Masai Mara… it’s a true jungle where humans are the outsiders and the animals know it! I spent over ten minutes admiring a lioness who was least concerned about my presence. Our safari vehicle drove close to a giraffe…so close that I was sure he would eat up my safari hat for dessert! I clicked to my heart’s content and soaked in all that I could without the lens. There was plenty of time for everything…no one seemed to be in a rush.I have received emails from our readers asking for a photo blog on Masai Mara. So, here are a few of my favourite clicks from Masai Mara, with a little commentary on each.
Locked Horns: I haven’t met anyone who has come back from Africa without sighting the cape water buffalos. In fact, the buffalo might just be first of the big five that you sight in an African jungle. I have seen them in Kruger National Park back in 2010. I also saw quite a few of the them at Lake Nakuru National Park. However, it was in Masai Mara that I saw a herd which had hundreds of buffaloes. There were little suckling ones, lazy looking ruminants and obviously, young males. Watching buffalos literally lock horns was a display of pure power and aggression.
Her Royal Highness: Her royal highness was the first of the big cats that I saw the evening I arrived at Masai Mara. She wasn’t too fond of the sun. The direct rays seemed to bother her and she barely opened her eyes during the ten minutes that I was there. I am sure she would have loved to have an eye mask (the kind you get on a long distance flight) to let her catch up on her beauty sleep.
Wildebeest Scouts: I was in Masai Mara in March i.e at least a couple of months before the great migration typically commences. However, March 2015 had been an exceptionally hot and dry month in Tanzania and the wildebeest and zebras had decided to head to Kenya a few days before time.
The great migration involves over 3 million wildebeest and 1 million zebras crossing the grasslands over a span of 3 months. Before the masses move, a group of wildebeest ‘scouts’ trek from Serengeti in Tanzania to Masai Mara in Kenya to ensure that it indeed is the right time to commence migration. I was lucky to see the scouts…wildebeest and zebras both!
Siesta Time: I had lunch under a tree, with the Mara plains all around me. Four hours of the morning safari made me feel tired. All I wanted to do was stretch my legs, close my eyes and get the much needed siesta. Little did I know that three cheetah cubs possibly shared the same emotion and were less than 250 meters from my picnic spot.
Lonely Elephant: As we drove along the Mara planes, I spotted this lonely elephant. My guide told me that this bachelor has been shunned by his group a few years ago and has a very bad temper. The weather wasn’t looking too favourable and I wasn’t too elated with the elephant’s anti-social profile. While we swiftly moved on, this picture is one of my favourite shots from the Mara.
Did you like any of the above pictures? If not, there are some more coming up in the Photo Blog Part II next week….stay tuned!