©Cyndy B. Waters

Join South x Southeast Workshops and Aret Enkera Safaris for a 14-day Kenyan safari. 

We’ll enjoy two distinctly different camps while we explore the Masai Mara over 6 days of safaris, both night and day. Followed by exclusive use of the Lentorre Lodge in the Shampole Conservancy.  Our 4 days at Lentorre includes a private hide for evening sessions to photograph animals coming by for a drink, daily safaris into the wild, and visits with the Masaai people in their communities and at the Lodge. This trip is a great mix of wildlife safari, environmental portraiture, and cultural photography.  It includes private charter flights, Safari-style Land Cruisers, guides, drivers, 2 safari camps, and a private lodge. This trip is all-inclusive.

Limited to 10 students 

 

Cyndy B Waters, Aret Enkera Safaris and Orbit Village, instructor and guide.

Cyndy has worked and lived in Nairobi, Kenya for much of the past 28 years. For 20 years prior, she worked as a photographer throughout the United States. She often photographed children in challenging situations, using her images to expose their needs. Cyndy traveled to Kenya on a spiritual journey in 1995. She was overwhelmed by the lack of education, food, and physical care many women and children faced causing her to step out from behind her camera and develop The Orbit Village Project, Inc. Today, the project is quite large and feeds, cares for, and educates approximately five hundred children and youth, and focuses on helping hundreds of families survive and rebuild from a broken generation.

She regularly leads groups on safaris and has become part of the safari network in Kenya. The opportunity to photograph such beautiful wild creatures led her into the exciting work of wildlife photography. Last year, she established Aret Enkera Safaris (Helping Children Safaris) as a part of the Orbit Village Project. Aret Enkera aims to offer the best possible photographic safaris to groups or individuals and expose them to the amazing Kenyan people. All the while, educating and exposing the Kenyan children to their beautiful country and magnificent wildlife.

A 1975 graduate of the Art Institute Of Atlanta, Cyndy’s early work included being photographer for the State of Tennessee and official photographer for the 1982 World’s Fair. Cyndy’s work from Africa has recently been published in FAWCO’s Inspiring Women Online Magazine fall of 2020. She was featured as one of 16 American women photographers working around the world. Along with having several images hung on the walls of SxSE Gallery, SxSE published Cyndy’s work in an Article The Land Of The Maasai, in the Dec-Jan 2022 Issue of SxSE Photomagazine. She was featured in Volumes 1, 2 & 3 of the book series How I Created This, A Celebration of Images From The Road in 2021.

Email: cyndybwaters@mac.com

Webpage: cyndybwaters.smugmug.com & OrbitVillage.org

Facebook: Cyndy B Waters & The Orbit Village Project

Instagram: CyndyBWatersPhotographer & AretEnkeraSafaris

 

Nancy McCrary, South x Southeast Workshops, logistics and planning

Nancy founded South x Southeast photomagazine in 2011. In 2015 she began SxSE photoworkshops, followed by the opening of SxSE photogallery at her farm in Molena, Georgia in 2017. From 2005 – 2013 she was co-director of SlowExposures Photography Festival in Concord, Georgia. Prior to South x Southeast she was managing editor of a number of various niche magazines including International Tattoo Art, PopStar!, Contents, and Mutts. She resides on her farm in Georgia.

email: nancy@sxsemagazine.com

www.sxsemagazine.com

www.sxseworkshops.com

www.sxsegallery.com

Insta:

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ITINERARY

 

Please note:

Everything we do is a choice and if someone chooses to sit out an activity or game drive that is perfectly okay. There will be plenty of other opportunities at the camps and the lodge. Or, you may just want to sit on the porch with a cold beverage and take in whatever comes by.

 

 

Day 1: 2/20/22

Leave the USA

Fly out to Jomo Kenyatta Int. (NBO) airport. Cyndy suggests Delta thru Amsterdam. Schiphol is a great airport and easy to maneuver in. If you have a long layover, there are places to rest. If you are a Delta club member, the KLM lounge is fabulous. If you are tall and can reserve comfort plus seats, it does make a difference. You will have 2 approximately 8-hour flights. 95% of all flights arrive about 9pm the following night. You’ll be allowed a carry-on and a personal bag. Cyndy’s personal bag is her large Mindset Photo Backpack. She has not had any problems getting on with it, unless it’s the small plane to Atlanta from Knoxville.  Flights are very cold, so if you get cold easily take a light-weight blanket — they offer ones but they are very thin. Dress warm, getting a chill on a flight can get you off to a bad start. Take good headphones, sound ballast if you prefer them. They give out disposable ones on the flights.  There are movies and meals at no additional charge.  Pick your seats out in advance. If your last leg is KLM, go to their website and pick your seat. Do this as early as possible.

