Masai Mara, Africa

The Great Migration

The largest congregation of mammals in the world moving en masse in an endless expanse, the sights and the sounds of the assembly reaching as far as you can see and sense; and the wildlife so copious that you can barely choose what to frame in your view - we won't ask you to imagine it, for you cannot, accurately. You just have to see it.

It is the Great Migration and there is nothing else quite like it on the planet. And it's coming next August to a savannah near you to give you a different perspective on life.

Dates:

20 to 26 August 2018 FULL

27 August to 2 September 2018 FULL

26 September to 2 October 2018

Skippers:

Sachin Rai (Aug)

Jayanth Sharma (Sep)

Why go on a Toehold Tour?

Planned to maximise

photo opportunities

Led by ace

photographers

Over 100 years'

collective experience

Hands-on assistance

on and off the field

Image reviews

and presentations

Photography gear

on rent

Tour Highlights

  • Six nights and seven days in two different parts of the Mara
  • An exclusive experience with only three participants sharing a safari vehicle
  • A stunningly productive, professionally guided Photography Tour to Kenya's best-known wildlife reserve in the peak season
  • Defining pictures of the Great Migration — a phenomenon considered the greatest wildlife spectacle on Earth
  • Plenty of opportunities to photograph action at the height of mammal activity in the picturesque environs of the savannah
  • Photography of animals unique to Africa, such as the giraffe, the hippopotamus, the ostrich and the Nile crocodile; and virtually infinite room for landscape and creative photography
  • Extensive photography assistance both on and off the field
  • A wealth of natural history and post-processing learning
  • A fun and highly interactive environment without barriers

How is it?

The Mecca of Wildlife – Home to over 250 species of birds and a vast diversity of mammals.

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What you will see and photograph?

The Great Migration – the river crossing. Predators and preys including lions, cheetahs, leopards, Nile crocodiles, hyenas, wildebeests, zebras. Elephants, giraffes, antelopes, hippos, warthogs and several birds.

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About your Skipper

Sachin Rai

An uncompromising reverence for nature and an unfailing eye for unique perspectives underline Sachin's journey as an ace naturalist and eminent wildlife photographer with over a decade's experience in excellence.

Jayanth Sharma

Jayanth Sharma is renowned as a prolific producer of consistently stunning imagery – the kind that is planned in a studio and executed outdoors.

I wanted to express my gratitude for organizing a wonderful trip. I was looking forward for the trip more so from the point of having a break from the hectic corporate life and to have good sighting of wild life. The trip gave me much more than what i had expected. The learnings from the trip on photography was great and will help me improve my skills further. Your knowledge of photography made the trip more informative and fun. Thanks for the wonderful experience. Looking forward for more such trips in the future. - Sandesh Murchy, Bengaluru
The trip was a very enriching experience. Sachin, with his immense knowledge, his freindly affable ways, and his eagerness to teach, broke the ice immidiately in such a diverse group, his informal approach i think worked wonders. In the last one year that i have picked up a camera..and travelled with a couple of groups, the instant bond that Sachin created with the participants was magical. We felt a bond with toehold ... as we parted .. and im sure many of us will be there for more trips in future. - Neelu Bhatt, Bengaluru
For a nature lover seeking solace in the wilderness, dreams galore, expectations are very high. For him the itinerary running at pace, guidance, information on field, the whole experience of being one with nature matters a lot. Even a when a person learns digital photography understanding the techniques, knowing about the nuances, he needs the right tutoring and ideas to bring in a difference in what he visualizes and photographs, here the experience with Toehold has been by far one of the best. - Dilip Prashanth, Bengaluru
This mail is just to tell you guys that it was wonderful experience with you all it was very friendly envouent with you all guys as it was my journey towards wildlife and I m so happy that it was with right guys. - Tejas Chhadwa, Mumbai

Please note: The Tour commences at Nairobi on 26 September 2018 at around 8:00 a.m., and end after breakfast on 2 October . On day 1 you may either take a flight that reaches Nairobi in time for the start the same morning, or fly in the previous day and stay overnight in Nairobi (in which case, the cost of accommodation will be additional). Please also note that flight costs are not included in the Tour fee.

