It’s the experience of a lifetime… Waking up sleepy eyed and groggy at 5am to get into an open top 8 seater van and drive into the vast plains of the African Savannah – I sense a strong mixture of exhilaration and fear (of the unknown)
Sunrise at Mara. Photo credit: ArtbyPunam. www.artbypunam.com
The driver starts the journey and there’s a feeling that envelopes you as the sun rises above the distant mountains; something that can only be described as breathtaking. It makes you stop in your tracks and really, truly appreciate the beauty of the natural world.
‘Early morning run’, 20×8’ https://www.artbypunam.com/originals/#bwg1/80
There’s a tingling in your fingertips as you reach for the camera to try capture the beauty around you. There’s a tingling in your stomach when you come face to face with a lion – and this might sound ridiculous, but it makes you re-think life and your life choices. These animals – giraffes, elephants, rhino, gazelle, zebra, lions, cheetahs – they are so raw, so elegant and so deadly (in some cases). You are reduced to your mere mortal self and made to analyse your first world life & thinking in a way that humbles you.
The drivers/rangers recommend having an afternoon break, as the sun is so hot, and most of the animals tend to retreat into cooler, greener parts where they’re hard to see. After an afternoon siesta, comes the evening game drive – the light of the sunset is spectacular, the way it catches the branches of the baobab trees and starts to turn the grassland & animals into beautiful, iconic silhouettes.
‘Fire in the Sky’, 20×8’ https://www.artbypunam.com/originals/#bwg1/121
The colours are beyond anything you can imagine – you can literally see every colour of the spectrum within minutes of each other – the sky deepens, darkens and suddenly it’s pitch black all around you – it happens so quickly.
The darkness invites sounds of hippo, crickets and a vast array of night animals, filing the night air with the melody of the night Savannah – it’s a very different sound to the daytime and it’s louder somehow. The temperature also drops, bringing an welcoming coolness to the air.
Your day, which started at 5am, has come to an end. Some sit by the fire in the main hall and have a night camp, others climb into bed in their luxury tent camps (where hot water bottles have been left to warm your bed up) [read all about Binny’s stay at a luxury tented camp here:
https://binnyskitchen.com/2016/03/19/a-luxurious-stay-at-the-olare-mara-kempinski-in-the-masai-mara/]. You rest up, because your day will start again at 5am to discover what wonders took places the night before while you slept… (Hippos love walking around near your tents, while you’re asleep).
Mara at sunset. Photo credit: ArtbyPunam. www.artbypunam.com
Credit: Stephen Tuengler (www.tuengler.com)
The colours I use are deliberately strong, bold and vivid. I want you to be taken away by the striking colour and the silhouetted contrast – that’s exactly what it’s like.
I love taking away the clutter and seeing just the simplicity of what’s before you – the shapes, colours, lines and tones. It’s simple, but bold.
You’ll have the soft colours of the sky with the stark colour of the greenery or the dark silhouetted shape of an animal. It’s nature at its finest and I wanted to share my view of it with you.