Wild4 African Photographic Safaris

Wild4 African Photo Safaris

Specialist small group photo safaris to South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana and Namibia

African Photo Safari trip report / BIG CATS of the Maasai Mara Kenya February 2019 / small group photographic safari

Posted by Wild4 Photo Safaris on 26th Feb 2019

We had stunning weather and fantastic sightings on this February “Big Cats of the Mara” African Photographic Safari to Kenya's Maasai Mara.

Not only did we have some great photo opportunties with all three of the big cats, Lion, Leopard and Cheetah, but we were also very proud to roll out our second photographically modified safari Land Cruiser on its very first safari.

Splitting our 10 night stay in the Mara allowed us to explore two very different areas and to be in different places early in the morning and late in the afternoon, where we were able to take advantage of some great sightings in the good light.

We really had some great luck with Giraffe at Sunrise and Sunset. Near Lookout we spent some time with a Black Rhino, the Spotted Hyaena densite was great, we photographed some great birds, Cape Buffalo, Elephant, Black Backed Jackals, Hippos, Impala, Topi, Thompson's Gazelle and Eland.

However our main aim of the trip was to focus on the Big Cats and some of the highlights with these amazing animals were multiple sightings of 3 different female Leopards. One female in particular was very active around the Rekero Crossing area and we watched her take advantage of a short rain shower as a distraction to try and sneak up on a herd of Impala, unfortunately for the Leopard, two Spotted Hyaenas tried the same tactic and spooked the Impala in the opposite direction !

The Lions were present again in good numbers. We got to see the famous male Lion - Scar, feeding on a Hippo carcass at the Mara River. He was limping badly but actually looked in pretty good health for such an old Lion. We saw a number of other Male Lions as well as a Lioness with two small cubs in the area of Topi Plains.

We were very lucky and priveledged to see four Cheetah chases, three of them involved the 5 strong male coalition. Their first chase ended in an Impala kill, but this was stolen from them by some opportunistic Lions. Their second was rather ambitions as one male Cheetah tried to take on a full grown male Topi, which as a group of 5 they are capable of pulling down, but his 4 other team mates were a bit slow to start the game on this occasion !! It was very interesting to see how the Cheetah ran right up to the side of the Topi and physically tried to bump it off balance - a technique I had not ever witnessed before. Their third chase just sent hundreds of animals fleeing in all directions with no end result. The fourth chase was by a female Cheetah who ran right through a group of Warthogs to pursue an easier target, a baby Impala who she did end up catching.

The Mara certainly lives up to all expectations as far as good and numerous Big Cat sightings are concerned and the general wildlife is always great too !

A big thanks goes to the staff at Mara Entim Camp and Mara Intrepids for looking after us so well and a very special thanks goes to our amazing guides, Mamai and Eliud, thank you for your patience, your help and your incredibly hard work, it was a great pleasure working with you both.

Thanks so much to Linda, Ulhas, John & Jenny for joining us as much appreciated previous clients - thank you for joining another WILD4 African Photographic Safari to Kenya's Maasai Mara !!

Please enjoy a selection of photos from the trip.

