I travelled to the Masai Mara in Kenya with Natures Images on their big cat safari in Feb 2017 and earlier this year. The trip is ideal for anyone who loves wildlife photography. As a beginner in 2017, It was my first time using a long lens, I learnt so much from the professional photographers David Lloyd and Tom Way and the other 11 photographers on the trip.
We stayed at Entim Camp, which was amazing. It is located right in the heart of the action, you go to sleep hearing the hippos grunting from a nearby watering hole as well as the occasional lion and hyena. Every day is different, but the friendly wake up calls, amazing bush breakfasts, five-star service including hot water bottles can always be relied upon. You learn a lot from the Masai guides who are rotated for each drive.
They have an incredible amount of knowledge and seem to pre-empt the animals behaviour so that you are always in a great position to get the shot. Each day there is an opportunity to review your shots with the pro’s as well as support in the editing ensuring that your photography improves over the week. I have learnt so much during both trips and made some great friends, this trip whilst a big investment provides an opportunity to really develop your style and improve your technique.
Top Tips for a African Safari
1. Hire Lens - Telephoto Lenes are expensive and you will benefit from reach and ability to shoot and low light.
2. Eye Drops - It’s incredibly dusty and you drive across the plains, your eyes are likely to feel dry.
3. Microfiber Cloth - Its so dusty on safari, you can use a microfiber cloth to wipe down and cover your camera equipment on the move.
4. Bean Bag - Take your own bean bag to support your camera and don't forget some lanyards to make sure it stays attached to your vehicle.
5. Torch - You may experience a power cut, a torch will make sure you have enough light.
6. Portable Hard drive -It’s relatively inexpensive, convenient and makes sure your work is backed up whilst you’re on the move.
7. Memory Cards - Take lots, i took around 500 photos on each drive, others took double that.
8. Anti-bacterial hand wash - Better safe than sorry.