BIG CATS of the Masai Mara Photo Safari | March 2022
US$ TBC Sharing
US$ TBC Single
US$ 3,000 Deposit
PHOTO SAFARI LOCATION: Kenya
PLACE VISITED: Maasai Mara
PHOTO SKILL LEVEL: Any level from beginner to advanced photographer. Photo tuition and guidance will be available on the photo safari.
MEDICAL: Please check with your local GP or travel clinic to see if you need a YELLOW FEVER VACCINATION for this photographic safari.
PHOTO TOUR LEADER/HOST: Stu Porter
** Please note that the MAIN focus of this safari will be on photographing and spending as much time with Africa's Big Cats as possible (Cheetah, Lion & Leopard). There will be plenty of opportunities to photograph other animals too, but the MAIN focus will be on Big Cat Photography.
If photographing Africa's Big Cats is on your bucket list and you have always wanted to spend quality photographic time with them, then this photographic safari does exactly that.
Our 12-day African photography tour will begin in Nairobi with a 1-night stopover. A short flight from Nairobi on the following day will take us to the heart of the famous Maasai Mara Reserve. Gentle rolling hills, open savanna grassland, woodland thickets, and the famous Mara River are some of the scenic highlights we will encounter in the Maasai Mara Reserve. Covering 1500 square kilometres (560 square miles), this is a fantastic location for a photo safari in the heart of authentic Africa.
The Maasai Mara ranks as one of the best places to photograph Africa's BIG CATS - Lion, Cheetah and Leopard. Lion and Cheetah sightings are consistently very good in the Mara and Leopards are also regularly photographed, although locating them requires a bit more effort.
The main focus of this photographic safari is to go out in search of these three amazing predators, we will sit patiently with them as they rest and move with them when they move. Filmmakers spend countless hours waiting for predators to do something and are often rewarded for their patience. We will be based in the same location in the Mara for all 10 nights - the reason for this is so that we can follow the cats on a daily basis. In a 10 day period, we should be able to document many aspects of their day to day life.. and hope to be rewarded with some photographs of the cats in action.
March is a quieter time of the year for regular tourists, so we can also expect to be one of just a few vehicles at sightings. The weather is generally very good at this time of year as it falls between the short and long rainy seasons.
Despite the mega migration herds not being present in the Mara at this time of year, there is still plenty of resident wildlife around. The cats also tend to be a bit more active at this time of year as they have to put in more effort to catch their food.
This small group photo-specific safari allows for a great amount of flexibility in the field. Packed breakfasts enjoyed either at sightings or under a typical Mara Picnic Tree are standard. This enables us to spend maximum time out in the field and the freedom to let the wildlife and the situations we find them in dictate the daily pace.
On our final morning in the Mara, we will enjoy a short photographic game drive and then fly back to Nairobi where we will be able to freshen up in a day room before our evening transfer to the airport.
This is an exclusive small-group photography safari with a maximum of 6 participants in 3 private vehicles (2 participants per vehicle). Each participant will have plenty of space for equipment and guaranteed access to both sides of the photo safari vehicle.
Stu Porter will lead this photo tour.
There is a good chance to see and photograph the following animals:
Lion, Leopard, Cheetah, Elephant, Cape Buffalo, Hippo, Black Rhino, Spotted Hyena, Jackal, Giraffe, Zebra, Wildebeest, Thompson's Gazelle, Grant's Gazelle, Olive Baboon, Vervet Monkey, Coke's Hartebeest, and an excellent variety of birdlife.
We recently travelled to South Africa for a safari led by Wild 4 African Photographic Safaris. To put things simply, we were completely blown away. I had been on safari before, and had expectations that I thought were reasonable, but Wild 4 completely exceeded those expectations in so many ways. First of all, Justyna handled all of our travel and trip details with exceptional professionalism and always responded to even our most basic questions quickly and in a very detailed manner. Once we had arrived in South Africa, we were met by our guide Stu Porter, who I cannot say enough good things about. He is so organised and cordial. Stu was spotting things that we couldn’t believe that he was spotting, which almost always led to an amazing wildlife experience that we never saw coming. His knowledge and understanding of the wildlife and ecosystem was outstanding, and he went to great lengths to insure that we had the best chance of capturing a great photo, without compromising the rules of the park or the integrity of the animals and ecology within it. His understanding and respect for the wildlife and surroundings made the trip so much more than just a “drive around and look at whatever we see” kind of experience. I know that you can never predict what kind of experience you will have when you go out into the wild, and often it’s up to nature to decide what events you will be a part of, but in all honesty, I can’t imagine a better guide than Stu Porter. We will be doing our future trips to Africa with Wild 4, and cannot recommend them highly enough. Thank you so much for what a lot of people call “the trip of a lifetime”, although we feel that this is only the beginning of many trips of a lifetime. Thank you, Wild 4!!
James Smith, USA
I was fortunate to be on Wild4's "Best of Botswana" trip in May 2014. It could well be the Best of Africa. This trip featured two expert guides (Stu Porter himself and Nkosi from Letaka Safaris) and the abundant wildlife of four different Botswanan hot spots, with relatively few other vehicles around. Those features alone are worth the price of admission, particularly since they include Stu's vehicle modifications that ensure the best possible photographic experience. But if that isn't enough, we spent the first ten nights in expedition style mobile camps, roughing it with bucket showers and drop toilets, and listening to the leopards, elephants and hyenas wandering in and around the camps at night. But don't worry about the "roughing it" part. The expert staff prepares perfect meals, including fresh baked breads and cakes, and ensures that the camp is safe and clean. We finished the 12-night trip in a luxury lodge on the Chobe River, where we photographed from a boat customised to accommodate serious photographers (i.e. people with lenses bigger than their legs) and a waterway full of hippos and elephants and lined with Africa's most iconic birds. If you can only go once to Africa, go to Botswana with Wild4 Photographic Safaris. They will take care of every detail of your safari to ensure that everything is just right. If you are an old Africa veteran, ditto. You just can't go wrong with Wild4.
George Cathcart, USA