Leopard in late afternoon light, Samburu, Kenya. Canon EOS-10D, EF 300 f/2.8L IS, EF Extender 1.4x.

The Wildlife of Kenya

Giraffe mother and baby, Lake Nakuru, Kenya.Canon EOS-10D,
EF 300 f/2.8L IS.

Kenya is blessed in having some of the biggest game animals in Africa. The old-time white hunters referred to the "Big Five," the most prized trophy animals of all. Animals qualified for this elite list because of the skill it took to track them, the danger involved in confronting them, and the quality of the trophy obtained from a successful hunt. In time, five animals which qualified on all counts were recognized as the ultimate hunting safari objectives: the elephant, rhino, lion, leopard, and cape buffalo.

We were fortunate to encounter magnificent examples of each of the "Big Five," and of course many other splendid creatures. Fortunately, today we don't kill the animals we track, we respect and admire their beauty, grace, and courageous instinct for survival.

On this trip we had particular success with two of Africa's great spotted cats: the leopard and the cheetah. While in the Maasai Mara, we were able to witness two cheetah kills. In both cases the victim was an unfortunate baby Thompson's gazelle which had wandered too far from its group. Between Lake Nakuru and Samburu, we saw seven different leopards over eight separate days, a very rare number of encounters with this elusive and solitary hunter.

Other animals we photographed included the lion, hyena, giraffe, elephant, buffalo, impala, gazelle, zebra, wildebeest, baboon, monkeys, and many many birds.  We were fortunate to have the insights of many people who knew animal behavior, including wildlife biologist Greg Green, Art and Gavriel, and our drivers.

There are three pages of wildlife photos from this trip: I hope you enjoy looking at them.

Cheetah and gazelle, Maasai Mara, Kenya. Canon EOS-10D, EF 300 f/2.8L IS.

 

Lion in tall grass, Maasai Mara, Kenya. Canon EOS-10D, EF 300 f/2.8L IS, EF Extender 1.4x.

 

Flamingos, Lake Nakuru, Kenya. Canon EOS-10D, EF 300 f/2.8L IS, EF Extender 1.4x.

 

Hyena females, Maasai Mara, Kenya. Canon EOS-10D, EF 300 f/2.8L IS, EF Extender 1.4x.

 

Chameleon, Thompson's Falls, Kenya. Canon EOS-10D, EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS, 500D.