Kenya February 2019

In February I visited Amboseli, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy and the Masai Mara in Kenya with my friends, Lucy Parratt from WWF and Anne and Mike, fellow WWF supporters.  We visited the Masai Mara Predator Project, which is supported by WWF where we learned about some of the incredible work in which they are involved.

At Amboseli we saw large herds of elephants, some as many as 100 strong.  We also had some great sightings of the snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro.

In the Masai Mara we saw lots of lions, with one pride made up of five females with ten cubs. We also had some good leopard sightings.

At Lewa Wildlife Conservancy we saw large numbers of both black & white rhino and the critically endangered Grevys Zebra. Lewa is one of the best places in the world to see rhinos and is now a UNESCO World Heritage site.  At one watering hole we encountered five rhinos, alongside elephants and zebras, which is an incredibly rare sighting.

Click on the image below to view images from the trip.

Elephants in front of Mount Kilimanjaro

Elephants in front of Mount Kilimanjaro

 

End of year update

I have been busy over the past few months working on my new book, which will be my fourth.  It is titled Latitude, wildlife images from across the globe. It will include images from the Arctic to the Antarctic, and be published in the spring. It will be ready for my summer exhibition back at the gallery@oxo, on London’s South Bank, which opens on 2 August and runs until 18 August.  This is a preview of how the book cover will look.

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As it is the season for pantomimes, I tried telling this leopard – “He’s behind you, oh no he’s not, oh yes he is”

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I returned from Kenya at the end of November, and have only now found the time to update my blog with some images from that trip. I was lucky enough to spend two days with a leopard Tito with her two fully grown cubs. Seeing three leopards together like this is a very rare and special sight. I hope you like the images.

Click here or on the image below to see more images from this trip.

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May I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year.

The Pantanal, Brazil

I have just returned from Brazil, where I had a wonderful trip to the Pantanal, a natural region encompassing the world’s largest tropical wetland area. It is located mostly within the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul and covers an area of approximately one hundred and fifty thousand square kilometres. Renowned for its wildlife, the Pantanal is home to several hundred species of birds, along with jaguar, caiman, giant otter and capybara.

I was fortunate enough to see jaguars every day and the highlight of my trip was witnessing a territorial fight between two males. I have never seen big cats of any kind fighting with such ferocity, although I am pleased, not to say amazed, that both jaguars walked away seemingly uninjured. As you will see from the extraordinary photographs, at least one of them could have been seriously harmed. These images tell their own story and I hope you enjoy viewing them as much as I enjoyed taking them.

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I was also lucky enough to photograph a species new to me – the ocelot. It is a small cat and mostly nocturnal. Early one morning, I spotted what I assumed to be a small jaguar, before realising, with great excitement, that it was in fact an ocelot. The sun had not yet risen, so the photographs are not among my best, but certainly good enough for you to see what a very pretty cat it is.

Please click on the link below to view these images, along with those of giant otters, birds and various other animals, including one of a small anaconda wrapped around a caiman that was far too big for it!

I wish to extend my thanks to Paula Mason at Exodus Travel who organised my trip, my wonderful guide Alexandre Ribeiro, for his knowledge, experience and enjoyable company, and my boatman, Branco, at Porto Jofre, who did a brilliant job of trying to keep our small boat steady enough to enable me to get the occasional image in focus, which was no mean feat!

click on the image below to see more of the images:

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Kenya February 2018

After a rainy January, February turned out to be a dry, hot and dusty month in the Masai Mara.  It was quite a struggle keeping my equipment dust free and I had to take great care when changing lenses. On my return I popped in to my Canon service agents Fixation, to have my camera sensors cleaned! It seems strange now to be thinking of this while sitting here in snowy London, where it is -3c.

This time I was in the company of my great friend Roberta Bondar, fellow photographer and Patron of my charity Hoopers Africa Trust. As always, it was a great pleasure and lots of fun.

