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.

img_1586

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

img_1594

img_1595

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!

img_1910

img_1915

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.

img_1639

I think these are hartebeast

img_1913

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

img_1654

img_1663

img_1914

img_1916

img_1674

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

img_1692 img_1707

img_1919

And off they go

img_1721

img_1726

And some more lionesses

img_1743 img_1747

And a few young males as well

img_1921

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

img_1757 img_1761

I do love a Gnu…

img_1922

The Sand River

img_1775

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

img_1777

At the Kenya/Tanzania border marker

img_1780

At the Mara River

img_1923

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

img_1784

Hippos

img_1794

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

img_1796

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.

img_1800

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_1924

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!

img_1821

Stormy skies over the savannah

img_1826

Some Olive Baboons hanging out

img_1831

img_1925

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

img_1872

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

img_1930 img_1931

img_1884

Another elephant

img_1933

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

img_1932

And some vultures at dusk, doing their thing.

img_1902

img_1936

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!

One 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:

WordPress.com Logo

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

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s