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Big Cats of the Serengeti - Sept/Oct 2019

Serengeti Big Cats Photo Safari - Tanzania

Posted on 17th October, 2021

Stu Porter

Female Cheetah with four small cubs in the Serengeti National Park - Tanzania © Stu Porter
Female Cheetah with her four small cubs in the Serengeti

The Serengeti in Tanzania is one of the top places in Africa to photograph Lion and Cheetah.  It’s a vast place and one always feels very privileged seeing and photographing the Big Cats in this enormous area.  The trip was split between the Central Serengeti around the Research Kopjes area and the magical "Ndutu" area near Lake Ndutu in the Ngorongoro Conservation area.

We spent a morning photographing two magnificent male lions as they patrolled their territory and also had a good session with a lioness and her two cubs on one of the iconic "Kopjes" or rocky outcrops that are synonymous with the Serengeti.
We also had one of the very best cheetah sightings I have ever experienced.  Our guide, Jeremia spotted a mother with four very small cubs, in that special early morning light.  We followed this family as the mother led them from one termite mound to the next, surveying the area for prey.  Finally, she brought down a young Thompson's Gazelle and took her prize back to her hungry cubs.
These photo. ops., were taken to the next level, when we came across a very rare Black or Melanistic, Serval.  WOW, what a way to start the trip!  On the following morning, our other amazing guide, Arnold, spotted an African Porcupine!  This very secretive and nocturnal creature was walking about in the glorious morning!!

With some great Serengeti shots under our belt, we headed South via the Gol Kopjes to that very magical place, Ndutu,  along the border of the Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.  Here one can drive off-road, allowing quality time with the animals and the flexibility to position for the best light.
Some Ndutu Highlights included spending time with the Marsh Pride who were up to 17 members, Black-Backed Jackal puppies, Bat-Eared Foxes, 4 different Serval Cats, a Caracal hunting Guineafowl and one of Africa’s rarest animals, a Pangolin or Scaly Ant-eater.  The cheetah encounters were exceptional, with three kills and a total count of 12 individuals.

This safari exceeded my expectations, for great photography, and for providing that wonderful feeling of the true African wilderness.  There were very few other vehicles, and a lot of the time we were totally on our own.  It’s wonderful to share a short period of these animals’ lives and appreciate what it takes to survive in this harsh environment.  There is no other place I have been, that offers such quality Big Cat sightings, observations and photographic opportunities.  We will definitely be adding this location to our photographic safari list of destinations and I am already looking forward to the 2020 “Big Cats of the Serengeti” Photo Safari.

I would like to thank all the staff at both Mawe Tented Camp in the Serengeti and Ndutu Safari Lodge in Ndutu for looking after us, as well as a very special thanks to the two amazing guides we had for this trip, Arnold & Jeremia!!   It is a great pleasure working with you guys.  Your awareness of what is needed to get great shots, without disturbing the animals’ comfort levels, makes a real difference.
Thank you, Linda, Bernice and Frank for joining us again on another WILD4 Tour and the first “Big Cats of Tanzania” Photographic Safari.

Please enjoy a selection of images from this photo safari.

