Life in the Mara never stops. Week after week it keeps enduring, shifting and creating. Some aspects of this natural flow we get to witness first-hand, but much of it goes unseen. This week has been packed with action and excitement — sprinkled with conflicting emotions of delight and gut-wrenching sorrow. Having been away for two weeks it feels great to be back in the Mara and behind the camera.
The Mara River is low and each day we see elephant herds in their dozens congregating on this much-needed water source. We are in the midst of an unusually dry December. Normally, by this time, the grasses are growing tall and the soils waterlogged. Nevertheless, we have still been graced with some beautiful sightings.
If It does happen to rain overnight, often the following morning will be absolutely fantastic in terms of lighting. A thin veil of mist sits above the river course and adds atmosphere and emotion to an already beautiful scene.
Leopard viewing has been fantastic this week with at least 4 individuals being observed by the team. The most memorable was of this young, yet to be identified individual, which sat patiently in a Balanites tree, much to everyone’s delight. Guide Jackson Etoot was able to capture some wonderful photos.
The highlight of the week was undoubtedly the discovery of a new cub in the Angama Pride. Guests were treated to the sighting of a lifetime as the mother brought her cub out into the open for all to see. She proceeded to tuck the cub away into some long grass and then went off and successfully managed to hunt down a warthog about 500m away. What a sighting that must have been.
This week also produced a wonderful treat in the form of two sub-adult cheetahs that were seen in the southeast of the Triangle. However, in just a matter of hours, sheer joy turned into tears as one of the cheetahs was caught off guard by a nearby leopard and killed. Nature can be so incredibly harsh, and at times we are left thinking how unfair it can all seem. Cheetahs continue to have the odds stacked against them in the Mara Triangle and every sighting is treated like gold.
Although the migration is now gone there are still herds of a couple of thousand zebra hanging around the border with Tanzania. Will they start moving south, or will we have a resident herd early next year?
Photography is as much about art and expression as it is about reality. When I saw a herd of buffalo thundering across the road in front of me I decided to play a little with a slow shutter and try to portray the movement in the image.
This week I ventured out with Eric showing him some of the more remote and lesser-known areas of the Mara Triangle. We came across a serval right beside the track. Being one of the smaller cats found in the Mara, servals tend to shy away from the sound or sight of vehicles. This serval was quite the opposite and approached us, taking a brief moment to investigate our vehicle before crossing the road to search for a meal.
For each of us, every week yields a sighting that trumps all the rest. This week, for Eric, it was a sighting of a family of bat-eared foxes. After five months in the Mara, this was his first sighting of these beautiful animals. From their name, it’s obvious that they are known for their most distinctive characteristic, their ears which can grow to over five inches long. These adorable creatures live in small groups and are incredibly difficult to come across. Luck was on our side as we bumped into this small family relaxing in the morning sun, not too far from the Mara River.
Wishing you all a joyous festive season from us at The Angama Photographic Studio!
Three years ago we witnessed the most incredible scenes as two giraffe bulls had a fight and they both died! They literally collapsed on impact as they struck each other simultaneously on the heads. For days afterwards lions, hyenas, vultures and jackals feasted.
Filed under: This Week at Angama
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