Day 2: 2/21/22

Arrive in Nairobi Kenya at night

Cyndy and Nancy will meet you at the Airport with 2 vans and a car.

We will transport into Nairobi to the Davana Hotel where you’ll spend the first two nights

Dinner will be provided once we arrive at the Davana.

 

Day 3: 2/22/22

This is your day in Nairobi!

 

A day to settle in, get past the jet lag.

Expenses on your own for this day.

If you want to use a debit card, call your bank and have the international block removed, then call them and confirm it was removed. It’s nice to have some Kenyan shillings in your pocket, so you can get cash at the ATM and the rate is good. Credit cards are accepted everywhere. No American $$ unless you’re tipping a driver or at a camp.

Breakfast at the hotel or snacks you’ve brought.

For anyone who’d like to join us, we will visit the Orbit Village Project today, 15 minutes form the hotel. If you have collected things to give out to the kids, you will bring them with you that day. (more about this below) You can photograph the kids and the Orbit Village Project. The kids will do some sort of performance for you. There are about 360 school-aged children there. www.orbitvillage.org

In the afternoon, we will go into Nairobi to Cyndy’s favorite (reasonable) gift shop. This will really be your only chance to go shopping. We might visit the women who make the Kenya Bags for us (see Bags on the Orbit Village website)k if desired, and we will have a nice dinner out.

Day: 4 2/23/22

Fly to the Mara!!!

We will have 3 chartered flights (Cessna C208 Caravan) during the trip. Once we leave today, we will not be back to Nairobi until the last day.

The weight allowance on each charter flight is 15kgs (33 pounds) per person. In soft bags, Cyndy’s photo gear weighs over half of that. Pack light! More on that below.

If we have extra luggage we will send a vehicle ahead. But, please be considerate and pack as lightly as possible. Also, remember we’ll be moving around a bit and you don’t want to have a lot to carry yourself.

Nights 4 and 5 we will stay at Royal Mara in Mara North Conservancy. Click HERE for their website.

After arriving in the Mara, we will be picked up at the landing strip by our drivers and head to Mara North Conservancy, shooting on the way to the lodge. We will have 4 Safari Style Land Cruisers, 3 photographers to a vehicle, so all have a great shooting location on the same side of the vehicle. Vehicles can hold 7 passengers so having only 3 in each vehicle will allow room to move freely and to store your gear.

Royal Mara Safari Camp. We will stay here 2 nights, all inclusive. We will have lunch and get settled in. This is the only time we will be at the camp during daylight, so if you want pictures now is the only time to take them. There are hippos are right outside in the river and the tent/cabins have nice porches.

After lunch, back out for the afternoon game drive. We will stay out for sunset. This is a huge conservancy and we will see lots of animals, including leopards, lions, elephants and many antelope.

This is the best night for a chance to shoot the Milky Way If you are interested in nighttime photography.

Day 5: 2/24/22

Royal Mara, Mara North Conservancy

 

5:00 — Wake up and out for sunrise (6 am). Coffee or tea will be brought to your tent at 5 am or when requested.

Our breakfast and lunch will be packed and thermoses of whatever you want to drink. We will shoot all day. Back after sunset.

Drinks/Dinner at the Conservancy in the evening

Wifi is being installed in all tents, so hopefully we will have good connections. As of right now, it is only at the dining area.

Other than tipping the staff there are no additional charges at Royal Mara.

 

Day 6: 2/25/22

Mara North/Maasai Mara

5:00 — Wake up and out again at sunrise. We always leave camp at 6 am.

Breakfast will be packed for us. We will have our last safari in the Mara North and move in to the Maasai Mara and Amazing Mara Camp for lunch. Click HERE for their website.

After settling in and lunch, we’re back out for afternoon game drives. We will shoot sunset and get out of the park before dark as is required by the National Reserve. Amazing Mara is bit different. It is a new semi-permanant camp of large tents on wooden platforms, with good beds, and it is super comfortable. It is right on the Talek River. This is an ecocamp, with all solar energy.  Wifi is only available at the gathering area, not in individual tents. Each tent has a small solar generator for working on your laptop that lasts long enough. Hot showers and a somewhat open-air bath area. It is covered, but you can see the stars. Charging batteries is not a problem. Very helpful staff and friendly environment.

