This fantastic African Wildlife Safari has been designed to place our clients in one of the prime locations in the Masai Mara, at the very time of year that provides the best chances of witnessing the colossal migration herds of zebra and wildebeest crossing the crocodile infested rivers. Nothing, however, stays quite the same forever. September has been the most predictable time to see these river crossings from 2006 to date. The general viewing of Lions, Leopards & Cheetahs is also equally amazing in September. I feel that it would be irresponsible not to point out that the regular Mara River crossings have become a rare occurrence in the last 3 years. Tanzania have decided to burn huge swathes of land at the prime time for the Wildebeest to migrate through northern Tanzania to Kenya. This practice has made regular river crossings a thing of the past. Our emphasis will now be on the huge numbers of babies being born at this time. Impala, Zebra, Topi, Eland, Hartebeest, Thomson’s Gazelle, Grant’s Gazelle, Baboons, Vervet Monkeys, Lions and Hyena babies are born in the second half of September each year. It is a magical time.
Holiday of a Lifetime
Photographers on Safari have put together all the ingredients to make this safari your “holiday of a lifetime”. After much discussion we have decided that you will get the most time and best game viewing opportunities if we stay in a maximum of two places for the full 8 nights’ stay in Kenya. Moving to different locations would normally cost you a days’ photography. We consider your time too precious to do that. We have made special arrangements for our second venue to collect us at a suitable mid-point while actually on a game drive for out mid-safari changeover. The other huge advantage is that staying longer in one place will give our guides a much better chance of predicting the whereabouts and movements of the individual animals we wish to photograph.
Highly Experienced African Safari Leader
Photographers on Safari’s leader has stayed at Kicheche regularly, and therefore knows exactly what to ask for, and when and where to ask for it. This is hugely important on a holiday of this type, and no time is lost “learning the ropes”. John Wright has spent more than 200 days working closely with the Kicheche guides, and a fantastic understanding of what is required to get the utmost from your safari has been built during that time.
Possible River Crossings can be Targeted from Kicheche Bush Camp
Kicheche Bush Camp is situated in the Olare Motogori Conservancy. It is a superb wildlife viewing area bordering the Masai Mara Reserve. Olare Motogori is a very exclusive area that has just 5 camps/lodges in the entire conservancy. Game viewing in this conservancy is not permitted unless you are staying at one of these five providers. The number of visitors is strictly controlled here. The limit has been set at one bed per 700 acres of bush. Truly exclusive game viewing. Here we are very close to the National Reserve. This means that we can start our game viewing earlier, and finish later than the vast majority of clients who are based some distance from the reserve. We will obviously target any migration river crossings if they are occurring on the final three days of our Masai Mara safari. Our guides will be in radio contact with other guides at all the known crossing points and we are right on location for any of these. The wildebeest mass on one bank and generally take quite some time plucking up courage to actually cross. We will also target certain other interesting species each day.
Big Cats & the Big 5 Targeted at Kicheche Mara Camp
Both itineraries are flexible, and a certain amount of adjustment can be made while we are actually in the Masai Mara. As long as enough people are in agreement, we can tailor some your 9 days to suit individual tastes. We are based in the Mara North Conservation and have permits for a full day’s viewing for our entire stay. We are able to purchase visits to the National Reserve and some other conservancies if we hear of something special during our stay. We found a cheetah with SIX very small cubs in a neighbouring conservancy in 2019 (approx. $70). We can also visit the National Reserve if river crossings are happening (approx. $80). We can visit a Maasai village and two White Rhino ($25 each) in a round-the-clock guarded area. All these are extras and can be purchased during our stay. If you include a visit to the Rhinos you should have no trouble seeing all of the Big Five while at the Mara North Conservancy.
New Gallery from 2022 Safari
I have set up a new gallery containing shots exclusively from this latest safari.
Kicheche Bush Camp
Our second chosen camp, Kicheche Bush Camp, attracts many professional as well as amateur photographers. Landcruisers are fantastic vehicles, giving spectacular visibility, and have a canvas roof canopy. Game viewing starts as soon as you leave the camp and it is one of the top locations from which to view the Wildebeest crossings. The six traditional-style guest tents have solar-powered lighting, flush loos and bucket showers in an en-suite bathroom. Electric sockets for all your charging needs are provided in all tents. There is a laundry service and individual diets are catered for.
Wildlife Photography Tuition
You will constantly receive the necessary tips, tuition and advice on camera settings in order to assist you in getting the very best out of your photographic holiday. Every second day, each photographer’s pictures will be displayed on a computer, enabling a constructive critique to ensure that you are photographing to the very best of your ability.
