September 1-2


Ole Sereni Hotel, across from the Nairobi National Park


September 3 – 6

Island of Lamu, World Heritage Site, off the coast of Kenya

Peponi Hotel


September 6-8

Lemek Conservancy (bordering the Masai Mara National Reserve)

Naserian Mara Camp, Kenya


September 8-12

Masai Mara National Reserve

Amazing Mara Camp, Masai Mara, Kenya


September 12-13


Karen Blixen Museum

The Giraffe Centre

Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

2020 Cyndy B Waters

Join us for 13 wonderful days in Africa this Fall. We’ll move from the metropolis of Nairobi to an island off the coast in the Indian Ocean, to a safari camp in the Lemek Conservancy outside the Masai Mara National Reserve and the Ol Chorro Rhino Sanctuary. And last, but not least, a camp within the Reserve itself which is, well, Amazing! With days in the mid-70’s and nights in the high 50’s being outside will be delightful – be it a walk on the beach on the island of Lamu, or a sunrise safari in the back of a Land Cruiser in the Masai Mara.


Peponi Hotel lunch ©Cyndy Waters





Enjoy 3 days of sailing in wooden boats, eating fresh crab (cleaned for you and served in the shell), roaming the narrow car-less streets of Lamu town, and the beautiful white sand Shella beach, rich in history of past wars  and rulers. Wrap yourself in a traditional Kikoi and began to feel in tune with the calming flow of one of the oldest vacation stops in Africa. On Lamu, your creativity will surely be stirred by visions of a culture that seems ancient, yet new to you.


Olkiombo airstrip ©NMcCrary


Fly, as you may have dreamed of doing, by small plane over the African Plains, landing on a dirt airstrip and met by your Maasai drivers with Land Cruisers tricked out to help you get your best shots as you encounter most of the African BIG 5 Wildlife. All around you will be herds of various antelope, elephants, giraffes, wildebeests, zebras, leopards, lions, cheetahs and other cats.  You’ll enjoy delicious meals on safari and oh, don’t forget to look up and see the beautiful night sky with no artificial light any where around. 


It’s important to know who’s leading you on workshops, and we strive to work with the very best! 

Our vehicles are tricked out specifically for photographers, with sand bags and clamps. And, unlike some safaris, we don’t believe in crowding you and your gear. All photographers will have a clear view of the animals and room to move around. You may also go “up top” and shoot from there if you’d like.

And our guides … are the best! Cyndy has worked with both William and Bill for years. They take great care of us on workshops, and have become dear friends.

Our Guides and Drivers:

Bill Kupai is native to the  Olkinyei Conservancy area adjacent to the Maasai Mara Reserve.  None of the animals, their sounds, habits, and noises are strangers to him. He loves to drive and guide people on Safari. Cyndy and Bill, typically called Kupai, have worked together for many years and have had some amazing adventures. Bill has 12 years safari driving/guiding and he is rated is a Silver guide due to his education and experience by the Kenya Professional Safari Guide Association. He is chairman of Olooibormurt Primary School and involved in their growth and development.  He is also a spokesman for his community.





William Twala has also grown up in the Maasai Community and is a graduate from Koyiaki Guiding school. He obtained a Silver level in Tourism, focusing on guiding and driving on safaris which he has done for 12 years. He has worked with many wonderful photographers and for the last 8 years specialized is guiding photographers on safari.  William runs a nonprofit organization that in recent years has build bathrooms at many Maasai schools, brought water for people and livestock and built living quarters for teaches at the schools. William can hear animals from an amazing distance.  When he says “sit down, hold on” excited moments are ahead!! He shares Cyndy’s love for leopards and they two of them have spent many thrilling days following and photographing some of the Mara’s most beautiful big cats.

Your time the these two seasoned guides will be a highlight of your safari adventure.


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.


Webpage: &

Facebook: Cyndy B Waters & The Orbit Village Project

Instagram: CyndyBWatersPhotographer & AretEnkeraSafaris



Nancy McCrary, South x Southeast Workshops, logistics and planning, tour guide

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.






What previous workshop participants are saying….

-As a participant in the South x Southeast Photography workshop experience with Peter Essick, I appreciated the opportunity to explore being among trees and moving water.  That was a new way of seeing in the area we photographed.  The group dynamics were lively and supportive.

I felt the support of Peter and that we had time in most settings to take “more time” to explore a different angle or advantage of light.

I particularly liked the learning aspect about Cumberland and the Okefenokee.

Great all round experience.

