Masai Mara: The Big Cat Party
If you want to know where the term “A party animal” was coined, you need to take a chance this new year’s by not rushing to a pub or a discotheque in your buzzing city, but give us a chance to thrill you with the best party of the year, the big cat party.
If you love nature and wildlife, chances are you are looking at a nature-friendly, wild and adventurous end to the year and a new beginning. Instead of watching the big cats of Kenya on television, watch them in real. Perhaps having a glass of wine or watching the giraffe compete with the sunset. Welcome to the big cat party in Masai Mara.
- A prime-time five-night/six-day in the heart of Masai Mara
- An exclusive experience with the budget friendly africa safari visitor in mind
- A stunning professionally guided Tour to Kenya’s best-known wildlife reserve in the peak season
- A wealth of natural history learning
- A fun and highly interactive environment without any barriers
To the green at heart, a mention of Africa evokes its primordial picture — plains, prey and predators teaming up to spawn the most spectacular wilderness site on the planet, where large animals still maraud wild, free and photogenically. And Masai Mara is its best showpiece; a miniature paradise with a flourishing population of lions and the rest of the Big Five.
A part of the Greater Mara Ecosystem and covering 1510km2, the Masai Mara National Reserve is home to what is effectively a bona fide wildlife symposium, with over 250 species of birds and the greatest show of mammals on Earth.
Such is the opulence of its natural treasures, that an infertile visit under Toehold’s guidance at any time of the year is as unlikely as a deluge in the Atacama. And with local air transfers included so you land in the middle of the Mara and commence viewing wildlife from the moment you set foot on its soil, life can seem a nice, double-smooth ride.
If the word ‘resilience’ were to be animated and brought to life, the Great Migration would be it. These animals mate, give birth, nurse, and feed, all while being on the move and escaping the jaws of death at every turn. Masai Mara acts as a stage for the riveting and thespian lives of the animals and we are merely a privileged audience lucky enough to witness the great spectacle at such close range.
Chief exhibitor at the extravaganza is the apex predator and the very emblem of African Wildlife — the lion. Without a doubt, the imperious cat is the centrepiece of the wonderland, with the spotlight rightly on the emperor of all he surveys. And having thrived through the bounty of the migration, many females are rearing small cubs at the time of the Tour. But the relatively easy pickings of the Migration having now gone by, these custodians of the land must be mobile to earn their dinner, which keeps them on their toes.
This prevailing climate of profuse felinity thus spawns a great chance to photograph big cats to your heart’s content. The many unknown facets of natural behaviour unfurl themselves on the plains each day as individuals of various ages and standing in lion society may be observed hunting, playing, grooming and resting on the picturesque open plains in spectacular light, all in the public gaze.
Hordes of ungulates arrive at the banks of the Mara river, with the promise of greener pastures just beyond. However, this part of their journey is fraught with life-threatening dangers. The biggest threat being the powerful and imposing jaws of the Nile crocodiles as they eagerly wait to treat themselves to the annual surplus. Moreover, the tempestuous river promises to be an onerous swim with a steep climb back to the shore on the far bank.
Having a front row seat to the various happenings of the Great Migration assures you an adrenaline packed, once in a lifetime experience. It is a memory that you will cherish and hold on to forever; a memory that you will fondly recollect many years later; a memory that is so deeply imprinted within you, you will want to keep going back to the land where it all began. After all, it is not everyday one gets to roam around a wildlife ridden savannah.
Please note: This Tour will commence at Nairobi on 27 December, 2019 at 07:00 a.m. and end at Nairobi on 1 January, 2020 at 12:00 p.m. You will need to arrive a day earlier (26 December) and stay overnight in Nairobi at additional cost, or take the KQ flight on day one of the Tour (27 January) to be on time..
For the return on 1 January, please book your flight out of Nairobi after 04:00 p.m.
After arrival at Nairobi and completing the immigration formalities, the group will depart for the world-famous Masai Mara National Park. We check-in to the lodge at lunchtime and after a fulfilling meal, we set out to explore Masai Mara on the evening game drive. Later in the night, we return to our accommodations at the resort.
