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A Fantastic Tour to Three of Kenya's Best-Known Wildlife Parks Covering Amboseli, Lake Nakuru and Masai Mara.

A seven-night/eight-day Tour to three of Kenya's best-known wildlife parks. Only three participants in each 4WD Landcruiser safari vehicle, with assured window seat. Likely excellent sightings and images of the big cat trinity - the lion, the leopard and the cheetah. Impressive photo opportunities of the rest of the Big Five - the elephant, the rhino and the buffalo. Splendid photography conditions, with the verdant environs of May, and dramatic light. Photography of Africa's endemic animals and infinite room for landscape photography. Extensive photography learning and fascinating natural history insights.

Safari tour package: A custom, tailor-made, private safari
Prices: $2999
Includes internal flights: No
Length of safari: 8 days
Best months: May
Countries visited: Kenya Kenya
Parks visited: Not specified
Activity level: Easy - Game drives, bush dinners
Safari type:
  • Camping
  • Cultural
  • Birding
You've relished films, admired coffee-table books, and ogled at online galleries. The scale, the diversity and the beauty of the continent have enthralled you for long. All the while you have nursed a dream — a dream of a pilgrimage to the Mecca of wildlife, to photograph beautiful animals in orgasmic light. Someday, you have promised yourself, you will live it. That time has now come. It's time to unleash your camera and harvest the riches. It's time for Africa. To the green at heart, a mention of Africa evokes its primordial picture — plains, prey and predators teaming up to spawn the most spectacular wilderness site on the planet, where large animals still maraud wild and free. And Kenya is its best showpiece. It doesn't matter that the Roget's Thesaurus doesn't say so, but this East African country named after its highest peak really is a synonym for 'ecological affluence'. With over ten national parks and nature reserves harbouring bounteous wildlife that is easy to view, Kenya is the crème of wild Africa. And that means if you haven't visited the continent yet, this is your chance. We suggest you grab it. For Kenya is a venue for all seasons. Such is the opulence of its natural treasures, that an infertile visit under Toehold's guidance at any time of the year is as unlikely as a deluge in the Atacama. Even in the rains. May marks the end of the first of the two annual wet seasons in Kenya. Nourished by the long rains, the grasslands and the woods alike spring spectacularly back to life and shine resplendently in verdant green. The myriad dramas, the triumphs and the tragedies that compose life in the wild show up in a mélange of hues. And topping this spectacle is a blessing from the weather god, who is known to let His hair down at around this time every year. As the day advances, a dark grey curtain of clouds hoists itself down the distant horizon ahead. Behind you, the nomadic wind, never one to be stopped in its ceaseless flight, nudges the water-bearers, exposing for now the nearest star which seizes the moment to bask in its own glow by shining with full resplendence even as a rainbow graces the sky as a giant ornament. In an instant, everything before you has turned into an impossibly exquisite canvas of golden éclat; memories of a lifetime have become enshrined in a moment of magic. It happens only in Africa.

NAIROBI


  • Since participants of this Tour travel from various destinations in India and abroad, the Tour commences at Nairobi on 20 May 2018 at around 7:00 a.m. You may either take a flight that reaches Nairobi before that time the same morning, or fly in the previous day and stay overnight in Nairobi (in which case, the cost of accommodation will be additional). Please also note that flight costs are not included in the Tour fee. 

 

AMBOSELI NATIONAL PARK

 

  •   DAY 1    20 May 2018, Sunday: Arrival in Amboseli National Park and Evening Safari; Overnight in Amboseli

    Our fleet of safari vehicles carrying Skipper Sachin Rai and the park guides will pick participants who have landed in the morning from the Nairobi Airport, and participants who have arrived a day earlier from their hotels, at around 7:00 a.m. Once everybody is on board, we undertake a four-hour drive to Amboseli National Park. A mutual introduction session and a brief by Sachin to set basic expectations for the Tour will be followed by lunch. 

    After lunch will ensue our first safari of the Tour - recipe for a memorable moment for any first-time Africa visitor and something that, even after all these visits, gets Sachin's adrenaline pumping. Driving through the park will acquaint you with the African landscape and give you but a glimpse of the exciting time ahead.
  •   DAY 2    21 May, Monday: Full Day and Overnight in Amboseli National Park 

    An entire memorable day will be spent out in the picturesque expanses of Amboseli, where views of elephants with the magnificent Kilimanjaro in the backdrop have been specially designed by nature to enthrall. Apart from the pachyderms, we are likely to photograph ostriches, hyaenas, lions, cheetahs and a whole lot of attractive wildlife including the kudu. 

    In the evening, Sachin will deliver a ChaayaaChitra session before a satiating supper and shuteye call a closure to the eventful day.

  •   DAY 3    22 May, Tuesday: Arrival, Evening Safari and Overnight in Nakuru

    After breakfast, we depart for Nakuru. Arriving just before lunch, we embrace our home for the next two days overlooking the beautiful Lake Nakuru. Following a scrumptious lunch, we embark on the afternoon safari, seeking the chief spectacle of the flamingo congregation and over 400 other species of birds found here. 

