The Maasai Mara – Day 1

Ok, as you’ll have noticed from my recent posts, I just spent an incredible 3-day weekend at the Maasai Mara. I saw so many incredible animals and gorgeous scenery, and as I have so many photos to share, I’ve decided to split these into 3 posts, rather than try and ram it all into one.

So here are the pictures from my first day in the Mara…

First of all, the tiny plane I flew down on – it was AirKenya, and an 18-seater. I was pleasantly impressed and surprised to see that both of our pilots were female.


And here are a couple of aerial shots as we flew over the parks – you can just make out some of the fences around the villages



And here is our plane after we landed at Keekerok Airstrip – coming in to land I could see Wildebeast and Zebra along the sides of the runway, and was slightly concerned some of them might wander onto the runway as we came in to land – Luckily they didn’t.

img_1911 img_1912

Literally the first thing we saw after I got picked up to join the group was a Leopard! They are one of the harder animals to spot in the wild, as they’re quite shy, so finding this one almost immediately was incredibly lucky!



This research car belongs to “Mama Duma” – the cheetah lady, as the guides affectionately call her. She tracks and monitors all the cheetahs, and often stops to chat to the rangers and drivers to find out where cheetahs have been spotted recently, and copies tourists photos for their database. She told us they recognise cheetahs by their front legs, as the pattern of spots on the front legs is unique to each cheetah, like fingerprints. She also told us there are currently 57 cheetahs in the park.


I think these are hartebeast


Small pride of lionesses and some cubs (around 6 of them here, lounging in the shade to avoid the heat of the day)






Here’s a mama and her baby elephant – there is also a video of them here

img_1692 img_1707


And off they go



And some more lionesses

img_1743 img_1747

And a few young males as well


And some massive herds of Wildebeasts – pretty much as far as the eye can see.

img_1757 img_1761

I do love a Gnu…


The Sand River


And if you look closely you can see an elephant in the bushes on the left bank


At the Kenya/Tanzania border marker


At the Mara River


The Mara River – known for hippos, crocodiles, and the main river the wildebeast have to cross to get into the Mara from Tanzania




Literally tons of them – this was a family of hippos approx 15 of them, all hanging out in the middle of the river together


We had to take an armed guard for a short walk along the riverbank – apart from the danger of hippos and crocodiles, there are sometimes Cape Buffalo grazing along the banks, and stumbling across them by accident in the bush can be VERY dangerous. I’m told all you can do is climb a tree very fast if you want to survive an altercation with an angry cape buffalo.


The guard helped us to spot many different animal tracks in the mud – including leopard tracks. Personally I’m quite proud that I can now spot hippo tracks!

img_1802 img_1807


img_1810 img_1819

Here’s our little group from the bus, with our two armed guards. There were 2 Nepali UN peacekeepers (currently based in the Congo) and 2 Koreans from Busan, and an English guy. Amazingly I was able to remember a few words of both Korean and Nepali, and chat to both groups fairly knowledgeably about their respective countries, which I think they appreciated!


Stormy skies over the savannah


Some Olive Baboons hanging out



And a couple of jackals by the roadside – they looked a lot like foxes!

img_1837 img_1838 img_1839

And then, towards the end of the afternoon, we stumbled upon a couple of lions, getting it on! I’ve already uploaded the videos if you really want to watch it live.

img_1852img_1928 img_1929


And then we saw a spotted hyena by the side of the road

img_1930 img_1931


Another elephant


And some Eland – they’re the largest type of antelope, and have a big, wobbly, wattle on their neck.


And some vultures at dusk, doing their thing.



And some vultures in flight

img_1934 img_1935

Phew! And that’s about it for day 1! It was a fun-packed day filled with amazing wildlife of all sorts! Suffice to say I slept extremely well in my tent that night!

1 thought on “The Maasai Mara – Day 1

  1. These pictures are amazing!! I can’t believe how many animals you’ve seen! All those lions!

    Those elephants are sooo cute! Their herd is so small tho, it looks like one adult, a baby, and a few juveniles. Wonder if they’ve split off from another herd, or if they are all that’s left of their family đŸ˜¥

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.