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Masai Mara Safari Nov. 2013

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Re: Masai Mara Safari Nov. 2013

Post  gregrowlerson on Sun Dec 22, 2013 7:17 am

WOW WOW WOW 

Wonderful stories and photos once again SM!! Beautiful birds, loving lions, eccentric elephants and of course a loveable leopard! So amazing that you caught him with his filters down, and not being at all anti-social. It must be incredible to get so close to such a majestic animal in the wild.

 Thanks for going to such great lengths with your photo shares, and for the engaging stories that go with them. The leopard photo shoot captions were great, and the lion commentary rather amusing. I have compared my two dogs to lions before, but after reading that every twenty minutes for two to three days statistic I'm afraid that I can't do the same for me   

And I was under the impression that male lions were lazy  affraid Razz 
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Re: Masai Mara Safari Nov. 2013

Post  Laikipia on Mon Dec 23, 2013 8:18 am

You the man  Safariman. Thanks for sharing all those wonderful bird photos. I love birds and always enjoy looking at photos, they may be small and not the big 5 but they are wonderful and challenging to get good photos.

That really made me smile this morning.

Lai
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Re: Masai Mara Safari Nov. 2013

Post  Doogs on Tue Dec 24, 2013 1:25 pm

A lot of updates on here from you SM    Going to leave this thread until I have more time to look and digest what you have posted properly as it deserves that  Very Happy 
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Cheetahs and Leopards

Post  Safariman on Fri Dec 27, 2013 3:56 pm

While the Christmas Fare of the last couple of days is slowly digesting and settling I thought I would post some more photos from my recent trip.
The cheetahs I encountered were surprisingly very inactive this trip and I only saw them relaxing or sleeping, generally in the shade, which makes photography difficult. I saw two groups of cheetah, an adult female and her two sub-adult cubs and a coalition of two brothers. I came across the female with her cubs on 3 separate occasions and each time they were "resting". The cubs were of an age when they should be leaving mum to find their own territory and as can be seen from the photos their cub mantle had almost disappeared. The first couple of sightings were in the conservancy but the third was in the Reserve proper which meant that in less than 24 hours they had moved well over 20kms!!! This shows the huge range that cheetahs travel. As soon as the female with her cubs left the conservancy, the two cheetah brothers moved the opposite way from the Reserve back into the conservancy which seemed very strange behaviour!!
By contrast the leopards I saw never moved far. I have already posted about the young male but I also encountered two others, both happily ensconced in trees. The first was a male very well camouflaged and difficult to see or photograph as he relaxed. The other was the female Nelangu, one of Zawadi/Shadow's daughters who I was lucky enough to see on my previous visit in Dec. 2012. This time she was well hidden in an isolated tree having recently killed a reedbuck which she had pulled partway up the tree. Trying to take photos, even just to be able to identify her, was extremely difficult and awkward. I saw her on 3 separate occasions over a 4 day period and on each occasion she was still in the same tree although by the third visit the carcass had disappeared. Leopards are expert at remaining anonymous and once in a tree are perfectly camouflaged against prying eyes.
I have included a short video which shows the cheetahs and also the young male leopard from my earlier post.



Male leopard relaxing in a tree, not the most flattering angle for a photo!!!



A slightly better angle



The cheetah mum and her two cubs relaxing in the shade.



Mum and one of the cubs



Mum



One of the cubs



One of the cubs relaxing in the Reserve



The two cubs greet each other





Mum



Spot the leopard!!!



"Nelangu"



"There's a leopard in that tree!!!!!"



I can see you!!!



Nelangu relaxing in "her" tree





The coalition of two cheetah brothers keeping their heads down





SM
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Re: Masai Mara Safari Nov. 2013

Post  Laikipia on Fri Dec 27, 2013 4:44 pm

Thanks  Safariman, another lovely collection of photos of cheetahs and leopards and a great clip at the end. It's so great that you saw the cheetah mum and her two cubs, although they do look very adult now which is great to see. Trying to spot the leopard in the tree  Laughing  the way they blend in is amazing, sometimes just the tell tale tail hanging down is all you can spot.

