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Archive 2022 · Big Cats of Kenya (Olare Motorogi Conservancy)

  
 
VKM2F
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Big Cats of Kenya (Olare Motorogi Conservancy)


Hi all,

I spent time in the Olare Motorogi conservancy, bordering the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. The conservancies differ from the national parks in that they are owned by the local Maasai, have strict limits on the number of beds/vehicles allowed, and they permit off road driving. I really enjoyed my time there and was able to spend lots of time with the resident cats. Here are a selection of images from the trip.

Regarding gear, I took two Canon R5s, one with the 200-400 F4 Extender1.4x, and the other with the RF70-200 F2.8.

1.
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/52441775101_d2274cd971_b.jpg

2.
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/52442295408_1059f4332b_b.jpg

3.
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/52442045574_5e946c3ef0_b.jpg

4.
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/52441264592_3920009c14_b.jpg

5.
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/52442224020_a42f4dcfe3_b.jpg

6.
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/52442223600_1a29de6461_b.jpg

7.
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/52442045554_9dc1574280_b.jpg

8.
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/52442045459_94cf6d393c_b.jpg

9.
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/52442295323_9db8f284cc_b.jpg

10.
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/52442045514_1719a2aac6_b.jpg

11.
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/52442295048_0a6cfd3b32_b.jpg

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https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/52442223720_c0431eeb0d_b.jpg

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https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/52442223795_b733253a39_b.jpg

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https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/52441264697_1617175fa0_b.jpg

15.
https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/52441775111_71d88ece32_b.jpg



Oct 20, 2022 at 01:07 PM
Nelu
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Big Cats of Kenya (Olare Motorogi Conservancy)


What a beautiful series!
I'm wondering what happened to the buffalo in the first shot. Did they get it or did it get away?



Oct 20, 2022 at 01:37 PM
agvogel
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Big Cats of Kenya (Olare Motorogi Conservancy)


Absolutely incredible!! Amazing shots!


Oct 20, 2022 at 01:40 PM
roadapple
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Big Cats of Kenya (Olare Motorogi Conservancy)


Stunning set !!!!!


Oct 20, 2022 at 01:42 PM
VKM2F
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Big Cats of Kenya (Olare Motorogi Conservancy)


Nelu wrote:
What a beautiful series!
I'm wondering what happened to the buffalo in the first shot. Did they get it or did it get away?


It was a pretty amazing scene actually. When we came across it at sunrise, the buffalo was already injured and was being attacked by a pack of hyena. This drew the attention of the lions that came and took their chances. The other buffalo kept chasing the lions away and eventually they stayed back. The poor buffalo ultimately succumbed to its injuries on its own and the lions moved back in.

A few more images from that event:

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/52441775196_413fb9e8e1_b.jpg

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/52442045264_80c42ccd70_b.jpg

And here's one of a lioness staring down the pack of hyena. She was something fierce and won this standoff.

https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/52442507643_cb96ae0c83_b.jpg

Edited on Oct 20, 2022 at 01:54 PM · View previous versions



Oct 20, 2022 at 01:51 PM
Tom In Arizona
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Big Cats of Kenya (Olare Motorogi Conservancy)


Absolutely stunning photography Shaadi. I wish I could vote twice, but you get the one from me.

Tom



Oct 20, 2022 at 01:54 PM
Bobg657
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Big Cats of Kenya (Olare Motorogi Conservancy)


Wonderful shots, I'm glad to see the action at OMC as Iíll be there next month!

Bob



Oct 20, 2022 at 02:11 PM
morris
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Big Cats of Kenya (Olare Motorogi Conservancy)


Excellent set Shaadi. Looks like you had many great opportunities and produced stunning images as a result.

Morris



Oct 20, 2022 at 05:27 PM
codyconway
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Big Cats of Kenya (Olare Motorogi Conservancy)


wonderful set! I spent one afternoon in that conservancy photographing what was likely the same leopard in the tree (though there are / were many). Very jealous of the baby leopards (twins at that!) What lodge did you use while there? We stayed inside the Masai Mara in the central area at the topi pride, but visited 3 of the different conservancy. Some were great, but North Conservancy was no off-road and could not drive out to the cheetah family as one of the cubs had recently died.


Oct 20, 2022 at 07:48 PM
johnohio
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Big Cats of Kenya (Olare Motorogi Conservancy)


Beautiful group of images !! Thanks for sharing them here.

John



Oct 20, 2022 at 09:23 PM
dalite
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Big Cats of Kenya (Olare Motorogi Conservancy)


Some great captures, especially #1,3 and 5.


Oct 20, 2022 at 10:40 PM
AGeoJO
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Big Cats of Kenya (Olare Motorogi Conservancy)


Wow, wonderful images! Although ďthe killĒ images are impressive but I do enjoy pictures of the lion and leopard cubs.

