Masai Mara and the Big 5

Masai Mara Game Reserve Travel Blog

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Lions approaching

I came to Africa for safari and now for the next week, its all about safari and seeing as much wildlife as I can possibly see.  For the past two days, after we left Loita Hills, we’ve been on game drive through the Masai Mara game reserve.  Here the reserve is home to an abundance of wildlife, including the “Big 5”, the lion, leopard, elephant, cape buffalo and the black rhino.  These animals are known as the “Big 5” because in the days of the poacher, these were the 5 hardest animals to kill!  

Remember when you were a kid and how excited you were when you’re parents took you to the zoo? Well being on safari is just like that, you’re a kid again.  On our bus we had a group ranging from about 24 to 65, but from the amount of giddiness you felt on that bus you would think we were all 6 years old! One person would yell out lion! And everyone would freak out and turn that that side of the bus! Giraffes!! Then everyone would scream and turn to the other side of the bus! Lol I have to say, its awesome to have that feeling of giddiness, of awe and wonder that you once had as a kid.
Giraffe
All these animals, everywhere, just makes you so happy! Its awesome.

The most happiness seemed to be when we saw animals mating!! That first day we were lucky enough to encounter two mating lions! From a distance we saw a group of white vans and jeeps, so we hauled ass and pulled up beside all the other safari vehicles. Now when we roll in, we don’t come quietly, we’re all on this huge overland vehicle that makes a lot of noise, so you would think the animals would run away?! Nope, those two lions, a huge male and a young female, just sat their, in the middle of the road looking at everyone.  For about 10 minutes they sat there, and then they got up, moved about 10 metres away from the crowd and then mated twice for about 30 seconds!! LOL  Now its pretty funny to see animals mating, what’s more funny is when you hear your Masai tour leader in the background whispering “do it, do it”! lol What’s even more funny is seeing the reaction of the female lion after mating, while the male just sat there in all his glory, the female was literally on her back, with her paws up in the air looking like she just, for lack of a better phrase, got it real good! Lol Priceless.
The BIG Sky over Masai Mara


After they sat around for another 5 minutes, they got up and started to move towards our truck! Now, the truck has huge windows, but the door has as a really deep window that I tend to stay at to get the best shots.  Well those two lions came about 2 metres from the open window, I was scared sh-tless! I had to pull back a bit, if the lioness really wanted to it could have jumped into the truck and killed us all!  Our tour leader told us of a story of how in a similar vehicle a leopard jumped in and killed 6 people!  Thank goodness nothing happen, since all those lions wanted to do was get busy! Haha.  Anyways, as quick as they passed our door, they were gone off into the savannah.  Our guide, Julius, mentioned that when lions mate, they mate over 2-3 days, about 5 times a hour!  Wow talk about getting busy!

The next day on the game drive was just as exciting.
The group hanging out while the bus is broken down
  We saw a ton of zebra, gazelle, giraffe, water buffalo (one almost rushed the truck because we cut it off from the rest of the herd!), some more lions, lots of hippos and even some cheetah (a very rare sight)! But definitely the highlight of day two, well next to the animals of course, was breaking down in the middle of the Masai Mara on an open savannah. At first I didn’t really feel the significance of our breakdown, but then after three hours of just sitting there it hit me.  We were sitting in the middle of the African savannah, in Kenya, in the middle of a game reserve, under the big, and I mean BIG sky of the Masai Mara above.  How surreal is that? Usually you are not allowed to leave the game vehicle, but here we had no choice as they needed to repair one of the brakes.
Cheetahs
  So we all stepped off, and just sat around and enjoyed the view.  Vast green grass as far as the eye could see, big blue sky above…….and not a damn animal in sight!! Lol.  That’s right, we’re in the middle of a fricking GAME reserve, and somehow, somehow we find the ONE spot where there aren’t any ANIMALS! Lol  I saw plenty of animal prints around, but no animals.  Now I’m sure given our location, it was probably a good thing there weren’t any animals around! It was the only way were able to fix the truck.  But funny story, as soon as we got moving again, our fearless guide Julius, quietly turns to us and says, “O’ by the way, we’re in prime cheetah territory’!! WTF! Well I’m glad he didn’t mention that when we were broken down, because we would never have gotten off that bus! :) He wasn’t too worried about the cheetahs it seems, since at that time of the day they generally laze around (as we saw later), but you never know right! We all could have been a nice cheetah kill!

So far this second day has been the best day for game viewing! That breakdown turned out to be the best thing, because before we broke down we weren’t seeing many of the “big name” animals that morning, but soon after we ran into a herd of elephants in the bush, another LARGE herd of about 60-70 elephants, and to top it all off, we were able to pull up right beside a large female lion.
The beautiful scenary
  Now when I say right beside, I mean RIGHT beside, the truck was literally 2 metres away from the lioness! As we all scrambled to take photos, she casually looked up at us, and then turn her head back around kind of snobbishly, sat for another few minutes and then just got up and move about 5 metres away and sat back down! Lol Women! ;)

Tomorrow we get some new group members and head into Tanzania!
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Lions approaching
Lions approaching
Giraffe
Giraffe
The BIG Sky over Masai Mara
The BIG Sky over Masai Mara
The group hanging out while the bu…
The group hanging out while the b…
Cheetahs
Cheetahs
The beautiful scenary
The beautiful scenary
Hippo
Hippo
Group Pic
Group Pic
The view from inside the safari tr…
The view from inside the safari t…
Masai Mara Game Reserve
photo by: Apurva_N