GUIDES: Kyle de Nobrega and Ruth Nussbaum
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The Mara River - A place where wildlife meets conflict: in its millions. The migration is a constant dynamic. But at one point during the cycle, a major obstacle stands in the way of the momentum. At first it causes a stutter and a pause, but then the surge comes, and millions of animals cross the Mara River in one of the most spectacular wildlife scenes on earth. C4 has reserved a small, intimate and private camp in the heart of the action in perhaps the best time of year to see this phenomenon.
This year marks C4 Photo Safaris tenth consecutive year leading photo safaris in the Masai Mara. We have always believed in leading from the front and so for our 2017 season we have arranged that Jonathan Scott will visit each of our safaris for one full day of the safari. You will be hosted by this legendary wildlife photographer of the Mara who have spent 40 years working here studying the ecosystem and the big cats.
Jonathan and Angela are the only couple to have both won the overall BBC wildlife photographer of the year award; they have written numerous books on the Mara and have produced many TV shows. The most well known being BBC’s Big Cat Diaries which was a worldwide success.
Jonathan will join us on each of our 2017 Mara Safaris to share his love of the Mara, inspire, educate and present talks on conservation to us in what is essentially, his home.
During their visit, you will have an unprecedented opportunity to enjoy time with one of the Masai Mara’s largest stars, learning from his experiences, sharing his company and being inspired by an extremely passionate and amazing individual.
We all know that the Mara is home to the ‘greatest show on earth’. So C4 decided to run the best photo safari we could muster in the heart of the greatest show. Its simple really - find a camp in the middle of the action, book it for 9 photographers with the best photo camp operator in the business and then have C4’s professional photographers personally guide you whilst on safari. Between the C4 guides there are more than 30 seasons in the Mara and they have mapped their own special places and secret spots, which they will share with you while driving around. The Mara is a very large system and much of the conventional tourist traffic concentrates on a small section of the river. There is so much to see and photograph and with the knowledgeable C4 professional wildlife photographers as your guides, you will always have the best positions available. You will be taken to the far-flung corners of the Masai Mara, you will not only get to experience the migration, but also the beauty, freedom and wilderness of one of Africa’s greatest ecosystems.
On this safari, there will be 3 vehicles with a maximum of 3 clients per long wheeled based vehicle, ensuring that everyone has ample room to photograph from. Brackets, braces and clamps can be fixed onto the rails on the vehicles for tripod heads and flash brackets. Everything is designed to aid your photographic enjoyment. There will be two C4 Photo guides rotating between the three vehicles.
C4 Photo Safaris, in the interest of your photographic excellence have negotiated a camp right in the heart of the action, in the middle of the Mara. This camp has a major Wildebeest crossing right in front of it, so you may be lucky to have a crossing while enjoying lunch one day!
- The camp is inside the Masai Mara reserve with a view of a main crossing point.
- You are within 10 minutes from the main crossing points and 20 minutes from the other crossing points. Many camps are at least 60 minutes from these central areas.
- The position of the camp is within the two main rivers- the Talek and Mara rivers, meaning easy and fast access to the most productive game viewing areas.
- C4’s wildlife photographers who know the Masai Mara eco system exceptionally well will personally guide you.
- Our driver guides have been working with C4 Photo Safaris for 10 years now. They have an excellent knowledge of working with C4 Photo groups and can anticipate positions excellently.
- No gate restrictions or racing for the gate during the best hours of light. (All gates close at 18h30, and as most camps are outside the reserve, vehicles must leave the reserve) Our camp is inside the Mara.
- We will have 3 x Land Cruisers for our use. There will be 3 photographers per vehicle. Non-photographers can share the same bench as the photographer, or sit in the front seat. 9 clients are the maximum we will accommodate on the safari.
- The camp is a permanent tent camp- tents have flush toilets and hot water showers.
- There is a battery bank and silent generator for charging batteries and laptops.
- The camp has a studio tent with 2 iMacs for help in downloading your images as well as many plug points for charging your batteries.
- Jonathan and Angie Scott will be joining each group for one full day of your visit. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet, learn from and be inspired by two of the legends of the Masai Mara.
- For each tour, we have organised a minibus that will take our cargo luggage from the Serena hotel in Nairobi to the Camp and back again upon return. This alleviates the weights restrictions in the below point.
