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This Week at Angama #196

This week, Eric was able to slow down and appreciate the little things – in the form of bumbling baby elephants and the admirable courage of a motherly lapwing
Above: In the Mara, the early photographer catches the hot-air balloons

It’s been yet another brilliant week in the Mara, and again this leaves me wondering whether there’s such a thing as a dull week in this phenomenal reserve. I sit here, week after week, always excited to tell the stories of what I have experienced. No two days are identical in the Mara and that’s probably why we’ve managed to write 196 unique weekly blogs thus far. The Mara has so much to offer.

A warm embrace shared between lion brothers f 6.3, 1/640, ISO 320
At this stage of their life, these youngsters will have to depend on each other f 6.3, 1/640, ISO 320
A puff adder goes about its business f 5.6, 1/1000, ISO 320

Although baby elephants may be a regular sighting, every time I encounter these bundles of joy, I’m left with a huge smile on my face. There’s just something about how they interact with their environment that I find captivating. They stumble about, exploring their surroundings inquisitively, yet acting ever-so silly while at it. These little ones have a lot of mistakes to make before they will gather enough wisdom to lead their herd. I think we humans can take a page out of their book and learn not to take things too seriously.

Life is a journey and baby elephants know how to enjoy the ride f 6.3, 1/400, ISO 400
Playing and exploring is a huge part of growing up for most animals and elephants in particular f 6.3, 1/1000, ISO 500

As we all know, rhino sightings can be few and far between. Also, sightings differ in quality, seeing a rhino from 100 metres away doesn’t really weigh up to a sighting that’s just 30 metres away. Unfortunately, since arriving in the Mara, I haven’t had any great rhino sightings; they all happened to be miles away or rushed into the bushes upon our arrival. Well, at least that was until this week, where we spent some quality time with a mother and her calf. We enjoyed over an hour of watching them stroll in the distance and I was filled with gratitude for having the opportunity to observe these beautiful creatures.

A relaxed rhino cow introduces Eric to her calf f 6.3, 1/640, ISO 400
This calf will stay with its mother for up to four years f 6.3, 1/640, ISO 400

Typically, in most of my blogs, the highlights primarily consist of big cat sightings. However, this week’s highlight is different. As we were heading back to camp, on one of the lesser-used roads, we heard a loud shriek, and looking to the road we noticed a wattled lapwing. Typically, birds tend to fly away and avoid vehicles, however, this particular bird stood its ground, making even more noise as we approached and raising its wings in a display of aggression. Eventually, we brought our vehicle to a stop, less than one metre away. After reversing, we realised she had laid an egg in the middle of the road and was willing to protect it at all costs. She probably picked the worst possible place to lay an egg and I’m sure she will have plenty of vehicles to chase off in the near future.

A wattled lapwing with poor choice in real estate f 6.3, 1/640, ISO 320

There is no doubt that the Mara is defined by its amazing wildlife but equally as impressive are the magnificent landscapes and scenery found here, especially within the Triangle. It’s always a jaw-dropping experience witnessing golden hour in this part of the world. The endless vistas combined with the occasional mist makes for a phenomenal viewing experience. There’s such wonderful diversity found within the Triangle: balanite woodlands to open grasslands and of course the rocky escarpment which towers over the entire landscape. This week, I decided to slow down and truly take it all in, embracing all the magnificence of this sacred land. 

A herd of elephants munch on the grasses below the Oloololo escarpment f 5.0, 1/1600, ISO 400
The mist turns into a sea of gold when the early morning light hits it just so f 5.0, 1/5000, ISO 400
The golden colours will quickly make way for greens as the sun rises f 5.0, 1/5000, ISO 400

This Week a Year Ago

Rani in the Salt Lick area, where she was born f 6.4, 1/1000, ISO 200

A year ago Adam was catching up with Rani, who was making full use of the post-Migration short grasses which enables her to reach her maximum speed of about 130km/h when hunting.

Filed under: This Week at Angama

Tagged with:

Maasai Mara , Mara Triangle , Wildlife Photography

About: Eric Averdung

Born and raised in Nairobi, Eric is a self-taught photographer with a passion for wildlife. Growing up just 15 minutes away from the city's National Park, regular visits sparked his interest from a young age, and lead him to complete his degree in Sustainability and Environmental Management with a focus on conservation.

Browse all articles by Eric Averdung Meet the angama team

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