One of the best kept secrets is to visit the Masai Mara when the migration is not there. The amount of vehicle traffic is half of what it is during the migration time and because only the wildebeest migrate, all the predators are not only still in the Masai Mara at this time of year, but they are hungry too. They are in fact far more active than they are during the migration, when an overabundance of food brings on a lethargy, the Masai Mara Signature Predator Safari is truly an exclusive safari experience.
Not only are all the predators still in the Masai Mara but even out of migration season, the amount of general plains game like zebra, giraffe, gazelles, elephant, hippo, warthog, jackal (the list goes on and on) are still in such abundance that the Masai Mara, even out of migration season, is still the absolute wildlife mecca of Africa.
This safari has been timed to coincide with baby wildlife and what is better than watching tiny jackal pups playing, or young antelope gambling across the great plains?
If you would like to photograph the true bounty of Africa and to enjoy the iconic great plains of East Africa at a time of year when the tourist masses are absent, then this is the safari for you. By combining 2 different camps on the itinerary, you will be situated both in the heart of the reserve as well as in a private conservancy, where you can photograph with freedom, enjoying sightings off road.
This safari has only space for 3 photographers. We are keeping it small so that each photographer can photograph with plenty of space in the vehicle. We also have open vehicles and not the traditional safari trucks that only give you a top down perspective.
We have reserved the very best driver guides whom I have worked with for many years and who understand our needs as photographers. For this safari we have waived all single supplements.
As an extension to this trip of a lifetime, we have no fewer than 6 very exciting extension options which include tracking down the Giant Tuskers of Tsavo East and photographing the flamingo masses on the Northern Kenya Pink Africa extension. Photographing the Mountain Gorillas of Rwanda is another exciting way to extend your stay in Kenya.
To join me in the wildlife mecca of Africa and for full itinerary details, complete with a portfolio of photographs all taken in the Masai Mara, keep reading…
This is a 7 night (8 day) Masai Mara Signature Predator Safari with no fewer than 6 very exciting extension options which include tracking down the Giant Tuskers of Tsavo East and photographing the flamingo masses on the Northern Kenya Pink Africa extension or discovering the Mountain Gorillas of Rwanda are all exciting ways to extend your stay in Kenya.
The above rates include all accommodation; meals; laundry; drinks (excluding premium brands and selected wines); park fees; internal flights; meet and greet service with transfers; an additional luggage allowance; private safari drives with exclusive vehicle use (open sided vehicles for better photography); photographic tuition and the guiding services of professional African wildlife photographer Greg du Toit.
Not included in the cost are visas; purchases of a personal nature; staff gratuities; personal travel and medical insurance; your international flights and adhoc activities not included on the itinerary like hot air balloon rides.
40% deposit confirms your booking. Only spaces available for a a total of 3 photographers on this exclusive safari. The above cost applies if the safari is fully booked with 3 participants.
Overnight in Karen
After being met at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi you will be driven into the leafy suburbs of Karen where, just across the road from where Karen Blixen had her coffee farm, you will settle in to your luxury boutique hotel. There is of course WiFi to let your loved ones know you have arrived safely.
Special note: To get from the airport to your hotel, we take the southern bypass, so we do not go into Nairobi city at all on this safari.
Masai Mara Game Reserve
After breakfast we transfer to a small airport out of town, called Wilson, for our flight to the great plains of the Masai Mara Game Reserve. An extra luggage allowance is included in the cost of this safari and for more on what equipment to bring, see the bottom of my Safari FAQ page.
A short 40 minute flight on a scheduled charter will see you land on an airstrip in the heart of the Masai Mara Game Reserve. From the airstrip, you will enjoy a safari drive of approximately 30 minutes to our base camp for the next three nights.
Arriving at camp in time for lunch, you will be escorted to your large Bedouin-style walk-in safari tent. The camp is a rustic wilderness camp, situated deep inside a riverine forest where the birdlife is prolific. You will enjoy hot bucket showers, flush loos, a large bed and scrumptious food as the camp remains a true traditional Kenyan safari experience. Situated on a river in the heart of the reserve, there is a big raft of hippo right in front of your camp as well as a resident business of mongoose.
Located in the middle of the Masai Mara Game Reserve and in the middle of predator territories, you will spend the next few the days exploring the incredible great plains. By basing ourselves in the heart of the reserve, we have no gate times to contend with as 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 any other vehicle traffic. With open style safari trucks, you have maximum freedom to photograph out the left and the right, as we 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 some of the finest predator photography on offer anywhere in Africa and indeed in the world, as you photograph a wide array of predator sightings. It is not unusual to find a jackal den close to camp and the vast plains behind camp are dotted about with lone umbrella-shaped trees, making for the quintessential photograph of 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 and 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.
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. 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?
