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
- 5 full days of photography, plus 2 half days
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
* Nov 27 to Dec 3
Tour Leader: Zac Mills
Group Size: 5
Price: $4,995 (US dollars)
Price includes: All meals, accommodation, and transport from Nairobi
Location: Nairobi, Kenya
Fitness Level: Easy
WATCH OUR SAFARI VIDEO
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 occupy 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 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!
Our typical day starts shortly before sunrise. After a quick coffee and snack, we will head out on our morning safari in search of big cats and other wildlife. At some point during mid-morning, we will pause to have our safari breakfast, and then eventually we will make our way back to camp.
Once we return to camp, you are free to relax, review your images, and enjoy the beautiful setting. We will have a hearty lunch and then embark on our evening safari around 4pm, which will run past sunset.
After sunset, we will return to our lodge, have a hearty dinner, discuss our favorite moments from the day, and review any questions that you may have.
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.
Our policy is simple: ask us anything at anytime about gear, technique, strategy, composition, post-processing and beyond. We are here to help you!
MEET YOUR GUIDE
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.
The tour departs from Nairobi, Kenya. If you need any help making your flight arrangements, please let us know.
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.
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.
Nov 28-Dec 2
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.
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.
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 dozens of more species. Rhinos are elusive, but they do exist in the park.
Do I need an entry visa to visit Kenya?
Yes. A tourist visa to Kenya costs around $50 USD and in most cases can be obtained upon arrival at the Nairobi airport. If you’re considering visiting Rwanda or Uganda, please consider the East African tourist visa, which costs $100 USD and is valid for 90 days in Rwanda, Uganda, and Kenya. If you have any questions, please let us know.
What will the weather be like?
At this time of year, small rain showeres 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 25 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.
Can I bring a tripod?
You can, but it’s not needed. We provide plenty of bean bags for you to use in the safari vehicle.
What's the cell coverage like?
If you have international roaming, the cell coverage is reasonably good. In addition, there is WiFi available at the lodge.
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.
• Safaris + park fees
• All transportation from Nairobi
• All meals during the tour
• Beer & wine
• Photography instruction
WHAT’s NOT INCLUDED?
• Flight to Nairobi, Kenya
• Tourist Visa
• Travel insurance (required)
• Alcoholic spirits
JOIN US FOR A TRIP OF A LIFETIME!
Why Our Photo Tours Are Different
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.