BIG CATS of the Maasai Mara Kenya photo safari TRIP REPORT Feb 2018
Posted by Wild4 Photo Safaris on 24th Mar 2018
Not only did the wonderful Mara produce excellent Big Cat sightings which was our main aim on this photo safari, it also produced a number of other great photo opportunities, as it always does. The Maasai Mara is truly one of the very best wildlife photographic destinations in Africa !
We split our 10 nights in the Mara into two different locations to make the most of different areas of the Mara. Only a week before we arrived, it had been raining in the Mara (quite unseasonal for this time of year). Parts of the Mara had tall grass and the animals avoid these areas as they feel more comfortable grazing out in the open where the cats can't sneak up on them.
A lot of our time was spent around the double-cross area where there were Lion, Cheetah and Kaboso the Leopard.
Some of the trip highlights were watching the Rhino Ridge lion pride feeding on a cow, Blackie the large resident male Lion on patrol, two female Leopards, Kaboso and Bahati were both seen and photographed. We found the 5 male Cheetahs, along with Malaika, making up a rare sighting of 6 Cheetahs together !!. Unfortunately they hid in thick bush for 2 days whilst they were in mating mode !
In the Musiara Marsh area we found a Lioness with very small cubs that unfortunately were very well hidden from us. The Lioness caught a Warthog just as we left camp one afternoon and managed to finally kill and eat it as two hungry Hyaenas watched. Other highlights were a Martial Eagle feeding on a Cape Hare, many Elephants, Giraffe, Waterbuck, Dik Dik, fighting Topi, amazing Hyaena action, Crowned Cranes at sunrise, Olive baboons, a male Impala with a piece or horn embedded in his neck (from a fight with another male), Saddle Billed Storks, Black Chested Snake Eagle, a Lioness in a tree and a beautiful young male Leopard with blue eyes !!
The weather was very good to us with only a brief shower one afternoon.
Looking forward to next years trip already !!
A big thanks goes to the staff at Mara Entim Camp and Sentinel Camp for looking after us so well and a very special thanks goes to our amazing guides, Mamai and James, always patient, courteous, helpful and incredibly hard working, it is a great pleasure to work with you both as always !
I also wanted to thank everyone for joining this Big Cats of the Mara Photo Safari, Rita, Willie, Bernice, Sharon, Peter and Armand. Thanks so much for a fantastic safari !!
Please enjoy a selection of photos from the trip.
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For thirty-five years I had dreamed of going on a photographic safari in South Africa. This year I finally realized that dream and it is fair to say that my hopes and expectations were surpassed in every way. I had done extensive research on African photographic safaris on the Internet before settling on Wild 4 photo safaris. What an inspired choice that turned out to be! This family company run by Stu Porter and his wife, Justyna, and aided by Stu’s parents, John and Ann, provides the perfect safari experience for photographers of every skill level. Stu is one South Africa’s finest wild-life photographers and a first-class teacher into the bargain. His knowledge of the habitat and habits of the animals and birds to be found in Kruger National Park is simply encyclopaedic. I was accompanied on the trip by my 25 year-old daughter, Amy, and we eagerly adapted to the early morning wake-up call to go off into the wilds in one of Stu’s specially fitted jeeps to photograph animals at sunrise. Every day brought its special moments whether the spectacle of lions mating just a few metres from the jeep, or leopards lying lazily in the grass digesting a meal, or elephants and hippos frolicking in a river. The days sped by and we returned home with thousands of photographs of birds and animals to sort through and cherish for the memories they bring back. A safari with Wild 4 is more than a photographic experience with a master photographer: it is an initiation into the wonders of South Africa – its wild-life and spectacular landscapes - and, above all, an experience of friendship as everyone aboard the jeep bond in common purpose. Everything about Wild 4 is first class: organization is superb, accommodations excellent, choices of locale perfect. Our safari with Stu and Wild4 was truly the experience of a life-time.
Andrew Oliver, CANADA
Stu, Thank you for another wonderful safari. We were blown away by the sightings that we had. From the Lion kill to the tiny Lion Cubs, it was one great experience after another. The bird opportunities were also outstanding. I'm still sorting though the 1000's of images that we brought home. Also, thank you Justyna for setting up our 2 week private Kruger safari with Stefan. We spent over a month in Africa shooting every day except for a couple of travel days. It was our trip of a lifetime. The accommodations, food, and itinerary were as good as it gets. We can't wait to do another one!. Dick and Mary Wild Side Photographic Art
Dick Collins, USA