Tranquility in the Mara …

Ben’s Bulletin from the Masai Mara Migration Photo Safari:

Before our first group of guests departed on Friday we drove around to enjoy a peaceful, very tranquil morning. Very little stirred and nature appeared to be taking a quiet rest. It was beautiful, and we made our way slowly, very content to enjoy the magnificent sunrise painted across the heavens with lovely cloud formations that shimmered and changed as the glowing orb of the sun crept higher into to sky.

The animals appeared to be equally peaceful. A hyena slunk across the plain carrying a large femur, while a large herd of Topi welcomed the dawn.

After breakfast we said farewell to our reluctantly departing guests and then waited for the arrival of the incoming group.

The new guests arrived and after settling in and introductions we set out for the first game drive. As they unanimously wanted to photograph lions, this was our first objective. We found one of the prides that the large, dominant male is a part of. His brother posed obligingly for us and we were able to kick off with a really good collection of lion images. The lion moved lazily though grass and glanced at us occasionally. When he found a convenient termite mound he flopped down on the raised lookout, where he relaxed for the remainder of the afternoon. We photographed him there for ages as he groomed, roared, snoozed, looked across the plains, roared again, groomed some more – and so on, giving everyone plenty of opportunity to amass a really fine collection of images.

The next morning we returned to the lion. He was strolling along, roaring, and with a beautiful sunrise behind him, pierced with early sun rays, the scene was beyond description. Again, our cameras filled, this time with almost lyrical images.

Then we found the pride with young lionesses. It was the seven lionesses and youngsters that we have seen regularly during the past few days.

Then we noticed a herd of wildebeest gathering on the banks of the Mara River. We were really hopeful that they would decide to undertake a crossing and we placed ourselves in a strategic position for the best view.

The herd jostled and grouped closer and closer. Any minute now, we thought. But no! As wildebeest do, they suddenly dispersed quietly and we could see that they had no intention of returning for a while.

Lunch was served under a spreading tree. Then it was time to search for a cheetah that we were informed was out hunting. We arrived too late for the stalk but we found her sitting next to her kill. She lifted the gazelle’s head, and then dropped it again to gaze around, checking for scavengers.

We returned to the young lionesses and enjoyed the late afternoon photographing them in the rapidly fading golden evening light.

In the morning we would like to catch up with the lions again as it should be time for them to hunt again. We will keep an eye on the plains to detect any sigh of bunching animals that indicate a possible river crossing …