Wild at Mattikoko – Maasai Mara Big Cats

£750.00£4,995.00

Dates available: 9 – 16 Mar 2022   |   15 – 22 Mar 2023
For our August / September safaris, please see our Great Migration safaris here

Coronavirus 100% Guarantee: Click here to read our enhanced guarantee which offers 100% refunds if you are unable to travel due to restrictions.

£750 deposit to secure a place, with balance payable by 31st May of the year of travel. Single supplements £1248.75 for a guaranteed room to yourself.

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Description

Introduction

Come on the wildlife photography holiday of a lifetime with us!

We’ll be based at the fantastic Mattikoko Safari Camp in the heart of the Maasai Mara plains of Lemek Conservancy and home of the turbulent Lemek Lion Pride. From this friendly, family run camp, we have access to Lemek, Ol Chorro, Enonkishu and Mara North Conservancies where we can off-road, plus the National Reserve and Mara Triangle.

This is a safari designed for wildlife photographers by wildlife photographers. It isn’t a box-ticking tourist safari. We’ll spend much more time with the animals, photographing them in the best light and from different angles, looking for interesting behaviour and interactions.

We’ve been running African photo safaris – tailor made for all levels of photographers – since 2012. The atmosphere is always fun and relaxed, as well as being a place to learn more about your camera settings, fieldcraft and theory, and how to take fantastic photos of Africa’s incredible wildlife. Join us round the camp fire with a beer / glass of wine to discuss the highlights of the day.

In between safari drives we relax, continue learning in small groups or individually, as well as working on post-processing techniques (Photoshop, Lightroom, Capture One).

We contribute to local conservation with approx. £800 per person going directly to the wildlife conservancy areas, plus the Mara Predator Project and Ol Chorro Rhino Sanctuary.

Kaleel is also a professional filmmaker, so if you’re interested in learning your camera’s video functions, he’ll be happy to help.

Highlights

Full board at the idyllic Mattikoko safari camp
Off-road access in the conservancies
Internal flights included from Nairobi into the Maasai Mara
Extra baggage weight allowance on internal flights
Nationally-accredited, English-speaking Maasai guides
All conservancy fees, road transfers, wifi, laundry and airstrip landing fees
Photography & videography tuition, post-processing / editing sessions
4WD Safari vehicles with excellent access for photography
Rhino conservancy visit
‘Big Five’ Wildlife Photography, and more!

Wildlife

Ah, the wonderful Maasai Mara… it almost needs no introduction. Made famous by multiple BBC and National Geographic TV natural history series for its incredible abundance of exotic wildlife, this is where lions roam free and giraffes nibble the dates from the acacia trees. Majestic elephants and stealthy leopards call the Mara their home and hundreds of species of colourful birds abound, such as eagles and the beautiful lilac-breasted roller.

All the Big Five – lions, leopards, elephants, buffalo and rhino – are in evidence, as is a cast of innumerable other species such as cheetahs, giraffes, gazelles, crocodiles, wildebeest, zebra, kingfishers, storks and vultures. The list is endless and we’ll be right in the middle of it! Kenya’s Maasai Mara… The wildlife heart of Africa.

Unlike almost anywhere else on Earth, you’ll be spoilt for choice with the breath-taking abundance of wildlife to photograph. The Mara is truly a spectacle of nature’s finest animals and they’re just waiting for your camera.

Being based in Lemek conservancy, we’ve got fantastic access to the turbulent Lemek lion pride, which provides year on year drama and amazing photographic opportunities. There are cheetahs and leopards as well as myriad other species.

We won’t see the Great Migration in March, because that’s not when it happens (see our Aug-Sep trip for that), but we will see local wildebeest and zebra regardless.

Every year, we team up with our usual superb and highly qualified Maasai guides: Moses and Boston.

The conservancies are often the best places to see the wildlife, because it is quiet and often feels like we have vast areas to ourselves.

Elephant Maasai Mara African Photography Safari Nick Watson
Lion Maasai Mara African Photography Safari Alan Hewitt
Lion Maasai Mara African Photography Safari Kaleel Zibe
Giraffe Maasai Mara African Photography Safari Alan Hewitt
Cheetah Cub Maasai Mara African Photography Safari Alan Hewitt

Mattikoko  Safari Camp

Mattikoko Safari Camp nestles in the heart of Kenya’s Maasai Mara plains, where elephants and lions wander past. The beautiful, family run camp is in Lemek Conservancy and is staffed by very friendly and experienced people whose only goal is to give you the most fantastic safari experience. Expert guides are on hand to take you on the most amazing game drives. Enjoy full board accommodation, great food and sun-downer drinks whilst watching the animals. The camp has electricity, hot showers, comfortable beds and full flushing toilets. Because of its situation right in the heart of the conservancy, you’re very likely to see the animals right next to the camp.

