WHEN: NOV. 25 - DEC. 8 SOLD OUT! (2020 avail.)

COST: $7,895 per person 

DEPOSIT: $1,990 per person

GROUP SIZE: 2 people

Join Chase and Hanna on the ultimate African adventure this fall in Kenya! Experience East Africa like never before as you journey to some of the most iconic safari destinations to witness the greatest gathering of wildlife on the planet. You will roam across the open savanna in a private and spacious land cruiser vehicle accompanied by a local guide, who knows exactly where the wildlife is to provide us the best photo opportunities. During this tour, Chase will help you capture stunning images of elephants, lions, cheetahs, giraffes, birds, and more.

Late autumn through early winter is a fantastic time to visit East Africa and is often regarded as the most underrated time to go on safari. Tourists crowd the parks between the peak season from June-October when the weather is dry and cool and the Great Migration is cycling through the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem. Shortly after this time, the crowds disappear as the weather begins to warm slightly and the short rains arrive bringing with them spectacular clouds and dramatic skies you cannot find during the high season. The short rains are defined by quick and small showers that generally occur in the afternoon, breaking apart before sunset. While many days will be sunny and dry, days with rain give the landscape an ethereal glow as hints of green emerge from the barren and dusty plains.

 

While the peak of the Great Migration will have passed, there will still be thousands of wildebeest and zebra finishing off their time in Kenya as they get ready to head back into Tanzania. It is not uncommon to still see herds numbering in the thousands during this time and of course, the predators are everywhere. Finding lions, cheetahs, leopards, hyenas and more is a breeze as they continue to prey upon the herds and resident antelope. This is why we prefer this season to the rest as we may be the only vehicle watching a hunting pride of lions instead of sharing them with 10-30 other vehicles! To read more about this journey, scroll down through the page and get ready to head out on an African safari!

WHY TOUR WITH ME?

  • 14+ years of experience out in the wild with a wide-variety of wildlife

  • Small group size to make sure you get a lot of one-on-one instruction and information

  • Degrees in both Organismal Biology and Zoology to give up to date information about the wildlife we encounter

  • Deep knowledge and experience with guiding and photographing in Africa

  • Knowledge of many secret wildlife locations that the normal tourist would not know

  • Thorough understanding of geology, history, and ecology of East Africa

  • Advanced knowledge of cameras and how to further your photography skills in the field

  • I'll let my photos from my previous African safaris do the talking!

HIGHLIGHTS

What you can expect on this trip:

  • Being surrounded by over 600+ marching elephants

  • Witnessing a pride of lions hunt for their next meal or a cheetah chasing down an antelope 

  • Feeling the adrenaline pump through your body as a big cat stares you down

  • Listen as lions and other wildlife fill the night sky with sounds

  • Walking alongside giraffes, zebra, and other antelope 

  • Waking up with views of elephants, hippos, and more under the towering Kilimanjaro​​​​​

  • Looking for smaller, more elusive wildlife, such as servals, fox, caracals, owls, eagles, and others

  • Stay at luxurious camps and lodges, right within the heart of Africa's finest parks

COSTS

INCLUDED

  • 12 nights of safari with 1 night in Nairobi (13 nights total)

  • Lodging at 4 luxury camps/lodges and 1 five-star hotel in Nairobi

  • Unlimited instruction and information about the parks, wildlife, and photography

  • All meals while on safari (breakfast, lunch, dinner)

  • Post-processing lessons using Adobe Photoshop and RAW

  • Transportation from the airport and across Kenya

  • Park entry fees

DOES NOT INCLUDE

  • Flights to and from Nairobi

  • Tipping (guides, porters, camp staff, etc.)

  • Optional Activities (e.g. hot air balloon, Masai village visit, etc.)