Best wishes,

Stu,

Image of a large adult male Lion in the Serengeti National park - Tanzania © Stu Porter
Large adult male Lion in the Serengeti National Park
Image of two Topi antelope in the Serengeti National park - Tanzania © Stu Porter African Wildlife P
Two Topi antelope in the Serengeti National park - Tanzania
Image of a Golden Wolf (formerly known as the Golden Jackal) in the Serengeti National park - Tanzan
Golden Wolf (formerly known as the Golden Jackal)
Image of a very rare Melanistic Serval Cat in the Serengeti National park - Tanzania © Stu Porter Af
Very rare Melanistic Serval Cat in the Serengeti
The second pride male we photographed on the same morning in the Serengeti National park - Tanzania
Beautiful male Lion in the Serengeti
A sub-adult male Lion in the central Serengeti National park - Tanzania © Stu Porter Serengeti Photo
A sub-adult male Lion in the central Serengeti
Image of a Cheetah cub running in the Serengeti National Park - Tanzania © Stu Porter African Wildli
Cheetah cub running
The same female Cheetah with her Thompsons Gazelle kill in the Serengeti National Park - Tanzania ©
female Cheetah with her Thompsons Gazelle kill
The second largest Rodent in the world and rarely seen during the day, an African Porcupine in the S
The African Porcupine is the second largest rodent in the world and seldom seen during the day
The rest of the herd then joined the adult female and all were visibly interested in the dead Elepha
Elephant herd mourning the death of one of their family members in the Serengeti
A Cokes Hartebeest at sunrise in the Serengeti National Park - Tanzania © Stu Porter Serengeti Photo
Coke's Hartebeest at sunrise in the Serengeti
Two Thompsons Gazelle looking very alert in the Serengeti National Park - Tanzania © Stu Porter Tanz
Two Thompson's Gazelle
Typically nocturnal, it was a rare sight to see this Nightjar out in the dayl time - Serengeti Natio
The nocturnal nightjar out in the day time
A typical African sunrise in the Serengeti National Park - Tanzania © Stu Porter Tanzania Photograph
A typical African sunrise in the Serengeti
My first sighting of a Broad Billed Roller in the Ndutu area - Tanzania © Stu Wildlife Photo Safaris
Broad Billed Roller in the Ndutu area
A very rare sighting of a Caracal stalking up on some Guineafowl in the Ndutu area - Tanzania © Stu
A very rare sighting of a Caracal stalking up on some Guineafowl
Image of a Blood Lily in the grounds of the lodge in the Ndutu area - Tanzania © Stu Porter Photo To
Image of a Blood Lily
Stopping for Breakfast at the edge of the Big Marsh in the Ndutu area - Tanzania © Stu Porter Africa
Stopping for Breakfast at the edge of the Big Marsh in the Ndutu area
Early morning mist hangs in the woodland area on the edge of the big marsh in the Ndutu area - Tanza
Early morning mist hangs in the woodland area on the edge of the big marsh
Image of two Bat-eared Foxes in the Ndutu area - Tanzania © Stu Porter Photographic Safaris
Bat-eared Foxes in the Ndutu area
An adult Male Lion trying to cross a muddy area in the Ndutu area - Tanzania © Stu Porter Big Cat Ph
An adult Male Lion trying to cross a muddy area
Image of a female Cheetah at sunrise in the Ndutu area - Tanzania © Stu Porter Photo Safaris
Image of a female Cheetah at sunrise in the Ndutu area
Cheetah cubs playing in the Ndutu area - Tanzania © Stu Porter Photography Safaris
Cheetah cubs playing
Female Cheetah just after she caught the Grants Gazelle in the Ndutu area - Tanzania © Stu Port
Female Cheetah just after she caught the Grants Gazelle in the Ndutu area
A female Cheetah and her two cubs scan the surrounding area from a fallen tree in the Ndutu area - T
A female Cheetah and her two cubs scan the surrounding area
An alert female Cheetah on a dead tree in the Ndutu area - Tanzania © Stu Porter African Photo Safar
An alert female Cheetah
Three Cheetah cubs playing with a Cape Hare in the Ndutu area - Tanzania © Stu Porter Photographic S
Three Cheetah cubs playing with a Cape Hare in the Ndutu area
A very colourful Lilac Breasted Roller in the Ndutu area - Tanzania © Stu Porter Photo Safaris
A very colourful Lilac Breasted Roller
Image of a female Dik dik in the Ndutu area - Tanzania © Stu Porter Photography Safaris
A female Dik dik antelope, the smallest in the area
Image of a Fischers Lovebird flying in the Ndutu area - Tanzania © Stu Porter Photo Safaris
Fischers Lovebird flying
The Big Marsh pride of Ndutu, heading off to hunt in the late afternoon - Tanzania © Stu Porter Afri
The Big Marsh pride of Ndutu
Three curious Black Backed Jackal puppies in the Ndutu area - Tanzania © Stu Porter African Photo To
Three curious Black Backed Jackal puppies
A herd of male Grants Gazelle in the Ndutu area - Tanzania © Stu Porter Photo Safaris
A herd of male Grants Gazelle
A very rare sighting of a Pangolin in the Ndutu area
A very rare sighting of a Pangolin in the Ndutu area
A Lioness allows her cub to suckle while she stands in the Ndutu area - Tanzania © Stu Porter Photog
A Lioness allows her cub to suckle
Lions from the Marsh Pride in the Ndutu area - Tanzania © Stu Porter Photography Safaris
Lions from the Marsh Pride
Large male Leopard looks up at his Impala kill, Ndutu, Tanzania
Large male Leopard looks up at his Impala kill, Ndutu, Tanzania
One of just two Lionesses in the small marsh pride in the Ndutu area - Tanzania © Stu Porter African
One of the Lionesses from the small marsh pride
One of the Marsh Pride Lionesses grooming her cubs - Tanzania © Stu Porter African Photo Tours
One of the Marsh Pride Lionesses grooming her cubs
An Ostrich in the early morning mist in the Ndutu area - Tanzania © Stu Porter Photo Safaris
An Ostrich in the early morning mist
A Lioness from the Big Marsh pride heads out on the hunt in the Ndutu area - Tanzania © Stu Porter P
A Lioness from the Big Marsh pride heads out on the hunt
The two Lionesses from the small Marsh pride are joined by a male to drink water in the Ndutu area
The two Lionesses from the small Marsh pride are joined by a male
Image of a Serval Cat in the Ndutu area - Tanzania © Stu Porter Tanzania Photo Safaris
Image of a Serval Cat
Female Leopard in tree Ndutu. Copyright Stu Porter Photography
Female Leopard in a tree in the Ndutu area of Tanzania
Two male Cheetahs looking for prey from the vantage point of a fallen tree in the Ndutu area - Tanza
Two male Cheetahs looking for prey
Image of a large adult male Lion in the Ndutu area - Tanzania © Stu Porter Photo Safaris
Image of a large adult male Lion in the Ndutu area - Tanzania