This Week At Angama #118 - Angama Mara

This Week At Angama #118

8 May 2020 | This Week At Angama |

Reading Time: 5 MINUTES

In between short showers of rain come dramatic fluffy clouds and the most glorious golden light. There may be a few obstacles to photographing at this time of the year, but there are also incredible rewards

Seeing a Maasai warrior tending to his cattle, donning a Shuka-inspired facemask stopped me in my tracks. This is a passage of time, right across the world, that we are all still adjusting to. Nothing is as it was before. Except in nature where life goes on; the daily search for food and the battle for survival. Enjoy another instalment of This Week At Angama. [f 4.0, 1/1600, ISO 200]

I can barely believe that I am writing this; but the rains continue to fall in the Mara. The river pulsates as it winds its way across the flooded grasslands. There is a part of me, an odd part, that wants to jump on a tractor tube and ride the rapids of the Mara River. I reckon you would be in Lake Victoria in no time at all. Don’t worry Mom, I wont do it! [f 14.0, 1/125, ISO 125, -0.33]

The morning light is simply breathtaking. In this photograph, Angama Mara is perched right on the top of the escarpment – looking down on pure gold. [f 6.3, 1/500, ISO 500, -0.33]

A flock of cattle egrets fly by in the early hours of another day in paradise. [f 3.5, 1/2500, ISO 500, -0.33]

Another fly-by, this time by a small flock of nomadic comb ducks. [f 4.0, 1/6400, ISO 640, +0.67]

Always on the lookout for any kind of subject to photograph in gentle pastel tones. [f 4.0, 1/640, ISO 100, +1.33]

Love and affection: an intimate moment captured in time. [f 4.0, 1/640, ISO 250, +1.67]

Harsh late morning sunlight often tempts me to shoot in black and white. In the case of this elephant bull, I thought the black and white helped to showcase the texture of his skin, his muscles and his enormous size. A full-colour version would have seen his body lost among the greenery. [f 4.0, 1/500, ISO 800]

The advantage of being in the Mara at this time of the year is the very dramatic sky. Each afternoon, clouds roll in across the sky. From a distance you can see the rain dancing across the landscape. With a bit of forward planning, and a dose of luck, you can often navigate around the rain showers – keeping dry in the process. [f 10.0, 1/100, ISO 500, -1.0]

There are a few real characters when it comes to the elephants of the Mara. I think I need to start giving them names. This male is very distinctive in that he is missing his left tusk and has had the end of his trunk cut off. I imagine this was probably caused years ago by a snare. [f 5.6, 1/500, ISO 500, +1.0]

Fortunately, the cut trunk doesn’t appear to hinder him, and he is in fine shape. You can see, however, on this side profile shot, how much shorter than normal his trunk is. We owe so much to the men and women who patrol all of Africa’s reserves, removing snares and combatting poaching. We are so thankful. [f 5.6, 1/500, ISO 125, +0.33]

Another heartfelt thank you goes out to the road crews. Despite the heavy rainfall, the small Mara Conservancy maintenance team continue to work long hours each day to do their part in keeping the main roads of the park in good condition. [f 7.1, 1/640, ISO 160]

One morning drive was spent on the slopes below Angama Mara, as a small pride of lion decided to try their luck at hunting a herd of buffalo. [f 4.0, 1/3200, ISO 160, -1.0]

Ultimately, the lion miscalculated their prey, and a rather comical scene concluded with the lion being treed by some seriously grumpy old males. [f 5.6, 1/1250, ISO 400, -0.33]

Almost every morning I have tried to find the small lion cubs, first seen by the Head Warden two weeks ago. I am yet to have any luck. However, this lioness is the mother, and I can now identify her as the female from the Mugoro Pride with the missing bottom right canine. Previously, we had thought that the cubs were from the Owino Pride, but some thorough detective work has finally solved the mystery. [f 5.0, 1/6400, ISO 320]

The ‘Lockdown’ staff at Angama are an incredible bunch – a truly remarkable team of individuals who collectively make up a second family. Most afternoons we enjoy activities to keep us fit, healthy and happy. Even Perrin (Shannon and Tyler’s three-year old), joins in the festivities. [f 4.5, 1/800, ISO 160]

This rather odd game involved running across the football field knocking over empty beer bottles with a rather peculiar sack hanging between your legs. A scene perhaps more reminiscent of a bachelorette’s party. [f 4.5, 1/1600, ISO 160, -0.67]

And just when I thought I had seen it all, a dance-off (red vs blue) that involved keeping a soccer ball firmly in place between teammates heads. [f 4.5, 1/320, ISO 250, +0.67]

This Week 2 Years Ago

LESSER STRIPED-SWALLOW 03Photograph by Tyler Davis

This has always been one of my favourite photographs taken by Tyler Davis. It is rather simple, but the colours and the framing are perfect. This time each year, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Global Birding Big Day takes place. This will happen tomorrow and Tyler will yet again be spearheading the team to see how many species can be racked up in 24 hours of continual birding. [f 5.6, 1/2500, ISO 400]

AUTHOR: Adam Bannister

A South African-trained biologist, safari guide, author, filmmaker and photographer, Adam is, above all else, a gifted storyteller. After spending the past 10 years working in some of the world’s most beautiful wild places – the Sabi Sand Game Reserve in South Africa, Rajasthan in India, Brazil’s Pantanal, and the rainforests of Manu National Park in Peru – he is delighted to share his stories of one of the loveliest game reserves of them all, the Maasai Mara.

COMMENTS (2)
Duncan Radcliffe
May 8, 2020

What is the situation regards travel and the covid 19 vi

REPLY
    Nicky Fitzgerald
    May 8, 2020

    Hi Duncan
    Thanks for checking in. Currently Kenya’s borders are closed so until they reopen (maybe within a month) no flights into Nairobi. When were you hoping to travel?
    Warm regards
    Nicky

    REPLY
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