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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MASAI MARA DURING THE SUMMER

Friday
27th
Jun
2014

The summer in the Masai Mara is always splendid as the rain tapers off and we are welcomed with warm mornings and hot mid days. Clear skies return, and with no light pollution around the stars, nights are spectacular with many of the big constellations on show.

Out on the grasslands the savannah grasses are tall and lush, waiting for the imminent arrival of the wildebeest migration.

Some years the wildebeest begin to enter the Mara River early, crossing at Sand River towards the end of the month of June. This is the wildebeest rutting season and males are seen jumping, cavorting and bumping heads as they compete for short term territory and females.

Herds of elephant of up to 200 individuals are in the marsh area feeding and bathing and there are young calves amongst the herds. Sensing the imminent arrival of the wildebeest the elephant begin to move into the acacia woodlands bordering the reserve, this is the area where we do our walking safaris and it is always a treat to see so many elephants here.

Large groups of giraffe pass by the lodges and camps on the periphery of the forests, often with young calves within the family groups. The resident herd of buffalo graze around the marsh areas. Lion spend their time between the boundary of the reserve and the marsh following the available food, feeding mostly of warthog, waterbuck and topi.

Cheetah hunt on the high plains, keeping a low profile from all the hyena around. Leopard sightings remain very good. One July we had the privilege of watching a leopard lying up in a hammerkops nest all day, much to the anger and frustration the hammerkops who could not get near their nest all day!

Most of the plains game remain on the short grass where the grass is green and they can easily see predators approaching, these include topi with their seven month old calves and we also have good sightings of elands who calve at this time of the year.

Large clans of hyena are seen competing with lion for prey and we enjoy lots of mongoose sightings including white-tailed, Egyptian and slender tailed mongoose. And the resident aadvarks are busy digging up termite mounds in search of a meal.