HWP Safaris...: November, 2018 Masai Mara Safari

Giraffe-and-Acacia-Tree-Silhouette

Masai Mara, Kenya Safari - November, 10-23, 2018. 

(Arriving in Nairobi November 11, departing Nairobi November 22nd.) 

The "Bucket List" African Safari Adventure...Who's In? 

In November, 2018 Greg from Harvey Wildlife Photography is taking another group of safari guests to Kenya. We call it the "Bucket List African Safari Adventure". Whether it be having breakfast with Rothschild giraffes at Giraffe Manor, watching elephants walk by your tent or floating 60 feet above the Mara river in a hot air balloon (hot air balloon rides are optional and and extra cost), all of these activities are truly "bucket list" events. 

Life is not measured Leopard

 

The safari dates are November 10-23, 2018. If you have any questions, or to secure your African reservation email greg@fitnwell.com 

Meet Blossom at Little Governors' Camp. You are very likely to see Blossom and or Possum (two huge elephant bulls) and several other ellies while at LIttle Governors' Camp. They have been wandering through the camp for the past thirty-plus years. I can't see them changing their ways any time soon. 

Our Objectives On This African Adventure: 

Experience African safaris from two camps in the Masai Mara which are located in two of the most densely populated wildlife areas in the Mara. All tents are luxurious, very spacious and have flush toilets and hot showers. Below is a sample of what a tent at Little Governors' Camp looks like. 

Little Governors' Camp Tent

 

Experience the culture. Learn a little about the Masai culture. Visit a school and a village. And learn a few swahili words. 

Shopping in Nairobi. We will be visiting several markets for your African souvenirs.  

-An open-air market for genuine hand-crafted African souvenirs. 

-A shop that offers amazing wood carvings. 

-Matbronze- A gallery that offers bronze African statues for sale. Whether you have $20 or $50,000 to spend, this gallery has an amazing selection of beautiful African Art for every budget. 

-Kazuri Beads -An organization that employs women (mostly single mothers) who make beautiful pottery and jewelry. 

-My personal favourite is Edwin. He free-hand etches wildlife images on glass. His work is spectacular! We buy glasses from him every time we go to Nairobi.  

Wildlife Education and Up-Close Wildlife Encounters- We will enjoy a private tour of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and will meet the orphaned ellies at a scheduled feeding time. 

David Sheldrick WIldlife Trust

 

Giraffe Manor and Giraffe Centre- 100 yards away from Giraffe Manor, the centre provides Rothschild giraffe education. We will walk over for a visit. 

Giving Back- When we visit an African village or enjoy a private tour of the elephant sanctuary we have the opportunity to financially help people/animals who truly need it. The simple price of admission (already included) in these instances helps them. For those who are intersted in contributing to the school, email greg@fitnwell.com 

 

Kenyan Itinerary: 

Day 1- Check into Ololo Safari Lodge. Ololo Safari Lodge is located on 20 acres on the south edge of Nairobi National Park. Only half an hour after we leave the airport we will already be in Nairobi National Park on the way to the lodge. There we will recover from the international travel. For the early risers, the next morning we will have the opportunity to go on our first official game drive in the park. This will give us the chance to scrape the rust off our photography skills.  

Day 2- 11a.m.- Check into Giraffe Manor.  

Giraffe Manor Mansion

At 3pm we will visit the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and will enjoy a private tour of the sanctuary and get a chance to meet the orphaned baby ellies during their 3p.m. feeding. One of the elephant caretakers will educate us on the elephants, the history of the sanctuary and the story of each of the babies at the sanctuary. 

 

After our private tour of the elephant sanctuary we will return to the Giraffe Manor for high tea where we will have the chance to interact with the giraffes. Dinner is at 8p.m. 

Feeding a giraffe at Giraffe Manor

 

Day 3: Enjoy breakfast with the giraffes at Giraffe Manor then fly out to the Masai Mara on the 11:30 a.m. flight, arriving in the Mara at 12:10 p.m. We will be chartering two Cessna Caravans from Governors' Aviation to fly out to the Mara. That way we will be allowed to bring at least 50-75 pounds on board per person rather than the 33 total pounds that is normally allowed on flights to the Mara. 

Little Governors' Camp Tent

 

Welcome to the Masai Mara and welcome to Little Governors' Camp. Check in, have lunch.  

Enjoy your first safari game drive from 3:30p.m to 6:30p.m. 

Day 3,4,5,6,7,8, Little Governors' Camp 

 

A hot air balloon flight is optional at an additional cost and another fantastic experience that Little Governors' has to offer. People come from miles away to go up in a hot air balloon and float over the Mara river. We just have to get up and take the short walk behind the kitchen as the balloon rides depart from our camp. 