We spend the entire days in Masai Mara on full day game drives. All meals and stay will also be at Masai Mara.
We check out from the lodge at Masai Mara and travel back to Nairobi. The group will be dropped off at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to board their respective flights back home.
- Per Person on Twin Share Accommodation
- Per Person on Twin Share Accommodation
- Road transfer from Nairobi to Masai Mara and back as per the Tour itinerary
- All safaris and reserve entrance fees
- Accommodation on twin-sharing basis in comfortable tents or rooms as per the Tour itinerary
- All scheduled meals while on the Tour
- Services of a driver-cum-naturalist
- Services of the Toehold Skipper
- One-litre bottled water per person, per day, while in transit and on safari
What’s Not Included?
- All travel expenses between your home and Nairobi Airport
- Any kind of personal expenses, optional tours or extra meals ordered
- Insurance, laundry and phone calls
- Any kind of drinks (including bottled water)
- Visa expenses
- Yellow fever and polio vaccination charges
- Optional tour to a Masai village and balloon ride
- Anything that is not included in the inclusions list
- USD 1000 as booking amount
- Remainder to be paid 45 or more days before the departure date
All figures per person.
- USD 1000 45 days before the Tour
- 50% of the Tour fee between 30 days to 44 days before the Tour
- 100% of the Tour fee between 29 days to 1 day of the Tour
Please note: The date of written (email) communication of intent to cancel is the date considered for calculation of the cancellation fees.
Who should participate in this Tour? What are the eligibility criteria?
This Tour is open to everybody of a minimum age of 18 (unless accompanied by a guardian), and anybody enthusiastic about wildlife and/or photography will enjoy it. Apart from interest, fitness, a valid passport, valid yellow fever vaccination card and proof of polio vaccination, there are no other requirements. However, in order to make the most of the Tour photographically, we recommend you be familiar with at least the basics of photography. If you’re not, we suggest you join an Art and Science of Photography Workshop before the Tour.
Are yellow fever and polio vaccination mandatory?
Yes; vaccination against polio and yellow fever is mandatory in many countries including India. Please talk to us for advice on how to get one.
Are earlier yellow fever and polio inoculations valid?
Yellow fever vaccination is valid for a period of 10 years from the date of administration, and polio vaccination is valid for a year. Please check your vaccination cards to verify validity. Please note that the vaccination must be valid as on the date of your return to your country after the Tour.
How different are our Group Tours from ordinary Tours?
Unlike travel agents who plan your holiday from a remote destination to places they sometimes haven’t experienced themselves, our Group Tours offer a comprehensive toehold to experience a place through the guidance of an experienced naturalist. The common ingredients in all our Group Tours are fun and a lot of learning and knowledge sharing. Besides, most or all of our Tour participants are nature lovers, which keeps the group in harmony and helps make your experience focussed.
How sure are you about sighting wildlife on this Tour?
Considering the meticulous attention to timing we pay while scheduling Tours and the local expertise we leverage, we believe that it would be extremely unfortunate if our sightings were unsatisfactory. However, since we will be in an uncontrolled environment, we do not claim that sightings – especially of leopards – are guaranteed.
What equipment do you suggest on this Tour if I want to make photographs?
A wide-angle or normal zoom is a staple for landscape and general photography. For birds and mammals, a focal length of at least 300mm is usually necessary. An additional 100mm often proves very effective especially for birds. However, if you do not have appropriate equipment, there is no need to fret. Toehold offers an exhaustive array of cameras and lenses for hire, so you can always hire what you need. What’s more, you enjoy a 10% discount on any equipment you hire for the Tour. Visit our Rental Store to see what we offer.
What do I do if I do not have the requisite equipment?
If you do not have appropriate equipment, there is no need to fret. Toehold offers an exhaustive array of cameras and lenses for hire, so you can always hire what you need. Click here to see what we offer. What’s better, you enjoy a 20% discount on all equipment hired on our Toehold Outdoors Group Tours!