The Big Cats of the Masai Mara - February 2019
Kenya Photographic Safari
Posted on 21st September, 2021
We had stunning weather and fantastic sightings on this Safari to Kenya's Maasai Mara. Not only did we have some great photo opportunities with Lion, Leopard and Cheetah, we were also very proud to roll out our second modified Safari Land Cruiser on its very first safari.
Splitting our 10-night stay in the Mara enabled us to explore two very different areas, where we got some super sightings in good morning and late afternoon light. We really had some great luck with giraffe at sunrise and sunset. Near Lookout, we spent some time with a black rhino and the spotted hyaena den site was busy. We photographed some great birds, Cape Buffalo, Elephant, Black Backed Jackal, Hippo, Impala, Topi, Thompson's Gazelle and Eland.
However our main aim was to focus on the Big Cats and amongst the highlights, were multiple sightings of 3 different female leopards. One, in particular, was very active around the Rekero Crossing area and we watched her use the distraction of a short rain shower, to try to sneak up on a herd of impala. Unfortunately, two spotted hyaenas tried the same tactic and spooked the Impala in the opposite direction!
Lions were present again in good numbers. We watched the famous male - “Scar”, feeding on a hippo carcass at the Mara River. He was limping badly but actually looked in pretty good health for such an old fellow. We saw a number of other males, as well as a lioness with two small cubs, in the area of Topi Plains.
We saw four cheetah chases, three of them involving the 5-strong male coalition. Their first chase ended in an impala kill but was lost to some opportunistic lions. The second was rather ambitious as one cheetah tried to take on a full-grown male topi, which would have been fine if the others had joined in, but they were a bit slow to start the game!! What was interesting was how the cheetah ran alongside the topi and physically tried to bump it off balance - a technique I had never witnessed before. The third chase sent hundreds of animals fleeing in all directions, with no end result. The fourth was a successful chase by a female cheetah. She ran right through a group of warthogs to catch an easier target, a baby Impala. The Mara certainly lives up to all expectations as far as Big Cat sightings are concerned and the general wildlife is always great too!
Huge thanks to the staff at Entim and Intrepids Camps and a very special appreciation goes to our amazing guides, Mamai and Eliud. Your patience, help and incredibly hard work make it a great pleasure to work with you both.
Thanks to Linda, Ulhas, John & Jenny for joining us as much appreciated previous clients, on another WILD4 African Photographic Safari to Kenya's Masai Mara!!
Please enjoy a selection of photos from the trip. Best wishes, Stu