African Safari - October 2011
October 1st - 13th, 2011. Join Pro Photographers Marc Muench and Andy Williams for Muench Workshops' African Adventure! This 13-Day safari covers three of Kenya’s richest and most diverse wildlife areas, North Kenya, Maasai Mara, and Amboselli.
If you've got Africa on your Bucket List, here's your chance to do it "Muench Workshops" style, with Marc Muench and Andy Williams. We're taking 10 photographers on their trip of a liifetime. We only have 4 spots left, so we hope you can join us!
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Pricing and Terms
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Days 1-3: Wilderness Trails, Lewa Downs
Days 4-8: Rekero Camp, Maasai Mara National Reserve
Days 9-11: Ker & Downey Luxury Private Camp, Amboseli National Park
Day 12-13: Ngong House, Nairobi
We will arrive as a group on our flight from London, landing early on the morning of 1st October at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi. From there, we will meet up with our Guide, James Robertson, Ker & Downey Safaris, and we transfer directly onto Air Muench, We will have two aircraft, a C208 Cessna Caravan and also a C206 Cessna Skywagon. Exclusive to Muench Workshops, the C206 will be used for lowlevel flying: it is fitted with special harnesses for two photographers and has removable doors. Get ready for aerial photography like you’ve never seen or experienced before!
Lewa Downs, one of Kenya’s oldest ranches, is a 45,000 acre private game ranch and home to the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy. The Conservancy continues to break new ground in animal conservation and community projects. Wilderness Trails is the home of our hosts Will and Emma Craig and is widely acclaimed as East Africa’s first true ‘bush home’. At Lewa we have our best chance of seeing one of our rarest and most endangered large mammals: the rhino.
Lewa Downs is located 30 miles North of the equator on the shoulders of Mt. Kenya. This picturesque mountain creates wonderful backdrops for photography and feeds the land with several springs.
Thatch and volcanic rock cottages house luxurious four-poster beds, private baths and fireplaces. An outdoor living room is perched along the gorge and offers views down to the river below. Home cooked meals, fresh from the ranch, are served in the outdoor dining terrace accented by good wine and candlelight.
Because Lewa is a private ranch we have the freedom to really explore. Whether game viewing by vehicle, foot or horseback, you are sure to see an array of wildlife. The ranch horses are well trained and even a novice can take advantage of the remarkable feeling of trotting within feet of baboons, giraffe or zebra.
MAASAI MARA NATIONAL RESERVE
We will spend 5 days in this extraordinary National Reserve.
The 1800 sq kilometers of rolling grasslands, which make up the Maasai Mara, are bordered by mountains to the North and East and the Siria escarpment to the West.
The permanent meandering rivers traced by deep forest snake across the savannah. The Mara’s proximity to Lake Victoria, which creates its own weather patterns, ensures that the area receives much higher rainfall than the Serengeti ecosystem.
This crucial fact enables millions of animals; gazelle, zebra and antelope to survive through the driest time of year. An estimated one and a half million wildebeest make the annual migration up from the southern Serengeti plains into Kenya and remain here from July into October.
Play a game of tennis or chess, hike the vast open plains, climb aboard a camel for a morning walk, visit the local school, search for prehistoric hand axes, go on a night game drive, or take a dip in Kifaru’s swimming pool, which looks out towards Mt. Kenya.
Kenya’s dry north country is home to several unusual species; the endangered Grevy’s zebra, the blue legged Somali ostrich, Reticulated giraffe, eland, gerenuk, oryx and dik dik. Elephant abound especially near the rivers and the birdlife is superb. Lewa is home to numerous endangered white and black rhino thanks to conservation efforts such as the Ngare Sergio rhino sanctuary established by Anna Merz and the Craig family.
Lewa lies on the edge of the Samburu tribelands. These proud and colorful people are traditionally nomadic, constantly on the move to find fresh grass for their herds of goats and cattle.
