Widely considered to be the greatest wildlife area in the world, Masai Mara is at the heart of Africa. Each year the Mara plays host to the greatest natural spectacle on earth, the Great Wildebeest Migration. The promise of rain and fresh life-giving grass in the north brings more than 1.3 million Wildebeest together into a single massive herd. They pour across the border from the Serengeti into the Mara, making a spectacular entrance in a surging column of life that stretches from horizon to horizon.

At the Mara River they mass together on the banks before finally plunging forward through the raging waters, creating a frenzy as they fight against swift currents and waiting crocodiles. The Wildebeest bring new life to the Mara while following the cycle of regeneration of the grasslands after the showers, bringing along the predators who follow these herds closely. The Mara has been called the Kingdom of Lions and these regal and powerful hunters dominate these savannah grasslands.

The Mara is an awesome natural wonder, a place where Masai warriors share the plains with hunting lions, a place of mighty herds and timeless cycles of life, death, and regeneration.

Personally, I never was very excited about Africa. After shooting in India for many years, you realise that half the fun is in searching and spotting the wildlife. And when you do see the wildlife, you have just enough time to take a sharp, well exposed photograph. Africa, I thought, you could just drive up to the animals and shoot them.

But when I landed in Africa and saw the grasslands stretching as far as the eyes could see up to the horizon, it totally changed my perspective. For a change, one could think about the light, the compostion, the perspective, the sky, the background, the position to shoot wildlife (a luxury which you rarely have with Indian wildlife). The infinite plains all around me filled with breath-taking wildlife absolutely captivated me. Once I got down to taking photographs to show the beauty of the landscape, I realised the only way to do that was in Black and Whites. The monotones let me focus purely on the aesthetics in their simplest form.

- Kalyan Varma

The Alpha of the marsh pride

Wildebeest crossing

Elephants in Masai Mara

Cheetahs resting under an Acacia tree


Wildebeest getting ready for crossing

Zebras crossing the Mara river

Leopard with Cub

The tree where man was born

Three Cheetah brothers (knowns as Honey's boys) hunt down a Wildebeest

Cheetahs chasing a Wildebeest

Final take down

Lion cubs playing

Elephants in Mara

Herd of elephants

Lioness killing another lioness's cub

Wildebeest hunt

Odd one in the group

The young cubs of the Kichwa pride

Shakira with her cubs scanning the plains

Zebras panic

Lioness keeping guard

If you want to be to be part of this amazing african safari, click here

« Back to Photo Essays

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike License.