By Lyndon and Jason Duplessis, Fish Eagle Safaris
Day 11 – Serian Camp – Mara North
We were quite close to our next stop, Serian Camp in the Mara North Conservancy, so we decided to go on a game drive for the morning and have a picnic brunch while we tried to see a river crossing. We got quite side tracked on the way to the river though. Luckily we stumbled upon a mother cheetah, Shakira, and her six cubs! These cats are apparently stars of the BBC show Big Cat Diaries so it was quite a treat for us just to see them. As she walked along we watched the cubs playing with each other, chasing and tackling around and underneath other vehicles. It was quite a sighting, even before the hunt began. That’s right, Shakira decided that this morning she would hunt for us! We watched as she stalked a few herds of Thompson’s Gazelle but she seemed to be quite nonchalant about the whole thing. Maybe the gazelle’s thought the same, as they were aware of her presence but didn’t feel threatened enough to run away. We moved our vehicle up ahead a little bit and just as we stopped she took off like a bullet! The entire scene only lasted seconds but was quite surreal. Once the gazelle was down the cubs came out of their hiding spots, trotted toward their mother and had a nice meal.
Here’s Shakira just trotting along the plains with one of her cubs nearby.
In a flash she had the gazelle down.
Typical breakfast scene on the Maasai Mara. No reservation required.
We realized that it was quite late in the morning and we would have to hurry if we wanted to see a wildebeest crossing so we left the cheetah family to their meal. Unfortunately we would not see a crossing on our final day on the Mara. We did manage to see some crocs though:
Our final day on the Mara continued to surprise us as we came upon a lion mating with three lionesses. Other photos were taken but I don’t think the lions would approve! We did finally get to see some male lions with full manes, which was nice.
So we finally began our trip to Serian camp for lunch. They have a lovely spot on a rocky portion of the river. The room was large with two queen sized beds and the bathroom was actually not connected to the bedroom. This could make for a bit of a scary night!
This was our room at Serian.
The northern conservancy was very beautiful, nice and green with short grass because the migration had just mowed the lawn so to speak. We spotted plenty of elephant and a couple sleeping lion near the end of our evening drive.
A mother elephant and her calf.
Day 12 & 13 – Lemala Mara
This morning we actually had a flat tire on the way to the airstrip! Luckily there was a second vehicle heading toward the airstrip which we flagged down and hitched a ride with. All for naught though, as our guide was quick enough to change the tire and meet us at the airstrip before our plane had even arrived.
Travel between Kenya and Tanzania is a bit drawn out unfortunately, as you can only fly into Kilimanjaro airport internationally. After about 4 connecting flights we did arrive in Kogatende and made it to Lemala Mara just in time for dinner. The flies were quite bad around Lemala because of the wildebeest, but they didn’t make their way inside tents so sleeping and meals weren’t a problem.
On our morning game drive we finally got to see a river crossing, albeit a small one. There was a large herd of wildebeest, but only a few of them decided to cross. Our guide said this was rare as most of the time every last wildebeest will join the crossing.
Just after the river crossing we got to see this big guy chasing an injured zebra. For some reason he gave up and took a nap after mangling the poor zebra quite badly.
Lemala itself was quite different than any of the previous camps on our trip. It is somewhat of a mobile camp, which moves between two spots based on where the migration is at the time. There were bucket showers, but still flush toilets. The tents were surprisingly large for a mobile tent as well. As always, the food was excellent!
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