Big Cat Safari Photo Tour

Lock eyes with lions, leopards, and cheetahs

    • The ultimate safari experience
    • Photograph lions, leopards, and cheetahs from close range
    • Photograph elepants, giraffes, and dozens of more iconic species
    • Benefit from our extensive experience
    • All meals, accommodation, and transportation from Nairobi
    • 7 days / 7 nights

Close your eyes and imagine watching a cheetah running at 60 miles per hour across the horizon, chasing after a gazelle. Imagine watching lion cubs play with each other for hours on end. Imagine watching the beautiful coat of the leopard shimmer in the bush before it emerges in full view. 

The inspiration of Disney’s The Lion King, Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve is one of Africa’s best safari destinations. With an abundance of lions, cheetahs, and leopards, plus elephants, giraffes, hippos, buffalos, rhinos, zebras, and many more species, there is so much opportunity to capture amazing wildlife moments.

We have been traveling to Masai Mara for more than 10 years and understand it like few other photographers. With the friendships we have developed, it truly feels like a home away from home. And we are happy to share this home with you and all the amazing sights it has to offer.

Tour Highlights: Best safari destination on the planet

2024 Dates:

* December 6-12

Tour Leader: Zac Mills

Group Size: 5

Price: $5,995 (US dollars)

Price includes: All meals, accommodation, and transport from Nairobi

Accommodation: Single

Start/End: Nairobi, Kenya

Fitness Level: Easy

WATCH OUR VIDEO

REASONS TO CHOOSE THIS TOUR

Big Five Sightings: The Masai Mara is a prime destination for spotting the Big Five—lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, and rhinoceros. The park’s diverse ecosystems provide excellent opportunities to observe these iconic species in their natural habitats.

Abundance of Big Cats: The Masai Mara is home to a thriving population of predators, including lions, cheetahs, and leopards. The vast grasslands provide an ideal setting for observing these majestic creatures in action as they hunt and interact.

Rich Birdlife: With over 450 bird species, the Masai Mara offers a paradise for bird enthusiasts. From colorful bee-eaters to majestic eagles, the diverse avian life adds to the overall wildlife experience in the park.

Cultural Encounters: Beyond its wildlife, the Masai Mara provides an opportunity to engage with the local Maasai people and experience their vibrant culture. Visitors can participate in cultural activities, learn about traditional practices, and gain a deeper understanding of the region’s human-wildlife coexistence.

ITINERARY

The tour departs from Nairobi, Kenya. If you need any help making your flight arrangements, please let us know.

Day 0 • Arrive in Nairobi, Kenya

Our photo tour starts in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, where you will be picked up at the airport and transferred to your hotel to spend the night.

Day 1 • Nairobi to Masai Mara

After breakfast, you will be picked up from your hotel and transferred to Masai Mara National Reserve. We will then start our first safari as we travel through the reserve to our lodge where we will be based for the duration of our stay. We will have lunch, get settled in our accommodation, and then head out for an afternoon safari until sunset, when we will return to the lodge for dinner.

Day 2-6 • Big Cat Safari

For each of the next 5 days, we begin with an early morning safari where we search for the big cats with the rising sun. We will have “breakfast safari” and pause our morning at the appropriate time to enjoy a relaxing breakfast on the Savannah. After breakfast, we will continue our safari before eventually returning to the lodge for lunch. After lunch, there will be free time to relax until we head out once again for our afternoon safari. We will then return to the lodge for dinner.

Day 7 • Back to Nairobi

On our last day, we will have our final morning safari. Afterwards, we will collect our belongings from the lodge, collect our packed lunch eat a quick lunch, and then begin our return journey to Nairobi, where we will say good-bye. 

Nairobi

WHAT’s INCLUDED?

• Photography instruction
• Park fees

• Accommodation
• All transportation from Nairobi
• All meals and drinks during the tour
• Laundry

WHAT’s NOT INCLUDED?

• Flight to Nairobi, Kenya
• Kenya Tourist Visa
• Tips for guides
• Travel medical insurance (required)

WHAT IS A TYPICAL DAY?

5:15am: wake up

5:30am: coffee/tea

6am: start morning game drive

8:30am: safari breakfast

10:30am: return to lodge

1pm: lunch

2-3:30pm: rest / optional image review

3:30pm: coffee/tea

3:45pm: start evening game drive

6:45pm: return to lodge

7:30pm: dinner

 

* Actual times may vary. 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How many big cats will I see?

Wildlife is unpredictable, but your chances of seeing lions, cheetahs, and leopards are almost guaranteed. Masai Mara is one of the best locations on the planet for big cat photography.

What other wildlife will I see?

You will likely see elephants, giraffes, zebras, buffalo, hippos, impalas, antelopes, wildebeest, ostriches, warthogs, topis, elands, and likely over 100+ more species. 

Do I need an Entry Visa?

Not exactly. Starting from January 1, 2024, Kenya no longer issues tourist visas; instead, they now require electronic travel authorization (eTA). For further details and any inquiries, please visit the following link: https://www.etakenya.go.ke/en. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or need assistance with the process.

What will the weather be like?

