Mountain and Night
Type of course: In person Field Course to be held in Kenya.
Places: the course consists of a trekking through Mount Kenya and visits to various reserves to see wildlife.
Language: Spanish and/or English.
Iñaki Abella Gutiérrez.
Trekking: 7 days, 6 nights.
Safari Extension: 5 days, 4 nights.
Start date: 15 January 2020.
End date: 26 January 2020.
Trekking: From 1350€.
Safari Extension: From 1250€ (approximate prices, without flights, visa or insurance).
Photography has always been closely linked to nature, from the spectacular work of Ansel Adams commissioned by the US Department of State, to the National Geographic and Life reports on the life and work of Dian Fossey with mountain gorillas in Rwanda, photography has been fundamental not only to move us to places we may never visit, but more importantly, to conserve those places.
Through photography we express ourselves, but also, through photography, we foster knowledge, love and respect for nature.
As the Senegalese forestry engineer Baba Dioum said a long time ago: "in the end we will preserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand, and we will understand only what we are taught".
It is our obligation as nature photographers, amateurs or professionals, to teach everyone how wonderful nature is, so that they understand it, love it and, finally, conserve it.
We will do a trekking that will take us through the varied landscapes found in the second highest mountain of the African continent, Mount Kenya.
Our tour will take us to Punta Lenana (4,985 m). During the tour, without technical difficulty, we will be able to observe and photograph a varied and spectacular flora and fauna, in addition to the landscapes and moments of light that will offer us the different points of the tour, in which there will be no shortage, forests, bambusales, heather, and the spectacular Afro-alpine vegetation with its giant senecios and lobelias, as well as waterfalls, glaciers, lakes and mountain panoramas.
The trekking is planned to acclimatize adequately and it is taken into account that the objective is photography, so the stages are shorter than usual.
During the trip, in addition, we will learn to make a complete photographic report, at the same time that the guidelines for the good practice of nature photography will be given.
At the end of the trek, we will go on a safari through some adjacent areas of Mount Kenya to complete our report. We will have the opportunity to see all the most typical animals of the African savannah, among them the "five big ones" and some endemisms of this zone like the grevy zebra, the reticulated giraffe or the licaón, the most scarce carnivore of Africa.
Finally, we will go to some of the places that cannot be missed on any trip to Kenya, the Rift Valley and the Maasai Mara National Reserve.
In the Rift Valley we will be in the Naivasha Lake basin, where we will be able to walk among the animals, which will give us another, lower point of view than we have when we observe fauna from our vehicles.
In addition, we will have the excellent opportunity to do a night safari, where we will be able to observe very interesting nocturnal species and difficult to see during the day.
As for the Maasai Mara National Reserve little can be said without falling into the superlative topics of this natural space, the most visited in Kenya and one of the most famous in the world. The fact that the great migration that visits these lands between June and September, is in their breeding barracks, increases the chances of observing large carnivores, such as lions, leopards, cheetahs and hyenas, which are much hungrier than usual and therefore move more than normal.
Some of the topics that we will deal with and develop in the photographic aspect are:
Day 1-7: Trekking on Mount Kenya. At the end of the trek you will sleep in Ol Pejeta.
Day 8: Ol Pejeta, where we will make a safari through some adjacent areas of Mount Kenya to complete our report. In the afternoon departure to Naivasha, the largest freshwater lake in the Rift Valley in Kenya. Overnight in luxury tents.
Day 9: Lake Naivasha. Walking and night safari. Boat ride on the lake. Night in luxury tents.
Day 10: Lake Naivasha-Maasai Mara. Transfer to the central zone of the Maasai Mara. Safari until dusk. Night in luxury tents.
Day 11: All day safari in the Maasai Mara. Night in luxury tents.
Day 12: Safari before breakfast and transfer to Nairobi. End of course, night in Nairobi (not included) or at plane back home.
Iñaki Abella Gutiérrez
Marta is a nature photographer and mountain guide, she enjoys touring the most varied landscapes and the most starry nights with the intention of capturing the wild and beautiful aspects that nature offers through its images.
