|Duration||10 days (9 nights) 2023 Dates coming soon|
|Departure/Return Location||International Flights to Nairobi, Kenya|
|Arrival Time||To be advised according to flights|
|Departure Time||To be advised according to flights|
Over the last 2 years we have been fortunate enough to have worked with the amazing researchers at The Mara Predator Conservation Program and visited them on location in February 2020. This dedicated team, in partnership with the Kenya Wildlife Trust, work on identifying & implementing solutions, to the conservation challenges faced by key predators in the wider Maasai Mara ecosystem. This amazing trip aims to combine another visit to the MPCP team with a wonderful 6-day specialised safari in one the world’s most iconic safari locations.
Our 10-day (9 night) expedition will include 6 full days ‘on the ground’ with unique time spent in the company of the MPCP team. We will be staying in the beautiful location of Spekes camp, strategically positioned just a short distance from the main Mara Reserve boundary and close to the headquarters of the MPCP team. Our objective is to not only get a unique chance to experience & support conservation research ‘on the ground’ but also to have the opportunity to photograph the breath-taking wildlife with some element of a different perspective.
David Southard, from Wild Arena, who visited the MPCP in 2020, will be on hand throughout the trip to offer photography advice and support to the whole group. The hope is to provide a stream of great, varied picture opportunities throughout our week-long stay and guests can take this at a pace that suits them. Not only we will see a huge range of iconic wildlife but the landscapes and people we meet, may provide chances for a more ‘photo journalistic’ interpretation of our journey.
Most of our days will be spent out in the main reserve on ‘full day’ game drives. With only a very small group, we will head out in our safari 4×4 vehicle equipped with enough food and drink to be comfortable for the day and our expert local driver should have the latest information on the best locations to visit. Each day will begin with a very early start to make the most of the stunning light of dawn. After a few hours of wildlife watching and photography, we can stop for a break and a ‘bush breakfast’. We can then spend more time looking for picture opportunities before again stopping for a leisurely safari lunch during the warmest part of the day. Once the sun has started to drop and the light improves, we will have a third session looking for different animals and settings.
On every drive, we won’t make the mistake of rushing from one species to the next to ‘tick the boxes’ but instead, if a good opportunity presents itself, we can spend time watching and waiting for the light or situation to ‘unfold’. Both the local driver and David from Wild Arena will do their best to ensure the group makes the best use of their time in this extraordinary location.
Spekes camp offers an intimate and comfortable place to stay combining superb hospitality with the experience of sleeping under canvas in the African bush. Of course, all of this is done with guests comfort and safety as a top priority.
Whilst, this may not be the cheapest option for a visit to the Maasai Mara, we have made sure we get the very best care and opportunities during our stay and your fee includes a very significant donation to the MPCP team. Our last visit was organised by our good friends at the Safina Lion Project, whom we had helped raise enough money to purchase the MPCP team a vital radio collar to help track Lions at risk in the wild. Our hope is this trip may again be able to contribute significantly to the amazing work of this lovely group of people and you will get the chance to meet them in person as we make this donation!
Day 1: Departure
(In flight catering)
We will depart London on the morning flight to Nairobi, capital of Kenya. After the approximately 8.5-hour flight, we should arrive at Nairobi International airport in the late evening where we will transfer to the Tamarind Tree Hotel for a restful overnight stay
After a good breakfast, we will transfer to Wilson airport to make the short internal flight to the Maasai Mara. Upon arrival at the bush airstrip, we will be met by our hosts form Spekes camp. At this point our adventure really begins and, after a short refreshment break, we should be able to get out and see some of the amazing local wildlife! We should also be able to meet the Chief scientist of the Mara Predator Conservation Program, who will welcome us to this amazing location.
