The Mara is beautiful and incomparable. It’s a sprawling grassland of gold, fringed with green around the twisting rivers where the animals gather for drinks and snacks. Even before one reaches the national park, glimpses of overwhelming numbers of animals around it can cause memory card overload. I’m going to take my time to share the photos from the region but to begin, here’s what the average visitor will glimpse over their first few first game drives. Why do they call it the game drive? Because what you spot, is a game of chance. Herds of zebras, gazelles, giraffes and wildebeests stretch out on both sides of the dirt tracks as you drive down towards the Mara. And inside the reserve park, you see things the way they were before us humans got too big for our boots and trampled this lovely planet down.
Here’s a quick run up of some of the animals we bumped into at the Mara.
The Topi is super social and loves hanging out with friends and family.
In the distance ruminating zebras create a psychedelic effect on the horizon.
While Giraffe families loiter about, picking at the top of trees and gazing out into the distance.
The Wildebeest grazes in large herds too, and prances off as vehicles approach.
The Mara’s smallest antelope, the shy dik-dik is highly territorial, monogamous and look like they’ve stepped out of a comic reel. They’re spotted in pairs usually.
Further downstream, Hippos head back into the river after a night of munching.
While a Nile Crocodile suns itself on an embankment upstream, right outside our tent.
Elephants lumber out in the grasslands, grazing in herds.
While a Lioness stalks it in the long grass.
Mamma waits for the right moment on the side.
After the meal, his majesty pants away having not done any work at all.
Beware of the Cape Buffalo aka the Widowmaker, they kill more humans each year than Lions do. The single ones are more dangerous.
And the lone Cheetah kills solo. It stalks with care, springs gracefully, grabs the intended victim by the throat and cradles it while it dies. The Cheetah kills cleanly, without spilling a single drop of blood. Or the scavengers will steal its meal.
Around the kill sites, the scavengers gather, the spotted hyena, silver backed jackal, white headed vultures, but we’ll leave those for later. Follow or subscribe to my blog for more stories and images from the Mara. I’ll be posting a lot more of these, so let me know what you guys like.