Battle on the Topi Plains pt 2

The story i have told on part one,but i would like to add that this incredible predator and scavenger often dubbed a villian on the African grasslands has an integral part to play along with Vultures in cleaning up the reserves of disease.Without them there would be many sick animals.

To see a clan of Hyenas on a carcass or hunting game is a sight to behold.Very powerful and social,always a pleasure to photograph.

While watching this Clan on the Topi Plains i noticed one Hyena with a snare wrapped around its neck.These type of snares are meant for Bush meat and can cause a slow and painful death.

Our guide Ntuala reported this to the Kenyan Wildlife Service.The last i heard the KWS were going to dart this Hyena and remove the snare.

Image00002Image00003Image00004Image00006Image00007Image00005Image00008Image00009Image00010Image00001

Battle on the Topi Plains pt 1

These images were taken back in February 2017 on our annual trip to the Masai Mara.

Ntuala our Masai guide led us to this Eland kill on the Topi plains where we were greeted by the whole Mdomo pride including the pride males Lipstick and Blackie.

The pride had killed the Eland bull in the night and were well fed by the time we arrived.

The lions had stripped the carcass of all the most nutritious meat and left just the stomach lining and intestines in which the brave Jackels would steal avoiding mock charges from mainly the two young males.

Looming in the background a large clan of Hyenas massed calling each other trying to intimidate the young males to the point where one Lioness and Lipstick came to the aid  and charged the Hyenas.

One hour later the Lions well fed left the carcass to the mercy of the Hyenas in which part two i photographed.

This was an amazing time to watch the dynamics of two major rivals in the animal kingdom competing for food.

A huge thank you to Ntuala our Masai guide working for Governors camp.A fantastic guide who loves the Animals and proud to be Masai.His knowledge,where to position the Land rover that was not intrusive to the animals and great for us photographers was fantastic.

I used a Canon 7d mk 2. 100-400mm Canon lens with polarising filter.

Coming soon the Hyenas in part two.

Image00002Image00004Image00005Image00003Image00006Image00008Image00007Image00009Image00001Image00010

Death on the Mara river

I photographed these harrowing images on the bank of the Mara river. Even though the whole event lasted just ten minutes the experience for me was  hard to photograph,but as my guide Ntuala said this is reality of life and death in the Mara.

To see at least twenty large Crocodiles converge on this helpless Zebra was a rare experience,so with a heavy heart i shot these images.The sun was bouncing off the river,eventhough i was using a polarising filter many images were over exposed.

This is life in the bush.

Image00001Image00002Image00003Image00004Image00005Image00006Image00007Image00008Image00009Image00010

Freemans

I took these images earlier in the year on safari in the Masai Mara,Kenya

It was back in March when i photographed this young male in an area the locals call Freemans.This area was about thirty minutes drive by land rover from Governors camp,nestled by the Olare Orak river.This area of the Mara is notorious for Leopard sightings and at this time many people were getting regular sightings of a famous Leopard in this area known as Bahatti.

As we were on a afternoon game drive we knew we did not have much time when we got there,so all we could do was hope.With no sightings and distant rumbles of thunder as the light rains were coming in we were just about to head back when we noticed this young male Leopard sat by a dry lugga,we think Bahatti,s son.

I managed to rattle off a few frames before a loud rumble of thunder spooked him,sending him back in the bush to disappear in front of our eyes.

Image00005Image00006Image00004Image00001Image00002

Playtime

I took these images back in March on the southern plains east of the Talek river,Masai Mara.

At this time Malaika,the most famous Cheetah in the Masai Mara had two cubs.They were nine months old,one female and one male.

Malaika a great huntress has proved time and time again that she can rear young where Lions and Hyena reign supreme.Her status as a mother is unrivalled.

It was pleasure to watch and photograph these two cubs practicing their hunting skills in the heat of the day while Malaika lied under a croton thicket keeping cool.

Photography side was extremely difficult due to the sun being so high and no cover.Even using a polarizing filter did not make much difference.With a combination of a low ISO and a low light setting on my Canon 7Dmk11 i managed to get a few shots off,but many were also over exposed.

Currently Malaikas cubs have now separated from her mum and now are hunting for themselves near Governors camp.

Malaika is currently hunting in the Rongai area of the Mara.

Image00007Image00003Image00002Image00004Image00005Image00006Image00001Image00008

Paradise Pride

The Paradise Pride in the Masai Mara as from March 2017 has four pride males known in the Mara as the four Musketeers,six lionesses and many cubs at various ages.They have now split into two groups,some have crossed the Mara river and gone into the Trans Mara,and the other group are south near the main crossing point.

I had the pleasure of photographing this Pride in March 2017 on various occasions,my highlight being them feeding on a young Hippo kill near the crossing point.

Image00006Image00002Image00001Image00003Image00005Image00007Image00008Image00004Image00010Image00009

Madomo Pride, part 1

Earlier this year i had the privilege to photograph this pride in their home range on the Southern Topi plains and as far as Malima Tatu.

With two of the most impressive blacked mane males in the mara this group has grown strong with ten young lions,ages between five months and one year.Four powerful lionesses including one of my favorites Shingu.

With Blackie and Lipstick in their later years i do feel a pride takeover will not be far away.I do hope to see them in 2018 as they symbolize the African Male lion to me. I

used a Canon 7d mk2, 1-400mm is-usm Canon tele photo lens,polarising filter.

Image00010Image00005Image00003Image00007Image00006Image00001Image00008Image00004Image00002Image00009

The Marsh Pride Pt 1

These images were taken during March 2017

I have watched and photographed this famous pride since 2011 and have seen the highs and lows,the lowest being the illegal killing of two of the three graces ,Bebe, Sienna by Masai Herdsmen.

The highs for me being able to see White eye during her final yrs,and watching Red and Tatu grow and mature before leaving the Marsh to find their own territory.

Image00004Image00006Image00008Image00002Image00003Image00009Image00001Image00005Image00007Image00010

Marsh Lioness Charm

Charm was born in the Musiara Marsh area of the Masai Mara in 2003.Born into the Famous Marsh Pride she soon splintered off into a satellite group known during the B.B.C. series Big Cat diaries as the Three Graces  [ Charm-Joy-sienna  ]

Charm is the daughter of Red,a great hunter of times past.She returned back to the main pride in 2010 and now is the oldest lioness in the pride at fourteen,a good age for lioness,and still going strong.

Kit used

Canon 7d mk 2

100-400 Canon is,usm Telephoto lens

Standard Hoya polarising filter.

Image00006Image00005Image00001Image00003Image00004Image00002

Lipstick And Blackie , Madomo Pride males

In my opinion the most impressive black mained males in the Mara at the moment.

How long they hold their territory for we will wait and see as they are 12yr old plus,old for pride males.I hope they are still there next year as over the years i have grown to love these charismatic and powerful lions.

My images were taken with a Canon 7d mk 2, 400mm  is,usm Canon lens with standand grad filter.Various iso parameters trying to keep it below 2000,less graining.With the sun set so high during the heat of day photography can be tricky.

I hope i have done these boys justice with these images.

Image00001Image00005Image00008Image00014Image00009Image00012Image00011Image00004Image00002Image00003Image00010Image00006Image00007Image00013