12 Aug Sunrise with the gentle giants
Many places hold the title of the ‘Land of dreams’ from a perspective of offering good business opportunities, a wonderful career and a monetary standpoint. For me, Africa signifies the ‘Land of wildlife dreams’. Each time I embark on a journey to the varied wildlife destinations of the continent, I dream and try to visualise the kind of sightings and image making opportunities that I would love to encounter. With wildlife and the weather being as unpredictable as they are, most of them stay as dreams. I am sure most of us, wildlife lovers and photographers, go through this.
However, there does come a time when the lady luck decides to shine upon you and one of them materialises. This was one such instance.
It was a rather chilly morning in early July. We were up and away on our game drive before the break of dawn. The sky looked pretty clear. Optimistic about a good sunrise, we went around looking for subjects to photograph in the first light of the morning, a good silhouette was on our minds too. As we were scanning the horizon, we spotted a herd of Topis, a small herd of Impalas grazing along and also a few hyenas. We decided to stop and wait for the sun to come out so that we could make some lovely images of them. Just then, we noticed a small herd of elephants appear on the horizon. Grazing their way and beautifully lining up along the skyline. That, there, was one of the moments I had dreamed of. A beautiful sunrise with the elephants. It was about to come true!
The morning light was starting to shine through, the beautiful blue-hour of the morning. The elephant herd had a few young ones. So, upon encountering the hyenas, they all became alert, intently keeping their eyes focused on the hyenas.
The blue hour of the morning gradually started giving way to the pre-sunrise, golden hour. The colours and the tones of the sky were rapidly changing. It was a mesmerising scene to witness!
Then, slowly, the disc of the sun started to appear. And to our luck, the elephant herd starting moving. We knew that the herd was going to align beautifully against the sun’s disc. We repositioned our jeep quickly and waited. Soon enough, the entire herd walked right across the rising sun, giving us some beautiful image making opportunities.
(Above image by Kaustub Bala, Thanks to him for sharing this beautiful image for this post )
As the sun rose higher, the elephants stayed put, happily grazing. They seemed to be enjoying the warmth of the morning sun, a much needed reprieve from a breezy and a cold night before. We were enjoying it too, after a chilly morning ride in an open jeep and all the adrenaline rush of experiencing the magnificence of the sight before us.
A few minutes later, the sun had risen quite high, the elephant herd had moved on and the amazing sunrise moments had come to a close. However, on the Mara, the events of the morning were just beginning to unfold.
There couldn’t have been a better way for me to spend a lovely morning on the great savanna. Fantastic moments they were indeed! Hope you liked the post and images as much as I enjoyed experiencing and making them. Do let me know what you think in the comments.