I spent a good part of the rainy season in Italy to work on my book, Light and Dust, which is available now through my photography website, http://www.federicoveronesi.com/african-wildlife-photo-books/
I returned to the Masai Mara initially on my own, and I was later joined by my first guests for this season. Most of the Mara was covered by very long grass after a late and abundant rainy season. When I had left in March the Mara river was just a trickle, it was hot, windy, dry and dusty and I could tell that big rains were around the corner. It was quite difficult to spot animals in most of the reserve due to the long grass. However, we still had some memorable encounters. One day we were driving across a stream in the north of the reserve and found a freshly killed wildebeest. A lioness was sitting in the shade just above the river. She had fed briefly then left the carcass. Knowing the area to be full of Hyenas, we returned in the afternoon. Until past 6pm the Lioness just kept on sleeping in the river bed downstream from the carcass. Soon after two Hyenas discovered the carcass and began feeding on it, calling the other members of the clan to join them. The lioness obviously understood and she came to the scene. Instead of fighting the hyenas off, she decided to join them at the carcass. More Hyenas kept coming from everywhere, massing up around the dead wildebeest. The sounds were unforgettable. The lioness kept feeding but growled constantly, to keep the hyenas at bay. As the hyenas’ number kept growing, she understood she would soon be overwhelmed by them. She mock charged them briefly and then quietly left. The hyenas, more than thirty of them, closed in on the carcass. After fifteen minutes only the bones and the skull of the wildebeest remained in the shallow water.