The Masai Mara is always a great safari destination and Kenya itself is a top-rated safari country. But the most special experience offers the Great Migration with millions of animals filling the Great Plains and yet, it is silent with a Garden of Eden feeling over it.
And now picture yourself on an open 4x4 jeep exploring the open plains with your camera ready for spectacular photos. Searching the Mara River for potential crossings going on or about to happen. And eventually there is the big herd of about a thousand wildebeest crossing the river and you are there with your camera. The brave animals cross a river with strong currents and filled with crocodiles to reach the green grass on the other side to feed their little ones. It is drama and happiness in a nutshell. Be prepared for big emotions and magical wildlife photography.
When you plan your perfect African photographic safari tour you want it to be a selection of highlights, to come home with wonderful memories and great pictures. Kruger Park in South Africa is definitely a safari highlight and should not be missed when visiting Southern Africa. Already its vastness is impressive and the Big Five sightings are great.
Only be careful how you visit Kruger, self-drive in the public park or on private concession and private game reserve. The latter will give you much better results, picture wise and safari experience wise. Doing self-drive can mean seeing little and being in traffic jams at when you get into great sightings. On private concessions and private game reserves you can be sure your photographic safari will be a highlight as you will be able to photograph at outstanding sightings pretty much undisturbed.
When you are on safari you will mostly be on a game drive vehicle when exploring the bush. Being on a vehicle makes it possible to see the Big Five up close and have even a leopard walking passed you just a meter away. The vehicle’s passengers are not part of the wildlife’s “world”, they are part of the vehicle and therefore guests can get very close to otherwise dangerous animals. How fragile this balance of being not of interest for the wildlife is can be experienced when seeing the reaction of for example cats to sudden noise or movement. But it gets altogether different when leaving the vehicle and walking instead.
The animal behavior changes immediately and one feels also completely different. Suddenly you walk the ground where you saw a lion only hours ago. Now you are part of their world and you will see the bush from a completely different perspective. A bush walk is definitely a highlight of an African safari tour and should not be missed.
For photography enthusiasts a bush walk offers plenty of opportunities to capture also the small things and send time where you want.
The leopard is often called the elusive cat and that is for a reason. Leopards are everywhere in Africa, but mostly you don’t see them. It is the same situation on many game reserves and in many national parks where you can call yourself lucky to see one. But there are some areas where you can almost be certain to see a leopard during your African safari tour.
One of the wildlife areas with good leopard sightings is the Masai Mara in Kenya. The Mara is in general good for cat sightings and you stand a good chance to see a leopard during at a least a three nights stay. Another good option for leopard sightings is the Okavango Delta in Botswana. Besides that it offers fantastic crisp light for wildlife photography and is a must be for photography enthusiasts.
But the best area to see leopards is the Sabi Sand, Kruger Park, in South Africa. Due to the fact that the area consists of private game reserves only with great efforts to protect the wildlife and strict rules for game drives, the leopards trust the vehicles and just do their thing which provides great sightings. Lodges and camps from mid to high end are available. If you want to be sure to see your elusive cat, go there.
When you book your African safari holiday check your itinerary proposal, if an emergency evacuation insurance is included. In most of the proposals this will be the case. This insurance will cover emergency evacuations due to floods or fires, but also in case of an accident or illness. It does not cover the actual medical treatment, only the transportation to the next hospital. You will need a separate insurance that covers medical treatment and possibly further transport back home.
Your health insurance will most likely provide such a medical insurance with world cover and also travel insurances offer this option. Check what exactly the coverage is to have the best cover for the best price. However get a general travel insurance as well with curtailment, cancellation, theft, damage and loss.
If you travel with expensive photo gear, insure the gear separately. The insurance will be called “all risk specified” and every single item of your equipment will be listed with its value. This is a must have for photo safaris.
Taking this precaution will give you peace of mind and safety in case of an emergency.