Heritage Hotels Big Cat and Migration Updates

Big Cat Update, Masai Mara, Kenya April 23rd 2007

by Heritage

30 April 2007

The long rains earlier in the year have converted the Maasai Mara into a sea of grass. Although the length of the grass on the plains can make game-spotting quite a challenge, the extent of wet, marshy areas has forced many animals to move to particular areas of higher ground. Needless to say, our guides' deep local knowledge usually ensures that guests will find most of the animals they have come so far to see!

Despite the long grass and absence of prey, lion sightings have been very good over the past two weeks. The lions from the Ridge pride have now split up into small groups, with the larger group now on the northern edge of the park bordering the Olare Orok Conservancy. The Olkiombo pride has also split, with two groups roaming on either side of the Talek River east of Mara Explorer. The tendency of prides to split up is a survival technique caused by an absence of larger prey sufficient to feed the whole pride. Our guests at Siana Springs have also been enjoying sightings of a pride at Maji ya Fisi, which have given us some delightful encounters with their eight small cubs.

The long grass has forced most of our leopards to take to the taller trees to scan the plains for prey - giving us plentiful opportunities to see them. Bella, our most famous leopard, has lately moved to the area between Rekero and Mara Intrepids on the south side of the Talek River, where there is a lot of game grazing on the relatively short grass. Bella's son, Chui, has not been seen too often, although he has been briefly viewed to the west of Intrepids, downstream from where his mother has settled. Our other female leopard, Pili, has also been seen roaming her territory to the east of Mara Explorer on the north side of the river.

Cheetah sightings have been intermittent over the past few weeks. Our only regular sightings have been of a female with sub-adult cubs at Maji ya Fisi, which appears to have separated from her cubs about a week ago - leaving the cubs in the same area. We will keep monitoring this family for you over the coming months.

From all at Intrepids and Explorer, happy game-watching!