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African Big Cat Photo Safari

masai mara big cat photo safari

Photograph Africa’s Big Cats in 2015

Join us in February 2015 on an African Big Cat Photo Safari in the Masai Mara in Kenya. The Mara is famous for its big cats, and as such it presents a wonderful opportunity to photograph lions, cheetahs and leopards. February and March is a favoured season for big cats.

Needless to say there will be much else to see and photograph too, including elephant, antelope, buffalo and hippo. And if we’re lucky, we may even see a black rhino.

We’ll stay at Entim Camp, which is at what just may be the best location in the Masai Mara.
Each safari accommodates a maximum of six photographers.


Options and Costs

masai mara big cat photo safari

The full cost for each 8 day safari is $3760 (£2350 at April 2014)
Places are limited to 6 people per safari.
Bookings are secured with a $500 deposit per person. Payments to be made in $US.
A single supplement is available at $650 extra (optional for single travellers, see below).

Jan 31 – Feb 07 – 1 PLACES LEFT
Feb 07 – Feb 14 – FULL
Feb 14 – Feb 21 – FULL
Mar 14 – Mar 21 – 3 PLACES LEFT
Mar 21 – Mar 28 – 3 PLACES LEFT

For those who wish to join two dates for one 15 day safari, we can at a cost less than two combined.

Single supplements are optional for single travellers. A single supplement buys your own room and tent, otherwise single travellers are paired with another single traveller of the same gender.

Financial Protection

Payments for all safaris are made through Steppes Discovery which means you have the financial protection of booking through a registered tour operator.

Your money is 100% safe and if one of our suppliers goes bust, your money is fully protected.
Steppes Discovery can also book flights on your behalf for full financial protection.
Please see our terms and conditions here.

Booking

To book or reserve your place on this safari please email me at david@nulldavidlloyd.net
I will also be happy to answer any questions you may have.


About the Safari

masai mara big cat photo safari

This tour is for photographers of all levels, inexperienced and experienced alike. We also welcome non-photographing companions too. Our aim of this tour is to help people take better wildlife pictures. We provide tuition and tips, and aim to bring you to speed early on so that you’ll be taking better wildlife pictures long before the tour ends. We will also offer tuition to those wishing to learn about image processing using Photoshop or Lightroom on the two iMacs we will provide at camp.

We have a number of features on offer specifically for wildlife photography:

  • Private camp
  • Prime location inside the reserve – close to the main wildebeest crossing points
  • Two photographers per vehicle – or three per six seat vehicle
  • Ground transportation for luggage – we alleviate your flight weight restriction worries
  • iMac workstation access – we will have iMacs at camp with preloaded software

The Camp

masai mara migration photo safari

masai mara migration photo safari

Our camp at Entim is a luxury camp with eight large Meru style tents with full bathroom facilities and solar powered electricity. There is ample facility for charging batteries during the mealtimes and evenings. The camp is situated right on one of the main crossing points of the Mara River. And the food is wonderful!

You can view more about Entim Camp here with additional pictures here.


Safari highlights

masai mara big cat photo safari

Location
Our camp is located inside the reserve, on the banks of the Mara River, close to many predators – lion, cheetah and leopard are often found close by.

The Vehicles
For photography, we will provide a whole row of seats for each photographer, thus providing ample scope, space and flexibility for photography. For the 4x4s normally seating four people, we will seat only two per vehicle, and for the 4x4s seating six, we seat three. Beanbags are provided in each vehicle as is a provision to clamp tripod heads on the roof as well.

The Photography
There is no other place in Africa which boasts the density of wildlife than that of the Masai Mara. It is a photographers dream, and together with lion, cheetah, and leopard, we will be treated to zebra, giraffe, impala, serval, among others. Fingers’ crossed we’ll see a lion kill or cheetah chase or even black rhino. Unforgetable too is the sunrises and sunsets that the Mara is famous for. We may even also visit the Marsh Pride of lions, made famous by the BBC’s Big Cat Diary.

iMac Workstation Access
We will have at camp an iMac workstation loaded with Photoshop and Lightroom. From there you can backup your images, make edits, and learn more about post-processing your images too.

Lightroom and Photoshop Tuition
On request we will also offer group or one-to-one image processing tuition (at no extra cost) in either Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop. We can cover post the processing techniques that we use, including both colour and black and white treatments.

Ground Transportation
Because the internal flights into the Mara are on smaller aircraft (seating up to 37) there is a strict weight restriction on luggage of only 15kg. Photographers typically carry weights far in access of this, so we’re providing transportation of all or some of your luggage to the camp by road as well as on the aircraft. This normally takes 4-6 hours but it will arrive at camp by the time we set out for the first afternoon drive.

Optional Excursions
We offer two additional excursions which are optional: enjoy a balloon ride at sunrise with a champagne breakfast over the plains of the Masai Mara or visit a nearby Maasai village (both optional, costs extra).


