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November 27, 2013

Photographing an African safari

Boston Globe Staff photographer Essdras M Suarez experienced a two week safari in Kenya and Tanzania this year. Here is a selection of what he captured and thoughts upon his return:
As a photojournalist, you’re always looking to capture moments that define life. In the wild, you’re witnessing life or death situations, and it’s a truly humbling experience. We’re used to living in a world where we humans are top predators and life is extremely safe. When you find yourself in an environment where you’re no longer the top predator, it puts things in perspective to see how and where we fall within the food chain. I never thought I’d be excited photographing nature, but I found myself completely entranced by the whole experience and I can’t wait to do it again. ( 27 photos total)

As the day comes to an end at a Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, a herd of giraffes line up as they make their way away from the Savannah to the safety of the bush they will need during the night. (Essdras M Suarez/ EMS Photography)

This scarred-face lion gave us his full attention causing chills down our spines when someone in our vehicle forgot that you are not supposed to stand up or to make abrupt movements. We were photographing a recent kill by a pride of lions in the outskirts of Serengeti National Park in Southern Tanzania. (Essdras M Suarez/EMS Photography) #

This pride of lions, which according to our ranger Joseph was comprised of about 20 plus individuals, had killed this buffalo overnight about a mile and a half away from our tented camp located in Southern Tanzania in the outskirts of Serengeti National Park. The raucuous had woken us all up as we heard what sounded to be a life and death struggle outside of our tents. (Essdras M Suarez/EMS Photography) #

This lonely lioness was gnawing at the remains of a fresh kill made by another pride of lions. The rangers had said that for some reason she had been kicked out of her pride and she had been seen roaming alone. At the time it was thought she would not survive but she had somehow thrived perhaps by scavenging. (Essdras M Suarez/EMS Photography) #

After getting tired of playing with his siblings this lion cub decided he would "hunt" his mother who had been watching over them at Klein's Camp, a private reserve in southern Tanzania. (Essdras M Suarez/EMS Photography) #

An agama lizard sunbathes atop of a kopje, a rock formation found in the area, during the mid-day sun at Serengeti National Park. (Essdras M Suarez/EMS Photography) #

A herd of gazelles grazes near rock formations known as kopje at the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. (Essdras M Suarez/EMS Photography) #

This female ostrich lowered her head and opened her wings whenever the male was nearby. (Essdras M Suarez/EMS Photography) #

A giraffe seems to be playing peek-a-boo with visitors as it pokes its head from behind a bush at the Masai Mara Reserve in Kenya. (Essdras M Suarez/EMS Photography) #

A herd of zebras grazes at the Masai Mara Reserve in Kenya. (Essdras M Suarez/EMS Photography) #

A zebra takes a dust bath, which is a maintenance behavior designed to clean fur and rid themselves of parasites. (Essdras M Suarez/EMS Photography) #

Wildebeests and zebras are commonly seen grazing together in the Masai Mara Triangle area of Kenya and Tanzania. The mammals were amassing to cross the Grumeti River in search of better grazing lands. (Essdras M Suarez/EMS Photography) #

A large Nile crocodile slowly submerges under the murky waters of the Grumeti River at Serengeti National Park in Tanzania as it detects the approach of large mammals getting ready to cross the waterway. (Essdras M Suarez/EMS Photography) #

An adult female zebra leads her young calf across the Grumeti River in Tanzania. We had noticed this couple because the young zebra seemed reluctant to jump in the water at first. Shortly thereafter with much cajoling from its mother, it jumped along side and dove into the murky waters. (Essdras M Suarez/ EMS Photography) #

After having struck a young zebra crossing the Grumeti River alongside its mother, a Nile crocodile surfaces several minutes later with its drowned victim. The mother of this calf was seen running back and forth the shores of the river while calling for its offspring. (Essdras M Suarez/EMS Photography) #

After successfully crossing the Grumeti River in Tanzania, wildebeests flee from the crocodile-infested waters. (Essdras M Suarez/EMS Photography) #

As seen from a hot air balloon, the early morning sun rays pierce a dust cloud made by passing elephants. (Essdras M Suarez/EMS Photography) #

A couple of adult elephants stay close to young calves after the hissing of a hot air balloon startled the herd. (Essdras M Suarez/EMS Photography) #

A young elephant seeks reassurance from its mother near Batteleur Camp in Kenya. (Essdras M Suarez/EMS Photography) #

A solitary buffalo grazes near Klein's Camp in Tanzania. (Essdras M Suarez/EMS Photography) #

A lilac-breasted roller swoops down and catches an insect on its beak. I've never been particularly attracted to photographing birds. However, the plumage on these little guys is so astoundingly beautiful we found ourselves looking for the rollers every where we went during our safari. (Essdras M Suarez/ EMS Photography) #

A leopard relaxes at dusk, as this nocturnal feline readies itself for the hunt at the prey-filled Masai Mara Reserve in Kenya. (Essdras M Suarez/EMS Photography) #

From the moment you arrive at &Beyond Grumeti Tented Camp, your ears become filled with the constant shrieks, cries and protests of baboon colonies which seem to spend more time arguing with each other than foraging. (Essdras M Suarez/EMS Photography) #

A small herd of eland grazes at the Masai Mara Reserve. (Essdras M Suarez/EMS Photography) #

A young cheetah darts for the safety offered by tall bushes after being found out in the open in the late afternoon hours. These graceful creatures hold the land-speed record for four-legged animals with maximum speeds up to 120km/h. (Essdras M Suarez/EMS Photography) #

The view from my luxurious tent at the &Beyond camp in Tanzania. (Essdras M Suarez/EMS Photography) #

The setting sun silhouettes an acacia tree in the the Masai Mara Reserve. (Essdras M Suarez/EMS Photography) #



 
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