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This Week at Angama #275

With the Bila Shaka boys' imminent arrival, the serial cub killer has his tail between his legs and the darling Egyptian Pride cubs can sleep easy
Above: Guest Laura Maffeo captures the beginning of a cat nap

This week we caught up with some of the prides of the Mara. First up, the Inselberg brothers continue to assert their dominance and pass on their genes in the South-Eastern region of the Triangle — we have seen them mating with several females from different prides on multiple occasions. We spotted Ginger and part of the Purungat Pride enjoying a kill that appeared to be two or three days old.

F 6.3, 1/1600, ISO 400 | Sammy Njoroge
F 9.0, 1/1600, ISO 800 | Sammy Njoroge

Not far from there, Manywele, the dominant male of the four Inselberg brothers, appears to have run into some trouble. Our guide Jeremy saw him looking a little worse for wear; this incident brought to mind a similar injury suffered by Manywele's brother, Ruka, approximately 11 months ago. We assumed that Ruka's injury was a result of Manywele's dominance during fights over mating rights.

F 5.6, 1/800, ISO 640 | Sammy Njoroge Ruka June 2022
F 5.6, 1/1000, ISO 160 | Jeremy Macharia Manywele May 2023

However, upon careful examination of the images, we suspect that Manywele's injury may have occurred during a recent hunting expedition that went amiss. This seems likely because of the deep cut seen on this female's chest, which rangers believe was likely inflicted by a buffalo horn.

F 8, 1/800, ISO 250 | Jeremy Macharia

Leopards often have to be a bit more opportunistic when it comes to hunting. We spotted the massive Salt-Lick Male perched high up in a tree, with a buffalo calf as his meal. This is quite a feat for a leopard because of the fierce defensive nature of buffalos when confronted by predators. However, the Salt-Lick Male, being a smart and seasoned hunter, probably used his cunning tactics to seize the unsuspecting calf during the cover of night, grasping it firmly by the neck and swiftly separating it from its protective mother before it had a chance to raise an alarm.

F 8, 1/1000, ISO 1000 | Jeremy Macharia
F 7.1, 1/800, ISO 640 | Jeremy Macharia

We came across a different type of battle as a marabou stork tried to snatch a mudfish from a juvenile fish eagle by a roadside puddle. The eagle was not having any of it — he held tight to the catch and within moments, he was up in the skies leaving the marabou stork rather disappointed. Once you witness these raptors' breathtaking aerial displays, you'll understand why I refer to them as the "lions of the skies."

F 5.6, 1/1250, ISO 125 | Sammy Njoroge
F 5.6, 1/1250, ISO 100 | Sammy Njoroge

This week, there was a sighting of the notorious serial cub killer, the lone male lion that ventured into the Triangle and wreaked havoc on the prides. However, he appeared visibly panicked as if desperately seeking refuge — he knows the Bila Shaka boys are back.

While the absence of the Bila Shaka boys allowed him an easy entry into their territory, he now faces the daunting challenge of engaging in fierce territorial conflicts against one of the most powerful coalitions of lions in the entire Triangle. The outcome of these battles remains uncertain, as lion dynamics often defy expectations and follow unpredictable patterns.

F 6.3, 1/320, ISO 320 | Jeremy Macharia

Jeremy and his guests had the privilege of observing the lively and thriving Egyptian Pride cubs. In a matter of a few years, these adorable fluffs will become their own formidable force to be reckoned with.

F 5.6, 1/400, ISO 400 | Jeremy Macharia
F 5.6, 1/400, ISO 400 | Jeremy Macharia

One of our guests, Laura, showed her interest in photography and reserved a camera for the duration of her stay (this is available to all guests). After a brief yet intensive one-hour session in which I guided Laura through the intricacies of operating the new camera setup, she embarked on her first Kenyan safari, armed with her trusty camera.

Enjoy Laura's perspective on the majestic Mara Triangle through her photographs below.

Above: Risasi and her boys, captured by guest Laura Maffeo
F 6.3, 1/800, ISO 1000 | Laura Maffeo
F 5.6, 1/4000, ISO 1000 | Laura Maffeo
F 5.6, 1/4000, ISO 1000 | Laura Maffeo

This Week a Year Ago:

Elephants live in complex social groups and form relationships that last decades. Last year, we found this herd grouped together at a location of a dead elephant. Using their highly sensitive trunks, they examined the skull with amazing gentleness.

Filed under: This Week at Angama

Tagged with:

Maasai Mara , Mara Triangle , Photographic Safari , Wildlife Photography

About: Sammy Njoroge

Sammy has worked in the film and photography industry for over seven years and has loved every moment of visual storytelling. He is passionate about the natural world and is keen to bring wildlife stories into your home. Outside of the 'office', Sammy enjoys the ocean and exploring different cuisines (despite the fact that he usually only eats one meal a day).

Browse all articles by Sammy Njoroge Meet the angama team

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