05 – Servals and more, Africa Live 2013 Migration

AFRICA LIVE 2013 – SEPT

Hi gang!

This morning we headed out early to see what the Wildebeest herds were doing out in the main reserve. Despite our mission, the sunrise was amazing and we just had to stop en route and make the most of it with the wildlife to hand. This is a key part of nature photography as things don’t always fall into place how you planned, but pouncing on any and all opportunities is vital to getting decent shots. As the sun was gorgeous, naturally for me that meant heading around for some backlit shots as they can be stunningly dramatic with the Mara light!

A rather obliging Ostrich started the proceedings followed by Mr Impala and his ladies..

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We continued to the other side of the reserve, again heading to lookout point for a view over the plains, this we reach via the Talek river..

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Up in lookout point you see more than just the plains, as the sun was rising the balloons begin to land..

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RCWP safari veteran Chris here putting his superb spotting skills to good use!

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Later we looked up from our breakfasts to see we were being watched..

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The Wildebeest were continuing to elude us thanks to the erratic weather and so other events so we continued back deep into the reserve to see what we could find.

We came across a group of vehicles that were huddled around something, a flash of spots later we identified it as a Serval cat!!! Super rare to see we decided to hang back and wait for the circus to loose interest (which usually doesn’t take too long!). Once they did, we slowly moved in and, now free to move it appeared from the long grass and we were treated to a magical half hour alone (in the main reserve!) with this stunning cat.

They are super rare and I only get to see them once every three trips to the Mara or so, so this encounter was just a real treat! I would of course have loved to have this encounter at first/last light but given the subject I most certainly am NOT complaining this time! 😀 Magical.

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Later we headed to a suspected Leopard and as we pulled up I managed this ‘wonderful’ shot (ahem!) before it skulked down into the undergrowth as Leopards often do…

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At that moment (and it was lucky for my stress levels the Leopard had vanished at this point!) something on our 4×4  (a rod at the front, my mechanics skills are somewhat limited… hey I’m a photographer) gave in and we were stuck! Patrick our esteemed guide managed a very quick patch job with an old scarf and after a quick radio back to our camp we limped our way towards the western side of the reserve to meet half way.

As luck would have it, lunch time was upon us so we parked up under a tree, took in the view and short while later our rescuers Josphat and Mike arrived and quickly put things to right!

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Not the tree we decided to have lunch under!

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Many thanks to Josphat and Mike for coming to our rescue! We were back on the track in half an hour!

Back in the conservancy we tried to find Fig and Acacia our star Leopards but with little luck this evening. As the sun dipped down a storm started to brew and after a few backlit shots and brief storm photography attempts we were back in camp ready for a hot shower and good meal! Well earned I think after a long day!

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Thanks as always all! See you next time. Stay tuned!

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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