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Masai Mara Signature Predator Safari
Our Masai Mara Predator Safari is especially timed for when the predators are hungry and the tourist traffic levels are much lower than during the migration season. This safari offers you the opportunity to experience and photograph the wildlife mecca of Africa in freedom, style and exclusivity. Predators on offer include cheetah, lion, leopard, jackal, bat-eared foxes, caracal, serval, hyena and crocodile (plus many smaller creatures like mongooses). With the migration having left or leaving, the predators are now hungry. Cubs and pups are growing up and are full of playful antics while the adults are needing to provide food and are going on hunting forays, which we will follow and photograph. Even the crocodiles are hungry and ambushing the wildlife that visits the river pools to quench long thirsts during this time, which is the end of the dry season and also the best time for photography. Other iconic African mammals such as zebra, giraffe, elephant, buffalo, hippopotamus, warthog, gazelles, eland, kongoni, dikdik (to name but a few) are in prolific abundance, making this a true 'Lion King' experience not to be missed...
Your 2019 Itinerary:
This Masai Mara Predator Safari is timed to coincide with the end of the dry season, a time when the predators are the most active and hungry. This safari also offers an absolute smorgasbord of general plains game. With wild freedom and expansive scenery this safari takes you to the Africa that you have seen on documentaries, an Africa teaming with wild animals, open plains and predators lurking around every corner.
Day 1- Overnight outskirts of Nairobi
After being met at the international airport in Nairobi, you will be transferred to our very own exclusive guest house where a large room, big beds and hot showers await. There is wifi for you to let your loved ones know that you have arrived safely. For those arriving early to recover from jet lag we can arrange visits to the giraffe centre, Karen Blixen museum, the elephant orphanage or a photography shoot in Nairobi National Park. Our guest house lies geographically in-between all of these locations meaning that you never need to travel through the city to get anywhere. This beautiful location is the perfect place to unwind after your journey. Sundowners, a hearty dinner and a pre-trip brief will see you turn in all excited for your Masai Mara leg the following day. After a good night's rest and a scrumptious breakfast, you will depart at 7am for the local airport called Wilson.
Day 2, 3, 4, 5 - Masai Mara Game Reserve
After a short 40 minute flight on a scheduled charter you will land on an airstrip in the heart of the Masai Mara Game Reserve. For this flight we have included in the cost of this safari an additional luggage allowance. You will therefore each have 72Lb/33kg so you can bring all the equipment you need. For more on what equipment to bring, see my Safari FAQ page. From the airstrip, you will enjoy a safari drive of approximately 30 minutes to our base camp for the next three nights - Naibor Wilderness Camp.
Arriving at Naibor Wilderness Camp in time for lunch, you will be escorted to your large Bedouin style safari tent nestled inside the forest. We have booked this camp exclusively and there are only three tents, each spaced far apart for maximum privacy. We have our own dining tent and a delightful campfire on the banks of the Talek River. The camp is a rustic wilderness camp, situated deep inside the forest where the birdlife is prolific. Naibor Wilderness Camp is one of the finest mobile safari camp's in Kenya offering you a safari experience of yesteryear and it does not get any more exclusive than having your very own camp. You will enjoy hot bucket showers, flush loos, a large bed and scrumptious food but the camp remains a true Kenyan safari experience. To see what the accommodation is like you can visit their website here... and watch a YouTube video here...
You will spend 3 nights at Naibor which is located in the middle of the Masai Mara Game Reserve and is also in the middle of numerous predator territories. During the days you will explore the incredible great plains and by basing ourselves in the heart of the reserve, we have no gate times to contend with and we are surrounded by 360 degrees of the best photographic opportunities in Africa. We are able to access the entire reserve quickly and we are also able to access the remoter parts of the reserve too, thereby getting away from the other vehicle traffic. With our own vehicle we have maximum freedom and we will seek out unique and thrilling photographic opportunities. Taking packed breakfasts with us so that we can follow predators hunting without needing to rush back to camp, you will indulge in the finest of predator photography. You will photograph the widest array of predator sightings on offer anywhere in Africa. Where else in Africa can you potentially photograph lion, cheetah, leopard, caracal, serval, hyena, foxes and jackals? The Masai Mara is the photography mecca of Africa and as such you will feel like you have stepped into a wildlife documentary.