Day 7 & 8 & 9

2/26-27- 28/22

are Full Days in the Mara

 

5:00 — Wake up. We always leave the camp at 6:00.

It’s a short drive to good sunrise possibilities and usually lions are close by. These will be long, hard shooting days with, at times, a lot of driving, but plenty of animals and exciting shooting opportunities. Hopefully, leopard hunts. Large birds are near the camp.  Breakfast and lunch will be packed. Iced coffee is always available here!! Back after sunset. There is some down time after lunch where you can nap in the vehicle.

 

Day 10: 3/1/22

Move to Lentorre Lodge

Early morning game drive, back for breakfast, and pack up for our flight to the Lentorre Lodge around 11:00am. Click HERE for their website.

Lentorre Lodge is a beautiful group of Villas in the Shompole Conservancy, deep in the heart of the Great Rift Valley.  Lentorre can host up to 16 people in 6 houses, two being family houses with two bedrooms. But for groups over 8 it is exclusive and we will have the whole place to ourselves and the staff catering to our needs!

This is all inclusive lodging of food, drinks, laundry, plus this covers all conservancy fees and payment to the community, and 2 shooting opportunities within the Maasai community.

Fu ©Cyndy B Waters

Afternoon Day 10

 

Arrive at Lentorre Lodge for lunch and get moved into our beautiful camp that we have all to ourselves!!! What a way to spend our last 3 nights. We will rest and relax this afternoon. Then Cyndy will take you to the hide, and give a short class on hide photography.

Swim if you want, photograph birds in the bird hide, or all around the place, and get ready for a night of shooting in the hide. We will have dinner and then move into the hide at dark. You can actually sleep in there and get woken up when an animal comes, but the first night we will want to get ready and practice shooting on any small animal that comes – even if it’s just a rabbit!! Pray for NO rain during our time at Lentorre, we do not want water available to animals aside for at the hide pool. Let them come and drink there!

 

Day 11: 3/2/22

 Lentorre Lodge

 

Visit to Stephen’s Boma, (compound where they live) Stephen is part of Lentorre Lodge and lives near by. He owns 100’s of head of cattle and when they are released in the morning it is quite a scene.  Imaging dust rising in the sunrise as the cattle move outside of the pens made of  Acacia “Thorn Tree” branches.  We will follow them to the  picturesque river for a drink and come back and photograph the women and children milking.

We will get back to the camp and rest for a while.  Later, we’ll look at our hide photos from the night before and possibly work on processing one of them if photographers are interested. We will have dinner as we get prepared for another night in the hide.

The hide is not large enough for all of us to shoot at one time, but we will rotate siting at the window and others resting on the beds, but when something comes to drink we should all be able to get a chance!

Day 12: 3/3/22

Lentorre

 

The Maasai Community Experience

The Maasai Warrior is an prominent figure in Kenya, the tall man dressed in red fabric carrying a spear is an image easily recognized as “Kenyan” Bright colors are trademark of the Maasai people as they can be spotted from far away across the open savannas. The Maasai are known for walking very long distances to find grass for their cattle. You quickly learn never to ask a Maasai how far away something is!!  There  are many intriguing parts of the Maasai life that we will be able to learn about and experience on our journey thru Kenya.  While at Lentorre lodge we will participate in an event where as many as 75 warriors will come together to share their culture with us via dance, song, jumping and story telling. After which, we will be able to photograph them as we so desire. This will be a prefect time to do environmental portraits. All of our guide/drivers in the Maasai Mara will be Maasai and traditionally dressed while with us. You will have time to ask them questions and learn about these traditions so you will be prepared for this amazing photographic opportunity, which is a very rare.

Visit to the community:  There is a small community near the lodge when the Maasai go to fill their water containers, do their shopping, go to school and carry on their typical errands.  We will have time to photograph there as well.  Fees paid are divided up fairly among the community and help in many ways. This is not a tourist community, built for us to visit. The conservancy is not highly visited and there or the Maasai there are not dependent on tourism. Their cows, goats and sheep are their livelihood.  But certainly our visit will benefit everyone.

Good meals and our last night in the hide.

 

Day 13: 3/4/22

 

Our final morning at Lentorre, we take a slow morning and a late breakfast while spending time with the birds and sharing our favorite images from the trip. We’ll have a Q&A session and pack for our flight to NBO.

Upon arrival in Nairobi, we will have 2 day-rooms at the Davana Hotel for showers before heading to the airport.

