What an incredible combination to end off my safaris for the year. Amboseli and the Masai Mara is a combined safari that offers you the vast landscapes of East Africa that come alive in an extraordinary journey from the iconic Amboseli National Park to the legendary Masai Mara, concluding in the pristine wilderness of the Mara Triangle at the Wild Eye Mara Camp.
Our expedition commenced in Amboseli National Park, a jewel nestled at the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro. Its truly a magnificent Reserve mesmerising us by the breath taking panoramas that unfolded before us, Amboseli is know for its gentle giants that roam freely against the backdrop of Africa's highest peak. Amboseli's diverse ecosystems always promise encounters with an array of wildlife, from the impressive herds of elephants to the elusive big cats that thrive in this harmonious natural haven.
As we transitioned to the next chapter of our safari, the Masai Mara, with its timeless allure and unparalleled biodiversity. Renowned as one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Mara unfolded a tapestry of wildlife sightings despite being outside of migration season.
This safari combination, from Amboseli to the Mara Triangle's Wild Eye Mara Camp, is a harmonious symphony of nature's grandeur. It caters to the discerning safari enthusiast seeking an immersive experience, a photographer chasing the perfect shot, and anyone yearning to witness the untamed beauty of East Africa in its purest form.
Amboseli National Park covers an area of approximately 392 square kilometers (151 square miles). It might not be one of the largest national parks in Africa, but its unique location and ecosystems make it a significant and diverse habitat for various species.
In terms of bird species, Amboseli National Park is home to over 400 different species. These birds inhabit the various habitats within the park, including wetlands, acacia woodlands, grasslands, and open plains. The diverse birdlife adds to the park's allure and makes it a paradise for birdwatchers and ornithologists.
When it comes to mammal species, Amboseli is known for its impressive variety as well. The park hosts more than 80 species of mammals. Some of the most notable residents include elephants, lions, cheetahs, giraffes, zebras, buffaloes, and various antelope species. The presence of large herbivores and predators contributes to the park's status as a prime wildlife viewing destination.
These numbers highlight the rich biodiversity that Amboseli National Park supports, making it a vital conservation area and a remarkable destination for nature enthusiasts and photographers alike.
Visiting and exploring Amboseli as the first stop of this great combination is a great introduction to anyone and everyone who has and has not been on safari and who is or is not a photographer, it is just one of those destinations that has something for everyone.
Majority of our mornings in Amboseli, we headed towards the dry lake bed to see if we could get elephants crossing the dry lake bed as the morning heated up. This meant that we would learn as early as we could, drive through the marsh area, allowing us time to stop and photograph an abundance of birdlife, especially large flocks of flamingos on the still water at first light. It also allowed us multiple opportunities to photograph numerous mammals with a beautiful African sunrise.
What I really love about visiting the same place or Game Reserve is that no two trips are the same, I guess that's what keeps safaris so interesting and all of us wanting to come back for more.
We were extremely fortunate with what we got to see and photograph during our 5 night stay in Amboseli and really couldn't have asked for a better way to start the safari, we were all just hoping that our luck would continue and that by going out without expectation, nature would provide something for us. Each drive we went on, we had a basic plan in mind(always a good idea) but anyone who has been on safari will tell you that plans OFTEN change. We would head out and not only photograph but appreciate everything, from the birdlife and landscape to the wildlife.
We wrapped up an incredible first half of the trip and made our way by a short flight into the Masai Mara and the Wild Eye Mara Camp.
Here are just a few highlights from our incredible time in Amboseli...
The second part of this great combination finds us spending 6 nights at our very own Wild Eye Mara Camp in the Mara triangle.
As we stepped into the heart of the Masai Mara, our anticipation was met with the untamed beauty that is the Wild Eye Mara Camp. Nestled within the iconic savannah of southwestern Kenya, our camp promises an immersive safari experience like no other. Surrounded by the symphony of nature, the camp's canvas tents blend seamlessly with the wild landscape, offering a rustic charm that resonates with the authenticity of the African wilderness.