Best wishes 

Stu

Wild4 African Photographic Safaris, specially modified Photo Safari Land Cruiser, Maasai Mara, Kenya, Big Cats Photo Tour
Wild4 African Photographic Safaris, specially modified Photo Safari Land Cruiser, Maasai Mara, Kenya, Big Cats Photo Tour
Giraffe at Sunrise, Maasai Mara Photo Safari, Kenya
Giraffe at Sunrise, Maasai Mara Photo Safari, Kenya
Giraffe at Sunrise near Mara Intrepids Camp, Maasai Mara African Photographic Safari
Giraffe at Sunrise near Mara Intrepids Camp, Maasai Mara African Photographic Safari
Black Rhino near Lookout, Maasai Mara Kenya
Black Rhino near Lookout, Maasai Mara Kenya
Spotted Hyaena at densite, Maasai Mara Photo Tour, Kenya
Spotted Hyaena at densite, Maasai Mara Photo Tour, Kenya
Spotted Hyaena on the move, Kenya, Wild4 African Photographic Safari
Spotted Hyaena on the move, Kenya, Wild4 African Photographic Safari
Grey Backed Fiscal Shrike, Maasai Mara Photo Safari, Kenya
Grey Backed Fiscal Shrike, Maasai Mara Photo Safari, Kenya
Pied Kingfisher, Maasai Mara African Photographic Safari
Pied Kingfisher, Maasai Mara African Photographic Safari
Maasai Giraffe, Maasai Mara Kenya - WildlifePanorama
Maasai Giraffe, Maasai Mara Kenya - WildlifePanorama
Cape Buffalo, Maasai Mara Photo Tour, Kenya
Cape Buffalo, Maasai Mara Photo Tour, Kenya
Giraffe composite, Kenya, Wild4 African Photographic Safari
Giraffe composite, Kenya, Wild4 African Photographic Safari
Secretary Bird at Sunrise, Maasai Mara African Photographic Safari
Secretary Bird at Sunrise, Maasai Mara African Photographic Safari
Superb Starling take off, Maasai Mara Photo Safari, Kenya
Superb Starling take off, Maasai Mara Photo Safari, Kenya
Black Backed Jackals with kill, Maasai Mara African Photographic Safari
Black Backed Jackals with kill, Maasai Mara African Photographic Safari
Hippo yawning at the Mara River, Maasai Mara Kenya
Hippo yawning at the Mara River, Maasai Mara Kenya
Male Impala with stormy skies in the background, Maasai Mara Photo Tour, Kenya
Male Impala with stormy skies in the background, Maasai Mara Photo Tour, Kenya
Maasai Giraffe with stormy skies, Kenya, Wild4 African Photographic Safari, Wildlife Panorama
Maasai Giraffe with stormy skies, Kenya, Wild4 African Photographic Safari, Wildlife Panorama
Two Male Topi on Alert, Maasai Mara Photo Safari, Kenya
Two Male Topi on Alert, Maasai Mara Photo Safari, Kenya
Eland Antelope Composite, Maasai Mara Photo Safari, Kenya
Eland Antelope Composite, Maasai Mara Photo Safari, Kenya
A Tower of Giraffe feeding on a large Gardenia Tree, Maasai Mara African Photographic Safari
A Tower of Giraffe feeding on a large Gardenia Tree, Maasai Mara African Photographic Safari
Bee Eater tossing an insect, Maasai Mara Kenya
Bee Eater tossing an insect, Maasai Mara Kenya
Sunset near Entim Camp, Maasai Mara Photo Tour, Kenya
Sunset near Entim Camp, Maasai Mara Photo Tour, Kenya
Female Leopard on the move, Kenya, Wild4 African Photographic Safari
Female Leopard on the move, Kenya, Wild4 African Photographic Safari
Giraffe Composite, Maasai Mara Photo Safari, Kenya
Giraffe Composite, Maasai Mara Photo Safari, Kenya
Topi on termite mound, Maasai Mara Photo Safari, Kenya
Topi on termite mound, Maasai Mara Photo Safari, Kenya
Impala herd at Sunset, Maasai Mara African Photographic Safari, Wildlife Panorama
Impala herd at Sunset, Maasai Mara African Photographic Safari, Wildlife Panorama
Maasai Giraffe, Maasai Mara Kenya
Maasai Giraffe, Maasai Mara Kenya
Giraffe at Sunset, Maasai Mara Photo Tour, Kenya
Giraffe at Sunset, Maasai Mara Photo Tour, Kenya
Female Leopard drinking, Kenya, Wild4 African Photographic Safari
Female Leopard drinking, Kenya, Wild4 African Photographic Safari
Young male Cheetah, Maasai Mara Photo Safari, Kenya
Young male Cheetah, Maasai Mara Photo Safari, Kenya
Female Leopard, Maasai Mara African Photographic Safari
Female Leopard, Maasai Mara African Photographic Safari
Pregnant Spotted Hyaena, Maasai Mara African Photographic Safari
Pregnant Spotted Hyaena, Maasai Mara African Photographic Safari
Male Cheetah, Maasai Mara Photo Safari, Kenya
Male Cheetah, Maasai Mara Photo Safari, Kenya
Leopard stalking Impala, Maasai Mara African Photographic Safari
Leopard stalking Impala, Maasai Mara African Photographic Safari
