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This Week At Angama #150

In a year that has been unpredictable in so many ways, this week Mwikali Ndambo recounts how the steady rhythm of the Mara has been a dependable source of joy, peace and perspective
A family of elephant make their way towards the Mara River

Growing up I was taught that no experience is wasted if one can learn from it. And I have always made it a habit to pause and reflect on my day or week, or in this case, my year. Since the Mara has made up a big part of my year, it only makes sense that I would draw my lessons from this glorious place.

A lone zebra navigates the vastness of the Maasai Mara f 8.0, 1/500, ISO200, 0.0
Safety in numbers for this herd of impala f 8.0, 1/500, ISO200, 0.0

In the wake of Covid and subsequent social distancing, the vastness and vibrancy of the Mara has shown me that I am never as alone as I think I am and that every now again, a little bit of “me time” is okay.

A Mara elephant enjoys the abundance of green grass brought on by the rainy season f 8.0, 1/1000, ISO 640, 0.0

On the flip side, elephants continue to remind me of the importance of family and community. This week, I was mesmerised by a video shot by one of our safari guides, Alice, of an elephant giving birth.

It's incredibly moving to watch the entire herd rally to offer their support for her and her newborn. What a moving experience to witness this immense display of community - even second hand.

A vigilant topi plays sentry for his herd f 8.0, 1/1000, ISO 500, 0.0

The ever-alert topi offers a masterclass in awareness, not just of surroundings, but of self too. Aptly called the “snitch” of the Mara, many a herbivore owes its life to their ever-vigilant comrade, much to the chagrin of every potential predator.

Resident species zebra and the black chested snake eagle take in the Mara sunrise

It’s no secret that the Mara sunrises have captured my heart. Daily, they demanded I pause and contemplate their beauty - a brief little moment of zen that colours my day in the best of ways, and a gentle reminder to take a moment – no matter how short – to appreciate what I have around me.

A lone cheetah drops her guard momentarily f 5.6, 1/500, ISO 200, 0.0
And enjoys a playful moment rolling about f 5.6, 1/500, ISO 200, 0.0

But perhaps one of the biggest lessons this year came from the Mara herself. I have spent much of the year lamenting my lack of satisfactory cheetah and leopard sightings. And even though the odds never seemed in my favour, I stubbornly held on to the hope that something – anything – could and would happen. And as though to remind me that good things come to those who wait…right at the tail-end of the year, I got to spend the better part of one morning in the company of a cheetah.

This Week A Year Ago

Photograph by Jeffery Thige f 5.6, 1/250, ISO 250

This time a year ago, a bohor reedbuck showed how it’s done when it comes to avoiding detection as it concealed itself in the bushes.

Filed under: This Week at Angama

Tagged with:

Mara Triangle , mara wildlife , Safari Photography , This Week At Angama , Wildlife Photography

About: Mwikali Ndambo

From writing to chocolate making – Mwikali is happiest when using her creativity and working with her hands. Photography gives her the chance to do both in order to tell and share stories of the world around her as she assists in hosting the Angama Photographic Studio.

Browse all articles by Mwikali Ndambo Meet the angama team

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Comments (2):

Francis Bagbey

19 December 2020

That elephant birthing video was amazing!

Nancy Decker Davidson

18 December 2020

Alice .. you are the best! This is an amazing video and I wish I had been with you.

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