Lorne's travel photography workshops are geared toward every participant skill level. Whether you're a beginner or a pro, you will gain valuable insights, while creating images in some of the most beautiful places in the world. Whether your passion is landscape photography, nature, people or wildlife photography. Lorne will have you seeing the way you create photos in whole new ways. The emphasis will be on shooting, techniques (workflow, digital exposure, photoshop, etc.,) and discussions focused on unlocking your personal vision. Each participant will have plenty of opportunity for individual attention, questions and portfolio reviews.
–NOT ALL AFRICAN PHOTO SAFARIS ARE CREATED EQUAL–
Africa is an exceptional experience on every level as well as an extraordinary place to create unique and beautiful photos. For this once-in-a-lifetime trip, Lorne will be partnering with one of the top Adventure Travel companies in the world. This assures us of securing the best vehicles, best drivers, best guides and best locations. Unless you have a lot of time to spend in Africa (Lorne spent a solid year, in his own vehicle in Africa and knows how long it can take to find the best spots), it's all about the location, guides and drivers. Period. This translates directly into being in locations to have the opportunity to create unique, one-of-a-kind images – and the high-end service and 5-star lodging doesn't hurt either. This is a custom-built trip, produced by Lorne in conjunction with the travel outfitter and is specifically geared towards photography.
It is an exceptional cultural and wildlife safari. The safari will take you to the heart of the region's greatest and most exclusive highlights in great style – unbelievable properties, magnificent food and wonderful company – all during the annual wildlife migration. It is an amazing wildlife safari, well off the “beaten track,” in some of the finest wildlife destinations in Africa and rife with opportunities for fabulous game-viewing and cultural interaction.
Here are some other features of the trip:
• This workshop is about lots of shooting. Being in Africa is often a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so we want to take advantage of every minute. There is little classroom sessions or lectures. We will be working closely together, sharing our knowledge and experience.
• Lorne will be shooting alongside you the entire time, giving you input and suggestions. The trip is very informal and lots of fun.
• A maximum of 3 passengers per Land Rover will ensure adequate room for your gear (photographers will have their own row, so you can shoot out of any side of the vehicle at a moments notice).
• Luxury accommodations in safari lodges (each with full amenities) will allow you to safely store, recharge, clean and maintain your equipment.
• The pacing and environment of the trip will fit everyone's photographic needs.
The boundless wilderness and big game of this region has long attracted adventure seekers from all over the globe. Few countries even come close to the range of landscapes, unique geographical features and amazing species that you'll find in Kenya.
At the heart of these lands is the Masai Mara Game Reserve, widely considered to be Africa’s greatest wildlife reserve. The Mara comprises 200 sq. miles of open plains, woodlands and riverine forest. Contiguous with the plains of the Serengeti, the Mara is home to an astounding array of life. The first sight of this natural wonderland is breathtaking. Here the great herds of shuffling elephants browse among the rich tree-studded grasslands with an occasional sighting of a solitary rhino. Lion, leopard and cheetah all hunt in this pristine wilderness. In the Mara River, hippo submerge at the approach of a vehicle only to surface seconds later to snort and grumble their displeasure. Seemingly drowsy crocodiles sunbathe on the river banks, mouth agape, waiting with subtle cunning for prey at which to strike with lightning swiftness.
But this richness of fauna, this profusion of winged beauty and the untouched fragility of the landscape are all subordinate to the Mara's foremost attraction, the march of the wildebeest. Each year, far south in the great vastness of the Serengeti, the wildebeest raise their dignified but quaint heads, sniff the air and, as if by one accord, start the long trek to the Kenya border and the Masai Mara. Known as the "greatest show on earth," the migration numbers approximately 2 million wildebeest, zebra and gazelle that group communally for protection as they wander northwards to the succulent grasses of the Masai Mara.
