Masai Mara - Animal Sightings, May

Weather
The weather has generally been very good with the mornings being a bit cold and the day time not as hot. Evening are generally cool and the rains seem to be subsiding now though we still are experiencing some occasional drizzles and light showers in the afternoons and in the night. As a result of the heavy downpours that we had in the past and the rivers flooding, we have had a lot of sand deposits in many of our crossing points eg  Muhindi crossing and Rekero crossing, both west of Mara Intrepids Camp, across the Talek river. The camp has stationed vehicles across the Talek river by the rope bridge in Mara Intrepids so we still are able to do our drives on the southern side of the park.

Temperatures
14ºc morning
25ºc at midday
20ºc after sunset

Buffaloes
The past two weeks have witnessed lots of buffalos calving and we have had two big herds of buffalos on the northwestern side of the Mara Intrepids and Explorer camps at the Topi plains, and to the west of the Rhino ridge numbering about 500 individuals. On the southern side of Olkiombo, at Possee plains, is another herd of about 700 individuals roaming around. Towards Olkeju Ronkai which is south of the Intrepids and Explorer camps, there was a big grass fire that had consumed a large area of the red oat grass, but after the rains the area is lush and green at the moment with nutritious grass which has been attracting lots of plains game and the buffalo herds.

PREDATORS
Lions
RIDGE PRIDE
The Ridge pride is still stuck at the Topi plain, north of Olkiombo, and occasionally going up to the Rhino ridge hiding in the long grass, the main diet for the pride at the moment is still warthogs, the pride is still intact and should be looking forward to the festive season soon when the migration begins.


PARADISE PRIDE
Nothing much has been seen of this pride as they seem to have gone into hiding for the past two weeks. Only one male from the Musketeers was seen mating with one female at the Paradise main crossing point west of the Mara Intrepids and Explorer camps.




OLKEJU RONKAI PRIDE

Olkeju Ronkai pride led by the old female Napejo are still within there territory and still have the five cubs with them. They killed a buffalo calf and with them was one of the dominant males from the M7 who seemed to share the kill with the females and cubs without a problem. The other male seems to be missing in action for the past week.

OLKIOMBO PRIDE
This pride had crossed the Talek river east of our camps camps but due to high water levels, got stuck across the Talek river at Maji ya Fisi, slightly due south-east of the Intrepids and Explorer camps.




Leopards
Lorien, the female leopard at Olkeju Ronkai, was seen resting on a tree near the Olkeju RonKai - Murero crossing south of Olkiombo for two days and appeared relaxed. She must have been well fed.

Bahati was seen with one male cub crossing from bush breakfast site west of Olkiombo Airstrip and went east to the Intrepids and Explorer bush lunch site with one of her male cubs. The female cub was missing and Bahati kept calling out for her. The male cub with her appeared to be getting shy as he grow bigger which is always the case with male leopards.

Cheetahs
Malaika has found a haven at the Musiara marsh and she has been in the same area for the better part of the month. She has been alternating between Musiara and the Mara North conservancy with her two sub adult cubs.




Ranii on the other hand is at Kabboson area, north of Mara Intrepids  and the grass is relatively short in the area with a lot of  plains game like gazelles, impala, topis, etc .She has of late been mostly going for Thomson’s gazelles and taking good care of her three cubs.


Report and pictures By Raphael Ole Koikai – Head Driver Guide, Mara Intrepids and Mara Explorer Camps.