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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My 3rd trip with Wild 4 was one to remember (well, they all are !!). The wildlife in Tanzania put on a show for us from dawn till dusk. Cheetah's, lion prides, leopards, the birth of a gazelle and zebra. Migrating herds of wildebeest and zebra's - this trip had it all !, Superb locations, great accommodation, amazing food and unique scenery. I'll definitely be going back with Wild 4 ! What sets Wild 4 apart is their attention to detail to support photographers and videographers. Small groups, very well selected locations, high quality camps/lodges and well trained guides makes for a very well organised and intimate photographic safari experience. They provide not just a beanbag, but a beanbag 'system' for each photographer !. They provide panning plates, a unique custom designed photo/video support system for their vehicles in South Africa that includes support for Wimberley heads for large lenses and other features designed by an experienced wildlife photographer. The Wild 4 team understand the needs of photographers on safari, I can't recommend them highly enough for your African wildlife photographic experience.
Murray Richards, Australia
I did a photo safari in and around Kruger National Park with Wild4. At the end of the trip I could not think of one significant thing that I would have changed to make the experience better. I have travelled to various parts of East and Southern Africa many times to photograph wildlife and I have to say that this was THE most photographically productive trip of them all. Not simply the volume of pictures, but the quality and variety of images that I returned home with was simply awesome. Key to this was Stu’s knowledge, enthusiasm and patience. Most days we were photographing from first light until sunset, and beyond on some occasions. I quickly learned not to worry about getting the vehicle into the best position for background, light, etc. We would see an animal and I'd start to assess where I would like to be for a shot, no sooner would I have done this I would realise that Stu was already getting us into that very position. The man is a first class guide AND an excellent photographer. Perfect. The whole trip, from start to finish, ran like clockwork. The camps were comfortable, the food was great and the company delightful. Going on Safari with Stu and Justyna was like being with friends, I had a truly unforgettable time. Photographic safaris do not come any better than this.
Mike Needham, UK