Here are some teaser pics from 1000s that I shot on Canon EP 500mm bazooka lens, as I did my solo travel along the vast grasslands and savannahs of Masai Mara national reserve park and other areas spanning across Kenya and Tanzania.
Masai Mara is part of the savannah ecosystem and is, is the land of wildlife photographer’s dreams. It’s open grasslands gifts visitors with uninterrupted views of the horizon, thus making its serene sunrises and sunsets amidst colorful skies extra magical, and opportunity to see BIG 5 (Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Rhino and Wild Buffalo) of Africa in their natural environment, and photograph them to heart’s content.
Masai Mara is known for the Great Wildebeest Migration. Millions of Wildebeests, together with zebras, gazelles, impalas – make their way through the savannah throughout the year in search of green pastures. During the month of July – October, each year, these animals make their way into the Mara and back into Serengeti. Mara River, infested with hungry crocodiles, big cats on either side waiting to pounce upon any opportunity they get to fill their stomach.
The Great Migration is chaotic, yet ordered in its own way. It is amazing to see these animals wander around randomly, but they form a line, follow one another and cover great distances together. Hungry big cats on either side of the river waiting for the congregation to arrive and stalk, chase and hunt down. So, it is action all around in the Mara during this season.
This week, I had an opportunity to experience safari both via land cruiser and also via hot air balloon and experience the aerial view of the migration. Such high numbers, animals almost everywhere in the park, this is unlike any other natural history moment. The Great Wildebeest Migration rightfully deserves its standing as one of the natural world’s most astonishing spectacles. Comprising more than 1.5 million wildebeest, zebras, and antelopes, the Great Migration constitutes the last surviving multi-species migration on the planet.
I was lucky enough to witness most of everything that I have read (or saw on Discovery or National Geographic Channels) about Great Migration of these wildebeests and zebras as they tread these vast lands, crossing crocodile infested Rivers, getting hunt by Lions, Cheetahs, and Leopards. It will surely take some time to document everything that I have witnessed and experienced, in my weekend blog. Looking at these pics, you will be surely convinced that there is no better place than Africa if you want to quest thirst for amazing wildlife photography amidst nature in its almost original form.
But do not underestimate ease of taking cool pics. There is lots of hard work, grit, patience, and pain (which is surely not the definition of vacation for most folks) involved in clicking these shots due to the monstrous weight of the 500mm lens, 13-hr hard ride on rough terrain every day of the week from 5:30AM to 6:30PM, waiting endlessly for shots in perfect angle amidst perfect lighting conditions. Despite all of this, I am enjoying my birthday week in the wild, and looking forward to returning home soon, now that a big item is ticked off the bucket list.
Thanks to Radhika, who always says, “Go for it”, whenever I say, I want to do something like this, such as going for Wild Life Photography in an exotic location. She never ever says, “Is it really necessary”?
Keep watching this space for more pics and videos coming up.