Photo only trip report :)

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Sep 3rd, 2018, 08:10 PM
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Photo only trip report :)

I had a birthday ending in a 0 this year so I splashed out on another trip to Africa. Kenya. The Mara to be exact. My younger daughter went with me this time. The last time (2014) both of my daughters went. We spent 6 nights at Topi House and 5 nights at Enaduari Camp. (2014 was 6 nights at Topi House and 2 or 3 nights at the house in Mara North.)

Anyway, it was a great trip. The grass was unusually high. In some places it was as high as it is in June which is not a good thing for photography. We saw leopards, lions and cheetahs each day while at Topi House and lions and leopards each day while at Enaduira. Lots of wildebeest and zebras but not the full migration which is usually there at this time of year. There were huge fires in the Serengeti that we were told were set on purpose to get the grass to grow again. This was to keep the migration from getting to the Mara. The wind was very strong a couple of days and I can't imagine how large the fire was getting. We could easily see the huge column of smoke.

I won't give a day by day trip report since we visited 2 places but I'm happy to answer any questions.

The last full day we spent probably 6 hours waiting on Bahati to move her cub and we did get to see it. Ping, our guide, felt sure she would move and she did. From very far away but it was cool at any distance. The photo is a large crop.






Bahati with her 11 day old cub







No shade is wasted. I think there are 9 lions in the shade of this tree.
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Sep 4th, 2018, 04:15 AM
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the one with leopard and her cub and the intensity of her eyes! we were in kenya last year at the end of june and the grasses were not high at all. this year they were very high.

eagerly waiting for more pics.
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Sep 4th, 2018, 04:33 AM
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Excellent photos, sundowner! I anxiously await more! I love how the lions have managed to take up every inch of shade in that last photo. Would love to hear more about your experience at Enaidura and with Ping, as I'll be there with him in November.

Happy Birthday that ends with a 0!
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Sep 4th, 2018, 04:53 AM
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Fantastic photos!
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Sep 4th, 2018, 05:13 AM
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Wonderful photos!
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Sep 4th, 2018, 11:07 AM
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Thank you Sundowner. No problem with "photo only"- as the saying goes, is worth a thousand words!
What a great trip second trip for you and younger daughter!
Which month did you go this time? (Son ds like last time was June?)

"There were huge fires in the Serengeti that we were told were set on purpose to get the grass to grow again. This was to keep the migration from getting to the Mara."
I hadn't t heard of this before! Do you or any of the other post-ers know how often this happens?
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Sep 4th, 2018, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by CaliNurse View Post
"There were huge fires in the Serengeti that we were told were set on purpose to get the grass to grow again. This was to keep the migration from getting to the Mara."
I hadn't t heard of this before! Do you or any of the other post-ers know how often this happens?
I'd read a few articles in Kenyan newspapers that this was a nefarious attempt at keeping tourists who were following the migration in Tanzania and not in Kenya, but I'm not sure how true this was.
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Sep 4th, 2018, 04:16 PM
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@amyb - Ping is great. I first met him at Mara Plains on a workshop with Charles Glatzer and Andy Biggs in 2013. He is personable and a very good guide. I have had some excellent guides at other camps and Ping is right up there. The camp is in a good location, too.



Here's a leopard dragging her kill to a better spot. She's resting and breathing. I didn't blur the gnu's face. It's just a piece of grass in the way.

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Sep 4th, 2018, 08:03 PM
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Great photos as always, sundowner, but that's too many kills for this wimp!
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Sep 4th, 2018, 08:37 PM
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Sundowner, the hippo photo is amazing!! Where was this? Is it "for real" or did it take a bit of extra creativity?

AmyB, thank you for explaining. After reading your post, I "google"d a bit. Apparently the fires and fingerpointing are not new this year.
For those who are interested, here's a link:
Safari Ecology: Do fires stop the Serengeti migration?
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Sep 5th, 2018, 04:50 AM
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Lovely hippo pool shot, sundowner, and excellent timing (and creativity with that errant blade of grass!) on your leopard kill. Glad to hear you had a good experience with Ping. I'm really looking forward to meeting him!
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Sep 5th, 2018, 05:20 AM
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Thanks for the comments!

CaliNurse, we left home 8/9 and arrived home 8/21. I had to time it for work.

And the hippos are in the marsh near Governor's Camp and this is completely "real". The hippos were very shy and I'm happy I got this shot because it was the only real photo opp.

Amy, Ping is "top drawer" as Gloria Upson says in Auntie Mame.
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Sep 8th, 2018, 06:07 PM
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My daughter put together a video if you'd like to see it. She is totally an amateur which will be evident.

Around 4:40 minutes in you will see a scene of a leopard on the left and lions on the right. The leopard and her 7-8 month old cub unknowingly walked up on these lions. The cub ran away to the left and the mom leopard stayed behind to keep the lions from following her. You will see her trying to engage the lions. One lion did go after the cub and we don't know what happened. A different lion chased the mom and she got away okay.

At around 3 minutes in are the vultures. We counted them as they flew out and there were 64!

The leopard and cheetah pairs you see playing together are moms and their cubs.

If I remember correctly, the hunting leopard is the mom of the 11 day old cub that later she moves later in the video (walking on the huge rocks).

5:40 is is the smoke from the fire in the Serengeti.
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Sep 8th, 2018, 09:55 PM
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The video is wonderful! Thanks for posting it.
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Sep 9th, 2018, 10:50 AM
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Thanks, Laurieco, I'll tell her.
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Sep 9th, 2018, 04:56 PM
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I the video.

I the Mara.

Asante sana to you and your daughter.
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Sep 9th, 2018, 07:46 PM
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All the photos are terrific but that hippo is definitely the "Fantasia" hippo!
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Sep 9th, 2018, 09:09 PM
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Thank you Sundowner for sharing this from your daughter. Love how she intersperses the animals with human group shots. Fun to see the hippo (from your fantastic photos--same one?) in action.
I must be at amateur too, because daughter's safari film is lots better than mine! Kudos to the videographer!!
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Sep 11th, 2018, 07:44 AM
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I'm in the planning stages here (1st timer) and really enjoyed your photos, comments and your daughter's video with the perfect music to accompany it! My camera is capable of good video and this inspires me to learn that aspect
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Sep 11th, 2018, 06:08 PM
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Thanks, all! I haven't had time to go through the rest of the photos but I know there's still a serval cat to see.



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FODOR'S VIDEO

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