Leopard trying to get closer to Impala herd, using the rain as a distraction, Maasai Mara Kenya
Leopard trying to get closer to Impala herd, using the rain as a distraction, Maasai Mara Kenya
Giraffe at Sunrise near the Ol Kiombo Airstrip, Maasai Mara Photo Tour, Kenya, Wildlife Panorama
Giraffe at Sunrise near the Ol Kiombo Airstrip, Maasai Mara Photo Tour, Kenya, Wildlife Panorama
The legendary Male Lion Scar, with an injured back right leg, Kenya, Wild4 African Photographic Safari
The legendary Male Lion Scar, with an injured back right leg, Kenya, Wild4 African Photographic Safari
Scar at the Hippo carcass at the Mara River, Maasai Mara Photo Safari, Kenya
Scar at the Hippo carcass at the Mara River, Maasai Mara Photo Safari, Kenya
Scar, Maasai Mara Photo Safari, Kenya
Scar, Maasai Mara Photo Safari, Kenya
Young Male Cheetah, Maasai Mara African Photographic Safari
Young Male Cheetah, Maasai Mara African Photographic Safari
Mating pair of Lions, Maasai Mara Kenya
Mating pair of Lions, Maasai Mara Kenya
Young female Leopard near Double Cross area, Maasai Mara Photo Tour, Kenya
Young female Leopard near Double Cross area, Maasai Mara Photo Tour, Kenya
Herd of Topi watching the 5 male Cheetahs, Kenya, Wild4 African Photographic Safari, Wildlife Panorama
Herd of Topi watching the 5 male Cheetahs, Kenya, Wild4 African Photographic Safari, Wildlife Panorama
Male Lion near Ol Kiombo Airstrip, Maasai Mara Photo Safari, Kenya
Male Lion near Ol Kiombo Airstrip, Maasai Mara Photo Safari, Kenya
An opportunistic Lioness charges towards the 5 male Cheetah and their Impala kill, Maasai Mara African Photographic Safari
An opportunistic Lioness charges towards the 5 male Cheetah and their Impala kill, Maasai Mara African Photographic Safari
The Cheetah reacting to the in coming Lioness, Maasai Mara Photo Safari, Kenya
The Cheetah reacting to the in coming Lioness, Maasai Mara Photo Safari, Kenya
The Lioness steals the Impala kill and runs off with it as other members of her pride follow, Maasai Mara African Photographic Safari
The Lioness steals the Impala kill and runs off with it as other members of her pride follow, Maasai Mara African Photographic Safari
Lions near the Mara River, Maasai Mara Kenya
Lions near the Mara River, Maasai Mara Kenya
Lioness, Maasai Mara Photo Tour, Kenya, Wildlife Panorama
Lioness, Maasai Mara Photo Tour, Kenya, Wildlife Panorama
Two of the male Cheetahs, Kenya, Wild4 African Photographic Safari
Two of the male Cheetahs, Kenya, Wild4 African Photographic Safari
Young Leopard, Maasai Mara Photo Safari, Kenya
Young Leopard, Maasai Mara Photo Safari, Kenya
5 Male Cheetah Coalition, Maasai Mara African Photographic Safari
5 Male Cheetah Coalition, Maasai Mara African Photographic Safari
The 5 male Cheetahs in the Mara, Maasai Mara Photo Safari, Kenya
The 5 male Cheetahs in the Mara, Maasai Mara Photo Safari, Kenya
Female Leopard hiding close to the Impala, Maasai Mara African Photographic Safari
Female Leopard hiding close to the Impala, Maasai Mara African Photographic Safari
Leopard on the move, Maasai Mara Kenya
Leopard on the move, Maasai Mara Kenya
Young female Leopard in the early morning hiding out in some rocks, Maasai Mara Photo Tour, Kenya
Young female Leopard in the early morning hiding out in some rocks, Maasai Mara Photo Tour, Kenya
Young Leopard on the move in the afternoon, Kenya, Wild4 African Photographic Safari
Young Leopard on the move in the afternoon, Kenya, Wild4 African Photographic Safari
Leopard, Maasai Mara Photo Safari, Kenya
Leopard, Maasai Mara Photo Safari, Kenya
Lioness with the small cubs near Topi Plains, Maasai Mara African Photographic Safari
Lioness with the small cubs near Topi Plains, Maasai Mara African Photographic Safari
Male Lion near Topi Plains, Maasai Mara Photo Safari, Kenya
Male Lion near Topi Plains, Maasai Mara Photo Safari, Kenya
Lioness with cubs, Maasai Mara African Photographic Safari
Lioness with cubs, Maasai Mara African Photographic Safari
Leopard crossing a rocky river, Maasai Mara Kenya
Leopard crossing a rocky river, Maasai Mara Kenya
Lioness on a Termite mound, Maasai Mara Photo Tour, Kenya, Wildlife Panorama
Lioness on a Termite mound, Maasai Mara Photo Tour, Kenya, Wildlife Panorama
