Exclusive Small Group Safari in Lakipia, The Great Rift Valley, and Amboseli
October 5 – 17, 2024
On this safari we’ll take you to some of Kenya’s most desirable wildlife destinations: Lewa and Borana Conservancies, Shompole Wilderness, and Amboseli National Park—where you will be guided to some of the best wildlife photography experiences on the planet.
We’ll start our safari in the north of Kenya at Lewa and Borana. Situated near the base of Mt. Kenya—Africa’s second tallest mountain—Lewa and Borana are two of Kenya’s oldest, most private, and most wildlife-rich safari locations. Ideally suited to our style of safari, we’ll have the opportunity for rich game viewing without the crowds. There is a very good chance of seeing all of the “Big Five,” and here also is one of the only places where visitors regularly see both black and white rhinoceros. With the backdrop of snow-capped Mount Kenya and the diversity of scenery from open plains, rolling hills, valleys, escarpments, and rivers, Lewa and Borana are perfect for our photographic safari experience. We even have the option of walking safaris as well, putting us even closer to the wildlife!
Next, we’ll fly by private charter to Kenya’s Southern Great Rift Valley, to Shompole Wilderness, where the central feature is a photographic hide that offers unparalleled access and fantastic photo ops of the abundant wildlife. The landscape is varied, with mountains, soda lakes, rivers, and the open savanna all in one place.
Finally, we head to Amboseli. We’ll be based in a private reserve adjacent to Amboseli National Park, which boasts Africa’s highest density of elephants per square mile and abundant other wildlife. Amboseli lies near the border between Kenya and Tanzania and is dominated by the continent’s highest mountain—Kilimanjaro, soaring to 19,340 feet and providing a stunning backdrop to some of the best wildlife photography anywhere on earth.
Throughout our safari, we’ll be staying in Muench-style comfort at some of the best camps in the area, with all the expected amenities: top-level local guides, amazing food, luxurious accommodations with en-suite facilities, and hot showers. Expect to be immersed in photography and safari from before sunup until after sunset. Everyone can expect to learn the finer points of wildlife photography and to refine “the art of seeing,” where you will work on improving your compositions. In the evenings and during downtimes, we will work with you on image reviews and post-processing. Of course, non-photographer spouses or partners are very welcome!
About the wildlife: This workshop offers significant opportunities for photographing wildlife, and while we do our best to maximize our wildlife encounters—based on past experiences, local knowledge, and the current conditions—we need to impress upon you that the wildlife really is wild and that we don’t control it.
This itinerary is subject to change due to weather, local conditions, and other factors.
October 5, 2024: Arrive in Nairobi, Kenya this day and our VIP service will meet you airside, and guide you through customs and immigration and baggage claim. We will transfer you to our hotel for the night where you can have a light bite, and rest from the long travel day.
October 6–9, 2024: From Nairobi’s Wilson Airport, we’ll take a private bush plane flight up to Lewa, in Kenya’s Laikipia region. Our camp features large comfortable rooms with verandahs and full en-suite bathrooms, and a very relaxed atmosphere. This unique and exclusive retreat offers privileged access to 65,000 acres of private protected wilderness. Each day on our safari, we’ll head out on morning and afternoon game drives in specially-equipped safari vehicles. Only one photographer per row in our cars, assuring you of the best chance to get the shot. We’ll spend our middays with plenty of downtime and our signature image reviews, post-processing instruction, and critiques.
October 9–11, 2024: We are at Borana Lodge, in the Borana Conservancy, adjacent to Lewa. Borana Lodge is located at the heart of Borana Conservancy, with a fantastic view of Mount Kenya. The lodge was built entirely from local materials by local craftsmen and the Dyer family. It is perched on a hillside above a dam, where wildlife regularly gathers. Here at Borana we can have traditional game drive safaris, as well as walking safaris. If you are interested, you can even safari by mountain bike or horseback! The wildlife is plentiful and diverse, and the landscape provides for stunning backdrops. We hope to photograph many many birds, antelopes, other mammals, possibly rhino, and yes, predators such as lion, cheetah, and leopard. Here too, we have the chance to see and photograph unique species such as Grevy’s zebra and Reticulated giraffe.
October 11–13, 2024: From Borana we will fly by private charter to Kenya’s Great Southern Rift Valley, to Shompole Wilderness. Set in the heart of Southern Maasailand, Shompole is hot and dry, but curiously filled with a wide diversity of birds, reptiles and large mammals. The Ewaso Ng’iro river brings water from the Mau highlands to feed the wildlife, people and their livestock who coexist together here. Located almost half way between the famous Amboseli National Park and the Maasai Mara National Reserve the area plays an important role as a wildlife corridor between the two.
The Shompole ecosystem is unique in that it is owned and managed by the Maasai. It is not a National Park and therefore we are unlikely to see other visitors and have the freedom to be outside the vehicles rather than in them! We do not have schedules or major rules to abide to other than respect for the ecosystem and its custodians, the Maasai. It is here at Shompole that we will spend our time in their famous ground-level hide, getting unique photographic perspectives on our wildlife subjects.
October 13–17, 2024: We depart Shompole and again fly by private charter, this time to Amboseli National Park. For the next four days and nights we are on safari in Amboseli, where not only will be photographing in Amboseli National Park, but also on private land that we have private accces to as well. Here we have exclusive and unfettered access to the wildlife, we can go off-road as we like, and we can photograph from outside the vehicles, getting on the ground and eye-level with our subjects. While the wildlife is diverse and abundant in Amboseli, our main focus will be the majestic herds of elephant that parade through the landscape. Having a family of these giant creatures march in silence a few feet away from you is an experience you will never forget! We hope to treat you to some unforgettable cultural experiences with our long-time Masai friends in the area as well.
