Saturday, January 31, 2015
Beauty of Mpala, Majesty of Nature
Sir David Attenborough describes Africa as “the only place on Earth to see the full majesty of nature”. Mammals, birds, insects, plants, and all the other organisms, there’s always “more to see than can ever be seen”. During the stay at Mpala, I felt so lucky to see Martial Eagle and Fish Eagle enjoying their meals, male dikdiks and giraffes practicing fighting skills, as well as wagtails’ and guineafowls’ devotion into the next generations: scenes that I’ve only heard about or seen from books and documentaries.
I was always wondering what to do when I encountered interesting animals or their behaviors: can I move closer and closer, or stay as far as possible when I can observe them with my binoculars? Should I do differently when I have camera with me? Things become complicated if there’s a guide during game drive: they may assume that getting closer would make their clients more enjoyable, and which may usually be the case. The answer to the question for me seems to be using binoculars and the choice won’t change when I have camera: what I would enjoy is their normal behavior and interactions, but not to frighten them, interrupting their life or to see them walking away.
It is true that I want to take good photos and share with others about what fantasies I’ve seen, but not from scaring wildlife, getting too close to them or even chasing them around as those would inevitably disturb and harm them: I wish others would also have the chance to see what I have seen out there in the wild, but not can only try to imagine that from old photos if we lost the wilderness of Africa.
(More pieces that I was lucky enough to see when I was there can be found at https://www.flickr.com/photos/mu_tong/sets/72157650133570459/)