Friday, September 28, 2012

This is the dining room at Elephant Watch Camp in Samburu - an eco-camp on the banks of the beautiful Ewaso Ngiro run by the wife of the world's most famous elephant conservationist, Iain Douglas-Hamilton.
 It really is a special place. The Samburu warrior guides know all the elephants by name and will tell you all about their individual characters as they introduce you to the large, close-knit family groups. It is interesting to get a insight into how local people live alongside an expert understanding of the wildlife here.
Most days the elephants made the most of the cool mornings and evenings by disappearing up in to the hills, but as the sun began to rise and temperatures soar they came to the river to cool off.
These baby elephants were adorable. To get these shots I lay down in the foot well of the car which brought me at eye-level with the babies.

Seeing them was one of the highlights of the trip. Please click here to find out more about the safaris that I run or follow the link on the right of the page.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Lake Nakuru

Recent heavy rains had watered down the salinity of Lake Nakuru so there weren't as many flamingos as usual when we visited. But there was still plenty to see - including 19 white rhinos!!!
This salt-water lake in the heart of the great rift valley is usually pink with flamingos which feed on the algae in the salt water. Last time I visited some two and a half million formed a thick pink rim round the lake's edge.
But there were still a few thousand to see and the flamingos that were there brightened up our view.
The bird life at Lake Nakuru is always spectacular, this yellow billed stork was very handsome!
 And these pelicans were great to watch. 

But the abundance of white rhino is Nakuru national park's greatest achievement and the guests on my safari really enjoyed seeing them.
To read more about the safaris I run click here or on the link to the right of this post.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Foal-tastic Zebra!

After a week in the Masai Mara my group and I spent a restful few days at a lodge on the shores of Lake Naivasha belonging to the world's foremost authority on elephants, Iain Douglas-Hamilton.

We actually stayed in the Douglas-Hamilton's former home, Olerai House, where we had the luxury of being able to watch zebra, giraffe, buffalo and impala as we ate our breakfast each morning.
This little cutie had been born the day before we arrived. I couldn't resist getting some photographs. It's a very different experience being on foot and it took a little while for them to get used to my presence.

It felt very special when the foal felt comfortable enough to lay down for a rest. I lay down nearby at eye-level to the foal and watched as its mother gently nuzzled its ears to reassure it that it was safe to go to sleep.
She kept a watchful eye on me while the foal slept.

After a 25 minute power nap the foal woke refreshed and ready for off again.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Lions in the Mara


Lions spend 16 hours a day asleep so it was good to get the chance to photograph some action during the trip I led to the Masai Mara.
These two were play fighting. I photographed them quickly before they all settled back down for a rest again. There were 11 lions in this particular, record-sized pride.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Cheetah Perch

The big cats are always the biggest draw on any safari and this cheetah was so accustomed to being the star of the show she even leaped up onto a neighbouring car to use it as a lookout post.
She looked stunning against the blue sky and was so at home she eventually fell asleep up there! It meant the people inside had to stay put until she woke.

We saw her several times, including watching her hunt. She had just one cub to feed and I managed to get this cute photograph of it on another day.

Friday, September 14, 2012

The World's Greatest Animal Migration

The sheer numbers of wildebeest and zebra that cross Kenya's Masai Mara every year are hard to describe and photograph adequately. We saw hundreds and thousands. They simply cover the vast plains.

The river-crossings are always the highlight of any trip. The deep, turbulent rivers that cross these huge plains are dangerous. Not only are the currents strong, but they are infested with crocodiles that lie in wait for an easy meal.
The drama of these epic crossings is incredible to witness. You can feel yourself willing on individuals that get into trouble - and of course cheering if they make it across successfully.
I have seen more than 12 river crossings, but this year for the first time I saw two adult wildebeests taken down effortlessly by huge crocodiles.
Zebra are always more cautious than wildebeest when it comes to plunging into the river. I photographed these pausing at the bank as though they were working on a plan of action. Brings a whole new meaning to the word 'zebra crossing'.
Meanwhile downstream of all the action and apparently blissfully unaware I spotted these hippos taking it easy in the sun!
If you want to read more about the wildlife trips that I lead each year and comments from some of the people who have travelled with me please follow this link.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Magic of the Masai Mara

I've just got home from leading a trip to Kenya. I knew things were going to go well when we spotted this leopard on the first day.
She had just killed when we saw her.
We returned the next morning and I photographed her in the morning light.
Every year I take a group of just 12 to see the spectacle of Kenya's wildebeest migration in the Masai Mara. I'll be posting more pictures of my latest trip over the next few days.
 Follow this link to learn more about the safaris.

Monday, September 10, 2012

An award from RSPCA

I was chuffed to get the Elsie M J Evans award for an act of kindness or bravery from the RSPCA on Saturday at RSPCA HQ in Horsham. The award was presented by celbrated birdwatcher Bill Oddie.