This Safari will be small intimate groups working directly alongside Richard. His down to earth, 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 directing the vehicles exactly as he does when working alone, the same way that has enabled him to take the images he has published the world over. Once back in camp there will be informal sessions on digital workflow, raw processing and anything else, 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 sheer enjoyment.
The trips are strictly limited to 8 people with a maximum of 4 guests per vehicle (vehicle’s normally carry 6 or more guests). This is hugely important and often glossed over elsewhere. You really do need room to move around in the vehicles to make the most of the opportunities that we work hard to get and these vehicles allow for this when not full to capacity. There will be no waiting your turn on either side of the 4x4 and you will have ample room to have your equipment ready to use at a moment's notice.
WORKING IN THE MARA
You will work in the exact same way Richard works when out on his private projects. That can be summed up simply as working smart, determined and flexible. We leave camp at approximately 5am (after your morning coffee has been 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 either stay close to camp or travel out far and wide pending the animal movements. We also work smart; our extensive experience means we go for the predictive approach rather than the clumsy reactive 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, most importantly for the wildlife as it puts them at ease as but for us as well. This gives us the most time to prepare for a chosen 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.
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 for a far more focused afternoon drive, heading out around 4 o’clock and returning after sunset for hot showers and drinks around the fire before dinner.
The vehicles are custom modified Toyota Land Cruisers. Although able to take 6 or even 9 people, we strictly limit the numbers to 4 in the main area (with Richard huddled up front 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.
All bookings are made through our partnership with the fantastic Safari Consultants. A UK based tour operator offering full ATOL bonding for the safari and flights 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!
Unlike a lot of other tours, this includes international flights from the UK all fully ATOL bonded. Please get in touch for alternate costing/options for travellers coming from outside the UK.
* Costs are given on a shared basis (couples of course kept together), all tents have private wash area and are available with either twin beds or a double. If we are unable to pair you prior to travel there may be an additional fee involved. Single occupancy can also be pre arranged at additional cost.
* Our prices here are correct at the time of writing and the Kenyan fees are displayed in US dollars to allow for consistency of price on the web site.
* To bring a great value trip to you we work with very tight margins from our operators. To that end the trip prices quoted are based on the assumption of a minimum of four persons travelling in total for this trip. Should we for some reason not meet this minimum requirement we will offer you either a full refund or the opportunity to still join us with a slight fee increase.
For more information regarding booking conditions, please see the “small print enlarged” section below or contact Safari Consultants on +44(0)1787 888 590.
$4500 US plus £885 GBP
Why the double pricing above?
Due to the highly changeable nature of the Pound vs the Dollar at the moment we are quoting the Kenyan costs in Dollars here on the web site to ensure consistency with the information. The total will be converted to your chosen payment currency at the time of booking pending the exchange rates and chosen/available flight options at the time.
LIFE ON SAFARI
Rather than describe to you here about Life on Safari with Richard we WILL just show you!
Each trip Richard live blogs about the daily activities of the groups, click here to check it out and get a taste of life on the workshops.
Watch the slideshow video below, all featured images taken out on tour with Richard...
THE SMALL PRINT (ENLARGED)
Whilst some like to gloss over the following, we feel it is important to note that this trip is a genuine safari experience, therefore..
All stages of this trip are well planned and run by very experienced people. However, it is called wildlife for a reason. Although it is extremely unlikely to return from a drive in the Mara empty handed, we are ultimately only able to show you the wildlife in Mara as it is, wild. So please be aware that we cannot 100% guarantee a sighting of a particular species. Please be assured however our guides live and breath the Mara every day and are superb trackers of award standard. As well we like to think Richard’s photos speak for themselves. The Mara is one of the best places to see these animals in the wild but you must be prepared for some periods of waiting and that some drives will be better than others. Richard and the team will be doing everything possible to make this a trip to remember but we feel it is only fair to remind you that this is wildlife; a trip to the zoo it isn’t!
Likewise, the weather is beyond our control but we will be prepared to go out in all conditions come rain or shine. This can however have knock on effects for special excursions like the early morning balloon rides (if you decided to book one). We will always press ahead regardless of the weather as long as it is safe. People who can put things into perspective and enjoy whatever nature has in store will get the most from this trip, even those who wish to come without cameras and simply observe the wildlife.
This trip is suitable for ages 8 and over providing appropriate behaviour in the vehicles and around the camp is maintained. Should an individual behave inappropriately, Richard and/or Kicheche reserve the right to restrict that person’s safari activities without refund. This is to ensure a fair and enjoyable trip for all guests. We have never had to do this though and hope we never will!
There is very little walking or physical exertion required. However, please note that the ride can be bumpy when driving from location to location. If this may be a cause for concern, please get in touch for further information. All correspondence is held in the strictest confidence and the camp is very accommodating to all needs and something can always be worked out as long as we know in advance.
The price stated includes the current fuel surcharges being levied by the relevant airlines. We will not surcharge this price unless further fuel surcharges exceed 2% of the total cost of this itinerary, in which case you will only be surcharged the amount which is over and above the 2% surcharge.
To bring a great value trip to you we work with very tight margins from our operators. To that end the trip prices quoted above are based on the assumption of a minimum of four persons travelling in total for this trip. Should we for some reason not meet this minimum requirement, we will off you either a full refund or the opportunity to still join us with a modest fee increase. For more information regarding this please contact Safari Consultants on +44(0)1787 888 590.
Exchange rates: Please note that the exchange rates between the SA Rand and/or US$ dollar and UK£ pound are currently extremely volatile, with the recent trend being a huge devaluation of our UK£ pound. As many costs relating to your holiday are paid in either of these currencies, the price of your holiday is closely linked with these exchange rates. For this quotation, we have used the current exchange rates, however, we will need to reconfirm the holiday price with you at the time of booking.
Please see section 8 of Safari Consultant’s terms and conditions for further details of the pricing policy.
It is a requirement that UK flights are arranged through Safari Consultants.
If you have any further questions please simply get in touch and we will be happy to answer all your queries.