Do

23

Jul

2015

Leopard family at the Talek River

Leopards are very rare to see in the wild, and leopard cubs even rarer. Found hiding in their hide-out at the Talek River, Masai Mara.

Photographing leopards in the wild requires great patience. Don’t be deceived by the many “action” photos shot in front of dusty or stony backgrounds that you can find on the Internet. These photos are mostly of tame leopards taken on farms in Namibia or South Africa. I am followed the mother until they identified where she was likely to have sheltered her babies. Although there was no view of the cubs, was “contact calling” – a very distinctive sound. I returned to that den site every day, and every day we would turn around and retreat after no sightings of the tiny animals.

leopards, babies, cubs, masai mara, kenya, wildlife, leopard

I had all pretty much lost hope of ever seeing the cubs, and even wondered if they were still alive. Then, one morning, as we were driving down the road towards one of the pans we found her. Boy were we excited about this discovery! We followed her for a few hundred meters until she finally came to a fallen tree and put the cub down.

leopards, babies, cubs, masai mara, kenya, wildlife, leopard
leopards, babies, cubs, masai mara, kenya, wildlife, leopard

It was with great joy and excitement that we got to witness this behaviour and to be a part of the discovery of another generation of leopards at Masai Mara.

(Photographed the super telephoto lens from #Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 800 mm 1:5,6E FL ED VR (since I work with both partner Nikon for my pictures and books).

leopards, babies, cubs, masai mara, kenya, wildlife, leopard

Tips for Leopard Photography

Photographing leopards in the wild requires great patience. Don’t be deceived by the many “action” photos shot in front of dusty or stony backgrounds that you can find on the Internet. These photos are mostly of tame leopards taken on farms in Namibia or South Africa.

 

Leopards not easy for the untrained eye to spot, whether in trees, in the bush, or in high grass. If you are inexperienced, or if your driver is not one of the best, you will have to leave it to luck to get your photo. Stay at least 300 yards from the spot, preferably under natural cover, and wait. Leopards are extremely strong.

They can drag their prey for long distances and hide it in high trees, even if it weighs signifi cantly more than their own body weight. Their greatest enemies are lions, which will kill any leopard they can get close to. Lions sometimes even surround a leopard’s tree until the leopard loses its nerve and descends to certain death. Leopards do not, as is sometimes reported, leap on their prey directly from trees, but first creep up as near as possible on the ground before making their fi nal attack. Leopards usually eat gazelles, impalas, and other similar, large ungulates and their young.

 

But they are adaptable and omnivorous, and will eat fi sh, domestic animals (especially dogs), and even the refuse that collects at the perimeters of is just as strong as a leopard and has canine teeth that are just as sharp. Sometimes, large groups of baboons turn the tables, and chase and kill leopards themselves.

 

When you are following and photographing leopards, especially at dusk, agree with your driver in advance on specific directional commands. “Over there in the bush” isn’t very helpful when all you can see is bushes and your view through the viewfi nder with a 500 mm or 600 mm lens is only a few degrees wide. Sometimes, large groups of baboons turn the tables, and chase and kill leopards themselves. When you are following and photographing leopards, especially at dusk, agree with your driver in advance on specific directional commands. “Over there in the bush” isn’t very helpful when all you can see is bushes and your view through the viewfinder with a 500 mm or 600 mm lens is only a few degrees wide.

 

By interest read and see here more from my last wildlife photo workshop in the Masai Mara and read here my article for better pictures in Africa. 


I am back sunday to my new wildlife photo workshop in the Masai Mara … 16 days in Kenya :-)

All photos photographed in the Serengeti and the Masai Mara, by interest and more pictures see my new coffee table book SERENGETI

@ by Uwe Skrzypczak - www.serengeti-wildlife.com 

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Check out my website for a listing of my 2015 / 2016  AFRICAN WILDLIFE PHOTO SAFARI.

MASAI MARA - AMBOSELI - SAMBURU - SERENGETI  - BOTSWANA 

Do not wait too long, my AFRICAN WILDLIFE PHOTO WORKSHOPS are up very quickly!