In true expedition style, there is flexibility in the itinerary to ensure plenty of time to immerse ourselves with these tribes and take advantage of any impromptu photographic opportunities.
Arrive at the international airport in Nairobi, Kenya. You are met by a member of our ground team and transferred to your hotel by private vehicle.
Accommodations: Hilton Double Tree Hotel.on bed and breakfast.
Following an early breakfast, we will meet in a private conference room for a briefing on the exciting adventure ahead and a presentation on capturing both stunning portraits using natural light and the four critical elements in a compelling image. We will then transfer to Wilson airport to board our private charter to Lake Turkana. Your first glance of the Jade Sea will take your breath away. We will settle in, have our lunch and prepare for a fantastic portrait session. My Turkana friends who love to model will meet us at the lodge in the early afternoon, where we will put into practice the natural lighting portrait techniques discussed in the morning, preparing you to take advantage of the numerous photographic opportunities to come.
In the late afternoon, we will hop into our 4X4 Land Cruisers and head out to explore our first village. Unique to this area is that four tribes, the Randille, Turkana, Samburu, and El Molo all live in the same town of Loiyangalani. Over the next two days, we will focus on visiting multiple tribal villages along the shoreline of the lake, which make for a stunning background and will allow us to experience their ancient fishing practices, lakeside activities and possibly witness the Gabra tribe bringing down their herds of camel for a drink.
Accommodations – Malabo – BLD
After one last sunrise shoot, we will enjoy breakfast and begin our journey south (approx. 3 hour drive) to Samburu Northern territory surrounded by flowering trees in an acacia-paved valley beneath the towering peaks of Ol Donyo Niro and Ol Donyo Mara. In the wavering trees’ shadows, you may find the enchanting Samburu herders gathered with their camels. Although it is hard to find an area with no western influence, the Samburu in the area live traditionally and virtually untouched by tourism. Historically, they have a good relationship with their neighboring tribe, the Rendille, who are similar in their ornate dress, only a little more colorful. During our time here, we will spend time with both these tribes and hope to see one of the camel trains as the tribes still lead a nomadic lifestyle.
Samburu Tribe. Originally part of the Maasai tribe when they first came down the Nile River, the Samburu, a Nilotic tribe, split off when the Maasai continued their journey south to Tanzania. The name Samburu name means the butterfly people; they not only flew off from their original tribe, but they became more colorful in their traditional dress. In the north, camels are a part of their livestock.
Rendille Tribe. A Semi-nomadic Cushitic tribe, who originally migrated down from Ethiopia and settled in unfavorable desert land climatic condition were less affected by colonialism and are living on the same lands they originally settled on. Being Pastoralists, their lifestyle revolves around their livestock. Camels are their main source of livelihood because they best adapted to the desert conditions. When migrating to new pastures, the camels are used to carry the family’s possessions in specially designed saddles.
Our camp is set among stunning scenery and will seem like pure bliss. This is a small family type camp with a beautiful stone dining lounge area, fire pit and small plunge pool. Our team will add support with canvas tents, cooking our meals, and service in the camp.
Accommodations – Mobile Tent Camp – BLD
Continuing south, we venture into a pristine Turkana area, set among a beautiful acacia forest and a stunning valley of rolling hills with mountain peaks in the background. When I first arrived in this area, it was like time had stood still with so many Turkana women whisking through town dressed completely traditionally; rows and rows of color beads around their necks, long skin dress, and bright colored African printed fabrics. The men in the area reminded me more of the Omo Valley tribes, sitting around in circles and lying on their wood carved head stools. Like the hammer tribe, they live near the dry riverbeds when they can dig down to fetch water. To immerse ourselves into their daily lives, we will spend three days in the pristine area, virtually untouched by tourism, outside maybe a few backpackers and single photographers. We likely would not see any non-locals here. There will be plenty of time to visit several villages, learn about their traditional lifestyle, and capture both documentary style images and beautiful environmental portraits.
Tukana Tribe. Originally from the Karamajong district of North-eastern Uganda, the Turkana people, numbering 250,000, settled in Kenya’s northwest. The Turkana women wear layers and layers of colorful beads around their necks, metal through their ears, and older women still wear labrets that cut through their lower lips. The women wear full-length leather dresses, and the young girls bead theirs and cover them with red ochre. The men are very tall and similar in style to the Daasanach Tribe in the Omo Valley, with large yellow and red beads around their neck, bangles of the same color on their arms, and some elders still wear the hair buns. During ceremonies, the men wear beautiful ostrich feather hats and bells at their calves. They are one of the few tribes that practice no form of circumcision on women or men.
Our full mobile-tented camp will be in the heart of the Turkana territory, in a lovely community campsite with stone walkways and a fire pit area, nestled under a forest of umbrella acacia trees along a dry lake bed.
