We have just recently come back from the Big Cats and Tuskers tour in Kenya. I can very easily say that this has become my new favorite tour and I look forward to the next two tours that I'm running next year. Out of all of the years I've travelled through Kenya, I have always loved it more and more every time I returned. However, this time I really got to see the diversity it has to offer and we were extremely spoilt in not only our landscapes, but wildlife sightings too. I often find it very difficult to put into words and to describe the sightings and scenes we saw whilst on tour, however I have shared some imagery down below with a day by day blow of what went down for you to try and better understand how much this tour now means to me.
Our excitement levels were through the roof as we were flying into Amboseli and for the very first time spotting the snowcapped mountain of Kilimanjaro in the distance. The clouds had moved! There's always an anxious feeling whilst flying into Amboseli because of the cloud cover that can block the mountain during your safari, but as we were landing the whole mountain was in clear view and this was a sign of what was to come on this incredible trip. What was meant to be about a 15 minute drive to have lunch and check in, ended up being close to 3 hours as that mountain really showed off its beauty. Not only had the pans flooded from recent rains, but the reflections of flamingos and wildebeest were incredible as they waded through the very shallow pans feeding and moving to better grazing areas. Within 30 minutes of landing it felt as though we had literally landed into a postcard of Africa. This was a bucket list item of mine: to capture flamingos or an elephant in front of Kilimanjaro and already 30 minutes and we are living this dream.
We eventually made it to camp, had a quick lunch and then back into the vehicles to start our first afternoon game drive on the Big Cats and Tuskers tour. Not even an hour in and we already had another bucket list item, which was an elephant in the shallow pans in front of Mount Kilimanjaro that was now in full view. One could not have scripted a better start to an incredible Kenyan tour.
We were about to return to the lodge when we got notified that there was a cheetah with four cubs on a kill not too far away. So just before sunset we raced over and managed to capture the cheetah in very low light which was not a great photographic moment, but just a wonderful sighting to end off what was already an epic day.
The rest of Amboseli was just as incredible as day one, where we got to witness a lot of lion and elephant interactions - chasing one another - as well as one pride of lions meeting up and having a full on fight with another pride. Unfortunately too far to photograph, but incredible to witness and of course the birdlife was magnificent. Although it's a small park, around every corner there seems to be something to photograph and game drives didn't have to go very far before you could get a photo of something simply stunning. Below are some images from Amboseli to show you exactly what I mean. It was a very difficult park to leave but made easier knowing that we had a lot more of Kenya in store.
Our next stop was to Lake Naivasha where we were going to have a one night lay over to break the trip up and come down from what was a very big high of game viewing and photography. Arriving around lunch time, we had a quick meal, checked in and then went down to the boat houses where we got a boat ride across the lake, witnessing beautiful scenes of the local fishermen fishing amongst hippos and fish eagle catching their prey. A very pretty area with great photographic opportunity, and also good time to recharge, reset and dust off some clothes and get ready for the next leg of this adventure. Below are some of the photos taken of the Lake Naivasha portion of the tour.
Waking up the next morning feeling wonderfully refreshed and very excited for what was still to come on this tour, we left Lake Naivasha and headed straight for Lake Nakuru which was about an hour's drive away. This is a destination that I was particularly keen on as I've never been here before, yet seen so many images coming out of this very mysterious piece of landscape. A city on the border of a beautiful game reserve and a stunning lake with forests of giant fever trees and open grasslands. We had very good black rhino and leopard sightings and of course the tree climbing lions. This was a destination that I had very much anticipated to be a show stopper and we quickly realized after our first game drive that this was indeed what we had anticipated. Nakuru was completely different to what we had seen in Amboseli and what we were going to witness in the Masai Mara. Everything from a lioness lying in the tree and the very next day finding a leopard in a fever tree from a distance with this beautiful mystical background as well as the lake full of flamingos, lots of rhinos and other game to be seen. Then we met up with a lioness and her small cubs, which was just a breathtaking, heart stopping moment. I have added in some of our spectacular sightings below.
We finally arrived in the Masai Mara at the Wild Eye Mara Camp and having been here before, I knew what the area could produce in terms of sightings and photographic opportunities. I was excited beyond belief after having already had an incredible time on the tour. So we did not waste time after arriving at camp and meeting our staff or, as I like to call it, our family. We headed straight out for a game drive and within 10 minutes we had lions meeting a kilometer away from camp. This was to set the tone for our Mara portion of this tour which was just as incredible as any other. Over the next few days we would have some incredible sightings, unbelievable sunsets and just good laughs amongst us in the vehicle. To top it off after our cheetah and lion sightings, we even had a moment where there was a big male lion yawning in front of a big elephant with massive tusks to sum up the Big Cats and Tuskers tour perfectly. Check out the images below!
I am happy to make it official and state that the Wild Eye Big Cats and Tuskers Tour is now firmly my favorite tour that we have. It has all the best that Kenya has to offer in places that are simply magical and visuals that can only be seen on postcards. There are two of these tours running next year and I have dropped the links below if you'd like to find out more. Be sure to check it out and join us for an incredible Kenyan adventure.
Big Cats and Tuskers
Be sure to check out the details of this epic Kenyan safari and adventure. Next year we have 2 tours running and they are being hosted by myself, Luke Street and Michael Appalsamy. Get in touch if you have any questions.