11: Bumper edition, Africa Live 2014 Big Cats

Africa live photography blog

We have an absolute stonker of an entry for you today!

Over 70 images made the cut and we have some unique sequences for you. The Lions and Elephant viewings were particularly strong. The group continues to impress with their passion and tenacity for a good image and with Charles and Patrick at the wheel we are unstoppable!

We are now accepting new places on our 2015 Big Cat tours. Experience all what you see here, immerse yourself in the Mara and learn from me personally in a small, intimate informal group. We are staying in one of Richard\’s all time favorite camps. Hover your mouse over the picture to the right or click here for the info!

Read on and to see how we got on in this latest entry….!

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Click for details!” button_url=”http://richardcostin.com/tours/wildlife-photography-safari-big-cats-masai-mara-2015″ tooltip_css=”true” tooltip_content=”Put your mouse here for details of our 2015 workshops!”]

Well, off we go! Early start and the light was great! The plains were strangely quiet for once and we decided to promptly park up to make the most of the sunrise. I only rattled off a few as I was helping the guys and gals make the most and dragging bean bags around the place. I always advocate any angle but standing!! On the floor, on the roof; anywhere unusual!

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We then decided to head into the main reserve as we knew the Den was likely still populated with the young ones as they hadn\’t been there that long.

We pulled up to find a Buffalo standing up on the ledge having charged in and disrupted the pride. Luckily he wasn\’t agile or adventurous enough to get down the mounds to where the cubs were stashed. All the excitement however was enough for mum to quickly head out and scout the surrounding area, we guessed she was preparing to move the cubs!!

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The area was a very tricky to work in. Our vehicles were having to work very near the top of the area which I must say was a fantastic choice of Den on the mother\’s part (the protection from the Buffalo without a confrontation was proof of this!). Here you can see the situation..

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We had a few vehicles on the site and worked together from different areas to keep an eye on what was happening.


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As well as the new cubs, some older brothers were nearby and as usual not wanting to be left out!

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After checking the route, mum made her way back to the cubs


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Meanwhile up top with us some were enjoying the warming sun, letting the others sort the kids out.

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The cubs decided to take things a little further and have a play around the pool.

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And then the moment we had been hoping for! The tiny cubs were being moved for their safety and this of course is mum\’s job..

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Awoken and carried away. Poor little thing..


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What really made this for me is that the older siblings were very concerned for their younger brother.

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And then after a less than graceful landing, mum lost her grip and the little chap tumbled to the floor. Thankfully after clearing the water..

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Everyone was ok and it was a real heart tugger seeing how concerned the older brothers were. They rushed strait over to make sure all was ok.


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All was well and back into mother\’s mouth!

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Mother made her way with the cub into the dense woodland behind. After ensuring they were well hidden and secure she made her way up and out of the gully, beckoning the others to follow her. This unfortunately meant crossing the wider part of the river and whilst some were not too bothered; others clearly wanted to remain dry!

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The more adventurous members of the pride making sure the others followed them closely.

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And then there was one. This chap was clearly uncomfortable with the water and was protesting loudly to mum on the other side.


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After a few minutes of thinking there was only one thing to do. Although he was going he wasn’t going to do it quietly!!!

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Almost there! I had positioned the vehicle so the guys in the back had the best view. My 6’5″ gangliness helped me but I could not quite clear the bush that was right in front of me fully!


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Thankfully a warm, bright sunny welcome was waiting for the wet travelers.

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Now we were back up on top we had more options and Patrick and I settled back into our vibe and moved ahead. We new 100% where they were heading and we left the other vehicles to fight amongst themselves and made our way ahead.

I described back our plan to the guys and gals in the back as to why we were driving away from the cats but they were on the exact same page as us and knew exactly what we had in mind…

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We said we knew where they were heading and it was here. For a fresh morning drink. As we were first on the scene by a country mile we hooked round for the position.

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After a drink a feed is in order, although their manners could have used a little work by the look on mum\’s face.

We decided to leave them be as they were settled in the shade and we made our way over to near the Ol Kiombo airstrip as there were rumors of the Cheetah brothers.

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There was clearly a kill in the grass as the Vultures were circling.

 

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It turned out the kill was the Cheetah\’s after all and the Hyenas had stolen it. The coalition stood a small chance of getting it back and tried gallantly but the Hyenas are just to strong and bold for the delicate runners.

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Dejected and hungry they had to settle for a drink.

We then found our friend from last year the Leopard Tortoise! I love these guys and always enjoy working with them.

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Prehistoric right!!! Beautiful.

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After a return to the camp for lunch, we moved back out and watched these two Elephants squaring off against each other. Not a fight but imposing posturing none the less!

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WE HAVE A WINNER!


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A celebratory wallow was of course then in order.

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After a drink the attention was turned to us. No real threat as we were across the pond and it wasn\’t true aggression. Just letting us know who\’s boss. We kept the engine running so we certainly know who was!

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Yep.. we get the idea!!!

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We finally finished up with Fig over the way. We waited for a run up the tree with a kill (Patrick with David and the gang were in a great position from the get go), but a distant Gazelle distracted and by the time the attention was returned to the kill and the light was gone!

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And with that we headed back for food and rest!

See you next time! Thanks for making it through, hope you enjoyed looking at my images as much as I did taking them.

Rich.

If you have been enjoying these posts please drop me a line on Facebook or twitter as I love getting your messages and it spurs me on to do more. Questions on any aspect of the trip welcome too!

We also now announced our February 2015 Big Cat safaris. So if you fancy seeing it all for yourself and improving your own photography CHECK OUT THE DETAILS!

TOUR DESCRIPTION
DATE
AVAILABILITY
DETAILS
BIG CATS OF THE MARA
Feb 2020
LAST SHARING PLACE LEFT
DETAILS
BIG CATS OF THE MARA
Feb 2018
FINISHED
DETAILS
BIG CATS OF THE MARA
July 2017
FINISHED
DETAILS
BIG CATS OF THE MARA
Feb 19th 2016
FINISHED
FINISHED
THE GREAT MIGRATION
Sept 26th 2015
FINISHED
FINISHED
BIG CATS OF THE MARA 1
Feb 11th 2015
FINISHED
FINISHED
BIG CATS OF THE MARA 2
Feb 16th 2015
FINISHED
FINISHED