This Week At Angama #5

6 March 2018 | This Week at Angama |

Reading Time: 5 MINUTES

A miracle happens when you add water to the land. Soaking rains this week brought the Maasai Mara to life and provided wonderful photographic canvases

Photography is not only settings and technicalities. Quite often it is as simple as capturing that moment: the diversity of a landscape; the colours, relationships and changes; life forms and storytelling. This week provided an abundance of subjects from hunting cheetahs and lions, fast flowing rivers, school children and frolicking zebras, all celebrated in This Week At Angama.

Water in Mara

Rain is a blessing in Africa. It has been incredible to watch the transformation of the landscape in just one week. I was amazed to see the sheer volume of water running across the grasslands. [f 5.6, 1/800, ISO 250, +0.33]

Guineafowl in water

Animals thrive after rain. Here a flock of Helmeted Guinea fowl scratches around near the muddy waters. To the birds’ delight soft soaked soil forces worms and grubs up to the surface. [f 4.0, 1/2500, ISO 400]

Mara river with water

It is extraordinary what a few days of rain can do to the river courses that run through the Mara. Yesterday the Mara River looked like this. [f 7.1, 1/800, ISO 500]

Mara River

The same scene just 5 days ago (as shown in TWAA #4) [f 5.0, 1/2000, ISO 400]

Zebras running

A delightful dazzle of playful zebra run, kick and cavort across the plains. A herd of topi feed on the new shoots and buffalo stroll across the horizon – general game in the Mara is abundant. [f 5.6, 1/2500, ISO 2000]

Jacksons Widow birds

A large flock of Jackson’s Widow Birds takes flight. Their sexual dimorphism is very obvious with the long tailed males being black and the females a drab brown colour. [f 6.3, 1/8000,ISO 2000]

Elephant baby

It is impossible to count the number of elephant encountered on any game drive in the Mara Triangle. This is thanks to the excellent management of this secluded corner of the Greater Maasai Mara. By protecting the land, the watercourses and the grasslands the Mara Conservancy has created a safe-haven for the wildlife. [f 4.0, 1/320, ISO 320]

Balloon BW

As these two balloons drift in tandem, rays of sunlight blast through the layer of clouds providing exceptional lighting for this photograph. A flock of starlings provide a lovely touch. [f 4.0, 1/2500, ISO 400, +0.67]

Balloon and rear view mirror

I am always looking for creative ways to photograph the Maasai Mara. Here my rear-view mirror reflects a balloon in the morning light. [f 4.0, 1/800, ISO 400, +1]

TGMM in the mud

The Greatest Maasai Mara Photographer of the Year is gaining momentum with exceptional entries flowing in each week. I did a few road trips across the Mara to meet guides and camp management to explain more about this competition and how it aims to promote tourism in the Mara, improve the image of the Mara and showcase the Mara as an exceptional wildlife destination year-round. Over and above this the full amount from all entry fees is channeled into one of six Mara conservation partners supporting the competition. For more information on how to enter, and to see the latest galleries, visit  [f 5.6, 1/640, ISO 250, +0.33] (desaturated in post)

WWD kids faces out window

Last weekend we celebrated World Wildlife Day  with this year’s theme being Big Cats: Predators Under Threat. As important as these animals are, it is the future custodians and decision makers that are essential to the protection of wilderness areas. Angama Mara supported an initiative in hosting hundreds of local school children on drives into the Reserve. The photographic opportunities were heart warming. [f 6.3, 1/160, ISO 250, +0.67] (desaturated in post)

Lion face

Lions are without a doubt my favourite animals and so it was only fitting that I spent time on World Wildlife Day sitting quietly with this magnificent feline. Tucked away in the shade of a bush, not even 8 meters from me, we shared a special eye-to-eye moment. Intimate sightings like these are a major reason why I have pursued a life in conservation. [f 4.0, 1/640, ISO 250, -0.67]

Lion stalks warthog

Another fascinating sighting this week involved four lionesses stalking a warthog. The photograph was difficult to capture thanks to challenging lighting conditions and the fact that we parked at some distance so as to not disturb either the predators or the prey. The image is not remarkable, however it tells a story and captures the energy and the tension of that exact moment when a warthog’s life was on the line. In this photograph you can see two lionesses. There are actually another two hidden in the long grass right next to the road but not visible. This was one lucky warthog … [f 5.6, 1/1000, ISO 2000, +1.33]

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.

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