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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I wanted to write this while the trip is still fresh in my mind. This was my first trip to Africa and I did as much online research into photo specific safaris as I could. I was not disappointed with choosing Wild 4. Throughout the trip Stu answered the countless questions as if there wasn't a stupid one in the bunch (and there were many) his knowledge of the wildlife is nothing short of amazing, I can't think of a single bird, mammal or reptile that he couldn't identify and give us some background on. Not to mention his uncanny ability to spot wildlife while moving. Our rangers and accommodations in Ngala and Mala Mala were first rate. While in the Kruger proper, John and Anne took exceptional care us. I would not hesitate to book another trip with Stu. Patrick
Patrick Flora, 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