Svalbard

Wildlife Tour Packages

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Svalbard Wildlife Tour Packages

Standing on the deck of your ship, you fathom a form in the distance. A solitary polar bear, its large white form in perfect harmony with its icy world but dwarfed by an endless ocean, marauds in search of a meal in the frigid domain. As you stand stunned by the stupefying wonders that compose our amazing world, you realise that you haven’t merely entered a different sphere of endless amazement, but also crossed over to the realm of the ethereal.

You’ve slipped into a dream called Svalbard.

Svalbard
Quick Information

Best time to Visit:
Summer: Jul-Sep

Recommended min. duration:
10/11 days

Attractions:
Wildlife
Landscapes

Activities:
Wildlife Sightings
Photography

Nearest Airport:
Longyearbyen

Our Svalbard Tours

Upcoming Departures

Pole Trance – 10N/11D

25 JUL – 4 AUG 2023

Cost: Starting USD 12,395

Skipper: Jayanth Sharma

View Itinerary

TOUR OPEN – BOOK NOW

Reviews by Tour Participants

We cater to 3 different kinds of Svalbard travelers. Which one are you?

There are three different ways to explore Svalbard. Depending on the kind of traveler you are, we welcome you to choose your preferred Svalbard tour packages.

Svalbard Photography Tours

Our team of ace photographers will guide you on a exciting Svalbard photo Tour to ensure you come back with not only great travel memories but also some stunning photographs.

Upcoming Departures

Svalbard Wildlife Group Tours

Exploring the world with like-minded nature-lovers is surely an exciting human experience. Our fixed departure Svalbard Group Tour Packages are a safe and fun way to travel for individuals or families alike.

Upcoming Departures

Svalbard Customized Vacations

For families and individuals who want a tailor-made holiday to suit their personal needs, we invite you to explore our vast array of packages.

Get in touch with us to customise your departure!

Why let us arrange your trip?

At Toehold, we are passionate about travel and photography just as you are, which lets us understand your needs and travails perfectly. And we use our insight and experience to plan your vacation to perfection, so all you have to do is enjoy yourself and make memories for a lifetime. Here are just some reasons you should leave your next holiday to us:

Precise Customisation

It’s your holiday, so you tell us how you want it, and we’ll customise it to your exact expectations, down to every possible detail, just short of what fragrance of air-freshener you’d prefer in your cab.

Expert Advice

Not clear about what you want or how to make the most of your vacation? Pick our brains and make an informed decision about how you’d like to spend your precious holiday, and then just prepare for a rollicking time.

Unmatched Experience

With partnerships with the best people in the field and a stellar logistical network, we ensure no holds are barred in helping you enjoy an enriching and memorable experience.

Flawless Orchestration

Once the plan is set, you can count on us to make your experience a flawless pleasure. A star may implode or a planet may go out of orbit, but you can rest assured your tour will motor on without a glitch.

How Is It?

A gleaming pearl lodged 80 degrees north.

80 degrees north in the icy Arctic world lies sprawled its most gleaming pearl, Svalbard.

Constituting the northernmost part of Norway, it is an immense archipelago in the Arctic Circle, not far away from the North Pole. 

And it is one of the few turfs on our planet where man is still subordinate to the laws of nature, the wild remains untamed and infinity suddenly seems a very real concept.

Polar Bear

Mountains with white wigs stand tall carrying glaciers in their laps, picturesque fjords bearing azure icebergs and drift ice cut prettily through the land; and wildlife thrives under the water, on the surface and in the air to remind you that this is not a desolate wilderness, but a living, throbbing wonderland.

Featuring an Arctic climate, Svalbard is not one of the things best served chilled, as its riches can be savoured mostly only in the summer, when the pack ice is coaxed to release its vice grip and reveal a part of our Frozen Planet that can cause a meltdown of your emotions.

The intoxicating, otherworldly landscape, molded in whimsical colours and shapes by the Polar sun, can give you a happy high even at breakfast time, and although the round-the-clock daylight can be a bit disorienting to even the nocturnal animals of the urban wild, the enchanting wildlife will keep you anchored at all times.

What You Will See and Photograph:

Polar bears, seals, whales and birds with fun names.

Prowling the vast expanse of its glacial world, an ivory-white polar bear in the flesh is a sight nonpareil.

