Big Cats of Masai Mara Photo Safaris
Masai Mara is incomparable to any other place for Big Cats. The diversity and sheer volume of animals in this region is amazing. There is no other place like Masai Mara for wildlife photographers. What makes Masai Mara photo safaris so special?
The abundance of Lions, Leopards and Cheetahs and the daily activities like hunting by these big cats makes it an ideal location to photograph the big cats in their natural habitat. Photograph the stalking big cats , attacking their prey or the tender moments of a Lion family where a cub plays with a lioness.
The vast African landscapes, sunrises and sunsets are to die for. Masai Mara has featured in several BBC, National Geographic documentaries over years. Fulfill the dream of photographing and watching these magnificent big cats of Africa and create pictures of lifetime.
The diversity of animals (Big Five – Lions, Leopards, Elephants, Buffalos and Rhinos and the popular Giraffes, Hyenas, Elands and Gazelles to name a few and huge number of birds are present in Masai Mara. The annual wildebeest migration is a spectacular phenomenon not to be missed. The amount of keeper photos taken in Masai mara will be significantly higher than any other trip you may have taken in the past. The photographic opportunities are endless due to sheer abundance and variety of wildlife in Masai Mara. There is never a dull moment while being on a photographic safari in Masai Mara as you have vast number of animals, birds, reptiles as well as breathtaking landscapes to take photos of.
Is This Photo Safari For You?
1. We welcome photographers of all levels and non photographers. This safari will be include one to one coaching from the tour leader as well as from one another and include instructions that will suit everyone’s photographic needs. We encourage you to ask lots of question and learn new skills.
2. We spend as much time possible photographing in the field. We will spend most of our time and effort on safari / photographic activities and processing images. This photo safari will also include night game drives providing ample opportunities for creative photography.
3. Non-photographer or videographer spouses / travel companions will love these safaris. The wildlife and cultural experiences on this trip will appeal to anyone with a love for animals and adventure. We have specialist guides leading all activities.
Big Cats of Masai Mara Photographic Safaris
Where do we stay: Porini Lion Camp is located in the exclusive 33,000 acre Olare Motorogi conservancy. This expansive conservancy, which borders the Masai Mara Game Reserve is home to an abundance of animals including the Big Cats for which the Mara is famous.
The camp is situated along the banks of the Ntiakatiak River, a seasonal river with some permanent hippo pools near the camp. With 10 luxury guest tents, the camp is very exclusive and offers a real ‘in the bush experience’. The tents are very spacious and have private verandahs along the length of the tent, providing a secluded and private ‘space’ for you to relax and enjoy the beauty of this African wilderness. Each tent has en-suite bathrooms with flush toilets and hot showers. Food is excellent with fresh baked bread and high quality meals prepared by the camp chef.
At camp guests enjoy morning, evening and night game drives in custom built 4×4’s. Sundowners at scenic viewing points, from where you can enjoy a drink watching the sun set over the Mara. And escorted bush walks with Masai warriors and safari guide, where you can get an insight into the Masai people, their way of life and also learn more about the animals, birds and plants of the Mara.
Within the conservancy guests enjoy morning, evening and night game drives, sundowners at scenic viewing points and escorted walks with Masai guides. The camp is located close to the Masai Mara park boundary. It has its own airstrip for private charter flights with daily scheduled flights to Mara from Nairobi.
Suggested Itinerary of Big Cats of Masai Mara Photo Safari
Day 1: All the participants fly to Nairobi and meet at 5 Star Luxury Hotel on day 1 and are introduced to each other. Detailed briefing of the week ahead will be provided by the tour leader.
Day 2: After breakfast, we all take a 45 mins short flight to Masai Mara from Wilson Nairobi Airport. We head for our first game drive post lunch.
Day 3: Morning and afternoon game drives with lunch breaks in between. Departure for the game drives will be quite early whereas we have the flexibility of returning to the camps late (shouldn’t miss out on interesting activities). Between morning and afternoon game-drives, photography review sessions will be organised, to learn new techniques, see each others work and upgrade skills.
Post processing sessions are organised twice during the week, which provides detailed Adobe Lightroom sessions.
We will also go for night game drives when wildlife is most active.
