Wild4 African Photographic Safaris

Wild4 African Photographic Safaris

Authentic small group photo tours to South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana and Namibia

BIG CATS of the Maasai Mara 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.

Best wishes 

Stu

"Bahati" the female Leopard resting in a tree to get away from Hyaena, Maasai Mara (Wildlife Panorama)
"Bahati" the female Leopard resting in a tree to get away from Hyaena, Maasai Mara (Wildlife Panorama)
Lioness jumping out of the tree, Musiara, Maasai Mara, COPYRIGHT Mamai Karesi Photography
Lioness jumping out of the tree, Musiara, Maasai Mara, COPYRIGHT Mamai Karesi Photography
Giraffe, Maasai Mara
Giraffe, Maasai Mara
Secretary Bird, Maasai Mara
Secretary Bird, Maasai Mara
Elephant with baby, Maasai Mara
Elephant with baby, Maasai Mara
"Bahati" the female leopard near Talek River, Maasai Mara
"Bahati" the female leopard near Talek River, Maasai Mara
Zebra and foal, Maasai Mara
Zebra and foal, Maasai Mara
Cheetah on termite mound, Maasai Mara, COPYRIGHT Mamai Karesi Photography
Cheetah on termite mound, Maasai Mara, COPYRIGHT Mamai Karesi Photography
Lioness and "Blackie" a resident male Lion, Maasai Mara
Lioness and "Blackie" a resident male Lion, Maasai Mara
Young male Lion of the Ridge Pride, Maasai Mara
Young male Lion of the Ridge Pride, Maasai Mara
Two Elephant bulls play fighting, Maasai Mara
Two Elephant bulls play fighting, Maasai Mara
Male Defassa Waterbuck, Maasai Mara
Male Defassa Waterbuck, Maasai Mara
Spotted Hyaena lurking in thick reeds, Maasai Mara, COPYRIGHT Mamai Karesi Photography
Spotted Hyaena lurking in thick reeds, Maasai Mara, COPYRIGHT Mamai Karesi Photography
Side Striped Jackal, Maasai Mara, COPYRIGHT Mamai Karesi Photography
Side Striped Jackal, Maasai Mara, COPYRIGHT Mamai Karesi Photography
Kori Bustard in display, Maasai Mara, COPYRIGHT Mamai Karesi Photography
Kori Bustard in display, Maasai Mara, COPYRIGHT Mamai Karesi Photography
30 Ostriches near Rhino Ridge, Maasai Mara (Wildlife Panorama)
30 Ostriches near Rhino Ridge, Maasai Mara (Wildlife Panorama)
"Bahati" scent marking a Croton bush, Maasai Mara
"Bahati" scent marking a Croton bush, Maasai Mara
Dik Dik, Maasai Mara
Dik Dik, Maasai Mara
Lioness, Maasai Mara
Lioness, Maasai Mara
Two male Topi facing off, Maasai Mara
Two male Topi facing off, Maasai Mara
"Bahati" the female Leopard, Maasai Mara
"Bahati" the female Leopard, Maasai Mara
Martial Eagle with its Cape Hare meal, Maasai Mara
Martial Eagle with its Cape Hare meal, Maasai Mara
Cheetah on termite mound, Maasai Mara (Wildlife Panorama)
Cheetah on termite mound, Maasai Mara (Wildlife Panorama)
Spotted Hyaenas feeding on a newly born Wildebeest calf, Maasai Mara, COPYRIGHT Mamai Karesi Photography
Spotted Hyaenas feeding on a newly born Wildebeest calf, Maasai Mara, COPYRIGHT Mamai Karesi Photography
Rhino Ridge pride resting in the shade, Maasai Mara, COPYRIGHT Mamai Karesi Photography (Wildlife Panorama)
Rhino Ridge pride resting in the shade, Maasai Mara, COPYRIGHT Mamai Karesi Photography (Wildlife Panorama)
Baby Elephant, Maasai Mara
Baby Elephant, Maasai Mara
The Rhino Ridge pride with the Maasai cow that they had caught, Maasai Mara
The Rhino Ridge pride with the Maasai cow that they had caught, Maasai Mara
Topi at midday on a termite mound, Maasai Mara
Topi at midday on a termite mound, Maasai Mara
Lilac Breasted Roller in flight, Maasai Mara
Lilac Breasted Roller in flight, Maasai Mara
Saddle Billed Stork taking off, Maasai Mara, COPYRIGHT Mamai Karesi Photography
Saddle Billed Stork taking off, Maasai Mara, COPYRIGHT Mamai Karesi Photography
Black Chested Snake Eagle, Maasai Mara, COPYRIGHT Mamai Karesi Photography
Black Chested Snake Eagle, Maasai Mara, COPYRIGHT Mamai Karesi Photography
all 6 Cheetahs at the edge of the thick bush, Maasai Mara
all 6 Cheetahs at the edge of the thick bush, Maasai Mara
Waterbuck Male in golden grass at sunrise, Maasai Mara
Waterbuck Male in golden grass at sunrise, Maasai Mara
Grey Crowned Crane in the Talek River, Maasai Mara
Grey Crowned Crane in the Talek River, Maasai Mara
Cheetah, Maasai Mara
Cheetah, Maasai Mara
The Lioness that had the small cubs - resting in a tree near Sentinel Camp, Maasai Mara
The Lioness that had the small cubs - resting in a tree near Sentinel Camp, Maasai Mara
