Posted by Wild4 Photo Safaris on 25th Sep 2017
Not only was this a very successful and productive migration photo safari, it was also a very speical trip for WILD4 as our newly refurbished photographic vehicle was put to the test on its first official safari. We were very pleased with how the photographic modifications performed and are looking forward to adding more vehicles to our fleet of uniquely designed photo safari vehicles, which offer a level of comfort to photographers unlike any other vehicle in East Africa.
As with every Great Migration season, timing is everything, you need to be lucky and you need to be patient, this years trip was a lucky one as we managed to see 8 river crossings and there was some good Crocodile action too. The mega herds usually start to move after rain, and we were lucky that rain fell on our second day. This seems to mobilize the herds and they gathered at the Mara River to cross from the Mara Triangle side over to the Lookout hill side of the reserve. This section of the river has the steepest river banks and the Wildebeest decided to cross here. The drama was amazing with Wildebeest leaping 12 meters from the top of the bank straight into the river. To add to the drama, a pride of Lions had set up in ambush right near one of the exit points and a single Lioness took down three Wildebeest calves in quick succession.
With a few good crossings under our belts we had the luxury of spending a lot of our time away from the river in search of some of the Mara's other resident animals. We had wonderful sightings of Lions, Malaika the Cheetah and her two sub adult cubs, and a beautiful Leopard that had made a kill very close to our camp. Birdlife is always very good in the Mara and an unusual sighting of a Ground Hornbill eating the eggs from a live Terrapin was observed and photographed. We had a good photo opportunity with a beautiful Serval Cat, a tiny baby Elephant and her mother, Eland, Impala, Zebra, Waterbuck, Black Rhino, Hippo and a pair of mating Thompson's Gazelle !
A massive thank you goes out to our guides, Mamai, James and Silas who's long days out in the field allowed us to take advantage of all that the Mara had to offer during our 7 night stay.
Thank you also to the camp staff at Mara Serena Lodge and Entim Camp who all looked after us so well, and to Thomas from Fact Safaris for arranging all the tour logistics.
Finally, thank you so much to Mark, Stephanie, Larry, Debbie, Rita and Bernice for joining us on this very productive Great Migratio photo safari.
Enjoy some photos from the safari
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Everything about my first Safari with Wild4 was so outstanding that I was afraid the second would pale in comparison. I needn't have worried! It was a huge success! Communications, details, accommodations all handled expertly by Justyna. Making sure that we got into the right situations and stayed with them long enough to get the shot handled incredibly by Stu. Susan was not a photographer when we began this journey, but Stu's patient tutoring assured that she came home with some fantastic photographs as well! Our heartfelt thanks to the whole Wild4 family! We'll be back...
Doug & Susan Croft, USA
On arrival we were treated as part of the family by Stu Porter, his wife Justyna, and parents John and Ann. The conditions for finding and photographing everything from small birds to large game was perfect – a 500mm lens on hire from Stu, a specially equipped vehicle, which was referred to as a hide on wheels ( with only 3 photographers) , a dedicated and professional approach to photography and plenty of time. We would set off at sunrise, find a group of lions as they were beginning to yawn and stir from sleep, or a pair of saddle-billed storks building a nest, and quietly move our cameras into position. The initial sighting was accompanied by the rapid firing of shutters, but then we would wait as long as necessary in the hope of getting further shots. Stu was very sensitive to our needs and would only make suggestions about the best camera settings if he thought we needed his advice. His awareness of how animals behave was very useful in planning our shots. Stu’s knowledge of African Wildlife and skill as a wildlife photographer is second to none, and I have learned a lot from his expertise. I am delighted with my photos !! This was the trip of a lifetime, good accommodation, delicious food and great company. It was altogether a wonderful, challenging and thrilling experience and, if you are looking for a photo safari in Africa, I too recommend you contact Stu Porter at Wild4.
David Austwick, UK