It always amazes me how quickly a week n the Masai Mara can pass and how quickly things can change here. After arriving to see what can only be described as a dry and arid dust bowl, the plains have been transformed into a sea of green after some massive downpours.
Almost instantly, the wildebeest and zebra followed the rains and pushed north from Tanzania and onto the plains of the Masai Mara.
With them came the predators and it wasn’t long before the group got their first cheetah sighting down near the Tanzanian border. This wasn’t the last of the sightings either as we saw a number of other cheetah during last weeks safari.
Hyena were also seen regularly last week and the elephant carcass near the river road provided some great photographic opportunities in the early morning light.
Our group also enjoyed a number of lion sightings, the first of which was this honeymoon couple that were found resting beneath an acacia tree on the open plains towards the Oloololo escarpment in the Mara Triangle.
Lion sightings continued with a pair of adult males being spotted just off of the main access road to our campsite, a female and her youngsters down near the marsh, and even a lioness with tiny cubs along the Sand River on the Narok side of the Masai Mara.
For most of the guests, being able to witness the spectacle of the wildebeest herds crossing the Mara River was high on the list of priorities. I am happy to say that everyone witnessed a number of large crossings, many with wildebeest taking the plunge into the river off of incredibly steep river banks.
One of the highlights of the trip for me personally was hearing a guest say “There’s a rhino” as we sat watching a pride of lions finishing off their wildebeest kill. As I turned around, sure as nuts, there was the most beautiful black rhino and calf standing less than 100m from us. We edged closer and were able to get some great images of this magnificent animal.
The one species that eluded us up until the second last day was leopard, but that ended with a number of long range sightings and, for one of the vehicles, and incredible sighting of a leopard snatching a young warthog – and yes there were pictures to prove it!
All in all, this last week was a massive success in every way possible.
When a guest says to you “ Thank you, I will be back, not just for the wildlife, but for the people” , that is when you know that you are working with a very special group of staff and there is no doubt in my mind that they play a vital role in making our safari packages as successful as they are proving to be.
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