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.

A Signature Experience

The single largest complaint about the Masai Mara, and one which causes photographers to seriously miss out, is the excessive amount of vehicle traffic. This need not be the case and as an African born wildlife photographer, I can attest to the Masai Mara being the ‘hands down’ wildlife mecca of Africa, and possibly even of the world. It makes sense then, that during my career as a professional wildlife photographer, I have had to learn how to photograph in the Masai Mara and over the last 14 years, I have indeed learnt a great deal about this incredible ecosystem. I have figured out how to avoid the crowds so that I can extract award winning photographic results. On this safari I share my Mara recipe with you.

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 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.

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.

So, 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 two camps we will be situated both in the heart of the reserve as well as in a private conservancy, where we 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 and we have tried to keep costs to an absolute minimum.

As an extension to this trip of a lifetime we have no fewer than 6 very exciting options which include the Mountain Gorillas of Rwanda, the Wild Dogs of Laikipia, the Elephants of Amboseli and the Rhinos of Mount Kenya (details of each on the link at the end of this page).

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, scroll on down…

Safari dates

2020

4 – 11 Jan FULLY BOOKED!

11 – 18 Nov ONLY 1 place left!

2021

14 – 22 Jan FULLY BOOKED!

 

2020 safari price

$16 350 per photographer

 

2022 tour price

Coming soon and bookings are now open so email me now, or complete the contact form at the end of this page!

This tour also makes for a wonderful private safari in which case the cost will be revised accordingly and will include exciting extensions to other special parts of Kenya. You can read more about these here.

There is no single supplement charge. Includes 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 of 72 Lb/33kg per person; 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.

Please note that the above costs are based on a participation of 3 people but this safari can be booked as a private safari also, in which case we will re-cost it based on the number of people that you are booking for. To book your space on this Masai Mara Predator Safari a deposit of 40% is required. Payment of the balance of the safari fee is due 4 months before departure. All details on the booking form which you will receive upon enquiring.

This tour can be booked on a private basis in which case it will be re-costed based on the number of participants.

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.

Your Itinerary

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 a hot shower or bath awaits. 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.


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 pages. From the airstrip, you will enjoy a safari drive of approximately 30 minutes to our base camp for the next three nights – Naibor Camp.

Arriving at Naibor Camp in time for lunch, you will be escorted to your large Bedouin style safari tent nestled inside the forest. The camp is a rustic wilderness camp, situated deep inside the riverine forest where the birdlife is prolific. Naibor Camp is one of the finest mobile safari camp’s in Kenya offering you a safari experience of yesteryear. You will enjoy hot bucket showers, flush loos, a large bed and scrumptious food as the camp remains a true Kenyan safari experience. To see what the accommodation and experience 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.


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 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 ecosystem 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.


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.

For FAQs before booking a safari, click here

For FAQs before leaving on safari, click here

Your photographic possibilities on this safari

Why this is the safari for you…

– 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.

– With only three people on this safari you will receive help, guidance and advice on camera settings as well as in-camera reviews whilst on safari drive. This safari is all about being out there, photographing and getting awesome images.

– Visit the famed Masai Mara where 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.

– This safari is different to almost any other itinerary in that we use two different camps. This is very important because predators are territorial and therefore by using two different camps, our exposure to predators doubles.

– Another reason why this safari is different to any other is that there are only three participants total on the trip. This means that for every single drive you will benefit from having a professional wildlife photographer on board.

– 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 dry season is always traditionally the best time for photography. Timing is everything in Africa and this safari is timed to coincide with a peak in predator action. Young cubs and pups are growing up and are full of playful antics, while the adults are needing to hunt.

– Predators on offer include cheetah, lion, leopard, jackal, bat-eared foxes, caracal, serval, hyena and crocodile (plus many smaller creatures like mongooses).

– 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 so that you can carry 33kg/72LB per person on this safari.

– The location of our camps allow us to access parts of the reserve where mini-bus vans are absent and where you can experience the Mara in 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 gorillas and areas that Diane Fossey did in her famed Gorillas in the Mist. Rwanda is just a one hour flight from Nairobi.

