Daryl & Sharna Balfour invite you to join them from September 4-11 for the world cup of wildlife at their exclusive private camp in Kenya’s acclaimed Maasai Mara National Reserve. The two renowned wildlife photographers, together with resident guides Pierre Burton and Phil West will make sure that your safari will not only be memorable, but that you will also get unbeatable advice on how to capture the spectacle on camera.
The Balfour’s cater for a maximum of 12 guests in their tented camp close to the Mara River and major crossing points. The spacious walk-in safari tents (a choice of large queen-sized beds or comfy twins) each have private en-suite ablution facilities featuring a fully enclosed dressing room with washbasin and clothing racks, private hot bucket showers in a fully enclosed attached cubicle and a flush toilet. Catering is first class with all meals taken in a large, airy mess tent at truly spectacular linen-covered candle-lit tables set with fine china and stemware.
I was lucky enough to join them a couple of seasons ago and without doubt it was one of the highlights of my many decades of travelling through Africa.
‘We have endeavoured to recreate the atmosphere of the original mobile safari camps of a bygone era with our camp,’ says Daryl. ‘This is the way Capt William Cornwallis Harris, Ernest Hemingway, Sir Randolph Churchill (Winston’s dad), Teddy Roosevelt and Robert Ruark experienced and wrote about Africa. We have a few more modern trimmings, of course.
We place a premium on the wildlife experience. Our guides are among the best in the industry not only in finding and locating the game, but also being informative about the country, its people and its wildlife. They are all thoroughly versed in ensuring that you will have the best position and angle to optimize your photography, and will offer advice and assistance with your photography needs whenever required.’
The Balfour’s safaris are timed hopefully to coincide with the best possibilities of seeing the spectacular river crossings, when tens of thousands of wildebeest and zebra pour across the crocodile-infested Mara River. They have a great record for showing guests these crossings, often with spectacular crocodile action too! But like anything in the world of animals, nothing can be guaranteed.
Sharna describes the daily schedule: ‘It usually involves a pre-dawn wake-up call followed by tea, coffee and a light breakfast in the Mess before we head-out in search of the day’s offerings. Each vehicle is equipped with a ‘tea & coffee basket’ along with freshly baked cookies, cinnamon buns or even egg & bacon jaffles (closed toasted sandwiches) for a mid-morning stop out in the wilds.
‘We return to camp around 11.30am for a slap-up brunch, after which most safari-goers enjoy a well-earned shower and siesta. Afternoon tea is served around 4pm followed by the afternoon drive. Sundowners are often enjoyed in the field, (if we have the time with all the wildlife viewing!). Then we return to camp for pre-dinner drinks at the fireside followed by a three-course dinner.
Some days we may take a picnic lunch with us, staying out all day as we explore further afield. The animals and the wilderness dictate our schedule – we place more emphasis on the wildlife experience than we do on camp timetables, and our chefs and camp staff are totally adaptable to this.’
Tempted? Contact Daryl and Sharna for more details: http://www.wildphotossafaris.com/wildebeest-migration.html