Posted by Wild4 Photo Safaris on 15th Oct 2017
Here are a few photos from a customised family safari to the Maasai Mara in Kenya. We had two vehicles on the safari which allowed for plenty of space and we also had the flexibility to go at our own pace, taking packed breakfasts with us out into the field allowing us to spend more time looking for wildlife.
The guests enjoyed a variety of activities including photography, videography, game viewing and visits to two local schools. It was a very special trip for one family member, Ana, her very first time to Africa and she had a wonderful time. On many occasions her excellent spotting abilities ensured that she spotted animals before the guides did !
The Mara did not dissapoint and there were a number of great sightings on every day.
Just some of the hightlights included seeing the legendary big male Lions, Blackie & Lipstick, excellent sunrise Giraffe photos, a river crossing, a female Leopard with two cubs, a Serval Cat, Black Rhino, Hippos fighting in the Mara River, the "5 Musketeers" (a Cheetah coalition with 5 males), incredible Hyaena and Lion interactions, amazing birdlife, Cheetah chasing Wildebeest and Lions with the full moon !
Our thanks go to the staff at Mara Private Wing, Mara Serena and Entim Mara Camp for looking after us so well, and special thanks go to our two amazing driver / guides, Mamai and James, thank you for all your patience and for keeping us safe.
It was a very successful trip and we were really treated to some of natures amazing spectacles. Thank you Becky for allowing us to set up this trip for your wonderful family.
Enjoy some photos from the trip.
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My wife Joanie and I joined Wild4 for the Best of Kruger and Big Cats in August of 2014. It was our very first trip on an African safari. I’m a serious amateur photographer and my wife’s a non-photographer but both of us enjoyed the trip thoroughly ! To this day, we still regularly recall the highlights of sightings and events fondly. True to Wild4’s brand promise, Stu Porter delivers maximum photographic times spent chasing photo opportunities out in the field - out 6am as soon as the camp gate opens and back only 6pm when the gate closes. Having no more than three photographers on each of two jeeps allows every photographer immediate access to both sides of the vehicle. Stu always knows where to position the vehicle for the best vantage points. Every day has its highs – big cat chases and kills, grazers sparring, herds of elephants and buffaloes appearing from nowhere at water holes... Thanks to Stu and the enthusiasm and knowledge of experienced senior guide Mike Lentz. Camps in Kruger are basic (by first world standards) but hey this is a safari ! There’s the important benefit of being only a short drive away from dams, good spots to catch the first light when the sun rises. This is important as the gates do not open till 6am so there’s little margin for being late. I had the opportunity to experience first-hand, the Wild4 team’s dedication and commitment to a successful photo trip for guests, beyond the call of duty. The Wild4 team helped solved a major photographic equipment problem. Early afternoon on Day 5, the lens AF motor on my 400mm telephoto lens failed. This was really a disaster on a trip like this, as (like everyone else) I had a spare camera body but not a spare super telephoto lens ! The other lens I had was a medium telephoto zoom, hardly a lens to use with tele-converters. Murphy’s Law indeed ! This happened with seven more days to go ! I enquired with Stu about hiring a lens from the nearby towns. Stu sprang into action immediately whilst still on the afternoon game drive - got his back-office team to make enquiries back in Nelspruit town. This was something new to the Wild4 team as they never had to hire a lens but they found a lens on the same day, a 200-400mm that’s also ideal for safari. The lens had to be dispatched from almost 200 km away and Mr John Porter helped to drive south to collect the lens sooner. I had the use of this lens by the morning of Day 7, with one-and-half day “downtime” in a remote location. Service excellence lived by as a core value indeed. After eight nights I left Kruger National Park with the feeling that I was just warming up and was leaving too soon. I would have gladly extended a few more days if that was possible. But we were bound for the next destination. I notice Wild4 has not been static. More new trips were added. I see the enterprise is growing fast ! Joanie and I are now looking forward to a trip to Kenya, again with Stu and the Wild4 team.
Steve Seow, Singapore
From the moment we contacted Wild 4 we were impressed with the prompt, friendly, enthusiastic way our queries were answered. Stu is a passionate wildlife photographer eager to pass on skills, ideas, techniques and information. The wildlife sightings leopards, lions with cubs, rhinos, elephant herds the list goes on - Awesome, Amazing, Exciting are just a few words that come to mind. Not forgetting the support of John, Ann (excellent food) and of course Justyna nothing was to much trouble for them. We have had many safaris in various countries but this surpassed them all. The only decision now is not if, but when we return
Maureen & Trevor Lovegrove, UK