Tailor-Made Holiday

Laikipia and Mara Photographic Safari

9 days

from £5,995pp

Set out on a photographic safari through the heart of wild Kenya. Capture the best of Africa’s wildlife on camera, in private conservancies, with exclusive use of a vehicle and guide. Fly between Laikipia and the Masai Mara, spending time at luxurious tented camps.

  • Photograph Africa’s most elusive animals in their natural habitat staying at the reknowned Kicheche Camps
  • Take advantage of exclusive-use vehicles with accompanying guides
  • Track lions across the plains of Laikipia and visit the last surviving northern white rhinos
  • Have the chance to take a sunrise balloon ride over the vast Masai Mara

the best local photographic Guides in kenya

The guides on this trip are all a minimum of silver standard as per the Kenya Professional Safari Guides Association grading system. They have all been trained in dealing with the needs of photographers on safari and have spent long hours training on vehicle approach, positioning and the importance of lighting. Just as important is that Kicheche’s guides have all received training on how to actually take good wildlife photos themselves and many have become keen and talented photographers. This could explain why many pro photographers choose Kicheche above other camps in Kenya when on assignment:

“Patrick at Kicheche is one of the finest specialist photographic guides on the entire continent, he certainly is the finest I have ever worked with!”

Greg du Toit – Winner of BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year, 2013

VEHICLEs customised for photographic safaris

Safaris will be taken in Toyota Land Cruisers that have been built around the needs of the photographer, with an open roof, super-wide window frames and bean bags as standard with camera platforms available on request.

LAIKIPIA

Begin this wildlife-focussed trip in Ol Pejeta Conservancy, in Laikipia. Stay at the intimate Laikipia Kicheche Camp, which lies between a dense indigenous forest and popular waterhole. Explore the plains, canyons and valleys of this private reserve in search of black rhinos, elephants, buffalos, giraffes, lions, cheetahs and more.

Located on the equator, this protected ecosystem is particularly renowned for its sizeable rhino population, which passed the 100 mark in 2013.  Close up encounters with animals, big and small, are exceptionally likely, whilst night drives allow for nocturnal exploration and tracking.

The Ol Pejeta Conservancy is not just bursting with wildlife; it also abounds with possibilities. Track collared lions as they stalk their prey, take bush walks through the reserve’s intriguing landscapes, visit the last surviving population of northern white rhinos, canoe quietly across sheltered waters and mountain bike over pristine landscapes.

MASAI MARA

From Laikipia, fly to the famous Mara, home to one of the most fascinating wildlife phenomena – the annual migration of wildebeests. Here, stay in the beautiful Olare Motorogi Conservancy, which offers uncrowded, exclusive wildlife viewing. Again make use of private vehicles and guides; head out to track down the myriad of animals that hunt or forage on the plains of the Mara.

Take advantage of this outstanding natural environment and set out on foot to explore the conservancy. Bush walks offer a more intimate, more natural experience, which can be enhanced by a night fly camping in the bush. Alternatively, take to the air at dawn and float across this infatuating landscape as wild animals wander noiselessly below. Land to a champagne breakfast amidst the natural wonders of Olare Motorogi.

WHY WE LIKE IT

Wildlife encounters abound throughout both conservancies, but the exclusive nature of this trip means that photographers can make the most of them. Private vehicles afford a flexibility that can be invaluable, whilst the protected nature of the conservancies makes for incredible, uninterrupted encounters. Both camps cater expertly to the demands of photographers offering complete flexibility, with game drives having no fixed length or schedule. 

 

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

  Click here to see what is included/excluded

what is included

  • International flights
  • Internal flights
  • All accommodation and meals as stated in the itinerary
  • All transfers

what is excluded

  • Travel insurance
  • Gratuities

PLEASE NOTE THE ABOVE FLIGHT COST IS A SUGGESTED FROM PRICE. FLIGHT COSTS WILL BE CONFIRMED AT TIME OF BOOKING. ALL FLIGHTS ARE ATOL PROTECTED.

Itinerary at a glance

Collapse all
Day 1

Fly London to Amsterdam

Fly Amsterdam to Nairobi overnight

Day 2

Transfer to Wilson Airport

Travel from Nairobi to Laikipia (Air Transfer Journey)


Stretching from the rim of the Great Rift Valley to Mount Kenya, the Laikipia Plateau offers a truly great safari experience for those who want to get away from the crowds and into a remote and untouched slice of Africa. From desert plains to the wild shores of Lake Turkana, the area has a wide range of landscapes from high plains to low forested valleys. Home to more endangered species than anywhere else in East Africa, this is the place to see African wild dog and enjoy a rugged and dramatic wilderness experience.


Transfer to Laikipia Kicheche Camp


Photographic safari - afternoon game drive
This afternoon, meet your guide over tea and cake before heading out on the first safari of the trip, exploring the game rich plains around camp. Kicheche's guides are all a minimum of silver standard as per the Kenya Professional Safari Guides Association grading system. They have all been trained in dealing with the needs of photographers on safari and have spent long hours training on vehicle approach, positioning and the importance of lighting. Just as important is that Kicheche's guides have all received training on how to actually take good wildlife photos themselves and many have become keen and talented photographers. This could explain why many pro photographers choose Kicheche above other camps in Kenya when on assignment:

"Patrick at Kicheche is one of the finest specialist photographic guides on the entire continent, he certainly is the finest I have ever worked with!"

