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Art in the Mara: Painting Kenya’s Wildlife in Watercolours

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September 29, 2019

For most travelers, capturing moments of their journey is an important part of extending the life of their memories. Some might choose to write in a journal or photograph instances that stand-out. However, imagine immersing yourself in one of the most authentic and untouched places in Africa and letting your creativity run free by taking a brush and painting the very landscape that only few get to experience in their lifetime. 

This December, famous painter, Sophie Walbeoffe will be taking like-minded creatives through a watercolour exploration of Kenya’s famed Maasai Mara while based at Cottar’s 1920s Safaris.

Sophie Walbeoffe in the Mara © Cottar’s 1920s Safaris

Painting the wildlife and landscapes of the Maasai Mara might just be the dream for all those who are inspired to paint by travel – here’s why:

 

Illuminated landscapes

The rolling hills of Kenya’s most famous and popular safari destination meet with open grassland and acacia woodland that are each fascinating ecosystems in their own right and together are a natural playground for healthy populations of Africa’s finest wildlife.

A classic scene out of the Maasai Mara © Valorie Darling for Cottar’s 1920s Safaris

The Maasai Mara, one of the seven natural wonders of the world, is found within Kenya’s Rift Valley Province, Narok and Transmara Districts adjoining the Serengeti National Park.

Zebras graze at dawn on the Maasai Mara plains © Valorie Darling for Cottar’s 1920s Safaris

It is during the early morning and evening, in particular, that a mesmerising light spreads across the landscape, covering it in warm hues.

 

Captivating wildlife events

Together these parks play host to a wildlife spectacle that has captured the minds of safari enthusiasts around the world – the great wildebeest migration, which takes place in the Maasai Mara loosely from July to October each year.

A herd of elephants graze on the grass plains © Part Time Travelers

Even after the hooves of two million wildebeest and plains zebra have crossed its borders, the Maasai Mara loses none of its charm. It homes the largest number of savannah species in the world and an extraordinary number of predators such as Africa’s big cats (lion, cheetah and leopard), the spotted hyena and the endangered African wild dog.

A cheetah and her cubs find shade from the heat © Valorie Darling for Cottar’s 1920s Safaris

What’s more, the Maasai Mara is a veritable birding destination, with more than 500 species of avifauna, including 53 birds of prey.

 

Responsible luxury lodgings

It is well-known that Kenya offers travelers some of the most stunning safari camp experiences in East Africa, if not the entire continent. Many of the safari establishments here are leaders in responsible tourism, investing resources into ensuring all the environment and neighbouring communities benefit equally.

An aerial view of the Bush Villa © Cottar’s 1920s Safaris

This year, the award-winning Cottar’s 1920s Safaris celebrates 100 years of offering an authentic and classic safari experience under the ownership and management of the oldest established and continuing safari family in Africa. The private Bush Villa guarantees privacy, luxury and world-class hospitality along with spectacular views of the Maasai Mara plains.

View from the Bush Villa © Cottar’s 1920s Safaris

An important pillar of the family’s safari model is balancing a prosperous business with sustainable conservation, social entrepreneurship and community development. Their focus is on the quality not the quantity of the wilderness and wildlife, with expert guiding and a range of activities that ensure constant immersion in the Maasai Mara safari experience.

Download the full details of Sophie Walbeoffe’s painting workshop Art in the Mara here.


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