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This Week at Angama #207

Amidst the much welcomed rain this week, Robert finds out what it's like to be charged by a leopard first-hand
Above: You don't want to be on the other end of this charge

Finally, we can breathe a collective sigh of relief. The rains are here and so very welcome after an unusually lengthy delay and some very hot days. The weather has been cool with a mix of cloudy and sunny days this week.

f8.0, 1/250, ISO 400
f8.0, 1/500, ISO 200
f8.0, 1/250, ISO 250

I caught up with the Egyptian Pride again this week. There are now 10 members in total, counting the newest little addition to the pride. The cub is always so playful and it was lovely to note how a young female in the pride was so accommodating and ever so gentle while playing together.

f13.0, 1/125, ISO 400

Older cubs often bully the smaller cubs, sometimes even to the point of unintentionally killing them. This is why a lioness will keep her cubs hidden from other lions for around three months until they are old enough to follow the pride. If there are older cubs around, as is the case with the Egyptian Pride, the mother will be extremely aggressive if any of them get too close to the tiny cub.

f13.0, 1/125, ISO 400
f13.0, 1/125, ISO 400

Unfortunately, its aunties aren’t so welcoming, often snarling when they come too close. A little growl sent this poor cub scampering off back to its mother. 

f7.1, 1/250, ISO 640
f7.1, 1/250, ISO 640
f5, 1/2500, ISO 500 | Photo: Adam Bannister
f5.6, 1/250, ISO 500 | Photo: Adam Bannister

Jackal for breakfast is what this extremely shy but aggressive leopard was busy with when we found her on a sausage tree enjoying her meal. We could tell she was quite uneasy with our presence and she kept growling at the nearby vehicles.

f5.6, 1/1000, ISO 400
f5.6, 1/1000, ISO 400

Leopards are dangerous animals, to say the least. Jumping down the tree away from a vehicle on one side, she didn’t expect to see me on the other. Despite me ensuring I was a respectful distance away using my big lens, with ears bent backwards, this mock charge gave me the heebie-jeebies. I knew then it was time to pack up in search of more welcoming company. 

f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 640  
f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 640

With such a vast number of elephants in the Triangle, it's surprising that I haven’t encountered that many bulls in musth. Supercharged with testosterone, this awe-aspiring big boy displayed his dominance, swinging his massive body as he moved with a soft, low rumble. A notable indication of his presence is the smell of him in the wind, strong and pungent. You would do well to heed all these warnings and keep your distance from him.

f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 640
f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 640

It's not just the big creatures that caught my eye this week. On the heels of Charlotte's blog from Tuesday, the colours on the scales of these beautiful agamas were spectacular. On the left we have the flat-headed rock agama and on the right, the blue-headed tree agama. Both were seen right around camp at the lodge.

f5.2, 1/1000, ISO 200
f5.6, 1/550, ISO 400

This Week a Year Ago

Wild dog sightings in the Mara are few and far between, so it was a very happy week this time last year when we were able to spend time with this pack.

Filed under: This Week at Angama

Tagged with:

Lions of the Mara , Maasai Mara , Wildlife , Wildlife Photography

About: Robert Sayialel

A passionate photographer and videographer, Robert started his journey working with Amboseli Trust for Elephants in Amboseli National Park, close to where he was born and raised. He honed his skills by photographing the famous big Tuskers of Amboseli and travelling with guests through Kenya’s National Parks, documenting their safaris.

Browse all articles by Robert Sayialel Meet the angama team

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