On my first safari with Mark I noticed that he was wearing a specialised wrist watch on his right arm AND upside down, which seemed kind of odd to me as it made telling the time so much more complicated. With my curious nature I obviously had to ask why. The answer was that it was easier and faster to time whatever animal behavior he wanted to study at a particular moment, managing it with more ease with his left hand. I soon learnt that this was characteristic of Mark. If you want to do something, do it your own way and do it well.
I’ve had the fortune to accompany Mark on a number of safaris since and by now I truly believe that there´s nothing he doesn’t know about wildlife and life in general in the East African bush. One may think that it´s only the “Big Five” that can actually give you that big adrenaline kick, but with Mark even a bird (and I´m not really interested in birds!), a tiny bug, a track, a tree or a turd can tell exciting stories. Not surprisingly, Mark has also learnt to communicate with animals and, of course, I should recount that magic moment when the elephant mother and her adolescent son came all the way up to our vehicle to say hello, but that´s another story.
With Mark you fly, you drive, you walk, you swim, you ride a camel or a horse, all according to your interests. There´s always a new experience waiting around the corner. And you finally understand how one thing depends on the other out there – like The Circle of Life.Kerstin Skog Nord, Sweden
July 10 to 20, 2010
I left Milan with my daughter in law and two grandchildren of 9 and 7 years old.
In the past I visited African countries many times, but never with a guide and I wished to show them not only the beauty of one of these countries, but also introduce them to the respect and understanding of animals. Which better place that their natural environment ?
So I needed a guide and there was Mark meeting us at the Nairobi airport, and from that moment, we where fully taken care by him.
Mark was not just a guide, he was much more… His love and knowledge of nature and animals was transmitted to all of us day by day. The special attention he gave to the children in explaining and becoming a child himself, was so extraordinary that they still today, after a year, talk about him and remember de lessons received.
As for us adults, this short trip lasted 10 days, left us not only with memories and emotions, but also the hope of going back in the future.
May 29, 2011Sylvia Luzzatto, Milano, Italia
Four of us spent twenty fantastic days with Mark and his team in Kenya: safaris in Masai Mara, Kitich, Leway and Sambura and decompression time on the coast at Lamu – we saw everything and wanted for nothing!
The Ross Company had come highly recommended but the arrangements were beyond our expectations. No detail was missed starting with the briefings by phone before we left Canada (including suggested readings) right through to the well stocked sundowners each evening. Having your own airplane is an added benefit that gives you so much flexibility to go off on unscheduled exploits – we spent several unplanned hours in a remote Masai school singing and dancing with curious youngsters.
Mark and his drivers are a treat to be with all day. They know their stuff and are great teachers – by week two we were expert trackers and not bad at analyzing elephant dung!! And they just know where to go to get the best camera angle: “if you want to see predators, find the prey”.
Educational, thrilling, exciting, best trip of our lives – all yes. But most importantly, we had fun and made a new lifelong friend – Mark. Only thing left to do is return with the grand’kids!!Jim Leech, Ontario
What an Amazing Vacation!
The fact that Mark was able to hold the attention of four overeducated adults and their four children aged 7-14 for 14 days and send us home wanting more is a statement in and of itself. Clearly East Africa is his classroom and each of us had a rich experience in active learning. From stitching ants, milking goats and cooking with the locals, dinner discussions about archeology and anthropolgy, to learning about animal tracks, animal behavior and life in Kenya ours was an exceptional safari and one which we are all eager to repeat with Mark as our guide. Mark was an easygoing yet efficient host and we felt safe and well cared for the entire trip. We highly recommend a Mark Ross Safari.Sukey
Wow! A Life Changing Experience and the Trip of a Lifetime!
Our decision to book our Africa/Kenya Safari with Mark Ross paid off in more ways than I could have ever imagined! Our party consisted of three families of four (6 Adults, 6 of our children ages 9 to 20). I was so happy that after 2 weeks together there was no “drama”; all of us had great time together and time to relax on our own.
Mark is a true “renaissance man” and could hold intriguing conversations with any and all in our party. Mark made sure we all felt safe and all times even while being very intimate with some intimidating wild life. Mark went out of his way to make our children of all ages feel included. He ran long distances with one who is a track star, he set up personal interviews for another who was writing a paper on the challenges facing the region we visited, and he allowed all of us to help in a clinic and school that impassioned us all.
The ability for Mark to speak Swahili and other mother tongues to the local people and the respect that gave him back opened so many doors to us that would otherwise be shut. His skill in understanding the predators and prey that roam in Kenya produced morning and evening safari outings of epic excitement! The up close photographs and chance to observe behavior was unparalleled.
Mark can truly “talk to the animals”! We saw every animal that one could imagine; including wild dogs!! Mark acts solely as your private guide and hires another expert to drive; this is a bonus that no other guide I know of offers.
The accommodations and food were outstanding throughout! Now I know what real unprocessed, genetically unaltered fruits and vegetables should taste like! The local fish, chicken and meats are so fresh and good.
