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Masai Mara Safari Nov. 2013

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The Offbeat Pride

Post  Safariman on Wed Nov 27, 2013 4:07 pm

As some of you may remember from posts on my previous trips to The Mara North Conservancy, the Offbeat Pride of Lions are so called after their close proximity to Offbeat Safaris' Mara Camp. Their headquarters is Lion Hill about a couple of kms. from the Mara Camp where I was staying, which consists of fairly dense bush with rocky outcrops which provides plenty of cover for the pride as well as having numerous vantage points over the surrounding territory.
David my Masai guide has been following the pride since the camp opened about 7 years ago and has been keeping a detailed written record of all his sightings of the pride for the last 3 years. I have detailed the present structure and make-up of the pride as of my visit in Nov. as I thought this might be of interest particularly to Lai who will be staying there in  early Feb. The numbers in the pride are constantly changing due to various comings and goings as well as sadly deaths. The young 6 month old cub I followed when I was last there in Dec. 2012 was sadly killed probably by hyenas or buffalo and 2 other cubs which were born soon after also did not survive!!
There are 6 females + 3 male brothers (who also service the next door Chelli pride). Of the females 3 are adults, Napono, the leader, Lucinda and Leah each with a sub-adult daughter. At present, Napono is pregnant and her daughter has 2 cubs, Lucinda has 3 cubs and her daughter also has 3 cubs Leah has no cubs but her daughter is also pregnant. This obviously leads to a rather complex family tree and set of relationships!!!! Lucinda's daughter's cubs were only about 3 weeks old and were kept well hidden at the top of Lion Hill and I only caught a fleeting glimpse of them from a long way away and managed only one not very good photo. The other 5 cubs were about 10 weeks old and all born within a few days of each other and it was difficult to tell them apart. Unfortunately one of Lucinda's cubs had developed a bad foot, possibly a thorn in the paw and was gamely hobbling around on 3 legs trying not to put its injured paw on the ground which meant it did not always come out to play with the others.
Playtime was normally just before 6pm in the late afternoon when the sun had gone down the open ground below Lion Hill was in shade. Most evenings at about the same time the 2 mums would slowly bring the cubs down from their sanctuary at the top of Lion Hill to allow them to play and get rid of their surplus energy. It was generally a no holds barred time with chasing and fighting and using anything that came to hand to play with, whether a stick. an adult or another cubs tail. It is easy to see how lions develop such scratched faces and gnarled ears!! While I was staying at camp it almost became a ritual on the afternoon game drive to end up at the bottom of Lion Hill at about 5.30 and park-up and wait to see if the cubs would come out to play, the only down-side for me was as the light was quickly failing it was difficult to get good photos and the colour looks quite washed out but you cannot expect everything. My abiding memory of my trip is sitting in the vehicle at the bottom of Lion Hill with David and Kapeen and with a G&T in hand watching 5 gorgeous lion cubs playing with uninhibited abandon, just magic!! I just hope they all manage to survive and hopefully they will still be around for Lai's trip and I also hope to return again in late Feb.
There is also a short video which I think conveys the joy of their playtime far better then any photos.



Lucinda's daughter at the top of Lion Hill



A brief glimpse of one of the tiny 3 week old cubs



Coming down the hill to play!!













"I'm tired!!"



"Let go of my tail"





Mum keeping a watchful eye



A rare glimpse of a cub in the evening sun



The cubs were quite happy to play in the pouring rain!!



The cub in the middle is the one with the injured left front paw



Wet and muddy, just like any child!!



Catch me if you can!!!





Time for a drink



"Just a little bit more Mum"



One of the 3 pride male brothers




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Re: Masai Mara Safari Nov. 2013

Post  Laikipia on Wed Nov 27, 2013 4:27 pm

http://i73.servimg.c  Safariman, stunning photos, great clip and a wonderful description of who is who in the Offbeat pride.  Somewhere on FB I've recently seen something about the pride, so that's great to have the family tree and all that information.  I am so excited to know we will have a pride so close, there is nothing better than going to sleep in a tent with the roaring of lions and in such close proximity, I will be in complete heaven.

I really hope they will be around when we get to the Mara on 4th February, what a shame we aren't going to be there at the same time.  

