Wildlife in Pictures: Masai Mara, Kenya

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I’ve just returned from a week in the Masai Mara, one of Africa’s most spectacular wildlife locations.

My main goal was to photograph a Mara River crossing, reputed to be one of the greatest wildlife spectacles in the world, as thousands of wildebeest make the perilous journey across crocodile infested waters in a stampede towards new-growth grasses.

I failed.

The aspect of wildlife I find most exciting – it’s unpredictability as nature makes the rules – is the reason I spent a week crossing my fingers for an event that did not happen.

I know – the irony!

The Great Migration refers to the 300-mile circuit of the Serengeti-Mara savannah, taken each year by more than 1.3 million wildebeest (and 200,000 Burchelli’s zebras), as they follow the rains in search of new growth grasses. In the past few years, mid to late August has been a great time to witness the river crossings that form part of this journey. But late rains in both Tanzania and Kenya this year have delayed the journey north.

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The crossings looked imminent early in the week, as herds of wildebeest stampeded north, covering the landscape like carpet. But heavy rain over the next three nights confused what has been a relatively predictable journey in recent years, and my dream of photographing a river crossing faded into oblivion.

But this is the Masai Mara and even a slow day is quite spectacular.

I may not have seen the crossing I was hoping for, but I was treated to incredible sightings including playful hyena and jackal pups, a flipping hippo, a leopard moving its kill across the open plain, prides of lions, fiery sunsets, star-filled skies and the rare sighting of a pangolin that was even a first for one of our Masai guides.

So I leave the Masai Mara with a conflicting feeling of excitement at what I’ve seen, disappointment at what I haven’t and a dream to return again one day soon.

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More photos and stories to follow in the coming months, but next stop is Madagascar where I’ll be spending the next month.  Stay tuned!


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Kellie is a traveller and photographer who is most at home when exploring the world beyond it. Through the intersection of her travel, writing and photography passions, she shares her experiences to inspire others to create there own. The desire to live life instead of existing through it has introduced Kellie to inspirational locations throughout seven continents and from this a passion for landscape and wildlife photography has evolved. She feels a particular connection to the polar regions and Africa. You can see more of her photography at www.kellienetherwoodphotography.com


  1. Your photos capture the essence of the place. I have never been to Africa, but this is exactly what it looks like to me!

    Thank you!

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