Wild4 African Photographic Safaris

Wild4 African Photo Safaris

Specialist small group photo safaris to South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana and Namibia

BEST of KENYA photo safari TRIP REPORT Nov 2015

Posted by Wild4 Photo Safaris on 27th Nov 2015

This photo safari took place in three of Kenya's top wildlife parks, Samburu, Lake Nakuru and the Masai Mara. There was also an extension to Rwanda to photograph the Mountain Gorillas.

Some of the highlights included a swimming Oryx, an Aardwolf, incredible Samburu Birds, a Crowned Eagle, 17 different Cheetahs, Bahati the Leopard with her two cubs, Zebras swimming across the flooding Mara River, 4 Black Rhinos together as well as Cheetah and Lion hunts, tremendous rain storms, dramatic skies, superb sunsets, mud, flooding rivers and river crossings, this safari proved again that November in Kenya is one of the best times to visit and take photographs. It is also out of the peak tourist season so there are fewer vehicles around.

Our first stop was Samburu Reserve which is noted for its very different terrain and habitat and the unique species that live there. Gerenuk, Reticulated Guraffe, Vulturine Guineafowl, Somali Ostrich, Grevy's Zebra and Elephants crossing the Ewaso Nyiro River are the sought after shots and all were achieved, along with an unusual sighting of a swimming Beisa Oryx and a very rare sighting of the shy termite eating Aardwolf ! A male Cheetah, a Lioness with tiny cubs and an amazing diversity of birdlife rounded off another great stay in Samburu Reserve.

Next up was our 2 night stay at Lake Nakuru which still does not have the traditional number of flamingos due to high water levels in the Lake. However Lake Nakuru always provides a number of different photo opportunities and we enjoyed an interesting sighting of a large Lion pride interacting with a White Rhino, great bird photo opportunities of a variety of smaller birds as well as with the Pelicans and a group of Flamingos, Olive Baboons and Defassa Waterbuck, Cape Buffalo and the Rothschild Giraffes kept our memory cards full.

Final destination on the scheduled safari was the Masai Mara which was split into two different locations. We were very fortunate to find out that two Cheetah mums were close to our camp and we spent a lot of time following them. Malaika and her three sub adult cubs as well as Nora and her two young cubs of around 3 months were seen every day. Both of these Cheetahs had also been seen on our August Migration Photo Safari so it was nice to catch up with them again. Over the next 4 days we photographed the Cheetahs hunting, resting, swimming and playing. A special interaction between Malaika and an injured Wildebeest played out in front of us, if her three cubs had backed her up instead of sleeping through the entire interaction they would have been able to overpower the Wildebeest, instead Mailaka was left on her own and ended up being chased away by the Wildebeest which managed to get away and live another day. Lions were also in abundance as they usually are in the Mara and we watched an interesting interaction between a group of young Lions and a herd of Masai Cows and their Moran protectors.. We also photographed a young male Leopard near the main crossing point area, Giraffe, Topi, Spotted Hyaena, Hippo, Coke's Hartebeest, Eland, Black Backed Jackals, and a variety of birds. On our final morning we were very fortunate to find the female Leopard known as “Bahati” with her two young cubs. It is always a special treat to see a Leopard, but extra special when they have small cubs. This was the perfect way to end our stay on the northern side of the Mara River.

Due to heavy rains all the main rivers in the Mara were flooded, the Olare Orok, and the Talek rivers were impassable so we took the main road to the Mara bridge and the Mara River itself was an impressive sight to see. Our guides had never seen it so high.

We crossed over onto the southern side of the Mara river to the area known as the Mara Triangle and this is where we spent our final days on the scheduled safari. Sunrises, sunsets, Giraffe, Lions, Black Rhino, a Lion hunt and Zebra crossing the raging Mara River were some of the highlights we experieinced and before we knew it the safari was at an end. 

Huge thanks to our expert driver guides, James, Julius and Mamai, not ony did they put up with all our crazy photographic requests, they drove us safely to all our destinations and found us fantastic photo opportunities, it is always a great pleasure to work with all of you and I am looking forward to the next safari already.