Your home for the next 3 nights is a small classic Kenya safari camp and as such, it is both intimate and superbly comfortable. The large spacious walk-in tents which, like our previous camp’s, open along their sides and are therefore not hot and stuffy or dark, like more traditional tented camps. The camp is situated on the Acacia-dotted plains of the northern Mara ecosystem and it therefore has a completely different feel to your first camp, which is located in a forest along the river. This juxtaposition of camp locations means that you will get the full Masai Mara experience and the associated predator 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 here for 3 nights and the photography is especially exciting as we have our own concession to explore, which also happens to be the finest wildlife conservancy in the whole 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 sunsets and silhouettes of Africa’s iconic animals! This is the Africa you have seen on the Lion King.
We will have exclusive use of an open style safari truck which has a platform for beanbags. Our driver guide is the finest photographic guide in East Africa and I have worked with him for many years. As such he knows what I 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 sky and a delicious dinner. Once safely escorted to your tent by your Maasai watchman, you will be lulled asleep by the sounds of the African night, including possibly a roar from a lion or a sawing cough of a leopard.
Depart home or continue on with an extension…
A last safari drive ends at the camp’s airstrip and a short 45 minute schedule charter will take you from the Masai Mara back to Wilson Airport, where transfers are pre-arranged to Jomo Kenyatta International, for your onward travel home.
If you are not ready to go home, then the good news is that there are no fewer than 6 exciting extensions for you to choose how you would like to extend your stay in Kenya. Read more about these extensions here.
– This safari is different to almost any other itinerary in that we use 2 different camps. This is very important because predators are territorial and therefore by using 2 different camps, our exposure to predators doubles.
– This is not a big group safari where professional photographic hosts have to move between safari trucks. On this safari there is only one car and the same professional photographer will host and guide you for every safari drive.
– Where else in Africa can you potentially photograph lion, cheetah, leopard, caracal, serval, hyena, foxes and jackals?
– With 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.
– With only 3 photographers on this safari you will receive help, guidance and advice on camera settings whilst on safari drive. This safari is all about being out there, photographing and getting awesome images.
– You will be staying in two strategically located safari camps: The 1st camp is in the heart of the reserve and also in the heart of numerous overlapping predator territories. The 2nd camp is in a private concession allowing you to photograph the predators of the Masai Mara with off-road driving allowed.
– This safari is timed to coincide with the time of year when the migration has left. Not only are the tourist masses also gone but the predators are super hungry and active.
– The amount of general plains game like zebra, giraffe, gazelles, elephant, buffalo, hippo, warthog, jackal, eland, dikdik, kongoni (the list goes on and on) are in such abundance on this safari that you will experience and photograph the absolute wildlife mecca of Africa.
– Because the wildlife sightings are so abundant and varied on this trip, we could not expect you to leave any lenses behind. For this reason, we have booked an extra luggage seat.
– The location of our camps allows us to access parts of the reserve where mini-bus vans are absent and where you can experience the Mara in more privacy and seclusion.
– Enjoy splendid views of the magnificent Mount Kilimanjaro, as you explore a private concession in the famous Amboseli National Park (offered as an extension to this safari).
– Track Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda (also offered as an extension to this safari). You will go to the same gorilla descendants and areas that Diane Fossey did in her famed Gorillas in the Mist. Rwanda is just a one hour flight from Nairobi.
– Photograph rhino, Reticulated Giraffe and Grevy’s Zebra on the highland plateau of Laikipia (also offered as an extension to this safari).
– The 2 safari camps we use have both been chosen for their excellent locations and allow for the best photographic opportunities both inside the Masai Mara Game Reserve and in a private concession. Each camp also offers total comfort in large Bedouin-style walk-in tents with large beds, flush loos, hot water and excellent cuisine. But, each keeps you close to nature through the skillful use of canvas ensuring a first class safari experience and not a touristy lodge experience.
– With exclusive use of open sided safari trucks, you will not be shooting out of the roof, with a top down perspective, and with only 3 photographers on-board, you can shoot out the left and the right
– I make use of excellent local guides who are experienced in both driving and catering for photographers’ needs.
– You will be personally hosted and guided by professional African wildlife photographer Greg du Toit who has worked in the Masai Mara for 18 consecutive years now. He has also lived in Kenya and worked on assignment in the Masai Mara for the National Geographic Channel.
– This safari offers you freedom, exclusivity and personalized photographic tuition that normal scheduled tours cannot. With only 3 people on the safari your photography will be unhindered, more creative and will yield better results.
– This Africa photo safari is tailor-made to suite wildlife photographers and it guarantees you a portfolio of exceptional imagery.
– Photographers of all levels are welcome and you will receive expert tuition based on your level of experience.
– Non-photographing partners will enjoy this safari too.