Monday, November 2, 2015

11 Day Kenya Safari

Join expedition guide and travel-adventure photographer Brian Montalbo on a photography safari of a lifetime.  Brian has travelled to 36 countries in Africa and countless parks, and is excited to have selected five of the most photogenic and photography friendly parks in all of Africa to give you the best African wildlife viewing experience.

   We will visit 5 game parks in Kenya.   Focusing our safari time trying to experience the wildlife and scenery from a photographers viewpoint,  not a tourist.   We will not chase around animals. just to check them off our checklist, but will be patient with wildlife viewing, wait for the right lighting, anticipate what will happen next,  and hopefully capture some amazing shots that you will never forget.  After each game drive we will get together for a good meal, cold beer, and share our amazing experiences.  At night we will sit around a campfire,  tell stories, and  look up into the clear African night sky.

  Brian will teach you about African animals, African Culture, African photography tips, safety tips traveling in Africa,  as well as share his experiences traveling  across the continent.

Highlights of the Safari:    Experiencing the largest migration of land animals in the world, July to October safaris),  gazing up at the most famous landmark in Africa, Mt.Kilimanjaro,  traveling across the great rift valley, sleeping in your bed listening to the sounds of Africa wildlife,  best chance to see big tusker elephants, lions, cheetahs, leopards, and black rhinos in all of Africa.

Arrive Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.  Transfer to Hotel in Nairobi. 

Day 1:   Introduction to African wildlife by visiting Elephant orphanage, Giraffe Manor, and Karen Blixen estate.   Travel to Masai Mara.

Day 02:  Travel to Maasai Mara Reserve   Sunset game drive

Day 03: Maasai Mara Reserve  (Full Day Game Drive)

Day 03: Maasai Mara Reserve  (Full day Game Drive)

Day 04: Lake Nakuru National Park   Free Day relax at Lion Hill Lodge (4 star)  Enjoy swimming pool. Fine dinning. 

Day 05: Game Drive Lake Nakuru National Park

Day 06: Drive to Lake Naivasha.   Over night

Day 07: Drive to Amboseli National Park.  Sunset Game drive  

Day 08: Morning and Afternoon game drive in Amboseli National Park

Day 09: Head to Tsavo West National Park.  

Day 10: Half day Game drive in Tsavo West.  Head to Tsavo East.  

Day 1l:  Full Day game Drive in Tsavo East National Park

Day 12 Return to Nairobi. Goodbye Dinner at Carnivore Restaurant.          



                    Group excited about beginning of trip

             Elephant Orphanage

              Giraffe Manor 

Budget Camping.  Food and accommodation provide. Tents with Beds inside. Toilets and showers at all campsites.  Experience the sounds of wildlife and the chance of animals being right outside your tent.  You will love the experience.


Price: $3,500  per person sharing  

Dates: Sept 30-Oct10   Oct 19-Oct30 
Maximum 8 people.  2 Safari vehicles of 4

Included in price:  Entrance fees to all Parks. Safari Vehicle, with driver and cook.  Three meals a day while on Safari.  Accommodation while on safari.  Entrance to Elephant orphanage and Giraffe Center.    Services provided by professional photographer and expedition guide,  with extensive experience of African National Parks, African wildlife, and travel throughout Africa. Discount on African photos on website.      

Not included in price: Flights to and from Nairobi. Kenyan Visa $50.   Arrival night accommodation in hotel.   

Optional 7 day extension to Seychelles after Safari.   Oct11-18, Oct31-Nov9   

Established Kenyan Safari company 

(I have used and trusted before in Kenya)

Masai Mara Reserve  is the protected area that continues into Kenya from the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania.     Famous for it’s large population of lions, leopards, and cheetahs, and from July to Oct for the migration of millions of wildebeest, Zebras, and Thomson’s Gazelles.   You have seen this area on documentaries where crocodiles ambush animals as they swim across the  Mara river on their migration.         

Take a hot air ballon ride over the Mara and be blown away by all the wildlife below.  

 Home to Maasai tribes, you will get amazing photographs of their beautiful traditional outfits as well as experience their culture and dances.   They are famous for their Masai warriors and jumping.  The warriors will be our guards at our campsite.     

Lake Nakuru National Park is one of my favorite parks because of the lake setting.   Set in a sunken ancient volcano, the park is amazing for bird photography, huge herds of cape buffalo,  and huge troops of baboons.    The lake has an abundance of Algae which attracts flocks in the hundreds of  thousands of Flamingos, pelicans, and many other birds.     It’s not a large park but I always get some great photos from here.  It’s probably the best place in all of Africa to spot the White and black rhinos.    Keep your eye out for Leopards as well.  I’ve seen 3 in one day in this park.    If you are birder, this is the park for you. 

Amboseli National Park  is one of my favorite parks in all of Africa.   When Mt. Kilimanjaro is clear,  there is no better back drop to photos.    Capture that iconic African photograph you have always dreamed of.  That  photo with a herd of elephants and giraffes , with Africa’s most famous landmark.     This park gives you the best chance in Africa to see big tusker elephants.   400 Species of birds can be found in this park. 

