This report comes courtesy of our friends at Mara Plains Camp in Kenya. It is written by Dereck Joubert (of ‘Last Lions’ fame!).
I don’t usually add to the camp dispatches here because we like to see that coming from the guides and experts at our camps, but I’ve just been in Mara Plains for a few days pacing out new tent positions for our new camp which we will be building there in 2012 as well as looking for a site for a new mobile camp.
May and June are traditionally very quite travel months to the Masai Mara and as I walked around the camp I found myself stopping all the time and just shaking my head. This must be the best time of the year in the Masai Mara.
Thousands upon thousands of zebra filtered through and around the camp sometimes getting confused for a moment amongst the tents! As many, if not more, wildebeest kicked up so much noise that it felt like traffic. These wildebeest are different to the usual migration from the Serengeti but come down from Loita Plains where the route to Loita and back is narrowing desperately by fenced off wheat farms. The result is a longer, more extreme northern migration ending up in and around Mara Plains.
Two nights ago, lions killed a zebra right near camp. Within minutes the first hyena charged through camp, tail up and ready for battle. Twenty or more hyenas swooped in on the lions and displaced them in minutes, but the lions rallied and won their kill back again. The Mara hyenas are bigger than those we know so well from Botswana, and they gathered their confidence and attacked again winning the kill, but just for a moment and the lions growled and hissed and clawed their meal back in a final thrust of aggression. This is real Africa, with real drama, and all happening with no one around.
In and out of the reserve in two days we saw two other vehicles.
I’m collecting my cameras and heading back up as soon as possible. Anyone wanting to see the most spectacular wildlife in Africa, without the clutter of other vehicles should do the same. I’m a new fan of May and June at Mara Plains!
Report courtesy Mara Plains and Dereck Joubert