NBPA 2015 Landscape Category Winner Mark Dumbleton reports back on his Masai Mara photographic experience

September 24, 2015
Masai Mara 17 Aug-24 Sept_2015_08234-Edit-2b

I’m sitting in the beautiful bar and guest area at Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp in the Masai Mara, reminiscing about the photo safari with CNP.

Throughout the trip, I took over 6500 images over 6 nights and captured some amazing photographs and had some amazing experiences. The scene that stands out in my mind the most from the trip was my last afternoon in the Mara – sitting with the male Lion called “Scar” only a few meters away, with his pride behind him and thousands of Wildebeest and Zebra running between the Lions.

Storms clouds covered extensive areas of the sky, which added the drama to this magnificent display of the essence of the Mara. Apart from the wonderful photographs I captured, it was a wildlife spectacle I will never forget.

My trip to the Mara was a prize I won by winning the Natures Best Africa Landscape category with a photograph of the Blyde River Canyon called “Canyon Aloes”. The prize was sponsored by CNP, &Beyond and many more. What a privilege it was to win the prize, and upon hearing that I won, I could’t wait to get back to the Masai Mara and witness the Great Migration.

The photographic experience was one to remember. The way drives and tuition sessions were conducted by the CNP members was professional, and the customised vehicles CNP have makes photographing with big lenses a real breeze. The CNP guides were always on hand to help with any questions the clients had, and really helped us all in establishing great workflow when importing and working on our images.

The Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp was one of the nicest lodges I have ever stayed in, with the friendliest and most helpful staff around. The tented room was magnificent and highly recommended. Our drivers were outstanding, their knowledge of the wildlife and the Mara triangle helped us in deciding on which routes to take which most of the times was the perfect choice.

But it was the essence of the wildlife and landscape I was in the Mara for. I have been to the Masai Mara 3 times prior to this trip, and the experience is very different every time. This 4th trip was very special to me, experiencing the struggle for life and death in the Mara in ways I have never seen before.

I really do feel that the Nature’s Best Africa is a wonderful competition, and I am so proud to have been part of the 2015 competition. To offer the winners a trip to the Masai Mara is incredible – an incredible way to allow the winners a chance to further enhance their portfolios with the magic of the Masai Mara. Apart from paying for my flights, everything else was taken care of. Now that is a prize I have yet to see any other competition match!

Well done Nature’s Best Africa! And thank you for an amazing experience in the Masai Mara! I cannot wait to get home to work on some images!

- Mark Dumbleton