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This Week at Angama #186

The Great Migration is still keeping us on our toes, with what will happen next being anyone’s guess. Regardless, there was plenty to keep Eric busy this week, from a crocodile feeding frenzy to some oh-so-handsome nomadic lions
Above: Eric captures the smell, sound and feel of early mornings in the Mara

When it comes to the Great Migration, the show continues, albeit at a slightly slower pace. Most of the action is concentrated around the southern parts of the Mara Triangle. Smaller herds are moving from the Greater Reserve into the Triangle on a daily basis via a range of crossing points, but are yet to enter through the main crossing site in significant numbers. 

The show must go on, despite this year's migration being topsy-turvy f 8, 1/320, ISO 250 - Eric Averdung
The continual drive for greener pastures is bringing some herds back into the triangle f 8, 1/320, ISO 250 - Eric Averdung

While this year’s Migration remains unpredictable and overshadowed by uncertainty, we choose to maintain our unwavering optimism fuelled by the thousands of wildebeests that have returned to Kishanga (one of the sites of Angama Safari Camp). You can almost hear the collective sigh of relief echoing throughout the Triangle, shared by wildlife lovers and predators alike. 

Many are delighted by the wildebeest's return, none more so than the lions f 9, 1/400, ISO 320 - Adam Bannister
The wildebeest also seem happy to be back, with food and friends aplenty f 8, 1/1000, ISO 400 – Eric Leemalo
These two beautiful nomadic male lions were spotted not too far from the big wildebeest herds - they look like trouble Photographer: Eric Averdung

The Mara is home to some of the biggest Nile crocodiles in all of Africa. Their unique physiology and efficient metabolism means they can go for months without a meal. The annual Migration provides the perfect opportunity to consume enough food to last them the remainder of the year. 

Perhaps an all-time-first; a hippo is completely dwarfed by another creature f 7, 1/1000, ISO 250 – Eric Averdung

This year’s irregular migration pattern, coupled with the lower water levels and the absence of large herds in certain areas, means the crocodiles are at a bit of a disadvantage. While the absence of crocodiles at many of the crossing points often results in a happy ending, with little-to-no casualties and a pleasant sight for most viewers, it robs us of some of the nail-biting suspense and overwhelming emotions associated with watching crossings in croc-infested waters. We hope that this is just temporary and that later in the season we may be able to share a bit more action.

The 'crocodile-infested water' awaits the herds on thier return f 5.6, 1/500, ISO 400 – Robert Saiyalel

This week, we spent time at the Cul-de-Sac crossing point along the Mara River, an area with some of the highest crocodile densities I have ever come across. Upon arrival, we watched chaos ensue, as over 30 crocodiles fought over the remains of what was once a young hippo. While closer to the riverbank, a smaller group of crocs scrambled for a catfish. It’s safe to say that they are sticking to a more stable food source for now. As I looked down at the water, it was difficult to avoid contemplating the mayhem that would ensue if a mega-herd dared to cross this deadly stretch. 

With fewer crossing, the mighty beasts are relegated to fighting over scraps f 6.3, 1/640, ISO 200 – Eric Averdung
Unless a young hippo makes a deathly mistake f 5.6, 1/1000, ISO 640 – Robert Saiyalel

Migration patterns can be affected by a number of factors, including the weather, as we reported last week. Irregular rains can effectively sway the large herds off-course and create a flurry of confusion in the minds of the wildebeests.

Everything in nature is connected and the wildebeest's thinking is hardwired to the weather f 8, 1/1000, ISO 400 – Eric Lemaalo
Kicking up clouds of dust, the wildebeest know how to set a dramatic scene f 5.6, 1/750, ISO 250 – Robert Kiprotich

While the Migration may have been the central theme of the last month, we shouldn’t steal the spotlight away from the rest of the Triangle’s wildlife. This part of the Mara retains its magic all year round, and each week we get front row seats to the most beautiful show on Earth. From watching hot-air balloons gracefully glide over the plains as the African sun peaks over the horizon, to catching up with the youngsters and witnessing tender moments unfold between even the fiercest of animals. What a privilege it is to call the Triangle home.

This adorable zebra foal was very inquisitive about us f 5, 1/1000, ISO 320 – Sammy Komu
Elephant calves are famous for their delightful curiosity, and this one was no exception f 5, 1/3200, ISO 320 – Sammy Komu
When you have to be big and scary all day, sometimes it's nice to get some love from your sibling f 7.1, 1/800, ISO 640 – Adam Bannister

This Week One Year Ago

A hyrax and a cobra both want the best sun-bathing spot, who will get it? f 8.0, 1/50, ISO 160, 0.0

One doesn't have to go too far to see some action, as seen one year ago today. In the pursuit of the best place to sun one's self, this brave hyrax stood its ground against a spitting cobra.
 

Filed under: This Week at Angama

Tagged with:

Maasai Mara , Photographic Safari , Wildlife Photography

About: Eric Averdung

Browse all articles by Eric Averdung Meet the angama team

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