Thank you also to all the staff at the camps and lodges we stayed at, Elephant Bedroom, Lion Hill, Little Mara Bush and Mara Serena and to Sunworld Safaris for another great photographic experience in Kenya.

Finally a huge thanks to Rita, Aggie, Michael, Toni and Larry - thank you for joining us on a Wild4 “Best of Kenya” photo safari. It was a great pleasure to have had you all on safari with us.

The optional extension to see the Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda was my first visit to Rwanda and a very exciting one it was. To see the Gorillas up close and observe them going about their daily routine is really a once in a lifetime opportunity and highly recommended. Rwanda as a country is very impressive, clean, safe and the people very welcoming and friendly.

I joined Aggie on a Gorilla trek to see the “Agashya” family group, we were lucky to not have rain and it took just over an hour to reach the Gorillas. The hour you get to spend with the Gorillas flies past so quickly but at the end of it you really feel you have been fortunate to have observed such amazing creatures in their natural habitat. With only a total of around 900 Mountain Gorillas remaining in the world, it is an opportunitiy well worth taking.

Here are a few photos from the safari - enjoy !

Best wishes

Stu



 

A Beisa Oryx crossing the Ewaso Nyiro River in Samburu Reserve, photo by Rita Daubeney
A Beisa Oryx crossing the Ewaso Nyiro River in Samburu Reserve, photo by Rita Daubeney
Rarely seen and rarely photographed, a young Aardwolf in Samburu Reserve, photo by Aggie Pagnillo www.imagesbyaggie.com
Rarely seen and rarely photographed, a young Aardwolf in Samburu Reserve, photo by Aggie Pagnillo www.imagesbyaggie.com
A Male Gerenuk in Samburu Reserve, photo by Aggie Pagnillo www.imagesbyaggie.com
A Male Gerenuk in Samburu Reserve, photo by Aggie Pagnillo www.imagesbyaggie.com
A Male Gerenuk feeding in Samburu Reserve, photo by Aggie Pagnillo www.imagesbyaggie.com
A Male Gerenuk feeding in Samburu Reserve, photo by Aggie Pagnillo www.imagesbyaggie.com
Lioness on rock in Samburu reserve, photo by Larry Hildebrand
Lioness on rock in Samburu reserve, photo by Larry Hildebrand
Warthogs in Samburu Reserve
Warthogs in Samburu Reserve
A Male Grant's Gazelle, Samburu Reserve
A Male Grant's Gazelle, Samburu Reserve
The spectacular Golden Breasted Starling, Samburu Reserve
The spectacular Golden Breasted Starling, Samburu Reserve
Verreaux's Eagle Owl, Samburu Reserve
Verreaux's Eagle Owl, Samburu Reserve
Purple Roller, Samburu Reserve
Purple Roller, Samburu Reserve
Kori Bustard, Samburu Reserve
Kori Bustard, Samburu Reserve
Herd of Elephants, Samburu Reserve
Herd of Elephants, Samburu Reserve
Beisa Oryx and calf, Samburu Reserve
Beisa Oryx and calf, Samburu Reserve
Bull Elephant in Samburu, photo by Toni Anderson
Bull Elephant in Samburu, photo by Toni Anderson
White Bellied Go-Away Bird, Samburu Reserve
White Bellied Go-Away Bird, Samburu Reserve
Vulturine Guineafowls, Samburu Reserve
Vulturine Guineafowls, Samburu Reserve
Somali Ostriches, Samburu Reserve
Somali Ostriches, Samburu Reserve
Northern Yellow Billed Hornbill, Samburu Reserve
Northern Yellow Billed Hornbill, Samburu Reserve
Cape Hare, Samburu Reserve
Cape Hare, Samburu Reserve
Reticulated Giraffe, Samburu Reserve
Reticulated Giraffe, Samburu Reserve
Lesser Kudu, Samburu Reserve
Lesser Kudu, Samburu Reserve
Lion cub in Samburu Reserve
Lion cub in Samburu Reserve
Superb Starling, Samburu Reserve
Superb Starling, Samburu Reserve
Northern Red-Billed Hornbill, Samburu Reserve
Northern Red-Billed Hornbill, Samburu Reserve
Red and Yellow Barbet, Samburu Reserve