I know the Masai Mara intimately and I will take you to the heart of the action and to the seldom seen far-flung beautiful corners of the reserve, where you will enjoy a fine wilderness experience and be blown away by the beauty of Africa's great plains. I know where the predators' territories are and I will ensure that you see the best wildlife on offer anywhere in Africa.
Day 5, 6, 7 - Masai Mara Private Concession
A 1 hour safari drive will take you to our next camp, where you will be greeted in person when you arrive by Darren and Emma, the camp managers of Kicheche Bush Camp. They will warmly welcome you into their home and will give you a full camp brief. The camp is in the middle of overlapping predator territories and you will receive a full safety briefing. Without any fences predators are regularly seen from camp. You did sign up for a predator safari, right?
Kicheche Bush Camp is a small classic Kenya safari camp and as such, it is intimate and superbly comfortable. The large spacious walk-in tents which, like our previous camp's (Naibor), open along their sides - so they are not hot and stuffy like more traditional tented camps. Kicheche is situated on the dotted Acacia plains of the northern Mara and it therefore has a completely different feel to Naibor, which is located in a forest along the Talek River. This juxtaposition of camp locations means that you will get the full Masai Mara experience and the associated plethora of photographic opportunities. We will enjoy our meals alfresco on the great plains and the food at Kicheche is as yummy as the company. Darren is a foodie of note and Emma is a stand-up comedian.
We will be based at Kicheche for 3 nights and the photography here is especially exciting! We have our own private concession to explore called Olare Orok and this is the finest wildlife conservancy in the mara ecosystem. The predator photography inside the conservancy is nothing short of spectacular. There are no gate times to adhere to, nor are there long traveling distances as our camp is slap bang in the middle of the predator action. We can go off-road in the concession and excellent predator sightings are guaranteed. So are incredible vistas filled with plains game. This is the Africa you have seen on the classic David Attenborough documentaries.
We will have exclusive use of a vehicle and Kicheche caters especially for photographers, so the vehicles have beanbag platforms. Our driver guide at Kicheche is the finest photographic guide in East Africa and I have worked with him for many years. He knows what photographers want and his vehicle positioning is impeccable whereby he is one of the few guides who understands when and how to position for back-lighting. He also understands what we need to create dynamic imagery and he will allow us to get out of the car whenever possible.
Sitting close to the campfire at night, you will enjoy the starry African night and once safely escorted to your tent by your Maasai watchman, you will be lulled asleep by the sounds of the African night, including roaring lion.
See www.kicheche.com for more information on your camp.
Day 8 - Depart home or continue on with an extension...
A half-hour safari drive takes you to the airstrip and a short 45 minute schedule charter will take you from the Masai Mara back to Wilson, where transfers are pre-arranged to either drop you back at the international airport or to take you back to your guest house. In this event, you will overnight and let the safari sink in, before being transferred the next day to the airport for your onward flight home. This last night's additional accommodation or a day room is booked only upon request.
Eighth-generation African and professional wildlife photographer Greg du Toit will lead you on this remarkable expedition (read guest testimonials here). Having resided in southern Kenya for two years he captured unique imagery of free-ranging lion by sitting inside a waterhole. This story received worldwide media coverage including a BBC Worldwide Media Service interview. On this photographic safari he will provide expert photographic tuition at your level of experience and he will also bring fundamental geographical and animal behavioural knowledge to the table, thereby ensuring that you obtain your dream images.
Still got questions you want answered, see my safari FAQ page here...
