The Masai Mara

Arriving in the Mara

On the night of Tuesday, the 23rd of august, I arrived in Masai Mara, Kenya. Masai Mara is a national park full of animals and is also home to the great wildebeest and zebra migrations. It is a vast national park with some genuinely incredible animals. Before we dive in, I would like to clarify something: The Big Five is a group of animals: Elephant, Rhino, Buffalo, Lion, Leopard, and the tourist 7 is The Big Five + Zebra and Giraffe. Of these, the leopard is the rarest and the hardest to find, and the zebra is the easiest. The buffalo is the most dangerous because it does not warn if and when it will attack. The rest give more warnings than a bull to a matador. For driving around the Masai Mara, we rented a Toyota Land Cruiser and self-drove, which was a crazy notion to everybody else in the camp we were staying in.

We were staying in the Riverside Mara Camp inside the park. It had a pool, which was pretty cold but not icy. The entrance to the camp was a roundabout, which led to a lodge. There are two options for housing and the center: you can sleep in a tent or a small cabin. We opted for the house and were shown to be a two-bed, two-bath cabin with enough space for all of us while still being compact. Once we were settled, we headed to dinner.

The First day In the Mara

The following day, we woke up at 5:45 am to go exploring. To be clear, this was technically not a game drive. We planned to get to the park by 6:15, spend 12 hours in the garden, and see the wildebeest crossing the mara river. Suffice it to say; that didn’t go as planned. Things first differed from the plan when we didn’t get out to the park until 6:45, but we got out, thank goodness. At around 7:40, when we were well into the park, we saw a herd of elephants, the youngest being no more than three years old. You can find pictures of the pack on my Photo Gallary page. After we finished with the herd, we pursued a cheeta for a while and found a huge male lion sitting around. After watching it for 5 minutes, it walked past our car, which was awesome.

Lion butt!

We watched it a little more.

He was Posing while walking.

Later we went to see it. If we saw a crossing, sadly unsuccessful, we went to the crocodile crossing, a popular place for crocs, and we counted over 15 crocodiles there. And our day ended there.

Lion Cubs and Leopards

The next day was much more exciting. We started with seeing a herd of elephants that included a very young elephant, which was adorable. Next, we saw a mama lion and her two cubs. We told this to one guide after we saw them, and then within a few minutes there were dozens of safari trucks rushed towards where we had been.

A Pic I got of one of the cubs.

Later, we saw a leopard. This may not sound like a big deal, but it not only meant we saw all of the big five, but leopards are extremely rare. Some people spend months in the Masai Mara and never see one.

This was the best photo I got of it

We topped the day off with two cheetahs.

The Differences Between Cheetahs and Leopards

Just in case you were wondering, here is how you can see the difference between cheetahs versus leopards: Their spots: leopards have little brown spots in the middle of their dots that cover their body, and the cheetah’s holes are filled in. Also, a Cheetah has lines down its face.

The lines on the cheetah’s face.

More Leopards, A Zebra Killing, and A Zebra Crossing

On the following day (the 26th of August), we started the day amazingly. We were driving along the road where we had seen the leopard the previous day and bickering on whether it was where we had seen it, and my mom said to everyone, “quiet, there a leopard is walking next to us.” Everyone did as told and ogled at the leopard.

The leopard that we found

We watched it for 20 minutes or so and found out what happens if a leopard unknowingly walks to were a mommy and a baby elephant are walking: the elephant looks menacing, and the leopard runs away.

After that, we drove along came across another car full of people who were looking a bit lost and sad and not seeing anything and told them about the leopard; a few minutes later, sure enough, we started to see a massive clump of cars driving for where the leopard was. We went on and found a wounded zebra with hyenas nearby. The zebra slowly died, and the hyenas dug in.

The Hyenas are feasting.

Once the smell of dead entrails started to get to us, we drove off.

Later, around lunchtime, we were able to see a zebra crossing.

The Zebra crossing

After someone decided it would be a good idea to drive in front of the entire herd when it was about to cross, we left. We went back to the site of the zebra killing to see what the state of it was, and we saw this:

The zebra After desolation.

That was the end of our trip to the Masai Mara, and I will see you at Amboseli.