Elephant in Maasai Mara National Park

Maasai Mara Part 2

The noontime is spent relaxing and eating.

At 4, Robert picks us up for our afternoon drive. We head into the park. Immediately through the gate, we see a herd of bout 20 giraffe walking across the plain.

We see a group of about 10 tour vans parked together. When we pull up, we find a large pride of lions has killed a buffalo and are leisurely chowing down. There are two large males, 5 or 6 females, and 10 cubs. The cuteness factor is through the roof.

Giraffes in the Maasai Mara

Why did the giraffes cross the road?

Lion in the Maasai Mara

Big male lion

Lions in the Maasai Mara

A pride of lions with a buffalo kill

Lions in the Maasai Mara

A pride of lions with a buffalo kill

Lions in the Maasai Mara

A pride of lions with a buffalo kill

We leave the kill and head off looking for rhinos and leopards. We find neither. But we do have close encounters with a pack of elephants and a serval cat. Servals are small cats with big ears who like to catch birds. They're fairly rare to see and I'm glad we catch a glimpse.

On our way back tot he park gate, we stop by the buffalo kill. We luck out and arrive just as the herd of buffalo returns to reclaim its own.

Elephant in the Maasai Mara

Elephant

Serval cat in the Maasai Mara

Serval cat

Several buffalo charge at the lions and force them away from the carcass. The lions step back to watch and wait, knowing that the herd won't stick around forever, The buffalo, meanwhile, prod and nudge the carcass, seemingly expecting it to get up and join them. Several jackals wait in the wings.

While an uneasy detente holds between the adult lions and the buffalo, all 10 cubs continue to play with heart-melting cuteness. It makes for an odd juxtaposition.

Herd of buffalo in the Maasai Mara

The herd of buffalo gets angry

Herd of buffalo in the Maasai Mara

The herd of buffalo stands off with the lions

Herd of buffalo in the Maasai Mara

The herd of buffalo stands takes back their fallen comrade

lion cubs in the Maasai Mara

The cubs look on

lion cubs in the Maasai Mara

The cubs look on

Mother and lion cub in the Maasai Mara

Mom and cub

Mothers and lion cubs in the Maasai Mara

Moms and cubs

A lone acacia on the Maasai Mara

A lone acacia on the plains

Still no leopard. Maybe tomorrow.