Red and Yellow Barbet, Samburu Reserve
Beisa Oryx and Impala in the Ewaso Nyiro River, Samburu Reserve
Beisa Oryx and Impala in the Ewaso Nyiro River, Samburu Reserve
Elephants crossing the Ewaso Nyiro River, Samburu Reserve
Elephants crossing the Ewaso Nyiro River, Samburu Reserve
Grey Headed Kingfisher, Samburu Reserve
Grey Headed Kingfisher, Samburu Reserve
Somali Bee-eater, Samburu Reserve
Somali Bee-eater, Samburu Reserve
Somali Bee-eater leaving its nest, Samburu Reserve
Somali Bee-eater leaving its nest, Samburu Reserve
Grevy's Zebra Stalion, Samburu Reserve
Grevy's Zebra Stalion, Samburu Reserve
Grevy's Zebra, Samburu Reserve
Grevy's Zebra, Samburu Reserve
Grevy's Zebra, Samburu Reserve
Grevy's Zebra, Samburu Reserve
Dwarf Mongoose, Samburu Reserve
Dwarf Mongoose, Samburu Reserve
Secretary Bird, Samburu Reserve
Secretary Bird, Samburu Reserve
Von der Decken's Hornbill, Samburu Reserve
Von der Decken's Hornbill, Samburu Reserve
African Hoopoe, Samburu Reserve
African Hoopoe, Samburu Reserve
Straw-Tailed Wydah, Samburu Reserve
Straw-Tailed Wydah, Samburu Reserve
Buff-crested Bustard, Samburu Reserve
Buff-crested Bustard, Samburu Reserve
Vitelline Weaver, Samburu Reserve
Vitelline Weaver, Samburu Reserve
Tawny Plated Lizard, Samburu Reserve
Tawny Plated Lizard, Samburu Reserve
Sunrise in Samburu Reserve, photo by Toni Anderson
Sunrise in Samburu Reserve, photo by Toni Anderson
Lioness on rock, Samburu Reserve
Lioness on rock, Samburu Reserve
Breakfast stop in Samburu
Breakfast stop in Samburu
Reticulated Giraffe, Samburu Reserve
Reticulated Giraffe, Samburu Reserve
Storm over Samburu Reserve
Storm over Samburu Reserve
Black Backed Jackal, Samburu Reserve
Black Backed Jackal, Samburu Reserve
Male Cheetah, Samburu Reserve
Male Cheetah, Samburu Reserve
Crowned Eagle at Lake Nakuru
Crowned Eagle at Lake Nakuru
African Black Duck, Lake Nakuru
African Black Duck, Lake Nakuru
Great White Pelican, Lake Nakuru
Great White Pelican, Lake Nakuru
Greater Flamingo, Lake Nakuru
Greater Flamingo, Lake Nakuru
Ant eater Chat, Lake Nakuru
Ant eater Chat, Lake Nakuru
Olive Baboons playing, Lake Nakuru
Olive Baboons playing, Lake Nakuru
Olive Baboons playing, Lake Nakuru
Olive Baboons playing, Lake Nakuru
Olive Baboons playing, Lake Nakuru
Olive Baboons playing, Lake Nakuru
Tawny Eagle, Lake Nakuru
Tawny Eagle, Lake Nakuru
Red winged Starling, Lake Nakuru
Red winged Starling, Lake Nakuru
Great White Pelicans, Lake Nakuru
Great White Pelicans, Lake Nakuru
White Rhino at Lake Nakuru, photo by Rita Daubeney
White Rhino at Lake Nakuru, photo by Rita Daubeney
Flamingos, Lake Nakuru
Flamingos, Lake Nakuru
Red Billed Teals, Lake Nakuru
Red Billed Teals, Lake Nakuru
Great White Pelicans, Lake Nakuru
Great White Pelicans, Lake Nakuru
A Line of Greater Flamingos, Lake Nakuru, photo by Larry Hildebrand
A Line of Greater Flamingos, Lake Nakuru, photo by Larry Hildebrand
Lion and White Rhino, Lake Nakuru
Lion and White Rhino, Lake Nakuru
Ground Hornbill, Lake Nakuru
Ground Hornbill, Lake Nakuru
Defassa Waterbuck, Lake Nakuru
Defassa Waterbuck, Lake Nakuru
Olive Baboon, Lake Nakuru
Olive Baboon, Lake Nakuru
White Browed Coucal, Lake Nakuru
White Browed Coucal, Lake Nakuru
Speckled Mouse Bird, Lake Nakuru
Speckled Mouse Bird, Lake Nakuru
Great Blue Eared Starling, Lake Nakuru
Great Blue Eared Starling, Lake Nakuru
Flamingo feather, Lake Nakuru
Flamingo feather, Lake Nakuru
Lesser Flamingos, Lake Nakuru
Lesser Flamingos, Lake Nakuru
Common Bul-Bul, Lake Nakuru
Common Bul-Bul, Lake Nakuru
Baglafecht Weaver, Lake Nakuru
Baglafecht Weaver, Lake Nakuru
"Nora" the female Cheetah and her cubs in the rain, Masai Mara
