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Entries for the Africa Geographic Photographer of the Year 2017 competition are lighting up our inbox at an incredible rate. Every week we receive hundreds of photos, however, this week there was one in particular that caught our attention.

hyena mother and cubs
©Ricci Goldstein

Photographer Ricci Goldstein had the following to say about the scene:

On a misty morning drive towards Mopani, I was excited to be able to spot and photograph a hyena clan. Two important factors stood out for me in making this sighting a photographer’s dream. Firstly, the mist had slowly evaporated and a soft light fell upon the savannah. This was coupled with an adorable interaction between a mother and her young.

The cubs’ incessant need for attention and play meant that this would be a steady test of mom’s patience. Her care for her young, much like the rising sun, shone through and was a heart-warming start to our adventures that day.

Hyena mother and cubs
“Rise and shine” ©Ricci Goldstein

While the mother hyena was sleeping at 4:30 AM, her youngest decided to act as her personal alarm clock.

Hyena mother and cub
“Where is my coffee?” ©Ricci Goldstein

Once awake, the patient-looking mom made it clear she still had some love for her early risers.

Hyena mother and cubs
“I didn’t sign up for this” ©Ricci Goldstein

Things got very entertaining for everyone except mom, as the cubs decided to climb all over her. Her patience during these games was impressive and she seemed content, even if her facial expression suggested otherwise…

Hyena cubs
“Time to go exploring” ©Ricci Goldstein

Finally the two cubs left mom be and went off exploring on their own not far from the den. They had a bounce in their step and were really the stars of the Kruger that morning.

Hyena cub
“Top of the morning to you!” ©Ricci Goldstein

Africa Geographic Travel
Africa Geographic Photographer of the Year

The Africa Geographic Photographer of the Year Competition is brought to you by Land Rover and Canon, in association with At Close Quarters, Airlink, Klaserie Sands River Camp, Hideaways, iSimangaliso Wetland Park, Thule and Rhino Tears. The competition will run from December 2016 to May 2017 and entrants can submit images via the online entry form or via Africa Geographic's Instagram channel. This profile will be used to showcase photographic tips from experts as well as blogs from our sponsors to set you on your way to becoming our Photographer of the Year!