Muench Mountains - KENYA
February 1 - 9, 2016
Join Andy, Marc and special guest pro, David Muench as we photograph and explore the beauty, wildlife and majesty of Kenya's two highest mountains, Mount Kenya and Mount Kilimanjaro! This is the trip that David Muench has been dreaming of for nearly his whole photographic career, in fact, it was his ideas that caused us to create this ultimate bucket-list trip. We'll photograph from the ground and from the air, via open-door helicopters and airplanes, giving us unique opportunities to create amazing imagery. This exclusive safari workshop is strictly limited to six guests, with three professional photographers leading. We begin by landing in Nairobi - and we immediately transfer to our private aircraft for a short one hour flight, which will take us to our exclusive camp in Aberdares National Park - where we'll be based for 3 nights. Here in the Aberdares we will have our helicopter close by and on-call, so we can photograph amazing waterfalls, forests, and sweeping vistas, with Mt. Kenya in the background. Oh yes, we can fly up to Mt. Kenya, too! From here, we move on to the nearby 45,000 acre Solio Game Reserve, tucked in between the Aberdares and Mt. Kenya. Here at Solio we will have amazing opportunities for situational landscape photographs with the wildlife that inhabits the area, with the majestic Mt. Kenya as a backdrop. After two nights here, we board our private plane and fly south to Amboseli National Park where we will stay for three nights. Here again we will photograph from the ground and from the air, with magnificent herds of elephants crossing beneath Mt. Kilimanjaro - truly a sight to see! We have exclusive use of private land adjoining the park, which means we can go where we want, when we want, without restriction. We'll end our mountain safari high on a hill, overlooking Kili, and celebrating with the local Maasai people.
Aberdares - the Foothills of Mt. Kenya
One of only three mountain parks in Kenya, Aberdares is truly among the most unique destinations in all of the Africa. It lies in the heart of Kikuyu country, and is the port-of-entry into an isolated and uniquely forested ecosystem. Bordered on the west by the Great Rift Valley, the park consists of impenetrable bamboo forests, high mountain rain forest (inhabited by black-and-white colobus monkeys up to 9,500 feet), and open moorland with hagenia woodlands up to 13,150 feet. Spectacular waterfalls and thick tropical forest can be seen in the south, while the north is dominated by moorland and cedar/podo forests.
Being a mountainous park with treacherous terrain, entry into the eastern Salient region is restricted only to 4WD vehicles with special permission - providing our exclusive camp with in virtual solitude.
Here we will photograph the landscape and wildlife from the ground and from the air. We have chartered our own helicopter which will take us places that few get to photograph - including high up on Mt. Kenya!
Lodging: Our custom-made tents are very comfortable and consist of a bedroom, verandah and changing area with private shower and toilet. Each tent has plenty of room to move around and unpack your belongings. Your private shower is available anytime and you will find it piping hot and wonderfully relaxing. In the cool evenings, slip into your duvet-covered bed that has been warmed with hot water bottles. The insect-proof windows are extra large for superb ventilation and exquisite views of the surrounding wilderness. Our delectable food is well known throughout the industry. Our menus are custom-designed to suit your tastes. Breads, such as our scrumptious cinnamon rolls are baked fresh each day. Fresh fruits and vegetables are delivered as needed throughout the safari. Fine wines, sodas soft drinks, beer, liquor, coffee, tea and mineral water are provided in camp.
Solio game reserve
Located between Mt. Kenya and the Aberdare Mountains, Solio is a 45,000 acre game reserve that is home to over 74 Black and 155 White Rhinoceros which live in harmony with other wildlife including Buffalo, Zebra, Giraffe and other game species such as Eland, Oryx, Impala, Waterbuck, Thomson's Gazelle and Warthog. Big cats include Lion, Leopard and Cheetah. In addition, an abundance of birdlife is scattered amongst permanent water holes and the acacia lined Moyo River which traverses the entire reserve.
