This Week At Angama #98

20 December 2019 | This Week at Angama |

Reading Time: 5 minutes

No lions? No problem. What we may have missed this week in terms of lion sightings, was more than made up for with three rare and elusive cats making an appearance

This week, the amazing Shepard Tree leopard delighted guests of the Mara Triangle for three consecutive days. His comfort around vehicles meant that he was always at ease and completely undisturbed. [f 5.6, 1/1000, ISO 400]  

Leopard in the tree

He was atop a tree when I caught up with him, scanning the landscape for a potential meal. [f 5.6, 1/1600, ISO 400 ] 

Leopard walking down the tree

He eventually spotted a warthog in the distance and immediately climbed down in pursuit. [f 5.0, 1/2500, ISO 400]

Leopard jump

[f 5.0, 1/2500, ISO 400]  

serval cat

Not too far away from the leopard was a serval, it too on the hunt. This is one of my favourite animals in the Mara and I was surprised that it was not as skittish as these cats tend to be, providing an incredible sighting. [f 6.3, 1/320, ISO 320] 


This week, I crossed into the Greater Mara in search of cheetah and was excited to learn about this family of three. To my surprise, they were very skittish. We assumed that they had come from a part of the Serengeti not frequently driven on and so were not accustomed to vehicles. To ensure they didn’t become stressed, everyone kept a good distance. [f 6.3, 1/1000, ISO 400] 


The weather in the Mara has now changed. There have been beautiful sunny mornings followed by showers in the evenings, turning the Mara a beautiful shade of emerald green. [f 4.5, 1/2500, ISO 200  -0.33]

Necking giraffes

This was one of my best sightings of the year. Two pairs of giraffes, necking in the middle of the road at sunrise. [f 5.6, 1/400, ISO 400  +0.67]


At first they were just sparring, but things soon got very heated. [f 5.0, 1/640, ISO 400  +0.67]

Twisted giraffe necks

Twisted together.[f 6.0  1/400, ISO 400 +0.67]

giraffe heads

The four-headed giraffe [f 6.0  1/400, ISO 400 +0.67]

giraffe eating

A long reach. It seems these juicy leaf sprouts were worth the stretch for this giraffe. [f 5.6  1/1600, ISO 400]

elephant calf

Here, there is great hope for the future of Africa’s elephant herds. In the last two months, I have seen so many elephant totos in the Triangle – a sign that the conservancy is doing a wonderful job protecting these grand creatures. [f 6.3, 1/800, ISO 200  -0.67]


The journey. A small elephant herd walking together. [f 5.0, 1/2000, ISO 200 -0.67]

elephant black and white

Two elephant calves testing their strength. This was a difficult shot due to the backlighting. I over-exposed the image in post-editing to bring out the details in their faces. [f 5.6, 1/1000, ISO 400 -0.33]

giraffe black and white

High key photography. With the sun high and harsh, I love bumping up the exposure to get these kind of shots. [f 5.6, 1/800, ISO 500 +0.67]

buffalo black and white

The light at noon creates shadows that can make things difficult for photographers. At the same time, it can also create some amazing shadow and highlight tonal contrast with the right subject. [f 6.0, 1/800, ISO 250 -1] 

buffalo over exposed

Double-exposure shot of buffalos done in-camera. [f 5.6, 1/1000, ISO 250 -0.67]


This week’s reptile of the week, a tortoise. Yet another rare sighting [f 6.0, 1/2000, ISO 400]  

This Week a Year Ago


Using binoculars, we scanned around hoping to find lions. Instead we were rewarded with this sighting of a fish eagle hunting. Too far to photograph, we saw it dive directly into the water and emerge with a catfish. It landed on a small mound and then flew right over us. [f 5.6, 1/1250, ISO 320]

Photograph by Jeffrey Thige


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.

Annette magni
December 21, 2019

Such beautiful photos Jeffrey, especially the four headed giraffes!!!

Jeffrey Thige
December 25, 2019

Asante Sana Annette, I’m glad that you enjoyed the blog!

Janice Ledbetter
January 6, 2020

SPLENDID! WONDERFUL! If I can’t get there, this is the next best thing! God is soooooo GREAT!

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