Kenya sunset and camp

Kenya Photographic Safari with Paul Goldstein - Premium Adventure

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£5,499
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5 / 5 from 70 reviews
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Activity level:
Moderate
Activity Rating - Moderate
Trip code: 
WYX
Ways to Travel:
Premium Adventures, Guided Group, Private Group Adventures
Activity:
Wildlife Holidays
Group size:
4–12
Ages:
18+

Photographic safari in Kenya’s exclusive, private conservancies with tuition from Paul Goldstein

Africa conjures up images of acacia dotted plains, herds of migrating wildebeest and zebra pursued relentlessly by their predators. Being in the right place at the right time, with the best light to capture these scenes is the essence of this safari. Join a small group led by award winning photographer and passionate conservationist Paul Goldstein, who will work tirelessly to get you the best photographic opportunities. This safari exudes style - premium tented camps within a private conservancy provide a comfortable base in an exclusive location, internal flights get you into the wilderness quickly, and vehicles are designed with photographers in mind to ensure you will always be set up for the perfect shot! Be prepared for early starts, long days and plenty of advice and enthusiasm. The exclusive Kicheche Camps are located in prime spots within the conservancies, where it is not uncommon to observe wildlife from the veranda. Wilderness fans and photographers alike will fall in love with Africa after a week at Kicheche.

Highlights

  • Photographic safari guided by Paul Goldstein - every detail considered with photographers in mind
  • Six nights at the superb and intimate Kicheche Camps; located in prime locations across Kenya's exclusive conservancies
  • Off road driving permitted in the Mara conservancies, getting you closer to the action
  • Strict rules enforced on vehicle conduct within the Mara conservancies to prevent over-crowding
  • Private conservancies work in harmony with Maasai landowners and ensure low-tourism density – just one bed per 350 acres of wilderness

Key information

  • 6 nights premium tented camps in the exclusive Mara conservancies
  • Travel by internal flights to get you straight into the wilderness
  • Customised 4WD vehicles for all game drives - open-topped and open-sided with 4 guests per vehicle to ensure the perfect view and plenty of space
  • Countries visited: Kenya

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 6 lunches and 6 dinners
  • All accommodation
  • Named tour leader, chosen for their experience and great customer feedback
  • Internal flights to/from the Mara Conservancies
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tips to Kicheche Camp staff are included (only the cost of tipping the guide will be extra)

What's not included

  • Tip for the tour leader
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Travel insurance
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for private group trips:
020 3885 9103
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

We work hard to create trips which improves life for the people and places we visit and looks after the planet we explore. To read more about sustainable travel ethos and practice, click here, and to find out about the work of the Exodus Travels Foundation click here.

People

 How this trip helps improve life for local communities.

  • The use of local guides means our customers will be well informed about local traditions, and cultural and social sensitivities.
  • This trip brings income and opportunity to the destination community through the inclusion of locally-owned accommodation and restaurants, the emphasis on eating locally produced food and support of other local enterprise.
  • Our local operators are trustees of the Kicheche Community Trust which runs several community projects which clients are welcome to visit as an optional excursion. These include schools where classrooms have been built, teachers and students have been sponsored and thousands of material and monetary donations have been made. Local healthcare is also supported by the Trust, who have been helping the Aitong (Mara) clinic for several years now. Donations made in the past include medicine, medical books, maternity and dental wards, water pump and tanks, upgrading of the existing solar system, medical training seminars and much more.

Places

How this trip helps protect and conserve local landscapes and nature.

