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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I found Wild4 through an article in Popular Photography magazine about how to choose a photo safari. They were one of five recommended in the article. After checking them all out, I saw that Stu and Wild4 offered the kind of experience that I wanted: 1) Small groups of dedicated photographers 2) Variety in wildlife viewing 3) Tuition on photography and wildlife behavior 4) Good communication and organisation. I can say that Wild4 met and exceeded all expectations on all points (and then some). 1) We used one vehicle for three photographers. Stu is a trained photographer himself, so his goal was always to get us into the best position with the best light. Having only three on the tour meant plenty of room for equipment and the ability to shoot from either side of the vehicle when surrounded by a herd of elephants! It also gave us the flexibility to be patient and wait for the shot. 2) The three places we visited each provided a unique experience and wonderful variety in scenery and wildlife viewing. 3) Stu's tuition was excellent. It was there if we needed it but never pushed. Tips, reminders, anecdotes on wildlife behavior. All given with patience and good humor. 4) From the first email, the communication was timely & clear. Justyna was a joy to work with and handled the back-office part of the tour seamlessly. It can't be as easy as she makes it seem. Wild4 didn't provide the wildlife or the spectacular sunsets that we experienced, but they put us in position to enjoy and capture a little piece of it in our cameras and in our memories. Our Safari was amazing and I would not have changed a thing...well, maybe I would have eaten a little less. If you're looking for a Photo Safari, there is nothing to consider. Just go ahead and contact Wild4 Photographic Safaris. You will not be sorry.
Doug Croft, USA
Hi Stu, Thank you for a wonderful trip. I have been on a lot of safaris around the world and you are the best in Africa. Your hard work pays off.
Dave Irey, USA