My safari season started in full swing with 6 extraordinary days in Amboseli NP. We normally come to Amboseli to photograph Elephants in amazing settings, but this time we were blessed by many big and small cats sightings. I counted a total of 11 different Cheetahs during the safari, which is quite unusual by Amboseli standards. It’s great to know that the cats are there, still doing well in the ecosystem.
The first group of Cheetahs was a coalition of 4 youngsters, recently separated from their mother, still living together in the great Kimana sanctuary, east of Amboseli. It was amazing to see them walk up on a rocky outcrop in the late afternoon light. We were totally alone with them, as they stared at the savannah around them.
Back into the park the following morning, with Mt Kilimanjaro in full glorious view, we spotted two male Cheetahs walking through the plains. We were again completely alone as we were in a remote side of the park, seldom visited by other guests. We worked hard to get some iconic images of Cheetahs and the mountain together. Mid-morning the Cheetahs went to sleep in the long grass on the edge of the lake.
Finally, on our last afternoon while looking for Elephants, we came across a mother Cheetah with four small cubs, approximately five months-old. The cubs were very shy but the mother succeeded in killing an Impala calf in the bushes. She ran across the track just in front of us and caught her prey in the woodlands. We were relieved as she looked really skinny. As we hoped she would take her kill to the cubs back across the road, an Hyena appeared and rapidly stole her kill. She ran back to her cubs and disappeared.
Another spotted cat showed up in the marsh one late afternoon, on our way back to camp. A Serval. Also a bit shy, but we managed to capture a couple of images.
Earlier that evening we had found a group of 5 lionesses lounging around a waterhole. A male later joined them, coming out of the long grass. Again, being alone in this immense wilderness, without another car in sight, was just amazingly special. Mt Kilimanjaro proiveded us with a stunning background once again.