Thanks for sharing and I'll be counting the weeks down soon   and thinking about sundowners (vodka tangawezi  or Dawas for me) drunken

Lai Very Happy 
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Re: Masai Mara Safari Nov. 2013

Post  Doogs on Wed Nov 27, 2013 11:37 pm

Heading to my Sleeping so I'll catch up with all your latest photos and video tomorrow SM cheers 
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Re: Masai Mara Safari Nov. 2013

Post  Doogs on Thu Nov 28, 2013 2:03 pm

 what fantastic photos of the lions & cubs.  I especially loved the 6th photo in the first lot you posted of mum & her 3 little ones following and the beautiful Mara in the background.  The whole photo is crystal clear which is sometimes not easy to do, mine usually ends up with one of the cubs being out of focus  

 to that outcast female and her babies, I really hope they make it.  I don't like hearing of lionesses booted out by the pride No Sad 

What a lovely parting shot to see that Pride on your way home, that was the Mara saying goodbye to you Wink 

Wonderful video clip, it portrays what photos can't - the interaction between a family of lions, it's lovely to watch and also when you are there to listen to, lots of squeaky noises which are just adorable !  We were also lucky to have a couple of encounters with lionesses and their young, including Sila from the Marsh Pride who's little ones were the smallest we have been able to photograph yet, only about 3 weeks old.  We did see cubs that were only days old belonging to the Rongai Pride but they were very well 'stashed' and we couldn't get a good shot.  We must have sat with them for about 1½ hours just watching and taking photos it was lovely and even better we were the only jeep there Very Happy 

Thanks also for that info on the Offbeat Pride, enjoyed reading that - even though I had to read it a couple of times to get the jist of the family tree !!  Laughing  David must have loads of info on the Pride which is great.  Shame that little one you saw late last year didn't make it Crying or Very sad   Has someone notified the vets about the little one's paw/foot ?  Could be a simple darting & treatment could save it's life.

Your abiding memory sounds bliss, I do like a G&T but I'm with Lai re the Dawa's drunken 

Thanks again for all that SM cheers 
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Re: Masai Mara Safari Nov. 2013

Post  Safariman on Fri Nov 29, 2013 10:58 am

Thanks Lai and Doogs. I was lucky with the photos of mum with her 3 cubs as it was early morning and the sun was shining and nice and low in the sky which makes taking photos a lot easier. Plus David my guide is excellent at positioning the vehicle to get the best possible angle and light for the photo. I love being able to get in front of the animals so that they walk directly towards the camera, it makes the shot that much more dramatic.
I did mention to the Conservancy warden about the Offbeat cub with the injured paw and he explained that they don't like to dart animals unless it is the only option. He said you never know how young cubs will react to the tranquillizer, it could easily kill them plus it is also very difficult to isolate the cub from the rest of the pride which can create problems. They prefer to let nature take its course. If it was a thorn in the paw hopefully it will work its way out naturally. There is also the ethical dimension of whether humans should interfere. I can understand it if the animal is injured by humans through poaching or snares etc. but if the injury occurs naturally then should humans help out The problem for me is that we pick and choose which animals we help, normally the so called"iconic" species such as the big cats, elephants and rhinos. If we help one species aren't we then duty bound to help all the injured animals whether it is a leopard or an impala. If we only help certain species and not others are we not upsetting the natural balance. I have seen many injured antelope and they are then easy prey for the predators but that is the way it works. I know we like to think of the big cats as special but they are only a part of a complex ecosystem. Perhaps we have to look at things objectively rather than emotionally!!  

Safariman

p.s. What is a Dawa?


Last edited by Safariman on Fri Nov 29, 2013 11:00 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added a p.s.)
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Re: Masai Mara Safari Nov. 2013

Post  Doogs on Fri Nov 29, 2013 1:12 pm

I think all good guides do that SM, Vincent is forever trying to get ahead of the game and also takes the position of the sun into account when we are trying to get photos, it's a little but thoughtful thing the good guides do Wink 

I understand Davids point of view re the cub, fingers crossed it was just a thorn and the little one gets better soon Hugs  I also get what you are saying about if you help one species you should help another but I personally think that animals whose numbers are in decline should be helped if and when possible, especially in these places like the Mara where people are paying money to come and see them.  The numbers of wildies, gazelles etc far outweigh the 'cat' numbers - that's just my thoughts.

A Dawa or as they are better known on here a "Dawa Doogs"  is an African Cocktail which means "medicine" or "magic potion" in Swahili.



1 tbsp sugar
2 oz vodka
crushed ice cubes
1 whole lime quarter with skin on
1 Dawa twisted in creamed honey

Put lime and sugar into a whisky tumbler.

