Today is the last full day for my first safari group, and we decided that we needed to fill up on photographs that weren't as plentiful earlier on. We were up at 5:30, had breakfast and headed out before first light. We went to my favorite location for hippos, and spent at least an hour and a half photographing yawning, sparring and sleeping hippos. This was a great opportunity to illustrate manual exposure techniques, as well as light direction, quality of light, depth of field and animal behavior.
As the sun started to get high in the sky, we headed back out for general game viewing. We stopped multiple times to grab some impala behavior, as the area was richwith them. In my opinion, sparring male impalas are excellent subjects to photograph near the end of a safari, as one typically doesn't appreciate them early in a safari. A typical safari traveler prefers big cats on their first few days, then loves on to smaller game.
For some reason we saw a black and white colobus monkey in the central Serengeti, which was quite a sight. Normally we will see them in the Ngorongoro highlands or the western corridor of the Serengeti, so this guy was very far from home. The central Serengeti does have permanent water, however the area isn't part of the home range for the colobus. Weird. Maybe scientists will blame it on climate change. :-)
After lunch we spent time in and around the Maasai kopjes, and came across a few gorgeous lions up at the top of an outcropping. The light wasn't the best, however we did sit and watch them move around a few times. I envisioned a kind of Thomas Mangelson type shot with a magestic male on top with his mane flailing in the wind. It wasn't to be.
After leaving the kopjes to intercept a nice her of elephants, we finally ran out of luck with the mud. We got stuck. Big time. Kileo and Abraham worked hard to get us out, and we all watched the lions on the kopje in the meantime. I wonder why the lions readjusted their bodies in our direction? Hmmmmm.
On the way back to camp, we saw yet another pride of lions. This time we had 3 cubs and 3 adult females. They were casually hunting an adult male warthog, but not with much gusto. Back at camp around sunset, and I am totally pooped. I am saying goodbye to my travelers tomorrow, and will be welcoming new guests to my "office". :-)