This is the end of the scheduled Masai Mara Predator Safari.
What follows are 5 different extensions which dovetail beautifully with the above predator safari, but which are only booked on a per request basis. The thinking behind these extensions is simply to maximize your money and time in Africa as you would have flown all the way out for the predator safari. Since you will be here already, it makes sense to stay longer. Each extension also offers totally different and unique photo opportunities:
*3 day 'great elephant herds of Mount Kilimanjaro' extension - Amboseli National Park: A 45 minute flight will take you into the heart of an exclusive private conservancy in Amboseli National Park. Here you have full access to the national park but more importantly you will enjoy our own private conservancy away from the minibus tourist vehicles. Inside the conservancy you will enjoy exclusivity and total freedom as you go about your photography. Our aim on this extension of your Kenya private safari is to photograph beautiful herds of elephants and giraffes with Mount Kilimanjaro in the background. Of course you will also track down predators and you will enjoy exceptional landscape opportunities. Our camp is situated at the base of Mount Kilmanjaro and sipping your 'beverage of choice' in the bar, you will enjoy the finest view of Mount Kilimanjaro of any safari camp in Africa. Our camp is Italian owned and organic produce is freshly grown on the lodge grounds. The cuisine has a distinctly Italian flare and this, combined with the view from the camp, means that you will enjoy the finest traditional safari experience, as only Kenya can offer. An Amboseli photo safari is the perfect end to your safari as the vista is incredible and so are the photographic opportunities. Just like in the Masai Mara, I work with an excellent guide in Amboseli who knows exactly what photographers want. Our private safari truck is also open sided to maximize your photographic experience.
*4 day Rwanda gorilla extension: If you are still not ready for your adventure to end, then we can arrange a Gorilla trekking extension. Rwanda is just a 1 hour flight away from Nairobi and we will take you to the very place where Diane Fossey did her research. You will need a minimum of 4 extra days to do this extension which includes two gorilla treks. This extension is booked on a per request basis only and seeing the gigantic gentle gorillas in the flesh, is an absolute bucket list experience so don't think twice about doing it. Permits are limited so book now!
*3 day Wild Dogs of Laikipia extension: One of the best kept secrets in Kenya is the thriving, yet different wildlife to be found on the Laikipia plateau. Laikipia is situated on the highlands of Kenya and this wild bush country, when combined with the great plains, makes this a truly remarkable safari. The wild dogs are often denning this time of year, so there is possibly the incredible opportunity of photographing wild dog pups. Laikipia is an excellent location for Grevy's Zebra, Reticulated Giraffe and Gerenuk (giraffe antelope). A must do activity when in Laikipia is a helicopter flip over the flamingoes on Lake Bagoria which is an 'out of Africa' experience not to be missed. An authentic Samburu cultural experience can also be arranged as well as a visit to Mount Kenya.
*3 day Rhinos of Mount Kenya extension: Not many photographers know this but Kenya is the best place in Africa to photograph rhino. I know a secret location where you can photograph white rhino with babies as well as the elusive black rhino. We can also photograph reticulated giraffe and lion in a secret forest below the Aberdare mountain range. The birdlife is prolific and our accommodation is in Kenya's finest and most luxurious boutique lodge which has only 6 rooms. This extension is our latest addition and an absolute must. It dovetails easily with the wild dogs as we can transfer by road between locations.
*3-6 day Elephants of Samburu extension: This extension is the perfect addition to your safari and this time your adventure is with elephants, the Samburu culture and the incredibly unique landscapes of northern Kenya. Basing ourselves at a very special and rustic camp in Samburu, you will track elephants with researchers who know each elephant's personality, and you will meet the colourful Samburu tribe. A two day helicopter safari to the north of the country is the most beautiful flight in all of Africa! If you an all-rounder wanting more wildlife, culture and landscapes then this is the extension for you.
To receive a complete itinerary and costing, email me here and mention your preference of extensions.
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