Kenya (see itinerary for details)
$9,995.00 from Nairobi, Kenya
1) Accommodations are two people per room. If you'd like a private room, there is a supplementary charge of $1,500.00
2) Two-day pre-trip stay. This is a very special two-day pre-trip that includes a day of rest from the long flight and photo tours of a rhino & elephant orphanage plus a hotel with a resident herd of giraffes. Includes hotel (shared) for both nights & meals. More details below. Additionally, there is single room supplement for the two-day pre-trip, of $300.
What is included:
• Workshop fee
• Full board, shared accommodation while at camps
• Meet and greet services
• Assistance at the airport
• Services of English speaking driver-guides
• Guaranteed row of seats to yourself in private safari vehicle ensuring plenty of room for your equipment
• All transfers as per the itinerary
• Scheduled service flights inclusive of tax & surcharges
• Park fees & government taxes
• Flying Doctor Membership
• Porterage of 2 pieces of luggage per person
• Soft drinks, mineral water, beers, house wines, and laundry service throughout except in Nairobi
• One bottle of water in the vehicle on game drives per person, per day
What is not included:
• International airfare
• International airport taxes
• All expenses of a personal nature (telephone calls, spa treatments)
• Premium brand drinks
• Tips and gratuities for drivers, guides, hotel staff, etc.
• Entry visa fees-currently USD 25
• Travel, medical & health insurance
• Any excess baggage charges
• Cost of obtaining passport
• Any additional cost not included in the itinerary
How to reserve your spot:
Lorne's trips are group trips for people that do not like group trips – additionally he only runs one Africa trip per year - hence they sell out quickly.
If you are interested, hit the big red GET INFO button above and Lorne will get right back to you with open trip dates and prices.
All prices and payments are in US funds. Methods of payment: all major credit cards, check, bank draft or bank wire.
Terms & Conditions
Itinerary: Total 12 Days
Day 1: Depart home country (for travelers departing from USA/Canada) for Kenya.
Day 2: Connect in Amsterdam with your flight to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, arriving in the evening. On arrival, you will be met by a tour representative and transferred to your accommodations for the night.
Day 3, 4, 5 & 6: Lewa Safari Camp, Lewa Downs
After breakfast we will be driven the short distance to Wilson, Nairobi’s internal airport, where we'll board our scheduled flight to the Laikipia plateau, the wild and sparely populated region considered to be the gateway to Kenya’s Northern Frontier. On arrival, we'll be met and transferred to the Lewa Safari Camp in the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, our home for the next four nights.
Lewa Safari Camp comprises twelve luxury tents on the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy. Lewa is famed the world over for its community conservation efforts and the fruits of those efforts are visible in the vast quantities of game that live on the 65,000-acre farm. Nestled between Mt. Kenya and the Samburu Reserve, the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy is home to a wide variety of wildlife that has adapted to the semi-arid environment. In addition to both black and white rhino — Lewa is a rhino sanctuary — our small group can expect to find elephant, lion, leopard, cheetah, reticulated giraffe, Grevy’s zebra, buffalo, hartebeest, bushbuck, gerenuk and Somalo ostrich. If we’re lucky, our daily game drives may also reveal rare sitatunga antelope and African wild dog.
We will be using private vehicles during the entire trip, available only to the participants in our group. This means we will control when we leave for our game drives and when we return to the camp. Additionally there will be no more than one person per row, leaving you plenty of room for your equipment and to enable you to shoot out of either side of the vehicle depending in where the action is. Our stay in Lewa Safari Camp includes local drinks, day and night game drives, guided walks, a visit to Il'Ngwesi cultural Boma, pre-historic site visit and one horseback or camelback ride.
The 12 tents at Lewa Safari Camp are custom-made permanent tents give you the feeling of sleeping in a large luxury tent, and yet have all the conveniences of a permanent cottage or lodge room. Waking up at dawn, you may open your "windows" and see the awakening of the wildlife and birds across Lewa. Giraffe stride elegantly across the horizon, while other animals sound out each other along with the dawn chorus of birds. Each of the tents have hot and cold running water in the bathrooms and are widely spaced around the Lewa Safari Camp area within an electric perimeter fence to keep out large game. You may wake up to the sound of an African dawn with Kenyan tea or coffee delivered to your door. After a fruitful early morning game drive, back to camp for a hearty breakfast.
