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Masai Mara National Reserve Safari

Monday, September 18, 2017

We were up again at 5:00AM, coffee in the common area tent at 5:30AM and then off on our game drive at 6:00AM with Kay.

We saw Vultures high in a dead tree at dawn which looked a little spooky.

Morning on Masa Mari with Giraffe
We saw a Side-Striped Jackal.

We saw a Warthog who took a pose for Cal.

We were out looking for a Leopard again when we spotted a Heart Beast among the Thompson Gazelles. Heart Beast have a black shaped heart on their nose.

We saw two female Impalas scampering nearby.
We almost missed a Nubian Woodpecker with red head upside down in a dead tree.

We saw a covey of Helmet Guinea Fowls with blue heads.
We saw an African Wattled Lapwing with yellow beak and yellow legs.

Elephant and little one moving across the savanna

The little elephant was still as large as the jeep

A Kori Bustard bird walked by and it is the largest flying bird species.
The landscape goes from vast green space with rocks to vast areas covered with Acacia trees.

We saw three Reed Bucks which looked like Impalas but are not.
Little Bee-Eater

The always majestic giraffe

Three Superb Starlings were on the ground in front of the Giraffes.

A pride of 11 female lions were nearby referred to as a Dik Dik Pride were all sleeping.
Kay told us hunting was banned in 1977 but poaching remained a problem. Then the Government allowed the Park Rangers to shoot anyone on sight who left the park with animal remains.

In 2013, 7 former Park Ranger employees were thought to have killed an elephant. The 7 (6 men and 1 woman) were warned to stop their activities. Then at 6:00PM one night the 7 entered the park and were seen leaving very early the next morning. They had killed a Rhino. The Rangers and Government officials tracked their cell phone use and location and when they found the seven they killed all seven of them on sight.

Kay is part of the Maasai tribe. The Great Plains Conservation area is owned by 277 Maasai families who have moved from the park but still cross their land with their cows and sheep.

They rent the land to ten safari camps located in the Park and the revenue from the rentals goes to pay for the medical and education expense of the Maasai people.

Maasai feel they own every cow in the world no matter where the cows are located.

Crossing a riverbed, we saw a Korchen Goose.
We saw a group of Banded Mongoose looking for snakes.

We then saw two sister Cheetahs called Armani.
We waited an hour for the cats to move. Eventually a Cape Buffalo ran them off and Cal and Kay got great shots of everyone running. The Buffalo have poor eye sight but a keen sense of smell so once they are within scent they follow their noses.

Yawning cheetah after the Cape Buffalo charge

Hippo moving around a pool

Nile Crocodile was huge - but unmoving


Wildebeest herd in a meadow near a stream

Wildebeest considering the jeep

We saw a small Wildebeest crossing.

We then took a spin back by the Cheetahs before heading back to Camp for lunch.

Wildebeest keep an eye on a Hyena walking the edge of the herd.

A whole lot of hippos

Marabou Stork standing on an old caracas

Pied Kingfisher near a stream

At 4:00PM we were out on the afternoon drive and saw a Lilac Breasted Roller on our way out.

Kay cut the engine to watch the Lilac Brested Roller and then prepared us that when he turned on the jeep the bird would fly. Sure enough the little bird flew and Cal was ready.

We saw the cute male and female Dik Dik in the brush and everyone loves the Dik Dik, the smallest antelope in Africa. During Isak Dinesen's time in Africa, it was not unusual to have Dik Diks as pets.

Roseann mentioned that the lush green terrain looked like a rugged golf course. We saw another family of Dik Diks, the male, female and a little one.

The Impala were courting as well.

We saw a family of Giraffes with only weeks' old baby. Guinea Fowl were grazing on the ground.
Mother and baby giraffe

Mother and baby giraffe looking the same way at something

A flock of Egyptian geese flew over as we crossed the river stream.

We saw a large herd of Impala where one male leads the group until another male comes along and kicks him out.
Two male lions were on a hill and mostly staying in place. So we decided to move to where a leopard had been spotted.

Sunset with low clouds over the savanna

A Mother Leopard named Tito and her cub were separated by 5 jeeps. One would have thought the mother and cub would have been overwhelmed with the attention.

A Leopard's intense look

Leopard down for the count

The leopards we saw were so beautiful - but "stay in the jeep"

Two large male lions were nearby. One was sleeping and the other walking about until he collapsed with both in deep sleep.

Lion portrait

The sunset and colors were simply spectacular.

Sunset with sleeping lion

End of the day

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