Hot AIr Balloon Flight over the Mara River 

 

This video was taken through the screen of our tent while in camp. Who needs to go on safari when a herd of elephants are 20 feet from your tent. 

"I have been on many safaris around the world. There is something a little more special about Little Governors' Camp and Mara Explorers camp in the Masai Mara. Staying at a property that has no fences, where the animals wander through the camp day and night. That to me is a true 24/7 safari experience. You are perfectly safe in your tent at night as the guards watch over each of the tents all night long. Meanwhile you go to sleep to the sound of hippos in the river and marsh. You are likely to hear hyenas laughing and lions roaring in the distance. It makes for a very sound sleep. Between the sounds of the bush and the hot water bottles in my bed each evening, I have my best sleeps while in the Masai Mara."

-Greg Harvey 

Day 8,9,10,11,12- Mara Explorer:

Mara Explorer Tent

Your morning safari goes from 6:15/6:30a.m. to 11:30a.m./noon (if you pack a picnic breakfast. If not it is breakfast back at the lodge for 9a.m., then a second safari drive from 10a.m to 11:30a.m./noon). Lunch is at 1p.m. 

Dinner at Mara Explorer...Looks Awesome right? That's because it is! 

Mara Explorer Tent Bed and tub

 

While at Mara Explorer we will be visiting a village and a girls and boys school. The school is called Loigero primary school. For those who are interested we will be donating much needed clothing, blankets, school and basic living supplies to this school. Our goal is to donate 1000 pounds of supplies between the 20 of us. 

 

This bed looks inviting. A siesta from 2-3p.m. hits the spot. Mara Explorer Tent 

But so does a bath overlooking the Talek river. Decisions, decisions.

Mara Explorer Bathtub 

Game drive from 3:30-6:30p.m. 

 

While on safari wild animals see the landcruisers as part of their environment. In this video a cheetah cub sees his reflection in the door and is curious about his new "friend". 

Day 12- Morning game drive. Meet up at the airstrip where our luggage will be waiting for us. Fly back out to Nairobi on the 11a.m. Flight to Wilson Airport. Our driver will meet us at the airport. We'll go to Mat Bronze for a visit to their gallery and have lunch. After lunch we will visit a wood sculpturing gallery and store, Kazuri Beads and an open air market. Some last minute souvenir shopping, supper at the Talisman restaurant and back to the Nairobi International Airport. 

International Flights Back Home. 

-End of Safari- 

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Details, Details, Details... 

Safari vehicles are four people to a vehicle, each with a window seat. It is important that like-minded people are together in each vehicle. ie birders with birders and big cat enthusiasts with big cat enthusiasts etc. 

For fewer people in a vehicle an extra daily charge will be available for exclusive vehicle use. 

Exclusive Vehicle Use is recommended for those who are more serious photographers or anyone who is interested in game drives with fewer than four people in a vehicle. Fewer people in a vehicle also means a bench seat per person so people can view/photograph from both sides of the vehice. It is also handy for people who want to stay longer at certain sightings.  

Safari Cost- The cost of this five star trip is $7,000.00 U.S. per person based on double ocupancy including flights to the Masai Mara from Nairobi and back. This rate does not include international flights. To make everyone's international travel easier flights must be approved by Harvey Wildlife Photography. Our goal is to arrive in Nairobi on the same flight. For those travelling from North America we will be at least departing Europe on the same flight so we all arrive in Nairobi at the same time. We do accept major credit cards via pay pal, but will have to charge the pay pal rate of 4% for any pay pal transactions.  

Below is an aerial view of the Mara River. 

Mara River

 

Included In Safari Cost- laundry at Little Governors Camp, all meals while on safari. Flights from Nairobi to the Masai Mara and back, 2-3 safari drives per day while in the Mara, visit to the school, bottled water on game drives and transportation in Nairobi. 

Not included: International flights, gratuities, alcohol, pop, personal purchases, $50 US for Kenya Visa (must be paid in cash upon arrival at Nairobi airport), $40 for those interested in visiting the village. Meals not included are lunch and dinner in Nairobi before flying home on our last day. An optional hot air balloon ride is not included in safari price. If it interests you it should be booked at time of reservation. The flights often book up months in advance. 

Who is this trip for?? I love kids, but please note that this trip is intended for people 25 years old and older. Special consideration may be made for someone 18-24, but this trip is not for minors. 

Photography Workshop: Greg teaches a wildlife photography class at the Burwell School of Photography. Check out the dates for the next wildlife photography course in Edmonton. This course will help you take better images while on safari.