Big cat photo safari

In March 2019 I had the absolute pleasure and privilege of visiting the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. For many years I’ve dreamt of traveling to Africa to witness the incredible wildlife in their own environment. With the build top to the trip I was sooo excited and the beautiful location didn’t fail to deliver.

Growing up with the sound of David Attenborough’s voice while watching amazing wildlife documentaries on the BBC and having a Mum who’s a massive animal lover I naturally found animals the most amazing things. In more recent years I have longed to photograph them and jumped at he chance.

I stayed at the stunning Entim Camp right in the heart of the Maasai Mara. At night I could hear the hippos chatting to each other in the nearby Mara river and lions roaring. There’s roars can travels for miles but they felt like they weren’t far away. So I was right next to the action.

With a wake up call of 5.30am every morning we headed out as the sun was rising to find the African big cats but also photographed lots of the other wildlife. Seeing these amazing creatures in the wild was breath taking. When we got a sighting my heart and adrenaline was pumping. Something I have never experienced before and will never forget. It really doesn’t compare to seeing them in the zoo.

The drivers of the land rovers were so knowledgeable about the animals and where to find them. They knew their territories like the back of their hands and understood their behaviour. They could spot a cheetah in the long grass or leopard resting in a tree from long distances. Without these guys I would not be able to capture the photos I did. So I’m very grateful to Johnmark, Sammy, John & Joshua for their expertise.

I’d never seen any of these beautiful animals in the wild only in zoos and on television. It was surprising how confident some of the big cats were. Some of them literally walked right up to the cars and I could have reached out and touched them (obviously I didn’t as I still want my arms). I witnessed some lion kills which was very difficult to watch but it’s part of nature. Don’t worry I haven’t included any of the kill images on this blog post.

I also had so much fun with herbivores like elephants and giraffes. I don’t think I would ever bore of photographing these graceful and characterful animals. The elephants were so graceful and loved the rich texture of their skin and tusks. The giraffes looked like cranes sticking out across the landscape and were so interesting to photograph.

I’d like to say a massive thanks to the lovely people at the Entim Camp, David Lloyd for organising the trip and Richard Peters for all the help and support. Thanks to all the amazing people I met on the trip and making it so fun.

My big cat safari was the most incredible experience and created memories that I will hold close to my heart for the rest of my life. I highly recommend a trip of this nature if you’re as mad about animals as I am.

Camera equipment used: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, 24-70mm f2.8, 70-220mm f2.8, 400mm f2.8 & 1.4 converter.

If you’re interested in seeing more of my wildlife photography check out my new Instagram page @simonwithymanwildlife



Big cat photo safari – fine art prints and licensing available. Drop me a line for more info. 


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