04 – Back with our Cheetah, Africa Live 2013 Migration

AFRICA LIVE 2013 – SEPT

Evening all!

Long day in the office today putting together a new showreel for the animation side of things here.

Back to the reason you are here, the wildlife! As promised we made strait for the location we left out diligent mother last night and it looks as though they had a quiet night as nothing had forced them out of the area.

As usual we were out well before sunrise and as the sky began to light up she started to move. You could see she was hungry and I made the call to delay heading into the reserve for a while and see if she started to hunt…

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After an hour or so of prowling they set their sights on a small group of gazelles nearby. We drove right around, keeping a good distance so as not to interfere and positioned ourselves where we estimated any potential chase would lead.

They were in a good position with plenty of cover and the wind  in their favor and it wasn’t long before they made their run and success was theirs. It is never an easy thing to see but Cheetahs have a very tough life. Everything around them is a danger and their hunting is reliant on one technique which is very hit and miss. When they get it right though it is a wonder to behold; the speed and grace is simply unmatched.

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I do have some more pictures but I know a lot of you don’t come here to see the gory side of things so left it there. We shortly moved on and made our way to lookout point in the Main reserve to see what the Wildebeest were up too.

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The plains were surprisingly empty considering that early September is prime time for the migration. There seems to be more staying on the Tanzanian side oddly and the erratic rains of late have confused them. A challenge always drives me so we will just have to work that bit harder to see them as they make their way along their path.

We continued into a quieter area of the reserve and were treated to a wonderful hour with a lone Cheetah.

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After a short, failed run at some Warthogs, the tables were turned and the running ended up swapping directions as the three adults protected their young..

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As you know I have been testing the Nikon 1 V2 camera and here are some pleasing results with it attached to the 200-400 via the ft-1 adapter. The detail is great and I will be penning a full review later this month for the site.

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A line of Wildebeest we spotted earlier had made its way to a small crossing point. We raced down and positioned ourselves within snapping distance..

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We followed the line for a kilometer or so, hoping that they would again cross another point they were heading too. Then, a real treat indeed! One of my guests, Eagle eyed Chris spotted this chap over the water….

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There are 33 Rhinos in the Mara and this was the first decent sighting I had ever had of one there. Once again we had the sighting to ourselves and a good 15 minutes of watching and snapping before we decided to part ways. What an absolute gem of a find!!!!!!

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As the evening drew to a close we made our way to a small Elephant herd who had a super cute calf. The light was fading and somewhat flat by this point, so I shot with an eye to convert to black and white upon my return.

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Well that’s all folks! Thanks for stopping by and see you tomorrow!!!

Rich.

 

If you have been enjoying these posts, please feel free to drop me a line on Facebook or twitter if you like as I love getting your messages and it spurs me on, questions on any aspect of the trip welcome too!

We also still have our last couple of places left on our Big Cats trip this coming Feb if you care to see all this for yourself, tutored by yours truly!

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