Kenya is usually a long way from home. Having a leisurely first day will help you to overcome the travel fatigue and get ready for eight days in the bush. An overnight layover is often unavoidable due to flight times because local flights to safari destinations leave in the mornings. After landing at Nairobi’s international airport, you will be greeted by a guide for a private transfer to Karen, which is a bucolic suburb on Nairobi’s outskirts. Giraffe and elephant encounters are possible in this area, so you can jump straight into the wildlife should you wish. If you are tired, you can rest at your boutique lodge and save your energy for the next few days.
No photography experience can fully prepare you for taking photos in the Kenyan wilderness. There are unique challenges here, and you will discover them during this first day on safari. After flying directly to Laikipia, you will spend today on a game drive with a photographer guide. Venturing off the trail is really important because it provides more angles and proximity. Stability will not be a challenge. Special clamps are fitted to the vehicle and can support the largest of lenses. You can also make use of beanbag-style supports, which are great for quick shots when you are on the move. You will never know exactly what you might encounter, and it is usually the unknown that leads to the most breathtaking photos.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 3 - 4
These two days will be completely private and tailored around the photos that you want to take. Laikipia is a private conservancy, so you can drive off the trails. There will be nobody else in the vehicle, which means that you can spend as much time at specific scenes and capture wildlife from a complete variety of angles. Naturally, the game drives will maximize the best light at the beginning and end of the day. This is also when animals are most active. This is a fabulous destination for capturing photos of rhinos. Back and white rhinos live here in large numbers, and hopefully, you will be able to capture a shot of the two side by side. Big cat sightings are common with lions, leopards, and cheetahs being regularly spotted. Overall, these two days can revolve around any animals that you wish to photograph.
Dinner, Lunch, Breakfast
There is nowhere better than the Masai Mara for photographing cheetahs. The world’s fastest mammal prospers on open grasslands, and the Serengeti-Masai Mara ecosystem is the greatest of all grasslands. Thomson’s gazelles provide abundant food for them, and you can photograph these small antelopes as they bound across the plains. Of course, in the Masai Mara, you will be searching for cheetahs, which are the focal point of this Kenyan photography safari. Dawn and dusk are the best times for capturing a moving cheetah on film. Often, you can witness them prancing in and out of the grass during these cooler hours. A sprinting cheetah will be the ultimate shot, but do note that this will require patience and good fortune.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Like yesterday, you will not be allowed to drive off the trail in Masai Mara National Reserve, but the reserve is far larger than the Laikipia wilderness, and you will be staying in the Mara Triangle, which is an area that sees far fewer vehicles because it is furthest from the area of budget accommodation. It is also the best location for balloon safaris. You can capture some wonderful photos while soaring above the Mara plains at dawn in a hot-air balloon. Another iconic Masai Mara photo will be of the Mara River, where crocodiles wait in the water, often revealing two rows of teeth. Many Mara species come here to drink, and you can probably photograph an assortment of different animals that are seeking safety in numbers.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7 - 9
Two days in Masai Mara National Reserve should provide you with the opportunity to capture many classic photos of cheetahs, elephants, grasslands, large herds, and riverside scenes. After a short transfer, three days in Mara North will become your focal point that turns sharply toward the big cats. A photographer guide will also join you for the first day of game drives. Here, you can travel off the trail, which is very important if you want to capture a wide range of animals and behaviors. All of the big cats flourish in Mara North, where there are fewer vehicles and plenty of prey. Leopards and cheetahs are solitary animals, but working in pairs means access to a larger range and bigger prey. As with your previous destinations, it will be important to always have your camera on-hand.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
This morning will be flexible, so you can choose to go on a final game drive or hang out at the camp before your mid-morning flight to Nairobi. In the Kenyan capital, you will be transferred to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport for your outbound flight.
Kenya can create the most inspiring wildlife photos: A cheetah perched on a rock, surveying a tired wildebeest herd, lionesses moving stealthily through high grass as dawn colors paint the sky, or Rhinos that are acting bashful and beguiling as they wander open plains. In Kenya, you can photograph everything in action, such as animals that are quarreling at watering holes or big cats that are on the move. You can also photograph all the wildlife enchantment from elusive animals to endangered species that few have ever even heard of. This exciting, 10-day Kenyan cheetah safari is handcrafted to provide the ultimate photographic angles of all the big cats, and it will lead you to the Laikipia Plateau, Masai Mara National Reserve, and Mara North Conservancy.
There are three essential considerations for all photography safaris, and these locales will provide you with the fundamentals of your ten days in Kenya. Firstly, your game drives and safari activities will be private, which means that every moment of your drives will be tailored to your photography desires. You can spend longer at interesting scenes, search for specific animals and shots, and change angles based on the light and other conditions. Secondly, your safari will mostly take places in private conservancies that allow off-trail driving. This is crucial for photographing elusive animals, especially cheetahs and other cats. Venturing off-trail means that you will be able to move closer to your subjects. Private conservancies also ensure that no other vehicles ruin the frame.
Specialist photographer guides are the third consideration. You will not have these guides on every game drive, but you will benefit from their simple tips and advice when in Laikipia and the Masai Mara. Wildlife photography in East Africa is a unique challenge, and having some help at the start of the safari will make a huge difference for the quality of your shots. Ultimately, this Kenyan cheetah safari is focused on getting you closer to the animals that you want to photograph while also providing the time that is necessary for high-quality photos of remarkable scenes.
After flying to Nairobi, you will spend a night resting in the Kenyan capital. From here, you will have a short flight to Laikipia, where the three-day safari will mix the Big Five with endemic and endangered animals. These first three days will introduce you to African wildlife photography along with the complete suite of resident animals. Days five and six will be spent in the Masai Mara National Reserve, and here, you cannot venture off-trail. Afterward, you will explore the Mara River and hot air balloon above the grasslands for some surreal aerial photos. The two days can also offer an introduction to the giant herds for which this destination is famous.
You will complete your safari with three days in Mara North, which is a private conservancy that offers some of Africa’s very best big cat encounters. Not only are the cats abundant, but you can venture off the trails and photograph them from extremely close proximity. Cheetahs and leopards use Mara North to raise their cubs, so you can capture some really intimate behavior. It is also an excellent place to follow these cats as they prowl. Many other species will complement your dreamy cheetah photos, and perhaps, the most inspiring shots will be of many animals that are clustered together around a watering hole or sharing a moment that is backdropped by a burning, African sunset.
We work closely with the best safari tour operators in Kenya to ensure that you have a fully personalized trip of a lifetime.
$4495 per person (excluding international flights)
This trip is customizable for your private travel.
The starting price is based on travel during the low season for a minimum of two travelers staying in shared 3-star accommodations. Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates.
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