If you consider that a male tips the scales at 700 kg, measures more than 8 ft in length and 4 ft in height, is insulated in 10 cm of fat, black skin designed to absorb heat and white fur for camouflage; and despite all this bulk can swim hundreds of miles, you get the mind-boggling picture of a very big, strong, smart, warm bear. And Svalbard is the best place in the world to see what makes it tick in the Arctic.

galcier

Watch as a big male marches with intent, as though shaking the very earth beneath his large hirsute pads; sub-adults play-fight; a female darts across the water with surprising speed, her enormous form almost entirely hidden beneath the water surface; or a pair of comely trotting cubs, white as the snow under them, strain adorably to keep up with their mother.

Or simply warm up to the ethereal sight of a bear, probably oblivious to its own beauty and the magic of the moment, snuggling up comfortably even as a wakeful sun ignites the background into a screen of resplendent hue you didn’t know existed. Truly, the polar bear is the Arctic’s biggest showpiece, and Svalbard its greatest showcase.

But, the flagship species is well bolstered by a myriad of other attractions, none of which is a minnow but a creature worthy of admiration.

Bearded and ringed seals – the polar bear’s staple diet – can be seen swimming and sunbathing in enviable environs, while Greenland seals are often encountered, and walruses – animals that can weigh twice as much as polar bears and yet fall prey to them on occasion – can be photographed from close quarters.

Whales, the giant aquatic mammals, include the humpback whale, the fin whale, the beluga whale and the mink whale, while the predatory orca can stun you into silence and a glimpse of the biggest of them all, the monumental blue whale – the largest living earthly creature – can cause you to hop on the deck in fitful spasms of uncontrolled joy.

Among the birds, the circumpolar Arctic tern turns heads, while the glaucous gull and the ivory gull give you the quintessential seabird scenes. fulmars, who always seem busy absorbed by themselves, manage to absorb you too with their interesting looks, and while Arctic skuas have been termed parasites and pirates for stealing food from other birds, it is the kittiwakes you must save your heart from, for cute as buttons, they threaten to swoop down on their angelic white wings and purloin it.

And just when you think there’s nothing more to see in the sky, black guillemots, looking like limited-edition pigeons, show themselves off, and the thick-billed murre, also called Brünnich’s Guillemot, flies the auk flag high as the sensational landscapes in the backdrop keep your eyes glued to the viewfinder for most of your wakeful time.

Interested? Make a Booking Enquiry

It’s easy. Call us on 1800 1200 901 (Monday to Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 06:00 p.m.) or simply fill this form, and we’ll get back to you like the whirring wind.

Enquiry Form

Frequently Asked Questions

We ensure maximum care and protection while traveling in the post-COVID scenario. We certainly think you have to be extra-careful and follow rules and regulations. Please consult your general physician or doctor before you make this decision.
That’s quite easy. It depends on what your interest is. If you are a photography enthuisast and would like our skipper’s guidance and tutelage, then Photo Tour. Else hop on to a group tour where photography isn’t the focus of the trip. Finally, we can tailor-make a vacation for you if you need to travel on your own date and style.

Unlike travel agents who plan your holiday from a remote destination to places they sometimes haven’t 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 or all of our Tour participants are photography enthusiasts, which keeps the group in harmony and helps make your experience focused.

Absolutely everything! From booking the travel tickets and arranging for a comfortable stay to suggested itineraries and planning places of interest, Toehold takes care of all the details of your vacation.
You may certainly take your young child, but we don’t recommend taking infants and very small children on safari. Please talk to us for more information.
Certainly! We take care of the flight ticket bookings too for anyone who requires assistance.

Of course! Please talk to our capable Camera Rent team or mention what gear you’d like to hire while registering for the tour. Guess what? We offer you a 10% off on camera rent while on the tour.

Absolutely! This Tour is meant for fledgling as well as experienced photographers. Beginners get all the advantages of learning on and off the field from Toehold’s eminent Skippers. In fact if you are a newbie, you should jump on this terrific learning opportunity and sign up right away!

However, in order to make the most of the Tour photographically, we recommend that you be familiar with photography fundamentals. If you’re not, we suggest you join an Art and Science of Photography Workshop before the Tour.

