The Ultimate Wildlife Guided Masai Mara Photo Safari in 2024
For wildlife photographers, the phrase “safari” is practically a synonym for Kenya, thanks to the country’s enduring popularity in both award-winning nature documentaries and Hollywood blockbusters. In addition to its incredible wildlife, this East African country boasts some of the most stunning scenery in all of Africa, making it the perfect destination for wildlife photographers.
Located in northern Tanzania, the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem includes the Maasai Mara and the adjacent Loita Plains. This 25,000 km² wildness is home to the yearly wildebeest migration, the most spectacular wildlife show on Earth. In the Serengeti–Mara environment, these grazers and their predators go on a migratory cycle. Other grazers that participate include plains zebras and Thompson’s gazelles. These species also have year-round residents in the Mara who don’t migrate, but their numbers explode from July to November, when it’s dry, into the astronomical hundreds. An unforgettable opportunity to see this incredible migration is available on ORYX Photography’s Kenya migration safari.
Due to the Mara part receiving the most rainfall in the ecosystem, over 200,000 zebra and one million wildebeest are attracted to the area during the dry season to feed on grasses that have been depleted further south. These incredible animals can be seen overcoming their biggest challenge—crossing the Mara River—on our Masai Mara Photo Safari. Thousands of years of herdsmen have been preyed upon by the giant Nile crocodiles, who pose the greatest threat of all, together with the river’s steep banks and powerful currents.
The abundance of herbivores in the Mara makes it an ideal hunting ground for predators. As shown on BBC’s Big Cat Diary, large carnivores include spotted hyenas, leopards, cheetahs, and lions. While the world-famous black-maned Mara lions undoubtedly steal the show, visitors may also expect to see monkeys, waterbuck, wildebeest, topi, kongoni, Thompson’s and Grant’s gazelle, and more on a Masai Mara Photo Safari unlike any other in Africa. Specifically, the Mara’s incredible cheetah provide unparalleled photo opportunities—possibly the best chance to see these cats anywhere!
Birdwatchers and avian photographers will find fantastic possibilities here, as they do throughout Kenya. In their quest for a free meal, the Mara terrain is frequented by a variety of vulture species, including Ruppell’s griffon and the largest of them all, the hideous lappet-faced vulture.
Among the world’s top photographic safaris, this Kenya migration tour is the bee’s knees.
Photo Safari Activities in The Masai Mara
Game Drive – Masai Mara Game Reserve – Once in a lifetime Experience
Inside the Mara, we travel in spacious Land Cruisers with long wheelbases, pop-up roofs, and lots of bean bags. No more than four clients, including the photographer, will be allowed in the vehicle at any one time.
Due to the fact that off-roading is not allowed within the Masai Mara National Park or the Mara Triangle, we must rely on our knowledgeable guides to navigate the road network and anticipate animal behavior in order to capture the perfect photo. This is the key distinction between a photo-conscious guide and any other kind of guide. Our guides are experts in this field, and we chose them specifically because of it.
Flights over the Masai Mara
Kenya: Hot air balloon safari over Masai Mara
Hot air ballooning; If you only get the chance to go hot air ballooning once in your lifetime, there’s no better experience than gliding over the Masai Mara. We take use of the balloons from Governer’s Camp, which take off near the Mara River and float downstream to the Tanzanian border, where we land for a champagne breakfast!
Not much place for additional camera equipment in the basket due to its limited space. A telephoto and a wide-angle lens are ideal for shooting landscapes, in our opinion. Large prime lenses lack the adaptability of telephotos and might be a pain to carry around.
Helicopter — We hire a professional pilot to fly you over the majority of the Mara for an hour during migration. In contrast to the hot air balloon, where you’re at the whim of the wind, this aircraft has open doors and the major benefit is that it can hover for a specific shot. The helicopter is an add-on that the majority of clients choose.
Masai Mara Village Visit
Guests interested in cultural immersion and portrait shooting can have a trip to a nearby Maasai village arranged for them. Despite its perhaps forced nature, it provides excellent photo ops and an opportunity to back a local cause.