To close out our ‘April in Africa’ series, we’ll leave you with a photographic replay of our incredible safari game drives in the Maasai Mara. Before the trip, we wondered how another safari could possibly live up to our previous amazing experiences (all arranged and curated by Khashana Adventure Travel
). We also didn’t quite know what to expect since we were there in the ‘rainy’ season.
As far as the season, we will never shy away from rainy season again… everything was green and lush, there were fewer people than high season, and as you will see… the wildlife was plentiful. To name just a few, we saw more elephants and buffalo than ever before, and more crocodiles than during the great migration. And as far as unique and phenomenal wildlife sightings, well…. hopefully these pictures convey them, at least a little. Superb, all around.
The Maasai Mara in the early morning with the lingering remnants of a nighttime mist.
We watched these two different families of elephants come together. Notice the baby elephants greet their cousins by putting their trunks in each others’ mouths.
…while the teenagers are hard at play…
…and some young adults are cavorting…
….and an older male feels the need to show off ….
….while Mama is having none of this as she leads her family away.
Another mama takes a nap while her kids try to nudge her to get up so they can follow their cousins.
We came upon a pride of lions (2 young males and 3 females) sauntering down the road during the middle of the day.
The pride moves slowly down the road toward an oblivious warthog (the black speck in the distance).
All at once, the ladies detect another warthog in the savannah, where the lions might have better camouflage.
The pride starts to spread out….
….and they’re off! The female lion in the middle is about to take off after the warthog. She will be followed by the other females with the male lions bringing up the rear. What we saw but didn’t capture in pictures was the water spraying as they all crossed a creek during the pursuit. This was the warthog’s undoing, as it slowed him down much more than the lions. The poor warthog starts squealing before the lioness ever catches him.
But catch him she does. Once the female lions catch the warthog, the male lions come in and finish him off.
The male lions proceed to eat their lunch.
But there is no room at the table for the female lions, and they know it. They leave without even trying to get a bite.
Speaking of bites, the young male lions make short work of the warthog. Who wants the wishbone?
One of the males carries off his “doggy bag”.
While the males feast, the female lions wait patiently for the next unsuspecting victim.
We came across a large crocodile that had recently caught a topi antelope. Crocs tear their food apart by rolling with their prey in their mouth, often with another croc holding on to one end of the prey as an anchor.
The topi gets twisted in two by the crocs.
Crocs can’t chew their food. Instead they bite off manageable chunks and swallow the pieces whole.
To swallow big bites, they often come out of the water, snout up, and GULP them down.
Here, two more crocs stealthily cross the exposed spill-way to get to the feasting crocs. Eventually there are 5 crocs wrestling with the topi. In all, there were 14 crocodiles, as nine more lined up like ships in a canal, waiting to cross the road and join in the feast.
Here we found a large pride of a dozen lions with one young cub.
Looks cuddly enough to take home…..
……except he’ll grow into this.
In the meantime, mama plays with her cub.
We spotted this leopard up in a tree with a fresh kill. The leopard will leave its kill in the protected area of the tree while it feeds on it during the next couple of days.
In the meantime, the leopard feels comfortable enough (that its kill is protected from others) to come down from the tree. Leopards have relatively long bodies and short legs compared with other members of the big cat family — these two characteristics, along with their strength, give them excellent climbing ability.
Amazing to watch a 300 lb cat climb down a tree.
Besides being powerful climbers, leopards are powerful swimmers, although they are not as disposed to swimming as some other big cats, such as the tiger. Leopards are also very agile, can run at over 35 mph, leap over 20 ft horizontally, and jump up to 10 ft vertically. They are our favorite African cat.
And an Oribi is one of the leopards’ favorite African snacks… be alert little guy!
Troop of baboons.
And big daddy baboon.
Lilac-breasted roller….on the wing.
Warthog…with a face only a mother could love.
Hippos in the Mara River.
And a mother and baby dry out for a spell. How cute is this baby hippo??
A gorgeous leopard slinking through the savannah.
Grey crowned crane.
Grey crowned crane on the fly.
Masked weaver (photo by Will Taylor).
There are two hyena cubs here, one under mama nursing (photo by Will Taylor).
The master teaches his protegé… about skulls: giraffe on the left, daggaboy (buffalo) in the center, hippo on the right (photo by Brandy Taylor).
Thanks for the amazing safari experience Angama Mara…. until next time!!
Many thanks to Khashana
and to Nicky and Steve at Angama Mara
. Safari lodges are abundant in this part of the world; people make the difference between a good experience and a magical one. Nicky and Steve and the entire staff at Angama Mara
have the magic touch for sure.