We will spend three nights at Wilderness Trails. On Day 4 (4th October) we will fly, again by Air Muench, south west over the Great Rift Valley. We will pass low over Lake Nakuru, home to thousands of Lesser Flamingo.
And then on, into perhaps the best know wildlife area in the World…
We will spend our days in specially adapted safari vehicles with roof hatches for superior game viewing and photography. Muench Workshops has arranged special vehicle accommodations, only three photographers per vehicle – thus assuring that each photographer has maximum ability to get the shot.
We’ll enjoy a picnic breakfast under one of the many “significant isolated trees” which provide cool shade and superb views across this extraordinary land.
An hour can pass in nail-biting anticipation as a lioness conducts a painstaking stalk of her prey, only to lose her meal at the last moment when the wind changes.
Only in the Mara does the whole spectrum of life and death, birth and growth seem to be there for you, right before your eyes. Most documentary wildlife filmmakers choose the Mara due to the abundance and easy access to wild animals here.
Watch the peculiar quality of the light, and the shadows of the clouds on the plains, the strange optical illusions of the distant herds silhouetted along the horizon. Light and shadow, rock and grassland, predators and prey, this is quintessential primordial Africa.
While in the Maasai Mara we will be staying at Rekero Camp, Maasai Mara National Reserve
This camp is located in the heart of the big cat viewing area…
In the midst of the Maasai Mara Conservation area, part of the Serengeti Mara Ecosystem, lies the greatest concentration of wildlife on earth and the home of the Beaton family – Rekero.
The Maasai Mara Reserve and adjacent Conservation area totals 750 square miles and forms the Northern tip of the Serengeti / Mara ecosystem straddling the border between Kenya and Tanzania. This sets the scene for the annual migration of over one million wildebeest between late July and mid September.
Amidst the teeming mass of wildlife in the Maasai Mara area, Rekero’s tented camp is currently located along the banks of the Talek River. This mobile camp is ideally situated for the annual migration, which is the movement of one million wildebeest and other animals from the Serengeti through the Maasai Mara in Kenya.
The camp is set up seasonally (June – October, December – March) and caters for between four and twelve guests. The spacious canvas tents are equipped with cozy beds, changing areas, hot showers and loos. Retire beside a roaring fire under the stars for evenings hosted by the Beaton’s and Jackson Ole Looseyia, an Il Dorobo Maasai from the local area.
Wildlife viewing at Rekero is either on foot guided by experienced Il Dorobo and Maasai trackers, or in custom built four wheel drives, which allow intimate yet unobtrusive access to the animals. Night drives, bush picnics and visits to the local trading centers also feature.
On Day 9 (9th October) we will fly south east, over the southern Kenya rift past Lake Magadi and Natron and continue on towards the Tanzanian border to Amboseli National Park. We will spend three days here in the shadows of Africa's highest mountain, Kilimanjaro.
Amboseli lies close to the border between Kenya and Tanzania and is dominated by the continent’s highest mountain – Kilimanjaro. Amboseli has the greatest density of elephants per square mile in Africa. Numbers, however, are not all-important; it is the quality of viewing here in Amboseli, which is exceptional.
We’ve planned the dates of the trip to catch the full moon while in Amboseli National Park.
Capped with snow and ascending into a blue abyss, Mt Kilimanjaro, at a soaring 19,340 feet, provides a stunning backdrop for our private camp, situated only ten miles away.
The area has a varied habitat with open plains, umbrella acacia woodland, and emerald green swamps and surrounding marshlands created from the melting snows of Mt. Kilimanjaro. The open plains of the dry lake-bed give a desert like appearance, in stark contrast are the springs that rim its eastern margins and act as magnets for the game.
Mirages create optical illusions; ostrich and oryx rear up out of the shimmering heat like reflections in a pool, allowing for some of the most fabulous wildlife viewing and photography in all of East Africa.
