On my last trip to the Maasai Mara in Kenya I visited the Olare Orak Conservancy, while there I had the experience of a close up and personal with the Moniko pride of lions.
Moniko lion pride
The pride consisted of the lead male, five lionesses and their cubs. The cubs ranged in age from about two months to two years.
Being with them provided the opportunity to experience their daily routine, from capturing, killing and feeding on an unlucky Thomson Gazelle, to playing and resting.
It was interesting to watch the cubs at play and lionesses going about their motherly chores of washing and cleaning their respective cubs after their meal. The lead male has got it made. All he appears to do is find a nice spot to lie down and rest while the lionesses do all the work.
Pride of lions video
My visit to the Maasai Mara coincided with the mass migration of wildebeests and zebras from the Serengeti in Tanzania to the Maasai Mara in Kenya. Every year approximately 1.7 million wildebeests along with hundreds of thousands of other plains animals such as zebras and gazelles make the journey. Many don’t survive.
The migration is both a spectacular and heart-wrenching natural event to witness especially the crossing of the Mara River in the Maasai Mara which happens around July/August.
When the herds of animals reach the river there is great deal of hesitation by the leading animals for instinct tells these animals there are predators lying in wait for them to cross. Lurking in the murky waters are huge crocodiles and hippos just waiting to fill their stomachs with fresh wildebeest, zebra and or gazelle.
This is nature in the raw but to witness young animals being trampled and drowned in the river bought tears to my eyes.
You can read more about the crossing here.