Trip Report: Masai Mara Experience 18-24 November 2018

Johan van Zyl All Authors, Johan Leave a Comment

With this year being our first one running a seasonal Camp, it has been fascinating to see how the Masai Mara changes over a period of around 5 months.  Earlier in the year I hosted our first Masai Mara Experience weeks which took place during the first 2 weeks of July.  The grass was long, there were very few Wildebeest around, but the Predator viewing was out of this world!!  Move on a few months and in November now there was very little grass, loads of Wildebeest still in the Mara Triangle, and yes, the Predator viewing was still out of this world!!

The Masai Mara has been very well documented for hosting the greatest wildlife spectacle on the planet, but believe me, this place has so much more to offer than just massive, dusty crossings!

With our Wild Eye Mara Camp perfectly positioned in the Mara Triangle, on the banks of the Mara River, we hardly ever had to drive more than a few kilometres before finding a Predator.  During this week, and for most of the season in fact, we have been blessed to have a few prides of Lion close to Camp, as well as at least 3 Leopard that we know of that roamed close to Camp.

This was once again very evident when, on our first afternoon, we found a beautiful Female Leopard, known as the Kiboko Female (easily identified by being very dark in colour) at a drainage line very close to Camp.  With her visibly interested in a herd of Impala’s, we invested the afternoon with her, and everyone got some beautiful images of this stunning Leopardess.

Throughout the week we were spoilt with incredible predator viewing, from Lions with Cubs, Lions on a kill, Lions hunting, Leopard stalking… But there were also still massive herds of Wildebeest in the Mara Triangle as I mentioned and although we didn’t witness any crossings, it was a very unexpected surprise.

Here are some of the images that my guest Dan Streck captured during the week.

 

 

 

 

 

To be brutally honest, I really enjoyed exploring the Mara away from the River.  It is such an incredibly diverse area and quite often we don’t get to see a large part of it during the Migration time as naturally your focus is more on the River.  

Now I might be contradicting myself here but the Great Migration is an unbelievable spectacle to witness.  You just can’t explain the feeling of adrenaline when a massive herd of Wildebeest and Zebras make their way to the Croc infested waters…  The dust…  The sounds…  It is AMAZING!! But… A lot of your time can be spent waiting at the River.  It can take 3,4 maybe 5 hours for a herd of Wildebeest to cross…  At the back of your mind in one of the most predator rich reserves in Africa, you are also wondering what are you missing out on.

If I look back at the weeks I spent in the Masai Mara this year, 5 to be exact, there hasn’t been one single week that has been disappointing.  The game viewing simply always delivers here!

I would strongly encourage you, if you are planning to visit the Masai Mara during the Great Migration or outside of the traditional Migration season to do a few things:

  1. Take lots of memory cards
  2. Go with an open mind and no expectations
  3. Read the other blogs about this year’s Mara Experience weeks here.
  4. Get in touch with us and lets make it happen!!  🙂

THERE REALLY IS NO BAD TIME TO VISIT THE MASAI MARA and I cannot wait to return next year.

Till next time…

Johan

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Johan van Zyl

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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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