The Red Bulletin September 2019 (UK)

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Kenya

TRAVEL TIPS

JOIN THE

JUNGLIST MAASAI

Before you pack your camera, here are

a few things you should know about one

of Kenya’s largest game reserves…

Cheetah mothers and their cubs are welcome guests on Purdy’s excursions

Kenya

Nairobi

Maasai Mara

The Maasai Mara covers around 1,510km 2 and forms

the northern quarter of the Serengeti ecosystem.

It is home to many endangered species, including

the African elephant, African lion and black rhino.

All vehicles are open-sided, so there’s nothing between the snappers and the animals

GRAEME PURDY PHOTOGRAPHY RACHAEL SIGEE

as another male thunders by –

down my side of the car this time.

He’s just 2m from me and I feel the

breeze as he runs past. “Don’t

worry,” I say to the person next to

me. “They’re only interested in the

kill, they’re not interested in you.”

In my 16 years of safari in

Kenya, I’ve learnt that for the most

part, the big cats – of which the

Maasai Mara has just about the

highest density on the planet –

aren’t a danger to humans. It’s

the buffalo (notoriously grumpy)

and elephants (unpredictable)

you need to be careful around.

But the whole point of being

here is to get up close and personal

with these animals. I’ve been a

professional wildlife photographer

Once, a lion walked

up and sprayed pee

over us. He showed

us who was boss

for decades, and in the past I’ve

taken guests on photo safaris.

Now, I’m opening them up to the

public, teaching people how to

take pictures of wild animals in

a high-energy environment.

I run two week-long trips in

November, at the start of the rainy

season. Not only does this provide

dramatic, stormy skies, but also

the animals are more active when

PAY

KENYAN SHILLING

1 shilling = 100 cents

£1 = 128 shillings

TALK (SWAHILI)

Naona chui I see a leopard

Hebu

tutafute tembo

Wapi mtoto

wa simba?

Let’s search

for elephants

Where’s the

baby lion?

KNOW

1. The Maasai Mara is near the equator,

so it receives around 12 hours of daylight

2. It sits at an altitude of more than 1,500m

above sea level.

3. The first part of its name comes from its

inhabitants – the Maasai people – and Mara

means ‘spotted’ (as in ‘spotted land’) in

Maa, the Maasai language

4. Wildebeest are the dominant inhabitants of

the area. Their numbers are in the millions

THE RED BULLETIN 87

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