#FromSunriseToSunset From Deaths Door To Heaven on earth

The Maasai Mara, Heaven On Earth
Natures Best/Windland Smith Rice Winner (with certificate)

If I had seen no species other than Cheetah during my time in the Maasai Mara I would still have come home happy, having shared so many wonderful encounters with these beautiful creatures.

In the early morning sunlight, I watched as mother cheetah stalked her prey. I watched her chase and catch her prey and take it back to her cubs to make the final kill and then I watched as they enjoyed their hard won breakfast.

Although close to death this Thomsons gazelle is still clinging to life but just enough for the cheetah cubs to learn the art of killing.

And finally the cubs move in for the kill, finishing the job the mother has started.

The face of this cub as it licks its lips shows the satisfaction of having enjoyed a hearty breakfast.

Seeing an elephant in the wild for the first time is an amazing experience. They are after all the worlds largest land mammal. I had one experience which I will never forget. It is a moment frozen in time and one I will take with me to the grave. I looked down the barrel of my lens and I was looking directly into his eye and he into mine and it was as though we made contact on a different level, neither human nor animal.

On the many occasions I encountered elephants, I had the recurring thought about poachers and how they could possibly mutilate such a beautiful creature for their tusks. All I could see was their beauty and strangely enough, despite their size, their vulnerability

This little one reminded me of a child who was "showing off", and I'm not quite sure whether it was for my benefit or to show it's mother (just out of picture) how brave it was.

We came across this particular elephant on several occasions over a few days and as you can see it was quite easy to identify as it had only one tusk.

Despite the fact that I photographed quite a few elephants on their own they were rarely alone and in most cases they were part of a large herd.

Created By
Michael Finn


All photos ©Michael Finn

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