Injured Coke's Hartebeest facing up to two Spotted Hyaena, Maasai Mara (Wildlife Panorama)
Injured Coke's Hartebeest facing up to two Spotted Hyaena, Maasai Mara (Wildlife Panorama)
Hyaena trying to get around the Hartebeest. We left when the Hartebeest found refuge in a pool of water
Hyaena trying to get around the Hartebeest. We left when the Hartebeest found refuge in a pool of water
Male Impala on a termite mound, Maasai Mara
Male Impala on a termite mound, Maasai Mara
African Buffalo with a Yellow Billed Ox Pecker, Maasai Mara
African Buffalo with a Yellow Billed Ox Pecker, Maasai Mara
Female Cheetah in morning light, Maasai Mara
Female Cheetah in morning light, Maasai Mara
Zebra, Maasai Mara
Zebra, Maasai Mara
Spotted Hyaena, Maasai Mara
Spotted Hyaena, Maasai Mara
Black Backed Jackal, Maasai Mara
Black Backed Jackal, Maasai Mara
Male Thompson's Gazelle following a female, Maasai Mara
Male Thompson's Gazelle following a female, Maasai Mara
Elephants, Maasai Mara
Elephants, Maasai Mara
Elephants at sunset - composite image, Maasai Mara
Elephants at sunset - composite image, Maasai Mara
Hippo returning to the water, Maasai Mara
Hippo returning to the water, Maasai Mara
Zebra Stallions fighting, Maasai Mara
Zebra Stallions fighting, Maasai Mara
The Male Impala with a piece of horn embedded in his neck, Maasai Mara
The Male Impala with a piece of horn embedded in his neck, Maasai Mara
Crowned Cranes at sunrise, Maasai Mara
Crowned Cranes at sunrise, Maasai Mara
Spotted Hyaena with the horns of a Wildebeest, Maasai Mara
Spotted Hyaena with the horns of a Wildebeest, Maasai Mara
Olive Baboon, Maasai Mara
Olive Baboon, Maasai Mara
Olive Baboon yawning, Maasai Mara
Olive Baboon yawning, Maasai Mara
Lioness killing a Warthog, Maasai Mara
Lioness killing a Warthog, Maasai Mara
Lioness dragging the Warthog, Maasai Mara
Lioness dragging the Warthog, Maasai Mara
One of the two Spotted Hyaenas that waited close by, Maasai Mara
One of the two Spotted Hyaenas that waited close by, Maasai Mara
Lioness with Warthog kill, Maasai Mara
Lioness with Warthog kill, Maasai Mara
The two Spotted Hyaenas sensed an opportunity to steal the Warthog but the Lioness chased them off, Maasai Mara
The two Spotted Hyaenas sensed an opportunity to steal the Warthog but the Lioness chased them off, Maasai Mara
"Blackie" the legendary Mara Male lion, Maasai Mara
"Blackie" the legendary Mara Male lion, Maasai Mara
Zebra herd, Maasai Mara (Wildlife Panorama)
Zebra herd, Maasai Mara (Wildlife Panorama)
"Blackie" walking past two Topi, Maasai Mara
"Blackie" walking past two Topi, Maasai Mara
"Kaboso" the female Leopard near double cross, Maasai Mara
"Kaboso" the female Leopard near double cross, Maasai Mara
Lions greeting each other, Maasai Mara
Lions greeting each other, Maasai Mara
Eland, the largest of all antelope, Maasai Mara (Wildlife Panorama)
Eland, the largest of all antelope, Maasai Mara (Wildlife Panorama)
European Bee-Eater, Maasai Mara
European Bee-Eater, Maasai Mara
The Ridge pride resting under a tree whilst Zebra watch them, Maasai Mara (Wildlife Panorama)
The Ridge pride resting under a tree whilst Zebra watch them, Maasai Mara (Wildlife Panorama)
The Lioness that had the small cubs near Musiara, Maasai Mara
The Lioness that had the small cubs near Musiara, Maasai Mara
African Buffalo, Maasai Mara
African Buffalo, Maasai Mara
Leopard on the move, Maasai Mara
Leopard on the move, Maasai Mara
Zebra and scratching post, Maasai Mara
Zebra and scratching post, Maasai Mara
"Kaboso" the female Leopard, Maasai Mara
"Kaboso" the female Leopard, Maasai Mara
Lions resting in the shade, Maasai Mara (Wildlife Panorama)
Lions resting in the shade, Maasai Mara (Wildlife Panorama)
The blue-eyed Leopard near double cross, Maasai Mara
The blue-eyed Leopard near double cross, Maasai Mara
Lioness and cub, Maasai Mara
Lioness and cub, Maasai Mara
Spotted Hyaena den, Maasai Mara
Spotted Hyaena den, Maasai Mara
Giraffe at the edge of the Marsh forest, Maasai Mara (Wildlife Panorama)
Giraffe at the edge of the Marsh forest, Maasai Mara (Wildlife Panorama)
"Kaboso's" sub adult male cub, Maasai Mara
"Kaboso's" sub adult male cub, Maasai Mara
Two Male Topi in battle, Maasai Mara
Two Male Topi in battle, Maasai Mara
Elephant and Zebra at sunset - composite image, Maasai Mara
Elephant and Zebra at sunset - composite image, Maasai Mara

