Wild4 African Photographic Safaris

Wild4 African Photo Safaris

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

GREAT MIGRATION photo safari KENYA - September 2017

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

Best wishes

Stu

Topi on termite mound at Sunset, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Topi on termite mound at Sunset, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Lions on our first afternoon drive, - composite image, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Lions on our first afternoon drive, - composite image, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Giraffe with baby, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Giraffe with baby, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Hippo running back to the Mara River, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Hippo running back to the Mara River, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Yellow Throated Longclaw, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Yellow Throated Longclaw, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Lioness running, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Lioness running, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Grey Backed Fiscal Shrikes, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Grey Backed Fiscal Shrikes, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Young Giraffe, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Young Giraffe, Maasai Mara, Kenya
White Backed Vulture, Maasai Mara, Kenya
White Backed Vulture, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Lions, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Lions, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Serval, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Serval, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Zebra caught by Crocodiles, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Zebra caught by Crocodiles, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Zebra and Crocodile, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Zebra and Crocodile, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Wildebeest and Crocodiles, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Wildebeest and Crocodiles, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Large Nile Crocodile, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Large Nile Crocodile, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Ruppell's Starling, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Ruppell's Starling, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Lioness stalking a wildebeest, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Lioness stalking a wildebeest, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Lioness chasing Wildebeest, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Lioness chasing Wildebeest, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Lioness with kill, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Lioness with kill, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Male Lion yawning, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Male Lion yawning, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Sunset in the Mara, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Sunset in the Mara, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Balloon ride, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Balloon ride, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Black Rhino, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Black Rhino, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Black Rhino, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Black Rhino, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Buffalo chasing Lioness, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Buffalo chasing Lioness, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Secretary Bird, upset with a Banded Mongoose, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Secretary Bird, upset with a Banded Mongoose, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Migration herds, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Migration herds, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Lilac Breasted Rollers - composite Image, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Lilac Breasted Rollers - composite Image, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Ground Hornbill feeding on a Terrapin, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Ground Hornbill feeding on a Terrapin, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Banded Mongoose, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Banded Mongoose, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Male Impala, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Male Impala, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Panning Wildebeest, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Panning Wildebeest, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Sunrise over the Mara, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Sunrise over the Mara, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Lioness watching, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Lioness watching, Maasai Mara, Kenya
River Crossing, Maasai Mara, Kenya
River Crossing, Maasai Mara, Kenya
River Crossing, Maasai Mara, Kenya
River Crossing, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Lioness at the river crossing, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Lioness at the river crossing, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Lioness at crossing, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Lioness at crossing, Maasai Mara, Kenya
The Lioness with her first kill, Maasai Mara, Kenya
The Lioness with her first kill, Maasai Mara, Kenya
A second Lioness waiting for a victim, Maasai Mara, Kenya
A second Lioness waiting for a victim, Maasai Mara, Kenya
No sooner had the first Wildebeest been killed, the Lioness took off after a second one, Maasai Mara, Kenya
No sooner had the first Wildebeest been killed, the Lioness took off after a second one, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Waiting at the exit point, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Waiting at the exit point, Maasai Mara, Kenya
The Lioness grabs a second Wildebeest, Maasai Mara, Kenya
The Lioness grabs a second Wildebeest, Maasai Mara, Kenya
The first wildebeest amazingly started breathing again and ran off, Maasai Mara, Kenya
The first wildebeest amazingly started breathing again and ran off, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Zebra and Wildebeest, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Zebra and Wildebeest, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Leaping into the Mara River, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Leaping into the Mara River, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Panorama of the crossing below Lookout Hill, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Panorama of the crossing below Lookout Hill, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Lioness after some more Wildebeest, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Lioness after some more Wildebeest, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Dropping down the steep river bank, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Dropping down the steep river bank, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Jump ! , Maasai Mara, Kenya
Jump ! , Maasai Mara, Kenya
Wildebeest at the river crossing, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Wildebeest at the river crossing, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Lioness grabs another Wildebeest at the exit point, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Lioness grabs another Wildebeest at the exit point, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Hippos upset with their new visitors, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Hippos upset with their new visitors, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Lioness with yet another Wildebeest kill, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Lioness with yet another Wildebeest kill, Maasai Mara, Kenya
The large river crossing right at Entim Camp, Maasai Mara, Kenya
The large river crossing right at Entim Camp, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Elephant and young baby, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Elephant and young baby, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Leopard with Kill in tree, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Leopard with Kill in tree, Maasai Mara, Kenya
More fighting amongst the Lions, we asumed over a female that was not welcome, Maasai Mara, Kenya
More fighting amongst the Lions, we asumed over a female that was not welcome, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Wildebeest running, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Wildebeest running, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Hippos, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Hippos, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Panorama of the Mara River, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Panorama of the Mara River, Maasai Mara, Kenya
One of Malaika's sub adult cubs eyes out an injured Wildebeest, Maasai Mara, Kenya
One of Malaika's sub adult cubs eyes out an injured Wildebeest, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Male Impala, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Male Impala, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Malaika running in on the Impala, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Malaika running in on the Impala, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Malaika and her two sub adult cubs, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Malaika and her two sub adult cubs, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Malaika's two sub adult cubs, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Malaika's two sub adult cubs, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Malaika and her cubs, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Malaika and her cubs, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Lions with Cubs, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Lions with Cubs, Maasai Mara, Kenya
"You bite my tail, I bite your foot" , Maasai Mara, Kenya
"You bite my tail, I bite your foot" , Maasai Mara, Kenya
Malaika and cubs, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Malaika and cubs, Maasai Mara, Kenya
WILD4 Photo Safari Vehicle using special rain flaps during downpour, photo copyright Rita Daubeney
WILD4 Photo Safari Vehicle using special rain flaps during downpour, photo copyright Rita Daubeney
Lioness in rain, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Lioness in rain, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Lioness shaking rain off, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Lioness shaking rain off, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Lion pride with Wildebeest kill, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Lion pride with Wildebeest kill, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Mating Thompson's Gazelle taken at our morning coffee stop from ground level, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Mating Thompson's Gazelle taken at our morning coffee stop from ground level, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Blonde Male Lion, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Blonde Male Lion, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Buffalo approaching Lions, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Buffalo approaching Lions, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Lions chasing Buffalo, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Lions chasing Buffalo, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Lions chasing Buffalo, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Lions chasing Buffalo, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Male Leopard in tree, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Male Leopard in tree, Maasai Mara, Kenya

