Africa Live Sept 2014: 02 And we’re off

Africa live photography blog

Hi all! I am now back all safe and sound in a very wet England and settling back to life out of the bush. We had a fantastic trip out to Kenya with my guests who were a pleasure to share the Mara with, so firstly big thanks goes out to them for making the workshop a real pleasure to host!

So please sit back, relax and enjoy the pictures from our first day, we had some fantastic luck this time with cubs and some amazing weather. Please check out our tours page as we still have some places on our 2015 workshops where you can join me and see these amazing sights for yourself all while improving your photography and field craft.

After a pleasant BA flight into Nairobi and the usual rest and fantastic breakfast at the Fairview we made our way to Wilson airport for our morning flight into the Mara!

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The wonderful Fairview hotel.

The new SafariLink departure lounge is much more comfortable that what was before and before we knew it our wheels left the ground and we took to the sky for the next 40 minutes.

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And here we are! And with warm welcome from old friend Patrick our guide for the next five days we made our way through the plains of the Mara back to our home away from home, Bush Camp.

After an informal game drive on our way we arrived to see the team awaiting us. Always good to see Darren, Emma, Robert and the gang as they really make you feel at home. A slap up lunch, unpack and check of our gear later and we were ready for our first game drive, no time to hang around!

And what a sight awaited us! I always chat with Patrick before we begin as he has his ear to the ground as to what is going on in both our conservancy as well as the reserve. I can then judge where we should head to for the group. When he mentioned new Lion cubs I knew that’s where we needed to go.

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Wear you suncream kids..

New Lion cubs are always tricky as the mothers are very good a choosing very inaccessible, secluded spots as Dens. Great for them, but not so good for photography. This Den however was nearby and was a chance I didn’t want to pass up. As we arrived the site was very accessible but of course mum and the cubs were very well hidden.

I often say bad weather makes for good photographs and as often happens, the weather turned on a two pence and an almighty storm arrived. Cats and rain always make for fun viewing and seeing these tiny, days old cubs getting their first taste of the wet was hilarious and had the bonus of making them move. They wanted mum to sort it!

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Mums with new cubs are always more alert than usual. At this time of day we would normally only been given half a look. We approached slowly and after a few minutes were accepted as she put her head back down.


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Our first glimpse of a few days old cutie-pie! Wonderful! A very rare chance to see them this young thanks to her odd choice of den.


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As the rain became heavier the cubs displaced back into the bush, however as always their curiosity slowly got the better of them and we began to wonder who was watching who.


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The storm intensified to the point the bush now offered little protection, much to their protest to mum.

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Fantastic! Certainly some of, if not the youngest cubs I have had the fortune to see in all my years around the Mara and for the group on their first game drive. Well… WOW!

Not wanting to out stay our welcome as well as Patrick’s spot gaining some attention from the other camps we decided to leave them be and head off to the rest of the pride to see what they were up to. If they were nearby! We made our way to where they were last seen.

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We found them not 10 minutes away, soaked to the bone.


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Some were in a playful mood whilst others just wanted it to stop!

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The males always seem to look the most sorry for themselves. As usual we waited for the head shakes to begin!


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And as often happens the Lion decided a tree in the way would make for a better shot. We always try to predict what will happen and react when something different happens but you have to strike a balance between that and simply driving around like a headless chicken which I see a lot of photographers do!


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One reason I always grin when it rains is that I know some of the cats love it and the lack of scorching afternoon heat makes them most active with their siblings.


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I see so many of the cats having a tough time out in the wild that the times watching them without a care in the world is a real treat.


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Remember… Dignity at all times.

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By now the light was truly awful, I was pushing iso 6400 with an f2.8 lens.

Was great to see Gill and Katy getting stuck in with the photography and not erring on the side of staying slightly drier in the middle of the cars as some people do! I think we are going to be in for a great time.

So with that we had our sundowners quickly as there was a brief break in the storm and made our way back to camp for dinner, drinks and sleep.

Thanks for stopping by folks, 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! There is plenty more to come so check back often.

We also have some places February 2015 Big Cat safaris. So if you fancy seeing it all for yourself and improving your own photography CHECK OUT THE DETAILS! We have to release our unsold tents at the end of October so please to register your interest (at no obligation) as soon as possible.

Rich.

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