Trip Report: Great Migration Family Safari, 21 – 27 August 2016

Marlon duToit All Authors, Jono, Marlon 1 Comment

This particular Wild Eye Migration Safari has a special little twist.

Instead of the typical camera-crazy wildlife photographers, we had 3 beautiful families occupy our mobile camp on the banks of the Mara River. Don’t get me wrong – we absolutely love having the enthusiastic photographers in camp. The Mara draws them from all over the world, and they have found a fantastic offering in what we have here. That said, having families in camp with a slightly different agenda was a refreshing change and an exciting new challenge.

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Jono and I were so used to hours upon hours in the field, searching for moments out in the field for our guests to enjoy. This time round, reading a book under a shady tree next to the Mara River was a perfectly suitable siesta experience. It’s warm during this time of year, and instead of spending whole days out in the field, the families enjoyed a good bout of game viewing in the morning, returning for lunch and then relaxing in camp.

The girls loved their shaded tree and would laze about during the hottest time of the day. After a quick high-tea we would all saddle up again and go out in search of some wildlife.

Wildlife, we certainly did find…

marlon du toit, wild eye, wildife photography, masai mara, migration

Regardless of who is in camp, the Masai Mara will always deliver with incredible moments out in the field. It simply knows no other way.

Jono and I have been on safari to the Mara many times before, and every single visit holds something special in store for us.

Our greatest “challenge” would be to keep the kids occupied with the daily safaris. Our hopes were that they would take it all in, that they would enjoy the safari experience to the full. So often kids on safari get utterly bored and simply want to return back to camp to make use of the wifi & a sleep. Yes, we have wifi in camp 😉

The best thing about the Mara is that there’s hardly time to be bored. There’s so much on offer, such diversity, such an abundance of wildlife wherever you may look. It just never ends!

marlon du toit, wild eye, wildife photography, masai mara, migration

I can wholeheartedly say that this has to be one of the best family safaris I have ever hosted! The Mara was alive with incredible sightings and all 3 families were beyond excited at all they got to see and experience.

So much of the Masai Mara during this time of year revolved around the wildebeest crossing through the Mara River. That certainly is a sight to see & remember, and as always the Mara did not disappoint.

marlon du toit, wild eye, wildife photography, masai mara, migration

marlon du toit, wild eye, wildife photography, masai mara, migration

marlon du toit, wild eye, wildife photography, masai mara, migration

I never tire of seeing this incredible event! It is no doubt one of the most powerful & dramatic experiences in nature, very little can compare!

To see the look on everyone’s faces as soon as that first wildebeest leaps into the murky crocodile-filled waters is absolutely priceless. To see teenagers experience this for the first and thoroughly appreciating the fact that they were there for it, was a huge reward for Jono & I. It certainly is why we do what we do.

Once of the highlights of this safari was the balloon flight over the plains of the Mara. This is an experience everybody should indulge in. To see this magnificent land from the skies above, soaring across the open plains & over the tree tops of the woodlands is mind-blowing.

marlon du toit, wild eye, wildife photography, masai mara, migration

We were incredibly fortunate to see great herds and many other interesting things on our flight.
Our flight was well-times as there were large herds below us, moving out from beneath the balloon like a co-ordinated swarm of ants.

It gives you such an incredibly different view of the land, a great appreciation for it’s true beauty.

marlon du toit, wild eye, wildife photography, masai mara, migration

marlon du toit, wild eye, wildife photography, masai mara, migration

marlon du toit, wild eye, wildife photography, masai mara, migration

This experience is something that the kids will certainly never forget! To soar above the wilds of Africa like a bird, to silently glide above the herds of the great plains, it’s difficult to describe. For a young person this is life-changing and an experience that will stay with them for a lifetime, no doubt about that!

The balloon flight ends with a classic Champagne breakfast out on the open plains of the Mara. What a way to end an already amazing experience!

marlon du toit, wild eye, wildife photography, masai mara, migration

As soon as we landed we were whisked away by a land cruiser and taken to this special spot, pictured above.

There were thousands of wildebeest streaming past behind us as we enjoyed all sorts of goodies at breakfast. This certainly was a memorable highlight for all of the kids.

marlon du toit, wild eye, wildife photography, masai mara, migration

marlon du toit, wild eye, wildife photography, masai mara, migration

Another incredibly special event we plan for all of our guests, is a cultural evening with our Maasai team members.

The culture of the Maasai is absolutely fascinating! Their respect for one another is humbling! Our guests always leave the safari with a  far deeper appreciation of these amazing people.

marlon du toit, wild eye, wildife photography, masai mara, migration

Dickson, our camp manager and well-respected Maasai elder, will open the evening with a blessing. There after we get to listen to some of their cultural values. This is then followed by something I never get tired of.

Listen to this…


Now is THAT does not send chills down your spine, nothing will! To sit and listen to these Maasai as they sing and dance is an incredible experience. It awakens something within you that even you yourself did not know was there.

Our guests are always spell-bound by them, and the kids especially love this experience! It’s so raw & tribal, it speaks right to their inner core!

That’s the beauty of our Wild Eye Migration Safari experience. There’s something here for everyone. It’s so varied and always touches the hearts of whoever decides to visit! It stands out as one of the greatest encounters with nature on this beautiful planet of ours. It truly defines what a bucket-list experience should be, and even more so for a family traveling together.

marlon du toit, wild eye, wildife photography, masai mara, migration

marlon du toit, wild eye, wildife photography, masai mara, migration

The beauty of the Mara is endless.

The experiences are never-ending.

The wildlife encounters will leave you jaw-dropped.

This is something every single person should experience atleast once, if not twice.

marlon du toit, wild eye, wildife photography, masai mara, migration

marlon du toit, wild eye, wildife photography, masai mara, migration

marlon du toit, wild eye, wildife photography, masai mara, migration

It’s wrong to assume that it’s all about the wildebeest & the Mara River. That’s what so many people falsely believe!

It’s not only for wildlife photographers. That’s an absolutely lie and total nonsense.

The Mara is an incredibly varied land filled with amazing wildlife encounters. All visitors will be left with an experience that will leave them changed forever, young and old, first-time or seasoned traveler.

Just look at these images from Catherine, Sarah & Paige. It’s safe to say they had an epic experience!

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Its just that special.

marlon du toit, wild eye, wildife photography, masai mara, migration

Thanks for reading through this great family safari. Hope to see you on safari with us in the future.

Till next time,

About the Author

Marlon duToit

Passion, enthusiasm and an unquenchable thirst to explore and introduce you to our natural world’s wildlife perfectly sums up my ambitions. I can’t imagine myself doing anything else. Through my African adventures I kept my photographic passion alive. Behind a camera aimed at a lion or a leopard is where I am most at home, my heart skipping a beat at the mere thought of it. My intention has never been solely for recognition but for the plight of what’s left of our natural recourses. Using my love and understanding of wildlife I am able to convey to the viewer more than an image or a fleeting moment. I aim to tell a story, to bring that moment alive to you and to capture your heart through it.

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  1. Pingback: Trip Report: Great Migration Family Safari, 21 – 27 August 2016 - Africa Freak

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