*DUE TO CANCELLATION, 1 FEMALE PLACE AVAILABLE*
Depart 26th Sept 2014 – Return 3rd Oct 2014 – (1 night in Nairobi and 5 nights in camp)
This wildlife photography workshop will be focusing on this spectacular event which has to be seen (heard and smelt!) to believe. Richard, alongside the guides are well experienced in working in and amongst this fantastic spectacle and work very hard (and smart!) to ensure prime viewing and photographic opportunities for the Mara section of the migration. The highlight of course is the unbelievable river crossings taking place on the Mara river. Experience and determination are two very important factors that mean we get results at the crossings; putting in the extra time and effort needed to get some stunning shots rather than simply getting snaps from far away. Of course this is all done to Richard and the guide’s strict ethical codes which always put the wildlife first at all times.
Whilst the migration will be our main focus, of course it is a prime opportunity for Africa’s predators to indulge themselves and come out in force. Lion, Leopard, Cheetah and Crocodile will also be on our list and we will most certainly not be overlooking their contribution to the proceedings. The sheer numbers of prey bring out every kind of behavior in the cats and often some spectacular action is seen. You will be ready to make the most of any of these encounters, with Richard guiding you and your cameras as well as instructing the guides and vehicles to get the most out of any situation they and their amazing tracking skills find.
His realistic, no nonsense approach to teaching and photography means anyone with any level of gear will enjoy this trip, spending thousands of pounds on gear a photographer does not make (although if you have it, bring it along!!). Field-craft, patience and technique are what you will learn putting what you do have to best use.
Richard will be using his experience, directing the vehicles exactly as he does when working alone, the same way that has enabled him to take the images he does the world over. Once back in camp, informal sessions on digital workflow, raw processing and anything else will be made; preferably with a cold drink in hand! We run focused trips, working hard to get the shots but all the while, never loosing the important sense of fun; that’s why Richard does what he does, a love of animals and enjoyment. The trips are limited to 8 people with a maximum of 4 guests per vehicle (vehicle’s normally carry 6 or more guests, so you all have room for your gear!!). This is hugely important and often glossed over on some other tours. You really do need room to move around in the vehicles to make the most of the opportunities that we work hard to get to and these vehicles really do allow for this when not full to capacity.
This tour is heading out in early September, an ideal and most likely time to see the Migration in full swing. This is of course nature at work and you need to be aware the migration varies slightly from year to year. However the Mara never fails to deliver and no one works harder to ensure you come back with great images and fantastic memories.
Kicheche Bush Camp
Our camp for this trip is Kicheche Bush camp. A intimate, amazing tented camp located right in a private conservancy of Olare Orok. Very (very!) comfortable with amazing staff, food and all the comforts you need, it is the perfect way to have a safe, genuine African experience. The tents are of the fully sealed, semi-permanent variety with toilets and hot showers available inside after each afternoon drive as well as large comfortable beds.
Evening meals around the campfire are great and can all be washed down with cold beer, wine or juice. It is perfectly situated just outside of the main Mara park to allow us an easy path to the crossing points as well as the plains the bulk of the migration take part in and is one of Richard’s absolute favorite locations to work from.
The private conservancy is fantastic for the cats, especially Lion and most of Richard’s big cat photography is within private reserves such as these, where he prefers to work. Also benefiting from a close proximity to the main Mara reserve, we have the ability to venture in when we need to (especially for the crossings) but crucially, the hoards staying within the reserve cannot follow us back into Olare Orok. This really does let us have our cake and eat it!
You will work in the exact same way Richard works when photographing alone. That is determined and flexible. We leave camp at about 5am (after your morning coffee brought to your tent) and make our way to the destination chosen for that morning. Richard’s flexible work ethic means we will be ready on any given day to stay close to camp or travel out far pending the animal movements. We also work smart. Our extensive experience means we go for the predictive approach rather than the clumsy run and gun one. Knowledge of the animal’s behavior is a key component to wildlife photography and this allows us to (usually!!!) predict where the animal will be in a few minutes time when we are on a sighting. This allows the animal to come to us which is a much better experience for the wildlife as it puts them at ease as well as giving us the most time to prepare for a given shot. This ‘micro-risk’ method Richard has developed means we sometimes miss ‘regular’ shots but more often than not come away with something much more special than the simple, drive up and shoot technique achieves.
On the days we are heading to the river crossings, we make our way strait to the Mara river and assess the Wildebeest herds. Most days are split into two drives. The morning drive usually ends around 12 o’clock to allow us to rest and escape the mid day heat. The cats do the same and it allows a more focused afternoon drive, heading out around 4 o’clock and returning after sunset for hot showers, drinks around the fire and dinner.
The vehicles are custom modified Toyota Land Cruisers. Able to take 6 or even 9 people, we strictly limit the numbers to 4 in the back (with Richard huddled up in the passenger seat). This is so everyone has freedom of movement as well as allowing ample room for equipment. There is absolutely no need to take turns on a sighting and the open nature of the vehicle allows for everyone to get high or low in the car for the shot you are after all at the same time.
A Mara regular, professional wildlife Photographer Richard Costin hosts several workshops each year out in the world famous reserve and neighboring conservancies. Known for his relaxed yet focused teaching style that puts results ahead of ego or photography posing, he will be on hand to help you get the absolute most from your time out in Africa.
Working with the same crew on each visit they make a tight team and while a lot of people run tours in the Mara, Richard’s results speak for themselves. You get a working pro that lives by the quality of his images guiding your hand and not just tour guide who’s own images are nowhere to be seen. Head on over to the gallery section to view his work.
When guiding you on the tours, you and your photography comes first. Got a question during that frantic once in a lifetime Leopard kill? Richard will answer and help you ahead of any personal needs or agenda and we are proud to have yet to run a tour without a repeat guest (except the first one years ago of course!)
Richard’s skill combined with the amazing tracking skill of the guides, you will be in the right place at the right time to take advantage of all the encounters. We are here to improve not just your technical skills, but your field craft as well, taking your photography to the next level all whilst having a blast. Whether you are a well seasoned snapper wanting room to work or total beginner you will be able to learn, grow and return with images to be proud of as well as skills that you will carry with you on your next photographic endeavors.
£3775.00 per person* (including flights). Unlike a lot of other tours, this includes international flights (from the UK). Please get in touch for alternate costing/options for travelers coming from outside the UK.
A single supplement of £450.00 for those not wishing to share. Note for those sharing, we pair males with males and females with females, each person having their own bed and the tents have a private bathroom section. Traveling couples are of course kept together.
* Airline prices are fluctuate daily so this cost is based on the current rate. If you are interested in joining us it is likely to be cheaper to let us know earlier rather than later!
* Please note that we just recently had to slightly increase the price due to sudden VAT charges now in force via the Kenyan Government. This is beyond our control and is effecting all tours within the country.
All bookings are made through our partnership with the fantastic Safari Consultants. A UK based tour operator offering full ATOL bonding for the trip as well as a wealth of experience and knowledge of African tourism. Richard uses and relies on them for all his African travel and they are great!