- The entire weight limit for the internal flight is 15kg. This is strictly enforced by SafariLink.
- We have provided the transport for the cargo luggage to the Camp. It is up to you to ensure you are within the limits for the internal flights. You will be liable for any excess weight.
- There are camera support bags in the camp. If you would like to bring your own bag to fill with rice or sand, we will provide rice.
- For all arrival transfers there will be a sign “C4 Photo Safaris” typed on a name board that the driver will hold up.
- It is very important to get your yellow fever injection and certificate. It should be done no later then 2 weeks before your trip. It is valid for 10 years, so if you have had one done, you should just remember to bring the certificate.
- On all our tours we may ask participants to rotate seats in the vehicles, taking it in turn to sit in the more popular seats in the front and the less popular ones in the rear. This requirement applies to everyone. If there is some reason why you can’t take your turn in the back of a vehicle (e.g. a bad back or travel sickness) please inform our office at the time of booking to see if we can accommodate you. We regret that anyone failing to inform us of such limitations before the tour will be expected to rotate seats in the same way as everyone else.
Nairobi Serena Hotel, Kenya
Arrive in Kenya’s capital of Nairobi in the early afternoon. A 45-minute road transfer will take you to the African elegance of the Nairobi Serena Hotel. You will spend the evening in the lush and open surrounds of the Serena Hotel. One of Nairobi’s original hotels, this hotel has all the comforts of the past with the convenience of the modern era: The perfect place to relax for the evening. Your C4 Photo Safari guide will make contact with you at the hotel to arrange dinner for the photography group and discuss the logistics of the following morning
Day 2 - 8
Entim Private Camp, Masaai Mara
We depart for the Masai Mara for the 10am scheduled flight and touchdown at Ol-Kiombo Airstrip after a short 1-hour flight. From there we are transferred by road to our camp situated in the Mara. You will be staying in a classic East African style safari camp consisting of canvas tents, staffed by local Maasai. You will have en-suite bathrooms with flush loos, flowing water and hot showers. While traditional, the camp is comfortable with large beds and private verandah’s. In the afternoon we will sample one of Africa’s greatest ecosystems.
For these five full days, we will focus on showing you the best of the Masai Mara and this will include tracking the migration and getting to the heart of the action. You will be taken out each morning in first light. We will have Toyota Land Cruiser vehicles with roof top hatches and large windows from which to photograph. Each client will have their own row in the vehicle with open windows and hatch, ensuring that everyone has ample room to photograph from. Brackets, braces and clamps can be fixed onto the rails on the vehicles for tripod heads and flash brackets. Everything is designed to aid your photographic enjoyment.
Depending on how and where the migration is moving, we might spend whole days in the reserve taking a picnic lunch along with us. We will find the best crossing points on the Mara River and spend pleasant hours watching the wildebeest mass on the banks with hungry crocs waiting below. If we are patient enough and fortune favours us, we will witness a wildebeest crossing, arguably the most spectacular wildlife event on the planet. Beside the actual visual spectacle, the noise of the crossing is something that will never be forgotten. Besides tracking and following the migration, we will search for as many predators as possible,including cheetah, as the great plains are home to these majestic cats. You will also enjoy unfamiliar sights of general game such as Topi standing aloft termite mounds and tiny shy dik dik’s going about their daily routine. The Mara also houses some of the largest buffalo bulls on the continent and a huge density of raptors. A special for birders, amongst others, is the large and relatively common Rupell’s griffon.
Our time in the Masai Mara will not just be about the wildlife though. We will take you to seldom-visited parts of the ecosystem and indeed right up to the southern boundary where the Masai Mara and Serengeti adjoin. Here, there is little human traffic, and we will enjoy the peace and quiet of the great plains as well as some private game viewing. This element of our safari is unique as most safari operators concentrate all their efforts on the river but we feel that by combining superb game viewing with a wilderness experience, we will offer our guests the very best of the Masai Mara.
The evenings will be spent sitting around the campfire and dining on excellent camp cuisine. As the coals die down, the warm camp beds beckon and everyone retires to bed. The aim of this photo safari is to help you take amazing photographs and improve your own photography, no matter what level of photographer you are. The C4 photo guides will help you and during the safari will also present a series of photo critiques, lightroom and other slide show sessions in the evenings. These are always immensely popular and helps our clients gain some insight into the skill levels and experience of our guides- who easily impart their knowledge to you.
