Masai Mara Private Photo Safari
Your own custom made African photo safari
Book a custom made private African photo safari visiting our camp in the heart of the Masai Mara. I host bespoke tours to Kenya’s Masai Mara for one person up to groups of six people for any length of time you desire. We can accommodate one person for two nights staying in the Masai Mara, or six people for two weeks or more, or anywhere in between.
With a private photo safari you can:
- Choose when you want to go – any time of the year
- Choose how long you want to go for – as many days as you like
- Choose who you want to go with – any number up to six people
- Choose your budget to fit – larger groups can reduce the cost significantly
The benefit of private safaris is that you only share with people you know, so if there’s just you and a partner, or a group of you, then you have only their company. As the name says, this is a private safari.
Options and Costs
The cost of a private safari is dependent on the number of people and the duration of your safari.
Example quotes which include all options (see below) and travelling between January and July 2013:
5 day itinerary for 2 people = $3700 (£2,393 / €2,796) per person sharing.
5 day itinerary for 4 people = $2600 (£1,682 / €1,965) per person sharing.
5 day itinerary for 6 people = $2300 (£1,488 / €1,738) per person sharing.
7 day itinerary for 2 people = $5200 (£3,363 / €3,930) per person sharing.
7 day itinerary for 4 people = $3800 (£2,458 / €2,872) per person sharing.
7 day itinerary for 6 people = $3300 (£2,134 / €2,494) per person sharing.
For a quote, please indicate the number of people in your party, number of nights you require, and approximate dates in your email to me at ten.dyolldivadnull@divad
Bookings can be secured with a $500/£300 deposit per person.
Payments for all safaris are made through Steppes Discovery which means you have the financial protection of booking through a registered tour operator.
Your money is 100% safe and if one of our suppliers goes bust, your money is fully protected.
Steppes Discovery can also book flights on your behalf for full financial protection.
Please see our terms and conditions here.
About custom made private safaris
Our camp is set up in the heart of the Masai Mara. We’ll see and photograph elephant, leopard, lion and cheetah and if we’re lucky, black rhino. There’s also every chance we’ll see a full crossing during the migration season.
Private safaris are for photographers of all levels, inexperienced and experienced alike. We also welcome non-photographing companions too. Our aim of our safaris is to help people take better wildlife pictures. We provide tuition and tips, and aim to bring you to speed early on so that you’ll be taking better wildlife pictures long before the tour ends. We will also offer tuition to those wishing to learn about image processing using Photoshop or Lightroom at camp.
We have a number of features on offer specifically for wildlife photography:
- Luxury camp in the heart of the Masai Mara
- Prime location inside the reserve – close to the main wildebeest crossing points
- Two photographers per vehicle – or three per six seat vehicle
- Ground transportation for luggage – we alleviate your flight weight restriction worries
Our camp at Entim is a luxury camp with eight large Meru style tents with full bathroom facilities and solar powered electricity. There is ample facility for charging batteries during the mealtimes and evenings. The camp is situated right on one of the main crossing points of the Mara River. And the food is wonderful!
You can view more about Entim Camp with additional pictures here.
Our camp is located inside the reserve, close to the action with quick access to the main river crossing points. In fact the camp is located right in front of one of the main crossing points, you can witness wildebeest crossings from the confines of camp and away from the other tourist traffic found elsewhere.
For photography, we will provide a whole row of seats for each photographer, thus providing ample scope, space and flexibility for photography. For the 4x4s normally seating four people, we will seat only two per vehicle, and for the 4x4s seating six, we seat three. Beanbags are provided in each vehicle as is a provision to clamp tripod heads on the roof as well.
There is no other place in Africa which boasts the density of wildlife than that of the Masai Mara. It is a photographers dream, and together with this, the peak of the migration season, we will be treated to the 1.5 million wildebeests, zebra, giraffe, and of course the Masai Mara’s big cats. Fingers’ crossed we’ll see a lion kill or cheetah chase or even black rhino. Unforgetable too is the sunrises and sunsets that the Mara is famous for. We will also visit the Marsh Pride of lions, made famous by the BBC’s Big Cat Diary.
Lightroom and Photoshop Tuition
On request we will also offer basic group or one-to-one image processing tuition (at no extra cost) in either Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop. We can cover post the processing techniques that we use, including both colour and black and white treatments.
Because the internal flights into the Mara are on smaller aircraft (seating up to 37) there is a strict weight restriction on luggage of only 15kg. Photographers typically carry weights far in access of this, so we’re providing transportation of all or some of your luggage to the camp by road as well as on the aircraft. This normally takes 4-6 hours but it will arrive at camp by the time we set out for the first afternoon drive.