"Nora" the female Cheetah and her cubs in the rain, Masai Mara
Shaking off the rain, Masai Mara
Shaking off the rain, Masai Mara
Cheetah cub, Masai Mara
Cheetah cub, Masai Mara
In pursuit of a Thompson's Gazelle, Masai Mara
In pursuit of a Thompson's Gazelle, Masai Mara
Nora and her cubs, Masai Mara
Nora and her cubs, Masai Mara
Cheetahs, Masai Mara
Cheetahs, Masai Mara
Lilac Breasted Roller, Masai Mara
Lilac Breasted Roller, Masai Mara
Male Topi Antelopes fighting, Masai Mara
Male Topi Antelopes fighting, Masai Mara
Spotted Hyaena, Masai Mara
Spotted Hyaena, Masai Mara
Zebra at sunrise, Masai Mara
Zebra at sunrise, Masai Mara
Grey Headed Kingfisher, Masai Mara
Grey Headed Kingfisher, Masai Mara
Malaika and her cubs cross the swollen Olare Orok River, Masai Mara
Malaika and her cubs cross the swollen Olare Orok River, Masai Mara
Lilac Breasted Roller Landing in the Masai Mara, photo by Larry Hildebrand
Lilac Breasted Roller Landing in the Masai Mara, photo by Larry Hildebrand
Black Chested Snake Eagle, Masai Mara
Black Chested Snake Eagle, Masai Mara
Coke's Hartebeest, Masai Mara
Coke's Hartebeest, Masai Mara
Thompson's Gazelles fighting, Masai Mara
Thompson's Gazelles fighting, Masai Mara
Male Common Ostrich, Masai Mara
Male Common Ostrich, Masai Mara
Lioness, Masai Mara
Lioness, Masai Mara
Two Cheetah cubs belonging to the female Cheetah known as "Nora", Masai Mara, photo by Rita Daubeney
Two Cheetah cubs belonging to the female Cheetah known as "Nora", Masai Mara, photo by Rita Daubeney
The three sub adult cubs of Malaika in the Masai Mara, photo by Larry Hildebrand
The three sub adult cubs of Malaika in the Masai Mara, photo by Larry Hildebrand
Coke's hartebeest, Masai Mara
Coke's hartebeest, Masai Mara
Young Lion, Masai Mara
Young Lion, Masai Mara
Sunset in the Mara
Sunset in the Mara
Male Lion, Masai Mara
Male Lion, Masai Mara
Sunset tree, Masai Mara
Sunset tree, Masai Mara
Male Lion on termite mound in the Masai Mara, photo by Michael Anderson
Male Lion on termite mound in the Masai Mara, photo by Michael Anderson
Malaika the Cheetah takes on an injured Wildebeest, Masai Mara
Malaika the Cheetah takes on an injured Wildebeest, Masai Mara
The Wildebeest fights back and eventually gets away, Masai Mara
The Wildebeest fights back and eventually gets away, Masai Mara
Meyer's Parrot, Masai Mara
Meyer's Parrot, Masai Mara
Hippo, Masai Mara
Hippo, Masai Mara
Male Bushbuck, Masai Mara
Male Bushbuck, Masai Mara
Lioness with a Thompson's Gazelle, photo by Rita Daubeney
Lioness with a Thompson's Gazelle, photo by Rita Daubeney
Eland, Masai Mara
Eland, Masai Mara
Dik Dik, Masai Mara
Dik Dik, Masai Mara
Lioness, Masai Mara
Lioness, Masai Mara
A young Lion watches a herd of Masai Cattle in the Masai Mara, photo by Rita Daubeney
A young Lion watches a herd of Masai Cattle in the Masai Mara, photo by Rita Daubeney
Wattled Lapwing, Masai Mara
Wattled Lapwing, Masai Mara
Lioness, Masai Mara
Lioness, Masai Mara
Black Backed Jackals, Masai Mara
Black Backed Jackals, Masai Mara
Topi with new born baby, Masai Mara
Topi with new born baby, Masai Mara
Cheetahs, Masai Mara
Cheetahs, Masai Mara
Malaika and one of her cubs, Masai Mara
Malaika and one of her cubs, Masai Mara
Impala and Thompson's Gazelles, Masai Mara
Impala and Thompson's Gazelles, Masai Mara
Male Thompson's Gazelle, Masai Mara
Male Thompson's Gazelle, Masai Mara
Stalking up on some Thompson's gazelles, Masai Mara
Stalking up on some Thompson's gazelles, Masai Mara
The cubs of the female Leopard, Bahati, Masai Mara
The cubs of the female Leopard, Bahati, Masai Mara
Bahati and one of her cubs, Masai Mara
Bahati and one of her cubs, Masai Mara
