Oct 302014
 

Kwihala

Kwihala

 

The Park That Produces or, When a Lion is a Cougar

We woke up extra early at Kwihala Camp this morning so we could get to the three killer brothers on the elephant carcass by sunrise. We were concerned that they would have eaten their fill during the night and be busy doing what lions do best – lyin’ around. When we got there just ahead of the magic light, the pride’s elusive five females and one male were there on the carcass.

So Roger did what Roger does; shot the sh*t out of it. Things got better, or worse depending on which side you were on. The sun rose, gently. Then one male lion that was lying up in the dry riverbed, took exception to one of the females (it was probably something she had said earlier), and went for her. A second male joined and chased her with violent intent. It was a high alarm situation. She limped back some time later.

Kwihala

Kwihala

Then some jackals arrived and played around with their health insurance. After a while the lionesses wandered off into the dry riverbed. They were mostly old, some with stubbed teeth. The young killers had clearly made them their own and had mated with them, we were informed by super-guide Pietro Luraschi.

One of the most war-worn torn, that was clearly lactating, went last and lay in the shade of a spreading sycamore fig, and softly crooned. Two cubs came running out of the undergrowth and went to greet one of the males at a small waterhole he had just dug (lions dig for water, who knew!). The males tolerated their niggling, as young ones will, sure evidence they were his.

Kwihala

Kwihala

They were followed by two tiny tots, no more than two weeks old. The two tinies sort of stumbled on their short legs over to Mom who they licked and nuzzled, then went to suckle. After a while all eight adult males were involved in doing the lying around thing as the four cubs played.

That was when the jackals dashed in furtively to steal tidbits from the carcass. At one point the two littlies stumbled up the far bank and we were alarmed when a bold jackal trotted after them: predators will take every opportunity they get to kill one another or, better still, one another’s offspring.

The cubs as well as all the sleeping adult lions were unaware of the impending danger to their family succession plan. The tiny cubs disappeared into some dense shrubbery and the wily jackal followed. I’m not sure quite what it means when people say “my heart was in my throat” but it did seem that way.

After a long wait, the cubs came rolling out the bush, down the riverbank and rushed over to mom. “Mom, Mom, guess what just happened….” Our hearts sank lower and our throats cleared.

“I have had quite a few wildlife experiences,” said Roger with just a hint of litotes. “But Ruaha is the cheese.”

Ruaha National Park

Ruaha National Park

Oct 252014
 

We sot some wonderful images of a pride of lions feeding on a young elephant that they had hunted. A very interesting sighting with huge amounts of interaction between the lions, their cubs, the occasional jackal and a variety of vultures. Some of the images are posted below while others, the best actually, will have to wait for the book to be published before seeing the light of day. Please drop us an email if you’d like to be on our mailing list so that you are kept updated of developments.

Oct 232014
 

Every now and then you come across a place that astounds. Kwihala Camp in Ruaha National Park in Tanzania is just such a place and it is here that we are shooting photographs of Lions and Baobab trees for the African Icons book. Their website describes it as: “Raw beauty with simple excellence” and this sums it up perfectly. We are loving it! Hot as hades but great game viewing and very warm and caring hosts. Photography has been brisk on all the game drives that we have done. If you’do like to be on our mailing list or if your like to order one of these books please drop us an email

Oct 052014
 

With great views of Kilimanjaro, Satao Elerai Camp offers easy access to Kenya’s Amboseli National Park as well as some pretty awesome wildlife sightings on the conservancy. We stayed there while working on the African Icons book and got some really great images, some of which we have added to this gallery. Read what Roger and Pat have to say about it on their blog, and travel with us on Facebook while we shoot the African Icons book.

Oct 052014
 

We visited the Great Rift Valley in Kenya to shoot images for the African Icons Book. We stayed at The Great Rift Valley Lodge and Golf Resort  and had a wonderful time, shooting many images in the process. Roger and Pat have written up a trip report. You may like to follow the action on Facebook.

Oct 022014
 

We had a great time in the northern part of the Serengeti National Park with Wild Frontiers, photographing the wildebeest crossing the Mara River and a bunch of other things. We got some really useful pix for the book and had a couple of “adventures” to boot. We had lots of rain and one evening we were delayed getting back to camp waiting for the flood waters to subside. Have a look at the video below the gallery.