I would like to thank you for the wonderful experience that you enabled me to live, once again! Thank you Federico for your energy, suggestions, the choice of positions, the love for animals and the passion for photography that you communicate. Thank you Laura for organizing everything so perfectly (excellent choice of camps, transfers always on time, advices on the website and on email always appropriate). Nature of course did its part, (double rainbow with mating Lions, Leopards in plenty, baby Jackals, millions of Flamingos in Bogoria, crossings of Wildebeests and Zebras, Lion cubs, Jenet in camp at night, three Cheetah brothers hunting), but everything has been organized professionally and with passion. Thanks again
Dear Federico, I would like to extend my most grateful thanks for such an excellent week in the Mara! Your guiding, photographic knowledge, and great company, far exceeded any expectations I may have had. Apart from the wonderful sightings and photographic opportunities, the banter and rapport made the safari! I'm sure I will return.
Just returned after spending a week with Federico on a predators and migration safari. This was my first visit to the Mara after what seemed a lifetime of planning. We ( 3 friends, all serious amateur photographers ) opted for Federico as our mentor to see the Mara as he sees it. After several last moment glitches that included shortage of yellow fever vaccine in India and the burning down of the International Airport at Nairobi on the eve of our departure, we finally were in the Mara. We stayed at the Freemans camp near the junction of the Talek and the Olare Orok rivers right in the heart of the Mara. This was a small camp, comfortable and right in the heart of the action. Around 12 tents of various sizes were arranged along a hippo pool, along with a larger Dining tent where the meals would be served. With running hot showers lined up upon our return every evening and inverter based charging points in the tents, it met our requirements nicely. Federico drove the three of us to the safari in his stretch land cruiser on alternate days as he takes 6 guests per week, so on the alternate days we were driven by his colleague Simon. Usually the safaris were full day and I recall coming back to camp only on one occasion as there was absolutely nothing happening on that particular day. That aside, every moment spend on safari was worthwhile, light was fantastic, wildlife was in abundance and Federico could be relied upon to place the vehicle in anticipation of a likely photo-opportunity. Having spent almost a decade in the Mara, Federico knew the lay of the land like the back of his hand, could be trusted to conjure up wonderful scenes. As Federico was usually photographing along with us, discussions on camera setting happened at that moment, quick glances at the histogram were exchanged whenever we stopped and the whole week was like a continuous training program. Federico is on a Nikon system and even though we were all on a Canon system, there was no difficulty in understanding the various concepts that he was using. Evenings around the camp-fire was about catching up on the days photography and on the last evening we had a detailed demonstration on Federico’s workflow and the PP techniques that he uses. I would have no hesitation to recommend Federico's predators and migration safaris to anyone who wants to improve his or her photography several notches. We found Federico highly approachable, informal and ready to discuss the smallest issue. Amidst all the learning, the fun element was always on the safari making the whole week exceptional. A lot of credit also to Laura for her patience and promptness in answering our numerous queries. We shall certainly talk to Federico when we plan for our next visit to Africa, I think there are several things that we need to see as he sees them.
As a full time photography guide in the UK I was blown away by the quality of the tour with Federico Veronesi. Federico has a calm, laid back style that makes you feel totally relaxed and at the same time he has the experience to put you in the right spot for incredible images and opportunities. Several times we would have driven by amazing situations had it not been for Federico's insight into 'what' makes an exceptional shot. The number of times we were the only group present at Lion kills and roaming Leopards speaks volumes for the skill of Federico's guiding, and at all times he kept us entertained with tales from the Mara. Everything about our itinerary was organised for us and I have nothing but gratitude for the team in Nairobi who sorted everything out impeccably. I would have no hesitation in recommending Federico and only hope it is not long before I am next on Safari with you.
June 1st 2011, Mara Intrepids
Isabel and I have enjoyed the most wonderful week of photography and relaxation here in the Mara. We have seen and enjoyed so much, a lovely lodge, your comfortable and reliable vehicle and so many opportunities to see and photograph so many lovely animals, birds and scenes. But most we have enjoyed the unstinting commitment and fun you have given us. We have felt friends, not clients. Thank you so very much.
