We were doing a wildlife photography course in the Masai Mara and we had spotted a pride of lion moving towards a herd of impala. One lioness was leading the group, the impala constantly in her focus. It could have been a wonderful sighting, but we were not the only vehicles that had spotted them and not all behaved well. Unfortunately meanwhile about 8 vehicles had arrived, all following the lion in their attempt to hunt, with in the vehicles people hunting for photographs. Most of the vehicles kept a good distance to the lion to give them space and not to disturb, but one vehicle spoilt the whole thing. The driver of the vehicle followed the leading lioness and always drove in front of her, so that she had to look in the camera of his guest. But she was only looking in his camera when the vehicle was standing in front of her and that meant that she had to stop walking, the vehicle was standing in her path. The lioness had to stop and think what to do next to get to continue her hunt and she changed twice her direction to approach the impala and twice the vehicle drove again in front of her. When it happened for the third time she gave up, walked to a shady bush and settled there with the rest of the pride for the day. There was not chance for her to continue the hunt and the one person had spoilt it for the lion and the other photographers.
Unfortunately there is no way of getting out of the vehicle and tell the other to stop doing it, there are lion around, and that can be very frustrating, but fortunately this does not happen often.
Be conscious where you are and how the animals behave in order to let them do their thing. Otherwise you will not get the photographic opportunities and great sightings you are coming for.
Keep enjoying photographic safaris and mind the animals.
Ute Sonnenberg for www.rohoyachui.com