After one last morning village visit, we continue our drive south (approx. 3 hours)
crossing back into Samburu territory where we will overnight in the Ngari hills.
Up in the beautiful hills, we will have time to relax, download, review images, and discuss any photographic challenges of the last week. Dinner will be in the luxurious cottage at the top of the hill with a breathtaking 180-degree view.
Accommodations – Ngari Hill Lodge – BLD
You may rise slowly or go for a brisk walk through the beautiful grounds at sunrise. Rejuvenated, after a scrumptious breakfast, we will continue our journey south to the famous Pokot Tribe Territory, which is rarely visited. The Pokot tribe most reminded me of the tribe of the Omo. We will be there during the season of the male initiation. The ceremony is similar to the bull jumping ceremony, but instead of jumping the bulls, they need to spear one, drink its blood and smear themselves with the contents of its stomach to pass into manhood and give them a better chance of marriage. We will spend 2 days with the Pokot in the heart of their territory and hope we get lucky to catch a ceremony. We will visit their villages and have a large party with them on our last night.
Pokot Tribe – They were also originally from the eastern Karamoja region in Uganda before migration south to Northern Kenya. They are the least visited tribe by outsiders. The women are most known for their adornment of big, bright, colorful, unique beaded neckpieces, headpieces and large metal rings hanging from their ears. Like the Omo Tribes, the men wear a wrap around their waist, adorn themselves with beads, metal, and ostrich feathers, and carry a walking stick and wood carved stools.
Our proper mobile tent camp will be set up in the wild.
Accommodations – Mobile Tent Camp – BLD
We will have one final morning visit with the Pokot, before our breakfast, and then continue south to finish our expedition in grand style with a stay at a luxurious island camp, situated on a private island, in the middle of Lake Baringo. In the afternoon, we will head out on a boat safari for the exception bird life, hippos, crocodiles, and beautiful landscape.
Accommodations – Island Camp – BLD
After a wonderful breakfast overlooking the lake, we will begin to make our way back to Nairobi, stopping at the beautiful Sunbird Lodge that sits on the shore of Lake Elementaita, for lunch. Once back in Nairobi, you will be taken to the Hilton doule tree Hotel where you will have dayrooms. You can enjoy a leisurely afternoon reflecting back on the amazing experience you had on the expedition, take a nap, enjoy a delicious meal, and have time to clean up before your flight back home later in the evening. In the evening, you will be transported to the international airport to catch your flights home.
Day rooms – Hilton Double Tree hotel – BLD
The price of this unique cultural and wildlife photographic adventure is $12,495.00. This price is based on double occupancy.
Single supplement is $2,495.00 ” if available”, which also includes delux tents in Koros, Ngari Hills, and Island Camp. Single accommodations are extremely limited!
Due to the limited number of spaces available, if a solo guest is willing to share and we can match with another guest of the same gender, we will do so. If a solo guest is unwilling to share, then a single supplement will be charged. If we are unable to match a solo guest with another guest of the same gender, then the single supplement will be charged.
***The cost of this safari is based on a minimum of 7-8 participants. If there are less than 7 participants a small supplement group fee of $895.00 will apply.
A USD $3,000.00 Non-refundable deposit (+single supplement, if requested) is due at the time of registration to secure your spot. Most travel insurance companies will allow you to purchase insurance to cover your deposit and then increase the amount as you make payments.
- USD $3,500.00 non-refundable deposit to confirm your place on this safari
- 2nd payment of USD $3,500.00 30 days before safari
- Final paymenttwo weeks before safari
- We highly recommend trip and cancellation insurance
- All accommodations as stated in the itinerary
- All meals from breakfast lunch, as stated on the itinerary B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner
- Private charter to Lake Turkana
- All village visits
- Portrait session with the Turkana Tribe
- Local Beer and wine, soft drinks and water included at the mobile tented camps
- Gratuities for all local guides, camp/lodge staff, porters, and security escorts.
- All airport transfers on arrival/departure days
- Transportation and exclusive use of custom safari built 4-wheel drive Landcruiser vehicles
- Travel and medical Insurance (required)
- Personal purchases (such as curious, spirit liquors, telephone calls, internet, laundry…)
- Gratuities for the main driver/guides
- Pre- and post-safari tours
- Meals or accommodation before or after the safari
- International flights to and from the African Continent
Both Travel insurance and medical insurance is required to participate on this trip. We highly recommend purchasing your insurance within 10 days of making your deposit.
Traveling in remote locations can present challenges that may require slight changes to the itinerary. I put my heart into each and every itinerary and will always try to run the tour as the initial itinerary. In the event, beyond my control, such as political unrest, natural disasters, overbookings by the lodge, where a change is required, I will do my best to keep us close to the original shooting location. It is my intention for you to have the best possible experience. I will try to notify you of any changes as soon as I am made aware of them.
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