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3 Comments

  • Hi Stu

    Wow brings back great memories.  We had really good trips this year - long may that last.

    Thanks

    Bernice

    Bernice - April 11th, 2018 at 10:51pm

  • Fantastic photos

    Ulhas Mayekar - April 12th, 2018 at 5:59pm

  • I’m always SO impressed with your photos Stu! See you soon.

    Debbie Jackson - April 28th, 2018 at 10:48am

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Testimonials We just got back from our first trip to Kenya, our third trip with the Wild 4 Team. We would not consider doing an African photo safari with anyone else. As usual, Justyna did a great job with the bookings and paperwork. Stu and our drivers (James, Julius and Mamai) did a fantastic job on game sightings and positioning our trucks for the best possible photo opportunities. Members of our safari got to see and photograph animals from Aardwolf to Zebra. It was truly a trip of a lifetime. Time to start planning our 4th safari with the the Wild 4 Team!

Michael & Toni Anderson, USA

Testimonials I recently did a trip with Wild4 which far outweighed any expectations that I had! Wow what a trip. There was a great variety of animals, Stu has extensive knowledge of the animals and their habitat and was always mindful of us getting the best shots possible. My friend and I had our own bench seats in all the vehicles, which was great as we both had 2 DSLRs with numerous lenses, each vehicle is equipped with beanbags to steady your camera / lens, pockets and enough room to take a camera bag. We had fantastic opportunities to watch the cats for a good period of time and learn a little bit about their life, rather than taking a photo and moving on. I loved that we could sit and watch the lions at Mala Mala play in the Sand River, it was a fantastic opportunity. Stu provided us with some great tuition, I certainly learnt a lot of new photo techniques which I look forward to using back home. I hired a Canon 500mm lens from Stu which was great, I think I used that about 85% of the time and used a 70-200mm for the rest. We had many opportunities for night photography, silhouettes, time lapse, low light etc At the end of our trip we did the reptile extension at Khamai Reptile Centre. We went behind the scenes at the centre and had one of Africa's leading reptile specialist spend the day talking about the reptiles, spiders, scorpions we were about to take pictures of. Donald and his team certainly made for a very safe photo shoot, they were extremely patient positioning some of the reptiles for better light or different background. I learnt a lot from Donald, living in Australia we do have some venomous snakes, the day certainly gave me a renewed appreciation for the reptiles. I would highly recommend the Wild4 team for your next photographic safari you will not be disappointed.

Linda Cappello, AUSTRALIA