Itinerary

masai mara big cat photo safari

Day 1: We are picked up from Nairobi Airport on arrival by our driver and onto the Serena Hotel in Nairobi where we will all meet and introduce ourselves.

Day 2: At 10:00am we transfer to Wilson Airport some fifteen minutes away to where we take a 45 minute a flight to our camp in the Masai Mara. We will arrive in time for a camp welcome and introduction, lunch and embark on our first afternoon drive at 3:30. At about 6:00 we return to camp to relax in front of the boma (camp fire) and dinner afterwards at about 7:30-8:00.

Day 3: This is our first full day in the Mara. Morning drives begin at 6:00 am and continue until about midday or longer, depending on animal activity that day. This will include a break for some 45 minutes for a light breakfast and refreshment. Then it’s back to camp for lunch, rest, or to spend a little time at the iMac workstations. Then at 3:30 we head out for a late afternoon drive returning at sunset at about 6:00. That evening we can relax in front of the boma (camp fire) with dinner afterwards at about 7:30-8:00.

Day 4: As day 3.
Day 5: As day 3.
Day 6: As day 3.
Day 7: As day 3.

Day 8: We have time for a three hour morning drive before returning to camp at 9:00 for breakfast then at 11:00 am we’ll catch our return flight to Nairobi. For the remainder of that afternoon and evening we can just relax at the Serena Hotel by the pool or at the bar before transfer to Nairobi Airport for our international flights home.


What people have said

masai mara migration photo safari

I travelled as a solo traveller and keen amateur photographer on a David Lloyd great migration photo safari in September 2013. From the outset his down to earth manner and approachability put everyone at their ease and the group quickly bonded. As a group of six we had two vehicles, meaning we each had a row to ourselves which makes a real difference when it comes to being able to always capture the action and also to spread ourselves out a bitMargot Raggett (UK)

I have done a number of safaris in Africa and David’s ranks as the best! While there was no shortage of great things to see, David worked well with the guides to ensure we were almost always in the best spot for photos but also respected the animals and their space. Add in a few tips and pearls of wisdom from David throughout and it was inevitable that my photography would improve. Looking forward to going back again next year with DavidCraig Brady (New Zealand)

My family of five (ages 9 and up) has just returned from an exceptional migration Safari to the Masai Mara with David Lloyd, where we stayed at the Entim Camp. We are all keen photographers and although we have travelled extensively this was our first time in Africa and this trip surpassed all our expectations.Timothy Lemmon (USA)

We joined David on the Big Cat Safari and had an awesome week. It was our first visit to Africa and we got to see all the animals we could wish for and more. David proved to be an excellent guide and a great tutor on post processing during the evenings or afternoon breaks. During the drive he keeps feeding you small bits of information so that you make the most out of the situation that is front of you and he makes sure you get the best spot to photograph the animal. During off times he tries to figure out what you like to see and photograph and helps you getting those goals so that your trip is worthwhile.Peter Maris (Netherlands)

Read more about what people have said on the testimonial page here.


Costs

masai mara big cat photo safari

The cost of $3760 includes

  • One night Serena Hotel stay in Nairobi
  • Flights to and from the Masai Mara from Wilson airport
  • All airport transfers
  • Ground transportation of luggage
  • Six nights accommodation and all meals at Entim Camp
  • Hire of vehicles and guides for game drives and park fees
  • Flying Doctor emergency medical service
  • Local alcoholic beverages at camp

Cost does not include

  • International flights from UK
  • Kenya visa ($50)
  • Alcoholic beverages at Serena, and non-local alcoholic beverages at camp
  • Tips and gratuities for camp staff and guides

Costs are per person sharing. A single supplement option is available at $650 extra. A deposit of $500 is required at the time of booking, with the balance being required twelve weeks before.


Recommendations

masai mara big cat photo safari

While the camp provides beanbags – they are good – but I prefer my own and bring my own. The camp is quite happy to fill the refillable beanbags on arrival. I have no use for a tripod in the Mara, they are not vehicle compatible and have never bothered to bring one or want one. Lenses of up to 400mm (on full frame) should suffice for 90% of your needs, the animals can get quite close, but it depends on your kind of photography obviously. A 600mm would be quite necessary for birds however.

Flights out of Wilson Airport to the Mara have a strict weight policy of 15kg, that’s clothes, personal items, laptop, cameras, lenses, everything. That’s why we’re providing the option to transport your luggage or camera bag by road.

Malaria tablets are recommended, there are several kinds, some better than others.

Tips are optional, but I can never leave without giving some sort of extra reward. As a guide, about $10-15 a day per person to your driver/guide is a good start.


If you need to know more, don’t hesitate to email me at david@nulldavidlloyd.net

Pictures 2, 3 and 6 are used with permission courtesy of Entim Camp.