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Leopard - Masai Mara (Doogs)

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Leopard - Masai Mara (Doogs)

Post  Doogs on Mon Oct 03, 2011 2:05 pm

Leopards are very elusive cats to find on Safari but thanks to Olive and her family they have made seeing a leopard that bit easier. She is also on the doorstep of the Mara Intrepids Camp which was an even bigger bonus for us !

We saw at least a glimpse of someone in the family every day we were away, whether it was Olive, Bahati or one of her two 25 month old twins Pacha and Nkaiyoni. Infact we arrived in the Mara at 12.15pm on the Thursday, had lunch then set out on our afternoon drive at 3.30pm. Within 10 minutes we had seen Bahati heading into the bushes before she sat down at the bottom of a tree. We were sitting watching her when we spotted a lioness not that far away from Bahati and heading in her direction affraid The lioness’s stalk became faster and faster until she was a short distance away and ran at Bahati, thankfully at the last moment Bahati spotted her and jumped up the tree she was at the bottom of, phew she was safe ! pale I would have hated to come back and tell you all that was our first and last sighting of little Bahati !

Over the next few days we were graced with some amazing sightings. On the Friday night we were returning to camp when we spotted Bahati sitting right at the edge of the ‘woods’, just sitting there looking very pretty. The light was fading fast and I struggled for some good photos with my camera but she was a joy to just sit, watch and savour. The next morning we returned to this area, we were the first jeep there and low and behold a short distance away from where we left Bahati the previous night here she was with mum Olive. Again I struggled for good photos as the sun had not properly risen so again I just sat and looked at the both of them. At one point Bahati must have been about 2 metres away from me as she peeked her head around the front wheel of the jeep and looked up, beautiful. By the time the cavalry had arrived they had missed them both as they had disappeared into the bushes.

Sunday morning we were heading over to see the Marsh Pride but stopped on the way to see if Olive & Bahati were about, they were. We watched, with a number of vehicles as Olive chased, tried but failed to bring down an Impala. In the chase mum & daughter got split up, we lost Bahati but still had our eyes on Olive. Vincent being the wonderful driver that he is, drove into this clearing bit further on from where Olive was, no other vehicles followed. We sat there for a few minutes and then low and behold along comes Olive. She sat then lay down for about ½ an hour and we just sat there with her, graced by her beauty. Got few good pictures because the light was great but there was a lot leaves, twigs and foliage in the way.

On our final morning, thanks to Aatish calling us on the radio, we saw Nkaiyoni lying at the bottom of a tree in full view so got a couple of good shots of him when he lifted his head. Just around the corner Olive was up in one tree with a kill, Bahati in another and low and behold Pacha was on the ground inbetween them, speak about being blessed. Bahati came down from her tree, had a wee roll & a play with Pacha before heading up the tree Olive was in for a feed. What a way to end to start your last morning in the Mara !!!

Leopards are incredibly beautiful cats and it honestly was a privilege to see not one but four different ones. Olive is not big but Bahati was just a little toot compared to her, she was adorable.

Not going to have time to post the pictures as lunchtime is now over but I will do some tonight :)

leopard in Tree
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Re: Leopard - Masai Mara (Doogs)

Post  whitestarling on Mon Oct 03, 2011 2:32 pm

Lovely story Doogs, you did really well with Olive, and family. That must have been a bit affraid with the Lioness.Looking forward to the pics
WS

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Re: Leopard - Masai Mara (Doogs)

Post  littlewid on Mon Oct 03, 2011 5:29 pm

What a magical account of your time spent with a wonderful Leopard family Doogs, you would give any expert blogger a good run for their money.
I imagine that Saba Douglas Hamilton would be quite envious of your sightings, she always seemed to have a bit of trouble tracking down the elusive leopard, but my heart always skipped a beat when she managed to find Chui.
So looking forward to your photo's later this evening.....don't take too long with your tea now Very Happy

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Re: Leopard - Masai Mara (Doogs)

Post  Doogs on Mon Oct 03, 2011 10:00 pm

Olive


Olive Again


Olive & Bahati


Bahati


Bahati - She was so close I couldn't focus properly !


Bahati again (colour not great)
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Re: Leopard - Masai Mara (Doogs)

Post  Doogs on Mon Oct 03, 2011 10:07 pm

Pacha


Pacha


Nkaiyoni


Nkaiyoni


And finally there was this LEOPARD !!!
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Re: Leopard - Masai Mara (Doogs)

Post  Doogs on Mon Oct 03, 2011 10:10 pm

I hope to be able to post some of Ian's pictures once he has sorted them out 'cause his leopard ones should be a lot better than mine - a couple of these are not a great colours and could be sharper
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Re: Leopard - Masai Mara (Doogs)

Post  Doogs on Mon Oct 03, 2011 10:49 pm

Just been looking at Ian's photos - they are brilliant, much much better than mine. Will get some on here for you all to see 'cause some are just amazing Looks like the camera lesson and his hired lens made a huge difference to his photos which is great
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Re: Leopard - Masai Mara (Doogs)

Post  whitestarling on Mon Oct 03, 2011 11:05 pm

If there better than yours Doogs they really must be amazing. Your's are fantastic to look at, just how close can you get What a Face I'd have had camera shake on all of them if it was me
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Re: Leopard - Masai Mara (Doogs)

Post  littlewid on Tue Oct 04, 2011 5:50 am

So Lovely Doogs cheers cheers cheers you have captured some real expressions there on all of them, although I must admit I love the face on close up of Bahati I love you the first pic of Olive is gorgeous, she is so pretty. The little guy that sneaked in at the end sure does give them a run for their money though, he's super

Looking forward to Ian's photo's but as WS says, they have got to be something to beat yours

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Re: Leopard - Masai Mara (Doogs)

Post  Anne-Marie1981 on Tue Oct 04, 2011 10:05 am

Wow Doogs, such fantastic shots!!! Very Happy How wonderful to see all 4 of them. Looking forward to seeing Ian's pictures as well. You can never have too many pictures of Leopards cheers cheers
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Re: Leopard - Masai Mara (Doogs)

Post  Doogs on Tue Oct 04, 2011 2:01 pm

Thanks all, glad you like them

Again I think they are an awful lot darker than when I posted at home scratch
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Re: Leopard - Masai Mara (Doogs)

Post  Laikipia on Tue Oct 04, 2011 4:28 pm

You the man Doogs - those are some stunning photos and a great blog on Olive and her family. What an amazing time you had in the Mara. As you know leopards are my favourite big cat so I am greeeeeeeeen with envy that you saw all 4 and spent time with them.

Looking forward to more photos and of course to see Ian's - but yours are truly wonderful.

Lai
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