Fantastic photos, stories and clip, thanks for sharing Safariman.

Lai
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Re: Masai Mara Safari Nov. 2013

Post  littlewid on Sat Dec 28, 2013 10:39 pm

You've done it again Safariman, brilliant photos, I respect how had it must be to get some of those tree shots, they do hide themselves so well don't they, definitely elusive cats. I loved trying to spot them in the trees, my nose was on my screen almost looking for them. The Cheetah cubs do look old enough to be leaving one but I see one is a male so maybe he wants to hang around mum a bit longer  Very Happy  I love that they were all being a bit lazy, I think its nice to see them just chilling out instead of chasing all over the place. That is quite a distance for the cheetah to cover isn't it, no wonder they do need to have so chill out time.
I really liked the video clip, so relaxing and the music was just right, very sleepy big cats indeed.
Another great post Safariman, loved it......Thank You

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"The Rest"

Post  Safariman on Fri Jan 03, 2014 3:56 pm

These are the last group of photos (thank goodness, I can hear everybody say!!) from my recent trip and include all the various animals that did not fit in to my previous posts.



A very young Masai giraffe.



A Cape Buffalo enjoying his wallow in the mud.



An elephant mum and her young calf. Although I did not see many ellies, those that I did see always had very tiny ones with them so they must be breeding well.



Wildebeest and zebras massing close to the Mara River before deciding whether to cross!!



A pair of Masai giraffe pose for the camera.



A pair of Black-backed jackals in the early morning sun.



A very young zebra foal taking a rest.



A small herd of zebra deciding NOT to cross the Mara River



One of the many Nile crocodiles waiting patiently on the banks of the Mara River.



A colony of Banded mongoose on their termite mound home.



A male Grant's gazelle.



A spotted hyena giving me the evil eye.



A very fortunate zebra, showing the wound on its' neck where it probably had a very lucky escape from a crocodile while crossing the river.



A banded mongoose poses for the camera.



A young Masai giraffe showing the problems young giraffe have trying to get a drink from mum!! This photo was taken while I was relaxing on the porch of my tent at Offbeat Mara's camp.



"Two heads are better than one". A pair of Masai giraffe.



A zebra foal stops for a drink.



A tiny elephant calf came to take a close look at the vehicle however.....



Mum decided he was too close and gently guided him away!!



A male eland.



Another very young zebra foal on unsteady legs!!



Another elephant mum showing off her very new born calf.



The view from the top of Lion Hill looking towards Offbeat's Mara Camp where I stayed and will be returning to in Feb!!!!


Thanks to everybody for all the very positive and encouraging comments on the posts of my trip. It has been great fun posting them and is a great way for me to keep reliving my time there. As mentioned above I will be returning to Kenya in February and hopefully will come back with lots more photos to post.

SM
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Re: Masai Mara Safari Nov. 2013

Post  whitestarling on Fri Jan 03, 2014 5:02 pm

 Safariman I have been intending to reply to your posts of the Birds, and Cheetahs for a while, but I've not been to good over Xmas, and New Year. The Bird photos are superb, I really love the Yellow Claw, and the Lilac Breasted Roller, those phtos really help me when I am watching the web Cams of Africa that we have on here, people are always asking if people can ID a particular Bird, and they really come in handy. Loved the photos, and clips of the Leopards, and Cheetahs. The next best thing I find to being able to fo to Africa myself is to see the photos from you Guys that do go, and reading the reports of what you have seen, where, and when. Also I get great pleasure from watching the cams with other people from around the World, who I chat to on the sites. I have shared all you videos from your recent trip with these people, and they have visited the clips on You Tube, and without exception they have all loved seeing them, and sharing your Safari. No there's definately not a thank goodness there the last, there's a definate thank goodness that your going again in Feb, and will have more exciting Pics, and Stories to share with us all

WS

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Re: Masai Mara Safari Nov. 2013

Post  Laikipia on Fri Jan 03, 2014 5:15 pm

No  Safariman, we've now got to wait until your next trip for more lovely photos.  I really enjoy all your photos and commentary and clips, especially on a cold, windy wet day  Very Happy   You can never have enough Africa (and especially Kenya) photography, I always enjoy every single photo, so please don't stop!