Photograph at Sunrise & at Sunset
We do not operate “Ferrari Safaris”. Our aim is to stay with interesting subjects for some time, thus seeing and photographing behavioural activities that are not witnessed by the vast majority of safari photographers. We leave camp each morning before first light, so that we are hopefully actually photographing animals at sunrise – a very special time for photographers. Breakfasts are invariably taken out in the field. We alternate lunches between taken in the field and enjoyed at leisure in the camp. We do not return to camp until the sun has set and it is too dark to photograph.
Off-Road Viewing of the Big Five
The last trip provided sightings of 4 of the big 5 on most days in the Mara, and we were regularly only feet away from all these subjects. The thing that makes this place really special is that, in the conservancies, we can go off road as and when we wish, and therefore get unbelievably close to these incredible creatures. Off-roading is not possible in the National Reserve.
Kicheche Mara Camp, Masai Mara
On your Masai Mara safari our bush hideaway in Kenya welcomes you to a different world, a world centred at the heart of the African wilderness that is Kenya’s Masai Mara. A world of majestic animals, dazzling birds, sweeping grass lands, flat-topped trees and breath-taking sunsets. Staying in Kicheche Mara camp doesn’t mean compromising on comfort. The food and service are first class, as are the warmth and experience of Kicheche’s staff making your Masai Mara safari an unforgettable experience. The camp prides itself on offering a friendly and relaxing stay, with our hosts treating you as welcome guests, not mere travel statistics. Its’ location is in what is arguably the prettiest valley in the entire Masai Mara, and game is really abundant. To maintain this intimate and relaxed atmosphere there is a maximum of twenty guests at any time. Each of the ten tents is comfortably furnished with an en suite bathroom and flushing toilet. Low wattage lighting and battery charging facilities for cameras and laptops are available inside every tent.
Mara North Conservancy
Kicheche Mara Camp is located in the Mara North Conservancy. This conservancy rigidly restricts the number of vehicles allowed to view game and offers some of the lowest density game viewing in Africa. The conservancy enjoys an area of almost 75,000 acres and only allows a maximum of one tent for every 700 acres. It does not allow any game viewing by people who are staying in lodges outside the conservancy. This means that your viewing experiences here will often be unique to ourselves – far away from the hustle and bustle experienced in other areas. Photographers on Safari operate a system where our safaris are designed to incorporate a mix of luxury game viewing days here in the Mara North Conservancy and the more widely used Masai Mara National Reserve. With the exception of Rhinos, virtually every animal that can be found in the National Reserve can be spotted in the Mara North Conservancy. Spending five nights at this one fantastic safari location should provide ample opportunity to track down any chosen subject. When we are in the Mara North Conservancy we take a 3-hour break in the middle of the day. Time for lunch, downloading and a gentle, but constructive critique of your last 2 day’s work.
N.B. There will never be more than 6 clients in Kenya with Photographers on Safari at any one time
Hi John, Thank you for our recent trip to the amazing Masai Mara in Kenya 2022, without a doubt one of the best to date. The trip was well organised from start to finish with nothing left to chance. The accommodation at the Kicheche camps was excellent with everything one could have wished for. From the coffee and cookies with the early call to the hot water bottles provided at night. Everything in-between, from the bush time breakfasts to the lunches and evening dinners was also well organised and the dishes varied with any specific dietary requirements catered for. The staff at Kicheche from the managers to the security guards were all extremely helpful and did everything they could to ensure our stay was as pleasant as it possibly could be. They should be all commended on the level of service provided. The drivers and guides at both camps were exceptional with unbelievable driving skills, equalled only by their knowledge of the Mara wildlife, their habitat and habits. They also had an uncanny ability to predict what their behaviour was likely to be some time after the initial sightings, allowing us to sit and wait or return later in the day when the action was most likely. The sightings were spectacular including Lions mating, Lions and Cheetahs with cubs, a Cheetah kill and feeding cubs, A dispute between Buffalo and Lions, Leopards in trees, Hyena’s with cubs, Elephants with calves, a variety of birds plus sunrise and sunsets etc. I have now begun the task of editing the thousands of images taken during the trip to select the best for my portfolio, not an easy task but well worth the effort. In summary “The people, the place and the activities were GREAT”. Will soon need to start planning ahead for another trip. Thanks again, David & Linda
I have just returned from my 2022 trip to the Masai Mara with Photographers on Safari. My body clock is still waking me up at 5 am ready to go out before dawn. Sunrise is the perfect time to photograph wildlife and there is so much of it. Large wildebeest herds, elephant herds, buffalos, several types of antelopes, lion prides, giraffes, jackals and hyenas all doing what they are born for. Even the more-shy cheetahs and leopards are there. Our Masai guides have phenomenal eyesight and the ability to spot animals at great distance. They instinctively know individual animals even though to us they look alike. Just imagine having al fresco breakfast beside the river while watching hippos in the river and antelopes coming timidly to drink. The quietness was only broken by hippos honking at each other. Then at sunset watching animals on the horizon just ambling about while we drink our gin and tonics. This is not the first time l have been to Africa, but every year the Mara has some new surprises. There is nowhere like it! It’s not just a holiday but an adventure! Julia.