Evenings may be spent learning about the community wildlife and development campaigns in the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy that have led to large tracts of lands being set aside in the Northern Frontier District for conservation. Guests may also take advantage of the large swimming pool, WiFi access, have a massage, or set off for a walk in the bush with the excellent guides and rangers that Lewa trains for outreach programs. This is the ideal base for exploring the area on foot or safari vehicle, by day or night. You can even set out by horseback or camel for a memorable experience on safari.
Lewa Downs is in the heart of the Laikipia region, a broad swath of game-rich grasslands and hills that reach Mount Kenya to one side and the wild deserts of the north to the other. Outside of the Masai Mara, Laikipia can boast the greatest wildlife experiences in Kenya. Lewa lies in the shadow of the magnificent 17,000-foot. Mount Kenya and, so, one of your days, you’ll be able to fly by helicopter or fixed wing up around the towering peaks of Nelion and Battian where you can see the most famous glaciers in Africa. Also, high up on the giant heather moor-land lies Lake Alice, a stunning glacial lake. You can have a delicious picnic there and explore the exquisitely beautiful area. There are even very sizeable trout living in the crystal waters and those that would like to may have a go at fly-fishing. This trip is an extra option. We can also arrange a horse or camel ride, if you are keen. Not only is the location exceptionally beautiful, but the food is also excellent and every last morsel is an organic product of the farm.
A few days at Lewa Downs is a unique combination of hospitality, spectacular scenery and abundant wildlife.
Lewa Downs Extra Options:
• Horse ride in Lewa – US $40 per person per hour
• Camel ride in Lewa – US $40 per person per hour
• Lake Rutundu Fishing Excursion –US $7600 per 5-seater helicopter (max 3 hours) per extra hour US $2500
Day 7, 8, 9 & 10: Olonana Camp, Masai Mara
After breakfast, we'll drive to the airstrip and fly down to the Masai Mara, a rich savannah famous for its concentration of plains game and predators, including lion, elephant, leopard, cheetah and hyena. There, we’ll be met at the airstrip by our driver/guide and taken on a game drive en route to the Sanctuary Olonana Camp.
Sanctuary Olonana is an award-winning tented camp on a private stretch of the Mara River, at the foot of the impressive Siria Escarpment. This small and exclusive camp features commanding views over the dramatic Mara River from the dining room and verandah, as well as a library, a pool and even an organic garden where much of the food served in camp is grown. And who could forget the mini-spa where guests can experience traditional African remedies. The fourteen canvas tents (all with two queen-size beds) at Sanctuary Olonana are extremely comfortable and spacious. All have parquet floors, four-poster beds, a flush lavatory, solar lights, a good hot shower, and private verandas overlooking the river.
The Masai Mara is commonly considered to be the best game viewing in the world and is fabulous for seeing big cats, their prey and all the Big Five. It is also the stage for the greatest show on Earth - the wildebeest migration. From around July to October, grunting herds of wildebeest and zebra cover the plains, often crossing the river between Tanzania and Kenya, attended by crocodile, lion and cheetah.
The wildlife is abundant and the swaying grasslands ensure that animals are never out of sight. Elephants browse amongst the large herds of wildebeest and topi, eland and buffalo, and Thomson’s and Grant’s gazelle. The plains offer a rich variety of food for the dominant predators: lion; leopard; hyena and cheetah. In the Mara River, hippos submerge to snort and grumble while crocodiles sunbathe, mouths agape, on the riverbanks.
At Sanctuary Olonana game viewing starts from the camp. A pod of hippos lives permanently in the river just below Olonana and many other species come to drink there. Sanctuary's experienced guides take you to all the hidden spots and our customized open safari vehicles offer all-round views, allowing for excellent photography opportunities. The Mara's rich ecosystem includes acacia- studded savannah, riparian forest and woodland which attract more than 300 bird species and a stunning variety of animal life all year round.
