For a quick look at 20 of my favourite photographs from the trip, click on the thumbnail below-centre.
For the story of the trip day by day, click on the thumbnails to open each gallery in turn.
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|Home Page||An arbitrary collection of 20 of my favourite photographs from this expedition|
We were met at the airstrip and set off immediately for our first game drive. We encountered some cheetahs eyeing up a herd of impala and some topis, but despite a half-hearted attempt at a chase, none was brought down.
We arrived at Kicheche Bush Camp in time for lunch and relaxation before setting out on an afternoon game drive around 16:00. The highlight of this was a stand off between a female cheetah and a lioness. On this occasion the cheetah was able to see off the lioness and protect her cubs.
We set out to see if we could find the cheetah mother and cubs that we had encountered the afternoon before. We were unsuccessful with that, but enjoyed taking back-lit photos of Zebra and close-up photos of parts of elephants. Later in the morning we came across a mother cheetah with cubs (older than those seen the previous afternoon), who entertained and posed for us.
In the afternoon we witnessed a serval cat hunting before encountering our first leopard - the female known as Fig. We observed her retrieve and eat previously caught prey and generally walk around the shore of a river. Later we received the tragic news that, in contrast to the encounter between the cheetah and lioness of the previous evening, Fig had been killed by a rogue male lion, with a sweep of its paw. A very sad, nay disastrous, way to end the day.
In the morning we drove straight to a tree and parked near it, along with several other vehicles. It took me a while to realise that there was a leopard up there (well two actually), but after that it was good to watch them both descend and ascend the tree. We drove to Kicheche Mara Camp for lunch and orientation, as this was where we would spend the next two nights. In the afternoon we came across a cheetah family whom we watched as they practiced moving around in "stalking mode". There were Zebra in one area and gazelle beyond. Eventually they decided to chase the herd of gazelle and succeeded in catching a young one. Later on we found another cheetah family and followed them until it was time for sundowners.
Our first morning stop was to watch a pair of elephants "play" sparring, but as usual it was difficult to photograph entire elephants. I was happy with my close=up images, though. Later in the morning we came across a family of cheetahs (mother and three cubs) and followed them for some time. It was fun watching the cubs play, but we did not witness a chase. The afternoon drive was disappointing from the perspective of wildlife and photography, but we were able to take in and enjoy the vast landscape of the Masai Mara.
The morning was again dedicated to cheetahs playing, and again there was no chase. The cubs showed no fear in approaching the vehicles and running around under the chassis. We arrived at Kicheche Valley Camp in time for lunch and orientation. During the afternoon game drive we encountered some female lions resting in the shade. However it started to rain heavily and one lion at least, who was out in the open, made a doleful picture! We left the lions to join other vehicles round a female leopard, also in the rain, which had reduced in intensity by then. A little later we parked up near the same leopard, which by this time had stretched itself out on a fallen tree.
|Day 6 |
The only "spots" in the gallery for this day were those on hyenas! After witnessing a sunrise we proceeded to an area where there was a den for bat-eared foxes. We watched and photographed cubs playing around the opening of their den for quite a while, until their mother returned. There was a pack of hyenas, with cubs, not far from the foxes, so they were the next stop. This was the first time I had seen these in a family group. As usual the cubs played as the adults relaxed, and I am happy with my photographs. The afternoon drive was less eventful, although it did throw up another giraffe and a male lion of about 6 years of age. We were treated to instruction in taking landscapes with figures as we prepared for sundowners.
|Day 7 |
This was our last (half) day, and we were glad to encounter more lions and also some of us were able to photograph the leopard from Day 5 as she rested in a tree.