Joshua



Oct 21, 2022 at 07:28 AM
armd
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Big Cats of Kenya (Olare Motorogi Conservancy)


Superb set. How long were you there?


Oct 21, 2022 at 10:42 AM
VKM2F
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Big Cats of Kenya (Olare Motorogi Conservancy)


codyconway wrote:
wonderful set! I spent one afternoon in that conservancy photographing what was likely the same leopard in the tree (though there are / were many). Very jealous of the baby leopards (twins at that!) What lodge did you use while there? We stayed inside the Masai Mara in the central area at the topi pride, but visited 3 of the different conservancy. Some were great, but North Conservancy was no off-road and could not drive out to the cheetah family as one of the cubs had recently died.


Thanks for the kind words. I stayed at Kicheche Bush Camp.



Oct 21, 2022 at 11:58 AM
VKM2F
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Big Cats of Kenya (Olare Motorogi Conservancy)


armd wrote:
Superb set. How long were you there?


Thanks! I was there for 9 nights. It was a lot of time to stay at just one camp, but I found being able to settle in one place and get to know the animals a bit better helped with photographic opportunities.



Oct 21, 2022 at 12:00 PM
DivineFocus
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Big Cats of Kenya (Olare Motorogi Conservancy)


Wow. This is really an excellent set of images. Such intimate shots. Really well done.


Oct 21, 2022 at 09:22 PM
codyconway
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Big Cats of Kenya (Olare Motorogi Conservancy)


VKM2F wrote:
Thanks! I was there for 9 nights. It was a lot of time to stay at just one camp, but I found being able to settle in one place and get to know the animals a bit better helped with photographic opportunities.


This is big play advice to anyone who stumbles on it . . .

All my friends who lead tours out there told me donít waste more time than needed on Safari and only spend 4 nights max per camp. . . We ignored it and did 8 days in Masai, and wish we would have ignored the rest of the trip and just spent the entire 2 weeks there. Every day was something new, but more importantly, you spent a lot of time following the same pride or individuals and really learned their story that leads to better images / sets. We are already planning our return for a 12 night stay



Oct 23, 2022 at 09:25 AM
VKM2F
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Big Cats of Kenya (Olare Motorogi Conservancy)


codyconway wrote:
This is big play advice to anyone who stumbles on it . . .

All my friends who lead tours out there told me donít waste more time than needed on Safari and only spend 4 nights max per camp. . . We ignored it and did 8 days in Masai, and wish we would have ignored the rest of the trip and just spent the entire 2 weeks there. Every day was something new, but more importantly, you spent a lot of time following the same pride or individuals and really learned their story that leads to better images
...Show more

I couldn't agree more! I spent three days straight with a pair of cheetah brothers watching them hunt unsuccessfully. It's why I specifically sought them out on the fourth day, knowing they were getting increasingly desperate and would have to try again. I sat with them that morning and was rewarded with an incredible hunt and kill of a topi and its newborn. The confidence I had was precisely because of the time I put into it. Next year I'm visiting Botswana with the same itinerary.

I get that operators want to spread guests around to fill up the various camps/lodges and visitors often want to tick boxes on different locations, but I really think if photography is the priority it's better to spend more time in the parks and less time travelling between them.



Oct 23, 2022 at 12:50 PM
Kyyyyyy
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Big Cats of Kenya (Olare Motorogi Conservancy)


So much action, 9 days seems like a great amount of time to become familiar, but would be a slog if it was a bad camp! Thanks for sharing. I love how sharp the Leopard shots are.

The flies in Tarangire were terrible, I couldn't imagine staying 9 days there.



Oct 23, 2022 at 02:09 PM
codyconway
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Big Cats of Kenya (Olare Motorogi Conservancy)


VKM2F wrote:
I couldn't agree more! I spent three days straight with a pair of cheetah brothers watching them hunt unsuccessfully. It's why I specifically sought them out on the fourth day, knowing they were getting increasingly desperate and would have to try again. I sat with them that morning and was rewarded with an incredible hunt and kill of a topi and its newborn. The confidence I had was precisely because of the time I put into it. Next year I'm visiting Botswana with the same itinerary.

I get that operators want to spread guests around to fill up the various camps/lodges
...Show more

Now I know you and I crossed paths. We were with the brother coalition a lot as well and were there for the topi hunt. We were one of 4 vehicles with Off Road Permits on hand that didnít get ran off by rangers, only to have 50 vehicles pull in front of us and surround the brothers once the topi was down . . . I was the guy with his guide yelling at everyone to get out of our shots per the guide rules that were blatantly ignored for tips from folks with cell phones. The hunt was epic, but the ending left such a bad taste in our mouth we left and didnít even get to enjoy the feast.



Oct 24, 2022 at 06:51 AM
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