 

 

 

 

 

Covered in Fee:

*double occupancy in all accommodations is included. For a quote on single occupancy, please email nancy@sxsemagazine.com

transport from Nairobi airport to your hotel

Dinner in Nairobi at your hotel the evening of your arrival

Two nights at Davana Hotel Nairobi upon arrival

Private charter flight Nairobi to Mara North Conservancy

2 nights, all inclusive, in Mara North Safari Camp

2 days safari with guides and drivers

4 Safari Style Land Cruisers (3 photographers to each)

2 nights in Amazing Mara Camp, on the Talek River, all inclusive

2 days safari with guides and drivers

Private charter flight from Mara North to Lentorre Lodge, Shampole Conservancy

3 nights at the Lentorre Lodge, exclusive to our group, all inclusive

Shooting in the hide at night

Safaris with guides and drivers during the day

Visit at a Masaai home

Masai men visit the Lodge for a performance

Critiques and viewing of images

Cyndy’s instruction and guidance

Nancy’s logistics and planning

Private charter flight from Lentorre to Nairobi

 

Not Covered in Fee:

Airfaire from your home base to Nairobi

single-occupancy surcharge for camps and lodge

Visa

Vaccinations

Travel Insurance

Tips – generally 10% in restaurants, $20/tent per night on safari

Meals and miscellaneous expenses on day one in Nairobi

 

 

FEE: $8999 by check, $9341 if paying by debit, credit or pay pal.

(these is a 3.8% fee for cards and paypal)

 

To register:

Email nancy@sxsemagazine.com with your name, address, phone number, and how you would prefer to pay.

Click below if paying by card or paypal. Nancy will reply with an address if paying by check.

Deadline for registration: November 15th , 2022

 

Deposit:

A deposit of $5000USD is due when you register.

The balance of $3999.USD must be paid before midnight, November 15th.

Cancellations before October 1st will receive full refund.

Cancellations before November 1st will receive 50% refund.

Cancellations after November 1st receive no refunds.

 

GO HERE to pay the Full Amount by card or Paypal

GO HERE to pay the deposit by card or paypal.

GO HERE to pay the balance due by card or paypal.

 

If paying by check, Nancy will provide the address once you register.

 

Preparation

  1. Apply for E Visa on line $50, Have it printed out, and kept also on your phone. Have a copy of your passport printed to keep with you, and email both Cyndy and Nancy a copy.
  2. Purchase Airline Ticket $1,200-$1,600
  3. Decide about inoculations, check with CDC guidelines. Some people take all the suggested, some take none.
  4. A malaria preventive is suggested. One pill a day starting in advance of the trip.
  5. Buy ear plugs! Anywhere in Nairobi (NBO) can be loud. Or, download a noise machine on your cell phone.
  6. Purchase Trip Insurance, Checking Square Mouth and Allianz it seems to run between $900-$1400 based on a $14,000 dollars trip.
  7. Suggested Photo Equipment
  • Gimbal
  • Clamp (for attaching it to the vehicle) Manfroto or Impact
  • The longest lens you have,
  • mid range lens
  • and a wide angle.
  • 90% of the time I use my 200-500.
  • A 1.4 teleconverter is great.
  • I also carry 70-200 with a 1.4 teleconverter,14-24. Or fixed Super wide.
  • Sometimes animals get close to vehicle. 1-2 camera bodies are recommended. A 1.4 teleconverter is great,
  • Join Sites like Big Cats of the Maasai Mara on FB
  • Download the Topaz AI Suite, D Noise and Sharpen at least.

 

Clothing : Thin Layers

Yes, it gets cold in the morning and evening, Eddie Bauer and Columbia clothing works great, and is very light weight. Weight will be a big issue since we are taking charter flights and we will be very limited to how much we can carry. See below for more info.

We may send a vehicle with extra luggage to and from the Mara. We will not need much in Lentorre and they will do laundry free of charge for us so they can wash your traveling clothes.

 

No Drones Can be Brought in to Kenya

Leave your drone at home!  Kenya does not allow you to bring a drone into Kenya – however, it’s not illegal to use a drone is specific areas. If you bring one with you it will be confiscated at the airport, and you will be given it back when you leave.  But this will take lots of time we don’t have. You are not allowed to fly them in the National reserve. If you feel you really want a drone we can arrange rental of one.

 

Questions? E nancy@sxsemagazine.com

 

Hope to see you in Kenya soon!