This Week At Angama #111

20 March 2020 | This Week at Angama |

Reading Time: 5 MINUTES

During these unprecedented times we want to assure you that we will continue posting the latest stories and updates, in real time, from the Maasai Mara. Once all this madness is over, the Mara will still be here waiting to welcome you back

As I drive around the Maasai Mara I can’t help but notice the rather eerie silence. The park is quiet and aside from some rangers, we are the only ones in the Mara Triangle. In support of President Kenyatta’s shutdown of international travel into Kenya, Angama has made the decision to temporarily close (all being well we will reopen on 1 May). The health and safety of our guests, our staff and their families is our priority. A small number of us will remain behind in camp to conduct maintenance work on the lodge. We will also be going out into the Mara every day to document life in the Reserve. After all, life goes on for the animals that call the Mara home. If ever we needed a reminder as to the value of wide open spaces and protected landscapes – this is it. Stay safe everyone and keep watching our social media feed for daily updates from the greatest reserve in Africa. [f 2.8, 1/1000, ISO 800, -0.33]

Big storm

Big storms continue to hit the Mara almost daily. During the course of the day, the clouds build into a crescendo, with the heavens opening up in the late afternoon – it is spectacular. [f 6.3, 1/800, ISO 400, -0.67]

cloudy sky

The last few mornings have started off foggy; the perfect setting for a moody photograph. This fog tends to burn off after about an hour or so. [f 5.0, 1/400, ISO 640, -0.33]

Elephant in grass

The grass is starting to show a hint of yellow, but the consistent rains (since November), have meant that they are far greener than usual. The animals are certainly not complaining. [f 5.6, 1/1000, ISO 125, -0.33]

Elephant in rearview mirror

Not the greatest image, but a fantastic story. This single elephant walked behind my car and I saw the opportunity to take a photo of it in my rearview mirror. I liked the result and carried on with my drive. Later the following day, when editing my images, I zoomed in on this photograph to see that in the road far behind the elephant was a male lion crossing the road. I hadn’t even seen him! [f 5.0, 1/500, ISO 125]

BW Lion

Of course, lions continue to dominate my viewfinder. This week I took a day to explore the far north-eastern throws of the Maasai Mara, an area about 5 hours’ drive from Angama that I hardly ever visit. I must say I was delighted by the experience. [f 2.8, 1/640, ISO 800, -0.67]

LIon Stalking

The short grassy clearings were perfect for general game. The result: fantastic lion sightings. [f 3.2, 1/640, ISO 640, -0.67]

LIon with topi in background

An exceptionally shallow depth of field allowed me to focus on the approaching lion, and leave the topi in the background as blurred outlines. [f 2.8, 1/250, ISO 800, +1.0]

lion in bw side on

Making way for the king. [f 2.8, 1/200, ISO 1250, +1.0]

 lions back to back

Nearby, two lionesses from a pride of four, were showing lots of love and affection towards each other. The dramatic blue sky provided the perfect backdrop. I love that this photograph captures the exact moment the two lionesses touch each other with their tails. [f 4.5, 1/1000, ISO 1000, -0.67]

lion back

Eyes on the prize. Again I opted for a very shallow depth of field. I wanted there to be an air of mystery in this photograph. What was she looking at? [f 2.8, 1/640, ISO 800]

lion and clouds

Magnificent evenings in the Maasai Mara. [f 3.5, 1/640, ISO 320, -0.67]


The evening sunset colours are incredible at this time of the year. [f 7.1, 1/200, ISO 2500, -0.67]

Man Working

This week, I visited the headquarters and workshop of the MAA Trust. This initiative is one of the conservation projects we support through The Greatest Maasai Mara Photographer of the Year photographic competition. Their beadwork and leatherwork is fantastic and currently 12 international designers are using this small collective. [f 3.2, 1/125, ISO 500, +0.33]

ABW__EW_5903 Lady

A big smile: the best medicine. One of the beading ladies from the MAA Trust. [f 4.5, 1/125, ISO 400, +1]

security running

This week, the men and woman who keep us safe at Angama did their firearms training. [f 4.5, 1/1250, ISO 500]

security group

I decided to go and photograph this wonderful group of selfless askaris. [f 7.1, 1/320, ISO 500]


A massive eland bull in the early morning light. [f 5.0, 1/2000, ISO 2000, -1]

saddle billed stork

The proud and oh-so-gorgeous saddle-billed stork. [f 4.0, 1/2000, ISO 160]

kite flying

Soon, we should start seeing the large scale migration of birds of prey across the Mara. [f 4.5, 1/8000, ISO 1250]


Cheetah cub looking up

Two years ago I decided to also take a drive across the river, this time around the Lookout area. I was blessed with the most wonderful sighting of Imani and her one-and-a-half month cub. [f 5.0, 1/2500, ISO 400, +0.33]

FILED UNDER: This Week at Angama

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.

Mollie Stark Eckelberry
March 20, 2020

Wish I could go there💓

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