Project Description

lioness in the masai mara

Masai Mara Photo Safari

  • From $8,950 pps

  • 8 Days

  • Kenya

  • All Year

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This bespoke safari is perfectly suited to wildlife photographers wanting to explore this iconic Reserve outside of The Great Migration . During your time in The Mara you will have the use of a private game viewer which gives you the freedom to decide upon your own schedule and photographic priorities. Not only that but we have also arranged lots of extra luggage on the regional flights so you don’t have to worry about what camera gear to bring….bring it all!

Travelling to the Masai Mara outside of the Migration season (August and September) offers excellent wildlife photography and this safari can easily be combined with additional destinations in Kenya such as Amboseli and Samburu.

giraffe at sunrise masai mara
 
sunrise lion in the masai mara
 
lion cub on a mound
 
zebra in the masai mara
 
cheetah at dawn
 
mara video thumbnail
 
mara bush camp
 
mara bush camp tent
 
giraffe in black and white
 
maasai 0black and white
 
pangolin photo vehicle in the masai mara
 
guest in action masai mara
 
photo safari vehicles
 
martial eagle
 
lion cubs playing
 
masa mara elephant
 
leopard on the prowl
 
secretary bird silhouette
 
Lens and camera choices for the great migration
 

When arriving in Nairobi its always better to spend the night at a hotel close to Wilson Airport where you will depart early the next morning for your flight to The Masai Mara. When you arrive at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport you will be met and transferred to your hotel. The hotels we use and very clean and modern and a great place to relax after your flight into Kenya. If time allows we can even arrange a visit to Nairobi National Park which has a remarkable amount of wildlife for a park bordering one of East Africa’s most populous cities…including rhinos!

The next morning you will be transferred the short distance to Wilson Airport to meet take your flight to the Mara. These flights tend to have very strict weight controls on the luggage (normally 15kgs including the camera bag) and they weigh them all when yo are checking in. We have negotiated a rate with Air Kenya for you to take up to 45kgs in total including your camera gear and check in luggage….one less thing not to worry about!

The flight to The Masai Mara takes just over an hour and when you land at the Ol Kiombo Airstrip you will be met by your private vehicle and expert guide. Please note that this safari has been priced based on two people sharing the vehicle. If you are travelling with more people (and the vehicle can take up to 6 guests – we think 4 photographers is the max though) then this will bring the price per person down. Please watch the video above where Charl will walk you through the vehicle and speak to one of our expert safari planners for an exact quote based on the number of people you are traveling with.

The first port of call with be your home for the next 6 nights – Mara Bush Camp – which is a short drive from the airstrip. We love Mara Bush Camp for many reasons but the main one is its central location. We use Mara Bush Camp for all our migration safaris and it’s “top notch”. The rooms are spacious and comfortable, the staff are excellent and food is wholesome and delicious! Its the perfect base to explore the Masai Mara from. Click here to see its location on Google Maps.

Over the next seven days you will depart from the camp at first light to head out photographing. Because you have a private vehicle you can stay out as long as you like (packed lunches can be arranged) or stick to morning and afternoon drives. Your expert guide driving the vehicle will more than likely have worked with us during the migration safaris so will know what sort of photo opportunities to seek out. You are allowed to drive in the reserve from sunrise to sunset and your guide will always try and end the day with a stunning sunset silhouette!

When the wildebeest and zebras are not in The Mara the predators have to work a bit harder and the big cats especially are more active. Having your own vehicle also means that you can spend as much or as little time as you like at a sighting. If, for example, you find a family of cheetah resting on a termite mound you can stick with them for serval hours in the hope that they start to hunt.

Mara Bush Camp’s location means that you can work different areas of the reserve on different days and if you find a particularly productive area you can return there over and over. If you want to return to the camp during the heat of the day then you can do so and head out again later. A private vehicle is the ultimate luxury for a wildlife photographer.

If you are looking to extend your safari beyond the Masai Mara then we have extensions to other iconic Kenyan photo safari destinations such as Amboseli and Samburu. We also have packages to go gorilla trekking in Uganda if that is of interest. Please chat to one of our safari planners about options and routing.

On the final day you will leave the Masai Mara in the mid morning for the flight back to Wilson Airport where you will either be transferred to Jomo Kenyatta International. If your flight only leaves later in the afternoon or evening we can arrange a day room at a hotel for you.

We recommend taking the safari in the months outside of the Migration when we are not running a hosted workshop. the ideal months for this safari are Jan to March, June, November & December. April and May tend to be more rainy and July to October are when the migration is on.

The price per person for this safari is from $9,450 per person sharing for the months mentioned above.

