Friday, October 20, 2017

October Wildlife update from Masai Mara

General overview
With the arrival of the unusual rains after a long dry spell, has brought relief to the animals in our game reserves. There were a lot of activities in the Mara in the past week. When the rains started falling on the dry and parched plains, all animals especially herbivores are now hopeful for some new shoots of grass that will sprout following the rains. The situation had got very bad, with little for most grazers to feed on. Mostly affected were the hippos, many of whom could be seen in the middle of the day frantically trying to grasp at least some bites of the dry grass. This is unusual for them to be feeding out on the plains under a scorching sun with temperatures sometimes at 32°C. Many can still be seen out feeding in the day because the rain has not changed anything much. We have counted quite a few Hippos dead either on plains or near the river. The vultures and hyaenas were having a feast. Buffalos though highly dependent on water are not as badly affected as the hippos, likewise with other herbivores, gazelles etc. 
The beginning of this month also marked the start of the outbound departure of the migrating herds especially wildebeest and zebra from the reserve. This is normal and expected at this time. Most wildebeest are now heading back to their breeding grounds, east to the Loita plains and south into Serengeti. Currently there are small herds on the lower Mara triangle crossing south into Kogatende area. On the eastern side of the river there some herds towards the sand river gate and Keekorok area and near roan hill all heading south. The remaining herds, which used to form what we called the loiter herds are now heading into the neighboring conservancies since access and residing in the Loita plains is becoming less and less.
  
Big Cats
All the lion pride prides in our game viewing territory are still around and actively hunting the remnant wildebeests and resident herbivores. Cheetah sighting has likewise been superb. In the Mara there is a popular coalition of 5 males that have  kept our guests entertained by their appearance and hunting activities. They continue to roam around Rhino ridge down to Burrungat plains. Their hunting strategies leave everyone stunned by their agility and determination. They hunt animals previously believed to be least on the Cheetahs menu, from adult Topi, wildebeest, Impala etc.  Apart from these, there are other individual cheetahs that we see regularly. Leopard sightings are also very good. 

Lion sightings are good

The wildebeest departing for Serengeti

The 5 male cheetah coalition

The river pride

There are many other animals even without the wildebeests 

Paradise pride


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