Tuesday, February 28, 2012

C4 - Maasai Mara Predator Safari

The first afternoon, although overcast produced exciting Lion behaviour.

The nice thing about hosting Photographic safaris is that one gets to experience various regions during different times of the year.

Most people flock to the Mara for the dramatic and action packed Migration. This year C4 hosted it predator safaris during February when the Mara put on a totally different face to the more familiar migration season.
The Maasai Landscape never fails to impress. 
The first noticeable difference was the sea of tall grass waving from horizon to horizon.  What at first seemed to be a photographic challenge turned out to be real blessing as the grass seeds provided superb mood to photograph the predators in. 
This Female leopard had her den nearby and although we missed photographing the days old cubs managed to get regular views of her walking down the riverbed most days. 
In short we saw all three big cats as well as Spotted Hyena withing the first 24 hours. Other highlights included a reliable leopard den where we managed to photograph the female every morning in superb light. Spotted Hyenas feasting on a hippo carcass which was later taken over by a pride of lions. The latter then provided more excitement as the young lions chased off the descending vultures.
Jan standing with the Cheetah
But the highlight of our trip came when a female cheetah decided to use our game drive vehicle as a perch to scan for prey turning every guy in the car into a 16 year old. What an experience having one of Africa’s most charismatic predators sitting a mere arms length (literally) away from us oblivious to the excitement inside. A truly fitting apex to our predator safari. 
An excited Louis and Andrew withi touching distance of the spotted cat.

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