Solio's geographic position makes it the perfect destination and provides plenty of exciting activities including walking, night game drives and horseback riding. Again, we'll feature photography of the landscape and wildlife, from the ground and from the air, via open-door helicopter and small planes. The photographic opportunities are endless!
Lodging: The highly acclaimed Solio Lodge has luxurious cottages with private decks and panoramic views of the nearby hills and Mount Kenya in the distance. The emphasis is on space, light and privacy. Each room has a private lounge area warmed by an open fire for cooler evenings, as well as large en-suite bathrooms with a double sink, toilet, bath and shower. You will dine on the freshest of food, specially prepared for us - of course, any and all dietary needs can be accommodated.
Ol Donyo, chyulu hills
In the south of Kenya lies a range of beautiful hills that resemble a line of pyramids. Each night they are stained a delicate shade of pink by the setting sun, and hidden amongst the foothills lies, Ol Donyo Lodge is an oasis of comfort and elegance within two hundred and fifty thousand acres of exclusive wilderness.
Situated at the base of the rolling Chyulu Hills between Amboseli and Tsavo National Parks. Mount Kilimanjaro provides a magnificent feast for your eyes peaking its head above the clouds far to the south. Between the magnificent scenery and the welcoming Maasai inhabitants this is a very special place to visit.
Ol Donyo Lodge is a 20 bed luxury lodge recently re-built and having magnificent views of Mount Kilimanjaro with beautiful, spacious bedrooms (which are amongst the most attractive in all of East Africa), with décor that is both luxurious as well as homely and comfortable in the tradition of Ol Donyo’s bedrooms have rooftop "star-beds" and sundowner area where guests enjoy dramatic views over the plains and onto Mount Kilimanjaro, allowing the more adventurous the option to sleep out safely and comfortably under the stars. Each suite and lodge is designed and positioned slightly differently. All are luxurious and opulent, while retaining the atmosphere and sense of place that is an essential ingredient of an outstanding bush lodge.
Over 7000 wild animals make their home in and around the environs of Ol Donyo and guests can search for them in vehicles, on foot, or by horseback. Not only are the "BIG FIVE" here - rhino, elephant, lion, leopard and buffalo - but also cheetah, the rare fringe-eared oryx, the shy gerenuk, and the lordly giraffe among many others share this magical landscape.
It is out on a drive or walk or ride that the exclusivity of Ol Donyo becomes apparent: you and the few other privileged guests are alone with the animals - no other tourists, no fleets of noisy mini buses are there to disturb the magic of your experiences. Night drives are a feature for those who would like to better opportunity to view the shyer nocturnal wildlife.
As well as private plunge pools with each bedroom there is a larger pool beside which lunch can be taken.
There is an open-air wildlife viewing facility that is located just below the lodge. The "log-jam" hide is a mass of heavy logs that have been stacked up to create a square enclosure, where guests are able to safely and quietly view animals at exceptionally close range as they visit our waterhole. To be at such close quarters to massive tusked elephants and an array of wildlife for an extended period of time is a rare privilege. One comes away from such encounters learning so much more about elephants in particular, almost feeling as though one has been part of their herd.
is this African mountain experience for you?
Say "yes", if you want:
- A small group, of like-minded photographers that want the ultimate experience in Africa
- Access to some of the most beautiful landscapes and wildlife on the planet - by land, and by helicopter
- 3 professional photographers for just six guests, photographic instruction in the field, and in-camp with one-on-one sessions
- Expert local guiding, our lead guide has over 35 years of experience, our driver-guides are the best in the business
- Aerial photography from open-door helicopters and/or light aircraft almost every day
- Game viewing and photography from the ground using the very best safari vehicles, only one person per row
- Exclusive, private mobile camp just for us in The Aberdares, luxurious lodging in permanent camps at Solio and in Amboseli
- Gourmet dining in camp - the freshest and best foods available, expertly prepared to your liking
- All meals, soft drinks, water, wines, spirits, use of satellite phone and massages (where available) are included
To get more of the experience, click through the photo gallery below. Email or call Andy Williams at +1-917-854-8118 if you want to be part of this unique experience!