The days continue to be warm while we eagerly await the rains. Last week, we enjoyed two days of the heavens opening, filling our lungs with fresh air and rainwater seeping into the parched ground. The storms came in the afternoon and then again later through the night, delivering a sweet lullaby. A false hope of more to come it would seem. We continue to dream of more — not least because we love the incredible green vegetation that surrounds us the morning after.
As hot as the days can be, the mornings are still beautiful; more than enough of a reason to get out of bed as early as possible and drive out into the Mara. This particular day, the air was thick with lovely mist, so heavy we could taste it. Fresh and cold, it makes for interesting photographic opportunities with the sun only just breaking through.
Adam enjoyed setting off on a hot-air balloon safari with some guests and got some spectacular shots from above the mist.
The Border Pride is causing a lot of excitement in the Triangle — the playful youngsters make for remarkable sightings down south by the Tanzania border. One of our guests, Walter Waterford, made good use of our rental cameras and captured some fascinating interaction of the cubs playing in a pool of water and a game of tug-of-war over the remains of a zebra kill.
At one point, an older cub seemed to try and drown a younger one before their mother intervened with a single snarl, instantly stopping the bully in its tracks, which Walter narrated to me, his face beaming with excitement. It's safe to say our photographic classes have inspired a future photographer.
The Border Pride finds some shade to while away the hottest hours of the day. Temperatures are reaching around 27 degrees celsius — enough to make anyone want a siesta.
We caught up with the River Pride’s tiny cubs again as they were feasting on a zebra kill. Typically, lion cubs start eating meat at about three months old and clearly these fluffballs have already acquired the taste for blood as they comfortably gnawed on the bones.
Leopard sightings are always fascinating as these shy and elusive cats prove to be a challenge to find. This magnificent leopard was last seen about two months ago and featured in our weekly blog, This Week at Angama 197. Being able to identify him from a previous sighting by comparing his spots made it extra exciting, at least for me. It felt like being reunited with a long-lost friend, doing well and looking as mighty as ever.
Herds of elephants are making daily trips down to the river to drink and get a good coat of muddy sunscreen. These mammals need plenty of water as it helps their inefficient digestion process break down food. When it rains, they don’t need to make these trips as they can easily drink from the small pools that collect throughout the Mara.
There was nowhere to hide for this cheetah that was caught out in the open in the scorching sun. We saw him scratching and digging in the ground, maybe to get to a cooler ground layer below before he settled on cowering under a small patch of grass.
This lioness of the Angama Pride is gaining a serious reputation as a successful solo hunter, and rightly so. Just a few days ago, she took down a fully grown zebra on her own. One morning, she was seen in the company of Mama Kali and then later in the afternoon, I found her alone just beneath Angama Mara in a stalking position; her target only known by her, as we could see no prey in sight. Ever so slightly, she moved, staying well-hidden in the grass. She has the experience to be patient without charging too quickly. Then we saw it: a reedbuck. They are known to hide from danger by camouflaging behind grass, staying completely motionless when a predator approaches instead of running away. Talk about nerves of steel backfiring.
A decent week in my book and a happy New Year to all our readers.
This time last year we were welcoming in the New Year with the Angama Pride who were spending more time off the ground than on, or so it seemed.
Filed under: This Week at Angama
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