BEST of KENYA photo safari TRIP REPORT Nov 2016
Posted by Wild4 Photo Safaris on 30th Nov 2016
The November "Best of Kenya" photo safari always produces a lot of excellent photo opportunities and experiences, and this years trip was no different. The rains were late this year and Samburu and the Mara were quite dry compared with last years trip.
Samburu was our first destination and some of the special highlights were the Lions (including 2 males with their unusual short manes), a beautiful young male Leopard with a Waterbuck kill, a female Cheetah with 2 cubs, excellent Elephants, the unusual Gerenuk, Grevy's Zebra, Beisa Oryx, Martial Eagles, Reticulated Giraffe, a Palmnut Vulture and the beautiful Rosy-breasted Bushshrike.
On our way out of Samburu we were treated to a very clear view of Mount Kenya which is usually covered in thick cloud.
Our next stop was Lake Nakuru where we got to spend a good amount of time near the edge of the lake photographing a group of Flamingos and many other waterbirds. Five White Rhinos were also close by. African Buffalo were plentiful and we photographed a large group of Rothschild Giraffes in the open with the Yellow Bark Acacias in the background.
Our final destination was the Maasai Mara where we spent time on both sides of the river.
The Mara never dissapoints and we had an unbelievable amount of special sightings which included Lions chasing a Hippo, a Leopard with two small cubs, one of which had the most amazing blue eyes ! We saw Musiara, the female Cheetah with her 3 large cubs. A Lioness with a fresh warthog kill that was trying to run away from the pride male who was determined to steal her food (and did manage to do so in the end) We had a very special sighting of a Lioness carrying a very small cub in her mouth. We saw Malaika the female Cheetah with her two small cubs. We even got to see a river crossing which is unusual for November in the Mara, but there were still 1000's of Wildebeest around the lookout hill area and we had a unique river crossing where two groups on different sides of the river decided to cross at the same time. A Lion cub entertained us by trying to protect a shoe that he had found and we saw a very serious fight between two dominant male Giraffes.
There were many other great photo opportunities and mother nature really spolied us on this trip.
Many thanks to all the lodge staff for looking after us so well, and a special thanks must go to our excellent driver guides, Silas, Julius and Mamai who worked tirelessly to get us into the best positions for great photos.
Thank you also to the participants on the trip, Mark, Jeff, Ed, Diane, Rita and Murray, it was a great pleaure having you on the team for this safari and we are very much looking forward to the next one.
Please enjoy a selection of photos from the trip.
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We couldn’t have enjoyed our trip with Wild 4 more. We were made to feel extremely welcome right from our very first e-mail contact, something which continued throughout our trip and beyond. We’d like to thank Stu, Justyna, Ann, & John for being such wonderful and enthusiastic hosts. Being looked after by such a friendly and caring family was a delight and we were very reluctant to leave after two weeks. Stu is a very knowledgeable, hard-working and helpful guide, always on hand with useful pointers and offering us plenty of encouragement to experiment with our photography. Having a whole row each of a specially adapted safari vehicle was a real find, ensuring we didn’t miss out on any of the action. Being able to stay out in the bush all day was also a real bonus. While many other vehicles drove off after only a few minutes, we were able to spend hours observing groups of lions and other wildlife. As this was our first African safari, Stu suggested we spend the first few nights at the Big Cats reserve and this proved to be a magical experience, with some great close-up action that resulted in some beautiful shots. It is a great place to hone your existing skills & learn some new ones. Given the opportunity we would go again tomorrow without any hesitation. Simply perfect!
Arnoud & Lynsey Van Foreest, NETHERLANDS
The wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm Stu shared was priceless, from identifying birds and pointing out animal behaviors, to stories about Kruger Park past, and of course, answering photography questions day in and day out. You were so patient! I really appreciated the custom photo safari vehicle and thoughtful design and extra space it afforded, and the advantage and flexibility of traveling with such a small number of people. I learnt so much, and I look forward to sorting through the images and enjoying remembering all the things we did during our busy photo safari.
Helen Cruickshank, Australia