WINNER – 2018 PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR: Africa Geographic Magazine A Rüppell’s vulture in Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya “While waiting for over two hours in the hot equatorial sun for a migration crossing to happen, I decided to change my focus to a group of vultures that were feeding on a drowned wildebeest carcass. Fully fed, this beauty decided to dry off its wings in the sun, which produced this interesting image of a great raptor. These raptors face many problems, from loss of habitat, reduced breeding sites, and reduction in large ungulates (resulting in fewer sources of food), to death from poisoning, the witchcraft trade and collisions with power lines. They play such an important role in making sure that diseases such as rabies and anthrax do not spread, and they also help cycle nutrients back into the ecosystem. We must help conserve these amazing raptors at all costs.” Judges’ comments: This amazing image portrays vultures for what they are – majestic and regal birds that deserve our respect. This sensitive representation of one of Africa’s most threatened birds is a refreshing change from the stereotypical vulture image of bloodied hoodlums fighting for scraps […]
During my Easter break I decided to spend some time in Samburu Game Reserve to photograph elephants. I was disappointed as most of them had scattered with the onset of the long rains, though I managed to find a few small family groups & alert. Whilst driving a few kilometers past Larsens Camp, I came across a lioness who had killed a cow just a few minutes before I got there. Wondering where the other pride members were, I noticed 2 more cows killed on the other side of the road. The other 2 carcasses had an adult lioness, a sub-adult male & younger cub on them. It was so hot that afternoon plus a big storm was on its way so the lions didn’t feed much & sat around panting! We found out that herders illegally bring in cattle to feed on the pasture & drink water from the river which is close by. These cattle must have wandered away from the watchful eyes of their Samburu herder. This was not a pleasant sight as cattle owners lace the carcass with poison which in turns affects wildlife that feed on the meat; this is really affecting lion & vulture […]
Elephants make the most interesting subjects for photography as they are always doing something. Even when you are not photographing them, they are such a joy to observe. Going through images from last year’s short safaris around Kenya’s famous parks/reserves, I noted several of them with tusk abnormalities. Tusks are modified incisors and just like in humans, they too can develop abnormalities during the growth stage. These can be due to genetic or congenital conditions while others are caused by trauma. According to research, this can happen to both males and females of a given species. This has also been seen it both the African & Asiatic elephants. Interestingly the images you see below are all of females from 3 different wilderness areas within Kenya. I am yet to see a male with this deformity but I am sure they are out there. These elephants stand out from the herd and are very easy to identify.