Thank you Nancy for your organizational skills and gathering a congenial group of fellow photographers. —Wanda Hopkins


-I have been on several trips with Nancy McCrary and they never disappoint. She always engages photographers who are helpful and willing to share their knowledge.  Her attention to detail with regard to accomodations, meals, daily outings, and other logistics is thorough and she attracts talented and considerate photographers.  Nancy herself is a wonderful artist and very accessible.  Her workshops appeal to any level of photographer.  There are always professionals who attend, but if you’ve only just begun she encourages everyone to share knowledge.  The groups she leads are supportive and I learn something new every time.  After having photographed full-time for a decade, I rarely attend workshops anymore.  That being said, I always love going to ones Nancy organizes since they are always in beautiful places and so much fun.  –Lynne Buchanan


-In October 2021 I participated in a photography workshop organized by Nancy McCrary, director and founder of SxSE.  The workshop was led by a well known Atlanta photographer Peter Essick. 

It was a very fulfilling experience.  Nancy McCrary showed off her fantastic organizational skills.  The photo excursions on St. Mary’s, Cumberland Island, and to the Okefenokee Swamp were great adventures and a paradise for us photographers. I met many interesting people and had a chance to learn more about Nancy and her wonderful ways of interacting with people.  She provided camaraderie, great food, and wonderful places to photograph. Peter Essick shared readily his photographic knowledge and offered constructive criticism.  The workshop was a unique experience that I would love to repeat. –Malgorzata Florkowska



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 : (9/1) Arrive Nairobi

Fly out to Jomo Kenyatta Int. (NBO) airport. Cyndy suggests Delta thru Amsterdam. Schiphol is a great airport and easy to maneuver. 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. Flights are very cold, so if you get cold easily take a light-weight blanket — they offer ones but they are very thin. Dress warmly, 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.

Giraffe and the Nairobi Airport, Ole Sereni Hotel looking across Nairobi National Park ©Ole Sereni

You’ll be picked up by Cyndy and Nancy and  our driver and taken to the Ole Sereni Hotel.

The Ole Sereni sits opposite the Nairobi National Park  where you can watch zebras stopping for their morning drink as you sip your own out on your room’s private balcony.






Day 2: (9/2)

Zebras in the Nairobi National Park outside the Ole Sereni Hotel ©Ole Sereni

This is a rest day, to catch our breath from traveling and reset our inner clocks to Africa time!

Expenses on your own for this day.

We’ll plan to meet up as a group later in the afternoon for dinner and a presentation by Cyndy of her work in photography and with the Orbit Village Project in Nairobi.





Day 3:  (9/3)

Early morning you’ll be picked up and taken to Wilson Airport where we’ll fly to the island of Lamu off the coast of Kenya. The Peponi Hotel will be our home for the next 3 nights. Lamu is famous for its well-preserved Swahili architecture. Swahili architecture is a term used to designate a whole range of diverse building traditions practiced or once practiced along the eastern and southeastern coasts of Africa. Rather than simple derivatives of Islamic architecture from the Arabic world, Swahili stone architecture is a distinct local product as a result of evolving social and religious traditions, environmental changes, and urban development.

After settling into our rooms we’ll photograph around the island, followed by dinner and a sunset sail by Dhow.


Day 4: (9/4)

Water view from Manda Island

Breakfast is served!  And then we set sail by ferry to Manda Island. Manda is an island of the Lamu Archipelago known for the prosperous 9th century ports of Takwa and Manda town. We’ll venture by the ruins of an old fort and photograph along the rocky coast line and play in the waves. We’ll spend some time at The Majlis Resort , an excellent example of Swahili architecture with fine dining and beautiful beaches. There will be plenty of ancient and diverse photo opportunities while on Manda.

The ferry will deliver us back to Lamu in the evening.


Day 5 : (9/5)

Lamu Island ©Cyndy Waters

This is a free-for-all day, as there are so many diverse photo opportunities and we want you to be able to schedule according to your preferences. Also, the Peponi offers an array of activities , and two of these of your choice are included in the workshop (please refer to the Peponi Fact Sheet) For example, a guided tour of historical sites in the morning, followed by a relaxing massage in the afternoon. We’ll meet for dinner and to recoup later in the day.







Day 6, 7: (9/6 & 9/7)

Early breakfast starts the day, before flying back to Nairobi late morning, and on to the Masai Mara arriving later afternoon. The Naserian Camp inside the private Lemek Conservancy, will be our next home for 2 nights. We’ll settle in upon arrival and get ready for our first evening safari. Lemek is known for its lions and Cyndy is already familiar with one specific pride!

