First Day in the Maasai Mara

Yesterday we departed Nairobi and took a 40-minute flight to the Mara North Conservancy, where we will spend the next week surrounded by wildlife, and where our early mornings, late afternoons and early evenings will be spent photographing Africa‘s amazing fauna.

After we landed in the Mara North Conservancy, we prepared our gear and headed off for a game drive en route to Elephant Pepper Camp.

After settling in and having some lunch, we headed out for the rest of the afternoon.

We first encountered and photographed some elephants, and shortly after, we were very fortunate to encounter a lioness and her young cub, which she was isolating from the rest of the Cheli Pride.  Here is an image I captured of the lion cub:

Lion Cub of the Cheli Pride

Lion Cub of the Cheli Pride

This was the first time I have seen or photographed a lion cub in the wild.  It was fantastic to spend time in the company of the lioness and her cub, basking in the afternoon light.

Continuing on our game drive, we encountered topis, a pied kingfisher and more elephants.

The second fantastic photographic opportunity of the day was presented to us by a lilac-breasted roller.  I had seen and photographed one in South Africa, but the conditions were not favourable and the images were not pleasing.

On this occasion, however, the roller was very close to us, and was positioned on a clean branch in warm light.  Using a long focal length, I captured the vivid colours of the roller as it sat patiently waiting for me to land my shots.

Here’s one of the highlights of the roller sighting:

Lilac-Breasted Roller

Lilac-Breasted Roller

All in all, our first afternoon game drive yielded some pleasing images.

Many more photographic opportunities and amazing wildlife sightings await us, and shortly, we’re heading back into the plains to look for a leopard we spotted this morning, as well as more lions from the Cheli Pride, and if we’re really lucky, we might see the males.

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