© Buddy Eleazer
© Buddy Eleazer

Sept 4, 2020 – September 8, 2020

$4,500 per person.

Amboseli but better. Amboseli is known for its magnificent elephants, especially elephants with huge tusks known as ‘tuskers’. The park and surrounding area is home to a population of over 1500 elephants, and some of Africa’s largest, reside in the park’s unique eco-system.

Each day, the herds leave the forest at the base of Mount Kilimajaro, and head towards natural springs, locally called swamps that come up from the groundwater originating on the mountain. These swamps are located within Amboseli, but to get to these lands, the elephants must cross the dry and open plains. This creates and amazing photo opportunity.

To best photograph this, one needs to be able to drive off road to position one’s vehicle between Mount Kilamajaro and the swamps. There is really only one way to accomplish this and that’s our plan.

Our trip begins in Nairobi at the conclusion of our Mara Great Migration Safari. We will overnight at the Tamarind Tree where we will have a great dinner, catch up with the western world and get ready for the adventure.

Early this morning we will continue our journey with a short flight to Amboseli National Park. On our prior trips we stayed within Amboseli at a nice lodge, Ol Takai. While a great lodge, one is limited there to staying within Amboseli without access to the dry riverbeds where we plan to photo the ellies. In addition, no off-road photography is allowed. This trip, based on advice from several Kenya expert friends, we are changing things up. We will be staying at Tortilis Camp for 3 straight nights, in order to take our time and enjoy the process of watching and photograph the largest tusks and elephant herds in east Africa. Tortilis Camp has access to local Maasai land, which is outside of Amboseli National Park, allowing us to have freedom to drive where we want to and to position our vehicles for the best photographs.

With the majestic backdrop of Africa’s highest mountain, Tortilis Camp is a prime location for witnessing the majesty of snow-capped Kilimanjaro.

Tortilis Camp is named after the flat-topped, umbrella thorn tree that surrounds the camp, the Acacia Tortilis. At his lodge, we have rooms with king or twin beds and en-suite baths. There lounge is built with natural materials and thatched roofs, giving it a classic Africa feel.

© Buddy Eleazer

We will get up before sunrise, have a quick snack and coffee and then head out at first light. While the goal is the elephants, this is a wild reserve with buffalo, gazelle, zebra and giraffe as well as the predators that stalk those, so we will keep an open and opportunistic mind as we get into our planned route. As the morning progresses, we will intercept elephants that are leaving the forest at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro, as they head towards the swamps. Late morning we will head back to camp for some free time.

In the afternoon, we will once more head out looking for wildlife. We know there is plenty within Amboseli so we will be traversing within the park as well as the private Conservancy land where Tortilis is located.  As sunset approaches, we will once more capture wildlife heading back across the dry pans and, somewhere along this route, we will stop for refreshing sundowner drinks and snacks before continuing our drive as nocturnal animals become more active with dusk.

After dinner, we have another choice: sharing stories of our trip around the campfire or grabbing our gear and going out to shoot the Milky Way. Either choice is a winner, after all, you are relaxing in Africa!

On the last day of our stay, we will fly back to Nairobi in the late morning and will be transferred to Tamarind Tree Hotel where we can relax over a leisure meal. We have plenty of time to transfer back to NBO international airport for the flight back home and this hotel will be much more relaxing than the hard seats of a sterile airport.

© Buddy Eleazer

Included in your trip:

  • 1 night at The Tamarind Hotel
  • Transfers via land to/from Shompole Wilderness
  • 3 nights at Tortilis Lodge, Amboseli
  • All meals included (plus bottled water and tea/coffee)
  • Game drives in private custom Land Cruisers (4 per vehicle)
  • Magnum Excursions Guides in attendance
  • Also included are the gratuities for our guides and lodge staff

Extras, not included in the trip:

  • International Flights
  • Visa fees if required

Last modified: October 3, 2019