Friday, September 16, 2011

Masai Mara Marvel

I've just got back from a two week safari to Kenya's Masai Mara.

I've been to Africa 10 times in total and have visited six different countries on this vast continent, but I'm drawn back to the Mara again and again.

This time I took a group of 12 people from Yorkshire with me to share my passion for the place.

I had the help of some expert guides, pictured below, whose local knowledge is unsurpassed.

From left to right are: Daryl and Sharna Balfour, myself, Pierre Burton and Phil West.

And of course we saw some magnificent wildlife. We timed our trip to coincide with the world's largest animal migration, when 1.5 million wildebeest, and 100s of 1,000s of gazelle and zebra cross these vast plains in search of fresh grazing and water. And we camped close to the Mara and Talek rivers where we were ideally placed to see the herds cross. These dramatic river crossings are very noisy, exciting events to watch.

The sheer numbers of these beasts as they file out onto the plains takes your breath away.

When spooked by predators, or when a member of the herd gets left behind momentarily, they can really move fast.

I photographed this at a shutter speed of a 30th of a second to get this 'motion blurred' effect.

We had some incredible sightings of Africa's big cats, including this magnificent leopard.

This leopard was hidden deep in thick bush when we first caught sight of her. We waited for about two hours and then just as the sun was setting she emerged and slunk off to hunt.

We watched as she climbed a termite mound, presumably to use it as a lookout before heading off into the growing dark.

As with all wildlife, it just proves that if you are patient, you'll see more.

Just look at those whiskers!


  1. Terrific photos Robert. My attempts at gathering reference material are usually disappointing. Can you give a brief summary of the photographic equipment you take with you? For example, what's a realistic array of lenses if I was to plan a trip like yours? Hey, if you really wanted to spoil me, you could devote an entire post to the subject!

  2. OH!!!!! i am sooo jealous...ever since i was in the fifth grade...and my teacher was really into Africa...we had to do report after report on Africa...i have wanted to go there!! BUT...alas...never, thank you for the wonderful journey! your photos are fantastic!! so amazing! ALL of them!!