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Pole Trance: Svalbard Wildlife Photography Tour

JUL 25 - AUG 4, 2023

Photography Tour
Skipper: Jayanth Sharma

Tour Itinerary

Please note: We assemble for this Tour at Longyearbyen, Svalbard, and depart from the same place. Travel between your home and Longyearbyen is not included in the Tour fee, but all requisite assistance with air travel will be provided.

Arriving in Longyearbyen, we assemble at a designated point and are transferred to our mobile home for the rest of the expedition, our ship – a highly able, impressively furnished and comfortable expedition ship, at around 04:00 p.m. After everyone has arrived and completed the paperwork, we board the ship and depart Longyearbyen. After settling down, we meet for an introductory dinner and discuss the strategy for the rest of the days while our vessel is cruising steadily in a northwesterly direction.

From this day onwards, there is no set itinerary for the rest of the Tour until our return to Longyearbyen eight days later.

The progress of the expedition will be largely dictated by the prevailing weather conditions and the sea ice distribution. Every day your Tour Skipper, along with other expedition leaders and the support crew, will monitor the conditions closely using ice maps and other tools, and determine the best strategy and routes to press forward in a safe and enjoyable way.

For most of our wakeful hours, we will stay on the deck and look out for all kinds of wildlife and landscape observation and photography opportunities, with the compactness of our ship, the Origo, allowing us to access an amazing network of wildlife-rich areas, and the relatively low viewing areas allowing us to feel united with the environment.

When any wildlife is spotted, after getting some preliminary photographs, we will attempt to approach it by climbing onto a Zodiac, if the leadership team finds the situation safe to do so for all parties concerned.

During these approaches, your and the subjects’ safety will be kept in utmost regard, and the expert oarsmen will manoeuvre the boat in a manner that minimizes stress to the subjects and the risk posed by icebergs and glacial edges. Using our Zodiacs, we can also land ashore and enjoy the rare privilege of exploring the islets on foot.

When you are not watching and photographing wildlife, MS Origo’s solidity and comfort will ensure you have a smooth time relaxing. The vessel features six cabins – all with private viewing facilities, quick access to Zodiacs, panoramic views from the bridge and outer decks, a small library in every room, and, for when you are not firing away with your camera, a ‘weather-sealed’ well-stocked bar atop the deck from where the local scenery can be mixed with foreign spirits and gradually absorbed for good measure. What’s more, it’s protected from the elements, too.

Scrumptious buffet meals feature elaborate vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes, and the special requirements of your palate can be satisfied to ensure that your stomach enjoys the experience of Svalbard as much as your eyes do.

Amidst all this, you will also ingest a lot of valuable knowledge through the extremely insightful, inspiring and enriching interactive talks and discussions delivered by the Tour leaders, including our famous ChaayaaChitra, ChitraTantra and Charchaaloka sessions.

These interactions not only offer a wealth of natural history nuggets and photography tips and tricks, but will also allow you to have your pictures reviewed frequently and take corrective steps if required to shorten the learning curve during just the course of an expedition, making your time indoors as productive as when you’re out spotting wildlife.

Meanwhile the crew will work hard to keep everything running smoothly so your experience of the white archipelago is a truly memorable experience.

After hopefully a highly productive time on the enchanting cruise, we return to Longyearbyen at around 09:00 a.m. a satisfied lot, from where we take our flights for home, yearning to share tales and pictures from an eventful Tour with friends and family.

Cost & Terms

Individuals

USD 12395
  • Per Person on twin Shared Accommodation

Couples

USD 24500
  • Per Couple on Twin Shared Accommodation

Toehold Patrons

USD 12395
  • Per Person on Twin Shared Accommodation

What’s Included?

What’s Not Included?

Payment Terms

All figures per person.

Cancellation Fees

All figures per person.

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

Interested? Make a Booking Enquiry

It’s easy. Call us on 1800 1200 901 (Monday to Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 06:00 p.m.) or simply fill this form, and we’ll get back to you like the whirring wind.

Enquiry Form

Frequently Asked Questions

Anybody interested in Arctic or general wildlife and/or wildlife, landscape or bird photography and is above the age of 18 (unless accompanied by an adult) can participate in this Tour. There are no eligibility criteria.

Absolutely! This Tour is meant for fledgling as well as experienced photographers. Beginners get all the advantages of learning on and off the field from Toehold’s eminent Skippers. In fact if you are a newbie, you should jump on this terrific learning opportunity and sign up right away! However, in order to make the most of the Tour photographically, we recommend that you be familiar with photography fundamentals. Please sign up for an Art and Science of Photography Workshop before the Tour.