We have the following schedules for this Tour:

Batch 1: 20 to 26 August 2018 FULL

Batch 2: 27 August to 2 September 2018 FULL

Batch 3: 26 September to 2 October 2018

The itinerary common to the above schedules is as follows:

TALEK RIVER AREA, MASAI MARA

DAY 1  26 September 2018, Wednesday:   Transfer to and Overnight in Mara

Checking out from our Nairobi hotel after an early breakfast, we pick up the participants arriving this morning (if any) and make our way to the heart of the Migration action, the legendary Masai Mara, which we reach by afternoon.

After lunch close to the entrance of the Mara, we start our first game drive en route to our first destination around the lodge area.

The transitory herds may be seen very close to the lodge and sometimes a little further away but there is no chance of missing them. Feeling our way around, we will understand the current state of the Migration.

After the drive, we check in to exclusive and cosy tents at the first camp of the Tour, the lodge. Once fresh, we exchange notes about our initial observations and experiences, and hear insights from the Skipper about his strategy for the rest of the Tour ahead before dining and retreating to our rooms to tuck in for the night.

DAY 2  27 September, Thursday:   Full-day Ride in Masai Mara in the Talek River Area; Overnight in Mara

The lodge is a lovely property located stunningly, right next to the Talek River, which is one of the two rivers (the other being the Mara River itself) which the migratory herds cross. Ergo, this property has been deliberately and carefully chosen to give us quick and easy access to all the action.

We spend the whole day looking for crossings as well as predator and other action, while the Skipper takes a call on returning to the lodge for lunch based on the prevailing situation.

In the evening the Skipper will bring you a ChaayaaChitra session to help brush up on your basics and make sure you're equipped to do justice to the opportunities coming up, before you enjoy a scrumptious supper and retire for the night.

MARA TRIANGLE, MASAI MARA

DAY 3   28 September, Friday:   Transfer to and Overnight in Mara Triangle

Having explored the Talek River side, it's now time to proceed to the celebrated Mara Triangle area and look for action around the Mara River, so after a morning drive around the Talek, we cross over to the Triangle and check in to the delightful lodge.

After lunch we enjoy an introductory ride in the area before returning to the lodge for another interactive session, we call ChitraTantra, before supper and sleep.

DAYS 4 to 6  29 September to 1 October, Saturday to Monday:   Safaris and Overnight in Mara Triangle

We enjoy the next three days in the very heart of the Migration around Serena and the Mara River, leveraging the Skipper's rich experience to get to the right places and make memorable, meaningful images to capture the scale and wonder of the dramas unfolding before us.

Every morning we start at 6:30 after an early breakfast and hope to catch action in the quintessentially spectacular savannah light and after the post-lunch afternoon safari, return after sunset to unwind.

In the evenings, the Skipper will continue to bring the fabulously entertaining and educative interactive sessions, including a third kind of session we call Charchaaloka, where valuable photography advice including shooting techniques, camera settings and post-processing tips; fascinating natural history insights; image critique; post-processing tips, and some riveting and funny anecdotes will be imparted!

DAY 7  2 October, Tuesday:   Checkout and Return to Nairobi

After having spent a hopefully eventful time photographing the Migration in the Mara, we check out after breakfast and return to Nairobi by lunch, whence we take the departing flights for our abodes, where a wealth of images will be processed and many captivating stories told to our families.

OPTIONAL EXTENSION TO NAKURU FOR BATCH 2: 2 NIGHTS/3 DAYS

DAY 7  2 September, Sunday: Checkout of Masai Mara and Transfer to Nakuru

If you wish to make the most of your Kenya experience, we recommend you join us for the extension to the enchanting Lake Nakuru National Park. On day one of this extension, we'll be transferred to the lovely lodge, whence we embark on an evening safari before retiring overnight.

DAY 8  3 September, Monday: All Day and Overnight in Nakuru

We spend the entire day in Nakuru National Park, feasting our eyes on rhinos, hopefully predators in green environs, and the breathtaking diversity of bird life, before huddling together for a most appetising supper and a night's sound sleep.

DAY 9  4 September, Tuesday: Checkout and Return to Nairobi

After an early breakfast, we check out and depart Nakuru and drive back to Nairobi, our drive out serving as a parting safari, whence we return home with a huge grin plastered on our visages for having opted for the extension and derived such great value from the Tour!

