Art of Night Africa Photography Tours are 2 day/2 night photographic adventures which really do live up to the claim “holiday of a lifetime”. Each tour is run by international award-winning photographer Mark Gee. Mark spent time at Bushtops during August 2015 and June 2016, and was totally blown away by the experience both times, so much so that he wants to invite others to join him to repeat this amazing photographic adventure.

Two tours will be held at Mara Bushtops, located within its own private conservancy right next to the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. Then we are adding a tour at Serengeti Bushtops just over the Tanzania border within the Serengeti National Park.

Both locations are African wildlife hotspots, especially for the famous Wildebeest Migration. The night skies are incredible, thanks to the absence of light pollution in the area. If you haven’t ever viewed the Milky Way Galaxy with the naked eye before, you will be amazed by the starry skies here! By focusing on wildlife and astrophotography, each tour promises to be a photographers paradise.

So what will I learn on the tour?

Whether you’re a hobbyist photographer or a seasoned pro, these tours will cater for all. Mark will accompany you on all the game drives and night shoots, guiding you every step of the way and offering personalized tuition. We will cover all the basics of equipment, settings and techniques to get you the best shots possible. You will also learn how to process your images, with a step by step guide in either Adobe Lightroom or Adobe Photoshop.

What equipment do I need?

  • A digital DSLR or a mirrorless camera, with a basic knowledge of operating the camera and changing settings.
  • For wildlife photography – a zoom lens somewhere in the 70-200mm range is good, but the longer the focal length the better.
  • For astrophotography – lenses with a maximum aperture between f/1.4 and f/4 and a focal length between 10 and 24mm are ideal. For example – a 14mm f/2.8 lens is perfect, a zoom lens with a minimum focal length of 24mm at f/4 would be fine too.
  • A sturdy tripod.
  • Laptop computer with Adobe Lightroom or Adobe Photoshop installed.
  • A headlamp or torch – one with a red light mode is best.

Optional equipment:

  • Spare camera batteries – always good to have backup batteries ready to go.
  • Spare memory card(s) – memory cards can fill up fast and also fail, so good to have a spare.
  • Portable external hard drive for additional data – we shoot in raw, so tend to use a lot of data, especially when photographing a time-lapse image. Extra hard drive space can come in handy.

Tour Itinerary:

  • Introduction and meet and greet before heading out on our first full day game drive for wildlife photography. Picnic lunch provided out on the drive. Meet back at the camp late afternoon before heading to a sundowner, where we will talk about the night’s proceedings.
  • After dinner we will meet up, go over some of the fundamentals of night/astrophotography, and head out on a night game drive with our cameras to practice.
  • Morning Q&A and processing session. After lunch we will head out on an afternoon game drive for wildlife photography.
  • After dinner we will meet up, go over some of the techniques we learnt the previous night with a Q&A session, and then head out on our final night game drive with our cameras.

*The night photography sessions are weather dependant, but alternative activities will be held if the weather doesn’t give us the opportunity to head out.