At the latest meeting of Alnwick and District Camera Club, member Gordon Charlton gave a presentation entitled The Big Five Minus One.
The Big Five, in safari terms, refers to the lion, the African elephant, the Cape buffalo, the rhinoceros and the leopard, and Gordon went to Kenya to hunt them with his camera.
Gordon’s first animal encounters were in the Samburu Reserve. From there he travelled to Lake Nakuru, famous for its flamingos, although unfortunately they were not present in the usual huge numbers due to heavy rainfall which had affected their habitat. Lake Naivasha was a different story, offering a wealth of bird life and plenty of good photographic opportunities.
Finally Gordon moved on to the grassland plains of the Masai Mara. He had planned to photograph the migration of wildebeest across the Mara River but sadly the vast herds were not yet ready to move so he had to satisfy himself with other subjects, including some superb shots of hippos entering the water.
Overall, Gordon bagged an impressive range of animal photos, including all of the big five except for leopard which eluded him for the entire trip, hence the title of his talk. He showed some fine images of giraffe, zebra, impala, oryx, crocodile and cheetah.
Gordon also visited a Masai village and was rewarded with some excellent portraits of these proud and handsome people. He commented on the fact that alongside their traditional dress he noticed that many were wearing digital watches and carrying mobile phones, a sure sign that their way of life is rapidly changing.