Itinerary – 21st September 2023 – 11 Days
21st September 2023
Outward flight. Depart London Heathrow on the British Airways daytime flight to Nairobi, Kenya. Transfer across town by Benroso Safaris to the Tamarind Tree Hotel in Nairobi (located near Wilson Airport). Optional dinner at own expense. Overnight at Tamarind Tree Hotel (B & B).
22nd September 2023
Nairobi / Kicheche Marah Camp, Masai Mara. After breakfast you will be met by a representative from Benroso Safaris and transferred to Wilson Airport, arriving in time to connect with the scheduled morning SafariLink flight to the Masai Mara. On arrival into the famous reserve, you are met and transferred to Kicheche Mara Camp. Arrive in the late morning. Afternoon game drive.
Kicheche Mara Camp is a seasonal bush camp in the traditional style and accommodates a maximum of sixteen guests in eight comfortable twin/double bedded tents – each with en suite bathroom facilities, consisting of a plumbed-in solar-heated shower and a flushing loo. The tented camp is set up in a stunning valley south of Aitong. Lighting is provided by battery, solar, candle or hurricane lanterns. Charging facilities are now available in all tents and a back-up generator is constantly available should the solar power become exhausted. Tents are furnished with proper beds with linen, table and chairs (on the veranda). Meals are generally taken al fresco, although there is a mess tent when the weather is inclement. Kicheche has a large tented lounge (the Nyati tent) with a selection of reference books and easy chairs – the perfect spot to relax during the heat of the day. Activities include game-viewing drives, nature walks and visits to local Masai manyattas (villages). Later you have the opportunity for photographic game-viewing by customised four-wheel drive Kicheche vehicles before returning to camp, after enjoying sundowners as the sun sets, for hot showers and an evening around the campfire. Overnight Kicheche (twin/double tents, full board).
23rd September 2023 to 26th September 2023
At Kicheche Mara Camp, Masai Mara. Four full days at leisure for photographic game-viewing drives by four-wheel drive vehicle in the Masai Mara. Nature walks are also available. Overnights at Kicheche Camp (twin/double tents, full board). The Masai Mara is one of the few areas left in Africa where animals can be seen in the large numbers that existed a hundred years ago. Over 500 bird species have been recorded in the area. The diverse habitat enables many different species to co-exist: elephant, Masai giraffe, Cape buffalo, eland, Burchell’s zebra, topi, Coke’s hartebeest, wildebeest, waterbuck, impala, Thomson’s gazelle, reedbuck, lion, leopard, cheetah, hyena, jackal, the lesser cats, hippo, crocodile, baboon, vervet monkey, warthog, mongoose and many more. During July to mid-October, the Mara is home to the famous wildebeest migration.
27th September 2023
Morning game drive with Kicheche Mara Camp. Late breakfast at Mara Camp before your transfer to Kicheche Bush Camp. You will be taken to Kicheche Bush Camp in time for lunch before settling into your new accommodation and enjoying your first afternoon game-drive in the Olare Motogori Conservancy.
Kicheche Bush Camp is located in the Olare Motogori Conservancy next to the Maasai Mara National Reserve on banks of the Mara River that offers an impressive experience during the migration. The six traditional-style guest tents have solar-powered lighting, flush loos and bucket showers in an en-suite bathroom. Electric sockets for all your charging needs are provided in all tents. There is a laundry service and individual diets are catered for. Spending three nights at this one fantastic safari location should provide ample opportunity to witness a spectacle that is often described as one of the seven wonders of the wildlife world. Incredible opportunities for photographic game-viewing by customised four-wheel drive Kicheche vehicles before returning to camp for hot showers and an evening around the campfire. Overnight Kicheche Bush Camp (twin/double tents, full board).
28th September 2023 to 29th September 2023
At Kicheche Bush Camp, Masai Mara. Two full days at leisure for photographic game-viewing drives by four-wheel drive vehicle in the Masai Mara. Overnights at Kicheche Bush Camp (twin/double tents, full board). The Masai Mara is one of the few areas left in Africa where animals can be seen in the large numbers that existed a hundred years ago.
30th September 2023 – Return flights
Morning game drive for further photographic opportunities. After lunch, transfer back to the airstrip and connect with the scheduled SafariLink return flight to Wilson Airport, Nairobi. On arrival, you will be met and transferred to a local restaurant where you have the opportunity to have some dinner (not included). Later, transfer out to Jomo Kenyatta Airport where you connect with the return British Airways flight to London. Depart Nairobi, overnight in flight.
1st October 2023
Arrive London. Early morning arrival into London Heathrow.
