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This Week at Angama #237

The rain this week has us all jumping — some for joy and some to keep from getting our toes wet
Above: Chongo clearly isn't a fan of getting his feet wet

Early this week, the ever so dazzling Nadallah playfully demonstrated her superb skills as she nimbly jumped from branch to branch. Over the last few weeks, rather unusually, she has been killing servals, but this time she had a reedbuck kill stashed high, far away from prying hyenas and other predators.

F 9, 1/6400, ISO 2000 | Photo: Sammy Komu
F 9, 1/6400, ISO 2000 | Photo: Sammy Komu
F 9, 1/6400, ISO 6400 | Photo: Sammy Komu

We caught up with the Swamp Lioness and her three cubs as they were hurriedly heading back to the marshy area of the Mara River. Judging by their full stomachs, they were probably coming from a feast. The last time we saw them was the 25th of March — we are so happy that they are all perfectly healthy and still together. The Swamp Lioness usually flies solo but this time, there was another young female tailing them. We are not sure yet who she is. Perhaps one of the missing Angama Pride?

F 5, 1/1600, ISO 250 | Photo: Adam Bannister 25 March 2022
F 10, 1/1600, ISO 2500 | Photo: Robert Sayialel
F 10, 1/1600, ISO 1600 | Photo: Robert Sayialel

We have a new male cheetah in the Triangle who was first spotted in July this year according to Elene of the Mara-Meru Cheetah Conservation Project. He seemed completely unfamiliar with his surrounding on the edge of Mara River in the Triangle as we watched him try and cross the river several times (he eventually made it). We hope he likes what he sees and decides to stick around.

F 7.1, 1/1250, ISO 1000 | Photo: Robert Sayialel

The Mara Triangle is home to an impressive black rhino population, but you are not always guaranteed to spot one during drives. This species, which is more aggressive than its white counterpart, is a solitary animal and the only strong bond is between a mother and a calf. We were lucky to see this in action as we came across these two early one morning.

F 5.6, 1/1250, ISO 1250 | Photo: Robert Sayialel

The old guard continues to defy the odds and keep pushing on. Way past his prime, the Shepherd Tree Male's body seems to have shrunken a bit and even his gait has changed. Occasionally, he hunts easy prey or whatever is easily available which, at the moment, is wildebeest. He had dragged this one up underneath a large boulder giving him excellent privacy. It is good to see him making a decent meal of a young wildebeest as every kill provides life-giving nutrients and strength to his ageing body.

F 7.1, 1/640, ISO 800 | Photo: Robert Sayialel
F 7.1, 1/640, ISO 1250 | Photo: Robert Sayialel
F 6.3, 1/800, ISO 400 | Photo: Alice Mantaine

At long last, we had some good rains at the beginning of the week. While we are relieved it stopped the dust from kicking up on the roads, it didn't please everybody. Wildebeest seem to be avoiding touching water after their first traumatic crossing of the Mara River and Chongo of the Bila Shaka coalition prefers not to get wet — he is just a giant cat after all.

F 10, 1/1000, ISO 1000 | Photo: Douggy Onsongo
F 7.1, 1/1000, ISO 4000 | Photo: Jeremy Macharia
F 7.1, 1/1000, ISO 4000 | Photo: Jeremy Macharia

The River Pride are making the most of the current season of plenty with three wildebeest kills at one sitting. Their cubs are looking very healthy (if you ignore the mud and gore) and are very playful. Life is good when you're under the protection of the Bila Shaka males.

F 6.3, 1/640, ISO 800 | Photo: Robert Kiprotich
F 6.3, 1/640, ISO 800 | Photo: Robert Kiprotich
F 6.3, 1/500, ISO 1600 | Photo: Robert Kiprotich

This opportunistic hyena stumbled upon a partially eaten wildebeest carcass and decided to gorge on it, not realising that new owners had already claimed it. It wasn’t a big predator lurking nearby in the grass but actually the smallest cleaners of the savannah: siafu, or safari ants. Every time the hyena tried to take a bite out of the carcass, the ants would attack his nose and mouth making for a very uncomfortable meal.

F 8, 1/1600, ISO 800 | Photo: Jeremy Macharia
F 8, 1/1600, ISO 800 | Photo: Jeremy Macharia

This Week a Year Ago:

F 10, 1/400, ISO 500 | Photo: Adam Bannister

The wildebeest herds have already started to move towards the Serengeti, but this time last year, they were happily munching on the lush grass in the Triangle. Hopefully, the rain will convince them to spend a little bit more time with us in the Triangle.

Filed under: This Week at Angama

Tagged with:

Maasai Mara , 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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