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Can one have too much time in the Masai Mara! A resounding NO! Safari Sept 2016


janzin

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Wow so far so good! Loved the interaction between leopard cub and male. It just goes to show how amazing leopards are and how little we do know. The giraffe silhouette was beautiful.

 

I know what you mean about taking notes. I vowed to start taking better notes after my river tour and I couldn't remember names of plants and birds afterwards. Can't wait for the next segment! Very interested in your Mara Triangle time.

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janzin

Thanks @Lyss  I see you are involved with a Mara leopard group so I just sent a joining request on FB.  Perhaps you will be able to help identify some of the other leopards we saw!

 

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jeremie

Great fan of your photography technique and skills! I insist, you have absolutely fantastic pictures!!!!

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janzin

thanks @jeremie  I much admire yours as well, your Pantanal photos were awesome!

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Game Warden
18 hours ago, janzin said:

I do believe it was that first morning that we came upon this very photogenic group in the early morning light.

 

lion_JZ5_8090a.jpg

 

 

Well done @janzin The rarest of the rare, a two headed lion! What luck! ;)

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Marks

Excellent stuff! Your wider photos give a great effect - are they cropped or originally taken with that aspect ratio (or something else)?

Really interested to see what happened at the subsequent river crossings that makes you not want to see anymore (although I don't disagree with you on that point!).

 

Enjoying this a lot.

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janzin
1 hour ago, Game Warden said:

 

Well done @janzin The rarest of the rare, a two headed lion! What luck! ;)

 

hahahah now that you mention it...!

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janzin

I'm going to be away for a few days as of tomorrow so I'm trying to get Porini Lion done before I go.

 

So where are the cheetahs, you may ask?? Lest you think we didn't see any...indeed, we saw a few around Porini Lion! I just haven't figured out how to fit them into the narrative.  So without further ado, here they are, sans much narrative ;)

 

Well, GOOD MORNING!

 

cheetah_JZ5_9306a.jpg

 

There was one cheetah that was hanging around close to camp, and another we saw further afield. I believe out near the edge of the conservancy. Most of my images (at least from my Nikon D500) have GPS data embedded, so if you look at the Exif, you can click on Map Link and see exactly where they were taken.

 

cheetah_JZ5_8727a.jpg

 

We saw this male early in the day, and then later, close to dusk, we found him with a kill.

 

cheetah_JCZ_9892a.jpg

 

cheetah_JZ5_9717a.jpg

 

Time to wash your face!

 

cheetah_JZ5_9771a.jpg

 

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janzin

@Marks All of the wide ones are just cropped that way, not shot that way. Sometimes I do shoot panoramas, but all of these are just shot with normal aspect ratio of 3:2.

 

Re: the crossings...you'll see, but I'm sure you can imagine. A combination of reasons though.

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Alexander33

Love the secretarybird with the lion in the background. (But they are all great). 

 

And I think the cheetah with bad lipstick portrait is frame-worthy. 

Edited by Alexander33
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Geoff
23 hours ago, janzin said:

 

I actually learned the name of this magnificent male  as I posted the following photo on Facebook and he was identified by someone as Lolparpit.

 

lion_JZ5_8331b.jpg

 

 

 

@janzin Really?, I was told by a guide that a lion that I was photographing in the main reserve was Lolparpit and we were a long way from OMC. 

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janzin

Alas, I have run out of time and am leaving early tomorrow morning. And I'm not QUITE done with Porini Lion camp.  We still have the quest for Fig to cover ;)

 

Until next week!

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jeremie

@janzin: How close did you get from the lions and the cheetah! I guess you were less than 15 meters away! Which less did you use during this safari? 70-200?

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janzin

@jeremie we weren't THAT close. I was using the 200-500 on the D500 so about 750mm equivalent. I also had the 70-200 on the D810 most of the time, for wider shots and bigger beasts like elephants.

 

These guides were really great at maneuvering the vehicle so that the lions would be walking directly towards us. They really knew how to optimize the photographic opportunities.

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janzin

This is the a post that was shown to me as indicating it was Lolparpit. Hope you can see it (its public.) The post shows that he was in the OMC area with the Enkuyanai  pride earlier in the season.

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=852536668230862&id=608548229296375&hc_location=ufi

 

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Tom Kellie
3 hours ago, janzin said:

@jeremieThese guides were really great at maneuvering the vehicle so that the lions would be walking directly towards us. They really knew how to optimize the photographic opportunities.

 

~ @janzin

 

The guides are often uncanny at knowing just where to position the vehicle.

 

Sometimes they anticipate animal movement such that where one is parked is exactly where a subject walks out.

 

It's great that you had such top-notch guiding.

 

Tom K.

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@janzin I would be very glad to try and help you out. I will probably use some of your photos, credits given of course, to add to the albums we already have. It's nice to see how an individual has changed and grown over time as spot patterns and rosettes change as they get bigger and longer.

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Zubbie15

That solo young male lion in post 23 is a fantastic shot, wow.

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Atdahl

@janzin One amazing shot after another.  I am in awe!  The urge to make our first Africa trip grows and grows the more I read great trip reports like this one.

 

I know it takes a while to "frame" your photos but I love the way you do it.  They look even more professional that way.  I am looking forward to reading the rest when you get back.

