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Kenya: Lake Turkana Festival & Gorillas in Uganda
10 DAYS // May 15 - 26, 2016


The Lake Turkana Festival features unique performances and cultural traditions of at least twelve ethnic tribes:  El Molo, Rendille, Samburu, Turkana, Dassanatch, Gabra, Burji, Borana, Konso, Sakuye, Garee and Waata. The presentation of their customs and living conditions, their spectacular traditional costumes, arts and crafts, dances and music is a unique and fascinating experience. Stay at the 5* Desert Rose Lodge for 4 nights and fly by privately chartered plane to the Turkana Festival.

Lake Turkana is the largest desert lake in the world and extends for 288 kilometers up to the Ethiopian / Kenyan border, home to some of the most interesting cultures in the world. This Quest will be a  truly exceptional opportunity to photograph a myriad of colorful and fascinating cultures while exploring the Northern Kenya region, an area regarded by many anthropologists as the cradle of humankind. In Lewa we will offer early morning and late afternoon game drive safaris to find and photograph Africa’s big 5 and many other species. Join us on the optional extension to Uganda to photograph Gorillas! 



  • Optimum photo safari with only 3 guests per vehicle in Land Rovers, with open views on all sides. 
  • Stunning sunrise and sunset landscape photography opportunities.
  • Fly to the Turkana Festival by our own chartered plane. No long drives!


  • Stay at Desert Rose Lodge for 4 nights, a Five Star Lodge, while photographing the Turkana Festival.
  • Photograph unique performances and cultural traditions of at least twelve ethnic tribes at the Turkana Festival.


  • Award-winning safaris with Africa’s most knowledgeable guides.
  • Portrait lighting techniques using one flash and multiple flash set ups.
  • How to tell a story with your images.
  • How to pose and photograph locals.






10 DAYS // MAY 15-26, 2016

May 15 - Arrival Nairobi, Kenya
Arrival  in Nairobi, Kenya (NBO) where you will be met and transferred straight to the wilderness for a night in Ololo Safari Lodge, on the edge of Nairobi National Park. 

May 16 & 17 - Game Drives in Lewa

Transfer to Wilson airport and fly to Lewa downs  for the most fabulous game viewing in one of the world’s top locations for wildlife photography. Take a ride with us in off-road jeeps on safaris that will put you and your camera within arms reach of lions, giraffes, elephants and cheetahs. Capture breathtaking images of the "Big Five" Lions, Leopards, Elephants, Buffalo and Rhinos. Each day features early morning and afternoon game drives for amazing wildlife photography. The Lewa House is booked exclusively for our own group, comprising a cosy main house and separate cottages. Its home-like atmosphere offers the perfect base of comfort and charm for exploring the beauty of Lewa.

Two nights at Lewa House.

May 18 - Lewa to Desert Rose, Lake Turkana

After a morning game drive our private charter, a Cessna 208, will collect you from Lewa Downs to take us to the Desert Rose Lodge. This plane will be our own private plane at our disposal for the next full week. Our charter will swoop you over the Northern Frontier District’s staggering scenery:
the Jade Sea, volcanoes, deserts, mountains, and lakes will appear and disappear beneath your wings as you head toward Desert Rose Lodge. Land at Kowoop Airstrip. 

Perched on the slopes of Mt Nyiru, Desert Rose commands a majestic view over the Elbarta plains, Karisia Mountains and Lake Turkana. At one with the spectacular environment, the lodge is completely eco-friendly and provides a true retreat into nature. The nearby springs yield up
beautiful walks to explore, while you prepare for the days to come at the Lake Turkana Cultural Festival. Overnight at Desert Rose Lodge.

May 19 - Lake Turkana Festival

Depart early while the light is good, flying low all the way. Fly over the Suguta Valley, through Painted Valley, Naibatum Crater, Central Island, fly low over flocks of flamingoes, and the amazing Jade Sea. Keroli Springs to name but a few. On this day you will have a picnic lunch enroute and plenty of cold drinks on the plane.

Late afternoon, land at Loyangalani where Desert Rose will have set up a simple fly camp.  This evening photograph the gathering of tribes as they make their way to the Cultural Festival. Overnight at Desert Rose Fly Camp.


May 20 & 21 - Lake Turkana Festival
Spend a full day at the Lake Turkana Cultural Festival, where you will be able to photograph incredible colorful tribes like the Rendille, Gabbra, The El Molo and The Turkana. Overnight at Desert Rose Fly Camp.