Day 4 -7 : Same as day 3
Day 8: After our morning game drive, we head back to the camp and take late morning flight to Nairobi.
What animals you might see on this Photographic safari?
- Lions, Leopards & Cheetahs
- Elephants, Giraffes and Rhinos
- Waterbuck, Springboks , Hippos and Zebras
- Serval, Caracal, Baboons and Ostrich
- Crocodiles, Wildebeest, Jackals
Our camp is based in a conservancy , which means there will be very few vehicles around us while photographing animals. Due to a high number of vehicles in the park , animals move to the quieter conservancy areas which only our camp vehicles will have access to, providing us ample time and opportunity to photograph the wildlife.
What’s included in this Big Cats Photo Safaris?
- Meet and assist services at the Nairobi airport and chauffeured transfer to the hotel.
- One night stay at a 5 star Nairobi Hotel (Accommodation on a Twin room shared by same gender participants. Single rooms may be available at additional cost- please inquire)
- Flights to and from the Masai Mara from Nairobi (15kg weight restriction apply on the flight but we can transport heavy bags by road, your photography gear will be with you on the small plane)
- All meals (Breakfasts, Lunches, Dinners, snacks, Tea/Coffee, Domestic Alcohol)
- Game drive activities for our group.
- Private vehicles and drivers for all road transfers throughout the trip
- Photography and post processing tuition
- Soft drinks, bottled water and snacks during drives and safaris
- Flying Doctor / Emergency medical service
- Current National Park entry permits, tourism levies all taxes
What is NOT included?
- International flights
- Travel Insurance
- Kenyan visa (about USD50)
- Tips and gratuities for staff
- Personal expenses
Tour Leader: Perhaps the most important aspect of a photographic safari is your leader. All our photo safaris are personally hosted and lead by experienced wildlife photographers.
Our professional wildlife photographers have spent years in the wilderness, following specific animals day after day for several months and witnessing extraordinary and rare to see behaviour. They have extensive first-hand knowledge on the behaviour of many animals including Leopards, Lions, Cheetahs and Elephants.
Apart from organising your photo-safaris, they will accompany you to Masai Mara, share their knowledge of wildlife as well as help you with expert tips on wildlife photography and post processing. They will be there to coordinate with the driver, instructing on positioning, approach, timings, lighting conditions etc.
Safari Cost : Please click on the following ‘book now ‘button to see the cost of this all-inclusive Masai mara photo safari (on twin share basis).
A single supplement (optional) is available for just GBP/USD/EUR 500. Single supplements are optional for single travelers who want their own room and tent. Otherwise single travelers are paired with another single traveler of the same gender.
These photographic Masai Mara safaris are very popular and we only have 6 places on each tour. It is highly recommended to reserve your places by paying a 25% deposit amount online. Remaining 75% amount is payable 90 days before the tour start date.
You have the financial protection of booking through a registered tour operator. Your money is 100% safe and if one of our suppliers goes out of business, your money is fully protected.
For all wildlife photographers and travelers, year 2020 and 2021 have been exceptionally difficult due to COVID-19. There are many of us who are fully vaccinated and ready to travel to explore the wonderful wilderness across the world.
However, somewhere at the back of our minds, there is always a lingering doubt – What if there is another wave of COVID ? What if the destination country does not allow tourists /visas are cancelled ? What if the flights are cancelled / not operating?
Worry not, for anyone booking a tour with us, we offer 100% refund in such instances. If you wish to postpone your trip due to these reason, you can do that too.
All our customers affected by COVID have already received their refunds. So , If you wish to travel, do not hesitate to do so as your money is 100% safe and fully refundable (No questions asked!).
Lens Hire: Lens hire is available, so that you do not need to worry about hiring and returning it in your home country. It also eliminates the problem of weight restrictions.
Recommended Lenses for this photography safari:
- Long range lens: 400mm or 500mm lenses mounted (ideally) on a full frame body.
- Medium range lens 70-200mm
- (optional) Ultra wide angel lens 10-24mm , 17-40mm.
- (optional) 1.4x , 1.7x and 2x teleconverters
Bean bag for support is highly recommended for camera support. The camp staff would be providing their own however you can bring your own and the camp staff will be happy to fill it up for you.