The game viewing in Amboseli is superb; getting close to the animals on drives and walks is simple and affords great photographic opportunities. Here, lives the greatest density of elephants in all of Africa. Nowhere else do elephant mothers allow such close, uninterrupted viewing of their babies, while heavy-ivoried bulls of Kitirua can be followed in their daily round from woodland to waterhole and swamp just as if one was an invisible herd member.
Watch a lion cub take its first brave steps away from its protected mother…..
We make a point of filling the vehicles with lots of drinks and snacks to allow for the inevitable delayed return. Sit by the vivid green swamps and enjoy watching hippos and spectacular birdlife.
The freedom to walk is a luxury afforded here outside of the National Park and our guides, Ker and Downey have a private concession adjacent to the National Park. We will take a guided walk and learn about the tracks and spoor of Amboseli game. Birdwatching is also often more rewarding whilst walking.
The other spectacular attraction of luxury camping in Amboseli is the Kisongo Maasai who are regarded as the most traditionally conservative of all the Maasai peoples, virtually unchanged since the days of their beginnings. We are fortunate to be offered an insight into the Maasai way of life: one of the highlights of any safari. We hope to have a trip to visit a nearby “manyatta” or meet the children at the local school.
While in Amboseli we will stay in luxury, a traditional mobile safari camp, the “real thing”!
Our custom-made tents are the largest and roomiest available, consisting of a bedroom, verandah and changing area with private shower and toilet. Each tent has plenty of room to move around and unpack your belongings. Showers are available anytime and you will find them piping hot and wonderfully relaxing. On the other side of the partition is your eco-friendly toilet.
In the cool evenings, slip into your duvet-covered bed that has been warmed with hot water bottles. The insect-proof windows are extra large for superb ventilation and exquisite views of the surrounding wilderness.
Our guide’s delectable food is well known throughout the safari world. The menus are custom-designed to suit your tastes. Breads, such as our scrumptious cinnamon rolls are baked fresh each day. Fresh fruits and vegetables are delivered as needed throughout the safari. Fine wines, sodas soft drinks, beer, liquor, coffee, tea and mineral water are provided in camp.
Our camps are the most luxurious available in Africa, but what truly distinguishes Muench Workshops and our guides, Ker & Downey, is the professionalism and enthusiasm of our camp crew. All of your needs and comforts are attended to, such as laundry, shoe polishing, and our tents and beds are made up every day.
COMMUNICATION AND POWER
For lighting we use a combination of gas lamps, rechargeable fluorescent and kerosene lanterns. Cameras and video recorders can be charged in our game driving vehicles. A satellite phone and radio is available in camp at all times if the need arises to contact our home office or persons abroad.
We will spend three nights in Amboseli. On Day 12 (12th October) we will fly Air Muench north back to Nairobi for our last night. We will stay at Ngong House, Nairobi.
Although only 20 minutes from downtown Nairobi, Ngong House has the same feeling of isolation one senses in the bush. It is secluded on 10 acres of private land with views of the Ngong Hills, made famous by the film, Out of Africa.
We will stay in private wooden tree houses overlooking the Ngong Hills. The tree houses are beautiful double-storied getaways with superb attention to detail and every comfort imaginable. You are sure to feel at home with your secluded sitting room, bar, bath and veranda. Lunch will be served on the shaded lawn by the swimming pool. After nightfall, we will enjoy a delicious meal of exotic game meats and sinful desserts in the candlelit open thatched dining room.
The Giraffe Center, where you can get up close and personal with the rare and graceful Rothschild giraffe, is within walking distance. A car is always available for a drive into town for a visit to Daphne Sheldrick’s Elephant Orphanage, Nairobi National Park, Karen Blixen Coffee Garden, museums, local markets, shops and galleries.
Before booking workshops, carefully review your workshop information, including location, date, time, and cost. Refunds will not be granted through Fisheye Connect. For questions please reference our Attendee Policies.
Photography Workshop Categories
- See our website at,www.muenchworkshops.com/Workshops/Africa-Kenya-Photo-Safari
- Passion for learning,Desire for unique wildlife and landscape experience,All skill levels welcome!