With 2 of the wish list items ticked, we modified the plan slightly to maximise the chances of ticking off the last three. The big cats at the Mara, contrary to the usual safari norm of being active in the early morning and late afternoon, tend to only actively hunt between 9-2pm when there were significantly less cars around. We left at 0630am as per usual (after our light pastry and tea service to our room) to hopefully find a leopard but would continue on past 9am with a packed breakfast to eat on the way when most of the other jeeps would return to the lodges. The guides were intent on ensuring we see a cheetah or lion on the hunt.
We followed a few prides of lions before settling on following a smaller pride, watching sisters reunite after 2 had been separated for a period of time having had their cubs. They cleverly moved away from the male lions (another item ticked off!) sleeping so they could eat their kill and feed themselves and their cubs. Watching them assess the situation and stalk their prey was fascinating. They camped outside a warthog den patiently awaiting the warthog’s return from the rain (we learnt that warthogs did not like being out in the rain!) Lo and behold, a mother with six babies dashed through the hills and made home in time! After seemingly waiting forever, they decided to go for a different prey, a lone lame zebra. After moving forward in a line, they split and spread out with one lioness walking high up on the hills to try and flank the zebra while the other two spread out trying to confuse the sharp-eyed topi. Alas it was not to be as baboons spoiled the day letting out warning calls! We saw other amazing things including elephants trumpeting warning calls to lions something we would never see in a zoo as they are never together! When we have faster internet I will load some videos.
|Another rhino! This time a pregnant female, that's 3 out of the 9 sighted!|
|The first pride we saw. A might sight to behold!|
|Moved into the grasses to hide and stalk. How many can you see...|
|Barely visible if you didn't know they were there...|
|The leader of the pride with her cub|
|I can't remember what this one is!!!|
I wanted to finish off by writing about our incredible breakfast experience by the &Beyond team. We were expecting a simple coffee, fruit and pastries stop only to be wowed a full table setting under a magnificent fig tree, the biggest in the Mara. The team had set up a whole breakfast station, with anything we would like made to order. There was NOTHING out here, so they had to cart everything from the resort, including the portable flushing toilet, the handwashing station, the coal used to cook the bacon and eggs and materials needed to make warm drinks. They had even thought to bring Euhan’s favourite addition to his coffee, amarula! Yegon, our regular dining room waiter, had also made the drive to serve us. It was just so very special and magical. No words or photos could do it justice.
The day ended with a short but lovely dance by the Maasai warriors at the lodge. They displayed their beautiful home made crafts before we dined and then slept eagerly awaiting the start of another day at the Mara.
|Our very special breakfast|
|Yegon here to serve us!|
|Eggs made to order|
|Our hand washing station with hand lotion and supersoft towels!|
|Portable toilet too|
|Elephant with BIG tusks|
|A close up of elephants drinking|
|Yay! Male lion close up! No I don't want to hear all this noise he says|
|Ok fine, I'll open my eyes|
|The pride we followed, 3 lioness sisters reuniting|
|Incredible jumping display!|