A dedicated wildlife photography safari in the private conservancies of the Masai Mara. The home of the iconic African ‘Big Five’: lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and cape buffalo. The Great Migration too, millions of wildebeest and zebra traversing the savannah.
Plus, cheetahs, hippos, crocodiles, hyenas, giraffes, gazelles, impala and countless other animals are everywhere to be seen. And the bird life is incredible, the brilliantly coloured lilac-breasted roller, superb and splendid starlings, several species of kingfisher, as well as a ruthless cast of vultures, marabou stork and eagles – the list is endless.
I’ve teamed up with my good friend and professional photographer Kaleel Zibe, plus our good friends in the Mara, Moses Nampasso and Boston Nabaala to offer these photography safaris. Kaleel is an accomplished wildlife photographer and tutor and both Moses and Boston are Masai landowners and nationally accredited Koyiaki safari guides. They both have an eagle eye for wildlife plus a vast knowledge of the area and heritage. Their wildlife knowledge is second to none and they know exactly what photographers want from their safari.
‘Normal’ safari trips are often nothing more than a ‘box ticking’ exercise speeding around the reserves. They simply do not cater for serious photographers’ needs as well as a trip like this.
Join me in the Masai Mara – the wildlife heart of Africa!
Lion & Topi, Lemek Conservancy, Masai Mara
We will be staying at the stunning House In The Wild on the banks of the River Mara in the Enonkishu Conservancy. This is an ideal base in the middle of beautiful surroundings with access to the national reserve, Mara Triangle and the surrounding Lemek, Ol Choro and Mara North private conservancies. This trip is timed to take place during the great migration and although river crossings are unpredictable we are well placed to experience and photograph this great wildlife event.
Throughout the trip, we’ll be using large four wheeled drive safari vehicles. Each person gets a window seat and there will be more than enough room in the vehicles. Being packed into a vehicle with several other photographers with little or no room is a sure way to ruin a photo safari.
I recommend a interchangeable lens mirrorless or digital SLR camera with a lens of 300mm or more. A 70-300mm or 100-400mm is ideal for photographing the diverse large mammals of the Masai Mara. A bridge camera with an equivalent focal length lens will also be a good option. I’d also recommend a wider lens to take in the amazing habitat and landscape too. Spare batteries and memory cards are absolutely essential. We’ll be able to charge batteries daily at our accommodation.
Longer lenses may need a bean bag or monopod for support on the vehicle. I’d also recommend a method of backing up your photography, for example a laptop and portable storage device. We’ll have access to a Macbook which can be used if you have a USB storage device but I’d advise bringing your own for extra security.
African Elephant, Ol Choro Conservancy
House In The Wild is a private home tucked away on a 1000 acre private estate, Naretoi, on the edge of the Masai Mara. It sits on the banks of the Mara River and is surrounded by wildlife in the Enonkishu Conservancy. The numerous lodges and rooms are spacious and clean with comfortable beds with cotton sheets and duvets.
The ‘Boma’, where me meet, eat, drink and socialise is a beatiful thatched building with roaring fires, a small bar, dining table and comfortable sofas.
House in the Wild is very proud of the fact that all of the fresh vegetables, eggs, milk, cream and baked goods are produced by the farm or the family. Healthy and delicious ingredients delivered to the kitchen from the farm daily to create sumptuous wholesome meals. Dining is either under the stars on a table by the campfire or in the dining area by the fire…
Bush dinners and brunches can also be prepared and packed picnics for full day trips.
Lodges and ‘Boma’ at House In The Wild ©Nick Watson
- Accommodation at the fantastic House In The Wild
- Return SafariLink flights from Nairobi to the Masai Mara (2021 onwards)
- All food full board, snacks, basic alcoholic drinks, soft drinks, coffees & teas.
- Extra baggage allowance on the internal flights 1
- All safari drives, Conservancy fees, National Park fees, vehicle fees, local taxes 2
- As much or as little guidance and photographic tuition as you’d like from myself and depending on our numbers, Kaleel too – that’s camera settings, creative techniques – whatever you need. Bring a Laptop and we can look at post-processing techniques too
- English-speaking and nationally accredited guides who are wonderfully knowledgeable and are well versed in photographers’ needs. They know we don’t just want the Big 5 ticks and understand the patience and dedication necessary for photography
- Sun-downers: drinks in the wild while photographing and watching the fantastic African sunset accompanied by the dusk chorus of the savannah
- Electricity and Wifi at the house
- Laundry service
- Road Transfers
1 Without extra baggage allowances, your total allowance would be limited to just 15kg or would require unreliable road transfer. Beware of other operators who do not include this.
2 Some operator’s trips look cheaper, but do not include access fees to the conservancies and parks!
Sorry, this trip is not suitable for wheelchair users or those with very poor mobility due to frequent mounting and dismounting on to 4wd vehicles.
Taking part in a photography trip like this is an incredible experience, many have described their experiences with us in the Mara as life changing!
Understandably there is also a huge amount to talk about and many, many questions. If you’d like to talk to me about this trip, please feel free to get in touch and we can have a discussion via email or by telephone.