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Exceptional photograph of cheetah mother as she observes the land with her six cubs on a hill in the Masai Mara, Kenya.
A wonderful piece of art for every cat or Africa lover!
As we could not cross the Talek River yesterday due to a heavy down pour and the river to swell so quickly and high, we had to think about alternative accommodation. Luckily we could arrange accommodation at last minute at one of the Safari Lodges on this side of the river. They only could accommodate me in their staff quarter, as they were fully booked.
Besides the basic accommodation, at least it was a clean bed and a dry place to sleep. Thankfully I always carry all my equipment with me, so we could start bright and early as usual on the following day. After the rain had stopped, I still sat for hours with the chefs and rangers of the lodge at the fire and talked about all the different experiences we connect with the Mara.
What a special memory!
I wake up early to the smell of burned wood. I open my eyes, it is still dark but I already hear the rattling of dishes, as the lodge’s staff seems to be already in full swing making coffee over the open fire and preparing breakfast for the guests and our meal provision for the day out.
I feel very energetic and motivated this morning.
Thankfully, all my wet clothes from yesterday have dried. I get dressed and then grab my already packed camera bag. I am a bit nervous because of the situation I could not get a backup of my yesterday’s images.
After having a quick cup of tea and some rusks we set off for the day.
It was a blissful week so far and I am feeling very blessed to experience being very close to the famous cheetah mother Malaika and her quirky, phenomenal six cubs.
Thanks to the brilliant tracking skills of my Masai guide, we eventually catch up with them still in the early morning hours.
You can see Malaika is restless and on the move. She stirs up and down the little elevation looking for a gazelle.
We know they are very hungry because Malaika has not had a successful hunt for at least three days. Her six cubs, about three weeks old, are getting unsettled as they also feel the increasing tension of their mother.
It goes on for hours … with no luck.
On the horizon glides up a handful of hot air balloons, we hear their hissing every few minute although they are far away.
Then, Malaika briefly sits down by her cubs … Tranquility. The hot air balloons are gone. Silence.
All our patience is rewarded, it feels breathtaking to capture this magnificent image of the family showing all their grace but also vulnerability.
Just after I took the photo the clouds move closer and it is getting dark on the horizon. I hear thunder and a wind gust stirs up the air. While the clouds get into a more and more dramatic formation we quickly head towards our camp because we know that once it starts pouring down with rain most tracks, especially the Talek River may get impassable when flooded.