Most certainly! While photographers will probably derive maximum value from this Tour, non-photographers will enjoy the expedition equally.

The weather is variable, but the average hovers between a few degrees below freezing at the minimum and around 2°C as the maximum. There will be considerable wind chill on the deck. Sea conditions may get occasionally rough, but the rugged construction of the ship usually ensures a largely smooth ride. You are advised to carry requisite medication if you suffer from seasickness.

Although this is not a very physically intensive Tour, some basic amount of physical fitness is required, chiefly to withstand the cold, climb up and down the steep staircase between the hull of the ship and the Zodiac board, and to undertake short walks exploring the islets on foot. If you suffer from known illnesses, please consult your physician before signing up for the Tour.

Photography will be done from the cruise ship, the Zodiac boats and on foot when we occasionally alight on land.

Your safety is of paramount importance to us and every aspect of this expedition has been designed to the highest safety standards. Our cruise ship exceeds all the SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) requirements and features state-of-the-art navigation and communication equipment. There are comfortably excess life vests, high-grade immersion suits and lifeboats on board the cruise, and lifejackets will be compulsorily worn during all the Zodiac rides. You are in very capable hands as the Tour Skippers have between them a total experience of 15 expeditions to Svalbard, and are well assisted by an expert crew who are consummate with local conditions. Together they will constantly monitor weather conditions and take suitable decisions to ensure a safe and enjoyable Tour for everyone.

Yes. While the Tour cost does not include visa expenses, all the assistance you require in procuring a visa will be duly provided.

Considering the meticulous attention to timing we pay while scheduling Tours and the local expertise we leverage, we believe that it would be extremely unfortunate if our sightings and photography were unsatisfactory. However, since we will be in an uncontrolled environment, we do not claim that sightings of specific species are guaranteed.

Svalbard is a land of beautiful landscapes, so a wide-angle lens is a must, with a fisheye lens being most welcome. For wildlife, a lens with a focal length of at least 400mm is considered necessary, with longer focal lengths being welcome. Telephoto zooms such as 70-200mm lenses can allow you to include your subject’s habitat in your frame. A bean bag as a support device is strongly recommended. Please talk to us for more specific advice on equipment.
If you do not own adequate photography gear, 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. Visit our Rental Store to see what we offer.. What’s better, you enjoy a 10% discount on all equipment hired on our Photo Tours!
Unlike travel agents who plan your holiday from a remote destination to places they sometimes haven’t 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 or all of our Tour participants are photography enthusiasts, which keeps the group in harmony and helps make your experience focussed.

The Great Migration: Kenya Wildlife Group Tour

AUG 11-17 2023

Skipper: Harsha

Tour Itinerary (6N/7D)

Please note: The Tour commences at Nairobi on Day 1 at around 06:30 a.m., and ends after breakfast on Day 7. 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

Talek River Area, Masai 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.

The lodge is a lovely property located stunningly, right near 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 photography 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

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.

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 06:30 a.m. 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!

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.

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Cost & Terms

Individuals

USD 3390
  • Per Person on twin Shared Accommodation

Couples

USD 6780
  • Per Couple on Twin Shared Accommodation

Toehold Patrons

USD 3290
  • Per Person on Twin Shared Accommodation

What’s Included?

What’s Not Included?

Payment Terms

Cancellation Fees

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

Interested? Make a Booking Enquiry

It’s easy. Call us on 1800 1200 901 (Monday to Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 06:00 p.m.) or simply fill this form, and we’ll get back to you like the whirring wind.

Enquiry Form

Frequently Asked Questions

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 suggest you join an Art and Science of Photography Workshop before the Tour.

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.

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.
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.
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. Visit our Rental Store to see what we offer.

Unlike travel agents who plan your holiday from a remote destination to places they sometimes haven’t 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 or all of our Tour participants are photography enthusiasts, which keeps the group in harmony and helps make your experience focussed.

Best of Kenya: Wildlife Group Tour

22-29 MAY 2023

Kenya Group Tour

Tour Itinerary (7N/8D)

Nairobi

Since participants of this Tour travel from various destinations in India and abroad, the Tour commences at Nairobi at around 06:30 a.m. You may take a flight that reaches Nairobi before that time 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.

