This is the Masai Mara at its best, a dream trip where you put the time in and hopefully the wildlife rewards you with moments that you will never forget! Forget the concept of time and day and experience and reflect on the endless moments and memories. Take off your watch, turn off your phone and enjoy.
- What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
Paul achieved my dream of seeing my favourite spotted cats (Leopard and Cheetah) by lunchtime on the 1st full day, but the highlights didn't stop coming all week.
The wildlife highlights go on and on from the majestic Black Rhino, something I never dreamed I might get to see, Elephant in a stormy ski, cute 6 week old Lion cubs playing in the early morning light, the show off Cheetah siblings who walked right past us, hunted endlessly and gave us countless photographic opportunties, the little Carcal who provided so much entertainment,the unforgettable Leopard on granite in early evening light and an encounter with all 4 of Notch's Boys. Oh and the crossings, how could I forget those!
Early morning starts are worth it to watch the sunrise over the plans casting a warm golden glow. Equally enjoyable are those sundowners at sunset with perfect round african sun, just make sure there is some tonic with the gin, if thats your choice of tipple!
Life at migration camp was simple, comfortable and perfect, the food was out of this world, just wait till you get to see the cooking facilities at the end of your trip! The water for the bucket showers was always hot, ready and waiting at the end of the day and the laundry fairy was amazing.
- What did you think of your group leader?
It's no secret that what you see with Paul is what you get. He wants the best out of you, he only has 6 full days to get it. If you want the softly softly approach you won't get it here but what you do get is an endlessly entertaining, highly committed and inspirational individual who drives you to experience the moment and hopefully bring home an image or two that you can be proud off.
The Kicheche guides, James Joseph and Francis worked hard with Paul all week to deliver unforgettable moments. Their eyes can spot things from such a distance, they understand their environment and as a result you experience the best it has to offer. You know when the "bush telegraph" has come up with something amazing, their driving changes and they get you there, but they also put you in the best position they can and seem to be able to predict with great accuracy what will happen next!
My lasting memory from the guides has to be photographic advice from Francis including "As Paul would say Wide Angle, Low Aparture" remark, it has the vehicle in stitches and it still makes me smile 6 weeks later and the bush breakfast in the vehicle on the last morning.....food ended up all over the floor of the vehicle and the coffee just had to go out of the window in the race to get to crossing!
- Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
Know your camera relatively well before you go. You definately need the telephoto lens, I hired mine. If you can afford 2 camera bodies then do it, I didn't and as such when things came close my telephoto was too close and you don't always have time to change the lens. Don't underestimate the amount of memory space you need, particularly is you are practising the slow pan shots, or take a laptop to process your images on.
I borrowed my binoculars and didn't use them, I wouldn't take any next time, the guides have a pair and often let you borrow when they spot something in the distance!
Pack light, the bush laundry is great!, Next time it will be 2 outfits only and 2 fleeces, I didn't wear anything else. Don't forget the hat, sunglasses and sunscreen!
Oh and whatever you do don't forget to pack some winegums for Paul and the guides, our group didn't live that one down all week....we all forgot!
- Is there anything else you would like to add?
- Don't think about it, just book it, it is an amazing trip!