Should you have any other specific requirements, you are welcome to ask for your guides expert advice.
After a last morning game drive, we return to camp for a hearty brunch before departing to the airstrip at 12h00 where we return to Nairobi. A transfer back to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport/your hotel concludes the safari. Most of the international flights depart in the early evening and this fits with most connections. This is unfortunately the end of the tour and another special package from C4 Photo Safaris.
Justly famed for its exceptional standards of efficiency, service and five-star hospitality, the elegantly sophisticated Nairobi Serena is a member of the Leading Hotels of the World group and is consistently voted ‘Best Hotel in Nairobi' by airlines and international travel magazines alike. Despite its pivotal central location, the Serena Nairobi hotel remains true to its title and offers an oasis of serenity amidst the bustle of one of Africa's most vibrant capital cities.
Entim Private Explorer Camp
C4 Images and Safaris has negotiated a private bush camp right near very close to Entim camp that we used in 2009/10.jpgs camp is situated in a forested area looking directly over a wildebeest crossing point on the Mara River. We will have the whole camp to ourselves, be far removed from other tourist areas and lodges yet still in the heart of the action.jpg tents are large luxury accommodation, with en-suite bathrooms and flush toilets. You will need to learn the phrase "duo maji moto", or "two hot waters" for your two hot water evening buckets for your shower.jpgs is the classic Hemingway styled safari. No luxury is spared, yet you are as far removed form any tourism, as Hemingway was. With your own view of the Mara River, there is no better place to be in the Masai Mara. Meals, prepared in traditional East African safari style by the camp chef, are taken in the large Mess Tent or under the stars. There will be a generator with battery bank to charge laptops and batteries.jpgentral tent will be the area from which to download and edit photographs during the quiet hours of the day or after your day's safari.
Picnic lunches can be taken on longer game drives and enjoyed al fresc while out exploring this vast and diverse area. Early evenings can be enjoyed over sundowner drinks in discreetly selected spots away from camp; or after a game drive and hot shower, around the campfire. The dining area offers a more intimate setting for our delicious home-cooked meals. We have a selection of house wines from the famous wineries of South Africa. Bread, cakes and pastries are all baked in camp, while fresh produce is flown in regularly. We aim to produce healthy, balanced and enticing menus, and are happy to cater to your individual requirements. If you wish you can dine privately on your own verandah, whilst enjoying the personal service of our helpful, well-trained staff.
Arrive in Kenya's capital of Nairobi in the early afternoon. A 45-minute road transfer will take you to the African elegance of the Serena hotel.
We depart for the Masai Mara at 10am on a scheduled flight. Touchdown at Ol-Kiombo Airstrip after a short 1-hour flight. From there we are transferred by road to our base camp situated in the actual Mara itself.
Day 3 - 7
Out in the Mara each morning at first light.
Depart to be at the airstrip at 12h00 where we return to Nairobi. A transfer back to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport concludes the safari. Most of the international flights depart in the early evening and this fits with most connections.
$6 600.00 per person sharing
$7 700.00 per single supplement
30% deposit confirms your booking
Maximum of 9 clients. There will be 3 vehicles with max 3 clients per long wheeled based vehicle. There will be two C4 Guides that will rotate between the three vehicles.
The above costs include
- Meet and pick up from JKIA Airport and transported to Hotel.
- All Internal flights to and from the Masai Mara.
- All road transfers between destinations and airports.
- Entrance and accommodation (2 persons per tent) to the reserve.
- All park fees.
- All meals.
- Personally guided drives by professional wildlife photographers.
- Game activities.
- The services two of our guides.
- 1 night at Serena Hotel with full board.
- Exclusive use of three vehicles.
- Baggage drop off and pick up from Mara.
- Soft Drinks and Alcoholic drinks (Excluding Premium brands).
The above costs don't include
- Gratuities to staff and guides.
- Extra activities not included- ie hot air balloons.
- Personal expenses.
- Travel insurance.
- Travel visas.
Costs and booking
To book this safari, please e-mail us or book online on C4 Images and Safaris