It’s quite spectacular what happens to the landscape when you add a sprinkling of rain. Overnight, the Mara grasslands transform from a sandy, brown canvas, into a lush, verdant green tapestry.
The energy also changes. Like a dry sponge, the soil absorbs the rain and you can feel the release of tension. The dust settles, the foliage on the trees glisten with life and the frogs start to croak. Just like that, the lungs of the Mara take a massive breath of fresh air.
The end-of-year festivities are now a distant memory, replaced by time spent sitting in front of computer screens, wrapped up in city blocks, back to the grind. The great thing about the Mara in late January is that it is incredibly quiet and the animals are as abundant as ever. You can go for a full-day game drive and see just the occasional vehicle. It’s almost as if you have the entire Mara Triangle to yourself — total bliss.
I promise that when I set out this week, I was determined not to get wrapped up in lions. On one drive, I lectured myself whilst setting out at sunrise to put blinders on, not look for lions, and instead try to photograph the other gems of the Mara. Of course, I turned a corner and there sat five lions in the middle of the road. They commanded my attention. There is so much lion action at the moment that it is near impossible to ignore them. So I surrendered.
The much-loved Egyptian Pride continues to set up camp around Egyptian Dam. Although we have had decent rains, it is still significantly drier than usual — the result being that dam is a magnet for animal activity.
The six Nyati Males continue to grow and mature. These descendants of the Sausage Tree Pride seem to have now established themselves well. It was a real treat to have spent time with them one morning as they marched in single file down the main road.
They have also started to mate with two of the lionesses from the Owino Pride. Exciting times lie ahead.
Robert was lucky to spend time with two lionesses from the Border Pride. He watched in awe as they hunted down a buffalo calf and proceeded to fight, rather dramatically, over the meat. Robert, and just one other vehicle of fortunate Angama guests, watched these graphic scenes take place over the course of an hour or so.
The Sausage Tree Pride has been a little hard to find of late, but they seem to be in good health and the famous Kinky-Tail continues to navigate her pride through somewhat turbulent times. They managed to successfully bring down an adult buffalo which provided this dynamic family with a solid meal.
Evening rains result in the most epic of misty mornings. I remember, exactly a year ago, marvelling at the natural carpet that cloaked much of the Mara for the first few hours of every day. Photographically, it is a delight and early mornings spent searching for animals in the mist is one of the greatest highlights of a safari.
Another highlight of any safari in the Mara Triangle is the search for the ever-elusive black rhino. Fantastic conservation work means that this area of the Mara is a safe haven for one of the most sought-after animals.
Three years ago, the cheetah Kakenya was dominating the Mara news. How we miss this beautiful female. She was so sleek and elegant, and just a joy to follow and watch as she hunted.
Filed under: This Week at Angama
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