View of Kilimanjaro from Observation Hill
                                                         View from tent camp in Amboseli 


East and West Tsavo National Park  is one of Kenya’s oldest and biggest parks.     It’s famous for it’s Lava fields, Springs, large mammals including the big five and a great place to see the red elephants of Tsavo.   Great place to see big tuskers.  

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Thursday, February 27, 2014

15 in x 60 in Panorama of Summit of Kilimanjaro, with sunrise

15in x60in  Panorama of the entire crater, summit ridge, and new sign they just put up at the summit.  If you have hiked kilimanjaro or know someone who has.   Share with them this photo.  The canvas comes without the lettering.   $400

When it's cold and dark in Alaska it's still amazingly beautiful.   Just have to look up into the sky and watch the show.   These photos were taken right in Anchorage, Alaska.  

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Traveling the Nile by Felucca

Traveling down a river isn't normally as relaxing as sailing by felucca down the Nile.   Swift currents, rapids, and sweepers are always a danger in most rivers where I live.   I'm a fishing guide back home in Alaska, and I row clients down remote rivers in the back country.   One wrong move and you can flip your raft.   The cold waters will give someone hypothermia in minutes.

I have to admit it was nice to sit back and be taken down a river as a client. Didn't have to do any cooking, didn't have to put up tents, or clean any fish.   I just laid their with my shirt off and enjoyed the views. 

You can't get anymore relaxing than riding in a sailboat down a slowly moving river like the Nile.   This far up the Nile, the water is clear, looks clean,  and is a great temperature to swim in.   Nile crocodiles sometimes make their way around the High Dam, but are caught by local fisherman before they pose any threat.  Hippos in this area are only seen in ancient carvings.   So their isn't much to worry about. 

Feluccas are man made sail boats, some customized to transport tourist like myself in  luxury.  Some some will take you for days trips, or sunset cruises,  others will take you on multi night sailing trips.   the most relaxing thing about a felucca in a place where it rarely rains, the entire sailboat is a  super sized king sized bed.   You are protected from the sun by covering, so you don't get fried, other than that you just lay down and enjoy the ride.   If you choose to sun tan their is room on the sides or front to lay out.   When you get too hot, just flop overboard and go for a swing.

Except for toilet breaks and pulling over to swim, the felucca keeps on sailing.  At night they will tie up to shore and built bone fires for you to enjoy the desert stars.    If you didn't want to move an inch, you didn't have too.  Just wake up eat the food prepared for you and then go back to sleep. 

The speed at which you travel all depends on the wind.  If the wind is blowing hard, you cover ground at a nice pace.  Tacking back and forth down the river.   If there isn't any wind, you just float like piece of drift wood.   

Occasionally the large cruise boats pass you by.  The people on board waving to you, as they pass from their deck chairs.    I'm not sure if they wish they were riding in a felucca, but I don't wish I was board the cruise liner.

There is something enjoyable about traveling without the noise of an engine.   Hearing the water rush against the side and the flap of the sails.   

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Big Tuskers and Their Fading Future.

    When  I was a kid, I used to wish I could travel back in time, just to see how big dinosaurs really were. It must have been a truly impressive sight to see a t-rex running down it's prey,  like we can watch lions take down theirs today.    A brontosaurus roaming across the open savannah, their long necks  reaching up into the highest parts of the trees, similar to giraffes today.  Who isn't fascinated with the dinosaurs?   After watching the movie Jurassic Park I would have paid what ever I had to, to see these animals up close.     That's why I will do everything I can now, to help keep these animals around.  

  Today we have animals that future generations will wish were still around.   Pictures, documentaries, and stories will capture their imagination, but they to will wish they could have seen them in real life. Nothing can replace your first siting of a blue whale, which to our knowledge is the biggest animal to roam in the history of our planet.  Go on a safari in Africa and you will have your breath taken away by the size of elephants, but get lucky enough to come across the last big tusker elephants and it will leave you speechless.  

      What does it take to motivate humans to stop acting in such a way that puts us on a path were we wipe out these amazing animals.    Is it our fate?    Are we the living version of an asteroid.  Sounds over exaggerated, but anyone who has travelled around the world knows the sad reality.  

     Thankfully for those of us who are passionate about animals.  There are a few amazing people who have fought to protect and set aside land for these animals to survive. The Jane Goodall's, Dian  Fosseys, Laurie Markers, and Bernhard Grzimeks.  They have done so much and we owe so much to them.  

  I've travelled to 36 countries trying to capture the beauty of Africa.   Every I come across a big tusker I make sure to soak it in.  If it's a forest elephant coming out of the forest to graze just at sunset or the massive bulls that roam Ngorongoro Crater.  

  There will be a day when the true giants of Africa are all gone.  Their size and tusks only being presented in museums like the dinosaurs. Leaving future kids to day dream about what it was like  to see these amazing animals in real life.      

                                                   Photo used from Africa Hunting.
Photo used from Internet
                                                       Photo used from Internet