7 Day Big Cats & Calving Photo Safari

Escorted Photographic Safari with Paolo Torchio

7 Day Big Cats & Calving: 12 – 19 March 2020

Experience the thrill of the Masai Mara, on our exhilarating photographic wildlife adventure.

Focus on Kenya’s finest wildlife area, the Masai Mara ecosystem, escorted by award winning wildlife photographer Paolo Torchio.

This safari offers a great opportunity to view and photograph Africa’s iconic animals – including Elephants, Lions, Cheetahs, Leopards and Giraffes – under expert guidance and tuition from Paolo.

March is a fantastic time to visit the Conservancies in the Masai Mara, guests will witness the Loita Migration, many young calves and an abundance of Big Cats.

The safari spends time in three exclusive wildlife conservancies in the Mara eco-system: Ol Kinyei Conservancy, Naboisho Conservancy and Olare Motorogi Conservancy as well as in the Masai Mara Reserve.

The Mara Conservancies have the highest density of free-roaming lions in Africa, as well as leopards, cheetahs, elephants and much more.

The conservancies are formed of pristine wilderness with open savannah plains, riverine forest, springs, streams and rivers, rolling hills and spectacular views.

Conservancies allow for a maximum of 1 vehicle per 1,400 acreas, which offers the opportunity to view and photograph the wildlife in peace and without masses of other vehicles.

Accommodation on safari is at two eco safari camps – Porini Mara Camp and Porini Lion Camp, which is a small and authentic safari bush camp. Here you will escape from the crowds and experience the African wilderness with the personal attention of your Porini Guides and Paolo Torchio.
Transport from Nairobi to the Mara is by scheduled flights to avoid a long journey over bumpy roads and to give more time to viewing the wildlife. From the camps, game drives are taken in exclusive open-sided 4×4 safari vehicles with experienced safari driver-guides.

From the camps, you will be taken on day and night game drives in custom-built, open-sided 4×4 safari vehicles with a driver-guide and a spotter, allow for maximum visual coverage. They are 3 tier and are spacious and comfortable, with access to an open window for each photographer.

There is an excellent chance of sighting lions, cheetahs and leopards all of which reside within the Conservancies. March is also a great time to experience the Loita Migration and animal calving season.

Itinerary

Thursday 12th March 2020 – Arrival into Kenya
Met on arrival at Nairobi International Airport by a Gamewatchers Safaris Representative, who will welcome you to Kenya and transfer you to The Eka Hotel, for 1 night on Bed & Breakfast.

Friday 13th March  2020 – Porini Mara Camp
Transfer from The Eka Hotel to Nairobi’s Wilson Airport, where you will meet Paolo Torchio and check-in for your Safari Link Masai Mara flight departing 10h00 arriving 11h00. Touch down at the Mara airstrip from where you will be transferred to Porini Mara Camp, which will be your base for the next 3 nights. Game drives and walks will be taken in the Ol Kinyei & Naboisho Conservancies to photograph the wildlife, with Paolo Torchio. Night game drives will also be taken.

Monday 16th March 2020 – Porini Lion Camp
A full morning traversing the Naboisho Conservancy from Porini Mara Camp in Ol Kinyei Conservancy to Porini Lion Camp in Olare Motorogi Conservancy with plenty of time for game viewing & photography along the way, arriving for lunch. Afternoon game drive and overnight at Porini Lion Camp where you will stay the next 3 nights, focusing on the wildlife & photography in the Conservancy and the Masai Mara Reserve. *Optional Balloon Safari for a chance to take some stunning aerial shots of the Mara Eco-system.

Thursday 19th March 2020 – Departure
Final early wildlife & photography drive in the Olare Motorogi Conservancy to capture the beauty of the early morning, followed by breakfast at camp and then transfer to the airstrip to fly back on the 11h00 flight to Wilson Airport in Nairobi, arriving at around 12h20. Met on arrival and transfer to the international Airport or Nairobi Hotel, depending on your onward connection.