The main thing I learned from Federico is the importance of knowing animals’ behaviors and habits. Predicting their moves and being in the right place at the right time makes the difference.
I also learned the importance of slowing down and adapting to the animals’ pace. Not only in terms of taking photos and vehicle speed but also in terms of patiently following the animals, with respect, while observing and smelling them.
Most of the times something will happen! Federico has an excellent and respectful attitude towards nature. He is very open and kind, always willing to meet your needs.
We have been to several photographic workshops in Africa organized by big names in this field. After our experience in the Masai Mara we must admit that the service offered by the most reputable companies do not compare with the top quality service offered by Federico.
The main element for a successful safari is Federico. No matter bad weather or other inconveniences, his experience, skills and engagement will make any safari a great success! I hope that his next guests will live the same emotions I did. Every day I think about the bush and its animals. I miss the cheetah cubs, the pride of lions, and Olive who was so hard to find!
August 30th 2011, Freeman Camp
Thank you for another memorable week. And for providing so many opportunities to share your lovely Caracal family.
Why in Africa again? Last year my wife Lauretta and I visited Namibia on our own. We saw a lot of wildlife indeed. However, the animals inhabiting Etosha did not have the typical special look of free range animals. I mean the gaze of those free animals such as the lion, buffalo, crested eagle, leopard and baboon that pierces your soul through the camera lens. What does Federico have to do with all this however? Well, he will take you to the less obvious spot in the savannah, during the best hours, just because he has spotted odd movement in a thicket. He will let you capture the African light at dawn, or a leopard stretching in the shade of an acacia close to his hidden dangling prey, or the last moment of of a lion hunting warthogs in the evening. You will see warthogs flee in all directions after springing up from their burrow... Federico often stops all of a sudden. He then switches off the engine and grabs his binos to look all around. But what is he looking at as there is nothing else but some impalas grazing? Omnipresent sentinels able to spot prey from km away, vultures are not there either. Undeterred, Federico continues to stare at a thicket. Suddenly a serval becomes visible! Slightly bigger than a domestic cat, he is crouching down. However, Federico spotted him as if the serval had called him on the phone! That day we were the only ones watching the serval in the peace of the African savannah. Typical African thunderstorm: one cannot see anything beyond the rain. However, Federico stops his car again because he has seen an odd light spot on a far away dark rock. Adrenaline-full “image hunter”, he hits the ground running as he has sensed something out there. In these moments, Federico gets all wired up and his energy becomes contagious. He beats his right hand on the steering wheel as if to make his car run faster. We are the only ones at the foot of the cliff. A lioness dominates the scene from the top, under the storm. Without Federico we would have only seen what the inhabitants of the Mara allow to see to the majority of visitors in four wheel vehicles and vans. Federico is added value if you want to observe the masters of the Mara from close. Thanks Federico for what you gave to us and your friendship.
One of best guides one will find for wildlife photography in East Africa! Federico is an excellent photographer, and is very passionate about wildlife, conservation and photography - that directly translates into some of the best wildlife memories one will ever have!!! You would learn as much about the animals' behavior from him, as you would learn about wildlife photography. I have been on a few safaris in Kenya and Tanzania with others prior to finding Federico; since then I have gone on multiple trips to Mara, my most favorite place, with him. If learning about wildlife and/or photography are/is one's primary interest(s), he's the one of the best guides. Federico always gets his vehicle in the right position, which is a pre-requisite for excellent photo results. In short, if not for him I wouldn't have got most of my good wildlife images. Many thanks to him - my photography has improved significantly!!!
Hi Federico,Well we' ve been back home for more than a week now but continue to follow the blog avidly - and enviously ?!! We had a wonderful time, seeing and photographing the animals with you. In truth, as much as we are pleased with the photographs we produced, our learning in terms of photography and appreciation of the animals is something we all take with us. It’s interesting how we are seeing new things now and the strange mix of pleasure with what we have, combined with restlessness for better and more. You may not have seen the last of our family!