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Who should participate in this Tour? What are the eligibility criteria? This Tour is open to everybody of a minimum age of 18 (unless accompanied by a guardian), and anybody enthusiastic about wildlife and/or photography will enjoy it. Apart from interest, fitness, a valid passport, valid yellow fever vaccination card and proof of polio vaccination, there are no other requirements. However, in order to make the most of the Tour photographically, we recommend you be familiar with at least the basics of photography. If you're not, we recommend you join our Art and Science of Photography Workshop before the Tour.
  • Are yellow fever and polio vaccination mandatory? Yes; vaccination against polio and yellow fever is mandatory in many countries including India. Please talk to us for advice on how to get one.
  • Are earlier yellow fever and polio inoculations valid? Yellow fever vaccination is valid for a period of 10 years from the date of administration, and polio vaccination is valid for a year. Please check your vaccination cards to verify validity. Please note that the vaccination must be valid as on the date of your return to your country after the Tour.
  • How different are your Photo Tours from ordinary tours? Unlike travel agents who plan your holiday from a remote destination to places they sometimes haven't even experienced themselves, Photo Tours offer a comprehensive toehold to experience a place through the guidance of a professional photographer. The common ingredients in all our Photo Tours are fun and a lot of learning and knowledge sharing. Besides, most of our Tour participants are photography enthusiasts, which keeps the group in harmony and helps in making your experience focused.
  • How sure are you about photographing wildlife? Considering the meticulous attention to timing we pay while scheduling Tour and the local expertise we leverage, we believe that it would be extremely unfortunate if our sightings and photography were unsatisfactory. Also, the exhaustive itinerary should offer ample opportunities for a productive time. However, since we will be in an uncontrolled environment, we stop just short of claiming that sightings are guaranteed.
  • What equipment do you suggest on this Tour? A wide-angle or normal zoom is a staple for landscape and general photography. For birds and mammals, a focal length of at least 300mm is usually necessary. An additional 100mm often proves very effective especially for birds. However, if you do not have appropriate equipment, there is no need to fret. Toehold offers an exhaustive array of cameras and lenses for hire, so you can always hire what you need. What's more, you enjoy a 10% discount on any equipment you hire for the Tour. Click here to see what we offer.
Individuals
USD 4,110 *
Couples ††
USD 7,920 *
Patrons
USD 3,910 *

* 5% GST Extra

Per Person on Shared Accommodation

†† Per Couple on Shared Accommodation

Toehold Patrons: Customers who have participated in at least three previous Toehold Photo Tours
* Exchange rates listed here as on the date of payment will apply. Additional bank charges may be payable at actuals.
  • Road transfer from Nairobi to Masai Mara and back as per the Tour itinerary
  • All safaris and reserve entrance fees
  • Accommodation on twin-sharing basis in comfortable tents or rooms at all the lodges as per the Tour itinerary
  • All scheduled meals while on the Tour
  • Services of a driver-cum-naturalist
  • Services of Photography Skipper
  • All travel expenses between your home and Nairobi Airport
  • Any kind of personal expenses, optional tours or extra meals ordered
  • Insurance, laundry and phone calls
  • Any kind of drinks (including bottled water)
  • Visa expenses
  • Yellow fever and polio vaccination charges
  • Optional tour to a Maasai village and balloon ride
  • All applicable taxes
  • Anything that is not included in the inclusions list
  • 15% booking amount (non-refundable)
  • 60% before 15 May 2018
  • 25% before 5 July 2018
  • 15% on or before 18 May 2018
  • 50% between 19 May and 19 June 2018
  • 75% between 20 June and 20 July 2018
  • 100% on or after 21 July 2018

Please note: The date of written (email) communication of intent to cancel is the date considered for calculation of the cancellation fees.

Terms and Conditions

  1. Participants who have a medical history of blood pressure, heart-related problems or asthma are advised to seek medical advice before enrolling for this Tour.
  2. Fitness to complete the Tour is the only criterion for participation.
  3. Toehold Travel & Photography Pvt Ltd. shall not be responsible for injuries, damages, or losses caused to any traveller in connection with terrorist activities, social or labour unrest, mechanical or construction failures or difficulties, diseases, local laws, climatic conditions, abnormal conditions or developments, or any other actions, omissions, or conditions outside the travel partner's control.
  4. All clients travelling with Toehold Travel & Photography Pvt Ltd. must complete and sign a reservation form and the " Release of Liability, Assumption of Risk & Arbitration Agreement" form.
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