Bahati and one of her cubs, Masai Mara
Bahati and one of her cubs, Masai Mara
One of Bahati's cubs, Masai Mara
One of Bahati's cubs, Masai Mara
Lions resting in the cool morning, Masai Mara
Lions resting in the cool morning, Masai Mara
Oribi in the Mara Triangle
Oribi in the Mara Triangle
Bull Elephant in the Mara Triangle, photo by Michael Anderson
Bull Elephant in the Mara Triangle, photo by Michael Anderson
Two Male Giraffes fighting in the Mara Triangle, photo by Michael Anderson
Two Male Giraffes fighting in the Mara Triangle, photo by Michael Anderson
A Serval cat in the Mara Triangle, photo by Larry Hildebrand
A Serval cat in the Mara Triangle, photo by Larry Hildebrand
Giraffe in the Mara Triangle
Giraffe in the Mara Triangle
Sunset in the mara Triangle
Sunset in the mara Triangle
Sunrise in the Mara Triangle
Sunrise in the Mara Triangle
Giraffe in the Mara Triangle
Giraffe in the Mara Triangle
Zebra swirl, 0,6 sec @ f14 ISO 100, rotation on panning plate
Zebra swirl, 0,6 sec @ f14 ISO 100, rotation on panning plate
Black Rhino, Mara Triangle
Black Rhino, Mara Triangle
Giraffe watching a pride of Lions sleeping, Mara Triangle
Giraffe watching a pride of Lions sleeping, Mara Triangle
Having just crossed a flooding mara River this Zebra still had enough energy to leap over a massive Crocodile
Having just crossed a flooding mara River this Zebra still had enough energy to leap over a massive Crocodile
Swimming in the deep water of the Mara River
Swimming in the deep water of the Mara River
A Lioness ambushes a Zebra that has just swum across the Mara River
A Lioness ambushes a Zebra that has just swum across the Mara River
Zebra Stallion calling, Mara Triangle
Zebra Stallion calling, Mara Triangle
Lion chasing Warthogs near the Kichwa Airstrip in the Mara Triangle
Lion chasing Warthogs near the Kichwa Airstrip in the Mara Triangle
Flap Necked Chameleon, Serena lodge
Flap Necked Chameleon, Serena lodge
Giraffe at Sunset, Mara Triangle
Giraffe at Sunset, Mara Triangle
Lions playing in the Mara Triangle
Lions playing in the Mara Triangle
Lions Cubs, Mara Triangle
Lions Cubs, Mara Triangle
Lions, Mara Triangle
Lions, Mara Triangle
Sabinyo Volcanic Mountain - Rwanda
Sabinyo Volcanic Mountain - Rwanda
Rwanda in the morning mist
Rwanda in the morning mist
Agashya the Silverback leads his family in Rwanda, photo by Aggie Pagnillo www.imagesbyaggie.com
Agashya the Silverback leads his family in Rwanda, photo by Aggie Pagnillo www.imagesbyaggie.com
The Silverback known as "Agashya" and two youngsters - Rwanda
The Silverback known as "Agashya" and two youngsters - Rwanda
Young member of the Agashya Mountain Gorilla family - Rwanda
Young member of the Agashya Mountain Gorilla family - Rwanda
Two Baby Mountain Gorillas - Rwanda
Two Baby Mountain Gorillas - Rwanda
Silverback feeding - Rwanda
Silverback feeding - Rwanda
Female Mountain Gorilla pushing down some Bamboo - Rwanda
Female Mountain Gorilla pushing down some Bamboo - Rwanda
Silverback "Agashya" - Rwanda
Silverback "Agashya" - Rwanda
The son of Agashya in Rwanda, photo by Aggie Pagnillo www.imagesbyaggie.com
The son of Agashya in Rwanda, photo by Aggie Pagnillo www.imagesbyaggie.com
Mountain Gorilla feeding on Bamboo - Rwanda
Mountain Gorilla feeding on Bamboo - Rwanda
The son of Agashya - Rwanda
The son of Agashya - Rwanda
A member of the Agashya family of Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda, feeding on fresh Bamboo shoots, photo by Aggie Pagnillo www.imagesbyaggie.com
A member of the Agashya family of Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda, feeding on fresh Bamboo shoots, photo by Aggie Pagnillo www.imagesbyaggie.com