For the next 6 days we can immerse ourselves in the spectacle and beauty of the Maasai Mara. On this first day we will head out in our own vehicle on an early morning game drive into the main reserve to acclimatise and orientate ourselves to this mazing environment. We will then return to camp for lunch before visiting the MPCP headquarters in the afternoon for a tour and presentation from their staff. We also hope to visit the MAA trust, a lovely organisation working to facilitate the fair-trade manufacture of local crafts. We will then return to Speke’s for our evening and an opportunity to plan our next 5 days.
We will head out early for a full day in the Mara Reserve in the company of a MPCP researcher. Our vehicle and expert driver will be fully equipped with a picnic breakfast and lunch so we can have the whole day tracking Lions, Leopards and Cheetahs. This amazing opportunity will hopefully not only give us some great encounters, but also enable us to understand how the research that the MPCP are conducting can directly feed into the long-term conservation of the predators of the wider Mara ecosystem. After a full day safari drive, will return to camp for dinner and a well-earned rest.
For the next 3 days we can focus on full day safari drives out in the 1,500 Km2 Reserve. Our focus will be finding a wide range of species in settings especially good for photography. Of course, we will not miss any opportunities to see the Maras’ iconic predators, but many other species such as Elephants, Giraffe and the huge range of herbivores can make for terrific picture opportunities too. Again, we will go equipped with picnic breakfast and lunch to make the very best use of our time.
Day 6 & 7
As per day 5, but with the opportunity to flex our route and plan to make the best of the opportunities that are available.
Our final full day in the Mara and again we aim to make the most of the time we have available. We hope again to be joined on our safari by a MPCP vehicle and researcher, providing another chance to speak to them and experience the amazing work they do. The day will conclude with a wonderful, final evening meal under the African skies of the Mara.
After a slightly later start we will enjoy a good breakfast before saying farewell to our hosts at Spekes camp. We will then take a leisurely final drive to the airstrip where we will catch the flight back to Wilson airfield in Nairobi. Here we will be met by our friendly driver who can transfer us to a local restaurant for a final afternoon meal, before returning us to the International Airport to meet our evening flight back to London.
(In flight catering)
After the overnight flight from Nairobi, we should land in London in the early morning.
In summary, this unique trip encompasses many elements, with a rare chance to see conservation in action with the MPCP team and some spectacular wildlife encounters. During the 6 full days of photography we hope that everyone will get the opportunity to shoot images that they will be proud of. The highly experienced Wild Arena guide will be on hand throughout the trip to advise on the photography opportunities and how we can make the most of them.
Please note: – The itinerary is provisional and subject to change depending on local conditions. Not all wildlife mentioned can be seen well at all times of the year & some activities mentioned may not always be available.
Meals included are as shown – B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner
This tour will be based in the world renowned Maasai Mara ecosystem in south western Kenya. We will be staying in the small and charming ‘Spekes’ tented bush camp shaded by a small group of trees on the bank of the Olare Orok river. The camp is strategically very well positioned being close to great game viewing locations like Musiara swamp, Rhino Ridge and Paradise Plains.
The camp is also very close to the boundary to the main Mara reserve and during our stay we hope to visit a wide range of locations with the help of our expert driver & guide. We will also be the guests of the ‘Mara Predator Conservation Program’ and will visit their headquarters situated between the Naboisho conservancy and the Olare Orok conservancy.
About the Mara Predator Conservation Program:
The Mara Predator Conservation Program has 3 overarching goals.
- To help community members and landowners understand and appreciate the role of predators in the ecosystem
- To ensure that key stakeholders in the Greater Mara Ecosystem consistently utilise sound scientific information to inform conservation strategies
- To support stable, healthy predator populations in the Greater Mara Ecosystem by providing scientific evidence for conservation action
2023 Dates coming soon
How to Book
To book one of these dates please select it from the calendar on the right hand side ‘Book Now’ tab to add to your cart. The value shown on the basket will be zero as all overseas tours are booked through our partner Wildlife & Wilderness who are ATOL bonded for your peace of mind. When we receive your booking request, we will reserve a place for you and Wildlife & Wilderness will contact you regarding the Deposit.