  • Snacks (purchased while driving to and from parks)

  • Beverages (at some camps)

  • Kenya Visas ($50/person) 

  • Trip Insurance (recommended)

SUGGESTED GEAR

  • DSLR camera body

  • Wide angle lens (e.g. 16-35,mm 24-70mm, etc. Mostly used for landscapes)

  • Mid range lens (70-200mm)

  • Telephoto lens (300mm+)

  • Flash

  • Tripod

  • Polarizing filter

  • UV filter

  • Camera bag capable of carrying gear and daily necessities

LODGING

We will be staying at a few different lodges and camps to ensure we see the most amount of wildlife during our safari. Below is a list of the various camps we will be staying at:

Boma Hotel (Nairobi): This five-star hotel is located right across the street from Nairobi National Park and is conveniently located just a few miles from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. The hotel offers spacious and modern rooms with 2 on-site restaurants, a workout facility, pool, and more amenities. This will be a perfect base to launch our safari or spend an additional day exploring Nairobi if you prefer to stay for some extra time before or after the tour.

 

Ol Tukai Lodge (Amboseli National Park): Our first safari lodge is located right in the heart of Amboseli National Park. While the lodge is larger than we usually prefer, during our visit the crowds are gone and it is common to only have between 20-30 guests staying at the facility. Ol Tukai is the only lodge located right inside the national park, which will save us precious time not having to wait at the park gates every morning and evening. Beyond that, the park is surrounded by the open grasslands and swamps that elephants, lions, hippos, and more call home and we should be able to see hundreds of animals from the lodge at any time. The lodge is also home to hundreds of monkeys, baboons, and birds, which make for fun photo subjects while not on game drives.

Navaisha Sopa Lodge (Lake Navaisha): This lodge will be used as our base for two nights as we explore Lake Navaisha and Lake Nakuru National Park. The lodge has extremely spacious and well-kept rooms and is located right along the lake. Wildlife, such as giraffes, waterbuck, hippos, colobus monkeys, and more constantly walk across the grounds and right past the rooms. The lodge grounds are enormous and can make for a beautiful stroll through the forests and meadows since no predators persist in this area.

Mara Eden Camp (Masai Mara National Reserve): This small tented camp is located right in the heart of the Masai Mara National Reserve in an area called the Mara Confluence, where the two main rivers meet. Perched along a bend in the Mara river, hippos and crocodiles can be seen throughout the day while other wildlife will occasionally pass through. The tents each come equipped with private bathrooms and hot water for showers. This camp places us in what is described as the densest big cat population in all of Kenya. We can expect to see multiple lions and cheetahs from this camp with a good chance to find leopards as well. 

Sand River Masai Mara (Masai Mara National Reserve): Our most luxurious camp will be the last as we move to another section of the Masai Mara. This camp is located in an extremely private and remote area along the Sand River, which runs along the Kenya-Tanzania border. Just outside these enormous, colonial-themed tents, we will gaze across the open savanna over to Serengeti National Park, Tanzania. Each tent has its own private bathroom, large king bed, wood floors, and other decor that feel like they're from "Out of Africa". From this camp, we expect to find multiple different species of wildlife while experiencing what true solitude feels like.

TRANSPORTATION

Getting to Nairobi is easy and straight forward. As one of Africa's largest airports, nonstop flights from Europe and the United States can be found every day. You can find nonstop flights from the following cities: London, Paris, Frankfurt, Zurich, Amsterdam, and New York. The airlines that fly these routes are: British Airways, Lufthansa, Swiss Air, Kenya Airways, KLM, and Air France. We recommend booking two separate legs on your journey to Africa if traveling from North America. This would entail booking a roundtrip flight from North America to Europe, spending a few nights to relax, then booking a roundtrip flight from Europe to Nairobi. This way you won't have to worry about connections and flying two long legs in a row. Typically, flights from North America to Europe are between 6-11 hours (depending on where you leave) and flights from Europe to Kenya are 7-9 hours. 

Once at Jomo Kenyatta Airport, we will arrange a driver to pick you up and take you to your hotel. Once there, leave the rest to us as our guide will pick us up in our private land cruiser and we will use that as our main method of transportation before being dropped back off at a hotel or the airport at the end of our safari.

