Friday, 17 February 2012

Masai Mara 2012, Safari 2

We got up early to catch the early morning safari that started at 6:30. Not long after we left the lodge, we saw a herd of water-bucks. The male seemed relax and was resting on the ground rather than supervising its harem. Not far from them was a family of guinea fowls and then a large herd of impala. The male was tense, and constantly guiding its harem not to stray too far from the group. He was grassing alone far away from the group, and looked like he was leading a marching band.

We turned north and crossed a tributary of Talek River. There was very little water in the tributay, and the bedrock on the river bed was exposed. Rafael said that in the time of the animal migration, the water level in the tributary was much higher and created a hazard for the animal that wanted to cross.

It was early in the morning and the sun was low. The westward view of the plain was gorgeous. The colour of the plain changed from light gold to dark bronze with the dark green colour of the woods in between. 

We saw a grand gazelle under a shrub. The dark bronze colour of the grass matched very closely with the colour of its fur. A little further was a cute looking dik-dik, the smallest antelope in Keynia, was also standing under a shrub. 

We continued southward along the west bank of the tributary, and soon we arrived at a river bank. It was at the junction of Talek River and its tributary. We saw probably hundreds of hippos in a pool. They were mostly quiet under water and showed only the top part of their head above the eye and ear and the ridge of their back. Their eyes were all staring at the spectators on the bank. There were some contentions between two large hippos, and they both opened their enormous mouth widely showing their pair of long and sharp canines and incisors. It was just a show and nothing serious happened. A pair was getting affectionate. But the female was not completely under water. A young hippo was having a good time by riding on its mother back. One hippo was feeling hungry and left the pool. It climbed up the river bank to find some foods.

We left the hippo and went west. A secretary bird was disturbed by our coming, and took off. I was lucky to get a photo of it in flight for the first time. Its wings were flipped high almost vertically, and its legs extended only 45 degrees backward instead of full horizontal when it was in full flight.

We were enjoying the beautiful landscape, and saw a lonely buffalo grassing at a distance. It quickly turned its back and ran into the woods. As we continued our journey west, we saw a distinct volcano at the distance. Several safari cars gathered on the plain. We went to join them. And saw a family of 10 lions were targeting a lonely buffalo on a ridge. The buffalo was alerted of the danger and ran away. The lions regrouped on a mound. One of the scout lioness remained on its position. A warthog hiding not far away from the lioness made a fatal move and was immediately detected by the lioness. It became the prey, and all the lions descended from the mound to have a share of the snack. A full story and more photos on the lion hunting appeared on a different blog and album. 

We turned back and arrived at the lodge in less than 20 minutes to have breakfast. We saw some lonely impala on the way and Egyptian geese on river bed of the tributary.

More photos can be seen by searching "lku99999, photo" in Google.

No comments:

Post a Comment