This Week At Angama #120

22 May 2020 | This Week at Angama |

Reading Time: 6 MINUTES

Another week in the Mara rolls on by; rainbows punctuate the afternoon skies, and candyfloss clouds drift across the grasslands   

The words made famous by Forrest Gump relating life to a box of chocolates, could easily be applied to the wildlife out here in the Maasai Mara. You honestly never know what each game drive will deliver. What we do know, is that you have to be out there in order to see it, and that whatever you see will be remarkable in its own way. Especially when in that instant, you are fully present, and you learn to appreciate an animal for allowing you a glimpse into its life. Enjoy This Week At Angama. [f 5.6, 1/400, ISO 500] 

Incredibly, we have produced nearly 70 short videos of life in the Mara during this time. If you haven’t been following along, be sure to do so on either Instagram, Facebook or YouTube. One of the benefits of producing and filming these daily stories is getting to be out in the bush almost every single day for the sunrise – my favourite time of the day. [f 5.6, 1/2500, ISO 200, -1.0]

Another thunderstorm rolls in across the Oloololo escarpment. The late afternoon lighting at the moment is breathtaking. [f 11.0, 1/60, ISO 320, -0.33]

Even in the middle of the day, when the lighting is bright and harsh, you are still able to capture the drama and magnitude of the Maasai Mara. I have found that over the last month, my photographic style has shifted away from animal portraits to landscapes. All done in an attempt to capture the energy of the skies and the feeling of vastness, space and freedom. [f 5.6, 1/1000, ISO 100, -0.33]

The Mara Triangle’s rangers have started to call this specific area “Paradise” as the short, lush green grasses are attracting plenty of plains game. Herds of hundreds of zebra are already here feeding, and the Mara Triangle’s solitary wildebeest is now based permanently within a few hundred yards of that single tree you can see. Who can blame him? [f 13.0, 1/400, ISO 200, -0.67]

A giant elephant confidently strides down the main road. He must be seeing so few cars at the moment that I can only imagine his thoughts when he saw us driving towards him. [f 7.1, 1/400, ISO 400, +0.33]

Over the last two months I have seen at least 19 different male lions in the Mara Triangle. That is an extraordinary number. With no fences, and an open border with Tanzania’s Serengeti, the Mara Triangle receives a large number of up-and-coming nomadic male lions. On the plus side, it creates excitement in never knowing who you may meet around the next corner. On the down side, the resident prides of lionesses have a torrid time trying to raise cubs in such an unpredictable environment. [f 5.6, 1/1600, ISO 400, -0.33]

The ‘naming’ of these male lions is a complicated, and often confusing matter. This gorgeous male is known as “Doa-Doa Nose”. Interestingly, he doesn’t appear to mind which other males he hangs out with. He has been seen with many different males over the last few months – he obviously understands strength in numbers. [f 5.6, 1/800, ISO 640]

After a morning drive, we ascended the concrete two-track back up to Angama. Waiting for us at the boom gate entrance was this little fellow; a delightful, and seldom photographed, klipspringer. [f 5.6, 1/800, ISO 250]

This is without a doubt the biggest python I have seen in the Mara Triangle. By no means is this a remarkable photo, but this snake, of at least 12 feet in length, moved like lightning across the road. [f 5.6, 1/800, ISO 200, -0.33]

I was able to fire off a few close-up shots of the python. I was mesmerized by the blue shimmer on the scales – almost like petrol in colour. [f 5.6, 1/800, ISO 200, -0.33]

Remote, silent, and all alone – how fortunate we are to have the Maasai Mara to ourselves at the moment. Breakfast under a lone picnic tree; a distant view towards the south and into Tanzania. When will we hear the rumble of hooves of the Migration? [f 10.0, 1/640, ISO 400]

Heavy flooding in late April resulted in significant damage to roads and bridges. Now that the water has subsided we are able to see the full extent of the damage to the lower concrete bridge at Purungat. Fortunately the upper metal bridge survived. [f 8.0, 1/1000, ISO 400]

Ten points if any of you can recognise this specific spot. This is Maji Ma Chafu crossing. It has not been crossable for months now. The water does appear to be dropping daily however, and we are hoping that soon we will be able to once again explore the area to the north of this well-known crossing point. [f 8.0, 1/640, ISO 400, -0.33]

We, at Angama we believe in having fun, and don’t take ourselves too seriously. Last week, our Maasai neighbours took the time to teach me how to jump, so this week I decided to reciprocate and teach them something close to my heart: golf. It was so much fun to see a cultural gap bridged. Sport really does have incredible abilities to bring people together. Have a look at some of the photographs below, but be sure to watch the video here.

[f 5.0, 1/3200, ISO 320, -0.67]

[f 5.0, 1/2000, ISO 320, -0.67]

[f 5.0, 1/2000, ISO 320, -0.67]

[f 5.0, 1/2000, ISO 320, -0.67]

This Week Two Years Ago

Elephant and balloon
Can you believe that two years ago, this week, Prince Harry married Meghan Markle? But, significantly closer to home, can you believe that it has now been two months since the last hot-air balloon flew over the Maasai Mara? When all of this passes, I can’t wait to go for a ride in the clouds and look down on the Mara landscape;  to see what it looks like after so much time without visitors. [f 4.0, 1/1250, 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.

Wendy Press
May 22, 2020

Beautiful message. Can smell and feel the sights. Can’t wait to return to this magical place.

    Nicky Fitzgerald
    May 24, 2020

    Thanks so much for this lovely message, Wendy. We will be waiting to welcome you back with arms open wide.

Patty Lloyd
June 1, 2020

Ahh, such wonderful memories of that beautiful place! Thank you Adam for reminding me of the stunning landscapes and animals

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