HOME Blog This Week at Angama #290

This Week at Angama #290

Never forget a safari's ability to surprise and delight — a hunt goes hilariously wrong and we meet two cubs for the first time in a rare sighting
Above: Romi's cubs make their debut

Leopards are known to be extremely shy and secretive, but a leopard mother with cubs is even more elusive and something we rarely see. This week, new mother Romi treated guests to a glimpse of her litter and Deputy Head Guide Alice was able to capture a few photos. After spending about eight weeks in the den, a mother leopard will move her babies every few days to keep predators such as snakes, hyenas and lions from tracking the little cubs.

Romi's territory is the riverine forest near Governor's Camp and she sometimes crosses to the other side when the river is low. This was the first sighting of her new cubs and we are all hoping there will be many more.

F 6.3, 1/1000, ISO 320 | Alice Mantaine
F 6.3, 1/1000, ISO 320 | Alice Mantaine

Leopard sightings in general have been good this week as we also caught up with a legend of the Triangle on a hunt — the one and only Shujaa. Using the cover his territory, the Maji Machafu area, provides, this perfectly camouflaged hunter has made the most of the available prey during Migration Season, a change from his standard warthog meal.

F 6.3, 1/1250, ISO 250 | Julius Pilipili

In a flash, a young wildebeest didn’t even sense danger until it was too late. Leopards sneak up on their prey till they are within a few feet and strike with such swiftness and ferocity that their target rarely sees it coming. Angama Guide, Pilipili, was able to snap some shots as Shujaa was dragging his prize away for safe devouring.

F 6.3, 1/1250, ISO 400 | Julius Pilipili

As if it couldn’t get any better with leopards this week, the BBC male was also spotted — but he wasn't alone. He was in the company of a female, which means they are a mating pair and an interaction that we seldom see between leopards. Angama guest, Arrie Arora, was lucky enough to witness this and captured some great shots with one of our cameras from the Angama Photographic Studio. We are yet to identify this female and will need to get some good close-up shots using her rosettes and distinguishing face markings.

F 5, 1/400, ISO 320 | Guest: Arrie Arora
F 5, 1/400, ISO 320 | Guest: Arrie Arora

Setting off on a safari game drive, I always wonder with anticipation what the wild has to offer. Some sightings can be dramatic, while others can be downright hilarious — and this time I was beside myself with laughter. On a morning game drive, we came across three lionesses eyeing a herd of wildebeest.

F 8, 1/1600, ISO 640 | Robert Sayialel
F 10, 1/5000, ISO 2500 | Robert Sayialel

The three lionesses fanned out, encircling and stalking their prey for a good distance before launching an attack. With cameras at the ready, our hearts beating fast, we watched as the lead lioness inched closer and closer to her target. When she reached the minimum striking distance, she sprung from her crouching position and within two seconds was on her prey. But the tables were quickly turned as the usually indomitable lioness was running for her life with the wildebeest in hot pursuit — giving us a good chuckle.

F 10, 1/5000, ISO 2500 | Robert Sayialel

Speaking of wildebeest, instead of marching north together, the mega herds are still spreading wide towards the east and south of the Triangle. But in typical fashion, they are mowing their way through the grassland.

F 14, 1/1000, ISO 1000 | Robert Sayialel

Every now and then, we witness a few animals making their way across the river into the Triangle — where the crocodiles are always ready to snatch a meal. Once again, guest Arrie Arora provided us with some images of a zebra foal that lost its life making its way across the river with its mother. The poor mother could only watch helplessly from the banks as it disappeared into the water and the jaws of a croc.

F 6.3, 1/800, ISO 200 | Guest: Arrie Arora
F 7.1, 1/800, ISO 200 | Guest: Arrie Arora

Risasi and her two nearly-grown boys are doing very well and have lately been spending their time around the Military Area, close to the border with Tanzania. The two cubs are much bigger now and soon they will move on — leaving their mother as they start to fend for themselves.

F 6.3, 1/400, ISO 100 | Guest: Arrie Arora

This Week a Year Ago:

F 7.1, 1/3200, ISO 800 | Wilson Naitoi

Today, you wouldn't recognise this little guy who was born this time last year. He's probably more than double this height now but he will stay with his mother for another year and suckle for a few more months.

Filed under: This Week at Angama

Tagged with:

Lions of the Mara , 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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