Monday, 20 February 2012

Masai Mara 2012, Safari 4

We followed the trails that we had traveled in the previous safari. We went west along the south side of the airstrip and then turned north at its western end, and crossed the tributary of Talek River. When we were still in the area of the airstrip, we saw at a distance a combination of the rain clouds and smokes. It was spectacular. Right before we crossed the tributary, a troop of baboons were eating on the grasses next to a heavily wooded area. An antelope looked like a grant gazelle was feeding in the woods close to the baboons. I saw a beautiful secretary bird in the open field. It didn't fly away when we passed.

After we crossed the tributary, we continued going north-west on the same trail as we did in the previous few safari. And at less than half kilo metre after the crossing, we maintained the same direction instead of going west. In a kilo metre, we saw a large herd of buffaloes. Rafael said that lions would not dare to attack such a large herd, and the buffaloes in a large group were safe from predators. In the same area, we also saw a pair of ostriches.

We continued driving on the same trail, and after 4 km we saw a family of guineafowls with some chicks on a wetland. After another kilo metre, we were in a large plain with many animals. we first saw some gopis, Thompson gazelles, grant gazelles, zebra, eland and marabou storks. And the best of all, we saw a pair of beautiful grey crown crane in a distance.

We then turned south-west toward the Mara River, and we saw a hyena squatting on the trail. It would not move when the car passed it. Its forelegs were extending forward, but unlike other quadruplets, its hind legs were extended backward when it squatted. And the padded paws of it hind legs were facing upward under its tail. The number of animals increased as we went farther. At a distance, we saw a pair of lions on their honeymoon. The lower part of the manes of the lion was black. Rafael was not eager to pursue the lions as he had already had a plan in his mind.

He continued to drive us toward the river. We saw a fish eagle perching on a dead tree. It turned its head several times like a model to let us take its photos. And we saw a large goliath heron standing on top of a boulder in the river. It bent its long neck to be close to its body. Farther upstream were an outcrop of rocks in the river, and with the help of a power zoom lenses and telescope, we could see a crocodile among the rock in the water. We were now about 2 km north of Serena airstrip. We then turned around, and saw large crocodiles sun bathing on the bank. 

As Rafael had anticipated, we found the pair of lions who were on their honeymoon more or less in the same area as we had spotted them before. It was half a kilo metre east of where we had saw them. Rafael stopped the car only 4 metre in front of them. An explanation and photos of the lion mating were given in a separate blog and album.

We left the lions and followed the same trail to go back to our lodge. We saw a Hartlaub's bustard standing on a mound on the road side. 

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

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