Big Cats and Tuskers
The Big cats and Tuskers trip is probably one of the most diverse trips regarding photography with different areas and animal behavior being witnessed daily. The opportunities on this trip are endless. What makes this trip so unique is the itinerary.
Day 1-3 we stayed at Mara Serena in the Mara triangle where the big cats definitely did not disappoint. I must say it was also much quieter then the migration season. We saw lionesses with cubs, lions in trees, leopard and cheetah. The lion sightings in the triangle are just one of a kind, in one word SPECIAL! Where can you spend 6-7 hours with lions in an open marsh area with one up a tree and others below. Waiting for her to climb down and our guests got that unique shot of a lion climbing down a tree.
Day 4 – We took a scenic drive to Lake Naivasha. The trip got broken up ideally changing from safari in a vehicle to safari in a boat on the lake. We had two such safaris one in the afternoon and one in the morning. Now this was the ideal safari for the guests to practice their bird photography as we could get really close to a lot of water birds including fish eagles.
Day 5- After our breakfast and photo session with the Colobus monkeys we took the road to Lake Nakuru which was a very short drive. We arrived for lunch at Sarova Lion Hill Game lodge.
Later in the afternoon we went looking for the lions of Lake Nakuru. We found them in a very unusual setting. They were on the bridge by a small flowing river at their prize, a buffalo they killed got stuck in the pipe under the bridge. Yes the lions were on the cement bridge and in the water. A very unique sighting with unbelievable interaction between 9 lions. In this situation we were forced to compose differently so that the images tell a unique story and the guests had an awesome time photographing lions on a bridge J
At Lake Nakuru most of us saw something for the first time. It was early the next morning on our drive when we spotted a Striped Hyena. The light was bad and he never stood still for us. I quickly helped my guests to get the panning settings going and we practiced panning on running Striped Hyena. Never thought we would get that shot!
After that sighting we stopped at The lake for breakfast and a leg stretch and some photography on the shores of Lake Nakuru. The scenery at sunrise and sunset is unique with the fever tree forests, light and dust. We left Nakuru for Amboseli National Park.
Day 6-9 : Arrived at Serena lodge in Amboseli National Park after we had some electrical problems on the cruiser. I was amazed at how helpful the people are there, 20 min after our break down an Auto electrician arrived on a motorcycle in the middle of nowhere and fixed the problem, so we had some other excitement as well. The next morning we went out for the hope that Kilimanjaro will be visible and we were treated to a spectacular sunrise with the mountain and lots of elephants. Amboseli is known as the dust bowl of Africa but it was the complete opposite. There was water all over the marsh area which made for very interesting photography. All my guests got the iconic photograph of a big bull elephant with Kilimanjaro in the background. The big aim of the Amboseli leg was the elephants off course and everybody got behavioral images of elephants that I have not seen in a long time. That place just leads to getting unique elephant images. Everyday was so different from sunrise to sunset. We were extremely lucky to see the mountain every morning during our stay.
One afternoon we spent quite a long time photographing a female elephant with a newborn calf as he was trying to find his feet. That alone was so special. Another unique sighting was on our last morning where we found a whole herd fast asleep, some standing and some on their sides. What more can I say I am sure most of my guests including myself left our hearts in Amboseli and that is definitely a destination I will go back to again and again. It is very difficult trying to explain to someone how influential this trip is on your growth in photography. What touched me the most was seeing one of my guests growing in self confidence from day 1 to the last day and seeing the images she produced. Now that is what Wild-Eye safaris are all about!
For someone who wants to spend time with certain subjects and practice unique shots and techniques this trip is for you!
Lastly the lodges were all fantastic with great people and awesome food, they even made sure we had packed meals so we can spend more hours out in the field.
I can not wait to host another Big Cats and Tuskers Safari, hopefully I will see you on one!