May 22 - Fly back to Nairobi or choose the OPTIONAL EXTENSION to photograph Gorillas in Uganda on our 5 day/4 night Gorilla "Fly in Safari in Bwindi."

Early morning shoot with the tribes. Fly back to Nairobi. Book your flights back home this evening. 


Fly from Nairobi to Entebbe and spend the night in Entebbe, Uganda.

May 23 - Gorillas in Uganda

After breakfast, fly to Kihihi followed by an hour drive to the Buhoma Lodge, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.  The park contains almost one half of the world's population of 850 endangered Mountain Gorilla, making it an extremely valuable conservation site.

May 24, 25 - Gorilla Trekking for two days.
Early morning after breakfast, drive to the briefing place and start of the Trail. If the guides know that the Gorillas are further away, you may need to drive a bit more to the starting point.

According to The Ugandan Wildlife Authority, there is a 95% chance that you will come across gorillas on your trek. The journey will be an exhilarating one:  we will push our way through dense jungle, thick bamboo, past local homesteads and up forested hills. Tracking times do vary and can be anything from a little as 1.5-6 hours! For this reason you have to be in good physical condition! Your efforts will be rewarded with your first sighting of the gorillas, as these gentle giants shyly approach you and you come face-to-face with one of nature’s greatest animals.
It’s an extraordinary feeling sitting in the dense forest knowing you are with a few of the last remaining Mountain Gorillas. We have secured two permits for each photographer. Overnight Buhoma Lodge, Uganda.

May 26 - Departure to the USA

After breakfast, prepare for the return journey. Fly back to Entebbe this morning. Please book your flights back to the USA from Entebbe, Uganda (EBB). Most flight will depart around 11pm.








10 DAYS // MAY 15 - 26, 2016


Accommodations based on double occupancy.

A single supplement is paid by participants who specifically request single accommodations, subject to availability.



Ololo Safari Lodge

1 night



2 nights



2 nights & 2 nights


Buhoma Lodge

4 nights (3 nights at Bwindi)


Quest Leaders

Quest Leaders

10 DAYS // MAY 15 - 26, 2016


Mirjam is a New York City based travel photographer specializing in international environmental portraiture, landscape photography and adventure images. Born and raised in the Netherlands, she has photographed in more than 75 countries, including many of the most exotic places in the world. Mirjam's photographs are indicative of her unique capacity to personally connect with diverse cultures and communities. Her eye for location lighting is highly stylized and works to illustrate and heighten the unique characteristics of each international locale. She is able to transcend cultural and language barriers with an intangible spirit that is conveyed in every image. Her work has appeared in AFAR, The New York Times, AARP, Outdoor Photographer, PDN, American Photo, Popular Photography, Digital Photo, Departures, MSN Travel.

Mirjam's Website


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10 DAYS // MAY 15 - 26, 2016


Lake Turkana, formerly known as Lake Rudolf, is a lake in the Kenyan Rift Valley, with its far northern end crossing into Ethiopia. It is the world's largest permanent desert lake and the world's largest alkaline lake. The Lake is also known as the "Jade Sea" because of its remarkable blue – green colour. The Lake Turkana area is regarded by many anthropologists as the cradle of humankind due to the abundance of hominid fossils. 

The Lake Turkana Cultural Festival has become an important element of Kenya's annual events. The festival encapsulates the traditional knowledge, beliefs and values of the area's communities.  This annual event provides an opportunity to explore Northern Kenya and enjoy a myriad of colorful cultures while discovering the treasures of the region. The event features the unique performances and cultural traditions of at least twelve ethnic communities who live in Marsabit County:  El Molo, Rendille, Samburu, Turkana, Dassanatch, Gabra, Burji, Borana, Konso, Sakuye, Garee,and Waata. The presentation of the customs and living conditions of the twelve tribes, their spectacular traditional costumes, arts and crafts, dances and music is a unique and fascinating experience – particularly in light of the stunning geographical characteristics of the region.



Temperatures will be between 80-90 degrees.


Dress should be casual and comfortable. Breathable fabrics such as cottons are preferable and no bright colors.  Pack light-you can do laundry at the lodges. 

Sunblock with SPF 50, Large-brim hats & UV protected sunglasses, comfortable/waterproof hiking shoes and a light jacket/windbreaker.

The evenings can be cooler and you may need some warm clothing: sweatshirt, long sleeve fleece, and long pants.


