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Kenya’s hidden Gems

Many have heard of the great migration in Masai Mara, a spectacular event that attracts 1,000s of photographers each year, but Kenya’s amazing wildlife has so much more to offer. The conservation photographer and Canon Ambassador from Sweden, Tom Svensson, have been documenting Kenya’s fascinating but also endangered wildlife for several years. Among other things, he has worked near the rangers and park management in Solio Game Reserve, a magical place that you can read more about as Tom shares some of Kenya’s hidden gems for the photo enthusiast…


Solio is one of my absolute favorite places and its landscape offers diverse surroundings that you will not find in many other places in Africa. My favorite place is the forest areas where the rays of sunlight filters through the foliage providing the surroundings with a soft light. The shrubs and trees of the green forest deliver endless compositional possibilities and gives a depth to the images that will kick start your photographic creativity. Within minutes we are surrounded by a pack of lions, no other jeeps are around and we can see that the lions are feasting on a prey they probably killed during the night.
As the sun slowly begins to set in the afternoon, completely different photo opportunities emerge and on the reserve’s plateau awaits an experience beyond the ordinary. Standing in the middle of the Kenyan savannah surrounded by rhinos, giraffes and lions is a magnificent experience and when you see the giraffes pass right in front of the big setting sun, you get the perfect opportunity for spectacular sunset pictures. Solio is also a place that is warm to my heart as a conservation photographer. The reserve is focused on the protection and conservation of rhinos where they play an important role in the protection and breeding of black rhinos in Kenya…


Another of Kenya’s hidden gems for wildlife photographers is Samburu National Reserve. The dry climate of this beautiful place gives you the opportunity to photograph species that are only found here, including Grevy’s zebra, Somali giraffe, and East African oryx. When the African sun begins to hover just above the horizon, throwing an orange glow over the surrounding nature, you realize you are in photography heaven. Here you might get the chance to capture elephants up close with the Kenyan mountains burning red from the evening sun as your backdrop. Samburu’s heart is the Ewaso Ngir River that cuts right through the park and attracts large deer, buffalo and elephants to come to the river to quench their thirst. In the mountainous areas there are very good opportunities to photograph leopards and I especially remember a photo opportunity where I photographed a leopard cub in a tree just meters from the jeep.

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