Kenya: Big Cats of the Masai Mara             

Dates: 19 January to 27 January 2018    Estimated Price: £4945 including international flights

This nine day photographic safari offers a perfect introduction to the amazing variety of wildlife in Africa in the company of an experienced Wildlife Photographer

  • FREE Photography Workshop & Pre-tour Briefing before Departure

  • International Flights Included and ATOL-protected

  • Led by Experienced Wildlife Photographer

  • Over 50 Tours Escorted in Masai Mara

  • Plenty of Time to Enjoy the Wildlife

Kenya's Masai Mara has one of the highest densities of Lions in Africa and we often enjoy the company of prides of 20 or more individuals of varying ages. It is the perfect hunting ground for Cheetahs and we are often privileged to watch them in action. The Mara is known for its Leopards who, over the years, have become accustomed to vehicles and regularly make an appearance. Although we will spend much of our time with the Big Cats, we also photograph and enjoy the incredible variety of other animals, birds and plants in this unique landscape.

We stay in a small camp in the Mara North Conservancy which is managed locally and promotes low density tourism. The wildlife abounds and frequently we are the only people present at sightings. This, together with the ability to position vehicles away from the tracks, makes it an ideal location to observe, photograph and enjoy animals in the wild.

This tour will be escorted by experienced wildlife photographer Peter Smart who has led over fifty tours to the Masai Mara during the last twelve years. With nearly 400 days spent leading tours and working closely with the experienced and knowledgeable local guides in the Masai Mara, Peter's safaris always provide an abundance of superb photographic opportunities and highly enjoyable experiences with the wildlife.

As well as many destinations in Africa, Peter escorts groups to many other wildlife locations around the world. He also tutors Going Digital wildlife photography workshops in the UK. Peter treats it as a genuine privilege to introduce people to the wildlife, landscapes and people of the countries he visits and his knowledge, organisational skills and sense of fun ensures that not only will you have excellent photographic and game-viewing opportunities but also a highly enjoyable holiday!

Brochure and Booking Information

An illustrated brochure providing a full description, detailed itinerary, prices and booking information may be viewed or downloaded for Kenya: Big Cats of the Masai Mara 2018.

Reports from Previous Tours

You are invited to view some of illustrated reports from past tours which also contain links to further galleries of images showing the variety of photographic opportunities available.

2016 2014 2013 2012 2010 2009 2008 2006 2005 2004

Tour Description

The safari begins with a morning flight from London Heathrow, arriving in Nairobi in the evening where we will spend the night. The following morning we take a short flight to the Masai Mara, where we will be met and transferred to our home for the next seven days. After lunch we will take our first game drive to explore the beauty of the local area before enjoying a sundowner out on the plains.

Each day we will be up before sunrise, taking a picnic breakfast, so we can maximise our time in the field to truly experience life in the bush and appreciate all it has to offer. Our tours are not for people to tick a species and move on after a few minutes … we observe, we photograph and we enjoy the experience of being in Africa!
We stay in a lovely small camp, nestling in a delightful river valley with large, comfortably equipped and self-contained tents. Power for recharging batteries is available throughout the day. The camp is ideal for those wishing to experience the real African bush away from large, impersonal lodges.

The size of each group is no more than eight and each client will be guaranteed a window seat in the camp’s specially adapted four-wheel drive vehicles which are ideal for photography. The professional driver/guides who will remain with us throughout the tour know the area extremely well, are experts on the animals and birds, and understand the needs of photographers. Guidance on photography will be offered during a pre-tour briefing in the UK, in the vehicles on game drives and when we are in camp.

In addition to providing great photographic opportunities, the safari is designed to offer a wide appreciation of the natural beauty of Africa’s wildlife, people and the environment. Game viewing drives are taken on the plains each day and optional activities include bush walks or a visit to a Masai village.
We aim to give you a relaxing and highly enjoyable holiday and for you to feel that our knowledgeable guides have provided you with unique opportunities to view and capture images of the natural world.

This exciting safari offers wonderful and varied game viewing and photography with a large concentration of Lion, Leopard and Cheetah. For further information, please visit our website and our page on Facebook to see many more wonderful images and reports from our previous trips to the Masai Mara.

Please contact us regarding any questions you may have and, once you have decided you would like to join us, you are advised to make your reservation immediately as places are strictly limited on our amazing tour to Kenya to see and photograph the Big Cats of the Masai Mara!

Tour Itinerary

Day 1 London, UK - Nairobi, Kenya. Morning departure from London Heathrow for the flight to Nairobi, Kenya. We arrive in the evening and are transferred to a hotel where we spend the night.

Day 2 Nairobi, Kenya - Masai Mara, Kenya. Transfer to Wilson Airport for the scheduled short morning flight to the Masai Mara. Arriving late morning, we are met and transferred to the camp and we are able to begin our game-viewing on the way! After lunch we will take our first full game drive, returning to camp after sundowners on the plains, and then meeting around the camp fire before dinner (BLD)

Days 3 to 7 Masai Mara, Kenya. Full days of game viewing and photography. Each morning we will leave camp before sunrise to benefit from the early morning light and when many animals are more active. After a few hours game-viewing, we will stop on the plains for our picnic breakfast with the wildlife all around us. After breakfast we will continue our game viewing and return to camp for lunch. After a short break in the middle of the day to recharge our camera (and our own!) batteries, we return to the plains until the sun sets. On some days we may plan a longer itinerary and take a picnic lunch with us and rest under a tree during the heat of the middle of the day.

