Masai Mara – wanderings

We were wandering around the Mara Triangle in the Masai Mara National Reserve in November 2019. The Masai Mara is a wonderland. Open spaces to drive in and big blue skies to fly in. In the very early mornings you can hear the burners of the hot air balloons as they rise and fall while wafting on the light cool early morning breezes over the plains of the Mara.

“The winds of grace are blowing all the time, but it is you that must raise your sails.” ~ Rabindranath Tagore

A family herd of elephants wandering under huge rain laden morning skies.

A lugga in the wet season, holding water long enough for water lilies to grow.

An eclectic mix of wildlife – life and death living side by side in a green meadow with some respite during the daylight hours.

Craning to look at the golden crown above the ice blue eyes, velvet black forehead and red wattle.

A yellow-billed oxpecker, the Masai Giraffe’s very own dermatologist with all the rights ticks.

Looking through Leopard Gorge under gorgeous clear blue skies. Beyond the gorge flowed the Mara river.

Time for a teenager to rest after a mud bath and a busy morning.

Rest is not an option when there are youngsters around who want to play.

That in-between time when the foreground darkens and the last blazes of sunlight paint the darkening sky with oranges, pinks, purples and blues. A time when the fragrances of the flowers, grasses and trees are released by the latent temperature change just before the sun bows down below the horizon to allow the stars to shine.

Endangered black silhouette.

Two elephant bulls following a breeding herd in the plain below the Oloololo escarpment.

Pregnant zebra mare with herd mates silhouetted against a golden sunset sky, heavy with rain clouds.

A lone elephant bull wandering the great plains.

A little pushing and shoving – young male elephants sparring and testing themselves.

Sometimes even the daring get put in their place.

Success for a loner working the drainage lines along the road. A remarkable lioness doing it alone. She had worked out a strategy to ambush her prey using cover from the embankment along the road. Unusual and very successful.

Stripes with teeth – bolt if you do not want to get bitten.

Stripes for the winner

A new born topi calf looking for its mother.

A male Oribi up on the slopes of the Oloololo escarpment.

One of a pair of lappet-faced vultures who had joined the vulture frenzy after the lions had abandoned the zebra kill. With a beak like that……..!

A full grown male lion in his prime courting his female.

A time of breathless tawny magic and new beginnings!!

Travel with an open mind and an open heart. The abundance will reveal itself if you take the time to look and more importantly to appreciate what you are seeing. Once the African bush has etched its way into your subconsciousness you will always long for those sublime quiet times in the wide open spaces. There you can hear the red-crested korhaan calling and zebras braying through the long grass during the day and the Scops owl’s trill accompanied by hyaena whoops at night. The hippo grunts from the river will help you waft off to sleep under the starlit African sky.

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

Have fun, Mike

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