If you haven’t had your vaccinations please do so ASAP. Yellow fever vaccination is required
to enter the country. We recommend that you get a Hepatitis A and Thyphoid shot and make
sure your Tetanus vaccination is current. You must  take Malaria
pills. Typically you begin taking the pills 2 days prior/post trip and once a day while in Kenya.
Please speak with your doctor for his/her dosage recommendations.

Visit www.cdc.gov for additional information.

It is advisable to try and avoid mosquito bites by using repellent and by wearing suitable cover-up clothes in the evening.


All meals at the camp are included. 

Additionally, nutritious meals catering to guests with specific diet-dependent conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and gluten-free, as well as unique dietary preferences including, macrobiotic, raw and vegan diets are available upon request.

Only bottled mineral water, that will be available in our safari camp, is drinkable.


Kenya: You must have a passport valid for at least six months after your return date, with at least three blank pages. You must apply for an E- visa in advance prior to arrival in Kenya. The website www. immigration.ecitizen.go.ke/index.php?id=5

You are required to carry your certificates of vaccination against YELLOW FEVER in order to enter both Kenya and Uganda.Bring your passport and a copy of your passport kept in different place.  For Uganda you can buy a visa on arrival for $100 USD. Passports must be valid for at least 12 months. 


You are required to show proof of Travel Insurance. 





Luggage Restrictions & SUGGESTIONS

Your check in luggage MUST be a duffel bag. You can have 15kg for your check in bag plus a camera bag. Make sure to check the weight restrictions for your international flights.

Additional items to consider packing: 

  • Electrical multiple outlet strip (For charging your batteries & electrical accessories)
  • Flashlight or headlamp
  • Power bars and favorite travel snacks

Money Matters

The currency is the Kenya shilling.

Credit cards (Visa and Mastercard) are widely accepted, a commission charge is normally added to any transactions using a credit card.

Any US dollars that you bring with you must be crisp and dated 2003-present. Bills older than 2003 will not be accepted by the banks or merchants.

Common Swahili Phrases 

Jambo!  - Hello, welcome!
Karibu Kenya!  - Welcome to Kenya!
Hakuna matata! - No problem/No worries
Kwaheri! - Goodbye
Asante Sana - Thank you very much.
Jina lako ni nani? - What is your name?
Jina langu ni _____ - My name is _____.
Twende - Let's go!
Lala salama - Sleep well/Good night.


Quest Gear

Quest Gear

10 DAYS // MAY 15 - 26, 2016

Recommended gear

Computer / Digital Accessories

  • Laptop with charger and Photoshop CS6 and Lightroom or Photomechanic (not mandatory)
  • Portable hard drives like Lacie hard drives
  • Card reader
  • All cables for drives, computer, card readers, storage devices, etc.
  • Power converters/adapters for all international quests


  • Leatherman pocket tool
  • Flashlight
  • Tripod
  • Hat/baseball cap
  • Raincoat/umbrella
  • Bug repellant spray/anti-itch lotion

Camera Gear

  • Digital SLR with back up camera that will fit your lenses
  • Battery charger
  • Extra batteries
  • Memory cards (bring plenty)
  • Sensor cleaning supplies
  • Flash with plenty of batteries


  • 24-70 mm or similar
  • 70-200mm lens
  • 80-400 mm lens
  • Polarizing filter(s)
  • Lens hoods for all lenses
  • Lint-free cloth to clean lenses and blower ball for dust




10 DAYS // MAY 15 - 26, 2016

Cost per person

$9200 based on double occupancy. Single supplement is an additional $1650.

Optional Gorilla Extension based on double occupancy is $4900. Single supplement is $1200.

PQA will try to match you with a roommate if you do not opt for a single supplement. However, if a roommate is not available, you will be charged the additional single supplement fee.

Limited to 7 participants.

Not included

  • International flights to and from Kenya
  • Visas
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal purchases
  • Gratuities for the main driver/guides


  • Quest workshop fee
  • Turkana Festival
  • Village visits to Turkana and El molo
  • Guaranteed row and window seat in private 4X4 Land cruisers
  • Domestic flights and Private charters: 
    • Nairobi - Lewa Downs | Scheduled Flight
    • Lewa Downs - Northern Frontier District | Private Charter
    • Northern Frontier District - Nairobi | Private Charter
  • Gratuities for all local guides, camp/lodge staff, porters, and security escorts.
  • All airport transfers on arrival/departure
  • All meals
  • All accommodations as stated in the itinerary
  • Two Gorilla Permits in Uganda with extension


We highly recommend that you purchase travel insurance.