  • Read about our commitment to nature protection and restoration here, including our rewilding commitment for every customer who travels.
  • By travelling in a small group, led by a local guide, we ‘tread lightly’ to minimise our impact on local resources and the environment.
  • We have game drives in the Masai Mara Conservancies where there are strict rules on over-crowding.
  • Our trips adhere to ABTA’s industry-leading animal welfare guidelines to ensure the best possible practices with regard to working animals and wildlife viewing. Our animal welfare policy can be found here.
  • We work with our partners on the ground to proactively eliminate or reduce waste, for example eliminating all single-use plastic water bottles and instead providing refills for re-usable bottles.
  • Kicheche Mara Camp and Kicheche Bush Camps have received a gold and silver award respectively from Ecotourism Kenya for their environmental policies and community work.
  • The Kicheche Community Trust runs several programmes for the benefit of people and wildlife. For communities to prosper within and in the vicinity of wildlife conservancies it's important for these communities to be protected from the wildlife and vice versa. In 2012 Kicheche Trust donated half for the construction of 5 predator free bomas (small groups of housing). The trust also part sponsors the Naboisho Lion project in Naboisho Concervancy, Masai Mara, which helps to protect and monitor local wildlife.
  • We operate a strict ‘leave no trace’ policy which includes separating waste immediately and returning it to Nairobi for proper disposal.

Planet

How we seek to keep the carbon footprint of this trip low.

  • Read about our climate action here, including our carbon reduction and compensation commitments.
  • By favouring smaller, locally run campsites we have a much smaller impact on the surrounding environments.
  • Most meals use local ingredients which have not had to have been transported long distances.

Tips for sustainable travel on this trip

Extra steps you could take to minimise your impact when travelling.

  • Leave no trace: We do all we can to ensure we leave no rubbish behind in the wild and beautiful places we visit; we ask that you do the same. If there are no recycling facilities in-country, we’d ask you to consider bringing recyclable materials home with you.
  • Plastic waste reduction: Please bring your own re-usable water bottle on this trip; filtered water will be provided where tap water is not drinkable.

Itinerary

Expand all
  • Day 1

    Start Nairobi; morning flight to Masai Mara.

    Welcome to Kenya! We have an early morning flight from Wilson Airport to take us directly to the heart of the Mara Conservancies. Land only customers are advised to book accommodation in Nairobi the night before the tour starts, to allow for easy meeting at Wilson Airport this morning. The 45 minute flight to the Mara provides some great scenery to start our Kenyan adventure. At the airstrip, we’ll be picked up by custom built four-wheel drives for the short transfer to Kicheche Camp. The crew at Kicheche will be waiting to welcome you and help you settle into camp. After lunch, we’ll take our first afternoon game drive in the exclusive Mara conservancies to discover some of the prolific wildlife that inhabits this area. Your first game drive will end with sundowners looking across the plains.

    Premium accommodation: Kicheche Tented Camp

    Meals included: Lunch Dinner
  • Days 2-6

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

    Our days at Kicheche usually start early, with camp staff bringing tea, coffee, hot water and biscuits to the tent around 5am. One of the huge benefits of staying within the conservancies is that game drives start right from camp and we can be in position on the plains by first light. For photographers, this means the all-important ‘golden hour’ is always maximised. Depending on movement of the game and tips from the bush telegraph, drives can be a moveable feast. Some days we may find ourselves on a full-day safari (approx. 13 hours) whilst other days might be broken down into morning and afternoon drives. Paul and his team will try to make good calls when it comes to sightings and will always aim to be in the best position for viewing. They will be trying their hardest to ensure that photographic opportunities are frequent, but they will not be dashing around ticking off species like mainstream safari companies. Early starts are the order of the day, and we normally find some shade for lunch in a beautiful spot and to relax. 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 their move.

    Meal times are a delight under the stars or in the mess tent if there is bad weather. It is the game and scenery that make this area so incredible. Camp can often have a pride of lion's close-by, and their call accompanied by the cackle of the hyena is an occasional night time companion. The property is very relaxing for those hours in the middle of the day between game drives and the haute cuisine and hot showers are a big bonus. These luxurious trappings sometimes belie the fact that the camp is right in the heart of the most prolific savannah on Earth!

    Premium accommodation: Kicheche Tented Camp

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 7

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

    This morning, we enjoy a final game drive in the wilderness followed by brunch back at camp, before packing up and taking a late afternoon flight back to Nairobi where the trip ends.

    Please speak to your Sales Consultant regarding the timings of internal flights. They can book additional post-tour accommodation in Nairobi if required.

    Meals included: Breakfast
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.  From the 1st January 2021 Kenyan entry visas will be exclusively issued electronically, with passengers required to obtain their e-visas before departure. 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).
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. 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

All breakfasts, 6 lunches and 6 dinners included.