We just got back home early this morning. An amazing trip for all of us! Our daughter Susannah really learned a lot with you and saw some great wildlife scenes. Thank you for arranging such a wonderful experience for Susannah - we will certainly recommend you to our friends in the future!
We were warned that we would get mal d’afrique. However, Africa heals, and is also good for the heart. By instilling a sense of belonging to the silent and slow rhythms of the bush, it quells your desire to see it all at once. Then it all happens in the split of a second ...life can be so inebriating... Competent and defender of wild animals, the undisputed actors of the Masai Mara, Federico has proven an exceptional guide.
21 grams, the weight of the soul, and yet.... Dear Federico, We had a safe journey back home. This afternoon, Paty and I were already talking about our trip with tears in our eyes! Many thanks for giving us the opportunity to make this trip. I am also thankful that one day I got to open Poliza’s book and discovered you. After seeing your website, I understood you would help make my dream, our dream, come true: one week in Maasai Mara, the way I, we, wanted! The memory of it will live on in our hearts and minds, and deeper inside...our souls! From the Mara we remember the long waits only apparently in vain, the relentless searches, the light and the lack of it, the sun and the rain, the dry roads and the ones turned into rivers, the successful crossings of streams and the unsuccessful ones, small and big animals, the shy ones and the brazen ones. In one word, the animals and their behaviors that you made us understand with rare sensibility and a fascinating knowledge of what governs the eternal course of nature. The cruel game of life and death may be emotionally overwhelming. It is a game that is governed by fair rules though. I can think of many examples. A zebra and a lioness are both exhausted. The former breathes her last breath, the latter wins the game. Scared by a surreal charge from a young wildebeest, a baby hippo funnily pulls back. The wildebeest is either starving to death or just trying to save his life escaping the crocodiles’ teeth. Developing his hunting skills, a lion cub trips his brother. This will save him from future starvation. A vegetarian cheetah would make sense in this context too! We also came to appreciate the heavy rains we encountered as something that cannot be taken away from us. Without the rains we would have not seen surreal, dramatic skies and fantastic light at dawn. We would have not got stuck and moved to the rhythm of the crazy “land cruiser dance” in the muddy road tracks. The roads of this beautiful reserve are plentiful of promises: there is a discovery around every corner! We will never forget the respect you have for your animal friends. Thanks to you, they have also become our real friends. We never dared to take our friends’ rights away, even more so we will always continue to respect them! Federico, you are a nice person... “inside”! By saying this, I do not refer to the fact that the trip went smoothly (we stayed in a well-managed camp, with hot shower and so on). I refer to your ability to share your emotions with us. Thanks also for the many useful photographic tips. Highly valuable indeed. There is no doubt, however, that we also helped you. Well-travelled people and used to certain areas of the world, we can see through the eyes of the soul. I believe I introduced you to someone else who is also a nice person...Andrea, my son, together with our beloved Michele. I hope and believe you will meet again in your Africa. This is what we owed you... though is not enough! What a bizarre container the soul is, it only weighs 21 grams but contains the infinity.
While taking off from the Mara strip we saw you waving goodbye from the edge of the airstrip. That would have made the best shot for the closing credits of my video.
However, surprise and emotion prevailed and my camcorder remained off.
Thank you so much for your passion, love and respect for the animals and nature, your patience with beginners like me, and willingness to share your experience.
I am also happy that we had good luck on our safari.
Definitely one of my best African trips, I will always remember it.
Keep it up!
It has been an exciting and thrilling week on safari. I finally found my definitive safari.
Federico made the difference with his competence and knowledge of the place and, above all, his contagious passion.
Federico’s safaris are heaven for both photographers and non-photographers.
This year’s safari with Federico really increased my mal d’afrique. I have just landed back home but would like to set out on a journey again.
See you in 2010 in the Mara Federico.
Ciao and thanks again for a great week.
I have long been thinking about writing a review of my trip to Kenya with Federico.
