Saturday, February 23, 2013

Big Cat Week in the Mara



I have just ended a safari in Masai Mara, that was specifically for the big cats. With my guest who is a professional photographer, we have spent the past 8 days looking for our favourite lions, leopards and cheetahs. From our base camps, Mara Explorer and Rekero, we had access to all the prime big cats locations. We were able to follow up on the Ridge, Olkiombo, Paradise, Olkeju-Rongai and the Marsh prides. When it comes to the big cats sightings, i cannot think of any better location in the Mara.

With the wildebeests gone, the lions and other big cats in the Mara, are actively hunting any available game. We were able to see during our stay a few lion hunting warthogs. The Ridge pride with the help of Notch and his gang, brought down two hippos on different dates. Most of the prides too have very small cubs, which are still very playful and photogenic! We could spent hours or even a whole day watching them.

Cheetah sightings were also great. We saw 7 one day!, and all within one hour of our afternoon game drive. This is a recent records considering how rare they have been lately. Malaika and her son(whom we have named Lucky Boy) has been south of the Talek on the lower Burrungat plains, but have now crossed the river north to Rhino ridge. She is now even more than ever, jumping on the roofs of vehicles since the grass is now very tall. The mother of 3, who has for a long time been down at Lookout hill, has also moved into the same area as Malaika. We did see her hunt, though unsuccessfully a couple of times. There is also one female whom we thought is lactating. We saw her between Rekero camp and Rhino ridge. We hope if she has cubs that she will be able to bring them up successfully.

Our leopard sightings was great too. We saw only 3 different leopards on this trip. These were Olive, her daughter Saba and a young male at the pump house. Who gave us the most beautiful poses. We followed Olive yesterday into the bushes near Mara Explorer where i believe she is hiding her cubs.
Despite the tall grass, we were also able to see a few Serval cats, hunting in the grass, where we got great leaping shots. A couple of them were not shy of vehicles at all. 

 CHEETAHS










LIONS









LEOPARDS









12 comments:

Patti Fritchie said...

Stunning photographs Paul. Thank you for the update on the Big Cats. Lovely to hear they are doing well.

Jen said...

Wonderful photos and narrative Paul! I need to come back to see these amazing cats! Thank you for the update... Any sign of Olive's son Kali?

Anonymous said...

Amazing photos! Never seen big cats like this in the Mara, definitely not with cubs.
Hope to see some next year though.
Thanks for sharing them!

Sophie Gandrille said...

Very interesting update of a week in the Mara. And stunning photographs ! Thank so much for sharing with us your time in Mara.

Sophie gandrille said...

Very interesting,I appreciated very much reading it. In addition, you did stunning pictures. Thank you so much for sharing your time in the Mara

Anonymous said...

The most amazing photos I have seen. I love these pics. I watch "Big Cat Diary" each and every am on Animal Planet. I get up at 6am every weekday and watch this show before I have to get my son up for school. If it would be possible for us to raise them like our pets, I would be raising like 2 of each kind. That way each animal would not get lonely. But great shots. Love these animals. :) :) :)

Anonymous said...

Awesome blog Paul! Great to hear updates on the big cats. I can't believe how big the female cheetah's cubs from Lookout have gotten! Amazing.

Shotyourself said...

Awesome pics !!!!! Paul I found on google that Cheza or Sala was killed by Notch and sons, u know something about this ? any news about them?

True Cat Lover said...

You do a great job at finding & writing about the beautiful big cats. The details of what you see are what make your observations come alive. It makes me happy to read your blog posts. Thank you.

Shotyourself said...

Hi Paul.

Do you know how Joy is doing the one of Three Graces from Marsh pride?

Shotyourself said...

Hi Paul

Do you know how Joy is doing ,the one of Three Graces from Marsh Pride?

Terry B. King said...

GREAT PHOTOS!!!