Masai Mara Predator Photo Safari: Thwarted By The Talek River …

Wim Reports from the Masai Mara Predator Photo Safari:

We left the camp about ninety minutes before sunrise to head south in search of the cheetah brothers. We arrived at the Talek river … uh oh! We could not go any further. The heavy rains have caused the river to flood! There was no way that we could cross through that!

So we had to proceed northward and the area is not quite as heavily populated at the moment when compared with the south because the migrating animals are not here. But this is the area where Scar, that large, dominant male lion rules. We caught up with his pride just as the sun was rising. Scar wasn’t around, but we were able to get some good scenes of the other pride members just as the sun was rising. We spent quality time with the three lionesses and several subadult cubs all in close proximity. They were waking up, greeting and grooming each other.

From there we visited the Mara River where we looked at the famous crossing sites where the wildebeest cross the river during the annual migration. We stopped at Kaburu Crossing for breakfast, and photographed some of the iconic trees that are dotted around the area. Our landscape shots turned out particularly well.

We saw more lions, but they were all very inactive. They all slept, and only occasionally lifted a head to see what going on.

After our midday break back at the camp we set out again. Full of hope returned to the Talek river and found that the water level had dropped a little … enough to allow us to across. We headed due south to see if we could locate the Sand River Lion Pride.

We spotted the five cheetah brothers lying in a wooded area. We stuck with them, hoping that when the rain started they would get up. For a while all they did was to lift a head from time to time. And even when it rained they showed no inclination to move. We could see that their bellies were still full after their wildebeest feast last evening, and they spent the whole day relaxing, with little exertion.

We moved on and found the Sand River Pride. They were very busy grooming one another, then had a drink of water, while the little cubs cavorted around boisterously. We were photographing the lions when we received a call to inform us that the cheetahs were on the move. We dashed back to them to find that they had moved a mere 200 meters, only to flop down again and fall asleep again.

So, we are back at the camp after a fulfilling day … but not as exciting as our previous experiences here! I acknowledged that we have been very spoiled with our incredible sightings until now, and although today would be regarded as great by ‘usual’ standards, the river and the animals did not behave as hoped, but maybe tomorrow again …