DINING

Meals will be provided for the majority of your safari. All the camps and lodges we will be staying at are all-inclusive, meaning breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert are part of the package. At some lodges, alcoholic beverages and other soft drinks are not included as are purchased snacks during our transits between the parks.

 

Each lodge/camp we are staying at has fantastic chefs that can accommodate any dietary needs or restrictions. If you prefer a vegetarian, gluten-free, or another form of dieting, please let us know in advance so we can instruct the camps. 

POSSIBLE ANIMAL SIGHTINGS ON SAFARI

  • Elephant

  • Giraffe

  • Zebra

  • Wildebeest

  • Gazelle

  • Coke's Hartebeest

  • Topi

  • Hippo

  • Rhino (White/Black)

  • Baboon

  • Monkeys

  • Gerenuk

  • Eland

  • Lion

  • Leopard

  • Cheetah

  • Hyena

  • Jackal

  • Bat-eared fox

  • Serval

  • Caracal

  • Crocodile

  • Cape Buffalo

  • Waterbuck

  • Bushbuck

  • Dik-dik

  • Porcupine

  • Owls

  • Eagles

  • Hornbills

  • Ostrich

  • Bee-eaters

  • White pelican

  • Marabou stork

  • Kingfishers

  • Starling

  • Python

  • Mongoose

  • Warthog

DAILY ITINERARY

Monday, November 25th: Arrive into Nairobi, Kenya via Jomo Kenyatta Int'l Airport and get picked up by a private driver to be taken to the five-star Boma Hotel. Overnight here.

 

Tuesday, November 26th: Wake up and grab breakfast at the hotel before getting picked up by our private safari guide in our very own land cruiser. We will then drive across the Kenyan countryside en route to our first destination, Amboseli National Park. The drive will last around 4-4.5 hours and we will stop once or twice to use the restroom and browse through a few local crafts and gifts stores. We expect to arrive in Amboseli in the early afternoon and as we drive to our lodge, we will get our first glimpses of the prolific wildlife and Kilimanjaro. We will check into Ol Tukai Lodge and get settled before having lunch and going out for a late afternoon and evening game drive. Arrive back at the lodge around 7 PM and enjoy drinks, dinner, and dessert before heading back to your room.

 

Wednesday, November 27th-Friday, November 29th: We will enjoy three full days of safari in Amboseli National Park as we will focus our time heavily on photographing the massive elephant herds that call Amboseli home. Amboseli is not only home to one of the largest elephant herds on the planet, that numbers around 1,800, but they are actually the largest sized elephants in all of Africa, which make them that much more impressive to photograph. Each day we will head out on an early morning game drive around 5:45 to catch the rising sun and marching elephant herds as they move from the forest to the swamps. We will return around 9:00 AM in time for coffee and breakfast. We will take a short break before heading back out around 11:30 AM for a quick 2-hour game drive. We will once again return to the lodge for lunch and another break before heading back out for an evening drive around 3:30 PM, returning around 6:30-7:00 PM in time for dinner.

 

Saturday, November 30th: Wake up early for one final morning game drive in Amboseli. Return to the hotel for breakfast and then pack our bags back in the land cruiser and depart the park around 11:00 AM en route for Lake Navaisha. This will be the longest drive of the journey, but we will make a stunning descent into the Great Rift Valley where we will stop to take photos and visit a few gift stores where you can purchase handcrafted African goods. Arrive at the Lake Navaisha Sopa Lodge in time for sunset and dinner. 

 

Sunday, December 1st: We will head out early before dawn as we head towards Lake Nakuru National Park. Lake Nakuru is famous for both its leopard and black and white rhino populations, which we will spend all day looking for. The rhinos will be relatively easy to find, but we hope to find a resting leopard in the acacia forest, which makes for spectacular photos. We may also encounter lions, giraffes, cheetahs, and other wildlife species. We will return to our lodge after sunset and enjoy dinner before heading off to bed.