one of the male Cheetah running toward prey, Kenya, Wild4 African Photographic Safari
one of the male Cheetah running toward prey, Kenya, Wild4 African Photographic Safari
Male Cheetah and vehicles, Maasai Mara Photo Safari, Kenya, Wildlife Panorama
Male Cheetah and vehicles, Maasai Mara Photo Safari, Kenya, Wildlife Panorama
The female Cheetah that ran through the middle of a group of Warthogs to catch a baby Impala, Maasai Mara African Photographic Safari
The female Cheetah that ran through the middle of a group of Warthogs to catch a baby Impala, Maasai Mara African Photographic Safari
Three out of four Thompsons Gazelle watching the approaching Cheetah, Maasai Mara Photo Safari, Kenya, Wildlife Panorama
Three out of four Thompsons Gazelle watching the approaching Cheetah, Maasai Mara Photo Safari, Kenya, Wildlife Panorama
An Impala running early from the approaching Cheetah, Maasai Mara African Photographic Safari
An Impala running early from the approaching Cheetah, Maasai Mara African Photographic Safari
The chase begins !, Maasai Mara Kenya
The chase begins !, Maasai Mara Kenya
The Cheetah getting up along side the Topi - both were at full speed, Maasai Mara Photo Tour, Kenya
The Cheetah getting up along side the Topi - both were at full speed, Maasai Mara Photo Tour, Kenya
The moment when the Cheetah tried to bump the Topi off balance, Kenya, Wild4 African Photographic Safari
The moment when the Cheetah tried to bump the Topi off balance, Kenya, Wild4 African Photographic Safari
Another attempt at the "bump" technique, Maasai Mara Photo Safari, Kenya
Another attempt at the "bump" technique, Maasai Mara Photo Safari, Kenya
Still on his own with no backup - the male Cheetah tries to wrestle with the Topi, Maasai Mara African Photographic Safari
Still on his own with no backup - the male Cheetah tries to wrestle with the Topi, Maasai Mara African Photographic Safari
Backup has arrived ! but not enough, Maasai Mara Photo Safari, Kenya
Backup has arrived ! but not enough, Maasai Mara Photo Safari, Kenya
The Topi still at full speed - slowly pulling away from the Cheetahs, Maasai Mara African Photographic Safari
The Topi still at full speed - slowly pulling away from the Cheetahs, Maasai Mara African Photographic Safari
The Topi makes it into a bigger herd of general game animals, Maasai Mara Kenya
The Topi makes it into a bigger herd of general game animals, Maasai Mara Kenya
Zebra and Topi running from the same Cheetahs, Maasai Mara Photo Tour, Kenya
Zebra and Topi running from the same Cheetahs, Maasai Mara Photo Tour, Kenya
The 5 "boys" in the late afternoon, still empty handed, Kenya, Wild4 African Photographic Safari
The 5 "boys" in the late afternoon, still empty handed, Kenya, Wild4 African Photographic Safari
Sunset Composite, Maasai Mara Photo Safari, Kenya
Sunset Composite, Maasai Mara Photo Safari, Kenya

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Testimonials This was my third photographic trip to Africa, and I have to say the best! Stu has great knowledge & passion for wildlife and photography that he is willing to share: I certainly learnt a lot. The setup for photography in the vehicles is extremely well thought out. There was an amazing variety of great photographic opportunities and I really enjoyed time spent with the animals, but the unexpected bonus for me was the day spent at the reptile centre (part of the extension). I am very pleased with the results! After coming away with the renewed enthusiasm for photography, I am planning to do another trip with them soon.”

Helen Clarke, AUSTRALIA

Testimonials The wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm Stu shared was priceless, from identifying birds and pointing out animal behaviours, to stories about Kruger Park past, and of course, answering photography questions day in and day out. You were so patient! I really appreciated the custom photo safari vehicle and thoughtful design and extra space it afforded, and the advantage and flexibility of travelling with such a small number of people. I learnt so much, and I look forward to sorting through the images and enjoying remembering all the things we did during our busy safari.

Helen Cruickshank, Australia