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Posted December 5, 2011
Dispatch #3
Cobra in the Kitchen

This is one in a series of email dispatches from Africa written this fall by photographer Michael Nichols to his picture editor, Kathy Moran.

Dear Kathy,

This is the most incredible wildlife sanctuary I have yet experienced, which says a lot! We are onto what the men are calling a hyena post, not a den, but a gathering place where they say 50 hyenas gather to socialize. Word has it there are even six black, very young pups in the mix. If this is real I will confirm.

Two days ago we found eight male elephants near the river and stayed with them until they crossed the river, feeding in mass. A beautiful moment that adds a frame to Earth to Sky, the elephant homage book we have in planning. Not a road or another car in sight.

We have three male lions that own the small river and plain where our camp is located. I’m getting to know their movements while we make images that establish the wildebeest migration as the heart of the Serengeti.

Tonight we make moonlight images at an incredible hippo pool with a large rock that gives a full view of the river. BTW this morning there was a spitting black cobra curled up in a potato box in the kitchen tent. Cook Hendri blindly reached in and luckily was not bitten. I convinced them to let it escape and not to kill it. Hospital is a day’s drive away.

PreviousNext: “Jonestown Crossing”

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