Join Nikon Ambassador Kristi Odom and Award Winning Photographer Mark Kettenhofen on a Photography Adventure through Kenya's Most Amazing Wildlife Parks!
February 3rd - February 12, 2023
Adventure, education and stunning wildlife! From Mark's amazing landscape photography to Kristi's emotional wildlife images, this workshop is designed to teach you everything you need to produce portfolio images of some of the most jaw dropping wildlife in the world.
This workshop takes place over 10-days and explores 3 of Africa’s most famous wildlife parks; Masai Mara, Tsavo East National Park, and Tsavo West National Park.
With a 5 to 1 guest to teacher ratio, this workshop is very limited in numbers, so both Kristi and Mark will have lots of time to spend with each person.
Our mission is to provide our guests with life-changing experiences and to give them the tools to share their stories. Whether you are a professional photographer or just purchased your first camera, we believe that you can change the world through your own visual storytelling.
Throughout the workshop, we will be teaching classes, assisting with any photography questions and offering one-on-one mentoring.
Today our adventure begins! On arriving at Nairobi International Airport, you will be greeted by one of our drivers and taken to our hotel. Our first night is in a hotel close to the airport to give us plenty of time to rest after a long flight. Relax and unwind after your flight with a drink and dinner outside on the hotel deck while meeting the group that you will be adventuring with in the days to come. After dinner Kristi and Mark will give a lecture, giving you photography tools, you can use on the adventure ahead!
After breakfast in Nairobi, we will begin our safari with a scenic drive to our first stop, Tsavo West National Park. The Park is a vast expansion of African savanna with a more diverse array of habitats which include open plains, semi desert scrub, woodland, the Chyulu Hills and rock outcrops. It’s famous for the Red Elephants, Oryx, and Gerenuk among other mammal’s species and bird life. From water to fire, the park is home to the Mzima Springs as well as the Shetani Lava Flow and Ash cones (from a recent volcanic eruption).
We will spend the next 2 days and nights exploring Tsavo West National Park. Photographing red elephants, and other wildlife that we may encounter. Our 4x4 safari vehicles will have plenty of space with a maximum of 4 photographers per vehicle. Kristi and Mark will be rotating which vehicle they are in, so they can help with any technical or creative questions you may have.
After filling up our memory cards, we will return in the evenings to our hotel, Ngulia Safari lodge. The lodge sits inside the park and has watering hole right outside its leopard lounge that is frequented by elephant families. Each room has it's own small balcony that overlooks the watering hole. It is common to hear the sounds of the elephants outside from our rooms.
There will be private time for one on one mentoring with Kristi and Mark sharing your images from your first day on safari. No need to edit your work, we want to see all your raw files from the day, that way we can see all the successful images and help with any advice on how to get sharper and more impactful images.
Today, we have a full day of game driving in Tsavo West! The expansive and diverse landscape is home to many of Africa's great wildlife including lions, buffalo, cheetah, giraffe, zebras, hippo, and wildebeest. The Mzima Springs are fed daily by 250 million litres of water pouring from the Chyulu Hills and provide an oasis of lush vegetation which is home to several species of monkey, birds, hippo and crocodile. We will spend the afternoon exploring the springs from the walkable nature trails and view hippo from the underwater viewing chamber.
The evening we will continue our one on ones in the Leopard Lounge while keeping an eye on the watering hole.
We will enjoy an early morning game drive in Tsavo West before breakfast. Upon returning to the lodge we will have breakfast and then drive to Tsavo East. We will arrive in time for lunch then enjoy some down time before heading out in the evening on another game drive. Tsavo East is famous for the ‘Man-eaters’. In 1898, as many as 135 railway workers were attacked and killed by man-eating lions.
A variety of animals can be seen in the park such as lions, leopard, cheetah, zebras, giraffes, serval cats, antelopes, kongoni, lesser kudu, Oryx, klipspringer, impala, stripped hyena, ostriches, gazelles, buffaloes, elephants and many more. A variety of migratory and native birds are seen.
We will spend the next 2 days and nights exploring Tsavo East National Park. Our lodge Voi Safari Lodge sits inside the park and has it's own hide to photograph elephants at the watering hole. In the evening we will have dinner together on the large balcony watching the sunset over the savanna.
Over dinner there will be time to share your stories and favorite images with the group. Kristi and Mark will give valuable critique that you can use in the days ahead.
Tsavo East National Park is one of the world’s largest game reserves at over 13,000 square kilometers. The park provides a very different landscape than Tsavo West National Park. It is much more arid and offers expansive grasslands and savannah. Tsavo East is not only home to its famous maneless male lions, it boasts one of the most diverse populations of wildlife in the world. Safari during the day, then image share and critiques at night.
Today begins with an early breakfast then followed by a morning game-drive in Tsavo East National Park. The early morning is a great time to see active wildlife in the best light for photography. We will then check out of our lodge and head toward Nairobi. We will stop along the way for lunch at Maanzoni lodge then proceed to Nairobi for dinner and overnight. Meals at the Ibis Styles Hotel are not included.
After breakfast, we will depart from Nairobi head through the Great Rift Valley on to Kenya’s premiere wild life reserve, the famous Maasai Mara. We will pass through a small town known as “Mai Mahiu” which means “hot water” in kikuyu language and get a glimpse of the loita plains. The panoramic views of Mara will begin to unfold at this point. Arrive at the Sopa Lodge for check in and lunch. In the evening we will head into the famous Maasai Mara for our first game drive!
