Views from the verandah at Mara Bush Camp
13 Days Photographers Phantom Safari
This is the most incredible signature African photography safari experience offered! Not only does this safari take you to some of the top wildlife reserves in Africa but you will also have intimate tribal experiences, an up-close elephant encounter, luxury accommodations, charter flights, and off-road driving for the ultimate photographic freedom. Only Kenya can offer this life-enriching, over-the-top, authentic African safari experience that will go far beyond the photographs captured.
Our Rates: USD
Related Adventure Safaris
Prices are based on 2 adults sharing a room and the length of stay at hotel. Offer subject to availability at the time of booking. Price may vary depending on flight and hotel availability and changes in exchange rates. Terms and Conditions apply.
Day 1: Arrive in Nairobi
Accommodation: Ole Sereni Hotel
Upon your arrival at the international airport in Nairobi, our team will meet and transfer you by a private vehicle to the Ole Sereni Hotel. This is the perfect place to unwind after your long journey. You may enjoy a sundowner on the beautiful deck overlooking Nairobi National Park filled with wildlife, take a swim, or relax in the spa. After a good night’s sleep and a scrumptious breakfast, you will be ready to depart on an extraordinary safari.
Day 2: Samburu National Reserve
Accommodation: Saruni Samburu
Today, you will awake in a magical new world with the aroma of Kenyan coffee brewing. You will meet other participants at breakfast time for a briefing before hopping in the private land cruisers and head to Samburu National Reserve. You will stop for coffee / tea at the famous Trout Tree Restaurant, where troops of white colobus monkeys will probably swing right over your heads. You will arrive at the luxurious tented camp, a unique blend of rustic elegance, situated along the Ewaso Nyiro River and shaded by the exotic doum palms, in time for a late lunch.
The friendly, traditional Samburu Tribe representative will greet you and give you a full briefing about the camp and area. As the name implies, the elephants stroll through the camp and in between the luxury tents. During midday, relax in the private plunge pool, which is on the deck of your tent, with a cold drink and let the wildlife come to you. In the early afternoon, you will head out to explore the spectacular reserve.
Days 3 – 4: Full Day Samburu Game Reserve
Accommodation: Saruni Samburu
You will spend the next two days on safari, driving through the stunning African landscape and seeking out the leopards, Grevy’s zebras, reticulated giraffes, gerenuk, oryx, common waterbucks, kudus, the unique mane-less lions, and the red elephants. The elephants exhibit a special red color from rolling in the mud of the river and dusting themselves with the rich, red soil, making for extraordinary images in golden light.
You will also spend an incredible evening on the top of the hills with the warriors of the Samburu Tribe. This will be a very special evening, and you will not only get the opportunity to create extraordinary images but also have a unique experience that few others will have. During one of the noon breaks, when the day is warm and the light harsh, you will have a visit from the Ewaso Lions Project.
Days 5 – 8: Masai Mara Game Reserve
Accommodation: Mara Bush Camp
This morning, you will have one last early-morning game drive before you board your flight to the Mara. Excitement builds quickly as you fly over the Mara and begin seeing the wildlife below as well as the plethora of photographic opportunities. You will land on a private airstrip, which is in the heart of the crown jewel of Kenya and only five minutes from your camp. From the moment you touch down Mara, you will see its exotic warriors throughout the landscape; even serious wildlife photographers are instinctively tempted to quickly reach for their camera.
The Maasai warriors, an icon of Kenya, once dominated the plains of East Africa. This part of the safari takes place at their homeland. During your stay in this area, you will visit a Maasai Boma at sunrise. You will have quality time in the village to join in with the morning activities, such as milking cattle and goats, fire-starting, herding, making coffee, and socializing amongst them in order to learn about their ancient ways. Slowing down, getting into the rhythm of a place, and experiencing what you are photographing are what create emotionally stunning images.
Over the next four days, the safari will focus on all the big cats, including the Marsh Pride, made famous by the BBC’s series Big Cat Diary, and the Rekero Pride, which is quickly becoming as powerful as the Marsh Pride. It is highly probable that you will also see elephants, hippos, Maasai giraffes, common zebra, gnus, impalas, Thomson’s and Grant’s gazelles, topis, hartebeest, black-backed jackals, spotted hyenas, and more, as the Mara is one of the best wildlife reserves in all of Africa.
During mid-day heat, when the light is hash and the animals are quiet, you will gather in a special photographers’ tent for presentations and to share information. Participants always comment on how much they love the camaraderie among other talented photographers. Learning from each other as well as the leader is a huge added value, as everyone brings different perspectives, knowledge, and skills. You will also have a special visit from Elaine, the head researcher from the Mara-Meru Cheetah Project.
In the evening, you will sit around the campfire under the starry African sky and look back on your amazing day in awe. After dinner, you will be safely escorted back to your tent with a Maasai warrior. There is no better way to experience Africa than by spending a few nights under canvas, camping in the heart of the wild, and listening to the sounds of lions roaring, zebras barking, and hyenas calling as you gently fall asleep.
Days 9 – 10: Tsavo East National Park
Accommodation: Ithumba Hills Camp
This morning, you will fly by private charter to Ithumba, which is located in East Tsavo. Over the next two days, you will have one of the most intimate elephant experiences in the world. You will be able to interact with the young orphans and stand next to the wild elephants. You will visit the stockade several times, where the young elephants are fed and kept safe through the night. You will also join the keepers in the field each day, where the young elephants begin to intermix with the wild elephants. Each day, a water truck fills the drinking pool and mud bath area. The wild elephants come in first, and soon, the young orphans join them. On foot, right amongst them, you will witness and photograph how they begin to interact, drinking, mud-bathing, dusting, and communicating with one another. More than the incredible photographic opportunities, it is an amazing and intimate experience with these gentle giants that is rarely offered on a safari. At the end of the stay, you will be able to personally choose the elephant you wish to foster.
Days 11 – 12: Amboseli National Park
Accommodation: Tortillis Camp
After your early-morning visit with the elephants and a scrumptious breakfast, you will head to Amboseli National Park and the private Kitirua Conservancy on the western part of the Amboseli ecosystem. You will have almost exclusive use of the 300,000 acres area, where you can drive off-road for the ultimate photographic freedom yet also have complete access to the main park. Your aim over these two days is to photograph beautiful herds of elephants and giraffes with Mount Kilimanjaro in the background, but you will take advantage of the photographic opportunities of predators, antelopes, and exotic birds in this picturesque landscape. During your stay at Tortillis Camp, Cynthia Moss or one of her team members will give a private talk about the elephant research that has been conducted in Amboseli for the past three decades.
Your luxury tented camp has the majestic backdrop of Africa’s highest mountain, and sipping your beverage of choice in the open lounge, you will enjoy the finest view of Mount Kilimanjaro. The luxurious, African-styled camp has an organic garden on the lodge grounds, and the cuisine is delicious, offering the finest traditional safari experience.
Day 13: Depart / Nairobi
Accommodation: Ole Sereni Hotel
You will have one last morning game drive, followed by a breakfast, before boarding your flight back to Nairobi. The ground team will transport you to the Ole Sereni Hotel, which sits along Nairobi National Park, and you can enjoy a leisurely afternoon around the pool and have lunch / dinner overlooking the park. Dayrooms have been made available, so you may take a rest and clean up before your flight back home later in the evening.
Transport in Landcruiser 4×4
Accommodation as specified in the itinerary.
All meals including Hallal food and Vegans.
Park entrance fees.
All taxes and gratuities.
Mineral water for duration of the safari.
Domestic flights as indicated in the itinerary.