We will also be visiting a Maasai Village to photograph and get an insight into the vibrant and still traditional way of life of the Masai. We'll learn about the medicinal plants that grow there, the importance of cattle and the stages of life through which all Masai pass, from young boy or girl to respected elder. We'll meet the elders, their wives and families and learn about the social structure of the homestead, the role of women in their society and many more aspects of their daily life. Interaction and discussion is encouraged, so whether the ladies are building a hut, the warriors are dancing or making fire with stones and sticks, guests are free to join in.
Under a boundless sapphire sky, enjoy four full days of morning and afternoon game drives. At Sanctuary Olonana, our game viewing starts from the camp, where a nearby river plays host to hippos. Here in this northern extension of the Serengeti Plains, the land is teeming with elephant, large prides of lion, Thomson’s gazelle, giraffe and even topi — the only place in Kenya where they are common. Photograph herds of wildebeest, eland and buffalo across a carpet of swaying grasses. Zebras may dash wildly across the Mara River, while hippos submerge to snort and grumble while crocodiles sunbathe on the riverbanks. And the silence may be broken by the lilting song of birds — more than 400 species have been recorded in the Mara.
Perhaps you’ll wish to forgo a morning game drive in favor of a hot-air balloon safari (additional cost) for a bird’s-eye view of the acacia-studded savannahs and wildlife of Kenya. Another available option is an excursion to Lake Victoria, where you can try your hand at fishing for legendary giant Nile perch in the company of experienced boat captains. Lake Victoria is Africa’s largest lake, and along the small islands and shores of this lake bordering Tanzania. Uganda and Kenya, you may explore tiny islands and enjoy bird watching.
Sanctuary Olonana's main dining room and veranda command views over a dramatic stretch of the Mara River. See, and hear, the family of noisy hippos who colonize the banks below the camp. Experience first-hand the sheer scale of the annual wildebeest migration across East Africa. The camp has a library, a pool and even an organic garden where much of the food served in camp is grown. After dinner, we'll retire to the warmth of the campfire where brandies and liqueurs are served as we'll relax and absorb the peace and beauty of an African night.
At the Sanctuary Olonana we will be able to visit a local school during the school term as well as go on nature walks and night game drives, which are not possible at the public game parks. Since many animals hunt at night these night drives are an opportunity to see activities that are rarely witnessed.
There is also an option for a morning balloon safari for $550 per person. As the balloon is inflated against the first rays of sunrise your pilot will go through safety procedures. It’s then time to climb aboard. Once aloft, the balloon floats gently over the plains, giving a bird's-eye view of the game below as the sun creeps slowly over the horizon. Spread beneath you is a panorama of Africa – elephants looking improbably small; giraffe browsing amongst the treetops; antelope grazing; a pair of lionesses stalking a herd of wildebeest; an eagle guarding his aerie; and cheetah glancing up as the shadow of the huge balloon crosses their paths.
After around one hour the balloon lands and nearby breakfast is already being prepared. The smells of bacon, sausages and eggs drift on the breeze as you begin breakfast with platefuls of exotic Kenyan fruits and homemade pastries and, of course, glasses of bubbly to toast your flight.
Another option during our stay in the Mara is a trip to Lake Victoria (for $495 extra per person). This requires an early morning start with a transfer to take you to the airstrip for a flight by light aircraft to Lake Victoria. On arrival, enjoy an appetizing full English breakfast before you board the boat for the morning. There will be the opportunity to try fishing for the legendary giant Nile perch found in these waters as you explore the myriad of tiny islands found in this region of the lake. An experienced and knowledgeable fisherman captains each boat. There is the chance to stop at a traditional fishing village and see how the villagers live from day to day before returning to the airstrip for your return flight to the Masai Mara.
Day 11: Masai Mara | Nairobi
Following breakfast this morning we'll enjoy our last game drive in the Mara as we transfer to our flight across the Rift Valley and up to Nairobi. On arrival we'll be met by a tour representative and transferred to our hotel. A room will be available for our use for the day and the afternoon is at leisure to do some last-minute shopping, rest or explore on your own, before we transfer to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport for the evening flight home for connecting flights to the U.S.