Greg du Toit - Winner of BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year, 2013


You will be staying at Kicheche Laikipia Camp

Day 3

Several days of photographic safaris
It would be against the ethos of a photographic safari to set in stone, a day-by-day itinerary. Clinical schedules are pointless, as they do not allow for the capricious nature of wildlife. On this holiday, the approach will be reactive to allow the wildlife to dictate the schedule. For example, if the guides have heard that a cheetah with cubs has been seen close by, the focus for the day's safari will be on getting magnificent photographs of cheetah. Likewise, if news that the local lion pride has been active on the nearby plains, the safari will stay closer to home, looking for lions to photograph.

As well as big cats, Ol Pejeta is a great place to photograph black rhinos, elephants, buffalos and giraffes. The conservancy is also home to a number of unusual and endangered species such as Grevy's Zebra and Jackson's hartebeest. Wild dogs are also seen on the open plains.

Other activities that can be arranged include tracking collared lions, a visit to the Ol Pejeta Chimpanzee Sanctuary, canoeing close to the camp and mountain biking in the conservancy. For an additional cost, a visit to see the last surviving white rhinos, which live in a nearby enclosure, can be organised.


You will be staying at Kicheche Laikipia Camp

Day 4

Today, perhaps set out early on a bush walk for the opportunity to practise macro photography


You will be staying at Kicheche Laikipia Camp

Day 5

Transfer to Nanyuki Airstrip

Travel from Laikipia to Masai Mara (Air Transfer Journey)


The Masai Mara is an iconic safari destination. Famous for countless wildlife documentaries the wildlife viewing here remains the best in Africa. Over the course of a few days here, it is quite possible to see almost every animal indigenous to the region, with notable highlights being the well-established prides of big cats and the annual migration of zebra and wildebeest, one of the world's most spectacular wildlife events. There is always something to see here and every month can offer spectacular wildlife drama - the open plains and endless skies are a photographers dream. Adjoining the Serengeti in Tanzania and forming the northern end of the great migration ecosystem, this is the traditional land of the Maasai people and a visit here also offers a chance to encounter this nomadic tribe who offer a fascinating cultural dimension to the area. Everybody has an opinon on the Mara, but it still remains the best place in Africa for consistently superb big game viewing and should not be missed.


Transfer to Kicheche Bush Camp


Photographic safari - afternoon game drive
Having taken afternoon tea and met with your guide, take a game drive exploring Mara North Conservancy. There is no need to travel far from camp as the wildlife is prolific all around the conservancy. While the skill of your guide is of paramount importance so is the game-drive vehicle. Safaris will be taken in Toyota Land Cruisers built around the needs of the photographer, with an open roof, super-wide window frames and bean bags as standard with camera platforms available on request.


You will be staying at Kicheche Bush Camp

Day 6

Several days of photographic safaris
Over the next few days expect the following in no particular order.

Full day safari:

Explore Mara North Conservancy where you can expect to see a multitude of game. With a picnic breakfast and a packed lunch on board, there will be no constraints on the amount of time spent out on the plains, photographing wildlife. Kicheche's guides know the best places in the Mara to avoid the crowds to ensure uninterrupted, hassle free wildlife spotting.

Full morning game drive with bush breakfast on the Mara River:

The adage of 'the early bird catches the worm' has never been truer than when on safari and you can expect early morning starts on this trip. Not only is the early morning light unbeatable for photography, but the animals are far more active when it is cooler first thing in the morning (especially lions). Getting out there early will increase the chances of seeing the wildlife at its most active. The early starts will also be rewarded by a delicious bush breakfast overlooking one of the many hippo pools found on the Mara river or under a Balanites tree, looking out across the seemingly never ending Mara plains.

Afternoon safari:

Wait for the heat of the day to subside and head out in search of big cats as they emerge from their day time slumbers. If there is a particular animal you are keen on photographing then talk to your guide and he will tailor the game drive accordingly. The beauty of a late afternoon drive is the soft light and of course the day's final showpiece - the sunset. The Masai Mara's sunsets are legendary and your guide will know the best places to capture the best shots of this phenomenon. Try and find time to put your camera down in order to slurp on an ice-cool sundowner.


You will be staying at Kicheche Bush Camp

Day 7

You will be staying at Kicheche Bush Camp

Day 8

Early Morning Hot Air Ballon Ride (Optional)
Take off at sunrise and float quietly across the beautiful landscape of the Masai Mara. Spot wildlife on the plains below, as the golden warmth of the early morning sun spills out over the national park. Set down after an hour to be greeted by a champagne breakfast. This activity requires pre-booking and incurs an additional cost.


Late departure from camp. Transfer to Mara Airstrip.

fly Mara to Wilson


Transfer to Nairobi Airport with the option to have dinner (at own expense) en route.

Fly Nairobi to Amsterdam overnight


You will be staying at Kicheche Bush Camp

Day 9

Fly Amsterdam to London

Accommodation

Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

Kicheche Bush Camp

Kicheche Bush Camp

One of the smallest properties in the Kicheche portfolio, this classic, intimate tented camp is fresh, open and bright....

View Accommodation

Kicheche Laikipia Camp

Kicheche Laikipia Camp

Kicheche Laikipia is an intimate and classic camp in the heart of the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, overlooking an active waterhole and the friendly staff and excellent guides makes this camp a firm favourite....

View Accommodation

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Destination Experts

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Chris Johnston, Travel Expert

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"Excellent personal service; well-informed local knowledge; dependable outcome; quality of experience."

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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