Monday, December 2nd: Head out after sunrise for a morning on the water as we take a private boat tour of Lake Navaisha. This will be a great opportunity to photograph fishing eagles, kingfishers, pelicans, and other birds. We will also see plenty of hippos during our tour before arriving on Crescent Island, where we will disembark and take a walking safari. We will walk with multiple species including, giraffes, zebra, wildebeest, antelope, monkeys, and more before returning to our boat, which will take us back to the dock. We will then proceed to drive to the Masai Mara National Reserve, making a stop or two on the way. We should arrive in the Masai Mara around 3:00 PM, which should give us time for an evening game drive before checking into the Mara Eden Camp and getting settled for the night. During our six nights in the Mara, we should expect our sleep will be broken up by the sounds of the savanna. Hippos, elephants, hyenas and of course, lions, fill the African night with roars, grumbles, and other sounds that will keep us up smiling.

Tuesday, December 3rd-Wednesday, December 4th: Now that we are in the heart of the Mara, arguably Africa's greatest wildlife park, we will spend a lot of time focusing on Africa's big cats. Like most days before, we will wake up before sunrise and head out to try and find the animals before the first light. We will stay out for a long morning, enjoying a bush breakfast out in the savanna, returning to camp around 11:00 AM. Once back at camp, we will relax and enjoy a hot lunch before heading back out for our afternoon and evening game drive around 2:45 PM. As afternoon clouds dramatize the African sky, we will look for the best photo opportunities possible under the ever-changing light. We will return to camp just after sunset and enjoy some time around the fire and dinner before heading back to our tents. 

Thursday, December 5th: We will head out on another morning game drive around the Mara Confluence before heading back to camp and grabbing our belongings. We will then drive across the Mara to our final camp, Sand River Masai Mara, which is located right along the Kenya-Tanzania border. We will unload our bags, get settled, and enjoy a quick lunch before heading out for an evening game drive. Unlike the Mara Confluence area, the Sand River area has an abundant amount of kopjes (pronounced, ko-pees), which are large rock formations that many of the big cats use to relax and scan the savanna for prey. Think of Pride Rock in Disney's, "The Lion King"!

Friday, December 6th-Saturday, December 7th: We will spend these two full days doing what we've already done every day prior. Waking up early, heading out on a morning game drive, relaxing during the middle of the day, and then returning back out into the wild for another evening game drive. Depending on the wildlife we have already seen, we may refocus our efforts to find different wildlife or landscapes to give our trip portfolio as much diversity as possible. 

Sunday, December 8th: Head out for our final morning game drive before returning to camp and packing up our bags. We will then drive back to Nairobi where our guide will drop us off at the airport or hotel (if you prefer to stay a few more nights). Catch your flight back to Europe or the United States. 

 

 

Other optional activities include:

 

  • Visit some of the Nairobi sites, such as the Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, Giraffe Center, Karen Blixen Museum, and others.

 

  • Hot air balloon ride over the Masai Mara

 

  • Visit a Masai Village for a cultural learning experience

REGISTRATION

When I receive your registration information, I will respond within 24 hours with a registration packet and more information. Once the deposit is paid for, you will be asked to sign a liability waiver. The remaining amount for the safari must be paid in full 30 days prior to your departure. Tour fees can be paid through PayPal and will be asked to cover the 2.9% PayPal fee. 

If you wish to speak to me directly, feel free to call: (425) 301-1757, or email: chasedekker@ymail.com

MORE INFO

SUBSCRIBE TO MY NEWSLETTER!

WANT 15% OFF YOUR FIRST ORDER?

CHASEDEKKER@YMAIL.COM | MONTEREY, CALIFORNIA

  • Facebook - Chase Dekker
  • YouTube - Chase Dekker
  • Instagram - Chase Dekker
  • Pinterest - Chase Dekker