I returned with some great leopard images. of Siri, Kabosa, Bahiti and Fig, along with some of their cubs, but for me the highlight was spending time photographing the Eurasian roller, a migratory visitor to the Mara.  While not quite as ‘showy’ as the native lilac breasted roller, it is beautiful all the same.  Plenty of new images to consider for my 2018 exhibitions.

I hope to see many of you back at the Oxo Gallery for my summer show, which runs from 27th July to 19th August 2018.

Click here or the image below to see more images from this trip.

Click on the image to view more images.

Kenya November 2017

I had an excellent 10 days in Kenya recently with my friend and guide Paul Kirui.  Thanks to Kicheche Bush Camp & Mara Explorer for, as usual, looking after us so well.  Some great leopard sightings in both The Masai Mara & Olare Orok Conservancy, especially the large male below. Male leopards are notoriously shy yet this was one of the most relaxed males I have photographed in a long time. I also had an encounter with some very young hyena pups, who would have thought they could be so cute, they are more like bear cubs.

A Happy Christmas to everyone and Best Wishes for a Happy & Healthy 2018.  I hope to see many of you back at the Oxo Gallery for my summer show, which runs from 27th July to 19th August 2018.

Click here or the image below to see more images from this trip.

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Click on the image to see more images from this trip.

 

Kenya – September 2017

I have just returned from our biennial trustees visit to my Charity, Hoopers Africa Trust Kenya in the Masai Mara. The Charity provides education to disadvantaged girls in Kenya. See www.hoopersafricatrust.org for more information.

Whilst there I was able to allocate some time to my photography. August is not renowned as being a time of rain, but we were subjected to some incredible down pours and storms. The rains very quickly raised the river levels which made the Wildebeest crossings more daunting than usual and stranded a pride of Lions on the bank, not wishing to risk the fast flowing waters.

Below is one of my favourite images from the trip. Click on the image below to view a gallery of further images…

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Click on the image to view more images.

Kenya May/June 2017

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I have recently returned from a very productive visit to Kenya.  I spent time in the Masai Mara, and Samburu, somewhere I had not visited for many years.  In Samburu, located in central Kenya, it is possible to see a number of animals not seen further south.  These include the Grevy’s zebra, reticulated giraffe, the Gunther’s dik-dik, the Somali ostrich and the geranuk. The geranuk is an amazing antelope capable of standing erect on it’s hind legs to feed on bushes otherwise out of reach. You will see a picture of one doing this in the full gallery, which you can view by clicking on the image below.

I spent four days following a leopard known as Siri, who had lost her cub, after being chased away by lions.  Each morning and evening she returned to one of two trees and called plaintively for her cub.  Since I left and returned to the UK, I was delighted to hear that her cub had indeed retuned after five days missing.  A very happy ending. Below is a short video of Siri calling from a tree one evening. It was filmed from my phone so the sound and picture quality is not great, do put your volume up to maximum. You will at least be able to get a sense of the wonderful experience.  For those of you with a strong constitution there is another video of a family of lions trying to eat their kill, while fighting off 24 hyenas, that was an incredible spectacle.  Also below is an image, of Siri, silhouetted in the tree at sunset, click on that image to go to a full gallery. Some of these images will be included in my upcoming 10th Anniversary Exhibition at gallery@oxo next month, along with others from the past 10 years. I hope to see you then.

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Roger Hooper, Leopard Kenya

Click on image to view more images.

Kenya – January 2017

My latest trip to Kenya was a hot and very dusty one. The dry season is at its brutal peak and with diminishing water supplies the rivers have stopped running and the watering holes are rapidly turning into a crocodiles delight as the visitor numbers increase. But as always in the Mara, life goes on.