May 2023 – Please arrive on 21 May 2023 any time. (Hotel Night Additional)
Please note: This is not a photography tour and we would have 6 People in a LandCruiser. If you wish to join our Photography Tour with only 3 People in a LandCruiser guided by our ace photographers please consider the Photo Tour.

Amboseli National Park

Our fleet of safari vehicles carrying our Skipper and the park guides will pick participants who have landed in the morning from the Nairobi Airport, and participants who have arrived a day earlier from their hotels, at around 06:30 a.m. Once everybody is on board, we undertake a four-hour drive to Amboseli National Park. A mutual introduction session and a brief by the skipper to set basic expectations for the tour will be followed by lunch.

After lunch will ensue our first safari of the tour – recipe for a memorable moment for any first-time Africa visitor and something that, even after all these visits, gets the skipper’s adrenaline pumping. Driving through the park will acquaint you with the African landscape and give you but a glimpse of the exciting time ahead.

An entire memorable day will be spent out in the picturesque expanses of Amboseli, where views of elephants with the magnificent Kilimanjaro in the backdrop have been specially designed by nature to enthrall. Apart from the pachyderms, we are likely to photograph ostriches, hyaenas, lions, cheetahs and a whole lot of attractive wildlife.

In the evening, the skipper will deliver a ChaayaaChitra session before a satiating supper and shuteye call a closure to the eventful day.

Lake Nakuru National Park

After breakfast, we depart for Nakuru. Arriving just before lunch, we embrace our home for the next two days overlooking the beautiful Lake Nakuru. Following a scrumptious lunch, we embark on the afternoon safari, seeking the chief spectacle of the flamingo congregation and over 400 other species of birds found here.

In the evening we enjoy a tribal dance and celebration before an appetizing supper, and retire for the day.

Setting off after breakfast, we spend as much time in the park as we can in order to sight the plentiful wildlife of Nakuru. The early morning drive will be followed by lunch and an evening safari.

This being an excellent location to see the elusive leopard, we take our chances to spot the spotted beauty of Nakuru. Efforts will also be made to photograph white rhinos and black rhinos.

Between the rides, we meet at the picturesque Baboon Hill overlooking the lake and its flamingo formations, and discuss various topics of nature photography and the natural history of Africa. Meanwhile, here, ultra wide-angle perspectives of baboons, a fixture atop the hill, are a distinct prospect.

For participants who want to relax and take the afternoon easy, the beautiful lodge with plenty of trees and a great restaurant is a fabulous place to rest.

A rivetting session of ChitraTantra by the skipper before dinner will be a fitting, erudite way of ending the enriching day.

Masai Mara Game Reserve

After breakfast, a pleasant drive across the dramatic Great Rift Valley brings you through the Narok Township, a major Maasai administrative centre, to Kenya’s most precious wildlife sanctuary, Masai Mara Game Reserve.

Masai Mara is home to the colorful Maasai tribe, who may be seen around the borders of the park, with Morans (‘warriors’) loping across the plains, young boys herding goats, or elders grouped under a tree discussing the matters of the day.

Wildlife viewing is never dull in the Mara, and patience is often rewarded with unique sightings. By now hopefully the group will have been acquainted with the African bush, so we seek to make the most of the bounty on offer.

Staying inside the park will ensure a great experience and early access to photography hotspots, so we may catch a lion pride gearing up for a hunt or a solitary leopard retrieving its kill from the high branches of an Acacia tree merely a few hundred metres from the camp.

Every morning while at Masai Mara, we start our day with packed breakfast at 06:30 a.m. and venture into the bush. For participants who are agreeable to spending the entire day in the field, packed lunch boxes will be provided to keep us going the whole day, thereby maximizing wildlife viewing and photography opportunities.

An occasional afternoon shower may be encountered but this will in no way mean a dampener, for the animals continue to be seen and what’s more, it will open up the prospect of making evocative images of wildlife in the rain. And when the clouds have passed, the light that illuminates the scene can serve to illustrate the meaning of the word ‘ethereal’ better than any lexicon in the world.

Meeting at specific points in the savannah, we learn and discuss various topics on photography and natural history of Africa and the Mara in general. These two days are tipped to be the highlight of the Tour with plenty of wildlife on show.

