One of the greatest human adventures is a total immersion in a natural environment that hasn't changed in millennia and is filled with millions of animals that continue to follow the never-ending succession of the seasons. The Masai Mara and Serengeti plains of East Africa are just such adventurous places and must be experienced and photographed as they have always been and will hopefully be preserved into the distant future.
1.Start your journey in Africa’s Great Rift Valley where the Earth is ripping itself apart in a spectacular display of tectonic power and the remains of the earliest ancestors of humans have been found. Plan to linger with your camera along Lake Naivasha to capture the amazing sunrises and sunsets and the intense storms that can occur there.
2.The Rift opens onto the Masai Mara, or plain, in southwest Kenya, which is contiguous to the Serengeti Plain in Tanzania, creating one of the grandest natural reserves in the world. Giant herds of wildebeest, zebras and many species of African antelope travel the annual migratory route for food, water and the safest places to calve.
3.Here is also the home of Africa’s Big Five – lion, elephant, Cape buffalo, leopard and white/black rhinoceros – with the room to roam and raise their young.
4.It is also where you’ll find (if you’re lucky and patient) the never-ending drama of predator and prey. Lions, leopards, cheetahs and hyenas follow the migrating herds of millions to cull the weak, the sick, the injured and the young not able to maintain the endless pace. It’s the timeless cycle of life and the images you capture could be you’re most spectacular.
5.It surprises many people to learn that predators hunt only occasionally. Much of their time is spent resting and nurturing their young. It’s the female lion that leads the pride, protecting the cubs and leading them to fresh kills to eat. Young male lions may be seen in territorial combat with the rulers of the prides and cheetah mothers teaching their cubs the ways of the hunt. Elephants are extremely protective, warily watching for predators as their babies play in the shallow pools and enjoy a mud bath.
6.Keep your camera at the ready for a variety of animal interactions, as immature adults of wildebeest, zebra and antelope join in sparring and rough play to learn the skills of survival and successful mating.
7.No wildlife environment as diverse and immense as the Masai Mara and Serengeti operates according to a script. The unexpected scene or event is always lurking like a lioness in the tall grass. The challenge to capture such moments will help you develop your photographer’s mind and eye and allow you take home images that don’t pattern the millions taken by everyday tourists.
8.As part of your photographic journey across this landscape teeming with life, take to the air in a hot-air balloon or airplane for an exciting perspective. From a higher altitude, the plain stretches as far as you can see and the enormous herds roil below you like a sea of life.
9.The Masai Mara and Serengeti is not just the home of animal life. The Masai people are a noble tribe that were once some of the fiercest warriors of Africa, but today are peaceful herders of cattle. They are friendly and inviting and eager to show you their ancient culture and to be photographed as new friends from this part of the world.
10.The sun and the special light it casts on these plains is a critical element in the lives and environment of all who live there. As with any spectacular landscape, you must plan to be awake early and to schedule time at dusk – the magic hours for any photographer – to capture beautiful sunrises and sunsets and the sometime unusual scenes and events that can be seen only during these periods of the day.
To make your journey across the Masai Mara and Serengeti both an amazing photographic learning opportunity and a life affirming experience, join one of Exposure Tours’ 2014/2015 Photo Safaris. You will be one of only 6 photographers on each safari, with your choice of the 6- or 9-day Masai Mara adventure or the 9-day Luxury Photo Safari. For a total family adventure, Exposure Tours offers it’s Bespoke Photo Safari, or 10 days spent on the plains photographing animals as well as kid-friendly fun, such as horseback riding, a helicopter trip, feeding African animals and even a beach vacation.
Professional local guides escort all photo safaris and the host and head instructor is Bryan Pereira, a National Geographic Stock Photographer, Digital Landscape Photographer of the Year and Past Board Member, Royal Photographic Society.
Exposure Tours Photo Safaris include all the amenities: the finest accommodations (private luxury tent camps for the luxury safari), meals and various costs and fees. Trips across the plains are in 4x4 vehicles, with just 2 photographers per vehicle and an instructor. Regular image reviews and in-camp workshops are also scheduled to help you learn the tricks and tips to take home an incredible selection of images.
Exposure Tours’ Photo Safaris are very popular, so visit the Website at exposuretours.com soon, so you won’t miss this one-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
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