    In the evening we enjoy a tribal dance and celebration before an appetizing supper, and retire for the day.
  •   DAY 4    23 May, Wednesday: Full Day Safari and Overnight in Nakuru

    Setting off after breakfast, we spend as much time in the park as we can in order to sight the plentiful wildlife of Nakuru. The early morning drive will be followed by lunch and an evening safari. 

    This being an excellent location to see the elusive leopard, we take our chances to spot the spotted beauty of Nakuru. Efforts will also be made to photograph white rhinos and black rhinos. 

    Between the rides, we meet at the picturesque Baboon Hill overlooking the lake and its flamingo formations, and discuss various topics of nature photography and the natural history of Africa. Meanwhile, here, ultra wide-angle perspectives of baboons, a fixture atop the hill, are a distinct prospect. 

    For participants who want to relax and take the afternoon easy, the beautiful lodge with plenty of trees and a great restaurant is a fabulous place to rest. 

    A rivetting session of ChitraTantra by Sachin before dinner will be a fitting, erudite way of ending the enriching day.

  •   DAY 5    24 May, Thursday: Transfer to, Evening Safari and Overnight in Masai Mara

    After breakfast, a pleasant drive across the dramatic Great Rift Valley brings you through the Narok Township, a major Maasai administrative centre, to Kenya's most precious wildlife sanctuary, Masai Mara Game Reserve. 

    Masai Mara is home to the colorful Maasai tribe, who may be seen around the borders of the park, with Morans ('warriors') loping across the plains, young boys herding goats, or elders grouped under a tree discussing the matters of the day. 

    Wildlife viewing is never dull in the Mara, and patience is often rewarded with unique sightings. By now hopefully the group will have been acquainted with the African bush, so we seek to make the most of the bounty on offer.
  •   DAYS 6 and 7    25 and 26 May, Friday and Saturday: Morning and Evening Safaris, and Overnight in Masai Mara

    Staying inside the park will ensure a great experience and early access to photography hotspots, so we may catch a lion pride gearing up for a hunt or a solitary leopard retrieving its kill from the high branches of an Acacia tree merely a few hundred metres from the camp. 

    Every morning while at Masai Mara, we start our day after an early breakfast at 6:30 and venture into the bush. For participants who are agreeable to spending the entire day in the field, packed lunch boxes will be provided to keep us going the whole day, thereby maximizing wildlife viewing and photography opportunities. 

    An occasional afternoon shower may be encountered but this will in no way mean a dampener, for the animals continue to be seen and what's more, it will open up the prospect of making evocative images of wildlife in the rain. And when the clouds have passed, the light that illuminates the scene can serve to illustrate the meaning of the word 'ethereal' better than any lexicon in the world. 

    Meeting at specific points in the savannah, we learn and discuss various topics on photography and natural history of Africa and the Mara in general. These two days are tipped to be the highlight of the Tour with plenty of wildlife on show. 

    In the evenings a session of Charchaaloka or simply a question-answer interaction will afford a wealth of learning on a diverse array of photography and natural history topics. 

    Maasai Village Optional Tour
    While at Masai Mara, based on the group's inclination, the Skipper will plan a visit to a local Maasai Village for a few hours in the day to learn and understand the Maasai culture, their way of life and their interesting community living. This optional Tour costs an additional USD 30 per person. 

    Balloon Safari Optional Tour
    A ride in a hot-air balloon over the endless expanses of the savannah is an ultimate safari experience. We leave the lodge before dawn, when the sky is clear, the air brisk and the conditions perfect. As the sun rises over the Mara plains, our balloon lifts off - a bright splash of colour rising gracefully into the infinite blue. A stunning panorama unfolds below us and the balloon basket becomes our lookout post for a bird's-eye view of the Mara's magnificence. We float silently just a few hundred feet above large herds of wild animals. Upon landing, we celebrate the flight with a glass of champagne, after which the retrieval safari cruisers take us back to our driver. This optional ride costs an additional USD 450 per person.
  •   DAY 8    27 May, Sunday: Departure for Nairobi

    After a scrumptious breakfast, we drive out making sure we arrive by lunchtime at an Indian restaurant in Nairobi. After lunch, we are transferred to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport for our home-bound flights. 

    The Tour ends but your love affair with African wildlife has just begun.

  •   DAYS 8 and 9    27 and 28 May, Sunday and Monday: Full Day Safaris and Overnight in Masai Mara

    Participants who feel the need to stretch their Tour are welcome to stay back on the nights of 27 and 28 May 2018, checking out on 29 May, to experience two more full days at the Mara at their own pace. The schedule for the two days will remain the same while we venture to deeper areas of the Mara on the full-day game drives, maximizing our chances of bringing back stunning photographs. This extension will be charged additionally. Please express your interest in the extension while booking the Tour to know more.

  •   DAY 10    29 May, Tuesday: Checkout and Transfer to Nairobi

    With the extension having come to an end, following an early breakfast, we drive out making sure we arrive by lunchtime at an Indian restaurant in Nairobi. After lunch, we are transferred to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport for our home-bound flights.
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