At Kicheche the food is superb 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.

  • 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. 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 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.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for private group trips:
020 3885 9103
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

Premium Tented Camp

Kicheche Camps
Kicheche Camps

This photography holiday stays at Kicheche Camps.

June 2022: You will spend 3 nights at Kicheche Mara Camp and 3 nights at Kicheche Bush Camp.

Early November 2022: You will spend 6 nights at Kicheche Bush Camp.

Late November 2022: You will spend 2 nights at Kicheche Bush Camp, followed by 2 nights at Kicheche Mara Camp and 2 nights at Kicheche Valley Camp.

Kicheche Bush Camp

Kicheche Bush Camp

  • Located in the Olare Motorogi Conservancy.
  • 6 stylish tents spread out under Acacia trees.
  • Spacious en-suite bathrooms with hot water.
  • Elegant common area for relaxing, having tea or dining.
  • Lighting is supplied 24 hours with charging facilities and Wi-Fi in each tent.

Kicheche Mara Camp

Kicheche Mara Camp

  • Located in the Mara North Conservancy.
  • 9 tents overlooking the Olare Orok stream and the western escarpment of the valley.
  • Spacious en-suite bathroom with hot water.
  • Lounge with comfortable seating, a library and Wi-Fi.
  • Lighting is supplied 24 hours with charging facilities in each tent.

Kicheche Valley Camp

Kicheche Valley Camp

  • Located in the Naboisho Conservancy.
  • 6 large tents, set on wooden platforms.
  • En-suite bathroom with running solar heated water. 
  • Central dining and lounge area with stunning views as well as Wi-Fi.
  • Lighting is supplied 24 hours with charging facilities in each tent.

The accommodation shown has been booked and agreed in advance, however we may need to make changes to a property of similar or higher standard after you have booked. While we will endeavour to inform you of any changes in advance which could, on rare occasions, be at late notice.

Kicheche Camps
Kicheche Camps
Kicheche Camps
Kicheche Camps
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for private group trips:
020 3885 9103
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:
020 8772 3936
Call for private group trips:
020 3885 9103
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

  • Reviewed March 2022

    All expectations exceeded and some

    This was a much anticipated trip - 4th time lucky and it was absolutely worth waiting for. Kicheche camps, the guides James, Dickson, Sarumi, Johnson, Bernard and Eliud were all excellent. They found us elusive leopards and cheetahs and got the vehicles into the best positions for photographs. Paul was an inspirational lead - pushing us to go for something different in our pictures and ensuring we had the basic camera settings correct. Just don't ask him what ISO to use or wax lyrical about the stunning vista. Kicheche camps and the conservancies are something special - they're very connected with local communities, the wildlife aren't "hassled" by lots of vehicles crammed full of people. As a guest Kicheche felt very respectful of the local area and we were also wonderfully looked after - amazing food from game drive breakfasts, delicious lunches and dinners at the camp and sundowners in the bush, comfortable tents and communal areas all with stunning views and the odd elephant just walking by. It was my first safari but some people in my group of 7 guests had been many times and I can see why.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The game drives - seeing leopards and cheetahs close up - unphased by the vehicles and just going about their business. I thought we had been incredibly lucky with the drives we had and what we saw but no the guides really are excellent at finding even the most elusive of animals. Inspirational moments include cheetah cubs playing under our vehicles, a leopard and her cub coming down from a tree with their kill and a cheetah fending off a lioness to protect her cubs. For me the photography coaching - learning how to take photographs of weaver birds for example was a huge highlight of the trip and not something you would get on any other safari.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    All of the guides and Paul Goldstein were excellent. Paul knows what he is doing and will push you to get the most out of the experience and your photographs which is exactly what you want from a trip like this. Paul, the guides and camp staff all work incredibly hard to make this the most amazing experience - you can immerse yourself in the safari and know that all the fiddly bits and pieces like PCR tests, early pick ups etc are all being sorted.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you are keen to develop your photographic skills or want to experience a very special safari experience then this is the perfect trip. Be aware, though, it may ruin you for any other safari.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I extended my trip with 5 nights in Zanzibar at Fumba Beach Lodge which was the perfect place for being indulgently lazy or having an explore. I was picked up from the airport by Kassim Mbonde (he worked with the local operators who liaise with Exodus) and he was happy to act as my guide whilst in Zanzibar. As a first time visitor and solo traveller I was very happy to take him up on this offer and two excellent days exploring the island - Stone Town, Spice Tour, Jozani forest for Red Colobus monkeys and Mnemba Island for snorkelling and swimming with dolphin (an amazing first time experience). I felt very safe with Kassim and looked out for and got to explore parts of the island I wouldn't have been able to otherwise. If you are able to I would definitely recommend a Zanzibar extension.
  • Reviewed October 2019
    Janet Hoptroff