Safari is Fully Inclusive of:

  • Small group for the safari, with each person guaranteed a “window” seat in the open-sided 4×4 safari vehicle under the guidance & tuition of Paolo Torchio.
  • Sundowners at scenic spots where you can try to capture those postcard perfect African sunsets
  • Game drives in the Ol Kinyei, Naboisho & Olare Motorogi Conservancies and the Masai Mara National Reserve
  • Off-road driving advantages get you closer to the wildlife and away from crowds
  • The prices include scheduled domestic flights from / to Nairobi. Luggage allowance is 15kg per person, additional allowance of up to 75kg per person can arranged at a supplement.
  • Accomodation at Porini Mara Camp and Porini Lion Camp, two small eco camps located in the Ol Kinyei & Olare Motorogi Conservancy.
  • Safari is fully inclusive of all meals, selected drinks, day & night game drives in custom-built 4×4 safari vehicles with expert guides, bush picnics and sundowners, conservancy and Mara park fees and all taxes.

About Paolo Torchio ...

Paolo Torchio was born in Turin, Italy, in 1961 and came to Kenya in 1990. A keen photographer since childhood, he was immediately captivated by the African wildlife and wilderness areas that he encountered, and quickly made the country his home.

Paolo’s work has appeared in a host of Kenyan wildlife and travel magazines, including Travel News, Kenya Birding, and About Kenya, as well as in some illustrious wildlife magazines elsewhere in the world. Paolo’s photography has earned widespread acclaim. In 2006 he was declared Overall Winner of the East African Photographer of the Year Award.

His photographs and articles documenting aspects of the region’s animal, bird and insect life have appeared regularly in Swara, the quarterly magazine of the East African Wild Life Society (EAWLS), where they are seen all over the world.

Paolo was the first monthly winner, of the Greatest Masai Mara Photographer of the year 2018 with his fantastic photograph of a Cheetah chasing a Thomson Gazelle (shown below).

Paolo is also a Kenya Professional Safari Guide (KPSGA certificate Bronze level).

Comments From Previous Guests

“My husband and I have traveled all over the world, and have learned that sometimes things don’t meet our expectations. This was not the case with Gamewatchers – the safari experience they arranged for us exceeded my expectations on every level. From the moment we landed in Nairobi, everything was taken care of – from the airport pickups and transfers, to making sure we were comfortable in our hotel before heading out to the camps, to dietary restrictions and special needs – they do it all. Our Masaai guides gave us the experience of a lifetime. Excellent food, accommodations and care… breakfasts in the field, nightly sundowners – and a professional photographer to teach us how to take great safari shots! I couldn’t recommend this authentic experience any more highly. We were treated like family, and I can’t wait to return again and again. Thank you Gamewatchers!” Patti Pagliei 

“I am not a photographer, but even with my point and shoot bridge camera and limited experience I was able to put together some nice shots. Paolo encouraged us to see things differently and of course, having lived in Kenya for years he knows where to look! He and the Porini guides and drivers made a great team. Paolo has a very easy way of working, letting things emerge and responding with his expertise and ideas when needed, gently guiding things along. And he was also a lot of fun to be with!” Denise Finney

“Paolo did not disappoint. He worked with our guide and drivers to help find the best angle and lighting. He helped us in our settings in difficult lighting situations. He never told us exactly what to do, but worked with us so we would learn how to find the answer ourselves. I feel that there are photographic lessons that I learned during these 7 days with Paolo that will stay with me forever. He has a great knowledge of the culture and animal behavior. His sense of humor was spot on. In fact, this will not be the last trip we take with Paolo. He is stuck with us as friends forever now!” Tori Bohn 

Prices

BIG CATS & CALVING PHOTO SAFARI 12th March 2020 – ONLY 6 SPACES AVAILABLE

Prices are in US Dollars, per person based on sharing a twin or double tent:  

Package Price (US $ per person):

  • EACH OF 2 PEOPLE (PACKAGE): $ 6536
  • EACH OF 3 PEOPLE (PACKAGE): $ 5719
  • EACH OF 4+ PEOPLE (PACKAGE): $ 5311
  • Single Supplement : $ 910

Maximum size group 4 people plus Paolo Torchio.

Prices based on 2 adults sharing 1 Tent.

Safari operates with a minimum of 2 people. Price reduces with more people booked.

 

Concerned about the security of your booking and your own safety while on safari?

We fully appreciate your concerns when it comes to booking a safari in Africa and you can rest assured that your financial security when booking and your own personal safety when on safari is our highest priority. Gamewatchers Safaris is a member of the Kenya Association of Tour Operators bonding scheme, backed by a leading insurance company, to ensure your payments are fully protected if a bonded KATO member ceases trading.