HOME Blog This Week at Angama #212

This Week at Angama #212

Come rain or shine, Robert is charmed by the Mara with a little help from friends both old and new
Above: A cheetah makes a mad dash in a bid to have a topi dinner

As the rains continue to pound the earth, the weather is cloudy most days, the ground is soaked wet and some roads and tracks are best avoided. The novice drivers and guides are having a rough go with the mud, but the Mara never loses its charm — we still catch that alluring African sunrise and the wildlife is as incredible as always. 

f8.0, 1/400, ISO 200

The lions of the Mara Triangle still command the best attention. They are ever-present in almost all our drives and sometimes put on a show by literally cat-walking along the road. The beloved Egyptian Pride were on the move on this particular morning; we watched them walk while keeping a respectful distance out of admiration. Their muscles bulging with every step, the adult females are always attentive for an opportunity to secure a meal. Alarming though, I noticed the single little cub we have seen recently wasn’t among them.

f5.6, 1/400, ISO 640
f5.6, 1/400, ISO 640
f5.6, 1/400, ISO 640
f5.6, 1/420, ISO 640 

Left behind by his five brothers, we found this Nyati Male alone, looking rather sad and desperately calling out to his brothers.  We are not sure of the story behind this.

f4.5, 1/400, ISO 1250

Probably my most puuurrfect photo yet of this ‘giraffe cat’ yet. The serval is a most skilful hunter with an excellent sense of hearing, observation skills, and quick action.

f5.6, 1/400, ISO 6400 
f5.6, 1/400, ISO 500 

A gentle reminder of who is the boss in these streets. Though still young, this male elephant stood his ground in the middle of the road and a little mock charge was enough to drive the point home.

f5.6, 1/250, ISO 200 
f5.6, 1/250, ISO 200
f5.6, 1/250, ISO 200 
f5.6, 1/250, ISO 200

I caught up with the Border Pride this week doing what lions do best during the day — relaxing. I was glad to see that they are looking healthy and doing well.

f5.6, 1/400, ISO 160 
f5.6, 1/400, ISO 160 
f5.6, 1/500, ISO 320 

I found these savannah cleaners scavenging after the lions had picked their Buffalo kill clean to the bones. The hyenas' strong jaws cracked the bones while looking extremely anxious in case the carcass' previous owners decided to return. 

f5.0, 1/320, ISO 400 | Photo: Bryan Tolkin
f5.2, 1/400, ISO 400

The highlight of my week was finding these two cheetah brothers close to the Tanzania border in a marshy area, thanks to the sharp eyes of our guide, Wilson Naitoi. How he spotted this pair from a far distance surprised both me and the guests I had accompanied on this drive. We drove down the road closer to the two white figures clearly visible in the tall green grass. This male cheetah coalition has been spotted several times at the border and it’s a cause of excitement in the Mara Triangle at the moment.

f5.0, 1/400, ISO 320 
f7.1, 1/400, ISO 500 

They were fairly relaxed, unbothered by our presence and fixated on a group of Topi gazelles. The chase is their strategy and their presence was announced by every prey animal within range, causing a wave of commotion.

f5.6, 1/400, ISO 320
f5.0, 1/400, ISO 320
f5.0, 1/400, ISO 400 

Slowly they approached the herd, splitting to take different directions. One of the cheetah started galloping towards the Topi herd, but not accelerating to full speed which only happens upon selecting a particular individual. I thought to myself that perhaps they were trying to flush out an easy target.

f5.6, 1/2000, ISO 1000
f5.6, 1/2000, ISO 1000
f5.6, 1/2000, ISO 1000

The two settled down on a termite mound, strategising on how to get their next meal. In the following days, we heard reports that they had successfully taken down a fully grown Topi. Good on them. Observing the hunting strategy of the fastest mammal on land and watching them stride across the plains was something special.

f5.6, 1/400, ISO 160

Lastly, I would love to mention a group of our beloved guests and avid readers of our blog. I had the great pleasure of meeting and spending time with Mrinal, Thomissa, Brian and Avantika. Thank you for letting me accompany you out on a drive. Not to forget our legendary guide Wilson Naito — as always, he delighted us with his vast knowledge and keen eye.

This Week Two Years Ago

f/5.6, 1/160, ISO 400 | Photo: Tyler Davis

Two years ago, while adrift over the Mara in a hot-air balloon, we spotted a young male leopard directly in our flight path. Remarkably, it was more curious than fearful, watching in bewilderment as we gradually flew overhead.

Filed under: This Week at Angama

Tagged with:

Lions of the Mara , Maasai Mara , Mara Triangle , Photographic Safari , Wildlife Photography

About: Robert Sayialel

A passionate photographer and videographer, Robert started his career working with Amboseli Trust for Elephants in Amboseli National Park, close to where he was born and raised. He honed his skills photographing the famous big Tuskers and travelling with guests through Kenya’s National Parks, documenting their safaris. A kid at heart, some say he never stops smiling.

Browse all articles by Robert Sayialel Meet the angama team

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