Since the very same day I was back, I tried to put my many feelings into words. I wanted to share my intense experience and describe the wonderful natural interactions I had observed. So as to live those powerful moments again together with the heat, smells and sounds.
But I came to realize that my feelings had not yet settled to be told.
I decided to wait then, with the same patience I had when I studied nature or when I was with Federico in Kenya. I waited in the same way you wait for an ice-covered lake to start thawing in spring, revealing life beneath.
I came back to Italy more than one month ago, though it feels it is only yesterday I took my flight back from the Mara. I spent two weeks in Kenya, precisely in Amboseli, Nakuru and Mara. It feels as if I spent at least one year there.
I do not know whether this depends on the power of Kenya’s nature, its immense landscapes, light or on Federico’s ability to convey a sense of strong belonging to those lands.
Let’s get back to my review however. If you think you will set out on a relaxing journey, then you have got it all wrong.
The wake-up call is at 5.30 every day. After tea you will set out on a full-day safari with Federico. Whether under the sun or in the rain, across rivers or swamps (running the risk of getting stuck) you will always be looking for interesting photographic opportunities, possibly with some good backlight and dust.
Federico often stops to look at the horizon through his binos. He then drives a bit further and stops again to set his gear. He likes to observe the animals and wait for the right opportunity.
He may take hundreds of images until the last light goes out. He likes to look at them a few times, sometimes self deprecating himself for wrong framing or just being useless images, or complaining about light or the occasional tuft of grass that covers his subject. By the way, we are in the savannah, the land of tall grass!
He is capable of doing so while at the same time following a cheetah, for example, or trying to identify a new leopard, consulting his field guides, often humming a song, or talking on the phone to find out what happens in other areas of the park.
Covered with dust or mud, you will be back in camp in the evening with too many images to download and sort out. And probably with some frustration if the images do not look as nice as Federico’s. Eventually you will crash on your bed as if you had eaten the Snow White’s poisoned apple.
However, you will go back home with loads of fantastic shots, many stories to tell and, above all, a life-time experience.
Besides his being highly professional and experienced, Federico will offer you the tremendous opportunity to get intimate with wildlife, though discretely, and spend entire days observing the animals and their interactions, trying to understand them.
If you ever get the chance of going on a safari with Federico, my hope is that you will appreciate his ability to observe the animals and respect their space without interfering. This is very important given the fragility of east African ecosystems.
I am personally very satisfied with my safari. Many thanks
It is Federico who makes the difference.
Travelling with him is a truly intense, magic experience, not only in terms of the thousands of pictures that you will take home. Even transfers from one park to another become learning opportunities.
Federico is restless in trying to find the best animal viewing opportunities, regardless of the animals. Whether they are mammals, birds, reptiles or insects, big or microscopic animals, animal sightings in the savannah are always a fascinating discovery!
Federico’s ability to become part of the environment and think like animals do is undisputable. As a result you will stand a high chance to see the best scene, from the best position and with the best light. But always follow the golden rule: be respectful and do not disturb or interfere with the course of natural life.
Federico’s talent also lies in the ability to create a friendly and harmonious atmosphere among guests, and satisfy each one’s expectations.
Once again, many thanks to Federico. We wish him continued success. And hope to be back soon for another amazing, eventful stay in Kenya.
We will always be thankful to our friend Elena Fieni for introducing us to Federico Veronesi and his workshops. We have only been back for a few days, but already feeling saudade (nostalgia). Not a single day goes by without us visiting his website for the photo of the day. Passion makes Federico stand out. His job is his life, and this can be clearly perceived. We will never forget him being so worried about Olive’s health while she was attacked by a lion, or his anger at careless drivers blocking our view with their vehicles or literally racing to get the best spot during the wildebeest crossing. Federico is in no rush. He likes to wait! We learned from him that long waits in the right conditions offers more rewards than rushing from one place to another looking for several photographic opportunities. Remember that with Federico you will be the first ones leaving in the morning and the last ones coming back. Forget about having a nap in your tent on a rainy dainy..... as you can take fantastic photos in the rain! Federico’s photographic skills are indisputable. He is one of the few who teaches you a lot about taking photos and post-production. This is not just about theory but also lots of practice. See you soon Federico
After more than 20 safaris in six years between Botswana, Namibia, Tanzania and Kenya, Federico amazed me in many ways. For instance in how to approach a group of animals or a single animal. One meter can make a difference between taking a good shot and scare away the subject. Getting the right distance in the bush is not easy. I cannot wait for January 24 when I will spend another week “from dark to dark” with you.