With each step, the pulse of the Mara resonates, and the camp becomes a gateway to the untamed wonders that define this corner of the world. The sounds of wildlife create a natural soundtrack as I take in the panoramic views of the savannah, stretching as far as the eye can see. It's a front-row seat to the theater of the wild, I know I have mentioned it before, but The Inkishui(the Wild Eye Camp) is probably one of the loudest camps I have ever been to. Lying in bed at night and sitting around camp, there is a wide range of bird calls in amongst numerous wildlife. Most evenings lying in bed, lions, leopards, hippos, owls and a variety of other creatures can be heard, it truly is an incredible experience that one has to experience for themselves...
The camp exudes an eco-friendly ethos, emphasizing a deep connection to the environment. As I settle into my tent, the harmony of luxury and nature becomes apparent – a comfortable retreat after a day of safari adventures. The evening sky comes alive with a blanket of stars, a celestial spectacle mirrored by the flickering campfire below.
Our journey to the Wild Eye Mara Camp promised intimate encounters with the Mara's famed inhabitants, from the majestic Big Five to the vibrant birdlife that graces the skies. It's a journey into the heart of Africa's wilderness, where every moment unfolds as a story etched into the vast canvas of the Masai Mara.
Going out into the field with the same mentality as we did in Amboseli, allowed us to absorb and soak up every moment of being out in the middle of one of the most prolific Game Reserves in the world.
I have been fortunate to visit the Mara a number of times over the past few years and every single time I visit, it is completely different. The camp itself is hard to describe, but having spoken to past guests and something that comes up every time I'm in camp is the people, the staff are simply incredible and they really do make you feel right at home, from sharing their culture, to side chats along side the mighty Mara river, one cannot help but feel extremely privileged to be able to have such an intimate experience.
From a wildlife point of view, well, it NEVER disappoints and we had a variety of incredible sightings. I always find that going out on safari with zero expectations is the best way to explore any wilderness area as you allow nature an empty canvas which is ALWAYS filled with excitement and phenomenal wildlife encounters.
Here a some highlights from our very special week in the Mara...
In conclusion the enchanting tapestry of Kenya's wild landscapes, the fusion of Amboseli National Park and the Masai Mara creates an extraordinary safari experience that transcends the boundaries of photography, appealing to the hearts of nature lovers in general. For those who appreciate the unfiltered beauty of the natural world, this dual safari offers an immersive journey through two distinct ecosystems, each with its own charm and wonders.
Amboseli, with its iconic backdrop of Mount Kilimanjaro, unveils the drama of the African savannah, where vast herds of elephants roam freely against the canvas of open plains. Nature lovers, whether armed with a camera or not, can revel in the sheer awe of witnessing these majestic creatures in their natural habitat. The park's diverse birdlife and unique landscapes further enrich the sensory experience, creating memories that transcend the boundaries of a photograph.
Transitioning to the Masai Mara, the pulse of the wild quickens. For nature enthusiasts, the Mara offers the chance to witness the intricacies of the natural world, from the regal lions to graceful giraffes, all under the vast African sky.
Whether capturing these moments through the lens or simply absorbing them with the naked eye, the combination of Amboseli and the Masai Mara paints a comprehensive portrait of Kenya's wilderness. It's a journey where the symphony of nature resonates with both photographers seeking the perfect shot and nature lovers seeking a deeper connection to the untamed beauty that defines these remarkable landscapes. Together, Amboseli and the Masai Mara beckon all who are captivated by the call of the wild, inviting you to be part of an immersive safari that transcends the boundaries of observation, creating memories woven by the hands of nature itself.
I truly hope you enjoyed the trip report and all the images, this safari really is a great combination for all safari goers and I highly recommend it...
Until next time,
Wild Eye Mara Camp
The name of our camp is “Enkishui”, the Maasai term for “life”.
The name was decided upon, as the position of our camp was a notoriously dangerous crossing point that the wildebeest used and, due to the exit from the river being rocky and steep, many animals would drown. Now that our camp is set up, the wildebeest no longer cross at this point, saving countless lives. Bringing with it life.
This idyllic piece of Africa will give you an authentic African safari experience in an intimate setting, totally immersed in nature and truly escaping from the realities that are happening in our current lives.
Amboseli & Masai Mara Safari
What makes this even more special is that fact that Mount Kilimanjaro forms the backdrop for almost every image, providing incredible photographic opportunities. Having our own vehicles and local guides means we do not have to stick to lodge game drives times and can spend our time in search of sightings in the scenic Amboseli National Park between sunrise and sunset.