We flew from Amboseli to the Mara via Nairobi. We reached camp for lunch and in the afternoon we were greeted with the sighting of three young Cheetahs, recently separated from their mother. These cheetahs were not usual inhabitants of the reserve. The next day they had rapidly disappeared back towards the north.
The following day we found another set of three Cheetahs, this time the famous Malaika with her two almost full grown cubs. She was surrounded by empty fields of short grass, a result of extensive cows grazing. So she decided to leave the area and cross the Talek river. The Mara was very wet. Rivers were full.
The Ridge pride of Lions frequently stole the show. The two dominant males, Blacky and Lipstick, though old, were still going strong. One morning we found Lipstick having dug out a full grown Warthog from its burrow. He let the rest of the pride feed on it for a while before deciding he wanted to take it to the shade.
One evening the pride was caught out in the open by an approaching storm. Though the rain was starting and it was really late, we managed to capture some amazing images of the Lions with the lightening and enormous dark clouds behind.
We spent a full day hanging around the leopardess Kaboso with her two new cubs. And they were not alone, as the father of the cubs was also on the scene. Unfortunately, as she was just about to bring the cubs out from the safety of the river bed, a group of Hyenas showed up on the plains. Probably attracted by their kill. She watched them for a while and decided to hide the cubs. Wise decision. Our guests managed to get some really nice images of the cubs before they retreated back in the river.
In the late afternoon hours the male came out to feed on the kill and later he joined Kaboso. However, as it often happens with Leopards, the interaction was brief and out of sight in thick vegetation.
We couldn’t leave the Mara without spending a day at the Musiara Marsh. I was surprised to find it almost completely flooded. One young Elephant had to swim to cross it. In the forest we found the Mara’s biggest tusker, named Hugo by the Mara Elephant Project. They are working hard to protect the endangered Mara Elephants. Please check them out and don’t hesitate to give them a hand if you can.
Below are more Lion images from these five days.
On the last morning we had a real blast in terms of sightings. We went looking for the secretive Leopardess Siri, along the Mara river. And we found her walking across the plains. She disappared into a bushy hill. And driving back to camp we came across a single Cheetah in full hunting mode. Impalas were nearby. We couldn’t photograph the action as we kept far to avoid disturbing it. After a long wait it exploded in a successful chase. An Impala fawn was captured.