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5 Comments

  • This was the best photo adventure I have ever experienced. My travel partners were great, the food and lodging were wonderful and most of all I learned a tremendous amount about a variety of photography techinques from the amazing Stu Porter.

    Aggie - November 28th, 2015 at 3:51pm

  • Spectacular images, beautifully presented. Congratulations on such a successful trip!

    Horace Hamilton - November 29th, 2015 at 4:26pm

  • a portfolio of great pictures. some high key, beautiful landscapes

    Martin - January 01st, 2016 at 2:58pm

  • Stu excellent photos as usual
    You have been the best wild life photographer

    Ulhas Mayekar - January 01st, 2016 at 11:48pm

  • Fabulous photos.

    John Lutz - January 04th, 2016 at 1:02am

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Testimonials Dear Justyna and Stu We had a wonderful time on the photo safari. It was a unique experience, not like anything else we’ve done even though we have travelled to many parts of the world over the last 30 years. It was a thrill to see such a variety of animals and birds and also to see many of them in such large numbers. There can’t be anything better than seeing them in the relatively relaxed setting that Kruger National Park provides. We appreciated all the effort that went into the equipment and the logistics for the safari. The vehicle with the bean bags and panning plates was excellent for taking photographs and for enabling us to be close to the animals while staying safe. The catering was great. We enjoyed our breakfasts and lunches and coffee out on the road. We were comfortable in the accommodation at the Satara and Lower Sabie camps. As I mentioned in an email, the Meet & Greet at Johannesburg Airport was perfect after such a long journey from the USA. The flights to and from Skusuza went without a hitch. We really enjoyed meeting and getting to know Mike Lentz. Eleven days together provides a lot of time to talk. He is a great guy. We were very impressed with his knowledge of the animals, birds, and plants in Kruger National Park. His descriptions of animal behavior and other information added immensely to our enjoyment of the photo safari. We also appreciated his efforts to ensure we had a total Kruger Park experience, birds, trees, plants, landscapes as well as the animals. Looking forward to returning on another trip in the future. Best regards,

Jennifer & Jerry Monopolis, USA

Testimonials As a return customer I can't recommend enough the experience of these trips as well as photographic opportunities that surpass all expectations.  In addition I have now visited the reptile centre, as part of the extension, twice. Both times I have been delighted with the skill and expertise of the rangers there.  The opportunities set up for photography are exceptional and that coupled with Stu's masterclass in close up and macro provides a day to remember.  If you get the opportunity to do the extension, take it as it's worth every minute.

Sharron Franks, UK