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Masai Mara November 2015, 31st October - 7th November


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@@Gregor - thank you for another great report and great images - That second leopard shot in the opening post is breathtaking and actually made me say wow out loud (I usually reserve that for the real thing so well done). I particularly like that you include image data which is a big help to me as i strive to improve my photography.

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Your photos are absolutely amazing. I especially love the ones with birds -- so difficult to photograph for me. Any tips?

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Day 8, 7th November


Last day, and early one we found a pride eating on a kill they made during the night.







There was other animals around like these Elands and Wildebeest that can been seen in the background. The Elands walked by just a little bit more then 20 meters from the lions. I am really surprised by that behavior. After all lions are opportunistic predators, and catching one of those Elands would have been easy.




The Male left after a short while, but the females and cubs stayed for a couple of hours.






After all was finished the vultures arrived, but the sub-adults could´t stop them self from chasing away the vultures several times. Kind of funny to see.




Then we had to leave. On the way out I took a photo of this Blacked-backed jackal.



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Final thoughts


My itinerary was following:


Flight from Stockholm Sweden at Friday evening (after a full day of work).


Arriving in Nairobi 10 in the morning following day. Driving directly to Masai Mara and have a few hours of "game drive" before curfew.


Two nights in Keekorok Lodge


Two nights in Ashnil Mara Lode


Three nights in Mara Serena Lodge in Mara Triangle.


Leaving Saturday at noon from Masai Mara to evening flight, and arriving in Stockholm Sunday morning.


In one week holiday, this gives me 6 full days and two "half" days. I think this Itinerary makes the most of work days off, and I am very happy with Ethiopians flight times.


Maybe someone is curios what this did cost me (single supplement, full board and my own private car with guide, incl park fees etc). It was 2900 euro + 600 euro for the international flight.





View from Serena.


My favorite Lodge is still Keekorok. I think Serena and Ashnil might be ranked a bit higher than Keekorok, and they are a bit more modern/later built. I think Serena stands out as the "best", but is also the biggest and gives me a more western feeling. For me Keekorok is more Africa/English colonial style. But they all have very good service, they are nice and clean, good comfort, good food and most importantly have great locations inside the park. If possible my recommendation for somebody visiting a week in Masai Mara is an itinary like mine, where the days is split up between them.


From a photography and equipment point of view I am very pleased. I have the equipment (2x Nikon D4, Nikon 600mm f/4, Nikon 300 mm f/4 PF, Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8, Nikon 24-70mm f/2,8, Ricoh GR and a bean bag) that suits my needs perfectly and I know what Masai Mara in November have to offer. I hope I will be able to go back many more times.


PS! It would be interesting to know which photos from this trip you liked the most.

Edited by Gregor
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~ @@Gregor


I appreciate your endorsement of Keekorok.

During my first safari, in August, 2011, I visited the grounds at Keekorok for about 15 minutes.

The bird variety in the trees and on the ground thrilled me as it was unlike what I'd observed while driving around Masai Mara.

You'll visit Samburu and Buffalo Springs in March? GREAT!

I'm crazy about Samburu, which has dramatic scenery and superb sightings.

It's very good news that you'll be bringing your excellent photographic skills to lovely Samburu.

Tom K.

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@@Gregor At your prompting, I've gone through the entire thread again to select some favorites. The little bee-eater in post #23 and the elephants in post #49, which I've already singled out, are probably my personal picks. The sunset on the first page is also a stunner.

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@Gregor Great trip report! Just caught up with my reading of some TRs—I have this bad habit of not wanting to follow a story piece by piece, but instead waiting until I can get the “whole” in just one reading. And I’m sure I’ve missed some TRs in the process.

Except for the Mara North Conservancy in 2012, I haven’t been to the Mara proper since October 2008, and was turned off by all the tourist vehicles and traffic jams (especially in the Keekorok section). I can see from your TR that with fewer tourists (because of the terrorism scare) and going slightly off-season, that the great Mara experience from years past is back. I think I need to reconsider my thought that Tanzania is the only Serengeti worth photographing.

You have many excellent captures of the different animals, but I’m particularly envious of all of the cats—the Mara lion population looks to be quite robust, and I loved Grumpy! And the ‘slightly off season’ weather producing such impressive landscapes!

Something I noticed in my images from the Serengeti, and reinforced by your images—while the 100-400 zoom may be IMHO the most versatile lens on safari, I miss the “telephoto look” (shallow depth of field to isolate the subject and the creamy bokeh) from a long telephoto lens. Because of baggage limitations on the internal flights, I haven’t been carrying my 500mm in recent years. But I’ve decided that on my next safari, I’ll be taking my 300f2.8 and 1.4X/2X extenders; surprisingly the 300f2.8 + 2X TC is slightly sharper than my 500!

So when are you returning to off-season Mara? Never can tell, we might run across each other…

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Loved this report and the photos especially. Thanks for sharing.

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A great report with superb photos.

As you asked, my personal favourites are

B&W lion and the sunset, both in Post#11, and the male lion in the rain in Post#21 - great use of what could be described as bad weather!

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Great trip report. Loved all your pictures but my favourites were the sunset picture in post #11 and the lions on the rock in post #49

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Hi everyone


Thanks for your comments and input of your favourites of my pictures. It is very interesting which pictures you like the most. I think choosing pictures is a difficult task.

And my favorites is different from yours; the croc in #11 and the b/w lion couple in post #31.


Cheers :)


PS ! I have no idea when I will be back in Masai Mara, but most likely a november day. But, 4th of march I am off to Ol Pejeta and Samburu. Trip report will follow.

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@@Gregor great report! Your pictures are awesome - I like the one with the jackals between the lions, if you focus on the left part, you can imagine the jackal telling the lion to go away!


Forgive me, I have to just say boo to Ashnil Mara.

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@@Gregor - you can add any of your images to my list of favorites! I have to ask if you have any bad shots ever :P ? All of the lion group images in post #49 are nice but I really like the third one. Apart from the body position on LH lioness it could almost be a time lapse of the same lion going from awake to asleep. I love it.


And given that impressive male lions are a big hit with me I have to add the first image in post #56 - the intent in eyes and sense of movement with seemingly bad intentions are very appealing to me at least. So you can add those two to the leopard at night shot in the opening post for my favorite three.


Kind regards



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@@Gregor, gorgeous photos all, but, #1, 3rd photo of the Leopard in B+W, he just looks sooo menacing.

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@@Gregor - wonderful trip report and excellent photos. Thank you very much for sharing information and thoughts.


Question for you: how often did it rain during game drive hours in late October and early November? Did you have opportunities to photograph colorful sunsets?

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It did rain maybe every other day, but never more than a couple off hours. It was very much on and off. Yes I did have opportunities to photograph the sunsets, but curfew is very soon after sunset and then you are in a hurry to get back to the lodge.

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  • 1 year later...

Just catching this report and these photos.


So. Stunning.


Thanks for sharing it all here. I sincerely appreciate it.

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