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Meru Mara Safari June 2016

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Meru Mara Safari June 2016

Post  Safariman on Tue Jul 19, 2016 2:36 pm

I thought it was about time I started this thread about my recent trip to Meru National Park and Mara North Conservancy, Kenya.

I did put a post on the Imani thread about the trip that turned out to be the cheetah Rani and not Imani as I originally thought, as well as getting the music for the video wrong!! So it is probably best to start again.

The posts are not in any particular order and will go from the Mara to Meru and back again as and when I edit the photos. To start these are 3 videos I have been working on.

The first video is of Rani and her 3 cubs who are about a year old. She had taken up residence close to the Offbeat Camp at Mara North and we were able to see her most days. A lot of time seems to be taken with bonding particularly with the 2 females and mum and not so much with the young male.
The music on the video is by Enya.



The second video is also of Rani. This time she was in hunting mode as they had not eaten for a couple of days. When we first sighted them they were on the move so we followed at a discreet distance and eventually parked up where we could get an overview of the surrounding plain. The cubs were very obedient and knew not to try and interfere. Her first attempt at a pair of Thomson's was half-hearted and appeared to be little more than a bit of a warm-up exorcise however her second attempt was for real and the gazelle was lucky to escape with only a minor scratch. It is amazing to witness a cheetah running at full speed and although I have done a slow-motion replay on the video it is still happens very quickly.
We caught up with Rani again the following day and it was obvious from their full bellies that a kill had been recently made. Life is hard for a cheetah with cubs and most hunts end in failure.
The music is again Enya



The third video is from my time in Meru. Following exceptional rains last November and further very good rains in May, by the time of my visit Meru had become a green jungle with waist high grass and an explosion of shrub and tree growth. With an abundance of food about the elephants take the opportunity to get together in big herds and we came across several groups of 50+ individuals. On one occasion we found ourselves completely surrounded by a huge herd with no way of avoiding them, we had to just sit tight and wait for them to pass. Most of the time they are fairly relaxed although occasionally one will try and show who is boss which always gets the adrenaline pumping!!
The music is by a South African, Joe Mafela and is called Shebeleza.




SM
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Re: Meru Mara Safari June 2016

Post  Laikipia on Thu Jul 21, 2016 12:38 pm

http://i73.servimg.c Safariman. 3 wonderful clips (and of course the music that goes with them). I loved seeing Rani and her cubs after a successful hunt with such full bellies. It's so tough for them so it's great to see that after several days of not eating they finally got a good meal.

Meru looks so different. Not that we've ever been but it looked so lush and amazing with all the long grass, no wonder you saw so many eles. Mmmm eles magnificent though they are do alarm me in large herds and I have the utmost respect for them!!!

Thanks for sharing Safariman, they were beautiful clips.

Lai
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Re: Meru Mara Safari June 2016

Post  Safariman on Fri Aug 05, 2016 2:41 pm

Thanks Lai. Meru was looking particularly green following all the rains, it is normally very dry.

I have been concentrating on editing the film clips and here are the next batch. I thought I had better post them before I get too engrossed in the Olympics for the next two weeks.

The first clip is of Amani the other cheetah who based herself in Mara North and her two cubs. It was just a year ago that I had seen her with her 5 tiny cubs who were almost immediately killed we think by jackals. It was great to see her with 2 very healthy cubs about 4 moths old.



The next clip is also from the Mara and shows the serval we came across on a day out in the Mara Reserve close to the Tanzania border. It is unusual to see these beautiful cats and even more unusual to see one walking down the road in front of you!!



The next 2 clips are both of Meru; the first is a general video of my trip showing most of Meru including going down to the Tana River which forms the border between Meru and Kora and also involves crossing the Equator which is fun!! Meru is also known as "The Complete Wilderness due to its wild terrain and lack of visitors and traffic.



The final clip shows some of the varied and wonderful bird-life of Meru. Although one thing that surprised me and I found rather worrying was how few raptors I saw compared with previous visits and absolutely no vultures.




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Re: Meru Mara Safari June 2016

Post  whitestarling on Wed Aug 10, 2016 11:38 am

Amani and her Cubs look really healthy. Hopefully she will get these two through to adulthood with not so many mouths to feed she wont have to leave them as long or often.
Great to see the Serval in daylight we do see them very occasionaly on the web cams at night, but not seen one in the day
Mero looks a really wonderful, and wild place to visit, with the wide variety of animals, and scenery. Did you get dunked when you crossed the equator SM lol! Shame about the lack of Raptors and Vultures is there a lot of poisoning going on in the area.

Thanks for the clips SM

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Re: Meru Mara Safari June 2016

Post  Laikipia on Wed Aug 10, 2016 4:44 pm

You the man and http://i73.servimg.c and Thanks for sharing those 4 clips Safariman.

Firstly Amani and her cubs, well it's just lovely to see her with 2 healthy looking cubs and long may they stay that way.

Secondly the Serval - just amazing to see it strolling down the road so calmly, they are such beautiful cats.

Thirdly, I can see why Meru is the complete wilderness, what a great place with such wildlife, so beautiful and green (when you were there) and so unspoilt - sorry but the Mara is now overrun by camps and tourists!

Fourthly the birds - well as you know I love my birds so that was a truly great clip with so many different birds so I really enjoyed that.

The sad thing is the lack of vultures as you say and the difference in Taz was noticeable where they have what seems to be a healthy amount of all the vultures, long may it last.

That was wonderful Safariman, and I'm sorry it's taken so long for me to get back on to WAA Sorry Pressures of work and my own photos (now at 648) but I confess I am posting some on Instagram which I can automatically share with Facebook and Twitter so it's very easy Very Happy

I hope you're enjoying the Olympics cheers and thanks again for sharing.

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