Masai Mara caught on cameraNovember 23, 2016
Being able to work your way around a DLSR camera is a handy skill to have when on safari.
Wildlife sightings can be fleeting. The best way to remember them is through photographs. However, there’s nothing more disappointing than when your camera simply can’t capture the beauty you’re witnessing. While those big fancy cameras can be a little complicated, phone cameras and point-and-shoots often just don’t cut it. Blown out sunsets, pixelated close-ups, blurry action shots…there are so many things that could go wrong.
Luckily for us, we’ve got our own photography enthusiast on the team. Journey’s Discovering Africa CEO, Patrick Shah, is an avid photographer and every time he heads out on safari, we look forward to the photos that he will return with. His recent trip to the Masai Mara didn’t disappoint. In an Africa Geographic blog, Patrick shares the tales behind a few of his shots. However, we can’t help but share a few more. After all, every photograph has its own story behind it…
Leopard in the Mara:
Patrick: This was my third of five leopard sightings so far in 2016. My wife and 14-year old son Alasdair were heading out from our camp on an early morning game drive, hit the main track and turned north. My wife had just sorted out morning coffees and was handing me mine from the back seat. I turned to take it over my shoulder and in doing so looked right into the eyes of the leopard sat right by the side of the road. I nearly spilled my coffee in bringing the car to a halt and positioning ourselves for a good shot. We spent about 10 minutes watching him, and then he crossed behind us and walked down to the river, emitting a powerful low rasping growl that had all the surrounding plains game standing to attention. As he was too close for my long lens, Alasdair captured this image with his camera.
Leopards are one of our favourites because of their physical beauty, stealth, elegance and phenomenal power-to-weight ratio. This particular one was a huge, confident animal, making it a very memorable sighting.
Burchell’s Zebra Double Trouble
Patrick: Another family morning game drive with some very obliging Burchell’s zebra. These two individuals looked up at just the perfect moment as we approached, and I drove to a position where they were mirror-imaged (almost).
Zebra are great to photograph because their monochromatic patterns always engage anew. The blond grasses of the Mara provide the perfect backdrop, and I find it very difficult to drive past a herd, no matter how many I see.
Two juvenile hyenas suckle their mother
Patrick: Having just arrived in the Mara and pitched camp, I ventured out on a short evening game drive. This conservancy never disappoints – I was the only vehicle on that track for two hours, and halfway along came across this den. The clan had youngsters of various ages, including two very small babies and these two older ones. This mother’s maternal instincts were strong, and she chased away the alpha female on a couple of occasions when she got too close.
Despite their misrepresentation in popular culture as being cowards, I love hyenas, and will often park off near a den for hours to watch the clan interplay. I’ve seen hyena pack hunt, and at full tilt, an adult hyena is a pretty formidable animal.
Find more of Patrick’s photos and stories here: http://africageographic.com/blog/magic-moments-maasai-mara-caught-camera/
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