    A Very Special Safari

    My first Safari, and every day a new magical experience… photographing wildlife. It really was exciting and a privilege to be in close proximity with so many different animals in this wild beautiful conservancy (and with few other tourists around).

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    To be allowed to share the home of these incredible animals in the company of Wildlife and Photography experts Paul Goldstein and Chris Packham really was ‘something very special’… and inspirational.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Paul Goldstein and Chris Packham, our leaders, are Wildlife and Photography experts and inspired us to take brilliant photographs… They gave some great advice on achieving that ‘special’ shot.. They were delightful company, helpful and full of suggestions to help us improve our photographic skills. They made the holiday very special.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you love Wildlife and photography, this is the Safari for you! Go and experience this fantastic trip, the magic of the animals (there are so many to see) and the comfort and fantastic food of the Bush Camp.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It really was exciting and a privilege to be in close proximity with so many different animals in this wild beautiful conservancy (and with few other tourists around).
  • Reviewed January 2019
    Eric Bradley

    Kenyan safari @ Kicheche

    This was an excellent trip, full of amazing wildlife and beautiful scenery. The accommodation, food and facilities were also top notch, as were all the staff. I cannot fault this trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It was all good but watching cheetah, lion and leopard cubs playing (not together, I might add!) were definite highlights.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The guides are amazing and know their environment supremely well. Paul, the group leader, was excellent as usual and needs no further plaudits from me.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared to eat a lot of excellent food.
  • Reviewed January 2019
    Robert Ordidge

    Inspired by the inspired.

    My latest trip to the Masai Mara was as good as all the others. Each trip and each day of every trip are different. New and different animals and birds to photograph and new situations and interactions.There is so much variety that you never know what is around the next corner.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Watching the big cats and their young ones interacting with each other. Yes good photographs but also memories of just watching them playing with each other in family groups and the affection shown by the mothers. I am describing lions, cheetahs and leopards. My impression was that the population of the big cats has increased since my last visit in 2016.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Paul Goldstein is different from other leaders of wildlife photographers. Can be rude and charming at the same time, but never spiteful. He gets in the way when photographing but probably because he instinctively seems to know what is going to happen before it does happen. He also seems to get better pictures. You travel with him because of his passion and knowledge for photographing wildlife. However it is not just about Paul. He has a very, very good team supporting him, the drivers in particular. They know the country. I am pleased that Paul frequently asks for their advice.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Wildlife photography demands being in the right place at the right time. This means that you need to know the ways and thoughts of your subject. Sometimes you need to sit and wait and watch. Always travel with a dedicated group of people and that applies to the other members of your group. If photography is your aim then go with fellow photographers.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I will be going back to the Masai Mara.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    alan watts

    jonathan scott safari

    outstanding in every way. kicheche camp just superb - accommodation, service, friendliness and food all as good as it can get. hard work though getting up at 5.15 every day and being out till 6.30 in the evening. no issue though - that's what we signed up for. our drivers / guides were absolutely top notch and really great to be with.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    just all the wildlife, scenery, colour and open spaces. the maasai village part made the trip very special.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    brian from canon just great

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    not really

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    yes. given the distance and cost, i think it would be great to offer optional 'add on' package(s) at the end, e.g. 2 days in nairobi or a beach just to relax / learn something more about the country. this trip is intensive and tiring and you need a bit of r&r before going straight home.
  • Reviewed July 2018
    Christopher Bruce

