Monday, January 25, 2021

Maasai Mara like never before - A guest's view.

Magical sighting of mating lions in the Mara landscape.

December 2020, probably the best time to be in the Masai Mara in the last 60 years because there was no one else there. But this  ‘icing on the cake’ was coincidental; the decision to go on a photography safari was driven by the fact that I was totally fed up having had a cold, wet holiday in northern Scotland in September, totally fed up with Covid, my wife didn’t want to go away and so I was free to do what I wanted. And I wanted was to go on a one-to-one guided photography safari. 

Buffalo at dawn.

Elephant on the open plain on the first afternoon. 

I have been watching the photography experts’ webinars and came across Albie on that. I checked him out on the Internet and contacted him. He sorted everything! There were a few obstacles before I got there because of Covid, but I met Albie at Wilson airport in Nairobi and it became immediately obvious this was going to be special; there were five people in the airport! I had decided that I would stay at one camp for the whole duration, because every time you move you lose a day. The bonus was that it was all the cheaper as there was less travel. I was looking to photograph animals, not spend my time travelling.

Mara sky. 

Mom and Cub playing.

Breakfast - a Bohor Reedbuck.

The downside of no one being there was that we had to find the animals ourselves but having found them we could spend as long as we liked and have total access from 360°.  So, if we needed to move 18 inches to get a better view, or better light, or less foliage in front of the animals, we could. It was perfect.
We stayed at the Naibor Main camp and I was the only guest, consequently they totally spoiled me.
Albie was amazing! He had managed this camp in 2004 and he knew his way around the Mara. His advice and help with the photography was second to none; he always put my amateurish ideas before his professional ones, but then showed me how I could do it much better. I learnt a huge amount. 
Cheetah Cubs.
Black-bellied Bustard.

We also had a Masai guide by the name of Jackson and the three of us got on very well. There was some great humour in the Jeep and we all really enjoyed ourselves. I had 11 days with these guys, yet it was over in a blink of an eye. 

We even had a crossing in December.

I was already quite excited when I booked the trip but, when I got out there, I realised this was a trip of a lifetime and, to be honest, I still can’t quite believe how great it was. Having the Mara to myself almost, the great tuition from Albie, the enjoyment of being with Albie and Jackson, the quality of people and reception at Naibor, all made for a phenomenal holiday. And it was all down to Albie.

I have attached a few photos to back up the narrative. These are probably the best photographs I have ever taken – thank you Albie

Topi sunset.

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