Costs 2023 for 11 days Safari;
Please Book Early. Due to extremely high demand
The cost of the flight is shown in UK pounds and the prices for activities in Kenya are shown in US dollars. This has been done to avoid confusion over volatile exchange rates.
Monies due will be converted on the day of transfer at that day’s current rate.
US$9,885.00 plus approx £800.00 (subject to availability) for International Flights by British Airways
Included: (all Safaris)
Transfers in Nairobi; internal flights to the Masai Mara; twin/double* accommodation on full board basis; all game-viewing drives and park entrance fees to Mara North and Olare Motogori Conservancies. Laundry and house drinks including drinking water at Kicheche and Serian. Please note that all clients must share a room on this safari. Single travellers are most welcome. Bookings accepted from couples or singles who are prepared to share.
Not Included: (all Safaris)
International flights, Visa fees; gratuities (typically $25 per day) and personal items; travel insurance; dinner on the last evening. There is an internal flight weight allowance of 15kgs per person. Photographers on Safari have purchased an extra freight seat for the group which allows an extra 15kgs per person (approx).
Contact Us To Book
I’ve just finished the first cull of the Africa pics, and got the number of photographs down from the several thousands to just over seven hundred. Now got to go through again and sort out the very best. And by the way it was without doubt the best holiday I have been on. Ever! Many thanks for making it so!
The whole journey was an absolute joy. What a nice group of people, all with the same passion and willing to help each other and to share experiences. I dare say that Kees especially learnt a lot from you, John. He had a great time, improving his abilities. And I just loved being in Kenya again. So much to see, and such a glorious landscape. Unforgettable. I told you: together with the Seychelles this has been our top holiday ever. We would like to once again thank you and Nadine for the perfect organization, for your good company and the sharing of your knowledge. It was a pleasure to be a part of this group
Kees & Marina
Hi John and Nadine, Thank you both so much for the memorable trip. I never thought that such an adventure would bring me to tears so many times. You cannot but marvel at what you are seeing. Favourites, and there are so many, my first Cheetah kill, Lion kill and the Leopard at Leopards Gorge. Seeing the Lioness with her youngsters walking the plains in perfect light was magical. The Wildebeest crossings were awesome. I still cannot believe I have seen crossings in real time rather than via TV. I have bored so many people with tales of the trip. John, thank you so much for your guidance and one to one instruction. My photography skills have improved – especially birds in flight and composition. It cannot be easy leading a trip of different characters and giving the time needed to give each the support required. Nadine, thanks for the fun and your patience. You were great company, and thanks for the help given when I burned my hands, stupid me. Kicheche was a brilliant base and the people so friendly – what a camp. The guides we had were outstanding. The whole trip was so well organised down to the last detail – what more could you ask for. Now deciding what to do next, despite wanting to see other parts of the world, the Mara is just calling me back. I loved it. I will be in touch when I decide what to do. Anyhow thanks again to you both, It was a real pleasure to spend the time with you guys. With best wishes, Kerry Bluett
2007, 2008 & 2009 Migration Safari Reports
The 2007 Masai Mara Migration Photography Tour was an outstanding success. The group witnessed and photographed two crossings, leopard and cubs (twice), leopard in a tree, cheetah and cubs (twice), lions and cubs (several times), elephants and babies (several times), lions + leopards + cheetahs on prey (all at least twice), lion kill, cheetah kill, crocodile kill, lions suckling tiny babies, big 5 in one day, hippos and tiny babies, plus many, many more animals. Over 70 species of birds identified. Click on the hyperlinks above for more in depth details. In 2008 two groups of photographers went to the same location. One group spent ten nights in the Mara, and the second group six nights. Three people that went in 2007 also returned in 2008. It was a unanimous decision that 2008 was even better than the previous year. Big Cats were everywhere and we got very choosy about which ones we spent time with. They had to be hunting or with cubs for us to stay with them. There was a resident leopard close to our camp with two cubs, and these were regularly spotted out in the open or up trees. One morning we photographed five leopards up four trees in less than two hours. Both groups saw in excess of two thousand wildebeest crossing the Mara River. One of the 2009 participants has been invited by the BBC to submit one of his pictures taken on this safari to the BBC Wildlife Photography Magazine. A fantastic achievement and we wish him every success. In 2009 we once again had clients returning for a second visit. Hard to believe, but it was considered opinion that the quality of the photo opportunities were even better than the year before. Click on the link to the detailed report immediately above for more details. In 2010 the first 10 days were phenomenal, with the second 6 days being more along the lines of 2007 & 2008. Both groups saw crossings, the Big 5 and a cheetah with six cubs approx 3 months old. On both occasions with the cheetahs, the mother killed for, and fed her beautiful offspring. A detailed 2010 report will appear in due course.