HOME Blog This Week at Angama #304

This Week at Angama #304

With lions chased by elephants and gazelles chased by baboons there's no saying what will happen next. Plus, we say hello to a new leopard cub
Above: A young leopard still sporting its baby blues

The Mara

As the first rays of dawn peek over the horizon, a warm glow is cast over the vast Mara. The air is crisp; the only sound is the gentle whisper of the wind rustling through the tall grass as the usual cacophony of bird calls and animal noises are muffled as if the world is holding its breath, waiting to see what will happen next.

F 6.3, 1/500, ISO 400 | Andrew Andrawes
F 5.0, 1/250, ISO 500 | Andrew Andrawes
F 8.0, 1/1000, ISO 400 | Andrew Andrawes

For me, the most exciting sighting of the week was a four-month-old leopard cub in the Maji Ma Chafu area. After spotting a zebra carcass in the branches, we sat and patiently waited for about two hours until the cub finally made an appearance. The cub's eyes were wide and alert, taking in its surroundings as it carefully climbed, its tiny paws clutching at the rough bark. Its fur was still soft and downy with its spots only just beginning to develop. The cub's mother, Nashipae, is a large and powerful leopard who seemed comfortable knowing that her cub was safely eating in the branches of the tree.

F 7.1, 1/500, ISO 2000 | Andrew Andrawes

At the lodge and just down the Escarpment, we continue to see different birds enjoying the abundance that the rain brings. We spotted a beautiful Ross’s turaco perched in a tree with its bright colours standing out amongst the green, while an iridescent greater blue-eared starling was hitching a ride on the back of a buffalo. Angama Mara guide, Wilson, also managed to capture a grey heron in action with a fresh mudfish as its lunch.  

F 7.1, 1/160, ISO 100 | Andrew Andrawes Ross's turaco
F 6.3, 1/500, ISO 400 | Andrew Andrawes Greater blue-eared starling
F 20, 1/500, ISO 1000 | Wilson Naitoi Grey heron

The Nyati boys had a bit of a rude awakening when an afternoon nap was disturbed by an elephant. We saw the elephants in the distance and watched as they seemed to be getting closer, specifically a single male bull elephant slowly walking straight towards the lions. The boys were not interested in any kind of altercation, so they simply got up and began to run in opposite directions. While lions may be the apex predators, elephants are generally not ones to mess with.

F 5.0, 1/500, ISO 125 | Andrew Andrawes
F 4.5, 1/1000, ISO 125 | Andrew Andrawes

Joseph, from the Photographic Studio team, spotted the cubs of the Serena Pride again this week while they were nestled in the bushes, hidden safely by their ever-watching mother. With muscles like hers, it's hard to imagine anybody attempting to hurt them. — Andrew Andrawes

F 5.6, 1/1600, ISO 2500 | Joseph Njenga
F 5.6, 1/2500, ISO 2500 | Joseph Njenga
F 5.6, 1/2500, ISO 2500 | Joseph Njenga

Amboseli

The flightless ostrich holds the title of the world's largest bird. However, don't be misled by their inability to fly — these birds can reach incredible speeds, reaching up to 70 km/h. Their mating behaviour is a unique trait worth observing; as the male ostriches display distinctive behaviours during the 'mating dance'. They sit on their hocks, swaying from side to side, with outstretched wings alternately touching the ground. Angama Amboseli guide, Alice, along with her guests, had the opportunity to witness this fascinating reproductive behaviour.

F 5.6, 1/3200, ISO 1000 | Alice Mantaine

With the recent rains transforming the landscape from dry golden hues to lush greens, many acacia pods that fell off during the dry season are now sprouting. The rains are not only bringing life to the vegetation but also reviving the late Toltoy's remains — one of Amboseli's famed Super Tuskers. It's fascinating how even an old carcass can play a significant role in the cycle of life — during the rains, this and other carcasses soak up water, creating a breeding ground for various insects. The Agama lizard (not to be confused with Angama) photographed on the remains is not just basking in the sun but also taking advantage of the opportunity to feed on the breeding insects attracted to it.

F 5.6, 1/1250, ISO 800 | Sammy Njoroge
F 7.1, 1/2500, ISO 800 | Alice Mantaine

A baby boom is underway among many herbivores, thanks to an ample supply of food for their nourishment. Salaash guided guests Jocelyn and Yves on a safari in Kimana Sanctuary when they witnessed a unique event — they came across a baboon eyeing a newly-born Grant's gazelle. Baboons are omnivores which will occasionally feed on small game; this particular baboon attempted to capture the vulnerable baby gazelle. However, its mother was having none of it as she aggressively chased away the opportunistic baboon, saving its offspring for the day.

F 5.6, 1/2000, ISO 640 | Guest Yves Heroux
F 5.6, 1/2000, ISO 250 | Guest Yves Heroux
F 5.6, 1/2000, ISO 250 | Guest Yves Heroux

Many landscape photographers employ a method known as 'focus stacking' to capture multiple objects sharply on different focal planes. By blending several images together, it creates the illusion of an extended depth of field without sacrificing clarity. In my case, I took advantage of the abundant puddles formed during the ongoing rains to highlight the dramatic impact that reflections add to the overall image. — Sammy Njoroge

F 8, 1/100, ISO 800 | Sammy Njoroge

Filed under: This Week at Angama

Tagged with:

Amboseli , Maasai Mara , Photographic Safari , Wildlife Photography

About: The Photographic Studios

The team in both Angama Mara's and Angama Amboseli's Photographic Studio spend their days capturing our guests' memories and reporting on the fantastic sightings seen out on safari.

Browse all articles by The Photographic Studios Meet the angama team

Keep Reading

This Week at Angama #303 24 November 2023 Along with three new cubs in the Mara, some exciting nocturnal animals in Amboseli seem to be enjoying all the rain we have had By The Photographic Studios
This Week at Angama #315 23 February 2024 There were many discoveries this week: a cub climbing a tree, a coalition of cheetah in Amboseli and most notably — a leopard with a croc kill in a tree By The Photographic Studios
This Week at Angama #306 14 December 2023 The smaller creatures show off their finery in Amboseli as we possibly see the start of the new Angama Pride By The Photographic Studios
Adventures in the Aberdare National Park 3 May 2019 Shannon and Tyler Davis share some of the highlights of their visit to the Aberdare National Park where they spent a very happy weekend By Shannon Davis
Join the Conversation (2 comments)

Comments (2):

Rosalind Willicott

6 December 2023

Beautiful photographs thank you so much Angama Ladies Men Chefs etc.Thank you for all the explanations thank you and .loved all so beautifully set out. God bless you all .

    Charlotte Ross Stewart

    7 December 2023

    Hello Rosalind, thank you so much for your kind words. We're very lucky to work in such beautiful areas and we take such delight in sharing them with you. All the best, Charlotte

Leave a Comment:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*