BIG CATS of Kenya’s Maasai Mara wildlife photographic safari TRIP REPORT Sept 2019
Posted by Wild4 Photo Safaris on 1st Feb 2020
The September 2019 "Big Cats of the Maasai Mara" photo safari offered some amazing encounters with Cheetah and we were lucky to go on the hunt with the famous "Tano Bora" the 5 strong male Cheetah coalition. They are an amazing unit to watch as they go off right into the middle of the big herds, with such confidence. They caught a young Thompson's Gazelle and a young Wildebeest over the few hours that we spent with them.
We stayed in the Mara Triangle for our first 4 nights and it proved to be a very productive area with the mega herds grazing in the open grasslands towards the Tanzania border. Of course, there were plenty of Lions around as well as Cheetah.
We then crossed over to the main reserve and enjoyed photographing yet more Lions and Cheetah as well as one of the smaller cats, a beautiful Serval. One really unusual and a "once in a lifetime" encounter was with the soon to be famous "Polka Dot" Zebra foal named "Tira". We had heard that it had been seen in the general area of the Sand River and one morning after spending time with a beautiful female Leopard who had gone down into a lugga to sleep, we decided to go and look for the special Zebra foal.. literally 30 mins later we were taking pictures of this very beautiful and unusual melanistic Zebra and we feel very privileged to have been able to spend some time with it.
The weather was fantastic and so were the sunrises and sunsets. The Mara remains one of the best photo "hotspots" for African wildlife photography.
Our photo safari would not have been such a success without great people behind the scenes. Many thanks to Thomas of Fact Safaris for his tireless efforts to look after us and the trip logistics, and also to the staff at Serena Lodge & Entim Mara Camp.
Thank you, James, our excellent driver/guide, for looking after all of our needs in the field and for manoeuvring the photo vehicle into the perfect position for some amazing photographs.
Thanks so much to both Linda & Bernice for joining us on yet another WILD4 Photo Safari to photography the Big Cats of Kenya's Masai Mara.
Enjoy a selection of images from this African wildlife photographic safari to the Maasai Mara in Kenya.
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We have a particular affinity for bird photography, but also enjoy the African game animals. I'm pleased to say we are all thrilled with the entire trip. Stu met us at the airport on day 1, and what was to have been a quick couple hour drive to camp, took all afternoon until sunset, we found so many things to shoot. Then we wanted to do something slightly off the itinerary on day 2, and Stu again accommodated us. It was like that throughout the entire trip, the Porter family was very accommodating. Even though we were in a big national park using public facilities, the Porter family made us feel like we were in our own private game reserve, and the animals were there just for us. Stu's local knowledge of the birds and game is just great, he's a walking guide book. And because he's in Kruger so often, he knows where the best spots are. Also he knows all the other guides, and they share information. And most importantly if you are considering a photo safari, Stu is an accomplished nature photographer himself. He knows the light and how to position and approach for the best shot. He knows what photographers want and how to get it. The experience might be quite different if just any guide were to drive you around. And having a spotting vehicle out searching for game really helped us see some extra animals we wouldn't have seen. The results were outstanding. We saw and photographed all the of the big five, and several seldom seen animals totaling 33 mammal species and 164 bird species. All in all, the trip was great!! highly recommended!
Con Foley, USA
This was our second trip with Stu and our first in Tanzania, the sightings exceeded all our expectations including a selection of births, deaths, and marriages with a variety of wildlife. One of many highlights was seeing 22 lions drinking at a stream in the Ngorongoro crater . The accommodation was once again first class, even the tented camps. Stu, together with our African guides James and Jeremiah managed to always have the vehicle in exactly the right position for the best pictures. Can't wait to go again.
John & Lorraine Carnemolla, Australia