Tasty meals are freshly prepared on site and beautifully presented. On some days we’ll enjoy packed lunches out in the wilds but each evening after sun-downer drinks and photography on the savannah, we’ll dine under the stars on a table by the camp fire or in the boma by the fire.

Elephants at Mattikoko Maasai Mara Photography Safari

Elephants at Mattikoko (© Martin Van Herwaarden)

African Wildlife Photography Safaris Welcome to Mattikoko with Titimet 'Moses' and Marion Nampasso, Moses being a Leopard and our makeshift 'sundowners' evening bar.

Welcome to Mattikoko with Titimet ‘Moses’ and Marion Nampasso, Moses being a Leopard and our makeshift ‘sundowners’ bar. (L-R 3 images courtesy of © Sharon Artley and © Martin Van Herwaarden)

Itinerary

9th March 2022 (Day 1):

Arrive in Nairobi by 6am* to meet and transfer to Wilson Airport for short internal flights to Mara North airstrip in the Masai Mara and short road transfer to Mattikoko. After settling in and enjoying refreshments at Mattikoko we'll be ready to head out for our first afternoon / evening photo safari. *Note: We recommend arriving the evening before and staying overnight in an airport hotel. Please contact us for advice.

10th March onwards (Days 2-7):

Morning and afternoon / evening or full day photo safaris in one or more of the following each day: Lemek Conservancy, Ol Chorro Conservancy, Enonkishu Conservancy, Mara North Conservancy, Mara Triangle Conservancy, Maasai Mara National Reserve. We'll also be meeting up with the Mara Predator Project and visiting a Rhino Conservancy.

16th March (Day 8):

Morning photo safari then afternoon flight back to Wilson Airport and transfer to Jomo Kenyatta for international flights or Nairobi hotels.

15th March 2023 (Day 1):

Arrive in Nairobi by 6am* to meet and transfer to Wilson Airport for short internal flights to Mara North airstrip in the Masai Mara and short road transfer to Mattikoko. After settling in and enjoying refreshments at Mattikoko we'll be ready to head out for our first afternoon / evening photo safari. *Note: We recommend arriving the evening before and staying overnight in an airport hotel. Please contact us for advice.

16th March onwards (Days 2-7):

Morning and afternoon / evening or full day photo safaris in one or more of the following each day: Lemek Conservancy, Ol Chorro Conservancy, Enonkishu Conservancy, Mara North Conservancy, Mara Triangle Conservancy, Maasai Mara National Reserve. We'll also be meeting up with the Mara Predator Project and visiting a Rhino Conservancy.

22nd March (Day 8):

Morning photo safari then afternoon flight back to Wilson Airport and transfer to Jomo Kenyatta for international flights or Nairobi hotels.

Lions Maasai Mara African Photography Safari Alan Hewitt

The Conservancies

The majority of our photography safari days out will be in the Maasai Mara Lemek, Ol Chorro and Enonkishu Conservancies. These are community-based conservation zones set up to protect wildlife corridors and habitat while offering economic opportunity and benefits to the Maasai people.

Conservancies offer much greater benefits for wildlife photography safaris compared to being based in the National Reserve. Tourist and vehicle numbers are much more tightly controlled, so there is no over-crowding at wildlife sightings and we can responsibly drive off-road. Our guides have very good relationships with other guides and local conservancy rangers, which helps to share information on wildlife sightings quickly.

The conservancy network contributes to keeping the Mara-Serengeti ecosystem’s wildlife corridors and migration routes open and free from habitat degradation, while providing an income for the land owners: the Maasai people.

A significant proportion of the costs of this photography safari are re-invested in the local wildlife conservancies, enhancing the habitat, creating revenue for local Maasai community projects and conserving the wildlife.

Vehicles

Off-road four wheel drive vehicle in the Maasai Mara

Photographing Elephants in the Maasai Mara Conservancies (© Nick Watson)

Our vehicles are large 4 wheel-drive Landcruisers with plenty of space for photography equipment and camera bags. Each vehicle also carries a coolbox or fridge, so there are plenty of cold drinks available throughout the day and for sundowner drinks.

Each person will have a window seat at a large over-sized window or open side and the roof of each vehicle is also easily accessible, where we can stand up and shoot from a higher vantage point.

Remember, we can go off the normal beaten track when we are in the conservancies and get very close to the wildlife.

You’ll have room to use a monopod, bean-bag or if you wish, hand hold your camera and lens.

Ask us about this Safari

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Additional information

Dates

9 – 16 Mar 2022, 15 – 22 Mar 2023

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