Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Day 88 – 2.7.2011 Lions in the blood rush in the Maasai Mara - a bloody day

At 6:30 we go through the Talek gate with Edward, the Masai guide. Soon we discover a lioness dragging its prey, a wildebeest, into the bushes. She is soaked in blood. A little later we reach the wildebeest migration, an estimated 10 kilometers away from Talek, here is an entire pride of lions in bloodlust, cadavers form the last night are located in three places, all are wildebeest.

The 9 animals are busy eating and resting, beating the vultures, somehow we are also hungry and look for a tree for breakfast. Erward guides us through the hills that all look the same, without a GPS one can be stucked in the Maasai Mara. We enjoy our breakfast with an incredible view, zebras and wildebeest no 15 m away. They are really used to humans.

Then we finally find the first cheetahs, three brothers, but so late in the day they only doze in the shade and are surrounded by many mini-buses. Also, an observer from the National Geographic Magazine is here. After half an hour we move on, only to find near the Talek River, the next Cheetah family, 7 Cheetahs, a mother with 6 young cubs. They are draped in the shade of a large tree and observed by another car from National Geographic.

We go again across the park, to Mara Bridge and back, in the afternoon we found Lion Family No. 3, again, the lioness smeared with blood, the cubs romp through the bushes.

Erward wants to continue, there shall be two leopards at the Mara River, but we have had enough of driving and just want to stay here and watch the family with their kill, the Maasai is disappointed and pouts, but what the heck.

An hour later, after maaaaany images of the overfed lion cubs and the lionesses, we just want to start back to the Talek Gate, the Pasha emerges from a nearby bush, far from all mini buses, he stretches, markes his territory, drinks, and then runs directly along our car to meet his family, Edward creeps into the farthest corner of the seat and mutters something like "careful", but the splendid fellow, like the rest of the family, has only his food in his mind.

We drive back to Aruba Mara Camp, tired, with over 500 photographs, fortunately, we have applied for a dinner and not have to cook for ourselves. In the restaurant we meet the German Rita, we know her from Tanzania and so we sit an chat, and it is getting late, after 11 o’clock, as we go to bed. To the mooing of the cows slowly comes the bleating of the wildebeest, the migration is in close by now.

126 km, 12 hrs, 34 °, sunny
900 KSH in Aruba Mara Camp, Talek, Masai Mara
Park fees $ 160 U.S., 400 KSH for the car, the guide is free (its services cost KSH 1500)

Tags: Maasai Mara National Geographic, Cheetah, Aruba Mara Camp, Mara River, migration, wildebeest migration


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