Its is based on two people sharing a room and the vehicle. If you are travelling with more people then the price per person will reduce as the cost of the vehicle will be divided by more people. For a n accurate quote based on your exact requirements please complete the form below and on of our expert safari planners will be all too happy to assist.

  • Meet and Greet at Jomo Kenyatta Airport – Nairobi

  • 1 night at The Tamarind Hotel (close to Wilson Airport)

  • Return flight from Wilson Airport to The Masai Mara

  • 30kgs extra baggage allowance (total 50kgs)

  • 6 nights at Mara Bush Camp

  • All meals included (plus bottled water and tea/coffee)

  • Game drives in private custom Land Cruiser w/ expert guide

  • Hot air balloon flight down the Mara River (Optional Add On)

  • International Flights

  • All drinks other than those specified

  • Visa fees if required

  • Laundry, gratuities and items of a personal nature.

Suggested Add-ons to The Masai Mara Photo Safari

(Please chat with one of our expert safari planners to chat through your options below.)

Samburu.

Samburu is a such a unique destination that it pairs very well with time spent in The Masai mara. It is very different in regards to the landscapes, vegetation and even more so the animals and birds that you will see here. Special note goes to the Samburu Special 5 which are the Grevy’s Zebra (3000 left in the wild), Gerenuk, Somali Ostrich, Beisa Oryx and Reticulated Giraffe. You can read more about samburu here.

Toby has also made a video about his time in samburu which you can watch here.

Amboseli.

The Amboseli National Park sits in the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro and is famous for those iconic shots of herds of elephants strolling past its snow capped peak. Amboseli is, however, more than just that. its an incredibly diverse ecosystem with dry almost desert like conditions blending seamlessly into swamp land fed by waters from the mountain. This means that the animal and bird life is as divers as the landscape and there are plenty of great wildlife photography opportunities to be had. You can read more about Amboseli here.

Janine and Guts have made a video about Amboseli which you can watch here.

Gorilla Trekking in Uganda.

Trekking to see gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is an extraordinary experience and one that should be on any wildlife photographers “must-do” list. We tend to chose Uganda over Rwanda for several reasons. First the cost of each trek permit is considerably cheaper which means that you can do two in Uganda for every one in Rwanda. Also Uganda has more locations to see and photograph habituated chimpanzees than in Rwanda which is an experience on a par with the gorilla trek! Finally in the swamps close to Entebbe you will find the extraordinary Shoebill Storks.

Come to Botswana.

Believe it of not combining a Masai Mara photo safari with some time in Botswana is actually very easy and straightforward. Kenya Airways flies daily to Victoria Falls which is less than 2 hours by car across the border to The Chobe. You can chose to overnight in Vic Falls if you like or come straight over in time for an afternoon photo boat cruise on the Chobe River. From here you could venture further south into the Okavango Delta and even the Kalahari. Have a look at our Best of Botswana itinerary to see what’s possible.

As you don’t have any draconian luggage restrictions on this safari you are free to bring as much or as little camera gear as you like. there is plenty of space in the vehicle and the pop up roof has plenty of bean bags. Here is a video made by Charl and Sabine explaining their lens choices for the Masai Mara: https://youtu.be/Jglo06VWa2E

Although the vehicle does have 6 seats we would only recommend it be used by four photographers at a time as a maximum. This gives you lots of room in the vehicle as well as plenty of places to keep your bags nearby to grab another camera or lens.

