January 2024 Zoom Meeting Review

Gianpiero Ferrari – Hakuna Matata in Kenya

With an evening temperature of -4°C here in Cambridge (and headed for -7°C, the coldest night of the winter so far), award-winning wildlife photographer Gianpiero Ferrari brought us some light and warmth from Africa.  The larger part of his talk on Kenya was set in the Samburu National Reserve, and was followed by a trip southward through the Great Rift Valley to the Lake Naivasha area.  Gianpiero has spoken to us twice before, so we were not surprised by the amazing quality of the images, from the markings of a Reticulated Giraffe or the spectacular plumage of a Beautiful Sunbird, to a strange landscape showing fishermen perched on dead tree-stumps in a lake.

The majority of the slides demonstrated the huge range of birds, both common and rare, that Gianpiero saw – weavers and raptors, hornbills and kingfishers, brightly-coloured (e.g. Red-and-yellow Barbet), elegant (Spur-winged Plover) or subtle (Black-faced Sandgrouse).  Additionally, among many photos of mammals, I particularly enjoyed the sequences of a herd of Grevy’s Zebra taking a dust bath, and of a young Cheetah getting temporarily stranded in a tree (unlike Leopards, Cheetahs apparently don’t climb trees).  Ending with some ever-popular pelicans and flamingos, this was as well-illustrated a start to our year as one could wish.

Tony Corps

P.S.  Don’t try locating Hakuna Matata on a map of Kenya (yes, as I did when I first saw the title!) – it means “no worries” or “take it easy” in Swahili. All photos are by Gianpiero Ferrari.