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Pressing Pause on the World

After being named The Greatest Maasai Mara Photographer of the Year in 2019, Lee-Anne Robertson was finally able to visit Angama
Above: True peacefulness is watching hot-air balloons floating over the Mara

As the saying goes, all good things must come to an end, and so I am writing this at the end of my amazing stay at Angama Mara – part of my prize after being named The Greatest Maasai Mara Photographer of the Year for 2019. Five nights sped by at blistering speed, and all I wanted to do was press the pause button to delay leaving this piece of heaven on earth.

This young male lion is not an early bird f. 2.8, 1/2000, ISO 200
Details of a yellow-billed stork f. 5.6, 1/320, ISO 800

With my guide, Lemaalo, days were filled with game drives setting off early at 6h15 am. Each morning we would leave with a picnic breakfast and great anticipation for the day ahead. It was incredible to watch the sunrise in all its golden splendour as gigantic hot-air balloons drifted lazily over the Mara Triangle. Those endless African skies are impossible to describe, only once you have witnessed them first-hand can you truly comprehend just how beautiful they are. 

Giraffes silhouetted by the golden sunrise f. 5.6, 1/1600, ISO 500
Desert date trees that dot the Mara at early morning f. 3.5, 1/8000, ISO 160
One of the Bila Shaka males looking battle-tested f. 2.8, 1/250, ISO 1250

Each drive was filled with unexpected scenes, from a lioness feeding on a freshly killed wildebeest, elephants grazing in the marsh, hyenas suckling their young on the side of the road, graceful giraffes towering over the topis, together with thousands and thousands of beautiful zebras and wildebeests as they continued their annual Migration. And of course, there are few experiences quite as wonderful as having a delicious picnic in the middle of nature while watching animals graze nearby.

Light and dark: a lioness with her kill f. 2.8, 1/5000, ISO 640
A lioness spying on herd of zebra from her lookout f. 7.1, 1/1000, ISO 640
This lioness looks none too pleased f. 2.8, 1/640, ISO 4000

The view from Angama Mara takes your breath away, instantly transporting you on an other-worldly experience, where only blue skies and never-ending landscapes exist.  Days melt into one another and soon you forget the time, date and month, becoming totally absorbed in nature and its rhythm. At night lying in bed, I could watch the stars overhead — that is something truly special.

It's neck and neck between these two f. 5.6, 1/2500, ISO 1000
A rare hippo sighting outside of water f. 7.1, 1/1250, ISO 500

It is always with sadness that I leave Kenya and its wild places, and I look forward to my next adventure here. Until then, I will be dreaming of the Maasai Mara.  

Millie the matriarch and two members of her herd f. 4.5, 1/1250, ISO 800
Lines on lines –– the tall grasses obscure this zebra herd f. 5.6, 1/1000, ISO 200

Notes from the Editor:

Two eyes telling two different stories

Lee-Anne's extraordinary 'Juxtaposition' was the winning image of 2019. Each year, The Greatest Maasai Mara Photographer of the Year wins a US$10  000 cash prize as well as a five-night safari at Angama Mara. Entry into the 2021 competition remains open until midnight on 31 October.


Filed under: Stories From The Mara

Tagged with:

Maasai Mara , Photographic Safari , Wildlife Photography

About: Lee-anne Robertson

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