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A photographic safari that outshines the rest

by

Ivan Glaser

Friday, 09 August 2019

Absolutely sensational! That is the only way I can describe my week at the Oltepesi Tented Safari Camp in the Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya, with professional wildlife photographer Arnfinn Johansen, his partner John Siololo and the team at the Oltepesi camp. The Africa Geographic team arranged this fantastic safari.

I had very high expectations for this trip. So high in fact that I was worried that I was setting myself up for a huge disappointment. As it turned out, I needn’t have worried at all. This trip far exceeded my wildest expectations.

From the logistical organisation of the trip by Africa Geographic to the professional photographic guidance provided by Arnfinn, to John’s fantastic knowledge of wildlife behaviour – not to mention his excellent off-road driving skills – to the quality of the food supplied by camp “Masterchef” Evelyn, to the comfort of the tented accommodation, the friendliness of the staff at the Oltepesi camp, the quality of sightings we had… this trip was second to none!

For anyone planning a trip to the Maasai Mara, you should not underestimate the value of the off-road permit that Oltepesi has. When there is action, you want to be where the action is, and you can only do that if you can go off-road.

And then there is the customised vehicle, with the rear doors removed to provide photographers with the unique opportunity to get amazing eye-level images of wildlife from a prone position.

My fellow adventurers, Don and Martha from the USA and Jose from Spain, were fantastic company and were the icing on the cake to what was most definitely one of the best weeks of my life. I learnt so much during my time with Arnfinn, and I can’t wait until I return in March 2020 with him on another Africa Geographic safari, to try and get myself to the next level!

~ Ivan Glaser (Sydney, Australia)

 

SCROLL DOWN to enjoy this gallery – most of the photos taken during this trip were with a Nikon D850 and Nikkor 200-500mm f/5.6 lens (although Arnfinn let me use his 600mm f/4 on occasion which I greatly appreciated). 

Cheetah resting in the grass in Maasai Mara
© Ivan Glaser
An elephant in Maasai Mara
© Ivan Glaser
A leopard in Maasai Mara
© Ivan Glaser
Airlink
Spotted hyena in Maasai Mara
© Ivan Glaser
Mother lioness with cub in Maasai Mara
© Ivan Glaser
Cheetahs chasing hare in Maasai Mara
© Ivan Glaser
Serval cat in Maasai Mara
© Ivan Glaser

 

A cheetah relaxing in Maasai Mara
© Ivan Glaser
Hot air balloons in Maasai Mara
© Ivan Glaser
Lioness mother with three cubs in Maasai Mara
© Ivan Glaser
Lioness with giraffe in Maasai Mara
© Ivan Glaser
Grey crowned crane in Maasai Mara
© Ivan Glaser
Spotted hyena in Maasai Mara
© Ivan Glaser

 

Sub-adult lion in Maasai Mara
© Ivan Glaser
An elephant and topi in Maasai Mara
© Ivan Glaser
Leopard eating kill in tree
© Ivan Glaser
Lions in Maasai Mara
© Ivan Glaser
Lionesses with wildebeest kill in Maasai Mara
© Ivan Glaser
Leopard walking by river in Maasai Mara
© Ivan Glaser
Spotted hyena in river in Maasai Mara
© Ivan Glaser
Wildebeest at sunrise in Maasai Mara
© Ivan Glaser

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR, IVAN GLASER

I was borne and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa. I come from a family of wildlife lovers, and so almost every family holiday we went on as kids was a trip to a game park, most often the Kruger National Park, but also other parks in Africa. Over 30 years ago, I emigrated to Sydney, Australia, where I still live today with my wife and two daughters.
My love of wildlife has not waned over the years and has thankfully been passed onto my kids who are as passionate about wildlife as I am. This has meant frequent returns to South Africa over the years to visit game parks as a family, which we all love doing.
I have always been interested in photography to some extent but have only started taking it more seriously in recent years as I approach retirement. This trip to Maasai Mara with Africa Geographic and professional wildlife photographer extraordinaire, Arnfinn Johansen, was the best thing I could have done for my wildlife photography. To see more of my photos, take a look at my Instagram page, idg.photography.