We offer two additional excursions which are optional: enjoy a balloon ride at sunrise with a champagne breakfast over the plains of the Masai Mara or visit a nearby Maasai village (both optional, costs extra).
Day 1: We are picked up from Nairobi Airport on arrival by our driver and onto the EKA Hotel in Nairobi where we will all meet and introduce ourselves.
Day 2: At 10:00am we transfer to Wilson Airport some fifteen minutes away to where we take a 45 minute a flight to our camp in the Masai Mara. We will arrive in time for a camp welcome and introduction, lunch and embark on our first afternoon drive at 3:30. At about 6:00 we return to camp to relax in front of the boma (camp fire) and dinner afterwards at about 7:30-8:00.
Day 3: This is our first full day in the Mara. Morning drives begin at 6:00 am and continue until about midday or longer, depending on animal activity that day. This will include a break for some 45 minutes for a light breakfast and refreshment. Then it’s back to camp for lunch and rest. Then at 3:30 we head out for a late afternoon drive returning at sunset at about 6:00. That evening we can relax in front of the boma (camp fire) with dinner afterwards at about 7:30-8:00.
Additional Days: As day 3.
Last Day: We have time for a three hour morning drive before returning to camp at 9:00 for breakfast then at 11:00 am we’ll catch our return flight to Nairobi. For the remainder of that afternoon and evening we can just relax at the EKA Hotel by the pool or at the bar before transfer to Nairobi Airport for our international flights home.
What people have said
I can’t recommend David’s trip highly enough. I got a stunning set of images in just a short visit. It takes a lot to tempt me back to somewhere I’ve been to before – no matter how good, but I do hope to return again with David, if not in 2012 then definitely next year! – Lesley Wood Photography (UK)
David was always on hand to make sure all went to plan and that we all spent some time photographing the Mara in the jeep with him. He also helped anyone that needed it during the fun communal downloading sessions each evening. A fantastic tour that I will going on again. – Wayne Marinovich (UK)
David is not only an incredible photographer but also brilliant at giving advice and tips on how to improve. Everyone who came on the trip was at a different level, ranging from beginner to professional which made for a nice relaxed atmosphere. – Nick Constantinou (UK)
Depending on your configuration, your cost includes
- Flights to and from the Masai Mara from Wilson airport
- All airport transfers
- Accommodation and all meals at Entim Camp
- Hire of vehicles and guides for game drives and park fees
- Local alcoholic beverages at camp
- Initial night’s Nairobi’s EKA Hotel (optional)
- Ground transportation of luggage (optional, see below)
- Exclusive vehicle hire (optional, one passenger per row of seats)
Cost does not include
- International flights from UK
- Kenya visa ($50)
- Alcoholic beverages at EKA, and non-local alcoholic beverages at camp
- Tips and gratuities for camp staff and guides
Costs are per person sharing. A single supplement option is available at $100 extra per night. A deposit, 50% of the tour cost, is required at the time of booking, with the balance being required eight weeks before.
Example 7 Day Intinerary
Day 1: Arrive Nairobi and overnight hotel stay,
Day 2: Fly to Mara and afternoon drive,
Day 3: Full day in the Mara,
Day 4: Full day in the Mara,
Day 5: Full day in the Mara,
Day 6: Full day in the Mara,
Day 7: Morning drive, then depart for Nairobi then flights home.
(The Nairobi Hotel stay is optional.)
While the camp provides beanbags – they are good – but I prefer my own and bring my own. The camp is quite happy to fill the refillable beanbags on arrival. I have no use for a tripod in the Mara, they are not vehicle compatible and have never bothered to bring one or want one. Lenses of up to 400mm (on full frame) should suffice for 90% of your needs, the animals can get quite close, but it depends on your kind of photography obviously. A 600mm would be quite necessary for birds however.
Flights out of Wilson Airport to the Mara have a strict weight policy of 15kg, that’s clothes, personal items, laptop, cameras, lenses, everything. That’s why we’re providing the option to transport your luggage or camera bag by road.
Malaria tablets are recommended, there are several kinds, some better than others.
Tips are optional, but I can never leave without giving some sort of extra reward. As a guide, about $10-15 a day per person to your driver/guide is a good start.
If you need to know more, don’t hesitate to email me at ten.dyolldivadnull@divad
Pictures 2, 3, 6, 7 and 8 used with permission courtesy of Entim Camp.