Among morning and evening safaris,  a visit to the Ol Chorro Rhino conservancy, dedicated to the conservation of the white rhinocerus is a must. And, if you’d like, you can even pet the female rhino! To learn more about the Ol Chorro Conservancy and the rhinos click here for a YouTube Video



Days 8, 9,10, 11, 12 : (9/8, 9/9, 9/10, 9/11, 9/12)

Amazing Mara Camp is where we will unpack for the next 5 nights! A wonderful camp on the banks of the Talek River, Amazing has hosted SxSE and Arek Entera Safaris on previous occasions. We’ll fill our days with morning and afternoon safaris, as well as sunrise and sunset drives mixed in. These days will be filled with wonderful meals, beautiful landscapes, fires in the evenings, and great comraderie.

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 Amazing Camp 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 very rare.


Day 12: (9/12)

We leave the Mara after lunch and fly back to Nairobi and the Ole Sereni Hotel. Orbit Village and Group Reviews this evening!

For anyone who’d like to join us, we will visit the Orbit Village Project today, the orphanage and school Cyndy founded 28 years ago. Orbit is 15 minutes from 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.

The children love having visitors and I promise you’ll come away with a whole new perspective.

In the evening we’ll gather to do projections of 4 images each for a group review. Be thinking about this as you shoot and edit along the way.


Day 13: (9/13) Today is a full last day in Nairobi, Kenya.

In the morning we will begin with a visit to The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Elephant Orphanage and a presentation of the baby elephants they have under their care.

For those of us who have read and/or seen the film Out of Africa a visit to the Karen Blixen Museum, housed in the farmhouse of her home at the foot of her beloved Ngong Hills, is a must. We’ll stop there next. And have lunch at the Karen Blixen Coffee Gardens.

And our last stop of the day, The Giraffe Centre, where we’ll spend time with a journey of giraffes in their environment.

Later we will return you to the hotel for either your evening departure or next morning’s departure from NBO.


What’s Included

11 Nights Inclusive, double occupancy (for single occupancy, please email

7 days of Game Drives and Safaris in Masai Mara and Lemek Conservancy

2 historic island trips

Sunset on the Indian Ocean in a dhow

Sunrise and Sunset safaris in Masai Mara

Performance by Masaii warrior dancers and jumpers

4 in-country flights

Airport Transfers

2 professional guides

Land Cruisers specifically kitted out for photographers

Only 4 photographers per Land Cruiser

All Reserve and Conservancy fees

Entrance fees to Sheldrick Wildlife Reserve, The Karen Blixen Museum, and The Giraffe Centre

2 outside activities at the Peponi Hotel, Lamu Island (massage, guided tour, etc.)


What’s Not Included

Alcoholic Beverages – Note: You may run a tab at both camps and tally up at the end.

Airfare from your home base to Nairobi

single-occupancy surcharge for camps and hotel




Travel Insurance – we strongly suggest you purchase this

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

Meals and miscellaneous expenses on day one in Nairobi


  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 to NBO, Nairobi International Airport
  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
  • Clamp (for attaching it to the vehicle) Manfroto or Impact
  • Gimbel
  • 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.

8. Donations of items to Orbit. All international flights allow 2 50# bags without charge. And we cannot take that much of our own stuff on this trip. So, we ask if you would be interested in donating gently used or new items to Orbit Village for the children. Children’s clothes, shoes, books, toys, etc. – they need any and everything you might could offer. Also, if you have an old suitcase you no longer use, please consider packing the items in there and just leaving it. They use those as we use chests of drawers. Any donation will be more than welcome.


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 – 22kg per person to be exact! We can pay for extra but it’s still good to keep it as light as possible.

We may send a vehicle with extra luggage to and from the Mara. We will not need much in Amazing Mara 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.



$11,750 (check or money order) email for details

$12,455 if paying with debit or credit card. Go Here to pay.

Partner/Spouse Fee:

$5900 (check or money order) email for details

$6300 is paying with debit or credit card. Go Here to pay.

The Partner/Spouse Fee includes everything the photographer fee includes (double occupancy on all rooms and camps) except the hands-on instruction from Cyndy, Nancy and the guides, and the group review on the last evening of the workshop.

NOTE: Due to the small nature of these safari camps, if you travel with a partner using partner rate you must share a room with them. Thank you.


Questions? E

Hope to see you in Kenya soon!