Our Reviews

Woodson64
Woodson64
2024-04-07
Beyond awesome!! I just returned home from a fabulous 6 nights at the Pangolin Chobe Hotel in Kasane, Botswana. Everything was as expected. The room was comfortable with reliable internet and air conditioning. Lots of work space to edit photos, multiple international plugs (no need to bring a converter) and a comfortable bed. The food was outstanding at every meal and the staff was excellent. Many of the trips were on the river and the photo opportunities were endless. The boats are equipped with gimbals which helped with managing long lenses. Our guide was always looking to put us in the best positions to get great images. All of the guides there are outstanding and if you are into wildlife photography, booking a trip with Pangolin is a no brainer. I am eagerly looking to return next year and will bring along some of my photographer friends.
Chris B
Chris B
2024-02-17
Out of this world. Much much more than one could ever have expected This was the most amazing 5 days photography of my life. I was pretty reasonable before the trip but Janine's tuition / moving wokrshop ! turned something brilliant into something amazing. In addition my wife had previously rarely picked up a camera but having borrowed one of theirs came away with a thouroghly respectable 'portfolio' of wildlife shots, some of which I failed to capture. Am hoping to return one day. Oh and in addition the accommodation and full board etc was just perfect for the style of trip we were seeking. Only downside was that British Airways had my hold luggage for the whole of our 12 day visit to Africa however that did not spoil how good Pangolin are. Oh and we met a great couple from Ohio and are still in touch with them
beegal
beegal
2024-02-15
An incredible experience top to bottom I can't say enough about Pangolin. We stayed for two weeks, complete with gourmet meals (including vegan options for my husband) in portions that were too large, open bar, pool, free laundry services, comfortable beds, amazing staff, and safaris that were exciting yet exhausting. They arranged a day trip to Victoria Falls for us. And we were only rained out of one boat safari in the entire two weeks (in rainy season!) We learned from the photo hosts and guides. You get your money's worth and more here.
Jamie C
Jamie C
2023-11-29
Pangolin Photo safaris - a fantastic place to stay and to enjoy the Chobe We had a fantastic time at the wonderful Pangolin, everything was terrific. The staff were wonderful, both in the hotel and the Bush and all clearly well trained and very welcoming and helpful led by Dan. Charl was just what was needed on tour and with the photographing, we feel we all learned a lot as well as having fun. The food was delicious and the Chef great fun as well with his theatrical intros! I enjoyed the pool’s pond like qualities, which felt just right for the bush! Highly recommend this for photographic enthusiasts as well as everyone who enjoys the excitement of the Chobe wild life.
lumenstein94002
lumenstein94002
2023-11-25
No place is perfect, until you go here When I had an issue with a safari in the Okavango Delta, the company I had booked through pivoted and made arrangements for me to stay here for two nights. I have but one complaint, it was ONLY two nights. There cannot be anything said about this place that is not incredible. First, the staff is friendly from the pick up, to the in house staff to the team that works to make sure that your time here is as if you are family that you have known a lifetime. Because I was not originally planning on being here, I went in blind. Well, I can tell you that if you are thinking for a second of going here you have already thought too long. Just book it! I have already spent time looking at my next trip and it will be 100% with Pangolin. The boats are amazing, the team made you look better, spent time teaching me editing tips, and just cannot say enough about this company, the people and oh, the food!! The food each night was amazing.
MPA
MPA
2023-11-14
Fantastic all the way around 10/10 Wow these folks do it right! We just returned from leading our clients through Pangolin for our photography tour on the Chobe. I can't say enough about them. Everything from the staff and our guide (Richard) to Dan at the front desk and Guts with operations as well as the entire team are fantastic. We are for sure going to be working with them again in the future and look forward to it!
Sheree R
Sheree R
2023-11-01
How wrong was I, Totally! As it turned out. This was a holiday that my husband wanted to do. I was very sceptical about doing it. After all how much were you going to see from a boat anyway. I was afraid of using my camera, so thought this may help. It was awesome, we had 3 days on the Houseboat and 3 days in their Lodge. Whilst in the boat we got to see 2 Lions bring down an Impala, only meters away from our boat. Jarco & Ray, our guides, were awesome. The people we met were lovely and we got some great photos. This is a holiday that we have and will continue to recommend. It was totally worth it.
Cuthahotha
Cuthahotha
2023-10-24
Photography instruction to go from zero to hero in a few short days! With plenty of tips for the more experienced of us I'll make this short, there are no superlatives good enough to describe our time with Pangolin. We booked the Best of Chobe safari as my wife's first foray from North America. I had been watching all of the phenomenal YouTube content put out by Pangolin and knew they were the company to go with. They met and exceeded every expectation I had, and I had a lot. Our guides, Ray and Charlies, were excellent, knowing the game well and how best to position our boat or game drive vehicle for the best photos. Walter served as our photo host. Not only is he an excellent photographer, but he's an outstanding teacher. I do a lot of wildlife photography, and my wife is/was a complete novice at digital photography. By the end of the trip she was turning out outstanding images, and I learned more than a few tips. Well worth it for both of us. Typically, you'll do two game drives per day, either by custom-designed photography boats or game vehicles. We had four meals daily, and the evening meals were some of the best I have ever had. Also, while on the game drives, there are snacks, water, coffee, or sodas. You won't go hungry! While we both had gear (Nikon for my wife. I carry Canon R3 and Canon R5 ) they do have a loan department from which they will provide (free of charge) Canon 80Ds and 150-600mm lenses. The photo hosts are well-versed in the major camera manufacturers and models. Again, I can't begin to praise Pangolin, Toby, and Guts for the incredible customer service and photo safari.

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Possible additions to the Masai Mara Photo Safari:

Epic Kenya


When: February 2025
Duration: 12 Days
Price from: USD14,950

Learn More