– Photograph wild dogs on the highland plateau of Laikipia (also offered as an extension to this safari). This is arguably the best place in all of Africa for wild dogs and this time of year they could be denning.

– Not many people know this but Kenya is the best place in all of Africa for rhino photography and we now offer a Rhinos of Mount Kenya extension which is an absolute photographers dream.

– Photograph different species on the Laikipia extension like Reticulated Giraffe, Grevy’s Zebra (the largest species of zebra) and Gerenuk – the famed ‘giraffe antelope’.

– The two 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 the private concessions adjacent. 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 a vehicle and only three photographers you can shoot out the left and the right, you will enjoy maximum photographic freedom.

– The vehicles we use are all open so you are not shooting from the top down and you can track predator action more easily. We 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 15 consecutive years now. He has also lived in Kenya and worked on assignment in the Masai Mara for the National Geographic Channel. More importantly, he knows where to find the predators. With Greg as your guide, the chances of seeing a kill are very good.

– This safari offers you freedom, exclusivity and personalized photographic tuition that normal scheduled tours cannot. With only three 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.

Masai Mara & Kenya Rift Valley extensions


Maximise your time in Africa by extending your adventure with these exciting extensions, each designed to offer you the best of the region...

Guest Testimonials

'A journey for my soul. Wild as I always wanted it to be. Everlasting memory. Grazie Greg.'

Silvia Leonardi (Italy)
'It was a great pleasure to discover that Greg is an outstanding naturalist and birder as well as a world-class photographer. Birders and naturalists who lack an interest in photography would certainly be interested in Greg's other skills. Greg played a very large role in assuring the success of our Safari in many ways.'

Bob and Sue Purcell (USA)
'On behalf of Kim and myself, I wanted to thank you for a superlative vacation. Although we have not finished going through all of our photos yet (so many!), we can say that any single day of our safari exceeded our expectations for the entire trip. We saw that much! And the credit is due to Greg and our local guides David and Patrick, who were kind enough to share their knowledge of the natural history of East Africa, as well as insights into the Maasai culture. Kim and I are both trained as anthropologists, so understanding the dynamic of the Maasai and their landscape was important to us. We were very excited to learn about how the conservancies work, as this sounds like an important innovation in conservation. We also greatly appreciated the opportunity to take a walking safari! In closing, the last thing we expected to see was a leopard somersaulting over a dead Caracal, but the attached photo proves me wrong. Thanks again!'

David and Kim Purcell (USA)
"Our experience on this trip has far exceeded each of our expectations. The abundance and diversity of wildlife in Masai Mara was spectacular (ranging from some serious herds of wildebeest and zebras, prides of lions, cheetahs, leopards, elephants, giraffes and a rhino etc), providing numerous photographic opportunities. We also witnessed impressive crossings of wildebeest and zebras. Greg was great not only because of his wealth of knowledge in wildlife, he also gave invaluable advice as to how to best capture the amazing scenes happening in front of us from both a technical perspective and also a art/creative perspective. He was generous to share with us his take on different subjects on location, and his award-winning technique and creativity. The camp selection and the guides at the camps were great (the guides had eagle-eyes to spot animals from a serious distance). All in all, it was a great trip and we hope to come back to Africa as soon as we can!"

Simon Pang (Hong Kong)
'Since our very first contact, Greg gave me lots of advices about safari destinations and about photography. He always answered my hundreds mail (sorry Greg 😉 ) helping me to find and book the best travel for shooting hippos and to buy some photographic stuffs I have never seen before. I have known a man who really loves Africa and wildlife and most important, who knows lot of things about Africa and wildlife, but at the same time you can talk to him as you talk to one of your friend. I dont write about his knowledge of photo gears and technique as it would be superfluous. I can only say that my skill level is increased by several steps. His advices during safaris were, in my opinion, the best part of my entire time spent in Kenya. During my time spent in the bush, I really feel myself like a photographer, not like a tourist. Thank you, thank you so much to the Whole Oryx Team!'

Nicola Cappelletti (Italy)