Magical Kenya: Touchdown at Nairobi & on to Kisumu

 
Kisumu. Photograph/Sakshi Parikh

Kisumu. Photograph/Sakshi Parikh

The Wildlife Photography Masterclass in Kenya promises to be a magical experience. Better Photography brings you the magic that Kenya has to offer through Sakshi Parikh’s eyes.

While growing up, I would devote a good hour of my television time to the National Geographic channel, even watching the reruns if my mother wasn’t around to regulate my TV time. I would love watching the shows about the wild animals that inhabit our world and remember closing my eyes the minute a predator would close in and grab its prey.

I observed wildlife from a distance, fascinated as ever. And when we decided to set out to Kenya for the Masterclass recce, I was thrilled. The five days since my Editor told me I would be heading to this magical place passed in a blur and soon I was boarding the flight to Nairobi.

Kisumu. Photograph/Sakshi Parikh

Kisumu. Photograph/Sakshi Parikh

We landed in Nairobi and Erick from the Kenya Tourism Board greeted us with a grin and took us to Carnivore, one of the best places to eat meat in the country. We spent a few cheery hours talking about our plans for this trip over Tuskers beer and Dawa, a sweet African cocktail made with lime, sugar, vodka and honey.

The next day, we were up at 5am and off to the airport to catch flight to Kisumu. We landed in Kisumu at 8am and after breakfast at the hotel, I went along with Erick to a local hair salon where I got my hair braided, and intricate activity with beautiful results.

Kisumu. Photograph/Sakshi Parikh

Kisumu. Photograph/Sakshi Parikh

We started our trip in Kakamega Forest Reserve, two hours away from Kisumu. Kenya’s only tropical rain forest reserve, Kakamega is said to be the remnant of the lush rainforest that spanned across Central Africa. Kakamega is rich in biodiversity and brings in a lot of birding and camping enthusiasts from all around the world.

Kisumu. Photograph/Sakshi Parikh

Kisumu. Photograph/Sakshi Parikh

After trekking and photographing inside the jungle for almost 3 hours, we retired to our rooms and prepared ourselves to fly back to Nairobi. Back in Nairobi, we visited the Giraffe Centre, home to the endangered Rothschild giraffes and the Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage. I got to play with the giraffes in close proximity, and see the elephant calves loiter around in mud… something I never thought I would be able to witness!

Sakshi with Stacey the Giraffe at the Giraffe Centre.

Sakshi with Stacey the Giraffe at the Giraffe Centre.

After grabbing a quick lunch at the Tamambo Karen Blixen coffee gardens, we headed to Wilson airport to catch a flight to Masai Mara, the heart of Kenya’s beautiful wilderness. My first two days in Kenya gave me an adrenalin rush… I was infused with freshness that I had felt missing for a long time. I couldn’t wait to see what else this beautiful country had to offer!

The Wildlife Photography Masterclass in Magical Kenya is a mentored photography programme with some of the most renowned experts in the field.

In the course of the Masterclass, participants will learn what it takes to make the best images, understanding animal behavior, trying out various forms of photography, and using different kinds of gear. The Masterclass seeks to educate advanced enthusiasts, on various aspects of the subject.

The Masterclass fee includes accommodation for 7 days in Kenya and return airfare from Mumbai. The Wildlife Photography Masterclass is presented by Magical Kenya, Toehold and HP India. 

Tags: Kenya, Magical Kenya, Masterclass, photography, Wildlife, Wildlife Photography, Wildlife Photography Masterclass, Wildlife Photography Workshop