Click on the lion cub for a gallery of images…

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Kenya November 2016

I have recently returned from a fantastic trip to Kenya, where I spent time in Amboseli, Lake Naivasha, Lake Nakuru, Masai Mara, and Olare Motorogi Conservancy.  I was fortunate enough to get some good views of Kilimanjaro with fresh snowfall – always a spectacular experience when you are down on the lake bed with temperatures in the high thirties. Some elephants were kind enough to position themselves in front of the mountain, which gave me some great opportunities to capture those classic images that only Amboseli and Kilimanjaro can offer.

At Lakes Naivasha and Nakuru, I viewed great birdlife, and a rare crash of five white rhinos.

I had wonderful leopard sightings in the Masai Mara, including Lorian’s two-year old female cub sitting in a nice tree, Kaboso and her female cub, who is approximately one-year old, and Bahati’s male cub, who is about eighteen months old.  Lorain herself is pictured stretching on the front of my book Art in the Wild.

In Olare Motorogi Conservancy, I spent a few days with my friend Paul Goldstein, at his excellent Kicheche Bush Camp. There I photographed the leopard Tito with her two four months old cubs.

It was good to spend time with my friend and guide Paul Kirui, who is also Chairman of my Charity Hoopers Africa Trust in Kenya. Congratulations to Paul on winning The 2016 Eco Tourism Kenya, Safari Guide of the year, which was much deserved.

Here are a few images from the trip, which I hope you will enjoy. Please click on the link below for a larger selection of images.

Kenya November 2016 Gallery

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Kenya November 2016 Gallery

Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Mt Kenya, Mount Kilimanjaro & the Masai Mara – March 2016

On the 24th February, whilst at a “Save the Rhinos” fund raising dinner in London, I was fortunate to meet Richard Vigne, CEO of the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Laikipia, Kenya. Ol Pejeta Conservancy is home to the last three surviving Northern White Rhinos on the planet. On the verge of being hunted to extinction, these three Rhinos; two females and one male, now live at Ol Pejeta Conservancy where they have 24 hour armed security, and a dedicated staff who care for all their needs.

With a trip to the Masai Mara planned for March, it presented an excellent opportunity to visit Ol Pejeta and catch up with Richard, see the fantastic work they are doing in their conservancy and to meet and photograph; what could very sadly be the last of these magnificent creatures.

I was honoured to be able to get up close to the Rhinos and get some amazing shots, what a truly magnificent and worthwhile project these people are running, it is so sad that the only male left (Sudan, 43) is now past breeding age. There is a glimmer of hope, with the help of San Diego Zoo scientists who are exploring alternatives (such as artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer) to develop northern white rhino embryos and implant them in female Southern white rhinos at the San Diego Zoo. Only time now will tell us if this species can be saved.

15 minutes from the Rhino residence and still part of the Ol Pejeta Conservancy is the Sweetwater Chimpanzee sanctuary that I have previously visited. The chimpanzees’ natural home range spans from Senegal on the West African coast, through the central forested belt of Africa, to Uganda. They are not native to Kenya, but when a rescue centre in Burundi had to be closed due to the civil war outbreak in 1993 – Ol Pejeta opened its doors.

The Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary was established with an agreement between the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and the Jane Goodall Institute. The aim – to provide lifelong refuge to orphaned and abused chimpanzees from West and Central Africa.

I spent some beautiful days around Mount Kenya in the Amboseli National Park with my good friend and guide Paul Kirui, we saw Rhino, Elephant, Lion, Zebra, Giraffe and impala amongst others. It is a extremely wildlife-rich environment with the most stunning of backdrops (If low clouds will allow you to see it).

Of the Wild Dogs that we encountered, one particular pack that caught our attention consisted of a large family made up of 4 adult males, 4 adult females and 11 pups. Wild Dog packs are ruled by a female Matriarch and this packs leader and another boisterous female have radio collars for the rangers to track their movements and to monitor the pack. It is thought that the younger females behaviour is an early indicator of desires to break off to start her own pack and become an alpha female.

Below are a few images from this trip, I hope you enjoy them.

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