Photo safari June 2013 – Trip report

hes-been-stalked-2

Our last photo safari in Masai Mara was a memorable experience for all the participants. I was anxious at the beginning since they all were first timers in africa but it turned out a magnificent experience.  I was actually overwhelmed with so many flattering comments for everything they lived  in Kenya.

Aside from the comments of the participants we were truly in very good hands. The choices of both camps were magnificent .Both Naboisho and Rekero proved to be two of the finest camps in Africa. The level of accommodation and service were really top notch. I am struggling to decide what could be the highlight within the camps since everything was so good.
The high end design of naboisho, the unbeatable location of rekero, the superb service of both, or the amazing food. No matter what you choose , you will have a winner.

 

Naboisho.
As a camp it is probably among the very best I have stayed at. The tents are very new and very elegant decorated.  Food is to die for. Probably the best I ve eaten in any camp in Africa.  My congrats to the chef. The area that the camp lies at is very beautiful even without water close by.

 Naboisho is a very new conservancy largely unspoiled and with a very different ecosystem than mara confluence or other conservancies. There are only a handful of camps there spread  far away from each other which only adds to the sense of seclusion and wilderness  since you rarely see any other vehicle around,

 nab5

 

  Rekero

Very high standards and identical design to Naboisho just a bit older,..but what a fantastic location!!!. Again the food was incredible and the level of service  was memorable. Very, very high marks

 rekero3

The safari experience at the centre of the Mara was what makes Masai mara famous around the world. Absolutely top notch!  All cats were present even the most elusive leopards

leopard-1

 

 three-elephants-c  

Highlights of the trip

 

1. Priceless moments 

Never before had the privilege to spend almost half an hour with such a magnificent wild animal from such a close distance.

Malaika and her son Bawa climbed on our vehicle and stayed with us for a while.

Priceless moments like that stay with you forever. We saw 5 hunts, 1 kill but that was probably the highlight of our safari (at least for the guests of this vehicle  ).

 chettah-encounter

 

2. The 58 Giraffes of Naboisho

 We were rolling down to the open plains of Naboisho one morning when we  faced  a huge number of giraffes. You can always expect to see 5 or 10 or maybe 15 in some rare occasions and if so you become immediately overwhelmed. Now imagine to find yourself among 58 giraffes. Yes 58, my guests count them…twice. Photographically speaking that was also one of the two biggest highlights of our trip.

The image below in a sepia toned version won a Bronze award in the Epson Pano Int’l 2013 awards

“Molon Labe”

A lone wildebeest faces a herd of  58 giraffes as they traverse the plains of Naboisho.

“Molon labe” lit. “come and take”, is a classical expression of defiance reportedly spoken by King Leonidas I in response to the Persian army’s demand that the Spartans surrender their weapons at the Battle of Thermopylae.

molonlabecolor-1 

 

3. Visit to Kibera

We  walked in the streets of the biggest slum in East Africa accompanied by guides and community leaders and we felt safe.  It is an experience can not be described in words. It is a place where life tries to thrive under the most dreadful living conditions. And there live the most adorable smiley little angels that will steal your hearts away. The welcome we received in the Brainstorm school and orphanage from hundreds of kids brought tears to our eyes. We brought them medicines, mosquito nets maps and books. and they sang for us. They were adorable. They captured our hears.  We will never forget Kibera.

braistorm-1-copy

kivera-2a

 

3. Take a walk on the wild side!

There is no better way to experience the wilderness of Africa than on foot, and at Naboisho Camp we had one of the best walking-safari guides in Africa.
Roelof, has years of experience in tracking and exploring on foot which allows him to lead adventurous guests into pristine, but otherwise inaccessible, corners of the Mara Naboisho Conservancy. 
We did a 3 hours early morning safari on foot and it was a truly memorable experience.

 wildside

(Shot taken with the amazing Nikon coolpix A – more on that later)

 

4.Mara riverine forest. 

Me and the two Greek ladies of our group having a break for a coffee in what is probably one of the best places to be in Masai Mara. A nature and wildlife paradise. Dense forest with elephants , river with crocs and hippos and us in between trying to grasp all the beauty around us . What a place.
All along with us our trusted nikons taking a break too after a few long hours of hard work.

nikons-in-the-mara

 

5. At the land of the Masai

Masai are famous for their fearsome reputations as warriors and cattle-rustlers.
Traditional Maasai lifestyle centres around their cattle which constitute their primary source of food. The measure of a man’s wealth is in terms of cattle and children. A Maasai religious belief relates that God gave them all the cattle on earth, leading to the belief that rustling cattle from other tribes is a matter of taking back what is rightfully theirs.

masai-land-color

George is filming the Masai…

filming-masai-2

 

 6. The Mara sunsets.

Hard to describe….

mara-sunset

 

7. Nights in Naboisho

…were very cosy around the fire. Yes it was chilly at nights so we rolled down the tented sides of the thatched lounge (we had the whole camp basically on our own). Beautiful group of people sharing stories with a glass of wine next to the fire, All of the group was first timers in the African safari experience and they were thrilled to say the least. Thank you all for the wonderful time

 workshop-naboisho-lounge

 

8. Visit to the ole pejeta project

We spent a few hours with the students of the ole pejeta project in the plains of Naboisho. We talked to them in the class, we played with them in their school break. We brought them books and maps, and they filled our hearts with their smiles. We will cherish these moments forever.

 

nikos-students

 

9. at the town of  Talek 

On our way to Rekero we stopped at the very photogenic town of Talek. We spent  a couple of hours there visiting the local stores buying local art for our friend and relatives back home. Photographically speaking Talek could easily be a project on its own. Very highly recommended. 

talek-3a

 

 10. Wedding photography

Yes we did that too. After a long morning game drive we were heading back to the camp in Naboisho. We saw a masai village out of our way but not very far. There was too many masai gathered so we thought to stop by. They informed us that they are having a wedding so we asked if we could  say our wishes to the groom and bride. They accepted under one condition. They wanted us to photograph the marrying couple. So here they are… 

masai-bride-and-groom

I could probably listed many more moments that captured our souls but you can already tell how diverse this safari was. And this is what I believe sets our photo safaris apart from any other photo safari that is being offered in the market. Wildlife, cultural and humanitarian photography are all combined in one trip. All driven by our passion and love for Africa. 

masai-school-kids

 Ending,   a big thanks goes to Mr. Damkalidis and Mr Handrinos of  Nikon Greece that supported the safari and gave me and the participants the opportunity to use  the new nikon 80-400mm in the field. For our townships tours we had been given the new flagship model of their pockets  line up, the  nikon A with an APSC sensor.

They also gave us a couple of nikon d800 so I stop complaining for not printing wall sized prints :) . I will report very soon for lenses and cameras.

 

© Copyright Nicolas Lotsos - Designed by Pexeto