As the rains continue to pound the earth, the weather is cloudy most days, the ground is soaked wet and some roads and tracks are best avoided. The novice drivers and guides are having a rough go with the mud, but the Mara never loses its charm — we still catch that alluring African sunrise and the wildlife is as incredible as always.
The lions of the Mara Triangle still command the best attention. They are ever-present in almost all our drives and sometimes put on a show by literally cat-walking along the road. The beloved Egyptian Pride were on the move on this particular morning; we watched them walk while keeping a respectful distance out of admiration. Their muscles bulging with every step, the adult females are always attentive for an opportunity to secure a meal. Alarming though, I noticed the single little cub we have seen recently wasn’t among them.
Left behind by his five brothers, we found this Nyati Male alone, looking rather sad and desperately calling out to his brothers. We are not sure of the story behind this.
Probably my most puuurrfect photo yet of this ‘giraffe cat’ yet. The serval is a most skilful hunter with an excellent sense of hearing, observation skills, and quick action.
A gentle reminder of who is the boss in these streets. Though still young, this male elephant stood his ground in the middle of the road and a little mock charge was enough to drive the point home.
I caught up with the Border Pride this week doing what lions do best during the day — relaxing. I was glad to see that they are looking healthy and doing well.
I found these savannah cleaners scavenging after the lions had picked their Buffalo kill clean to the bones. The hyenas' strong jaws cracked the bones while looking extremely anxious in case the carcass' previous owners decided to return.
The highlight of my week was finding these two cheetah brothers close to the Tanzania border in a marshy area, thanks to the sharp eyes of our guide, Wilson Naitoi. How he spotted this pair from a far distance surprised both me and the guests I had accompanied on this drive. We drove down the road closer to the two white figures clearly visible in the tall green grass. This male cheetah coalition has been spotted several times at the border and it’s a cause of excitement in the Mara Triangle at the moment.
They were fairly relaxed, unbothered by our presence and fixated on a group of Topi gazelles. The chase is their strategy and their presence was announced by every prey animal within range, causing a wave of commotion.
Slowly they approached the herd, splitting to take different directions. One of the cheetah started galloping towards the Topi herd, but not accelerating to full speed which only happens upon selecting a particular individual. I thought to myself that perhaps they were trying to flush out an easy target.
The two settled down on a termite mound, strategising on how to get their next meal. In the following days, we heard reports that they had successfully taken down a fully grown Topi. Good on them. Observing the hunting strategy of the fastest mammal on land and watching them stride across the plains was something special.
Lastly, I would love to mention a group of our beloved guests and avid readers of our blog. I had the great pleasure of meeting and spending time with Mrinal, Thomissa, Brian and Avantika. Thank you for letting me accompany you out on a drive. Not to forget our legendary guide Wilson Naito — as always, he delighted us with his vast knowledge and keen eye.
Two years ago, while adrift over the Mara in a hot-air balloon, we spotted a young male leopard directly in our flight path. Remarkably, it was more curious than fearful, watching in bewilderment as we gradually flew overhead.
Filed under: This Week at Angama
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