Rains In The Masai Mara!

It’s finally the start of the long rains after months of scorching heat.  Daytime temperatures have dropped to 27 0 C while nights are much cooler with temperatures varying between 8 – 190C.

 

The rivers are filling up but only passable with 4WDs. The grass plains have changed to gold-yellow – a sign of aged grass. However it’s still palatable for the grazers.

 

We still have spectacular sun rise but cloudy afternoons followed by rain in the evening.

 

The birds have started preparing their nests for the breeding season. Some trees are starting to flower and attracting a variety of butterflies.

 

 

Resident wildebeest and zebra

 

Following the start of the long rains the resident wildebeest and zebra are increasing their momentum to reach their favorite calving grounds, which are the Loita Plains spread with short grass. The Topi Plain is still full of the plains game spread up to Musiara Marsh. The wildebeest and zebra are moving north towards Aitong Plain, with their calves who were born in February and are just three weeks old.

 

Big Cats

Lions

 

The prides around Olkiombo are following warthogs because these are their only source of food for now.

 

Notch and his sons are at Olkiombo Plain – they are mating with two lionesses from this pride who are looking thin and hungry.

 

The Olkiombo Pride lionesses – there are six of them with three cubs aged two months – sired by Notch, the all-powerful but ageing black-manned lion on this side of the Mara.

 

The Olkeju Ronkai Pride is doing well with its eight cubs of different ages. Notch likes to hang around with them – more than any other prides they lord over.

 

The Ridge Pride, which is between Olkeju Ronkai and Olkiombo Pride, is with one of the biggest prides that consists of 11 members’ – seven cubs and four adult females. It is one of the privileged prides that enjoys the hippos killed by Notch and his four sons.
A section of the Ridge Pride that took over Topi Plain has been joined with new males. They have started to mate.

 

 

Leopards

 

Olive has moved her new cubs from Smelly Crossing on Olare Orok downstream to the junction between Talek and Olare Orok rivers.

 

Cheetahs

 

 

Cheetahs are seen more often at Olkiombo and Topi plain following the return of the Thomson gazelle.

Heritage Hotels (Kenya) manages two luxury camps in the Masai Mara - Mara Explorer and Mara Intrepids - in the confluence of the four game viewing areas of the Masai Mara. The camps are on the banks of the Talek River, with most tents spread along the banks.  Report and pictures by Paul Kirui & Guides, Mara Explorer & Mara Intrepids Camp ©Heritage Hotels Ltd, Kenya.http://www.heritage-eastafrica.com/

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