Art Safari, Kenya

An art safari is a creative journey to look at animals, nature and landscapes. It's a slow-pace safari, where you will capture images on paper by direct observation and by working from life.

See the world in a different way, creatively taking in the detail and vibrant energy of Africa. You will return with many unique images which encapsulate your holiday and help store your new bush knowledge. In addition, you will see the creativity of local artists and learn about the peoples, history and culture of our host country. Be assured of good food, comfort, style, fun, adrenaline and relaxation.

Art Tuition by Mary-Anne Bartlett

Mary-Anne Bartlett is an accomplished artist, experienced in painting and drawing in Africa. She welcomes artists of all standards - and non-painting partners who just want to enjoy the peace of it all! Non-painters benefit from the attention of the safari guide for in depth animal or bird watching while others are painting.

In her art tuition on safari she has three principal aims:
1. To give you an opportunity to draw and paint in environments which enrich your appreciation of the natural world.
2. To encourage you to paint from nature and to give you the vision and artistic skills to be able to make fast impressions of moving animals.
3. To provide you with a varied programme to stimulate you, give you opportunity to discuss your work with fellow artists and to inspire you to continue painting nature in your own time.

This is a colour and adrenaline rush safari with wonderfully luxurious evenings and nights. Both camps are small, personal, stylish and serve exquisite food. Cool, dry and blue skies, Kenya is a stunning country at any time of year, rich in culture, landscape, mountains, lakes and wildlife, but August is best. Activities include a sketching trip in a Masai village, as well as a visit to artists studios in Nairobi.

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Day 1

Arrive in Nairobi. Overnight Fairview Hotel.

Day 2

Mary-Anne will meet you early in the morning and we will drive to Malewa (2hrs). Malewa River Lodge in the Kigio Wildlife Conservancy is your base for the next four nights. Malewa is run by Kenyan artist and conservationist Chris Campbell-Claus.

After settling into your accommodation and lunch, we will walk along the river with our sketch books to find our bearings and explore colours and shapes. The afternoon should give you a chance to relax into the beautiful surroundings of this part of the Great Rift Valley and recover from your flight as you fill your first pages.

Day 3

We start the day with a colour workshop by the river, finding our own language for colour and exploring ways of using it. Later in the morning we drive to a magnificent viewpoint to sketch the hills, looking out for the wildlife below and all around us. After lunch we take a slow drive with our sketch books to work on fast sketches of animals and landscape. The techniques for making 'blink' sketches are essential for the rest of the trip and for giving you rich material for your studio on return. Dinner in camp.

Day 4

A very early start and a drive to Lake Nakuru (45minutes) and into Lake Nakuru National Park. Here we will meander through the park, stopping regularly for sketches and painting, aiming to settle in one spot after lunch so that we can spend several hours on one painting. Return late afternoon for dinner in camp.

Day 5

In the morning we will see if we can spot the white rhinos and the extremely rare Rothschild's giraffe resident in the park, sketch books and cameras to the ready for these and other animals. Doubtless our journeys will be interrupted by zebras crossing. After lunch, we will take the opportunity to work up some of the sketches in camp, relax and catch up with diaries and postcards. A late afternoon drive will take us on a final game drive around Kigio Wildlife Conservancy.

Day 6

We set off early for Lake Naivasha (40mins) for a morning of sketching on the lakeshore before taking our flight from Naivasha airport to the Masai Mara. On arrival we settle into our new accommodation at Kicheche Mara Camp for the next five nights. Dinner in camp.

Day 7

Carrying sketchbooks and sending painting gear on in a vehicle, we walk out of our secluded wood into the Masai Mara. Stopping for regular sketches we will collect many pages of visual information to tell us about our environment. Our hosts have planned a picnic brunch with a view so that we can choose to paint from here after we have eaten or move elsewhere for the next couple of hours. We return to camp to relax (or paint) for the rest of the afternoon before dinner.

Day 8

Driving out early morning we set off for the river, hoping to find a spot where the migration is crossing. The speed and adrenaline of the sights we see on game drives here will be recorded in fast sketches, both in colour and monotone. Here the 'blink' sketches will come into their own, and your fast colour choices, as you take down as much as you can in a helter-skelter of lines and wash.

Day 9

Balloon Trip over the Mara in the morning - painting optional!

In the afternoon we are invited to a local Masai village to spend some hours sketching while the local people go about their daily lives. This is a village that is not visited by other tourist groups, so that we can spend the whole afternoon with people, learning through observation about cooking, dress, traditions, architecture and construction, farming practice and rearing of animals as well as all about the village and family life. This is a rare and extremely special opportunity.

Day 10

Setting off early, we drive out towards where the migrations is crossing the river, following our guide's expert advice. As ever there are no guarantees with wildlife, so we must expect the unexpected and hope to be rewarded with Africa';s usual magic. The rest of the day may depend on what we see, however, I suggest that we return to camp at midday so that we can spend the afternoon reviewing our experiences and artwork. Dinner in camp.

Day 11

We take a mid-morning flight from the Mara, arriving in Nairobi for lunch. In the afternoon we will visit some of Kenya's most inspiring artists at the Go-Down Arts Centre, home to many visual artists and sculptors as well as radio, film and theatre.

Overnight Fairview Hotel.

Day 12

Daytime programme to be discussed - possibly to include going to Karen Blixen's house.

We have an early supper in a Nairobi restaurant before driving back the airport to check in and depart.

Please contact us for dates and prices


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