At this time of year, small rain showers are possible everyday, which on the bright side can bring the most amazing skies and sunsets.

Typically, the temperature ranges from approximately 13 degree Celcius at night to 28 degrees Celcius during the day.

What focal range do you recommend?

Anywhere from 24-800mm. It’s one of those places where the animals can be quite close to the vehicle, or where we are watching an epic cheetah chase from 100 meters away. 

Most often, a super telephoto lens will serve you best, but we encourage that you bring a range of lenses, including a wide angle, to capture special moments that can unfold right in front of you.

Will there be cell service or WiFi at the lodge?

If you have international roaming, the cell coverage is reasonably good. In addition, there is WiFi available at the lodge.

More Questions?

Send us an email and we’ll be happy to arrange a time to chat through everything with you and answer any questions you may have.

BIG CAT CONSERVATION

Unfortunately, the big cats that we will be photographing are all either threatened or endangered. Lions have disappeared from 94 percent of their historic range and now there are only an estimated 20,000 left in the wild. Cheetahs have lost 91 percent of their histortic range and there are only an estimated 7,000 left in the wild. The population of the African leopard is also decreasing.

The Mara Predator Conservation Programme was established to support healthy predator populations in the Greater Mara Ecosystem by providing scientific evidence for conservation action. Part of the proceeds from this tour will be donated to support these important conservation efforts.

THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT BIG CATS

The Maasai Mara is one of the best wildlife viewing destinations on the planet and is known for its abundance of lions, leopards, and cheetahs. We are likely to see big cats every day, including the chance to see playful cubs, hunting activity, and other interesting behavior.

There’s so much to learn, appreciate, and admire about these incredible animals. With over 10 years and more than 25 trips of experience, we will put you in the right place at the right time to maximize your photography opportunities of these amazing predators. If photographing Africa’s big cats is on your bucket list, then this is the tour for you!

HOW TO PHOTOGRAPH BIG CATS

The key to big cat photography is to understand big cat behavior. With our team’s extensive experience, we will be able to anticipate behavior and put you in the best spot that aligns with the direction of light. This may mean leaving a situation with an assured 7/10 shot for the potential of a 10/10 shot. With the abundance of big cats in the Mara ecosystem, it’s easy to get out a big lens, zoom in, and fire away. But these shots typically are not the most memorable. Instead, we will emphasize compositions that tell a story, where there’s a convergence of subject, light, and environment to create a magical image that stands out.

We provide optional 1-1 Zoom sessions before the tour, detailed prompts and guidance when we are in the field, and optional post-processing sessions after your tour. We will do everything we can to help you become a better photographer!

PHOTO GALLERY

EXTEND YOUR STAY

Amboseli

  • Spectacular Views of Mount Kilimanjaro: Amboseli National Park in Kenya is renowned for its stunning panoramic views of Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak. The iconic image of elephants and other wildlife against the backdrop of the snow-capped mountain is a major draw for visitors.
  • Abundant Wildlife and Elephant Population: Amboseli is home to a diverse array of wildlife, including large herds of elephants, along with other species such as lions, giraffes, zebras, and a variety of birdlife.

Mountain Gorillas

  • Unforgettable wildlife encounter: Mountain gorillas are one of the most endangered species on the planet, and encountering them in their natural habitat provides a unique opportunity to witness their behavior and social structure.
  • Breathtaking Natural Setting: Mountain gorilla habitats are often situated in lush and scenic mountainous landscapes. The experience of trekking through these stunning environments adds to the adventure and excitement of the journey to see the gorillas.

Meet Your Guide: Zac Mills

As a wildlife photographer, traveler, and former World Bank economist, Zac brings a different perspective to wildlife conservation. He founded the Wildlife Collective to help others become better wildlife photographers and to use their voice for conservation. With leadership roles in several conservation organizations, Zac knows first hand that working together with like-minded individuals can make a difference. Zac hopes to entertain you with stories from the wild, inspire you to get involved in conservation, and to become the best wildlife photographer you can be.

JOIN US FOR A TRIP OF A LIFETIME!

Why Our Photo Tours Are Different

Experience

The essence of life lies in its experiences, and it is our unwavering mission to gift you the very best of them. We strive to craft our tours with care and authenticity, making each adventure a vibrant chapter in the story of your life.

Conservation

All of our tours have a conservation focus. We will learn about the challenges facing our primary subject and ongoing conservation work. Plus, every tour makes a donation to a conservation partner.

Locations

We take you to the world’s most amazing wilderness destinations, carefully selected for their unparalleled beauty and chosen based on our commitment to providing guests with the very best wildlife experiences.

Photography Focus

We welcome all levels of photography and provide optional photography sessions before, during, and after the tour. With our hands on learning, you are going to leave our tour as a better photographer. Ask us anything at anytime!

Small Groups

We believe that small groups give the best wildlife expereinces. We do not exceed 6 clients per guide, and in most tours, the ratio will be even smaller. This ensures that you get the personalized attention that you deserve.

Best Guides

We work with the world’s best wildlife guides, who also happen to be our good friends. They are experienced, keep us safe, and put us in the best possible position to have the best wildlife experience.