An unconditional lover of nature and photography, she does her best to make her passion her way of life, in addition to using her work to motivate conservation and respect for wildlife.
Marta is a Technician in Conducting Physical and Sports Activities in the Natural Environment, Graduated in Photography and Digital Creation and Post-Graduated in Advanced Audiovisual Postproduction by the Polytechnic University of Catalonia.
She works as a nature and audiovisual photography teacher, and specializes in landscape astrophotography, subjects of which she teaches courses and workshops in private and public institutions, such as the Image and Multimedia Technology Centre of the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, Casanova foto or the Nikon School.
Marta is a photographic guide in the photographic travel agency Australphoto, where she is in charge of guiding the trips to Iceland (summer and winter) and Scotland.
She is a member of the SCFN (Catalan Society of Nature Photographers) and has collaborated with associations and entities related to photography and nature, as well as its conservation and dissemination, such as EDC Natura and the prestigious international nature photography competition MontPhoto, where for years she has been in charge of the audiovisual section.
She has participated in collective exhibitions (66° N: The Arctic as you have never seen it) as well as her own (Sideral, Aurora Borealis and Del Congost a la Calma).
She is the author of two books related to landscape photography. Del Congost a la Calma narrates a route, through images, through the western slope of the Montseny Natural Park. Sideral, on the other hand, offers a passionate journey through time and the magic of the night with the company of the stars. From the stars and constellations to the magnificent Milky Way. From the movements of our satellite to phenomena such as eclipses, comets and auroras borealis.
She has published in magazines such as Terre Sauvage, Descobrir Catalunya i Vèrtex and has been awarded in several national and international photography contests. In terms of photography, the prestigious Nature Image Awards, Magical Nature Contest and Oasis competitions stand out, as well as the multi award-winning audiovisual video "Welcome to Hornstrandir", in which she narrates a personal adventure in the footsteps of the arctic fox under a snowstorm in a remote area of the Icelandic fjords.
In Bio+ Marta is the teacher who will give this course next January 2019.
You can find out more about Marta on her website: www.martabreto.com
Iñaki is the coordinator of the course in Kenya, in charge of all logistical aspects in that country, where he has lived since 2010 and from where he directs all Bio+ activities.
With studies in biology, specialising in Zoology and with a Master's in Nature Conservation, he has extensive experience in field work, having developed his career in more than eight countries with very different animals and ecosystems.
Iñaki has worked with primates in Bolivia, with sea turtles in Costa Rica, Panama, Ecuador and Mexico, with amphibians in Costa Rica and the Central African Republic, with mammals in Kenya and Spain, with whales and coral reefs in Mexico, with birds in Spain and Costa Rica.
From the marine depths of the reefs of the Sea of Cortes to the highlands of the Galapagos Islands; from the Caribbean beaches of Costa Rica and Panama to the mountains of Spain and Bolivia; from the coastal estuaries of northern Spain to the mountain peat bogs of the Sierra de Guadarrma; from the jungles of Congo to the savannas of the Serengeti-Mara.
This great diversity of experiences makes him a great connoisseur of the world conservation status and an excellent host in Kenya.
In Bio+ he has combined his great passions, nature conservation and environmental education, within the framework of the necessary sustainable development.
In this course, he will provide continuous logistical support, he will be our guide in the country, he will accompany us during the whole tour explaining any natural aspect that we are seeing, from the spectacular flora of Mount Kenya, to its geological formation, from the identification of the animals to curiosities of the country and its people.
Throughout the trek on Mount Kenya, we will have the support of professional local mountain guides, so that we don't have to worry about where we're going.
In addition, we will have cooks who will prepare all of our meals so that we can replenish our strength at each stage.
Finally, each participant will have a porter (loaded with a maximum of 18 kilos) to bring us our material and food so that we can devote ourselves to photography without dragging a heavy backpack up the mountain. There will be the possibility of hiring an extra porter for 100€ plus the days that the trekking lasts.
Iñaki Abella Gutiérrez
Iñaki Abella Gutiérrez