Here are some of my top safari photos in Kenya that I have taken on my multiple excursions. These photos really do prove that nature puts up the Earth’s greatest show.
1. The sun rises over the Masai Mara
Taking a hot air balloon is a beautiful experience. Be it over the Napa Valley or over Bagan, the feeling of peace and awe will stay with you forever. But a hot air balloon over the Masai Mara on a clear morning is an incredibly beautiful experience.
2. Hot air balloon over the Masai Mara
Floating quietly and slowly over the plains, with a sea of wildlife underneath and the sun rising in the horizon is a deeply transformative experience and one of the most spiritual moments of my life. I could only but be in silence. This photo was taken with a dangling GoPro by our captain, Riz Jiwa from Hot Air Safaris.
3. Face off: A rhino against three lions
We found this rhino in Amboseli, chilling in his very own puddle. But he was not alone. There were four other lions sitting around him and watching, waiting for their biggest kill yet. But the rhino did not budge nor did he show any signs of letting them take him down. Growls were heard, the lions shuffled and ran away, and the stare continued. The next day, the rhino was in the same place, the lions had lost patience.
4. Elephant herd crossing the plains
A very large herd of elephants with over 50 animals, crossing the dusty plains of Amboseli in a large group. Males and females, babies and young ones, all taking regular dust showers trying to keep cool and occasionally eating the grass on their way. Laying on the floor, looking up at the oncoming herd, I was mesmerised by the majestic image that lay ahead of me.
5. A mirage
Not a desert but suffering from the same effects as the Sahara, the dry plains of Kenya pose the same question to the onlooker – was there water in the horizon? Or was it just a mirage?
6. A Masai and his cattle
Solomon, right hand man of our guide Howard and local Masai elder from the community, showed us to his village and introduced us to his family and his cattle.
7. A cheetah cooling down in the shade
In the hotter hours of the day, as the sun comes high up in the sky, the wildlife retreat into the shade. In this case, two cheetah were resting under the shade of a bush.
8. The Great Migration
The greatest spectacle of nature is the image of 1,3 million wildebeest and zebra crossing the Mara river and its affluent during the summer months in search of better pastures. Here’s how you can plan your Great Migration trip.
9. Cheetah cubs
Two playful cheetah running around in a small hill under the watchful eye of their mother
10. Sunset over the Savannah
Africa puts up the most spectacular sunsets when the sky turns all shades of yellow, orange, red and purple, every night, over the heads of hundreds of thousands of animals.
11. Two giraffes having lunch
“Dude, I sense we are being watched.”
Two lone giraffes in the Masai Mara Conservancy, enjoying an evening meal.
12. “Masai Olympics”
An afternoon witnessing the local Masai warriors at a game of spear throwing and dancing with views over Kilimanjaro.
13. Lion hiding
It was too hot in the early afternoon for this lion to be out. We drove past, this close to him, and he intently looked at us, bothered that we had disturbed his siesta.
14. Sunrise migration scene
It was a chilly morning as the hot air balloons rose above the Masai Mara plains while the wildebeest were roaming around in their usual daily routine. These two lions were intently mating while discussing their lunch later in the day. Wildlife coexists in the Mara with a matter of fact nature. Lions hunt when they are hungry from the unlimited bounty the park provides, while daily safari life goes on. Lions mate dozens of times in a short 2-3 day span to maximise the chances of procreation.
15. A typical Masai Mara scene
As the safari goers observe life from above, the giraffes run away from the landing spot, as the 4×4 open top cars come pick up their guests.
16. Leopard kill
Notoriously shy and nocturnal, leopards are the hardest cat to spot in the wild. They can climb up trees very easily and they usually spend the day resting away from the traffic. This one was not too concerned about enjoying his wildebeest kill in the bush.
17. “All this one day, will be yours”
A field of wildebeest rest in the later hours of the day as this lion observes his chances, with a full stomach, for the days to come. Wildebeest, the most abundant of the animals in the Masai Mara, and the weakest link to predators.
18. Morning coffee
Mornings on safari start off with a warm cup of coffee, brought right to your tent, as you peel off the bed sheets. Outside, the first rays of light are starting to shine through the bush.
19. The source of life
The Masai Mara Game Reserve receives its name from the historical people inhabiting the area and from the word Mara, translated as “dotted” and referring to the few trees and bushes that are spread across the park. The reserve is also famous for the three rivers crossing the land and attracting most wildlife. Water, in the dry Savannah, is the source of life, and a home for crocodiles awaiting their prey.
20. Vultures at work
Perhaps the most impressive sight on safari during the Great Migration period is the abundant amount of kills. This is proof of the cycle of life and the rule of the jungle. In this case, a large group of vultures, able to digest car battery oil with their stomach acid, were fighting for a dead zebra, jumping on it as starved animals watched.