BIG CATS of the Maasai Mara Kenya photo safari TRIP REPORT Sept / Oct 2018
Posted by Wild4 Photo Safaris on 18th Oct 2018
The September "Big Cats of the Maasai Mara" photo safari was a great success with lovely clear weather and many great photo opportunities with the Big Cats.
We split our 10 nights in the Mara into two different locations to make the most of different areas. Lions proved again to be the most regularly seen of the big cats and we saw a number of different prides, a group of sub adult males, males fighting with females, cubs, hunts, feeding and a young lioness killing a baboon.
We had a great sighting of the 5 male Cheetahs taking down a young wildebeest, these five are such a dominant force at the moment within the Mara and it is always a treat to see and photograph them. We also spent time with a female and her three small cubs.
We saw three different Leopards and spent some good time photographing all of them.
Of course the Mara in Kenya is known for its big cats, but there are so many other animals there too. We also managed to photograph a number of Spotted Hyaena, Hippos, Crocodiles, Giraffe, Zebra, Impala, Buffalo, Elephant and a beautiful Black Rhino. Birds too were good as usual, there were a lot of Vultures and Marabou Storks, Little Bee Eaters, and a great opportunity with a Yellow Throated Longclaw !!
The migration herds were still around and it is always great to see the mass of animals out on the open grasslands.
A big thanks goes to the staff at Mara Entim Camp and Mara Serena for looking after us so well and a very special thanks goes to our amazing guides, Mamai and Tim, always patient, courteous, helpful and incredibly hard working, it is a great pleasure to work with you both as always !
Thanks so much to Rita, Linda, Raj, Michael, Toni and Mischa for joining us again on a WILD4 Photo Safari in Kenya's Maasai Mara !!
Please enjoy a selection of images from this photo safari.
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If anyone is contemplating a photo trip to Africa, then we would have absolutely no hesitation in recomending Stu Porter and Wild4 Photographic Safaris. It doesn't really matter what your level of skill is you will get as much or as little help and advice as you wish to receive. Nothing is thrust down your throat and Stu doesn't spend all his time taking his own photographs as some do. Stu has taken a huge amount of time and trouble in customising and setting up his safari vehicle and the effort he's put in makes the whole experience so much more enjoyable. Tethered bean bags are provided and secure plate mounts on the side of the vehicle will also take your tripod head ensuring a rock steady platform and Stu most certainly knows where the animals are. Particularly enjoyable was the time we spent at the Big Cat Reserve (part of the 4 night extension) which is an unbelieveable photographic experience. Many thanks WILD4 !
Rob & Sue Brookes, UK
Shopping for a travel adventure on the Web is somewhat risky, but when I wanted to go on an African photo safari, I really had no choice. I looked around and finally picked Wild4 Photographic Safaris for one reason: the vehicle. It was obvious that this was an outfit that understood photographic details and the needs of serious wildlife photographers. With a capacity for 10 passengers, the vehicle takes just three photographers. The three photographers' benches feature platforms to steady big lenses on both sides of the vehicle, and loads of storage space and pockets for lenses, bodies, accessories, binoculars, field guides, water, etc. I can not imagine a better platform for photography in the bush veldt. What is not as obvious in the on-line description is that the vehicle comes equipped with Stu Porter, the Wild4 owner and guide. Stu, who bears a striking resemblance to movie actor Matt Damon, is a deceptively shy young man with an encyclopaedic knowledge of Kruger National Park, its animals, geography, geology, climate, seasons, and, of course, rules. He also has the eyes of an eagle and is the best leopard spotter in South Africa. Stu's knowledge and patience are seemingly infinite, and he somehow manages to be aware both of his passengers' needs and everything around us. He does everything humanly possible to give you the opportunity to get the best shot. And if you need more than just the opportunity, he can instruct even the most seasoned photographer on technique. Stu grew up next to Kruger National Park, and his mother (who does the meal preparation for the safari) started taking him there as soon as he was old enough. He has been accumulating his knowledge of the park and its animals all his life, and that comes in very handy when you need to know something about animal behavior. In short, Wild4 Photographic Safaris is all about the vehicle, with spacious seats, shooting platforms and Stu Porter as standard equipment. You can't do better. Thank you, Stu!
George Cathcart, USA