Day 12: Amsterdam to home
Connect out of Amsterdam (for those coming back to the States) and arrive back home.
Two days in and around Nairobi.
Because of the long travel time (from the States & Canada), it is recommended that people arrive one day early, to be well rested for when the Safari starts. Additionally, Lorne has arranged a very special second day for those who join him in Nairobi for these two days.
Day 1: Depart home country (for travelers departing from USA/Canada) for Kenya.
Day 2: Connect in Amsterdam with your flight to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, arriving in the evening. You'll be met by a tour representative who will take you to your hotel in Nairobi.
Day 3: Today will be a day of relaxing from the flight. This is also an ideal time to meet and get to know each other a bit, as well as answer any questions and talk about the upcoming Safari.
Day 4: On the second day after arriving, we'll have breakfast at our hotel and then head off for an extremely unique day trip. First, we'll be going to visit and take photos at The Giraffe Manor where they have a herd of resident giraffe. We'll spend a few hours shooting and playing amongst the giraffes (while trying not to get giraffe salvia on our lenses!). Afterwards, we will have lunch at the Manor and then head off to The David Sheldrick Wildlife Animal Orphanage - an elephant and black rhino orphanage. There we'll have a one-hour private tour where we can be amongst and photograph the baby elephants and rhinos. After that, we'll head back to our hotel for dinner and to prepare for the start of our Safari the next day. Those that don't join us for the two day pre-trip will be arriving tonight to start the Safari with us tomorrow. Here's some information on the Manor and the Trust:
The Giraffe Manor is famous for its resident herd of giraffe and is the only place in the world where you can enjoy the breathtaking experience of feeding and photographing the giraffe over the breakfast table and at the front door. The Giraffe Manor offers a rich blend of welcoming accommodations, as well as one of Nairobi's finest kitchens.
The Giraffe Manor is surrounded by 140 acres of indigenous forest just outside Kenya's capital, Nairobi. As well as giraffe, the property is also home to many species of birds, large families of warthogs and the elusive Bush Buck.
Built in 1932 by David Duncan of the 'Macintosh Toffee' family, The Giraffe Manor is modeled on a Scottish hunting lodge with views of Mt. Kilimanjaro to the south and the Ngong Hills to the west. In 1974, the grandson of a Scots' Earl, Jock Leslie Melville and his American wife Betty, bought the Manor as their home.
The Rothschild giraffe lost much of their natural habitat in western Kenya and faced extinction. In 1974, two highly endangered Rothschild giraffe were moved onto the estate where their future generations have thrived and live today. Jock and Betty founded the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife (AFEW). The Giraffe Centre (AFEW Kenya) was built on the property so that Kenyan school children could learn conservation/ecology and feed giraffe eyeball to eyeball! Visitors touring Nairobi have a chance to visit and pay an entrance fee to the Giraffe Centre. Profits go to various projects in Kenya. Betty's son Rick has led AFEW USA and AFEW Kenya since 1983.
When Jock died in 1984 and Betty returned to the USA she opened her house - now The Giraffe Manor - to visitors. The Giraffe Manor was run by Rick and his wife Bryony for 25 years. In March 2009, the Manor was bought by Tanya and Mikey Carr-Hartley and is now part of the Tamimi portfolio of camps and lodges in Kenya.
The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is a small, flexible charity, established in 1977 to honor the memory of a famous naturalist, David Leslie William Sheldrick MBE, the founding Warden of Tsavo East National Park in Kenya.
The Trust has played an extremely significant role in Kenya’s conservation effort since it was founded in 1977, speaking out when necessary on controversial issues and stepping in unobtrusively and rapidly to bridge a gap or meet a shortfall that jeopardizes wildlife during times of governmental economic constraints.
