Below is selected wildlife/safari photography from my two days of game drives in Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve, in late October of 2015. This was my first ever safari and my first ever attempt at photographing African wildlife from a 4×4 jeep. How did I do? Your critiques are welcome in the comments.
This is the final post regarding my 2015 experiences in the Maasai Mara. For additional reading on the topic (including notes on what photo equipment I brought along), click through the below links.
Enjoy, and share your thoughts (or links to your safari shots!) below in the comments.
My guide, Jackson, surveys the Maasai Mara on the morning of our first game drive.
Topi are a type of antelope found only in east Africa and are plentiful in the Maasai Mara National Reserve.
Burchells zebras. In two days of game drives, I saw hundreds!
Maasai giraffe pretends to be a tree.
Getting a good look at a leopard lounging in a tree is a treat on any safari game drive.
Male water bucks have horns between 55–99 cm (22–39 in) long.
This is a rather heavily cropped photo of two cheetahs with a fresh kill. My combination of the Nikkor 70-200mm f/4G VR and a 1.4x teleconverter only gave me so much reach.
Young black rhino wanders through a field. This would be the only black rhino we saw over the course of two days of game drives – but considering that there are less than 100 black rhinos in the reserve, this was a lucky sighting, no doubt.
The wide rolling plains of the Maasai Mara.
Herd of buffalo grazing together.
Up close with a mean looking buffalo. These animals can be unpredictable and dangerous – it’s important to stay inside the jeep when they’re around.
Two lionesses stalking prey as a team. They would go on to catch and kill a warthog within the next five minutes.
Maasai giraffe and tree.
two African elephants.
I hoped to see huge herds of elephants in Maasai Mara, but had to settle for sightings of smaller groupings like this one.
Young Maasai giraffes at play, learning to use their long legs.
Lioness cares for a small lion cub deep in a thicket.
yawning lion cub.
wildebeest and zebra.
A curious spotted hyena approaches our jeep.
and just as quickly, he was gone.
a herd of wildebeest that remained long after the “great migration” left to Tanzania in the south. My guide joked that these wildebeest had “lost their passports”.
Lazy lion prepares for a nap.
Probably my favorite shot of the bunch. This male lion locked eyes with me and seemed ready to defend his territory – luckily I was safely inside the 4×4.
purple storm clouds roll in. (don’t forget to photograph the landscape!)
Warthog and mini-warthog.
lunch spot on our 2nd day.
Hippos lazing in the Talek River.
agitated hippo in the Talek River lashes out at another.
soon enough, everyone was back to happily napping again.
Downpours and dirt tracks in the Maasai Mara. Be sure not to leave the reserve unless you have to when it rains – predators like lions become more active when the rains come!