I also loved the ability to walk into small villages and meet and interact with the locals; so so friendly!!
Finally Mark Ross is an amazing pilot with a fantastic plane! His Grand Caravan took the 14 of us directly to our camps; safely and without hassle or concern.
The ability to fly from camp to camp saved us so much safari time and kept our bodies fresh!
Mark Gerling of Gerling Travel cannot be thanked enough for planning our trip and introducing us to Mark Ross.Jeff Parks MD. Ormond Beach, Florida, USA
FABULOUS! No other words can describe a safari with Mark Ross. We saw so much, learned so much, and laughed so very much. So many photo opportunities and so many memories.Diane & David (traveled with Mark Ross on eight safaris)
I have spent almost fourty years of my life in different African countries, but the last fourteen in the Matwes Range has been the best. The walking and tracking with you has given a special taste to my days up in the North.
Your several visit in my camp has been always a pleasure for me and my people. You have never been seen as a client, but a friend with whom to share the experience in the bush. Your competence with wildlife has been helpful and determinant in many occasions on the ground when there were many factors at hand.
Your knowledge of African culture has been appreciated by my Samburu friends that now are also your friends. Now that you have also started to appreciate a good glass of wine you are almost perfect.
I hope to do more safaris with you in the future.
All the best,Giulio Bertolli former owner of Kitich Camp Kenya, Lucca, Italy
The Trip of a Lifetime—I know it sounds cliché, but it’s a sincere description of our most amazing East African adventure with Mark Ross. Mark is the consummate African guide—insightful, gregarious, adventurous, and kind. We experienced unique perspectives throughout our trip because of Mark’s lengthy tenure in East Africa, his fluency in Swahili, his in-depth knowledge of wildlife and his generous nature.
Every moment of our trip—from trekking Mount Kilimanjaro to relaxing at the beach in Lamu to safari in the Masai Mara—was flawless. Because Mark is a pilot with his own aircraft we were able to enjoy all these experiences plus a visit to Lake Victoria during our two and a half week adventure.
My husband and I can’t wait to return to Africa. The countries we visited and the people we met stole our hearts forever. We will always be grateful to Mark for introducing us to this remarkable part of the world.Katie Schwoerer, Aspen, CO
Pat and I are so grateful to you for leading our safari in Kenya. I know Jim and Deb feel the same. We had heard from friends how great an African safari can be and, accordingly, had high expectations. But our safari with you as our leader went far beyond those expectations. It was simply fabulous- the experience of a lifetime.
You made sure we didn’t just SEE all the great African animals we hoped to see, you made sure we saw and knew how they live their lives. We were always very close to them and, with your remarkable ability to predict what the animals would do, we were always in the best position to watch and take great photos. A number of times I found myself thinking: “I can’t believe that I’m here right now watching what I am watching”: such as the three cheetah stalking a wildebeest, taking it down in a real team effort and having it for dinner; or the family ( I know, pride) of 15 lions rollicking and rough-housing with each other one night and then dining on their kill the next; or my favourite, the drama of the massive migration of the wildebeest across the Mara River, with the crocodiles slithering into the river and attacking, lions waiting for a meal on the other shore and hippos looking on at the chaos in stand silence and wondering “what the heck is going on?.” It was not just the great African animals that we saw that made our experience- it was also the lesser known animals, and those we had never heard of. And it was the hundreds of different types of birds, the reptiles, the insects ( who could forget the “kill” by the lion ant) and the plant and tree life. In experiencing all this we were continuously amazed at the extent of your knowledge of all these creatures and the vegetation. How could one person have all this in his brain? What an education for us.
While our purpose in going on a safari was to see the animals and their environment, it was the whole package that made our’s so terrific- the convenience of travelling in your plane and the comfort we got from your obvious concern for our safety at all times; our accommodations- very comfortable and in the case of Lewa Down, real luxury; our food-consistently very good, with the flexibility with each meal to be a little adventurous in what we ate or not; the quality of your drivers and the staff at all four camps at which we stayed; and our three days on spectacular Lamu Island at the end of our trip.
Of course none of this would have been as great if it weren’t for you, our leader. It was so obvious to the four of us that you were totally dedicated to showing us and teaching us as much as possible, to ensuring that our wishes and needs were taken care of, and perhaps best of all, that we had fun. Oh, so many laughs!
Mark, thank you, thank you.Brian
I have been a friend of Mark Ross for almost ten years and during that time traveled extensively with him in Kenya, Ethiopia and Mongolia. I cannot say enough about his board knowledge base about all living things, attention to detail, guest safety and the sharing his wilderness stories. Traveling with Mark and in his Cessna Caravan is very simple. All you do is arrive in Nairobi, and Mark will take care of the rest. This allows you to fully experience the magnificent beauty and grandeur of Kenya. He studied wildlife behavior so many times you will be waiting for animals to approach your location instead of following their rear ends. Our expectations have been exceeded on every trip. Each day’s game drive is outrageously special only to be exceeded by the next day on safari with Mark.Peter Gordon & Tina Walter