 

Alan

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janzin
5 hours ago, Atdahl said:

@janzin One amazing shot after another.  I am in awe!  The urge to make our first Africa trip grows and grows the more I read great trip reports like this one.

 

I know it takes a while to "frame" your photos but I love the way you do it.  They look even more professional that way.  I am looking forward to reading the rest when you get back.

 

Alan

Thanks @Atdahl  Actually the framing is done quite easily and quickly in the program that I use for photo editing (Picture Window Pro.) I've created what the program calls a workflow (like a macro) that does a whole batch in just a few clicks, all I need to do is enter the caption if it is unique. If I have a caption that is applicable to a whole group then one click does the trick!

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janzin

Our guides knew that we were keen on seeing Fig the leopard, as we'd heard so much about her, and seen photos in trip reports by @cheetah80 and others. Her territory had shifted a bit to the far end of the conservancy and we hadn't been in that area so far, so on our last morning "Finding Fig" was to be our quest.

 

However, that would have to wait, as we weren't far out from camp when we got distracted by a lioness chasing a wildebeest! We only caught the final moments and I was not quick enough to get photos of the action. She made the kill out of our site, but we were able to catch up with her for the aftermath.

 

lion_JZ5_9970a.jpg

 

Soon another lioness came to join her. I guess the huntress was a bit tired from all the exertion :)

 

lion_kill_JZ5_0010a.thumb.jpg.10ce0412f595e4d6f5567fa138e7431d.jpg

 

The light started to get that golden hue...

 

lion_kill_JZ5_0054a.thumb.jpg.1cdcd4c4b28572165bd652b328e41ab7.jpg

 

Soon however she decided that she didn't like this spot, and started to drag breakfast across the plain.

 

lion_kill_JZ5_0069a.thumb.jpg.72f6fdf00c7c23ea5d131d96ee00f971.jpg

 

Until she found a spot that was a little less exposed, by a few bushes.

 

lion_kill_JZ5_0113a.thumb.jpg.cf28e85eaf9091d259d1a27102a532cb.jpg

 

After watching this gruesome scene for awhile, we left her with the remains of breakfast, as we really wanted to try and find Fig, and time was running out!

 

Well, as we got close to Fig's territory, a bevy of safari vehicles alerted us to the presence of...could it be?

 

leopard_fig_JZ5_0226a.jpg

 

Yes! The object of our search, the lady Fig herself. Her abundant ear furnishings are one of the traits that give her away. Isn't she beautiful??

 

Alas, she was lying under a bush above a rocky river, and didn't seem inclined to move. On top of this, there were quite a few vehicles there...many more than we'd seen at any other sighting. The reason for this was because she was right on the boundary of three conservancies: Olare Motorogi, Olare Orok, and Mara North--drawing vehicles from each. Still..compared to what we'd seen elsewhere in Africa, it didn't seem crowded. There might have been 9 or 10 vehicles, and no one was crowding the others. Some were parked down by the river, some on the other side of the river, some by the bush. All waiting to see where she'd go next. (I assume some had already seen here move from the river area to her present position under the bush, which was admittedly not a great spot for photos.)

 

Every once in awhile she'd turn, or get up to scratch...

 

leopard_fig_JZ5_0270a.thumb.jpg.bdbeb89c91426e3d3920c372905e288d.jpg

 

and we were hopeful that she would move. The thought was that she would go down to the river for a drink as it warmed up.

 

After some time waiting, finally it seemed she was ready...

 

leopard_fig_JZ5_0295a.thumb.jpg.595d20294a28fcacfe9fa45e3602f92a.jpg

 

We quickly maneuvered into position to catch her as she crossed the stream. Of course, Jackson and Gerard knew exactly where to go for a good angle. 

 

leopard_fig_JZ5_0342a.jpg

 

leopard_fig_JZ5_0378a.jpg

 

She actually didn't drink, but paused to use the "kitty litter"...

 

leopard_fig_JZ5_0368a.jpg

 

She continued on her way and soon she was up and over the other side of the bank, into the brush, and out of sight. We spend a little time trying to relocate her on the other side, but we saw that she had lain down in some high grass (we soon realized there was a kill in the tree above.)

 

JZ5_0383a.jpg.9ed41a75dae8e6e5beaa398c01659dab.jpg

 

Since we knew we needed to be back by lunch for our pick-up to Encounter Mara, and she was probably not moving again for awhile, we sadly had to leave.  But what a way to end our time at Porini Lion--with another lion kill, and the famous Fig!

 

 

 

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janzin

By the way, I am noticing that the new forum layout is compressing/reducing my photos, so they do not appear as sharp as they should. (it is obvious by looking at the caption text, which is blurry.)  To see the photos at their best, please click on the first one and view as a slideshow, if you like! When viewed that way, they are at full quality.

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michael-ibk

Wow, that first shot of the Wildebeest going down with its eye wide open - a fantastic "raw" capture.

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janzin

:( mea culpa! I have just realized that I have made a terrible mistake throughout this report--I said that my guide was Jackson, but it was Josephat! We did have Jackson pick us up at the airstrip but Josephat (and Gerard) took over after that. Well, the mistake isn't that terrible as they are both great guides, I'm sure. But our main experience was with Josephat and I apologize for the confusion (I only realized this as I was re-rereading my earlier review of Porini Lion camp in the lodge review section.)

 

 

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