Undisputedly competent, Federico is lively, brilliant, careful and respectful. All these qualities stand out making the safari unforgettable. Heartfelt thanks.
We have already been on safari with Federico in Kenya and Tanzania. We know for a fact his passion for nature and photography and also his experience. We will always recall him shouting “Stop!” while steering briskly to get us to the scene in time! Federico knows every single cat and its territory. He can tell each bird apart and name it in English (forcing us [Italians] to look them up in the field guide for translation...). We shared unforgettable thrilling moments with Federico...except one: the wildebeest crossing! Hope next time we come in September we will be luckier! Or could this be a strategy to have us come back again? Anyway, we already have mal d’afrique. And this is his fault!
I came back home last night. There are no words to describe the great time we had together and the spectacle of nature I was privileged to see. I am thinking about it over again. It has become emotional.
All this was made possible by your skills and experience, together with your passion. You made us part of all our encounters with the animals and appreciate their meaning.
I think that Marco and Roberta would also agree with me and confirm your uniqueness as a photographer, both from a professional and human point of view. You never get a big head and always stay true to yourself.
I will now continue to sort out my photos and never stop dreaming to go back to such a marvellous place.See you soon
I was lucky to have Federico as a guide for my second safari a few months ago. It was a memorable experience.
It was soon clear to me that Federico’s love and respect for animals, together with his strong passion for photography, made him my ideal guide.
It is not just about speaking the same language but passion! He carefully chooses the angle and the light, preparing you for the right moment. Afraid on missing out on special occasions, he never wants to go back to the camp.
With such a guide Africa gets into your blood. Federico, you made us take memorable photos...
Very good safari, much better than our expectations! An unforgettable experience that will always be in our heart! Could not have been any better for Valentina and I. Federico can really communicate his joy and passion for his job and we could not hope for better.
What should I say about my intense and emotion-laden three week travel in the parks of Kenya?
Enthusiastic and professional young guide, Federico Veronesi has a different approach to nature and its situations.
First time on a safari, I had the chance to discover and appreciate those aspects that can easily escape a lay man’s attention.
Federico’s competence on wildlife and birds in particular made this possible.
Thanks to his tips on how best to take wildlife images I brought home documentary photos that, quality aside, will always keep my memory vivid.
Such an experience does not exhaust itself in one single journey and leaves you the desire to repeat it again, thanks to Federico.
Mara Intrepids, May 2012 As you may have noticed, we had a wonderful holiday. Thank you so much for working so hard to make what was a first visit for all but Izzy a tremendous success. Of course you have set very high standards but it was just great. More detailed feedback: 1. Mara Intrepids. We were very impressed by management and all the individuals there and by the food. Loved the wildlife in the evenings – luckily there was no grass along the side of the dining room so we could see them better. Remarkably good value. 2. Conditions and sightings. We don’t imagine you will encounter as challenging a week again – or at least we hope you don’t – but despite that we had lovely birds and in fact really good sightings of cheetah, lion, rhino, and a good selection otherwise. The aardwolf was the icing on the cake. The older generation are always pleased to rationalise and are not too disappointed that leopards remain to be ticked and enjoyed, along with caracals! Our occasional unplanned stops added to the excitement – but how lucky we were to have the two vehicles and seriously the economy of one would have been a disaster in retrospect. Sadly our photographs which we were very pleased with don’t have a soundtrack – a shame as we could have expanded our Italian vocabulary. Overall as you can gather we all had a wonderful time – to such an extent that we would be interested in another trip with similar numbers and vehicles if you can bear it but at a different time.