This Week At Angama #63

19 April 2019 | This Week at Angama |

Reading Time: 10 MINUTES

This has been a week of beautiful morning light, making for dramatic and colourful sunrises. We have also seen the return of a queen – Kakenya, the cheetah

The morning light has been nothing short of breath-taking. A few minutes before sunrise, the clouds are tinged with purples and oranges, perfectly complementing the silhouetted savanna.

[f/3.5, ISO 320, 1/50]


Photographers like to get out very early in the morning, way before sunrise. This way we find our subjects and stick with them until the first morning light appears. At times, you find yourself out of luck and have to improvise. Fortunately, the golden morning light makes everything glow, even mere blades of grass. [f/5.0, ISO 400, 1/2000]


With the grass as long as it is in the Mara Triangle at the moment, it is very challenging to capture silhouettes of smaller animals. Luckily, this hyena emerged from the thicket and walked on the road for a few minutes before wandering back, allowing me the opportunity to capture this shot. [f/5.0, ISO 320, 1/320]

Elaphant Portrait

This little guy was such a character. I found him feeding on his own and at first I was concerned as a calf of his age would not survive alone in the wild. I scanned the surroundings and was relieved to find the rest of his herd grazing nearby – most of them with tiny calves – so he may have wandered off while they were distracted. Small as he is, he was far from shy. Often raising his trunk and even giving me a few fake charges, warning me not to get too close. [f/5.3, ISO 500,1/3200]


I came across two lionesses on the hunt. They had come very close to catching a warthog, but it caught wind of them and ran off. On their second attempt they tried a stealth approach but the giraffe were two steps ahead. [f/5.0, ISO 500, 1/1600]

Lioness 2

The lionesses moved off to have a drink at a small stream nearby and headed to the shade for the rest of the day. [f/6.0, ISO 500, 1/1600]


I was following this herd of elephant for a while and felt satisfied with the images I had taken. Before driving off, I noticed some action stirring up between a couple of nearby zebra and I reversed to get a better angle. As the kicking began a huge elephant paced towards the zebra – the ultimate photobomb. [f/6.0, ISO 320, 1/2000]

Mara Storm

This week, storm clouds have been a common sight. They gather with the promise of the long rains that the Mara River so desperately needs. More often than not, they have been barren and disperse soon after they gather, leaving without a drop. [f/ 10, ISO 500, 1/2000 -0.33]

Serval Cat 1

Having left the herd of elephant, I saw something cross the road in front of me and stop. I grabbed my binoculars and was thrilled to see that it was a serval cat. Considering how rare they are to see – particularly in long grass at midday – I rushed closer to get a better look. I reached where it had been, but it had vanished. Luckily for me, there was only a small patch of long grass amidst the area that had been burnt a few weeks ago so I knew it couldn’t have gone too far. [f/6.3, ISO 400, 1/2500]

Serval Cat 2

I stuck around and decided to play the patience game, looking out for any slight movement that would give away the location of this highly elusive cat. Twenty minutes had passed before he flicked his ears and turned his head. He was lying completely flat and almost impossible to see. It made me wonder how many of these beauties I must have missed before, laying still and camouflaged in the long grass. [f/6.3, ISO 400, 1/1250]


Shortly after leaving the serval I came across Kakenya, one of the famous cheetah of the Mara Triangle. She hasn’t been spotted recently as she roams the Serengeti plains as well, but since returning she has made quite a comeback. A few moments after a failed hunt, she took down a Thomson’s gazelle in a short sprint. Kakenya is a superb hunter and I certainly hope she sticks around the Mara Triangle to provide us with more wonderful photographic opportunities. [f/5.6, ISO500, 1/1600]


This big buffalo seemed completely unperturbed as a yellow-billed ox-pecker wandered around his face feeding on insects. [f/10, ISO 320, 1/125]

Eurasian Hobby

A naturally framed shot of an Eurasian hobby. I love how nature works things out for you in the most unexpected yet beautiful ways. The Mara Triangle is currently inundated with these handsome birds – they are quite a sight. [f/5.6, ISO 320, 1/500]


This striking, immature dark chanting goshawk caught my eye.  [f/6.3, ISO 500, 1/2000]


This giraffe shot feels like a very typical “African Safari” shot. Its simplicity and balance in the evening sunset light makes the setting all the more special. [f/5.3, ISO 500, 1/3200 -0.67]


I am a huge fan of ox-peckers. They look great perched on any animal, quite like a fashion accessory.  [f/6.3, ISO 500, 1/1250]


This is definitely one of my best shots of the week, zebras in golden evening light. Initially I tried to catch them silhouetted by the sunset, but disturbed by the bushes and general topography, I adjusted my settings and took this shot. I especially like the rim lighting around their faces. [f/6.3, ISO500, 1/800]



Photograph by Tyler Davis

Here is a fun photograph of the Mara landscape from this time last year. More of a “record shot” of amazing cloud formations than it is a compelling photograph, but it was so unusual and interesting that I felt it was worth sharing – sky waves?  [f 4.5, 1/5000, ISO 400]

Unlike this year, last year’s clouds bore very heavy rain…

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.

April 20, 2019

Am proud

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