Back to Trip Reports

5 Comments

  • Stunning photos and a great trip report.  My fave is the “panning wildebeest” image….. Perfection Stu.

    Del Hunter - September 27th, 2017 at 4:31pm

  • Wow !!!
    Incredible experiences relayed through exceptional photographs: Fantastic !

    Alan Wilson - September 30th, 2017 at 4:52am

  • Wow Stu! Great to see your shots. So many of mine are similar, really makes me smile. Think I’ll “steal” some of your ideas for how you handled the river crossing in monochrome. I’ve already submitted some shots to a couple of competitions, two for my local camera club, seven for a statewide competition. So far we’ve sent three people your way.

    Mark Elder - October 06th, 2017 at 5:38pm

  • Not enough words in the dictionary to explain the beauty of these pictures.  The river crossing images are to die for. Malaika and hers cubs are gorgeous.

    Mansur Ahmad - October 15th, 2017 at 9:19pm

  • Wow, I sure blew it by not signing up for that one!! Fabulous trip!

    Ed Lusby - December 15th, 2017 at 8:20pm

Leave a Comment

Testimonials This was our first out of country photography trip. We were very excited and nervous. We did our research. Could this be for real? Was it too good to be true? Where was the catch? Let us give you a clue…there was no catch! We were treated in a warm and friendly manner from our first inquiry to our final wave goodbye at the airport. Everything was handled totally professionally! It was like a dream come true….days spent on wildlife photography…and being tutored by someone who really knows how to do it. Obviously Stu, Justyna, Ann and John love what they do. The only downside is sorting out several thousand photos in Lightroom ! . There are just some tasks you don't mind doing. It will be a labor of love. Will we go on photo safari again? Only with Wild 4 folks!!!

Michael & Toni Anderson, USA


Testimonials 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