Coming from a lodge based background, doing two safaris daily for the past five years I was amazed how I could still be blown away to the extent that I was during our recent Big Cats and Tusker Safari in Kenya.
In the past working in the Greater Kruger region in areas such as the Timbavati and the Sabi Sands I have seen incredible, close wildlife encounters which is almost a given in these areas and quiet frankly it is something which is very difficult to get tired of.
Probably one of the most asked questions by guests is, “Don’t you eventually get bored of safaris?”
My answer every time was and still is, “No never! The great thing about a safari is that no matter how many times you head out into the field you WILL see and learn something new. Yes you might see the same animal species but they will be doing something different.” Think about it…
The build up before the trip to Kenya was quiet intense as I follow many wildlife photography enthusiasts on all social platforms and spent a lot of time looking at their images and listening to their stories from and about these destinations.
If any of you have been on safari in the Kruger region you will know how dense the vegetation can get in some areas and most of my “photography” took place in these areas. Challenging for sure!
For years I have been dreaming about the open, endless plains and dramatic skies of the Masai Mara and the Amboseli.
There is probably no better itinerary to experience the best of Kenya! All the destinations we visited has something special about it. Lets run through my time there.
The Safari started in the Mara Triangle and we spent three nights at Serena Mara.
I was very privileged to have world-class lion sightings in the Kruger region, managed to get many good images but most are a bit “messy” but still good.
Where as in the Mara the lion population is incredible and sightings are truly memorable. Five different prides and loads of cubs and eight different males. Absolutely incredible!
Most people wish to see a predator doing what they do best, hunt! I have seen predators in action but nothing very photographic until I went on my very first safari in the Mara and saw this. I was beside myself!
Two cheetah cubs hunting a gazelle and mom chasing off a hyena who was planning on stealing the meal. What more do I have to say?
To get to the amount of plains game, this is simply indescribable.
After enjoying an almost full day of safari in the Mara, the end of the day also provides such a magnificent sunset!
The Kruger region also provides a good sunset but for some reason its not the same. If I may repeat it, it’s always a bit “messy”.
I really enjoyed the time out on the lake, which was a good break from vehicle bound safaris. The amount of bird life on and around the lake is just incredible and few mammal species along the banks. It was also good fun trying to photograph the Colobus monkeys back at the lodge.
This is a very beautiful destination! Not only because of the incredible Lake Nakuru but also the fever tree forests that surround it! Its just WOW!
For these of you that have visited the Kruger region you might have captured scenic moments like these;
These areas are not referred to as forests, rather riverine thickets.
Here are three images with a great dramatic effect thanks to the fever tree forest.
Lake Nakuru just provides incredible photographic opportunities may it be animals moving through some of the open/semi-open plains,
Or just some incredible wildlife interactions.
I cannot explain how incredible this place is! Forever open wilderness if I may?
Word I got from Gerry was that elephant numbers were the lowest he has ever seen in the five years he has hosted safaris there. This is a result of big rains that came a bit too early.
To me visiting the area for the first time I was still swept off my feet! Sadly we only saw the snow capped tip of mount Kilimanjaro on the day of arrival and on the day we departed but great game viewing made up for it.
Something that Gerry also mentioned is that we were extremely lucky when it came to our cat sightings.
We saw at least one cat, heaps of elephant and plains game every day.
To sum it all up we had a very successful trip with great game viewing and incredible landscapes.
If I had to choose one favorite; tough one though, it must be the Masai Mara. The vast amount of game, predators and out of this world beautiful scenery is what topped it for me.
I am extremely excited for July when I host the Big Cats and Tusker Safari! I cannot wait to see the look I had on my face by looking at my guest’s faces in July when these beautiful places blow their mind!
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