Before sunrise we are going to head into the Maasai Mara to get the best light for photography! It is one of Africa’s greatest wildlife reserves and is famous for the abundance of lion, it’s without a doubt one of Africa’s most famous safari destinations. The Maasai stretches 1,510 sq. km and offers the best game and bird viewing not only in Kenya but not only in Africa. The views across the rolling golden grasslands studded with acacia tress, rivers and forests a dazzling the sense of space overwhelming. We will spend as much time as we can inside the park today, taking tons of photos.
Today we are going to visit a Maasai village and Mark Kettenhofen will lead a demonstration on how to get stunning environmental portraits of the Maasai. He will show how to use off camera lighting and how to use the surroundings to elevate your narrative. Tonight, we are all going to have our final group dinner sharing our favorite images from our journey together!
After a leisurely breakfast bid farewell to all the amazing wildlife and depart for Nairobi. On our drive back we will stopover at Narok and proceed to Nairobi. On arrival you’ll be transferred to the airport for your flight back home with full memory cards, new friends and lots of new stories!
February 3rd to February 12th, 2023
Photographing wildlife to evoke emotion.
The power of photography as fine art.
Camera techniques to improve your visual storytelling
Drawing people into landscape through photography
All ground transportation
Drinking water in the vehicle
Full-board accommodation: breakfast, lunch, and dinner**
International Air tickets
Personal expenses such as drinks, tips, telephone calls, etc.
All optional activities and/or those not specified in the Safari Itinerary
$5935 After July 1st 2022
$5795 Early Bird Special (before July 1st 2022)
$1500 non refundable retainer at time of booking
Maximum 10 Photographers
*Single room upgrade - $495
**Meals NOT included at Nairobi hotels
***Guests are required to obtain their own travelers’ insurance
Is February a good time for wildlife?
We have been back and forth to Kenya since 2006, and I can truthfully say, February is my favorite month. Not only is the wildlife in abundance, but the tourism is down. When we asked our guide what his favorite month, he immediately said Feb, which is what started our February trips. Being the dry season, animals gather at the watering holes that make it easy to see and photograph while the migratory birds fly overhead.
What animals might we see?
Lions, leopard, cheetah, zebras, giraffes, elephants, rhinos, buffaloes, wild dogs, serval cats, antelopes, kongoni, lesser kudu, Oryx, klipspringer, impala, stripped hyena, ostriches, gazelles, buffaloes and many more. Kenya also has a ton of beautiful bird life, my favorites being the Secretary Bird, Hornbill and the Lilac Breasted Roller
How do I get there?
You will need to fly into and out of Nairobi International Airport. On the last day make sure you have an evening flight that departs after 8pm (most flights are around 11pm).
How physically demanding are the wildlife safaris
Our safari vehicles will be doing all the work. So sit back and enjoy being driven around to see and experience the wildlife.
How many guests are in each vehicle?
Maximum 4 guest in our 4x4 land cruiser (that seats 7 in the back), so you will have a window seat and lots of room for your gear.
Will we have Internet and Phone service?
The lodges will have spotty wifi services. I have found that I often even get reception with my international T-Mobile plan inside the game parks. I am happy to provide my number (in the case of an emergency only) to family back home.
What happens if there is a medical emergency?
One of the drivers can help take you to seek medical care. We do require that everyone has medical insurance. If this is a concern, I do recommend talking to your insurance company about what it provides. Some policy will even do medical evacuations so you can get treated at home.
Any recommendation for travel insurance?
I personally use an Allianz Global policy.
Any shots or vaccines?
You will need to talk to your own travel doctors about your recommended shots and medications. To get an idea, I usually check the Traveler's Health area on the CDC website for Kenya.
What about Visas?
Kenya currently does require a visa, it is an easy online application that needs to be done before travel.
Mark’s work spans across decades and genres. He has been behind his camera covering war in Iraq, to spending weeks the jungles of the Amazon River basin for NGOs. His efforts and talent were recognized through numerous awards, including being awarded the prestigious Military Photographer of the Year. After serving 20-years in the US Navy, Mark spent 21-years working for Nikon Professional Services, as a seniorstaff photographer where he produced several award-winning UHD time-lapse movies highlighting the D850 and Z7. Mark is the co-author of America from 500-feet II, a photographic study of the United States using experimental aircraft with legendary landscape photographer, Bill Fortney. Mark’s passion for photography is only eclipsed by teaching, mentoring and sharing the magic of photography with others. This has allowed Mark to be a workshop leader for Defense Information School, Nikon School, Eddie Adams Workshop, Arizona Highways Magazine, US DOD Military Workshops, Santa Fe and National Geographic’s Lindblad Expeditions.
Kristi Odom is an internationally acclaimed photographer, a Nikon Ambassador, an associate fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers, and a motivational speaker. A photographer and filmmaker, her work focuses on connecting people emotionally to animals and celebrating those who have a connection to the natural world.
Her accolades include over 60 international photography awards including 2 Nature’s Best Photography awards, which exhibited her images at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. Her work has appeared either online and/or in print for the following clients: National Geographic, Nikon, Forbes, Rollingstone, Microsoft and Outside Magazine.