Posted by Wild4 Photo Safaris on 5th Sep 2016
This year's "GREAT MIGRATION" photographic safari to Kenya's Maasai Mara offered a great variety of photographic opportunities. The mega herds of Wildebeest were on the Mara Triangle side of the Mara River and in total we saw 5 river crossings. The best crossings took place at the "Main crossing" point just below Serena and there were a number of crocodile attacks. Other highlights apart from the migration animals and the crossings were excellent Lion sightings which included cubs, mating Lions and a dispute between the resident males of the Musiara Pride and a new arrival who who had sneaked into their territory and was subsequently chased off.
The Hyaena den near Serena was very active with over 15 individuals including a very small cub. The Cheetah activity was extremely good on the Northern side of the Mara River, Malaika was seen on three occasions with her two small cubs and a female with three sub adult cubs near Entim provided us with the classic "cheetah chase" photo opportunities and were always up for a hunt. We watched them chase Warthog Piglets, Thompson's Gazelles, Banded Mongooses and young Wildebeest. The best photo opportunity was the one Wildebeest chase where the four Cheetahs managed to bring down an abandoned Wildebeest. Beautiful sunrises and Elephants at sunset rounded off just some of the great opportunities we had.
Thank you to our guides, Silas and Julius who once again worked long hours to get us the opportunities we had and also to the staff at Serena and Mara Bush "Private Wing" who all looked after us so well.
Thanks also to Steve, Joanie, Frank & Sara for joining us on this very popular and productive African Photographic safari to the Great Migration in Kenya.
Here are some photos from the trip.
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The Wild 4 team made my trip to South Africa a truly memorable experience. Photographing some of the orphaned captive animals at the private game reserve on the extension was a great way to start the holiday, and Stu's tuition on techniques, composition and familiarity with your gear was the foundation for the rest of the trip. In Kruger we had some wonderful sightings - including the 'Big 5' all in one day on two consecutive days! The highlights were spending 20 minutes with a leopard cub in a tree no more than 30 metres away, and on the last day watching a pride of 14 lions stalking a herd of zebra for more than an hour - just wonderful experiences! I'm sure the quality of the shots I took was infinitely better than if I'd gone on a regular safari, as the whole focus of the experience is expertly designed to maximise photographic opportunities - including only 3 photographers in the specially designed vehicle. Stu's knowledge, enthusiasm and patience were boundless, and Ann's spotting and catering skills were also priceless! I hope to visit Africa again soon, and without doubt Wild 4 will be my first option.
Greg Morgan, UK
This was simply an outstanding photographic safari all round – by far the best that I have been on! As a keen enthusiast photographer, looking to step up a level with view to entering 2 competitions later in the year, I could not have hoped for more. Excellent ! The family based Wild4 team is personable and friendly and went the extra mile all the way through. They are very well organized and their prompt and helpful responses to queries pre-trip ensured they were easy and a pleasure to deal with. Stu Porter can pitch his photographic tuition at any level and his attention to detail and enthusiasm was spot on throughout this trip. I was surprised by just how much I learn’t because I was quite comfortable with my photo technique on arrival. I have easily adopted his full-on manual approach, every bit of which he was able to justify - a revelation! I am quite picky, but I cannot praise these guys enough and I will be back. Very many thanks to the whole team.