Top of the wish list: The African Safari
To be part of a real African safari ought to be on everyone’s bucket list.
Encountering a lion pride lying in the early morning sun,, a herd of 30 roaming elephants on the savannah or a riverbed lined with dozens of snoozing hippos in the late afternoon is by any measure a majestic, if not life-changing experience.
Safari images & video by Swedish American photographer, Joakim Lloyd Raboff from his recent visit to Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya.
Hippos are commonplace in and around the Mara River. As lazy and tired as they may seem, the hippo is considered one of the world’s most dangerous animals and can on land – at short distances – achieve impressive speeds. In the water, however, they are agile, ruthless and lighting fast.
The Marsh Pride are a pride of lions who are the longest featured stars of Big Cat Diary, Big Cat Week and now Big Cat Live. The live in an area of the Masai Mara, Kenya known as the Musiara Marsh, and are the area’s dominant pride.
Impalas are common, curious but easily startled. These beautiful creatures are an important part of the food chain and a favorite among carnivores on the savannah.
The classic “bush plane” is definitely not designed or outfitted for comfort. Instead, they provide reliability and an means to both land on and take off from short runways almost anywhere in the bush. Some safari camps even have their own fleet of bush planes and “airports”.
Joakim Lloyd Raboff recommends using a steady DSLR with a long telephoto lens and a monopod for stability in order to get those really close portraits of safari animals. His personal preference is the reliable full frame sensor, Canon EOS 5Ds with either a 100-400 mm or a 24-70 mm lens attached.
Keeping a safe distance to all the creatures you encounter during a safari is crucial – not only for your safety, but for the animals you meet as well. Elephants are especially sensitive when they are in the company of babies and youngsters. If you do experience a mock charge, you’ll certainly know that you’re way to close for comfort.
Rarest among the “Big Five” is certainly the leopard. Here, on the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya, a lone leopard mother is looking for prey to feed her young with.
Lion prides can vary in size and the older the cubs get, the more they roam and squabble with their siblings as part of survival training for when its time to leave the pride.
Experiencing daybreak on the Masai Mara in Kenya is nothing short of breathtaking. In the winter and spring, the day can start off pretty chilly, so bringing a warm sweater or thin down jacket along for the safari is advised.
The African ostrich is a fairly common site during a safari. When threatened, it will either lay flat on the ground or try to kick with its powerful legs. Flying away from danger is not an option for this bird.
Unlike Asian water buffalos, the African cousin (Cape Buffalo) has never been domesticated and as a member of the “Big Five”, is considered one the most dangerous animals in Africa.