HOME Blog This Week at Angama #224

This Week at Angama #224

There’s been a great deal of cat movement in the Triangle this week — lions, leopards, even cheetah have been venturing out to find meals in unusual places
Above: The Bush Princess greets the morning sun

This week we have been keeping up with 'Bush Princess'. We found her close to Oloololo Gate basking in the morning sun, keenly listening and somehow unperturbed by the howling tracker dogs at the ranger’s base station. I am always looking forward to seeing her around and hope that she establishes her territory here.

F 5.0, 1/800, ISO 1000
F 5.0, 1/800, ISO 1000
F 7.1, 1/800, ISO 400
F 7.1, 1/800, ISO 640

The controlled burning of grass in the Triangle a few weeks ago paved the way for herbivores to move in and in turn, predators. The subsequent cheetah sightings have been incredible. This is Risasi, sister to Ruka and Rafiki, the two brothers we featured recently in our weekly blog. Her name translates to ‘Bullet’ in Swahili and together with her siblings, was born in September 2018. The three have since moved into the Triangle from the Greater Reserve.

F 7.1, 1/2000, ISO 640

Risasi is heavily pregnant and we found her determinedly going after an impala with its calf that had disappeared into some thick croton bush. She kept circling and was a bit reluctant to follow the impala, possibly unsure of what could be lurking deep inside. Eventually, she gathered enough courage and went after them. A few minutes later we saw mama impala alone bolting out from within the bushes. A life lost to replenish another, in this case, the unborn. Such is the circle of life.

F 7.1, 1/2000, ISO 800
F 7.1, 1/2000, ISO 800

We don’t see quite as much of the River Pride as we would like to as their territory is a heavily forested area where off-roading is restricted. This is the area around Little Governors’ Camp, towards Kichwa Tembo. But since the demise of the Angama Pride, they have been moving closer to the Oloololo Escarpment. We found them devouring the last of a buffalo kill in the company of four Bila Shaka Males.

F 5.6, 1/500, ISO 640
F 5.6, 1/500, ISO 800
F 5.6, 1/500, ISO 640
F 5.6, 1/500, ISO 1000

For now, it’s an all-you-can-eat buffalo buffet in the Triangle and the Border Pride were not going to miss out. They were also on the last remains of their kill, looking extremely full and satisfied.

F 7.1, 1/2000, ISO 640
F 8.0, 1/320, ISO 160
F 7.1, 1/2000, ISO 500

Unfortunately for this poor hyena, it got too close to the fire and got burned. Usually, hyenas wait for the lions to become too hot or full and leave the carcass. Jumping the gun, this hyena was left alive but immobilized, close to where the Border Pride were feasting on their buffalo kill. Lions don’t devour hyenas after killing them, like in the case we recently saw with Shepherd the male leopard, and cannibalism by other hyenas is also uncommon. These lions kept checking on the hyena making sure it wasn’t going anywhere after either breaking its spine or perforating its skull.

F 7.1, 1/2000, ISO 640

The Inselberg Males secured themselves a different kind of buffet, a hippo kill far from their territory. I found them at a location we call ‘Maji Machafu’ which is close to Mara River and far from the Kenya-Tanzania border where we usually see them. Good news for Slit Lip, as he has been looking so skinny. Adam thinks they are expanding their territory so it will be very interesting to see how things unfold.

F 5.6, 1/400, ISO 320
F 5.6, 1/640, ISO 500

Leopards go for anything to secure a meal— jackals, monitor lizards and vultures are not spared. I found the remains of a devoured vulture hanging from a tree, unmistakably the work of a leopard.

F 5.6, 1/640, ISO 250

Finally, I got a chance to go out with a birder and here are just a few birds I was able to capture this week.

F 7.1, 1/1250, ISO 800 Mating malachite kingfishers
F 7.1, 1/1250, ISO 800 Meyer's parrot, also known as the brown parrot
F 7.1, 1/1250, ISO 1000 Rufous-naped lark with lunch
F 7.1, 1/1250, ISO 800 Common waxbill
F 7.1, 1/1250, ISO 800 Dark chanting goshawk
F 7.1, 1/1250, ISO 1000 Grey-backed fiscal

This Week a Year Ago:

F 4.0, 1/4000, ISO 320, -0.67 | Photo: Adam Bannister

A year ago, Adam was able to spend a few precious moments with one of the Mara's sweetest, and shyest, creatures — a bat-eared fox.

Filed under: This Week at Angama

Tagged with:

Birding , Lions of the Mara , Maasai Mara , 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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