Our first two weeks of the Masai Mara Experience

Johan van Zyl All Authors, Johan 4 Comments

When you think Masai Mara one of the first things that will jump to mind is the Great Migration, the big river crossings as millions of Wildebeest and Zebras cross the might Mara river leaving a massive dust cloud behind them right?  Well guess what, the Mara offers so much more!!

Recently I hosted the first two weeks of our Masai Mara Experience and to be honest I was a little nervous as to what the experience would be like having never been in the Masai Mara so early in the year.

Upon landing at Serena Airstrip, one of the first things that caught my attention was how long the grass was compared t0 later in the year. How are we ever going to find something in this?

As we arrived at our new Wild Eye Mara Camp, we sat down to enjoy a scrumptious meal put together by Pascal and his team, and discussed what our plans would be for the week.

We weren’t twenty minutes out of camp before we found our first Pride of Lions…

Take everything that comes your way I thought to myself, but goodness I could not have been more wrong.  It just kept coming!  Another Lion sighting, followed by another one, each one better than the previous one.

For some that visited the Mara last year, you would also remember a Female Leopard that was hanging out around Kiboko Camp…  Remember her?  Well during our two weeks, we had some amazing viewing of her during most of the days, often less than a few kilometres from Camp.  This meant that we were often the first and only vehicles to see her and often the last to leave her as we patiently watched her going about her day to day business.  There is clear evidence that she also has cubs in the area, but unfortunately during our first two week we weren’t lucky enough to view them.

As I mentioned the grass was extremely long for this time of the year, with most of Kenya receiving above average rainfall and even flooding in a large part.  This made photography both tricky but also very interesting at the same time.  Viewing Lions as they moved through this tall grass, disappearing periodically gave the images a very natural look and during the golden hour in the morning and evenings lit up into a sea of orange.

With the lack of Wildebeest and Zebras around in the Mara Triangle, the predators were a lot more active than normal, really having to work for their food.  This meant that we enjoyed some incredible viewing, following Lions, Leopard and even Cheetahs as they scanned the Mara plains looking for potential prey.

On one particular morning we received information of a coalition of five Cheetahs that were spotted on the Mara National Park’s side, and with the location of the new camp meant that we could cross the river with the greatest of ease.  The trip across the river was definitely worth it as we watched the coalition of Cheetahs take down three sub adult Wildebeest in the space of about two hours!!

Another thing worth mentioning is the new Wild Eye Mara Camp, Inkeishu.  Inkeishu means new beginnings and this is exactly what is for us.  A new seasonal site which we occupy from the end of June up until the end of November.  Firstly the view from Camp is absolutely breathtaking and is literally on the banks of the Mara River.  The tents are spread out across the banks and all have a view of the river.  Every night we fell asleep to the sounds of Hippo close by.  Most of the nights we also heard Spotted Hyaenas, Lions, Leopard and Baboons.  On our second last night we also had a pride of 7 Lions that entered the Camp, moving right in front of some of the rooms and past the new lounge area.  This according to our Maasai Staff is without a doubt a blessing and a sign of great things to come…

By the end of the two weeks one thing was very clear to me, there really isn’t a bad time to visit the Masai Mara.  We had incredible sightings during the two weeks and I would highly recommend if you’re looking for a life changing experience, come visit our new Mara Camp, it is spectacular!!


About the Author

Johan van Zyl


The opportunity of visiting some of the wildest, undisturbed areas and sharing my passion for wildlife, conservation and photography with like minded people is a privilege that I am forever grateful.

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Comments 4

  1. Callum Evans

    Simply spectacular!!! The Mara has to be the most incredible place in the world! To see three cheetah kills by 5 cheetah brothers in 2 hours is nothing short of a miracle! Also, tell Tammy that I love her outfit and Masai headdress!!

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  2. Martha Myers

    What an incredible overview , Johan, filled with such wonderful sightings!! I’m so happy for you and your guests. For me, it’s 24 days and counting – let’s hope that the Kiboko leopard and amazing coalition of cheetah are still around. I can hardly wait!!

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