Niina Lehikoinen

Co-Founder & Photo Safari Leader

Niina and Ringo the rhino in Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya, 2016.
Niina and Ringo the rhino in Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya, 2016.

I was lured to Africa against my will but ended up leaving my heart and soul in the Mother Continent. I wept when seeing my very first wild-roaming elephants in Tarangire National Park, and that spell hasn’t quite broken ever since. Elephants are still among my favorite animals, together with leopards, cheetahs, rhinos, wild dogs, bat-eared foxes, and pangolins.

The African bush is my choice of drug, which made me trade corporate life for the simple joys of overlanding Africa. I’m constantly learning more about different wildlife species, their behavior, habitat, and conservation. My secret dream is to become an elephant whisperer, or at least get better at communicating with my pachyderm friends. Africa has also cast a birding spell on me, and although I’m just a beginner, I’m easily distracted by all feathered creatures.

I’ve worked in marketing for +15 years and know professional photographers’ needs. We at Expedition Conservation Photo Safaris strive to exceed those standards for all our guests. The purpose of our safaris is to share our mad love for African wildlife. We wish that our photo expedition would be the best trip you’ve ever taken and hope to see you again in another country.

I will be your host during the safari making sure that every detail in the camps and game drives lives up to your expectations. I’m also coaching beginners and amateur photographers together with Piritta, our lead photography guide. As a tour leader, my goal is to provide the best possible settings for your photography and spark your creativity in the bush. On game drives, I’m going all out to find the best wildlife sightings with our local naturalist guides.

I shoot with Panasonic G9 (MFT) and Pana/Leica 100-400 f4-6.3. I also have Panasonic G80 with Pana 12-35 f2.8 (or 35-100 f2.8) at hand for videos. I’ve always learned as I go, and I’m still a passionate amateur wishing to improve my craft every day. I’m also a writer and storyteller, who aims to create awareness for wildlife conservation.