A safari in Sub-Saharan Africa is on top of my travel wish list. As I won’t be able to tick it off the list in the foreseeable future, I asked my former work mate Livio to share his experiences from a recent safari in Kenya. His wildlife photographs are most amazing.
It all started a while ago on Instagram where I became aware of Wild Eye – a specialist for photographic and private guided safaris – followed them and some guests sharing their great experiences. I still remember that day I contacted one of the great guys at Wild Eye. It was late in the evening when I wrote him a direct message on Instagram. The next morning, I had an email waiting inbox even before office hours, answering all my questions and giving advice. My expectations were exceeded right from that very moment – I then knew that I absolutely wanted to book my first photo safari with them rather sooner than later. That’s basically how I ended up on Big Cats & Tuskers on short notice – couldn’t be any happier.
It all started from the very moment touching down in Nairobi, Kenya – felt very well looked after. Billy from Wild Eye East Africa office was already waiting to pick me up and bring me to the hotel. Same smooth procedure the day the safari started to board the plane at Wilson Airport to Amboseli National Park.
We had a great start in Amboseli. The diversity in wildlife and landscape of this place is incredible – from marshes to dry lake to the view of Mount Kilimanjaro. I have been dreaming of a big tusker with Mount Kilimanjaro in the background for a long time. Thanks to Mike and Jimmy aka eagle eye this very dream has come true during the first three days in Amboseli (see image below).
After a long road transfer from Amboseli, that gave a good impression of the countryside and the people living in the villages, we arrived at Lake Nakuru National Park. What an out of this world place with its mystical fever tree forest. This iconic place has been a game changer for me in several ways. First and foremost, Mike literally changed the way I see the world by introducing me to back button focus. Second, I realized once more that it’s about embracing the beautiful nature around the animal as well. Third, we had an awesome leopard sighting – most probably the best I’ve ever had so far. The most elusive of the big cats in the mystical fever tree forest right in front of a rhino (see image below).
A short road transfer brought us to Lake Naivasha, where we made two boat cruises for birding. To be honest, I felt rather like staying a day longer at Lake Nakuru first, but must admit afterwards, that it has been a welcome change to spend some time on the quiet lake. And it made clear how tough it is to take pictures of small and fast-moving birds with a big handheld lens from a shaky boat. Highest respect now to all the bird photographers out there.
After another long road transfer, we arrived at our final destination, the Masai Mara. I have been dreaming of the vast plains and open skies of the Mara for a long time. Those days there hold me in awe and made me deeply grateful for this experience with Wild Eye. The diversity of this place and what a sighting could develop into is just amazing – from great big cats sightings and interactions to the legend Scar himself to the first migration action. Couldn’t be any happier to experience my very first river crossing and the beginning of one of the greatest wildlife spectacles on earth with Mike and Jimmy.
The luck has been on our side on this photo safari – truly a «Best of Kenya» experience with best value for money – with all those amazing sightings and even some early migration action in the Mara. But it’s not only about luck, it’s about great guiding and teaching from Mike and about being at the right time in the right place thanks to Jimmy aka eagle eye. This safari has not only been very rewarding photography wise, but also being in the wild with great people. Mike is such an amazing guide and patient teacher who perfectly knows how to pass on his love for the wild. We had so many laughs, good times and a great group.
I can truly say that Wild Eye and Mike did change the way I see the world. Not only through the lens and travel – through people. The guys at Wild Eye are all great, genuine, always putting guests first and going the extra mile. That’s what makes the difference and change the way I see the world. And that’s why I booked my next adventure with them again. ASANTE SANA Mike and Jimmy!
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