Crush limes slightly, add ice and pour in the vodka.

At this point you twist a dawa stick into some honey and add the stick to the drink. A wooden honey stick or other type of stick twisted in honey will work.

Muddle limes with dawa or honey stick. The more you crush the limes into the mixture and stir the sweeter the taste.

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
drunken
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Re: Masai Mara Safari Nov. 2013

Post  Laikipia on Fri Nov 29, 2013 2:02 pm

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm drunken  now that was a good reminder Doogs.

You the man  and Thanks 

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Re: Masai Mara Safari Nov. 2013

Post  Safariman on Fri Nov 29, 2013 2:25 pm

Thanks Doogs. I will have to try one next time I am in Africa!!!!!!

SM
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Re: Masai Mara Safari Nov. 2013

Post  Laikipia on Fri Nov 29, 2013 3:57 pm

Definitely do Safariman, they are truly delicious, must be the honey Laughing 

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Re: Masai Mara Safari Nov. 2013

Post  Doogs on Mon Dec 02, 2013 1:28 pm

A must Safariman drunken 
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Leopard Encounters

Post  Safariman on Tue Dec 03, 2013 12:02 pm

I thought I would have a change from lions and post some photos of a young male leopard I encountered. I was lucky enough to come across him a couple of times and he willingly posed for the camera!! The only problem I have had is deciding which photos to post as I was able to take rather a lot and I was very pleased with the results.
We also found 2 other leopards, both in trees and I will do a separate post on them together with some cheetah photos and a video.

My first encounter!



" Oh dear, it looks like another early morning photoshoot!!"



"Better have a quick wash and brush up!!"









"That feels better. Ok I'm ready now!!"

My second encounter!



"Not you again, I suppose you want more photos!!!"



"How do you want me to pose?"



"Is this my best side?"



"Or do you prefer this side?"



"This is boring,I think I am going to yawn!!!"













"Ok that's it. I'm finished now, no more photos, bye!!!!!"


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Re: Masai Mara Safari Nov. 2013

Post  Doogs on Tue Dec 03, 2013 1:07 pm

WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW 

I'm not sure I can say anything more than that !!!!  To see a leopard is a privilege, to photograph a leopard is even more of a privilege but to get one out in the open like that is just amazing (only happened to us once).  Absolutely beautiful pictures, he is a cracking lad, you were very lucky with that encounter SM Very Happy Cool cheers 
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Re: Masai Mara Safari Nov. 2013

Post  Laikipia on Tue Dec 03, 2013 2:28 pm

You the man  Safariman and Thanks  for sharing all those wonderful leopard photos. As you may know, leopards are undoubtedly my all time favourite big cat! To see such a handsome male and to be able to watch him out in the open looking so relaxed must have been truly amazing. Some stunning photos and I really am very alien with envy.

Thanks for taking the time to share, and I always enjoy your commentary Very Happy 

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Re: Masai Mara Safari Nov. 2013

Post  littlewid on Tue Dec 03, 2013 11:23 pm

Hi Safariman

I have finally been able to catch up with your fabulous safari picture's bounce 

The video you posted on the 19th November is just spectacular, a really sweet moment for me was the hyena lying with his paws crossed........it made me smile because its how my cat splodge lies on the floor. I loved the ele who had obviously been in the river but it looked as if she was wearing wellies! It was also good to see so many wildie and buff boys, as you may remember they are two of my favourites so they put a big grin on my face Laughing 

22/11/2013

The 3 little cubs from the Chelli Pride female are really adorable and they look so well, so hopefully mum will be able to keep them all safe. It must be really hard for being out there on her own with them, not an easy thing  to do.
Loving the young male from your second encounter, he is a handsome fellow.
The video was a real treat, it was so lovely and raised another smile to see the little cubs bounding up to mum and a real


surprise to see the pride walking straight past the Zebra, usually when you see that kind of footage the lions are stalking
their prey, so apart from me being surprised I bet the Zebra were rather relieved.


Also thank you for the wonderful insight into the offbeat pride, thats some family history!! The photo's of the cubs playing are just gorgeous and they look as if they dont have a care in the world. That photo of the little cub in the evening sunshine is just adorable.
Sadly the video you posted would not play on my tablet which surprised me as the others did but this one said " the content owner has not made this video available on mobiles " so as im not viewing from a mobile I was stumped as to why it would play...........andI was really looking forward to it Crying or Very sad 

As for your Leopard pics from today WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW really is right, what superb photo's , especially the ones of him yawning,  he really does go to town on that doesnt he  and the photo of him resting his head on the mound of earth or little ditch is just beautiful.
Leopards I have always liked but not always gone really mushy over but they have really kept plugging away at my heart and the shear beauty and power of them have stollen my heart and your pictures have just melted it, they are truely brilliant.