In the evenings a session of CharchaaLoka or simply a question-answer interaction will afford a wealth of learning on a diverse array of photography and natural history topics.

Maasai Village Optional Tour

While at Masai Mara, based on the group’s inclination, the Skipper will plan a visit to a local Maasai Village for a few hours in the day to learn and understand the Maasai culture, their way of life and their interesting community living. This optional Tour costs an additional USD 30 per person.

Balloon Safari Optional Tour

A ride in a hot-air balloon over the endless expanses of the savannah is an ultimate safari experience. We leave the lodge before dawn, when the sky is clear, the air brisk and the conditions perfect. As the sun rises over the Mara plains, our balloon lifts off – a bright splash of colour rising gracefully into the infinite blue. A stunning panorama unfolds below us and the balloon basket becomes our lookout post for a bird’s-eye view of the Mara’s magnificence. We float silently just a few hundred feet above large herds of wild animals. Upon landing, we celebrate the flight with a glass of champagne, after which the retrieval safari cruisers take us back to our driver. This optional ride costs an additional USD 450 per person.

After a scrumptious breakfast, we drive out making sure we arrive by lunchtime at an Indian restaurant in Nairobi. After lunch, we are transferred to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport for our home-bound flights.

The Tour ends but your love affair with African wildlife has just begun.

OPTIONAL EXTENSION AT MASAI MARA

Participants who feel the need to stretch their Tour are welcome to stay back on the following nights, to experience two more full days at the Mara at their own pace. The schedule for the two days will remain the same while we venture to deeper areas of the Mara on the full-day game drives, maximizing our chances of bringing back stunning photographs. This extension will be charged additionally. Please express your interest in the extension while booking the Tour to know more.

With the extension having come to an end, following an early breakfast, we drive out making sure we arrive by lunchtime at an Indian restaurant in Nairobi. After lunch, we are transferred to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport for our home-bound flights.

Cost & Terms

Individuals

USD 2390
  • Per Person on twin Shared Accommodation

What’s Included?

What’s Not Included?

Payment Terms

All figures per person.

Payments may be made in equal monthly installments so long as the above schedule is adhered to. Please talk to us for more details.

Cancellation Fees

All figures per person.

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

Interested? Make a Booking Enquiry

It’s easy. Call us on 1800 1200 901 (Monday to Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 06:00 p.m.) or simply fill this form, and we’ll get back to you like the whirring wind.

Enquiry Form

Frequently Asked Questions

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 and yellow-fever and polio vaccination cards, there are no other requirements.
Absolutely! This Tour is meant for fledgling as well as experienced photographers. Beginners get all the advantages of learning on and off the field from Toehold’s eminent Skippers. In fact if you are a newbie, you should jump on this terrific learning opportunity and sign up right away! However, in order to make the most of the Tour photographically, we recommend that you be familiar with photography fundamentals. If you’re not, we suggest you join an Art and Science of Photography Workshop before the Tour.
Yes; the vaccination is mandatory in many countries including India. Once you sign up we’ll be happy to advise you on how to get one.
You’ll need a Kenyan visa, which is applied for and issued online. More information will be shared, and assistance provided, when you sign up.
Yellow fever vaccination is valid for a period of 10 years from the date of administration, but polio vaccination is valid for only a year. Please check your vaccination card to verify validity. Please note that the vaccination must be valid as on the date of your return to your country after the Tour.
Our Photography Tour is designed to offer participants an excellent balance between photography convenience and economy. We’ll be using four-wheel-driven safari vehicles which have large windows and a thatched roof that opens up to give a 360-degree panoramic view for convenient wildlife-viewing and photography. Each vehicle will be shared by only three participants, or three participants and the Skipper, to ensure everybody has ample space to move around and shoot comfortably.
Considering the meticulous attention to timing we pay while scheduling Tours 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.
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. Visit our Rental Store to see what we offer.
Unlike travel agents who plan your holiday from a remote destination to places they sometimes haven’t 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 or all of our Tour participants are photography enthusiasts, which keeps the group in harmony and helps make your experience focussed.

Verdant Haven - Kabini Photo Tour Schedules

SEP 11-14, 2022
OPEN

Wildlife Photography Bootcamp

Skipper: Trikansh Sharma

Tour Itinerary (3N/4D)

The Tour commences and ends at Kabini (Karapura). Travel from or via Bengaluru and back will be by sharing participants’ private cars or shared cabs at extra actual cost. Assistance in the way of coordination and arrangements will be provided but please talk to us for additional help or special needs. 

