This Week At Angama #54

15 February 2019 | This Week at Angama |

Reading Time: 8 MINUTES

Getting up early for a glorious Mara morning safari saw Jeffrey Thige rewarded with a few first-time sightings

It’s been quite an exhilarating week with the weather at its best and the Mara is showing off its bounty with elephants by the hundred and cats aplenty. I was so excited to come across this stunning serval cat lying next to the the road – my first serval sighting in more than six months. Surprisingly, even though I was right in front of it, the serval remained calm. A few minutes later, it stalked and attempted to pounce on a small bird, which was quite an event to witness, even though the hunt was unsuccessful. [f 6.3, 1/320, ISO 500 -0.33]

Sunrise elephant
There’s nothing quite as captivating as the Mara in the mornings. Elephants are the perfect subjects for silhouettes, especially now that the grass is long. Meanwhile, my search for the perfect male lion silhouette shot continues. [f 5.3, 1/4000, ISO 500]

Bull Elephant
The female elephants are ready to mate and the males are in a foul mood. This week, I had more than a few fake charges from grumpy bull elephants. Knowing the kind of damage they are capable of, I always keep a safe and respectful distance. [f 6.0, 1/640, ISO 400 -0.33]

Elephant Couple
This particular bull seemed unsure of which female was in oestrus. He kept following and sniffing each female to try and locate his mate. [f 5.6, 1/640, ISO 400]

Quite often you’ll only see hippo in the river, but if you make it into the park early enough, before the sun gets too hot, hippo may still be wandering about, grazing. [f 6.3, 1/400, ISO 500]

Angama Pride youngsters
This week saw the Angama pride youngsters execute a skill that will be critical for their independent survival. Four of the young males hunted and took down a big buffalo without any help from the adults. We had previously watched as they attempted hunts and failed miserably and were uncertain of whether they would ever make it on their own. [f 6.3, 1/500, ISO 320]

Angama Pride youngster 2
Being able to hunt for themselves was a big achievement, especially now that the pride has month-old cubs. Blood-drenched and looking confident, it is now clear they are ready for independence. [f 6.3, 1/640, ISO 320]

Fang Male Lion

Fang, one of the Angama Pride males, sits majestically as he watches his mate in the long grass. He and his brother, Short Tail, have been mating with two females of the pride. With so many young, strong nomadic lions around, there is no certainty that their cubs will survive.  [f 6.3, 1/1000, ISO 320]

Young Male Lion
A young male shakes his head frustrated by the flies on his face. Crouching down low allowed me to capture the beautiful horizon and bright blue sky. [f 5.6, 1/1000, ISO 400]

The Maji Machafu female in her favorite spot, resting in the hot midday sun.  [f 9, 1/160, ISO 300]

Lion Cub
I was thrilled to see the Sausage Tree Pride cubs for the first time. The little ones played around the entire time, heedless of the adventures life has in store for them. [f 6.3, 1/6400, ISO 320]

Lion Cub2
The cub we recognise because of it’s long tail. [f 6.3, 1/640, ISO 400]

The cheetah brothers scent-marking a tree, with the Thomson’s gazelles in the background gazing on nervously. [f 5.0, 1/2500, ISO 400 -0.33]

Elephants walking
As the elephants crossed the road in single file, I saw an opportunity to try some artistic angles. I love how the calf is framed by the adult elephant. [f 5.6, 1/1000, ISO 400 -0.33]

Elephant Portrait
I’m a total sucker for portraits. No matter how stunning the wider view is, I always zoom in for a few close-up shots. [f 6.0, 1/1250, ISO 400 -0.33]

Red billed Ox pecker
Every time I see a buffalo herd near the road, I start applying the brakes from a distance, hoping that I’ll come to a stop discretely enough not to scare away the oxpeckers. More often than not, I fail. Even though I have many similar photographs, it’s always a great feeling when I get the shot. [f 6.3, 1/1000, ISO 320]

Brown Chested Snake eagle
One of the secrets to taking good bird shots is a simple background. That way, your subject draws your audience in even more. A brown-chested snake-eagle sits atop a tree, scanning the horizon. [f 6.3, 1/2000, ISO 400 -0.33]

Crowned Crane
A striking crowned crane, up close. [f 6.0, 1/1250, ISO 400 -0.33]

Happy Calf
A young calf walks playfully across the road – the fact that it was wedged between two adults must have boosted its confidence.  [f9.0. 1/640 ISO 400 -0.33]


This time last year, the park had a huge number of elephant herds and little elephant calves, and this year, little has changed with giants in their hundreds and tiny elephants playing in the long grass.


[Image courtesy of Adam Bannister]

AUTHOR: Jeffrey Thige

Hailing from Nairobi, Jeff’s younger years were spent watching Big Cat Diaries with his mother. Images of wild animals roaming across the savanna inspired Jeff to travel the country, study wildlife management and move into photography. Jeff aims to use his camera to become an ambassador for conservation. He joined Angama Mara as an intern in 2018 and is now employed full time as assistant photographer at the lodge’s Photographic Studio.

Ann Patterson
February 24, 2019

Stunning photographs; enjoyed the captions as well. Thanks for sharing.

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