Thanks for sharing your trip, I have just spent a magical time catching up Very Happy 

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Re: Masai Mara Safari Nov. 2013

Post  whitestarling on Wed Dec 04, 2013 5:18 pm

Another set of really great photos Safariman. I hope the outcast female manages to get her Cubs through, but it must be very difficult for her as we know to hunt, and take care of them on her own.
Really loved the Photos of the Off Beat Pride, and also the videos, my friends on Ustream chat at Pete's Pond have loved looking at them all on You Tube. Fantastic shots of the Male Leopard, how wonderful to have been able to share such a long time with him, and it really looks as though you got him to do all the poses  great commentary to.
Thanks for sharing all your photos, vids, and stories of you Safari

WS

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Re: Masai Mara Safari Nov. 2013

Post  Safariman on Thu Dec 05, 2013 12:29 pm

Thanks everyone. As anybody who has been on safari will know photos rely a lot on luck and being in the right place at the right time. You cannot control the weather as to whether the sun will shine or not and you cannot control the wildlife as they are not going to pose for a camera, you just have to take pot luck and hope for the best and occasionally everything comes together. This particular leopard we saw a couple of times. On the first occasion he was relaxing on a rocky area of ground, enjoying the sunshine and keeping out of a strong wind that was blowing. We were not the first vehicle on the seen and it was difficult to get any decent shots. The Conservancy has a policy of maximum of 4 vehicles at any sighting, any other vehicle has to wait in line until another vehicle moves off. This generally works fine and I have never experienced any problems at a sighting. On this occasion as there were several vehicles around we decided to leave and go and have our picnic breakfast and return later. The strategy worked and when we returned there was only one vehicle still there and that quickly moved off. I am very selfish at sightings and like to have it all to myself!!!
On the second occasion a couple of days later we found the leopard in the same general area but nicely out in the open and again enjoying the early morning sun and he was very relaxed and happy to pose for the camera. There were no other vehicles around which was perfect for me, the light was ideal and I managed some great photos, it was one of those occasions when I got lucky!!!

SM
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Re: Masai Mara Safari Nov. 2013

Post  littlewid on Thu Dec 05, 2013 5:46 pm

As you know Safariman, I have never been on a safari but for me, I too would hate to see an animal surrounded by vehicles and eager snappers, it can't be very nice for them and it must be quite intrusive, so a max of 4 vehicles probably sounds about right but saying that, I am a person who loves to nave space and peace when I am enjoying something, so I agree with you really wanting to be the only one there, it also makes the whole experience a lot more personal, kind of having a one to one with the handsome Leopard, so im really pleased for you that both occassions worked out well for you. He really is some Leopard isnt he I love you 

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Confrontation!!!

Post  Safariman on Tue Dec 10, 2013 12:18 pm

During my stay in the Mara North Conservancy I took a couple of trips into the Masai Mara Reserve itself in the hope of seeing the wlidebeest and zebra crossing the Mara River. Although I saw lots of wildies and zebras, none of them were in the mood for crossing however we did see plenty of predators who were enjoying the abundance of food available.
Heading across Paradise Plain we spotted (or to be precise, David and Kapeen spotted) a female lion with what appeared to be cubs. On closer inspection we found a female from the Paradise Pride with 2 cubs about 8 weeks old. She seemed quite agitated and it soon became clear that she had spotted a male lion about 50 metres away lying down in the grass. The cubs were oblivious to the possible danger and happily came up to our vehicle and flopped down beside us. Mum was not happy and kept snarling and growling in the direction of the male. And every couple of minutes she would edge a few metres closer towards him in the hope of getting him to move off. The male turned out to be Hunter (thanks Doogs for the id) one of the 4 Musketeers of the Marsh Pride. He was totally ignoring the female and just keeping his head down out of the wind. The cubs rejoined mum and she again moved closer to Hunter until she was only a few metres away. There was much snarling and growling from the female and she eventually sent the 2 cubs away where they settled down about 20 metres behind her. Hunter just kept ignoring her and eventually acting like a true gentleman turned his back on her and went to sleep!!! We waited for some time but the stand-off was a stalemate with Hunter refusing to move and the female refusing to go away. We moved off towards the river leaving them to their confrontation. We were to see Hunter again a couple of days later but that is another story.
There are some photos and a short video of the encounter.



