The Masai Mara. September 2011

07th November 2011
The Masai Mara is a wonderful place - straight out of "Big Cat Diary"! It was so green with very long grass and looked so lush after coming from the dry Serengeti. One of my ultimate wishes was to see the great migration - I knew that it was a gamble and depended entirely on the rains. The big herds of wildebeast and zebra did not actually get as far as the Mara this season - there were some herds of course but nothing like the usual and no crossings. The rains were quite different this year compared to normal and the long grass that I thought was so lush had actually turned to straw and was of little value to the herds and too long for the gazelle and antelope who prefer short sweet grass. The rangers were in fact buring off sections of the plains to start the grass shoots coming through as they said that the wildebeast had not done their job this year! Many cheeta again which was fantastic and alot of lions with their kills (mostly zebra). We did see a couple of young rhinos from a distance - always impressive creatures! The highlight for me was watching a female cheeta cross the grass land and head up into some rocky scrub. She moved effortlessly and climbed up onto a number of termite mounds as she progressed towards the rocks all the time looking around carefully checking for danger. At one point she walked right past our vehicle so close I could have patted her - she took absolutely no notice of us at all! Finally she sat up on the rocky outcrop and called and out of the scrub came three little balls of fluff who gambled all around her joyful at the return of their mother! She was so beautiful and it was a priviledge to share that moment with her!