The Masai Mara National Reserve (also spelled Maasai Mara and often referred to as The Mara) is the park where Federico Veronesi has spent the best part of the last six years, and one of the places with the highest photographic potential in Africa and the world. It is part of the Greater Serengeti Ecosystem, and it hosts the famous Wildebeests’ migration during the dry months of July to October.
The Masai Mara is a National Reserve, managed locally by the Narok County Council. It shares its border to the south with the Serengeti, Tanzania. Its surface spans for 1,510 square kilometres, at an elevation of 1500 mt above sea level. It comprises different habitats and environments.
The immense Red-oat grass plains provide food for the big grazing herds of Wildebeests and Zebras during the dry season. During the rains big herds of Elephants and Buffalos feed on the tall fresh grass.
Away from the rivers and up in the hills, the Acacia woodlands provide nutrition for the grazers in the wet season, when the grass in the reserve is too tall.
The Masai Mara NR is traversed by the Mara River and its tributaries, the Talek, the Sand River and the Olare Orok. A lush riverine forest grows along the banks, where Elephants, Bushbucks, Vervet Monkeys and Leopards find refuge. The Masai Mara is also crossed by many seasonal streams and gulleys, where the big cats find shade during the hottest hours of the day.
These habitats support one of the highest concentrations of game in Africa. In particular, it is the number of predators and the high chances of seeing them that make the Mara so unique and attractive for wildlife photographers and enthusiasts.
During the dry season from July to October, the Mara keeps on receiving regular rains. This attracts the big herds of Wildebeests and Zebras, the famous Great Migration, which culminates in the dramatic crossing of the Mara River, right here in the park. Animals are forced to cross the raging waters of the river with all its dangers: rapids, steep banks, rocks, Crocodiles and other predators in ambush. It is a fantastic and unique natural spectacle.
Besides the numbers of wildlife, the great advantage of the Mara for photography is the vast network of tracks and roads that cover almost every corner of the reserve. This makes it possible to follow the animals throughout the day and to position optimally for photography.
Federico Veronesi, your guide and professional photographer on the safari, has an intimate and direct knowledge of the reserve and its animals. He will drive you in search for his favourite subjects and share the stories of their lives, in particular those of the famous big and small cats of the Mara. Thanks to his massive archive of identification images he is able to individually identify Cheetahs and Leopards and tell you about their origins and life journeys.
In the heart of the Masai Mara, the camps that we use are in prime locations, away from the distracting mass tourism safaris which storm many areas of the park. From our camps immersed in the forest along the river we can access the most interesting areas of the reserve before sunrise and therefore capture the warm early morning light or the extraordinary Mara skies at sunset.
Join in one of our Masai Mara Predators & Migration safaris during the dry season, or contact us to organize your private safari guided by Federico Veronesi in the Mara.