    Kicheche Bush Camp

    Absolutely brilliant safari. Paul Goldstein and the local guides went out of their way to ensure we had the best experience. The camp itself was superb and the food was the best we've had on any trip. The camp managers, Darren & Emma, were very friendly and welcoming and added to the overall experience. We would happily go back tomorrow.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The number of big cat sightings, which was due to the spotting skills and patience of the guides.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Paul Goldstein is a legend. Inspirational and great fun, you learn so much just from being with him.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Get on the next plane out. You won't regret it.
  • Reviewed April 2018
    Cheryl Morris

    Leopards, leopards and yet more leopards - with cubs

    Another amazing week in the Masai Mara. Don't be afraid to go during the "rainy season". We had so many top quality sightings of leopards with cubs, lions with cubs, a cheetah kill and a new born elephant. Of course this cannot be guaranteed but we had very good fortune as well as maxing the time out searching for photographic opportunities. The guides were excellent and worked hard to get us into the best position for photos, whilst respecting the animals and ensuring they weren't disturbed by our presence. Lovely food and comfy tents - hot water bottles in our beds and in the jeeps were well-received.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Spending quality time with a new-born elephant who was learning to walk and suckle and very playful leopard cubs

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Paul Goldstein - you can read all about him in other reviews. Without doubt, you won't find a more hardworking guide, determined to maximise your experience

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Brace yourself for getting up around 5am and not returning to camp until 19.30 - every day. This safari isn't for wimps.
  • Reviewed April 2018
    Cheryl Morris

    Leopards, leopards and yet more leopards - with cubs

    Another amazing week in the Masai Mara. Don't be afraid to go during the "rainy season". We had so many top quality sightings of leopards with cubs, lions with cubs, a cheetah kill and a new born elephant. Of course this cannot be guaranteed but we had very good fortune as well as maxing the time out searching for photographic opportunities. The guides were excellent and worked hard to get us into the best position for photos, whilst respecting the animals and ensuring they weren't disturbed by our presence. Lovely food and comfy tents - hot water bottles in our beds and in the jeeps were well-received.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Spending quality time with a new-born elephant who was learning to walk and suckle and very playful leopard cubs

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Paul Goldstein - you can read all about him in other reviews. Without doubt, you won't find a more hardworking guide, determined to maximise your experience

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Brace yourself for getting up around 5am and not returning to camp until 19.30 - every day. This safari isn't for wimps.
  • Reviewed February 2018
    Haydn Adams

    An unbeatable wildlife photographic experience .......................

    I had done the same trip once before when I barely knew how to use my camera. Six years on I felt I could fare much better and I wanted to put myself to the test. This wildlife safari gave me every opportunity I needed to exercise my skills. Fantastic wildlife viewing under the tutelage of an internationally renown expert in a wonderful environment.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were several incredible wildlife experiences, one of which was to follow a leopard and her cub for nearly two entire days. But if I had to single out just one incident it was a stand-off between approximately twenty inquisitive giraffe and a completely unfazed cheetah. Paul, our leader, said that never before during his extensive career had he seen anything quite like it - and photographs of the event made into the UK national press.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Paul is an expert in his field and he sets very high standards while constantly providing helpful advice and feedback. As I think the trip notes indicate, this is not a trip for the faint hearted. But Paul and his team of highly skilled drivers know how to get you into exactly the right place at the right time to capture those incredible wildlife moments. Paul is also an amazing raconteur. During quieter moments out in the field the time is filled with interesting anecdotes or amusing stories and it is exactly the same over lunch and dinner. Paul is an excellent group leader.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This trip delivers exactly what is indicated in its title. This is a photographic safari and it is best suited to those fully familiar with their photographic equipment. If your main goal is to see as many animals as possible, stopping for every zebra, impala and other animal on the plain, you might prefer to look elsewhere. If you want the opportunity to take spectacular wildlife photographs then this is the trip for you. But patience is required. Long hours are spent out in the field and there are inevitably periods of relative inactivity, sitting in vehicles parked out in the African sun, waiting for that special moment. But, believe me, the results are well worth the time and the effort invested.
  • 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!

Dates & Prices

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An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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