This Week At Angama #6

16 March 2018 | This Week at Angama |

Reading Time: 4 MINUTES

This week a rare sighting of a leucistic ‘white’ hyena steals the show much to the surprise of the leopards of the Mara Triangle

The Mara Triangle never fails to deliver. In our 6th installment of This Week at Angama we really start to see some of the subtleties that make this such an extraordinary reserve. Of course the big cats are here in full force, but look deeper and you will see that every game drive yields something special and unexpected.

Helicopter looking down
A helicopter flight with the Mara Elephant Project offered the chance of taking some fun shots. This team is doing remarkable work researching elephant movements, combatting poaching and reducing human/elephant conflict. By leaving a small part of the helicopter in this frame it provides context to the story that this image tells. [f 6.3, 1/800, ISO 320, -0.33]

Helicopter football pitch
A bird’s eye view of what we affectionately call Angama’s Slaughter House (we slaughter and are slaughtered in equal measure) [f 4.0, 1/6400, ISO 320, -0.67]

Elephant meeting
If only we could talk Elephant. I wonder what these three youngsters would be saying to each other? [f 4.5, 1/800, ISO 320]

Elephant skin
A close encounter with a calm female allowed me to really appreciate the texture and patterns of this old matriarch. [f 4.0, 1/160, ISO 2500]

Elephant tangle
Twisting and turning – a large elephant bull rests the full weight of his trunk on his tusks. [f 4.0, 1/250, ISO 500, -0.33]

Lions, elephants and storks
Two of the four young male lions currently occupying the very heart of the Mara Triangle. [f 4.5, 1/2500, ISO 320]

Angama pride and zebra
The Angama Pride have had a successful week killing at least one zebra and one buffalo in quick succession. Watching 16 lions tear a carcass apart is an impressive sight. We follow this pride with interest as they have the makings of a dominant force, playing havoc with lion dynamics across the Mara. [f 5.0, 1/1000, ISO 320]

Myles Turner was the first game warden of the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania from 1956 to 1972. Once a prolific hunter he would later dedicate the rest of his life to conservation. After his tenure in the Serengeti he moved across the border to the Maasai Mara in Kenya. In 1984 Turner died of a sudden heart attack. In his honour he was buried on the top of this kopje (inselberg) so that he could always look down over the land he loved so much – the meeting of the Maasai Mara and the Serengeti. [f 5.0, 1/500, ISO 320, +0.33]

Allates flying
Another one of the joys of rain is the explosion of alates. The nuptial flight of termites is crucial in triggering the development of kings and queens and the establishment of future colonies. Of course there are insurmountable obstacles in the way; a pair of Coqui Francolins is just their first hurdle. [f 4.0, 1/50, ISO 640]

White Hyena
In the two months I have been in the Mara this is without a doubt my most unusual sighting. A Leucisitc Hyena. Leucism is a rare condition in which there is a partial loss of pigmentation resulting in white or pale colouration of the fur, but not in the eyes. Unlike albinism, it is caused by a reduction in multiple types of pigment, not just melanin. To capture this rarity in full sprint was a real treat. [f 4.0, 1/640, ISO 320]

Tawny Eagle eating
Much debate was had over whether this Tawny Eagle would have been able to kill this White Stork or if it had simply scavenged the last of the remains. My opinion is that the stork was killed by a Martial Eagle and the Tawny was simply feeding on what was left. [f 4.0, 1/2000, ISO 320, +0.33]

Marabout stork
A Marabou Stork in its full glory. [f 4.5, 1/1600, ISO 640, +0.67]

Leopard cub tree bw
Angama’s Mara Triangle leopard project continues to uncover more wonderful characters. This week I was finally introduced to one of the two young cubs in the southern parts of the reserve. Overcast conditions, and poor light, meant that the best way to capture the agility of this young leopard was in black in white. [f 4.0, 1/6400, ISO 1000, +0.33] (converted to black and white in post)

AUTHOR: Adam Bannister

A South African-trained biologist, safari guide, author, filmmaker and photographer, Adam is, above all else, a gifted storyteller. After spending the past 10 years working in some of the world’s most beautiful wild places – the Sabi Sand Game Reserve in South Africa, Rajasthan in India, Brazil’s Pantanal, and the rainforests of Manu National Park in Peru – he is delighted to share his stories of one of the loveliest game reserves of them all, the Maasai Mara.

Anja Migliavacca- Doorten
July 27, 2018

Hi Adam,
Amazing! What a great job you are doing, i really appreciate you research and writings. For me the Masai Mara was one of the most beautiful experiences in Aftica. The last 10 years i travel every year with my family to different countries in Africa for wildlife safari. This year i am more concentrated to wildlife photography and decided to do an extra trip for my birthday in May with AndBeyond in Kenya and in Ottobre 12 days in Sabi Sand to Elephant Plains, Londolozi and Kirkmans. Big Cats and Elephants are my favorite animals to photograph but in particular I am a leopard lover.
If you would like to use one or more of my pictures you are more than welcome.
Hope to meet you one day in the field.
Warm regards,

    Nicky Fitzgerald
    July 27, 2018

    Good morning Anja
    I am answering on behalf of Adam who is out on safari taking more beautiful pictures.
    Thank you for your lovely message and delighted that you are enjoying his weekly blog.
    Please feel free to email him at anytime on [email protected]
    Warm regards

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