Els and Rita on safari in east Africa travel blog

Leopard

Lions

at the Mara river

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


I can't believe what happened today. We left Lake Nakuru early in the morning and although it was a very long drive on a lot of bumpy roads, in the end what we experienced made it all worthwhile. During the drive we saw the regular big herds of cattle, sheep, goats and donkeys. Entering the Masai Mara, where we were inundated with ladies selling their beaded goods at the gate, we were immediately welcomed by Masai giraffes, enormous herds of wildebeest, zebras, cape buffaloes. Watching the Mara river where the big migration happens (millions of wildebeest and zebras crossing the river while running the gauntlet of large Nile crocodiles) we were actually saddened by seeing the dead carcasses still lying bloated in the river. Even the vultures has been so sated that they weren't interested in helping to dispose of the remains. After a short drive a beautiful large male leopard was spotted in a tree and happily lazed around while we took a gazillion pictures. Scored a big one, as leopards are extremely elusive and most people only see one disappearing in the bushes if they're lucky. We were very fortunate and I can't believe the good fortune nature has provided us with.

After checking in to the gorgeous Mara Serena Lodge and a quick lunch, we were on our way again for what was supposed to be a short gamedrive. We first watched Marabou storks and vultures fighting for a place at a recently killed zebra carcas with the odd hyena in attendance as well. We then spotted some lions who looked like they were about to have Cape Buffalo for dinner, however it did not happen. Sad for the National Geographic crew next to us filming a new episode of "Wild earth". We also saw rock Hyrax, lots of Tommy Gazelles and Impalas and then proceeded to the elephants.

All of a sudden the huge herd of Wildebeest starting running, so we knew something was happening. We followed them and suddenly noticed that a male cheetah was running at full speed to get a kill. The first attempt failed, but he was undeterred and went after another wildebeest. That one managed to get loose and once again this attempt also failed. The cheetah sauntered over to our vehicles, sat down for a while, walked away, came back, sitting right in front of our vehicle. Never paid any attention to us as he was focused on a kill. He made his selection, sped right past us and his third attempt brought down a wildebeest. We were so close to him and his catch that we were able to witness him cutting off the prey's breath. He then sat up to catch his own breath at which time it became obvious to us that we should return to the Lodge as it was now dark. The entire chase and kill took seven minutes and was properly recorded on video. We were told that to actually witness and entire kill was extremely rare, so you know that we were very lucky indeed.

Our Internet here is also very slow, so I'm not sure if I can upload some amazing pictures.



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