In the second phase of Migration Uncut 2017 photo safaris with me, we witnessed some amazing river crossings in the Mara river. Bahati made some superb appearances and Malaika and cubs gave some excellent photographic opportunities in the rain. One of the highlights was a sub adult cheetah trying to cross the Mara river. Fortunately he gave up as soon as he stepped in the water as the river was flowing at a rapid speed and there was no way it could cross.
Post Mara I took my guests to Bogoria and Samburu and millions of lesser flamingos greeted us in the lake. Samburu blessed us with some awesome leopard sightings and of course the endemic species like the reticulated giraffe and the gravy’s zebra.
Here are some images to summarise to fortnight. I am now gearing up for the start of the Indian photo safari season with tigers of Ranthambhore in October. Stay tuned to www.naturewanderers.com for more photo safaris at Corbett during the winters.
It was a good start to our annual Masai Mara photo safaris as we are close to wrapping up week 1 of Migration Uncut 2016. We photographed some good river crossings, lion cubs and cheetah action this. The weather has been clear and we have had some great sessions with various subjects in the morning and evening light.
Leaving for a game drive now and sharing some images that wrap up this week.
Post a hectic 13 hours a day grueling schedule in the African bush, the 2015 edition of our migration campaign in Masai Mara, Amboseli and Tsavo came to an end. The last leg our Mara campaign gave us some great cheetah action, a few superb river crossings were halted because of brutal crocodile and lion assaults. The ofcourse continued making use of the morning and evening light searching for subjects that can make good images.
It was great to see a clear view of the Kilimanjaro when we landed in Amboseli and elephants against the backdrop of the majestic peak made it a perfect frame. I was particularly impressed with the dedication showed by my fellow photographers in Tsavo where they experimented with some unique perspectives of red elephants by burying themselves underground for 2 days. The tons of wide angle perspectives from Tsavo were a real treat for photography.
Here are some of the many moments witnessed in the past 10 days:
Shooting in Masai Mara during the Great Wildebeest Migration has been one of my biggest photographic learning ground over the past few years. The ample amount of shooting opportunities opens avenues for experimentation and a lot of field experience gathered from the Savannah can be applied while shooting in Indian scenarios since opportunities in our forests are rare and its imperative for a photographer to make the best of those rare intrinsic moments in the woods of India.
This year my focus was yet again on tight closeups and in addition to the light, a heavy downpour during one of the days also acted as an aid while creating images in the Mara. Presenting an assorted collection of images from my 2014 Mara expedition:
(In case you wish to join me for my 2015 Masai Mara photography tour, please send me a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Great African Migration is much more than the simple river crossing which you are visualizing. Here are a few numbers to sweep you off your feat! The true spectacle of the migration is 1,245,000 wildebeest, 200,000 Burchell’s zebra, 18,000 eland and 500,000 Thomson’s gazelle filling the entire stretch of Mara landscape.
When the savannah turns golden red in the month of July, and the zebra start pouring in across the river, the first herds of the wildebeest arrive and the feasting for the Mara’s predators and scavengers, begins.
The African Lion is the supreme predator of the Mara landscape and is a treat watch during the migration time as with a sizeable prey base spread across the Mara, the lion prides hunt strategically in the early morning or late noon hours giving you the chance to photograph these rare moments from close quarters in great light.
Often regarded as a shy, nocturnal animal, sightings of leopard in the Mara can occur even in the middle of the day and last for several minutes.
Although not as muscular as the leopard, the cheetah is built for sheer speed and is the world’s fastest land mammal and has been timed at 110 kilometers per hour. The Mara is one of the best places in the world to shoot a cheetah in full action as they often seek a vantage point on a fallen tree, termite mound or even car bonnet, to look out across the savannah for their next prey.
Canon Photo Mentor and Nature Wanderers Escort – Shivang Mehta – has lead multiple photography groups to Masai Mara for the Great Annual Migration. In addition to photography, his days in Africa are planned in order to understand the movement and behavior of big cats and other African wildlife. Prolonged patience, hours of wait and meticulously planned safaris have ensured that he extracts the best from an action packed day in the Mara.
Join Shivang Mehta for his 2014 Masai Mara expedition and discover the hidden secrets of the Savannah during this years Great Annual Migration.
The migration for 2013 had its ups and downs for river crossings that started early were disrupted because of rains. However the situation improved by the third week of August when I landed in Masai Mara along with a super enthusiastic group of shutterbugs as a part of the Nature Wanderers – Canon Migration Uncut photo tour. Having spent some focused days along side the Mara river where we witnessed some spectacular river crossings, the team spent multiple days with cheetah families and the full day sessions with the world’s fastest animal resulted in more than 8 hunt sequences over a period of 2 days.