The diverse habitat of the Masai Mara enables many different species of mammals to co-exist including Lion, Leopard, Cheetah, Serval, Caracal, Elephant, Black Rhinoceros, Masai Giraffe, Cape Buffalo, Eland, Burchell’s Zebra, Topi, Coke’s Hartebeest, Wildebeest, Waterbuck, Impala, Thomson’s Gazelle, Reedbuck, Hyena, Black-backed Jackal, Hippopotamus, Crocodile, Olive Baboon, Black-faced Vervet Monkey, Warthog, Banded Mongoose and many more. In addition over 500 birds species have been recorded in the area of which 50 are birds of prey. It is not without reason that this is the area where many popular African wildlife documentaries have been filmed including the BBC’s Big Cat Week.

During our stay there will be the opportunity to learn more about the people, culture and habitat of the Masai Mara. Optional visits may be arranged to a Masai village and it is also possible to take a nature walk with an experienced guide to learn more about the plant and insect life of the area. These options are generally arranged outside prime game-viewing time, and there will always be the option to continue game viewing or an earlier return to camp for some relaxation or to review photographs.

During the middle of the day there will be the opportunity for informal tutorials on various aspects of photographic technique and equipment to supplement the guidance provided by your Tour Leader on game drives (BLD)

Day 8 Masai Mara, Kenya - Nairobi, Kenya. On the final morning we will have a game drive and picnic breakfast as usual. After lunch we transfer back to the airstrip and take the short return flight to Nairobi. On arrival we will visit a restaurant for dinner (not included) and later transfer to the international airport to board the overnight flight to London (BL)

Day 9 London, UK. Early morning arrival into London Heathrow.

Please note:
  • The itinerary is provisional and subject to change depending on local conditions
  • Not all wildlife mentioned can be seen well at all times of the year and some activities mentioned may not always be available
  • Meals included are as shown by the following key: B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner

Tour Details

Estimated Price £4945 per person based on two people sharing twin accommodation including economy class international flights from the UK. All prices at prevailing exchange rates at the time of preparing this tour information in October 2016.

Duration 9 days

Single supplement £295 subject to availability. If you are a single person booking this holiday you do not have to pay single supplements if you are happy to share. If you are travelling by yourself you will be paired with another single client of the same gender. However your booking is accepted only on the understanding that if no roommate is available then you accept a single supplement will be levied. Single supplements are payable if you specifically request to have a room to yourself. If you have requested single accommodation we will do our best to secure this although this may not always be possible.

Deposit £300 per person required to confirm booking

Travel insurance You must be covered by insurance, which must include adequate cover for baggage, medical expenses and the cost of repatriation should you become too ill to continue, including air ambulance.

Group size 4 to 8 plus photography tour leader(s)

Fitness level Easy wildlife touring in four-wheel drive vehicles. This tour is suitable for guests of most levels of fitness.

Photography level This tour is suitable for all levels of photographic experience. The tour leader(s) will be available throughout the tour to support and advise clients on their photography.

Availability 19 January to 27 January 2018

Cost includes International economy class flights from UK, airport taxes, accommodation on a twin-share basis (unless single has been requested) on a full board basis, transfers for group departures using our chosen airline, all internal flights and transport as per the itinerary, all wildlife activities escorted by English speaking driver/guides, park fees, laundry, all drinks, services of photography tour leader(s) throughout the tour.

Cost excludes Transfers when choosing your own flight arrangements, visa fees, medical examination (if required) & vaccination costs, personal expenditure, telephone calls, guides & staff tips, meals not specified (dinner on final evening in Nairobi), personal clothing & equipment, travel insurance, optional trips, increases in park fees and taxes levied by the Government on the tourism sector, fuel surcharges, charges incurred as a result of delays beyond Safari Consultants control, anything not specified in the Cost Includes.

Booking procedure Peter Smart Wildlife Photography (PSWP) tours in association with Going Digital are organised through Safari Consultants Limited, a fully bonded UK tour operator holding ATOL licence 3783. Also bonded through AITO Trust (No. 1091) and holding an IATA licence. Your financial protection when travelling. All clients will be required to complete a Safari Consultants Limited Booking Form which supersedes any information presented on PSWP's and Going Digital’s websites or other promotional literature. Bookings will be subject to acceptance of Safari Consultants’ Terms and Conditions and the following will also apply for this tour:
  1. Safari Consultants reserve the right to cancel the tour if the minimum group size is not reached at least 45 days prior to the departure. In this event, you will be offered the chance to travel individually or to receive your deposit back in full
  2. In the unlikely event that Peter Smart is unable to join the tour, Safari Consultants reserve the right to send a suitable replacement if available. In such circumstances, the tour will not be cancelled and no compensation will be paid
  3. The tour is based on shared accommodation but a single supplement may be paid for single accommodation, subject to availability.