Mating Lions galore in September
Photographers on Safari completed a very successful Masai Mara Safari in mid-September 2022. All our clients on that tour had been there with us on previous occasion(s). Without exception, everyone said it was a fantastic safari experience. The animals really performed. Lots of Lion Cubs and Cheetah Cubs. There were several different Lions and Lionesses mating during our time in the Mara this year.
Four Week-old Lion Cubs targeted in January
The Lions’ gestation period is three months. That means that the cubs will be born mid-December. The mothers typically hide their cubs away for the first two weeks before introducing them to the pride. The cubs will be just 4 to 6 weeks old when our safari begins in January. Perfect timing. The general viewing of Lions, Leopards, Cheetahs, Elephants, Giraffes etc. will be equally amazing in January.
Extremely Successful Masai Mara Safari in January 2023 means that we will repeat this Safari in January 2024
The 2023 January Safari was on of our most productive trips to the Masai Mara. The weather was almost perfect and the temperature was warmer than we normally experience in September. We had amazing times with Leopards. We spent almost 5 hours with no less than 5 different Leopards one morning. One of these was a cub no more than 8 weeks old. We photographed male Lions walking along the horizon one morning and also two more male Lions swimming across a river. there were tiny babies everywhere. These included Lions, Zebras, Elephants, Topi, Hartebeest, Wildebeest, Thomsons Gazelles, Hyaenas, Jackals, Giraffes, Baboons and of course a Leopard. The Mara was much less crowded than in September, which made for a much more intimate experience.
New Gallery from 2022 Safari
I have set up a new gallery containing shots exclusively from this latest safari.
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. On most days, time permitting, 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.
Holiday of a Lifetime
Photographers on Safari have put together all the ingredients to make this safari your “holiday of a lifetime”. Moving to different locations would normally cost you a days’ photography. We consider your time too precious to do that. There is plenty to do in Mara North Conservancy for seven days. 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.
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 will return to camp around midday and enjoy lunch at leisure in the camp. We will then review your photos -offering any relevant advice where necessary before returning to the plains approximately 3.30 pm. 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 (no rhinos here), 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.
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 eighteen 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.
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.
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 – 10th January 2024 – 10 Days
19th January 2024
Outward flight. Depart London Heathrow (Terminal 3) 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).
20th January 2024
Nairobi / Mara Bush 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. You will be taken to Kicheche Mara Camp in time for lunch before settling into your new accommodation and enjoying your first afternoon game-drive in the Mara North Conservancy.
Kicheche Mara Camp is a seasonal bush camp in the traditional style and accommodates a maximum of twenty guests in ten 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 Mara Camp (twin/double tents, full board).
21st January 2024 to 24th January 2024
At Kicheche Bush Camp, Masai Mara. Four full days at leisure for photographic game-viewing drives by four-wheel drive vehicle in the Masai Mara. Overnights at Kicheche Mara 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. Overnight Kicheche Mara Camp (twin/double tents, full board).
25th January 2024
Morning game drive with Kicheche Mara Camp. Late breakfast at Mara Camp before your road transfer (less than ONE hour) to Kicheche Bush Camp. Lunch and afternoon game drive at Kicheche Bush Camp. 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).
26th January to 27th January 2024
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. Nature walks are also available. 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. Overnight at Kicheche Bush Camp (twin/double tents, full board).
28th January 2024 – 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.
29th January 2024
Arrive London. Early morning arrival into London Heathrow.
Costs for January 2024 – 9 days actually on Safari;
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$7,950.00 based on a minimum of 4 clients PRICES TO BE CONFIRMED SHORTLY
plus approx £700.00 (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 Conservancy + three full-day’s visitor permits (taken as two full days and two half days) to the National reserve. Laundry and house drinks including drinking water at Kicheche. 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).
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