Changing times and tight schedules have meant shorter and shorter safaris. Three days would have been unthinkable back in the day; the norm being at least a couple of months and that too after many months of planning. Today, it is possible to have Dinner in Delhi, and Breakfast in the Bush!
An overnight flight from New Delhi to Nairobi followed by a short hop from Nairobi into the airfield at Mara North, is painless and surprisingly convenient.
Within just 15 minutes of landing on the ‘bush’ strip, and a few delicious Scotch Eggs down, we chanced upon the resident male Leopard of the area also breakfasting – albeit up a tree and on a freshly killed Impala!
In the 3 days that followed, we had multiple sightings of big cats; 50 different Lions – the Elephant Pepper Camp Pride which has now soared to 29, the famous Marsh Pride of 15, two solitary females, and a mating couple who had reportedly spent the better part of a week together.
We tracked a coalition of three young Cheetahs, whom we photographed stalking, charging and successfully killing a male Thompson’s Gazelle in the middle of the day! Before hungry Hyenas and vultures found their way to the kill, the three adolescents gobbled up their venison-lunch and retired for a siesta in a croton bush, escaping the searing East-African sun.
We saw Marshall Eagles trying to swoop down on suckling Warthog piglets, African Fish Eagles fighting over a kill, Tawny eagles feasting and numerous other raptors.
Large herds of buffalo chose to graze the patch around our tent most nights! And, we fell asleep listening to lions roaring in the distance. On our last day we found two male cheetahs hunting, unsuccessfully, near our camp. We even managed to see a herd of Wildebeest cross the Mara River, heading south into the Serengeti in search of greener pastures…
A short yet action-packed safari! Come and see for yourselves…
Written and Photographed by Jaisal Singh, co-owner of Elephant Pepper Camp about his recent visit to the Masai Mara