Immersed in the Mara

The Maasai Mara is the most incredible place in which to wander. A camera opens up your vision helping you to look more closely. This is a place of wild open spaces and big skies where your eyes dance in the haze and you can breathe deeply, a feeling which soothes your soul.

“This place will immerse you in its beauty and wonder. A place which remains relatively untouched by humanity. It is the northern most part of a stage where one of the greatest wildlife spectacles in the world is enacted every year, the wildebeest migration. Every day life and death dramas are being played out between predator and prey. Where cuteness and savagery live side by side.” ~ Mike Haworth

You will be intrigued by the sights, behaviours and scenes. This blog is a gallery of scenes which hopefully gives you a feeling of what you might sense when you wander through this wild place.

The beginning of the day will flood your senses with colour and space.

Ordinary things will sparkle and take on a whole new sense in the backlight.

“Because things grow. Wherever there is air and light and open space, things grow.” ~Helen Oyeyemi

Early morning is a time when the lion prides come down to drink- a family affair!

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Zebras become habituated to crossing crocodile infected rivers on their migratory route but all the terror that it brings is somehow washed away in the open plains where they let their guard down and easily wander into the middle of these pools of water to drink.

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Some pools are vacated for very good reasons. Two young blonde male lions struggling in the heat on the open plains have come down to rest next to a pool of water in a drainage line. Not 100 metres away were three old “dagga boys” resting in the short grass but keeping careful eye on their nemesis.

One morning we decided to travel through the Maasia Mara reserve and wandered down to the Serengeti border. This is a place of Inselbergs and vast open grasslands where the plains are dotted with Balanites. This is one of the scenes looking toward the Oloololo escarpment. A small group of bull elephants were ambling slowly through the vast grassland plains feeding at will.

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In the Mara North, there were a few large herds of buffalo. This was one such herd. It was spread out feeding on the lush grasslands with plenty of water in pools along the drainage lines.

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Down in the Marsh pride’s territory close to the Mara river next to the marsh we found this family herd of elephants casually feeding on the lush vegetation.

A small family group of elephants emerged from the “greenheart” forest next to the Mara river in the area of the Marsh pride.

“Everything in nature invites us constantly to be what we are. We are often like rivers: careless and forceful, timid and dangerous, lucid and muddied, eddying, gleaming, still.”
~ Gretel Ehrlich

In the middle of the day we stopped in the “greenheart” forest next to the Mara river. This was the scene from the vehicle where we ate lunch and edited some of our images.

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Early one morning in the Mara North we looked high and low for this pride of lions. It is quite incredible how they can disappear in the open grasslands when they lie down. As you can see there were large banks of cloud passing overhead creating strata of light and shadow across the plains.

20180220-_D819751“To sit in the shade on a fine day, and look upon verdure, is the most perfect refreshment.”~Jane Austen

Eventually it got too hot for this pride of lions and they made their way to the only shade in the area, what looked like a very old Shepherd tree. The Topis in the background kept a close eye on the resting family.

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Another scene where family pride were resting, mid-morning, in the shade of a Balanite.

One afternoon, the wind had picked up and it became overcast. I liked this image of the tails of the group of zebras being blown to one side by the wind. Something had caught their attention, probably a predator.

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This scene was around 8h00 in the morning in the Mara North. There was a lot of game on the plains feeding peacefully but the weather had other plans.

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In the Mara North just the other side of “double crossing” we found this lone male cheetah. He was resting in the shade even though it was early in the morning. We took one look at his belly and decided that he would be resting for the day .

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“Heaven is under our feet, as well as over our heads.”~ Henry David Thoreau

A panorama of the Maasia Mara from just below the Oloololo escarpment showing the dotted plains cast in wide open space.

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Dawn and dusk are picturesque times of the day when ordinary scenes become extraordinary, cast in an entirely different light. Two female Thompson’s gazelle have the attention of a male.

This is a glimpse of the light, colour, space and textures you can be immersed in when wandering through the Mara.

“The poetry of the earth is never dead.” ~John Keats

Explore, seek to understand, marvel at its inter-connectedness and let it be.

Have fun,

Mike

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