Five weeks in Masai Mara National Reserve – Week 4

Cats were once again the highlight of our fourth week. There were fewer river crossings in this week but by now we had become adept at finding three prides of lions, all three with very young cubs, a pair of mating cheetahs (though we never really saw them mating) and a huge male leopard, whose territory was all around our camp. See picture below.

Leopard in Masai Mara

However, some of our most amazing sightings were of the three prides of lions that we use to regularly see. The cubs were really awesome. Masai Mara has nearly 750 lions and all in an area of about 1500 square kilometers. It does not get better than that anywhere in the world.

Lions in masai mara

Lionesses are all action, compared to the male lions. We saw a lot of charges and it was great fun panning them when they charged.

Lion cubs in Masai Mara

There were three different prides of lions, all with young cubs, that we use to see regularly.

Lions in Masai Mara

Female lions, though not as good looking as the males, are far more fun to photograph as they are generally more active than the males.

Male lion in Masai Mara

Though the male lions are far better looking…far far better looking.

We also had a great time with a mating pair of cheetahs. The female had a distinctive “kink” in her tail. We saw them together for nearly the entire week, we saw them hunting, marking territory, playing – in fact doing everything except mating. I took this picture below on the way to the airstrip to pick up our good friends Amrish and Meghna Wadekar and nearly missed reaching the airstrip.

Two cheetahs in Masai Mara

One of the better pictures that I got this week was probably of a female cheetah (not one of the mating pairs) that killed a young Thompson Gazelle’s fawn. The fawn was still alive when we started shooting this image.

Cheetah kill

This week we had a lot of predator action though it was not all about predators. We got some great shots of ungulates and birds, some of which are pasted below.

Impalas in the rain

Impalas in the rain. They were all focused on a lioness that was sitting at a distance from the herd. The rain and the low angled light is what made this picture for me

Vultures in Masai Mara

Vultures are you constant companions in Masai Mara

Zebras at sunset

My all time favorite are from this series of zebras at sunset