torsdag 2. januar 2020


Impala sunrise
D5, Nikkor 600 4,0, f/4,0, 1/640, ISO 1400

I've had many stays at the Oltepesi Tented Safari Camp in Maasai Mara Kenya lately. My latest project was 2 weeks in Nov / December 2019. This is the beginning of wet season in the Mara, everything is lushy, lushy green .... and extremely wet ! Too wet in a way .... since streams grew to uncrossable barriers and rivers grew to roaring monsters and limiting our action a bit. The good thing about the wet season apart from the incredible lushy green is soft light and colourful clouds.

One of the dramas that I witnessed in the Mara this time was the buffalos fighting their life & death battle. These pictures have been presented on my previous blogpost and are not shown in this post.  

This was my project no 31 in Eastern & Southern Africa, so apparently I have become addicted !! I have 3 upcoming African adventures in 2020, of which the Maasai Mara project in Oct still have a couple of vacant seats. Fyi.

Thanks to Oltepesi Tented Safari Camp & John Siololo. Also thanks to Dario Mesonero Romanos & Jokin Uriarte for inspiration and great company.

Impala Sunset
D5, Nikkor 600 4,0, f/5,0, 1/1600, ISO 220

Cheetah Mom with 7 cubs .. must be world record !! I was lucky as the female came walking towards us and layed down on the overgrown mound right in front of us. Cubs walking behind came up ... one by one ... and finally they all posed with their mother for some magic minutes. Out of 500 picture only ONE had all 7 cubs` faces visible and mother looking my way !! One cub is later reported killed by leopard. This is inevitable in Maasai Mara. 6 cubs still alive and well (to my information).
D5, Nikkor 600 4,0, f/4,0, 1/800, ISO 800

Cheetah Mum & cub
D5, Nikkor 600 4,0, f/5,6, 1/500, ISO 720

Cubs has been eating from a Thompson gazelle kill ... in the rain ... and mother is cleaning up the mess afterwards
D5, Nikkor 600 4,0, f/7,2, 1/1000, ISO 1100

A patient ... but tired ... mother !!
D5, Nikkor 600 4,0, f/4,0, 1/1000, ISO 450

Cheetah cub playing and practizing running and hunting skills. Cub approx 2months old.
D5, Nikkor 600 4,0, f/5,6, 1/1600, ISO 640

I told her a joke ... and she laughed her heart out !!
D5, Nikkor 600 4,0, f/4,0, 1/1000, ISO 450

Semi adult cheetah in hunting position
D5, Nikkor 600 4,0, f/5,6, 1/1600, ISO 560

I love doing this kind of shot : A simple composition with 2 interacting elements : Hyena & buffalo skeleton, of course a bit glouish & macabre ,,, and with an endless green blur around with no disturbing elements.
 D5, Nikkor 400 2,8, f/4,0, 1/1000, ISO 360

Many animals die as they try to cross Mara River in the rainy season, and become food for scavengers like this hyena & the Monitor Lizard. The hyena had more respect for the lizard than opposite. The zebra was probably a smelly dish !!
D5, Nikkor 600 4,0 + 1,4 converter = 850 mm, f/7,1, 1/1000, ISO 640

Hooded vulure
D5, Nikkor 600 4,0, f/5,6, 1/640, ISO 900

Bateleur Eagle, a beautiful eagle with the characteristic red beak & short tail
D5, Nikkor 600 4,0, f/5,6, 1/640, ISO 2500

A common bird on the savannah : Blackbellied Bustard (male)  ... in light rain
D5, Nikkor 600 4,0, f/6,3, 1/160, ISO 160

Saddlebilled stok portrait
D5, Nikkor 600 4,0, f/4,0, 1/1250, ISO 1600

Secretary Bird portrait
D5, Nikkor 600 4,0 + 1,4 converter = 850 mm, f/6,3, 1/800, ISO 450

The very smallest of all gazelle species on the savannah : Kirks Dikdik
D5, Nikkor 600 4,0, f/4,0, 1/640, ISO 320

A newborn Grants Gazelle`s first unstable steps 
D5, Nikkor 600 4,0, f/5,6, 1/800, ISO 2000

The two male Topis had a wild fight .... for a long time
D5, Nikkor 600 4,0 + 1,4 converter = 850 mm, f/5,6, 1/1600, ISO 560

... and at some stage there was a winner ... and a looser !
D5, Nikkor 600 4,0 + 1,4 converter = 850 mm,  f/5,6, 1/1600, ISO 640

The lioness was leading her small family across the meadow from one bush to the other. One of the cubs were too small to make on foot. I took many pictures in this situation, but only once did she meet my eyes.
 D5, Nikkor 600 4,0, f/6,3, 1/1250, ISO 450

Flirting lions
D5, Nikkor 600 4,0, f/4,0, 1/640, ISO 2000

Nature can be totally unsentimental, ... but I see a certain beauty in the un-sentimentality ... 
and love to work with this as a photographer
D5, Nikkor 400 2,8, f/5,6, 1/800, ISO 3200

... once again the unsentimental beauty (?) ... with the young male lion working on the carcass, buffalo skeleton with the glow of morning sun through the red ribs and the skinned skull ... almost smiling.
 D5, Nikkor 400 2,8, f/2,8, 1/640, ISO 640

... and more of the glouish / macabre aspect
D5, Nikkor 600 4,0, f/5,6, 1/640, ISO 2200

The lion pride had taken down a buffalo in the dark, it was raining and the lions had just managed to chew a hole in the buffalos stomach. The wild growling sounds, the smell and the atmosphere in the dark ... was special. Picture shot from the light of a headlamp.
D5, Nikkor 400 2,8, f/2,8, 1/250, ISO 10 000

Pride of lions chewing a zebra
D5, Nikkor 400 2,8, f/3,2, 1/800, ISO 2500

A group of young male lions with zebra kill
D5, Nikkor 400 2,8, f/5,6, 1/800, ISO 2000

Two buffalos fighting a life & death battle !! 
Many pics fro this drama is presented in my previous blogpost. This picture not shown before
D5, Nikkor 600 4,0, f/6,3, 1/1250, ISO 1100

... and finally : A group of Maasai cows on the way to spend a safe night in the village enclosure ... with a vanishing thunderstorm above.
D5, Nikkor 600 4,0, f/4,0, 1/640, ISO 1000

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