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This Week At Angama #153

After all the excitement of the holidays and the grandly celebrated arrival of a new year, Tyler writes about how we humans tend to experience a bit of a come down. But not the wildlife of the Mara - why would they know the difference?
An optical illusion from the Angama Pride lionesses

The Mara performs as it always does, life goes on the same as it always has, and it’s all a great reminder that beauty is all around us, all the time.

Lions in the Mara make use of the trees as vantage points for hunting
The recently collared Mama Kali stretches and yawns

The Angama Pride spent some time lounging in a tree one evening, offering a great photographic opportunity. I tried to capture some photos that highlighted the scene as whole, as well as some that were more abstract.

An abstract of the tree climbing lionesses
Magnificent creatures to practice portrait shots on

But perhaps my favorite is the very first shot above, where two lionesses awkwardly merged as they tried to get around one another in the tree, creating a bit of an optical illusion of two lionesses with one head.

The resident pair of Ross’s Turacos at our bird bath

I am extremely lucky in having a fairly busy bird bath outside my living room window, and it is not uncommon for the resident pair of Ross’s Turacos to pop in for a drink. I wish they weren’t such fleeting visits – I could watch them all day.

Kibogoyo, beautifully backlit by the sunrise
Close up of Kibogoyo in the early morning light

Another great lion encounter was with Kibogoyo – one of my favorites because of his heterochromia (differently coloured eyes).

Here Kibogoyo's heterochromia can be seen
Kibogoyo rests up with the rest of the pride

I found him at sunrise, and he very considerately positioned himself for a couple of lovely backlit photos.

A low angle capture of a curios hippo

On the main road from Serena to Purungat Bridge, there is a murram quarry that has since become a fairly productive pond. Hippos will often temporarily use this as a daytime resting spot when caught out after long nocturnal foraging trips from the Mara River (perhaps about 7km away). Because the quarry is just uphill of the road, it allows for some really great low angle opportunities when the hippos are present.

A bulle elephant dwarfed by the vast Mara sky

I spotted this lone bull elephant on the vast savannah horizon at about midday, so took the shot with the intention in mind to convert to a black and white photograph because of the harsh light.

An unusual perspective of the magnificent crowned crane

What a strange and beautiful flower! Or is it. . .?

A typical Mara scene; jackal in the rising sun

A jackal and I spotted each other at the same time as we came down two converging roads – the rising sun was behind the jackal and created a beautiful orange glow.

Hadeda's and a stormy sky
A grey heron surveys the Mara River

I thoroughly enjoy trying to capture birds in flight, which requires panning and quick thinking with the camera settings. Here are two fun examples – a quartet of Hadeda Ibis against some afternoon storm clouds, and a Grey Heron cruising the Mara River.

An impressive display of buffalo horns
Danger in the grass

Buffalo, grumpy looking things that they are, make for wonderful subjects. I can happily sit for quite some time with a herd of buffalo or even just a few dagga boys, looking for different ways to photograph them. And how about those horns?!

The Mara landscape; complete with alert antelope
Two female impala survey their surroundings for danger

In the constant search for the big and hairy, the clawed and toothy, it’s easy to overlook the seemingly more mundane plains game. I like to challenge myself to make compelling photographs of these animals, and I like how both these photos turned out, showing impala and a waterbuck in their environment and creating both a sense of place and capturing the essence of the animal.

This Week A Year Ago

One of the Boarder Brothers captured in the tall grass f 5.6, 1/640, ISO 100 -0.33

This week a year ago, Jeff Thige had the good fortune of spending some time with the Border Brothers, and captured this lovely shot of a cheetah in the tall grass.

This Week Two Years Ago

A tree climbing lioness surveys her surroundings Photograph by Adam Bannister

This week two years ago, Adam captured an uncannily similar shot to one from this week.

Filed under: This Week at Angama

Tagged with:

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

About: Tyler Davis

Guide and birding fundi, Tyler was also one half of the regional director couple that lead the team at Angama Mara for the first five years. Being the birding extraordinaire that he is, he was known to let his attention wander during meetings. The trick to keep him focused was to place him with no direct view of anything feathered. Tyler ensures that we are a grounded and well-rounded team. He also sometimes forgets to take his binoculars off at dinnertime.

Browse all articles by Tyler Davis Meet the angama team

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