October 17, 2024: We’ll make the most of this last day, with a morning game drive before our late morning charter flight from Amboseli to Nairobi. We have dayrooms at Sheraton Four Points at Nairobi Airport for everyone, and flights home anytime today after 5:00 PM.
What is safari camp life like?
In short, you'll feel like you're in a luxury hotel! We've handpicked our camps for comfort, knowledgeable and friendly staff, great food, and convenience to our main objective, the wildlife. We also place considerable value on isolation and exclusivity. You won't find us in areas where there are dozens of other vehicles at a sighting—you'll feel like you own the land, and the animals are there just for you! Typical tented accommodations feature twin beds or queen bed, high thread-count linens, storage for clothing, sitting area, verandah, and of course en suite bathrooms, with toilets, hot water, and showers. They are enormous in size, bright, open, and airy.
Our days start early before sunrise. We'll have a quick coffee or tea, maybe a cookie, and off on our first game drive of the day. The animals are just starting to stir as the day begins, and we want to be there, and in the best light. We'll stay out for a few to several hours, depending on the sightings. After a mid-drive coffee break, we'll continue on until mid to late morning. We typically have breakfast in the field to maximize our game-viewing and photographing time. Back in camp, it's time for offloading cards, one-on-one instruction, or just taking time to relax and do nothing. Read a book, take a walk, or take a nap and recharge. Of course, there will be lunch, and then In the mid to late afternoon, we'll again head out for another game drive, chasing the best sightings. Enjoying your favorite drink while watching and photographing the sunset is a popular activity. Arrive back at camp after sundown, enjoy a hot shower if you like, and then join us by the campfire or in the living area for cocktails followed by dinner.
Food in our camps is superb—you'll be served both dishes you know and local specialties, too. Of course any dietary needs can be accommodated.
We've arranged for the best safari vehicles—custom Land Cruisers which feature ample room for you and your gear, and excellent visibility. And only one photographer per row of seats (note that front seat next to driver counts as a row). All of our camps feature optional daily laundry service (but not on days we travel in between camps).
Why a Muench Workshops Safari?
We know you have choices, and yes, you can spend less on another Safari. Our aim is to give you the best possible experience, maximizing your time and minimizing the hassle, while providing the best photographic experience and instruction available anywhere.
Photography and Safari Guiding: We've personally chosen only the best local safari guides for this photographic safari.
Details Matter: Our itinerary is carefully set to bring you the best game viewing and all that the region offers. We arrange things so that we're in areas that are not overly crowded with many other safari vehicles, and we get off-road when possible so we can get close to the action and our subjects.
Photography Instruction: This is a workshop, not just a tour. We will work hard on this safari, with instruction in the field and in camp. Many evenings feature critiques and post-processing instruction after dinner, and during the daytime we offer one-on-one instruction as needed. You'll come away with a wealth of new knowledge not only on how to create great imagery but how best to process those images in Lightroom and Photoshop.
Years of Experience—Happy Repeat Customers: We've been leading, guiding and teaching photographers for a long time—and we have thrilled customers who come back on our workshops again and again to prove it. If you'd like to speak to someone who has been with us on a workshop or safari, just let us know, we'd be happy to arrange a phone call.
Easy: You must be able to climb in and out of the custom open land cruisers, and ride for several hours on possibly bumpy terrain.
Arrive Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO), Nairobi, Kenya before 3:00 PM on October 5, 2024. Flights out can be made after 5:00 PM on October 17, 2024. Air travel delays are common. Please arrive early, possibly even the day prior, so you don’t miss any of the workshop.
What to Bring
Please see our page How To Prepare For Your Workshop. We will send you a detailed information document 90 days before your workshop. This document will include specifics of where and when to meet, gear and clothing recommendations, and more.
- Double occupancy lodging. Single available for $2,500 supplement.
- Scheduled airport transfers.
- House spirits, beers, and wines at our camps.
- All meals, soft drinks, and snacks during the workshop.
- Laundry at our camps.
- All permits and park fees.
- Internal flights during the workshop.
- All transportation during the workshop.
- Tips for crew, drivers, and local guides.
- Photographic guiding and instruction from 2 pros.
- Image reviews and post-processing instruction.
- Adventure, fun, inspiration, and a great time!.
- Travel to and from Nairobi, Kenya.
- Passport and visa fees (if applicable).
- Any meals or accommodations before or after the workshop dates.
- Items of a personal nature.
- Medical Evacuation Insurance (required).
- Travel Medical and Trip Cancellation Insurance (optional, but recommended).
- Anything else specifically not listed as included.
- Single rooming available for $2,500 supplement.
- Your non-refundable deposit of $6,995 will hold your space in this workshop.
- Further non-refundable payment of $7,000 is due by March 1, 2024.
- The non-refundable balance is due not later than June 1, 2024.
- In addition to our standard Terms and Conditions, for this workshop all payments are non-refundable, and this is why we recommend comprehensive travel insurance including trip cancelation.
- Need special payment arrangements? No problem, just ask us.
“Brilliant! Andy you are a great teacher, you broke it down into simple steps that I could understand. You clearly listened when I said my goal was to be independent and have fun. I began the trip intimidated by the camera and out of my depth, thanks to your clear, concise, "straight talk" you gave me the confidence to use the technology to capture what I saw. ”
“Andy - I wanted to thank you for putting on such an amazing workshop. I learned a lot from you and feel much more confident about my photography going forward. And what a great group! I had so much fun with everyone. It was a memorable trip for me and I appreciate all the hard work and effort that went into making it such a success. ”