The Trust was the pioneer of Kenya’s very effective conservation strategy to retrieve the highly endangered Black Rhino from extinction, something that has been emulated elsewhere in Africa. The Trust also pioneered the successful hand-rearing and complicated strategy of successful rehabilitation back into established wild rhino communities of orphaned Black Rhino calves. Its expertise has been responsible for saving many orphaned rhino calves on Kenya’s private ranches, as well as elsewhere in Africa. Its hands-on practical experience and inside knowledge of this species is unmatched.
The same can be said of elephants, for the Trust can claim another important first. Daphne Sheldrick was the first person in the entire world to successfully hand-rear newborn, fully milk-dependent African Elephant orphans, something that spanned 28 years of trial and error to achieve. By the year 2008, the Trust had successfully saved and hand-reared over 82 infant African Elephant calves, two from the day of birth. Currently, over 40 of the Trust’s hand-reared elephants are fully established and living free amongst their wild peers in Tsavo, some returning with wild-born young to show their erstwhile human family. The Trust has trained a team of competent Elephant Keepers who replace the orphans’ lost elephant family until such time as the transition to the wild herds has been accomplished, something that can take up to ten years, since elephant calves duplicate their human counterparts in terms of development through age progression. Those that were orphaned too young to recall their elephant family remain dependent longer, but all the Trust’s orphans eventually take their rightful place amongst their wild counterparts, including those orphaned on the day they were born.
• Immediately after registration, you will be emailed a receipt and confirmation that a spot has been reserved for you. Shortly after that you will be sent pre-departure information as well as equipment recommendations and a comprehensive checklist of what to bring for the trip.
• Because of the luxury accommodations and unique location of this workshop, this trip is an ideal opportunity for non-photographer partners, spouses and friends to come along. Even non-photographers will find the wildlife viewing opportunities and places visited to be thrilling. We can offer an $750.00 discount for a second spot if you would like to bring a non-photographer guest who is willing to share your seat row in the vehicle on all game drives with you. This offer is limited to three slots only. Once the three slots are filled then the cost for non-photographers will be the same as for active participants. Please inquire here before registering to see if the discount is still available.
• To get the best images and understanding of the techniques discussed during the workshop, you should try to become familiar with the basic controls and settings for your camera. We can and do help you with the best settings for specific situations, but there are so many different camera models that we cannot know the operation of each. Lorne can give a complimentary personal consultation on what equipment to bring, rent, or buy before the workshop. See Cuba workshop preparation for some details on equipment suggestions.
• Based on availability, a one-hour sunrise hot air balloon flight is possible. This is an incredible opportunity to float high above the plains and photograph the animals from a unique vantage point. The cost is $550.00. The entire trip takes about three hours, with about one hour in the air. If you are interested in this, you should let Lorne know when registering, so that he can book the flight.
• If the dates of the trip don't work for you or you'd like a custom trip for yourself or your group, Lorne can assist you. Not every trip works for everyone's timeframe and needs. Lorne can set up and lead a custom trip for you, virtually anywhere in the world, using the best accommodations, guides, and services. Please inquire about a private trip based on your private group, itinerary, schedule and needs.
• For more information see the about the workshops, workshop faqs and terms and conditions.
Please do not book your flight until you get confirmation that you have secured a spot on the trip. Once you have confirmation, please arrange your flight(s) to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO) as soon as possible. You will need to arrive on Day 14th as we will begin our Safari in the early afternoon the next day. Accommodation for the night of the 14th is included in the trip cost. If you do not arrive at the start of the Safari, then you will need to make arrangements to catch up with the group at your own expense.
International airfares are not included in the Workshop/Trip cost. You should book your airfare as soon as your registration is confirmed and your spot is held for you. It is highly recommended that you buy refundable air tickets and we suggest you compare prices to get the best deal.
Although Kenya's varied environments experience a wide variety of climate conditions, the temperature remains comfortably warm year-round. Much of Kenya experiences heavy rainfall from March through May and, to a lesser extent, from October through December. The best time for most outdoor activities (including safari and mountain climbing) is during the dry season (June-Day).