Mum and her cubs









Hunter, keeping his head down!!



One of the cubs next to the vehicle



The other cub



Hunter, ignoring the situation!!



Mum starting to get agitated



Mum getting very agitated!!!



Hunter's response!!!




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Re: Masai Mara Safari Nov. 2013

Post  Laikipia on Tue Dec 10, 2013 3:49 pm

cheers  Safariman, more lovely photos of lions.  I love the story line and the clip shows it so well.  Hunter was so chilled looking and determined to ignore the lioness, very frustrating for her I am sure but great to see him staying there relaxing.  Great to know the Paradise pride have two new cubs looking so fit and well.

The photos are wonderful, thanks for sharing.

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A typical day in the Mara?

Post  Safariman on Fri Dec 13, 2013 12:13 pm

Our second attempt to go into the Mara Reserve to try and see the wildies crossing again proved fruitless and although we saw thousands of wildies and zebras they were not in the mood for crossing. (I don't blame them, the water is cold and the river is full of crocs!!!!). However no trip into the Mara is ever wasted.
Our first encounter was with a small herd of ellies moving quickly across the barren plain heading towards the escarpment in the hope of finding some food. They did however stop long enough for a quick photoshoot.



Elephant family portrait

As soon as we started crossing the Musiara Marsh we inevitably came across some members of the Marsh Pride. With so much food available they had split up into small groups and were well scattered. This group consisted of two females and a youngster who was in desperate need of a face wash!!





Lion cub with a very dirty face!!

Next up was an old and grizzled female warthog



Starting to cross Paradise plain David my guide, stopped to get out his binos and then proceeded to go head off road. He had spotted a male lion carrying something in its mouth. As we got closer, the "something" turned out to be a freshly killed eland calf and the lion was Sikio, one of the Marsh Pride Musketeers. It was amazing to watch this magnificent animal carrying and not dragging the calf in his jaws. They must have incredible strength. He was looking for somewhere to stash his kill before devouring it at his leisure He also looked to have an already full belly. Watching him enviously were 3 female members of the Marsh Pride but their chances of even getting a scrap were very slim.



Sikio carrying his prize





The magnificent Sikio

We carried on across the plain until we saw yet another male lion, this time with a wildebeest kill stashed beside him. It was Morani, another of the Marsh Pride Musketeers. They were definitely making their presence felt in the Paradise Pride's territory.





Morani

We eventually arrived at one of the Mara River crossing points to have a belated picnic breakfast but although there was a huge herd of wildies and zebras waiting to cross they stubbornly refused and eventually headed back towards the plain.



Having waited patiently for a couple of hours we moved off to try another crossing point. Again no luck, however the reason was obvious. A female lion probably from the Paradise Pride had taken out a wildebeest right on the crossing point and although she was now sleeping off her lunch, her young cub was still gorging himself. There was to be no crossing there today!!!



A young cub gorging himself on a wildebeest kill.

Seeing everybody eating we decided it was definitely time for some lunch, so we headed away from the river in search of a nice shady tree. We found a likely subject but soon discovered it was already occupied. Another male lion but this time with a female, his current girlfriend, trying to get some quality time together!! The male was Hunter a third member of the Marsh Pride Musketeers whom we had seen a couple of days previously. Lions mate continuously for between 48/72 hours about every 20 mins. or until the male is too exhausted to carry on. Hunter looked to be coping well!!! I was going to add captions to the following photos but I think they are self-explanatory!!!













We decided to give them some privacy and found a nearby tree to give us some shade for our picnic lunch. It was one of those surreal moments that seem to happen on safari as we ate our lunch within sight of 2 mating lions!!!



Hunter and friend in the shade of their tree

Their ardour was soon to be dampened as the first drops of rain were starting to fall from an impending storm and we quickly packed up our picnic and headed home. However our day with the lions was still not over and recrossing Musiara Marsh we encountered 3 more members of the Marsh Pride waiting for the rain to stop.





Waiting for the storm to pass.

We returned to camp after a long but incredible day of encounters with lions. In the course of our 10 hour trip we had seen 6 separate groups of lions. Just another day in the Mara!!!