It's such a shame we're not passing through Offbeat Mara at the same time, we could have had a sundowner or two whilst enjoying our time there.  We're off on 3rd February and Offbeat Mara is our first stop for 3 days.

Are you going to other places as well?  

Thanks as ever for sharing all your photos, they are much appreciated.

Lai  cheers 
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Re: Masai Mara Safari Nov. 2013

Post  gregrowlerson on Sat Jan 04, 2014 3:27 am

Thanks again for all the wonderful photos and conversation Safariman. Some interesting pics and insights into the cheetahs and leopards, especially the comparisons of long distance travelled vs. not. And I knew that your photos were just missing some short (though tall) detail. Giraffes!

It really sounds like you get so much out of your safari adventures and that's nice to hear. You are clearly a glass half full person (which is typical on this forum actually   ).
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Re: Masai Mara Safari Nov. 2013

Post  littlewid on Sat Jan 04, 2014 6:09 pm

Hi Safariman
You know me I could comment on every single photograph on that last posting but I would be here all day as I could say so much about them all, they really are all very superb pictures and you have one of my favs in there........the Buff Boy......just so love the way he is covered in all that mud, imagine if you had to clean him off  affraid  Banded Mongoose another fav but I must say, that very first picture of the young Zebra foal sitting down is just beautiful  I love you  what a gorgeous picture in a frame that would be, it really is stunning and I like the other one very much too, Mr unsteady legs, Zebra are just special I think. That looks quite a deep hole in the Zebras neck, I hope that healed ok for him, its a nasty one. Seriously the rest of the photos are well up there as well, all so very special in their own way and I genuinely love them all.

As WS says, we would never say thank goodness, I could look at your photos every day, I am always eager for more and will admit I get excited when I see you have posted, its always a feeling of  http://i70.servimg.c  so I am looking forward to you going off on your trip in Feb so we get to see more, more, more, more   

Thank you for sharing all those stunning pictures.

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Re: Masai Mara Safari Nov. 2013

Post  Safariman on Sun Jan 05, 2014 11:34 am

Thanks everybody.
Glad you are feeling better WS, I am sure this awful weather doesn't help. Bird identification is always difficult and even some of the bird books only have drawings which are not always 100% accurate so I always try and take photos even if they are not very good to help me identify them.
GW I always take photos of giraffes as they are so photogenic and being very curious animals always stand and stare and give you plenty of time to snap away. The only problem is they are so tall it sometimes difficult to get all the giraffe in the shot!
LW the buffs are also good to photograph as they do not bother to run away at the sight of a vehicle, they just carry on doing what they always do and that is eating!! I saw lots of banded mongoose and again they were happy to pose for the camera!! The most difficult to photograph are normally the various antelope as they are all very nervous and run off as soon as you raise your camera to try and take a picture.
It is unfortunate that we will miss each other in the Mara Lai, as you say some shared sundowners would have been fun. I almost follow you to Offbeat's Camp as I leave the UK on the 8th Feb. and fly down to the Mara on the 9th. for 8 nights and then straight home. We will have to compare notes and photos when we get back!!

SM
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Re: Masai Mara Safari Nov. 2013

Post  Laikipia on Sun Jan 05, 2014 1:12 pm

Bother what a shame Safariman, we will be moving on to Il Ngwesi on 7th Feb I think so will be out of the Mara.  We must definitely compare notes, photos and stories - although I know your stories are far better than mine, I love the photography but am rotten at the commentary  What a Face 

8 days will be lovely and real time to relax and enjoy the Mara.  I hope we'll both catch up with Piers too.

Not long to wait now   

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