relationship to the owners and operators of the ship, their agents (Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris, Inc.), and the ship's crew.

Kenya Wildlife
Highlights
  • The best of Kenya's wildlife parks: Masai Mara and Samburu Game Reserves plus Lake Nakuru National Park and the private Ol Pejeta Conservancy
  • Only 3 photographers per nine-passenger Land Rover
  • Six high-season shooting days in the Masai Mara residing in a luxury lodge located in an area specially-designated for low-density tourism
  • Trip timed for prime zebra/wildebeest migration dates
  • We have more than 30 years of experience operating these highly productive Kenya photo safaris!
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Aug 09 - Aug 24, 2020
Fee: $12,595 from Nairobi, Kenya
Deposit: $1,000
Limit: 14
 
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