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masai mara big cat photo safari

Timothy Lemmon (USA)

All photos on this page are copyright by Timothy Lemmon

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 (I am a serious Nikon amateur) and although we have travelled extensively this was our first time in Africa and this trip surpassed all our expectations. It was an emotional departure and we left for home after a life changing experience.

Before booking I did extensive research since there a lot of off the shelf safaris, even high-end, which although have nice hotels or camps, also involve following convoys of vehicles around the Mara without a serious photographic element. Experience has told me that you need to travel with someone who not only knows the ground, when and where animals are likely to be, but when and where the best lighting conditions are and when you are less likely to be disturbed by other vehicles. You also need a great guide, who has spent years on the ground, so that you are well ahead of, not behind, the human herd.

David is a very experienced hand; a renowned animal photographer and also a patient, highly organised and experienced guide and excellent photographic tutor. For example, he came all the way from the Mara to meet us and return us to Nairobi and every step of the trip ran smoothly. The camp was great (high end, communal WIFI, Macs, no mosquitos!) and perfectly situated so that we could experience the beauty of the dawn and the animals undisturbed by other groups that have to drive significantly further to and fro each day. Everyone we met was exceptionally nice and helpful. All of Kenya seems to love having visitors and could not have been more welcoming.

Expect to be up well before dawn each day and spend most of your time bouncing around the bush in a Toyota Landcruiser with David and the Masai guides (years of training) – but it is the only way to see some of the increasingly rare wonders on this planet. Although crossings are not predictable we saw four, including one on our last evening just at sunset. It was a beautiful and moving experience. Not only did we see nine of the big ten (rhino in hiding), and multiple times, we saw them all in beautiful settings and captured amazing photographs. Sitting among a heard of grazing elephants or beautiful giraffes or right next to lions, leopards and cheetahs sleeping, fighting or eating was simply amazing. As for breakfasts with the hippos, well you have to go to experience that! Six stars out of five.

Masai Mara Migration Safari, August 2013

masai mara big cat photo safari

masai mara big cat photo safari