PHOTO TRIP REPORT | Big Cats of the Maasai Mara | September 2019
Posted by Wild4 Photo Safaris on 9th Feb 2020
The September 2019 "Big Cats of the Maasai Mara" photo safari offered some amazing encounters with Cheetah and we were lucky to go on the hunt with the famous "Tano Bora" the 5 strong male Cheetah coalition. They are an amazing unit to watch as they go off right into the middle of the big herds, with such confidence. They caught a young Thompson's Gazelle and a young Wildebeest over the few hours that we spent with them.
We stayed in the Mara Triangle for our first 4 nights and it proved to be a very productive area with the mega herds grazing in the open grasslands towards the Tanzania border. Of course, there were plenty of Lions around as well as Cheetah.
We then crossed over to the main reserve and enjoyed photographing yet more Lions and Cheetah as well as one of the smaller cats, a beautiful Serval. One really unusual and a "once in a lifetime" encounter was with the soon to be famous "Polka Dot" Zebra foal named "Tira". We had heard that it had been seen in the general area of the Sand River and one morning after spending time with a beautiful female Leopard who had gone down into a lugga to sleep, we decided to go and look for the special Zebra foal.. literally 30 mins later we were taking pictures of this very beautiful and unusual melanistic Zebra and we feel very privileged to have been able to spend some time with it.
The weather was fantastic and so were the sunrises and sunsets. The Mara remains one of the best photo "hotspots" for African wildlife photography.
Our photo safari would not have been such a success without great people behind the scenes. Many thanks to Thomas of Fact Safaris for his tireless efforts to look after us and the trip logistics, and also to the staff at Serena Lodge & Entim Mara Camp.
Thank you, James, our excellent driver/guide, for looking after all of our needs in the field and for manoeuvring the photo vehicle into the perfect position for some amazing photographs.
Thanks so much to both Linda & Bernice for joining us on yet another WILD4 Photo Safari to photography the Big Cats of Kenya's Masai Mara.
Enjoy a selection of images from this African wildlife photographic safari to the Maasai Mara in Kenya.
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We couldn’t have enjoyed our trip with Wild 4 more. We were made to feel extremely welcome right from our very first e-mail contact, something which continued throughout our trip and beyond. We’d like to thank Stu, Justyna, Ann, & John for being such wonderful and enthusiastic hosts. Being looked after by such a friendly and caring family was a delight and we were very reluctant to leave after two weeks. Stu is a very knowledgeable, hard-working and helpful guide, always on hand with useful pointers and offering us plenty of encouragement to experiment with our photography. Having a whole row each of a specially adapted safari vehicle was a real find, ensuring we didn’t miss out on any of the action. Being able to stay out in the bush all day was also a real bonus. While many other vehicles drove off after only a few minutes, we were able to spend hours observing groups of lions and other wildlife. As this was our first African safari, Stu suggested we spend the first few nights at the Big Cats reserve and this proved to be a magical experience, with some great close-up action that resulted in some beautiful shots. It is a great place to hone your existing skills & learn some new ones. Given the opportunity we would go again tomorrow without any hesitation. Simply perfect!
Arnoud & Lynsey Van Foreest, NETHERLANDS
Dear Justyna and Stu We had a wonderful time on the photo safari. It was a unique experience, not like anything else we’ve done even though we have travelled to many parts of the world over the last 30 years. It was a thrill to see such a variety of animals and birds and also to see many of them in such large numbers. There can’t be anything better than seeing them in the relatively relaxed setting that Kruger National Park provides. We appreciated all the effort that went into the equipment and the logistics for the photographic safari. The photo vehicle with the bean bags and panning plates was excellent for taking photographs and for enabling us to be close to the animals while staying safe. The catering was great. We enjoyed our breakfasts and lunches and coffee out on the road. We were comfortable in the accommodation at the Satara and Lower Sabie camps. As I mentioned in an email, the Meet & Greet at Johannesburg Airport was perfect after such a long journey from the USA. The flights to and from Skusuza went without a hitch. We really enjoyed meeting and getting to know Mike Lentz. Eleven days together provides a lot of time to talk. He is a great guy. We were very impressed with his knowledge of the animals, birds, and plants in Kruger National Park. His descriptions of animal behavior and other information added immensely to our enjoyment of the photo safari. We also appreciated his efforts to ensure we had a total Kruger Park experience, birds, trees, plants, landscapes as well as the animals. Looking forward to returning on another photographic safari in the future. Best regards,
Jennifer & Jerry Monopolis, USA