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Re: Masai Mara Safari Nov. 2013

Post  Laikipia on Fri Dec 13, 2013 2:42 pm

You the man  Safariman, another lovely description of your day in the Mara and visit to Musiara Marsh. What an amazing abundance of lions and some really superb photos of them all. The captions are great, and yes probably a few of them are indeed self explanatory !

You really did have an amazing 10 hours and sometimes those wildies just don't want to cross but I always think just watching them all hanging around the river bank is a nail biting experience, will they or won't they? I have never caught an actual crossing despite being at Rekero camp when they were hanging around thinking about it.

Thanks so much for all those photos and for taking time to share them with us all.

No pressure for me in February Safariman  Laughing 

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Re: Masai Mara Safari Nov. 2013

Post  whitestarling on Thu Dec 19, 2013 1:03 pm

WOW Safariman that is some typical Day, wish I had some typical Days like that. It must have been totaly amazing to see so many different little groups of Lions. I think you got all the marsh Pride Males except Scar, they really do seem to be doing well. I was wondering if you know whether Notchs Boys get into the Paradise Pride area, I seem to remember they did at one time. Love the Elephant family shot, it was good of them to stop for you  Very Happy . Also great Lion photos, and nice to see Hunter doing what Pride Males are supposed to do, passing on their genes to the next generation, and your right definately self explanitory   . They must have tremendous strengh in their jaws to be able to carry prey for that distance. You've made a typical Day in the Mara, into a great day for me Thanks Safariman

WS  You the man 

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Re: Masai Mara Safari Nov. 2013

Post  littlewid on Thu Dec 19, 2013 10:11 pm

Safariman you are definitely  You the man those encounters are spectacular and you certainly take us on your 10 hours, just brilliant.
On your first set of pictures with the mum and cubs, the picture of the little cub shows how dark red the inside of the cubs ear is, I never realised they were so dark, amazing really.
Loving the ele family portrait, as WS says, very good of them to pose for you, very obliging  Very Happy 
Thank you for so many glorious photos and the description of your day, a great way for me to end the day.

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littlewid
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Beautiful Birds!!

Post  Safariman on Fri Dec 20, 2013 12:03 pm

Thanks for the positive comments everyone.
Time to get away from the big cats and post some photos of the wonderful birds that are always around. It is always a challenge to try and capture them and I probably delete more photos of birds particularly in flight than anything else, but its fun to keep trying!!



Verreaux's Eagle-owl



Male Red-cheeked Cordon-bleu



A Lappet-faced vulture takes to the skies



A Superb starling showing its dazzling colours in the early morning sunlight



Little Bee-eater



Ruppell's Griffon-vulture



White-backed vulture



A Maribou Stork takes off



The tiny Pigmy Kingfisher



Kori Bustard, the heaviest flying bird



Long-crested Eagle



Rufous-naped Lark



A Secretary (or should that be PA) bird on her way to work!!!



Yellow-throated Longclaw



A Lilac-breasted Roller catching it's breakfast!!



A Lilac-breasted Roller trying to eat it's breakfast!!



Eurasian Bee-eater



Tawny eagle



Ground Hornbill

SM
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Safariman

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Location : Buckinghamshire

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Re: Masai Mara Safari Nov. 2013

Post  littlewid on Fri Dec 20, 2013 6:39 pm

bounce  bounce  Oh Boy! Is it Christmas today Safariman?  Very Happy  we have been spoilt with so many beautiful birds and for me, what joy to see the Verreaux's Eagle Owl first, Owls for me are simply the best, everyone has a different favourite but for me its Owls all the way, he is stunning!!
I have never heard of a Red-Cheeked Cordon-Bleu before, what a stunning bird, I will try to remember that one and the starling truely is dazzling, what amazing colour.
Another bkrd I have never heard of is the Rufous-Naped Lark, I really like that little guy, hes not colourful but there is something about him that appeals, I need to read up on them to see what type of Bird they are.
The little Lilac-Breasted Roller is another stunning bird and boy what a mouthful he caught, those are brilliant picture's and I reckon that Secretary isa PA, she has a senior look about her   
I am loving all the birds actually, I am truely a bird girl and I love them and find them fascinating whether they be beautiful or not so model like, all birds are truely beautiful and intriguing.
Thank you so much for sharing them, im a happy girl but for you to have actually seen them all must have just been an explosion of  WOW WOW WOW 
littlewid-x-

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Re: Masai Mara Safari Nov. 2013

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