After a 4.5-hour-drive from Bengaluru, participants reach Kabini by noon. Following a leisurely lunch and a round of introduction to understand one another better, we mull on what’s in store for the next two days and embark on our first safari by 03:30 p.m. Navigating through the excellent network of roads in the Nagarahole jungle, we enjoy an inaugural taste of the wild, keeping our eyes peeled for action on the ground, the air and the canopy.

After hopefully an eventful ride, we return to camp at 06:30 p.m. and relax over tea, following which a ChaayaaChitra session will ensue, in which we discuss photography techniques. Later, we enjoy a scrumptious supper and retire for the night.
An early morning wake-up call and tea will set the tone for the morning safari at 06:30 a.m. Cutting through the freshness of the morning, we pursue materialization of wildlife and very possibly try some of the tips and techniques discussed in the ChaayaaChitra session the previous night.

Upon our return from the excursion at 09:30 a.m., a hot breakfast will await us, and after satiating our hunger we retreat to our rooms to refresh and rest awhile, meeting again at noon for ChitraTantra, another informative session full of interaction and fun.
After lunch, perhaps a brief nap and tea, we reenter the forest with more hope for cat luck, let our hair down and make a lot of images of the sights we encounter.

Having spent a cumulative five hours in the wild for the day, we walk into camp a happy bunch and relate our tales over tea, following which a session of CharchaaLoka will unfold.

We tuck in for the night after enjoying an appetizing dinner.
Hoping for a fitting climax to a great Tour, we embark on the last safari at the usual hour in the morning. And since cat activity is at its peak during the early hours of the day, there is every possibility of the Tour ending on a high note.

After the safari and breakfast we gather for a final rendezvous before checking out at 11:00 a.m. and setting off for our respective abodes where our families wait to hear our tales.

Cost & Terms

Individuals

INR 60,000
  • Per Person on Twin Share Accommodation

Couples

INR 1,19,000
  • Per Couple on Twin Share Accommodation

Toehold Patrons

INR 59,000
  • Per Person on Twin Share Accommodation

What’s Included?

What’s Not Included?

Payment Terms

Cancellation Fees

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

NO Refunds.
Due to the pandemic the travel industry is at an all time low-cashflow situation. So we wouldn’t be able to do refunds but only issue Credit Notes for any cancellation from your side or due to COVID related lockdowns and closures.

Interested? Make a Booking Enquiry

It’s easy. Call us on 1800 1200 901 (Monday to Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 06:00 p.m.) or simply fill this form, and we’ll get back to you like the whirring wind.

Enquiry Form

Frequently Asked Questions

We ensure maximum care and protection while traveling in the post-COVID scenario. We certainly think you have to be extra-careful and follow rules and regulations. Please consult your general physician or doctor before you make this decision.

That’s quite easy. It depends on what your interest is. If you are a photography enthusiast and would like our skipper’s guidance and tutelage, then Photo Tour. Else hope on to a group tour where photography isn’t the focus of the trip. Finally, we can tailor-make a vacation for you if you need to travel on your own date and style.

You may certainly take your young child, but we don’t recommend taking infants and very small children on safari. Please talk to us for more information.
Certainly! We take care of the flight ticket bookings too for anyone who requires assistance.
Absolutely everything! From booking the travel tickets and arranging for a comfortable stay to suggested itineraries and planning places of interest, Toehold takes care of all the details of your vacation.
Ofcourse, yes. Please talk to our capable Camera Rent team or mention what gear you’d like to hire while registering for the tour. Guess what? We offer you a 10% off on camera rent while on the tour.

Unlike travel agents who plan your holiday from a remote destination to places they sometimes haven’t 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 or all of our Tour participants are photography enthusiasts, which keeps the group in harmony and helps make your experience focused.

Absolutely! This Tour is meant for fledgling as well as experienced photographers. Beginners get all the advantages of learning on and off the field from Toehold’s eminent Skippers. In fact if you are a newbie, you should jump on this terrific learning opportunity and sign up right away!

However, in order to make the most of the Tour photographically, we recommend that you be familiar with photography fundamentals. If you’re not, we suggest you join an Art and Science of Photography Workshop before the Tour.